Department provides over €28m in funding to new innovative research projects
Over €28m worth of funding has been awarded for collaborative inter-institutional research projects by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.
The funding will come under the Department’s competitive research funding programmes.
This funding, along with other initiatives announced recently, will make a significant contribution to the sustainability, innovation and competitiveness of the Irish agri-food, forestry and marine sectors, the Minister said.
The projects which were awarded funding cover a number of themes including food safety, environmental protection, sustainable forest management as well as food production and processing.
The research investment is set to provide direct employment for 186 people, which will include 65 contract researchers and 83 post graduate research opportunities in the form of PhDs and Masters degrees.
The recent research awards brings the total investment made by my Department over the last five years to just over €124m, Minister Creed said.
This research is a key component in delivering on the ambitious targets set out in the Food Wise 2025 and the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.
The research awards will also address a number of critical issues in the forestry sector, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, with responsibility for forestry, Andrew Doyle said.
In particular Minister Doyle hopes the funding will address issues such as enhanced mobilisation of timber from the private sector and value added opportunities for Irish grown timber.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland has also agreed to fund some of the research as part of on-going cooperation on agri-food research and innovation between the North and south.
DAERA will provide over €2m worth of funding to enable three research performing organisations north of the border to participate in seven of the successful research projects.
Among the successful projects, Teagasc was awarded close to €1.1m to research new strategies to predict and monitor semen fertility alongside UCD and the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation.
Teagasc is also the lead institution in a collaboration which received over €1m to research technology which will help tillage farmers develop novel pest management strategies to protect yields and reduce the use of pesticides.
Cork Institute of Technology was also awarded a total of €421,200 in order to investigate the the possibility that natural anti-yeast agents could be natural alternatives to artificial preservatives used to extend food shelf-life.
With regards to forestry, the National University of Galway has been awarded over €194,000 to develop new products from hardwood thinnings, which could lead to job creation opportunities.
A full list of the successful research projects which received funding is available on the Department’s website.