Ireland invests €25m in new science projects

The Government of Ireland has announced a €25m investment through Science Foundation Ireland in six key research projects.


The investment is designed to enhance high quality research activities and innovation in areas of strategic priority across a variety of disciplines.

“The quality of research being undertaken in Ireland today is testament to our world-class research community,” said Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD, who announced the investment.

To allow researchers to meet the evolving challenges both globally and domestically we must ensure that they have the cutting-edge infrastructure required for their research to positively impact our economy, society and environment

“This talent combined with the support provided through programmes like this one maintains our reputation as a great place to do business and work. The successful projects are at the cutting edge of innovation and are helping us to achieve our goal of preparing now for tomorrow’s world.”

The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme provides research groups with cutting edge infrastructure for the performance of high quality, impactful and innovative research. The programme ensures Irish researchers have the capacity to apply for international funding opportunities including the Horizon 2020 funding calls.

Commenting on the investment, Dr Ciarán Seoighe, deputy director Science Foundation Ireland said: “The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme was developed to support excellent research in Ireland. To allow researchers to meet the evolving challenges both globally and domestically we must ensure that they have the cutting-edge infrastructure required for their research to positively impact our economy, society and environment. Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support researchers by providing them with facilities and equipment which enable them to keep exploring the frontiers of STEM research, and to progress their discoveries towards practical implementation.”

Six ground-breaking Irish science projects backed by Government

  1. Dr Timothy McCarthy, Maynooth University – National Autonomous Technologies Data Platform (NATDaP) will provide valuable open Autonomous Technology data (including driverless vehicles, A.I., robotics and drones) from collaborating Higher Education Institutes across Ireland, which can be accessed by a much wider community, including researchers and industry collaborators.
  2. Prof Kingston Mills, Trinity College Dublin – Next generation flow cytometry and single cell gene analysis – this cutting-edge infrastructure, the only of its kind in a biomedical research Institute or a hospital site in Ireland, will significantly enhance Trinity College Dublin’s cytometry suite capability, enabling rapid analysis for clinical samples.   
  3. Prof Mani Ramaswami, Trinity College Dublin – Ultra Low Noise Digital 3T MRI which will enable new programmes of research at three SFI Research Centres and permit participation in international consortia including Horizon 2020. This new MRI scanner will allow Ireland to lead in neurodevelopmental research on infants and children, and in the areas of ADHD, depression, psychosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Dr Graeme Maxwell, Tyndall National Institute – Tyndall 200mm FlexiFab – core (national) infrastructure upgrade which will enhance equipment to enable processing on 200mm (8 inch) wafers, a unique asset needed to drive future innovation in ICT research and industry in Ireland.
  5. Mr. Michael Gillooly, Marine Institute – EirOOS Irish Ocean Observing System: A component of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) will further scientific and technical research capacity in key areas such as sea level science, ocean circulation and carbon sequestration allowing us to understand the connection between Ireland and the Atlantic. This infrastructure will also increase opportunities to participate in European funded initiatives under Horizon 2020 and more.
  6. Prof Walter Kolch, University College Dublin – A national platform for comprehensive molecular analysis (CMAP) underpinning chemistry, the bioeconomy, and precision oncology research: from molecules to microorganisms and humans. CMAP will not only enhance Ireland’s competitiveness to participate in and lead international research, it will also support research in five national priority areas, contributing to a more sustainable environment, better healthcare, and the creation of high-quality jobs.

Main image: Prof Tim McCarthy, Maynooth University with Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D, and Dr Ciarán Seoighe SFI Deputy Director General. Picture: Jason Clarke

Written by John Kennedy (

Published: 22 October, 2019