Minister Harris announces €4.3 million investment in enterprise research partnerships

Posted: 17 August, 2020

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has today, 17 August, announced an investment of €4.3 million in 50 enterprise-focused research awards under the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

The awards will cover a broad range of topics including the areas of health, food production, law, agriculture and heritage.

Announcing today’s investment, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to announce funding for 50 research and innovation projects as part of the 2020 Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme. This scheme provides a valuable opportunity for enterprise and employers to access research talent and expertise within Ireland’s higher education system.

“The research will cover a broad range of areas, including sexual violence, the delivery of healthcare, how we produce better dairy products, the impact of jellyfish blooms on salmon aquaculture in Ireland, and how we improve bone health in jockeys.

“We must continue to promote Irish research and offer our researchers every opportunity and every support. We must continue to support this type of engagement to attract foreign direct investment into our knowledge economy, to assist indigenous SMEs and NGOs to innovate.”

The Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, added: “The Council has a long history of supporting early career researchers across all disciplines, and the Enterprise Partnership Scheme is a keystone of this ongoing mission. By bridging research, industry and enterprise, this programme gives participating scholars and fellows a dynamic research opportunity, allowing them to gain experience of working on a project with enterprise impact and innovation potential, and providing insight into career paths beyond academia. The Council wishes the new awardees and their partners every success with their projects.”

The Enterprise Partnership Scheme has been operating for 15 years in the Irish research and innovation landscape and connects enterprise, early career researchers and higher education institutions. As a unique tripartite research collaboration, it provides key benefits for all parties. Industry and employers – including social innovation organisations – are supported to enhance their research and innovation capacity on a low-risk basis, and companies gain access to a pipeline of research talent for their future development needs. For postgraduate and postdoctoral participants, the scheme builds links between researchers and the broader economy and society, which is key to driving future innovation.  Finally, as the scheme has shown, Enterprise Partnership Scheme awards promote long-term collaborations and engagement between higher education institutions and industry/employers.

A long-standing partner in the scheme is Analog Devices, which this year is supporting three researchers: University of Limerick-based awardee Aoife Whiston, Brian Shortall from Trinity College Dublin and Mohamed Shehata from University College Dublin. Shane Geary, Vice President Internal operations and technology and General Manager Ireland site, Analog Devices, praised the EPS programme, stating, “Analog Devices is delighted to partner with the Irish Research Council again on the 2020 Enterprise Partnership Scheme. We have been involved in the programme for many years, with great success, and are looking forward to working with this year’s awardees. This programme enables us to collaborate with excellent researchers and integrate their expertise into our processes and innovations. We also aim to provide the researchers with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of working in industry, promoting it as a high potential career path.”

Some of the other projects supported under this year’s scheme are highlighted below:

  • Hannah Brownlow, based at University College Cork, will undertake research with salmon producer MOWI Ireland on the impact of jellyfish blooms on salmon aquaculture in Ireland.
  • Shubham Jain, based at Athlone Institute of Technology, will partner with Ericsson to work on Automated Data Analysis and Parsing (ADAP).
  • Arthur Dunne, based at Waterford Institute of Technology, will undertake research in collaboration with the charity organisation Irish Injured Jockeys, developing and implementing strategies to promote bone health in jockeys.
  • Nora Moroney, based at Trinity College Dublin, will commence research in collaboration with Marsh’s Library on the book collection of Benjamin Iveagh.

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