NUIG research centre to get €5 million funding

The Centre in Bioenergy at NUI Galway is to receive up to €5 million as part of the Competence Centres Programme which is to receive a funding boost of €37 million.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe announced earlier this week that he has set aside €37 million in extra funding over the next six years for investment in new research centres which will bring industry and academics together to work on market-focused innovative products. The extra funding will boost investment in the Government’s Competence Centres Programme to €90 million.

Collaborative company-led research will get under way in the research centres which will rise from six this year to 15 in 2016. The programme is for a joint initiative between the Government’s job creation agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, aimed at building competitive advantage for industry and creating jobs.

At the start of this year, five competence centres were added to the initial pilot, Food for Health. These are the Centre in Nanotechnology (Tyndall Institute, UCC ); Centre in Composite Materials (UL ); Centre in IT Innovation (NUIM ); Centre in Bioenergy (NUIG ); and Centre in Microelectronics (Tyndall Institute, UCC ). Each centre will receive up to €5 million over the next five years. Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland are working to develop a number of other centres in the pipeline.

Announcing the extra funding, Minister O’Keeffe said: “If we want to produce next generation high-tech products, we must get academic researchers working more closely with industry so that their expertise can be pooled and tailored for the market. The competence centres are industry-led to carry out market-focused strategic research and development which can be translated into commercialisable high-tech products.

“Clusters of firms will work together to overcome common research challenges and drive opportunities for innovation, growth, and jobs. Firms that might ordinarily be competitors agree to share knowledge, risk, and the rewards of pooling their research resources. The groups of firms are funded to access the expertise of Ireland’s top universities and, at the same time, partner with small and medium-sized enterprises in developing new products and services.”

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