Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) with special responsibility for research and innovation, Martin Heydon, today (Friday, March 25) announced the opening of the 2022 Call for Proposals in Agriculture under the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership.

Making the announcement, the minister stated: “This unique collaboration between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the U.S has been in operation for 16 years and I am pleased to note that it is moving into a new phase with an expanded range of research opportunities.

“This follows a review of the partnership undertaken by my department along with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).”

US-Ireland agri partnership

The US-Ireland R&D Partnership is a product of the Northern Ireland Peace Process and involves the governments of the U.S, Ireland and Northern Ireland working together for scientific progress by awarding grants for research on a competitive basis.

The partnership was launched in 2006 and to date, a total combined funding of €105.7 million ($125.6 million) has been awarded to 65 projects in seven priority areas including cybersecurity; agriculture; health; nanoscale science and engineering; sensors and sensor networks; telecommunications; energy and sustainability.

The 2022 agriculture call reinforces the importance of international scientific collaboration on critical research topics, while also extending new opportunities for the co-funding of joint research proposals.

Six additional research areas have been included in the latest call, providing 12 research areas in total that are open to joint research proposals from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the U.S.

In announcing the 2022 call, Minister Heydon said: “The Food Vision 2030 strategy aims for an innovative, competitive and resilient agri-food sector, driven by technology and talent.

“It identifies the need to build on ongoing initiatives and strategic international partnerships in research and innovation, particularly in aiding the transition to a climate-neutral agricultural sector and circular bioeconomy.

“This new tri-partite call between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the U.S delivers on this commitment and represents a significant opportunity for international collaboration in research areas that have become increasingly important for the agricultural sector,” he said.