Minister Harris announces €21 million for 8 awards through SFI Research Infrastructure Programme

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has  announced a €21 million investment in eight research infrastructure projects through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Infrastructure programme. The awards, one of which is co-funded with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), will contribute to the advancement of high-quality and high-impact research activities.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to announce €21 million in funding from my department to support transformative research with both national and international impact. Ireland is committed to investing in high quality, pioneering research. The funding announced today does just that. 

“This support builds and sustains the required infrastructural capacity we need that enables our research community to thrive across the fields of materials science, earth and environmental sciences, energy, engineering, physics, and neuroscience and behaviour.”

In welcoming the announcement, Prof Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The Research Infrastructure Programme funds state-of-the-art research infrastructure to drive excellent and highly collaborative research and innovation. The programme promotes transformative collaborations, in which increased inter-institutional and national sharing of research infrastructure across academia and enterprise makes for better research and accelerated innovation. The eight successful projects selected will help us, through research, to prepare for a challenging yet exciting future. The importance of this programme to our research system highlights the need for sustained and increased investment in research infrastructure over the coming decade.”

Margie McCarthy, SEAI Director of Research and Policy Insights, commented: “SEAI is delighted to collaborate with SFI supporting Irish energy RD&D, co-funding this exciting demonstration infrastructure in Cork Harbour. We expect this particular project to unlock the significant potential for floating offshore wind in Irish coastal waters. Trial infrastructure and gathering delivery knowledge are key to achieving government ambitions in this sector and ultimately accelerating Ireland’s clean energy transition.”

The eight funded projects are:

Floating Wind Testbed integrated with Energy System Observatory (FLOWT-EOB), University College Cork (UCC), aims to provide an infrastructure that would be unique worldwide for addressing knowledge gaps and optimising energy utilisation. The primary component of FLOWT-EOB will be a 200kW floating wind platform, deployed in Cork Harbour. The project has been co-funded with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
Advanced Heterogeneous Device Integration (AHDI), Tyndall National Institute, proposes a unique cutting-edge facility using Hybrid Integration to improve semiconductor performance.
Geofib: Optical Fibre Earth Sensing Suite, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), will acquire new methodological-technical infrastructure that allows optical fibre cables to be used as ‘seismic’ sensors to monitor the Earth’s structure and how it is changing.
IQ: the Irish Quantum technology facility for advanced qubit manipulation, Tyndall National Institute, will establish a world-class facility for developing devices for quantum-bit generation and manipulation, explicitly designed to facilitate the ‘fusion’ between integrated silicon electronics, hybrid photonic devices and novel materials.
Solid-State Battery Analysis and Testing (SS-BAT) Facility, University of Limerick (UL), will be a world-leading resource dedicated to establishing solid-state battery (SSB) research within Ireland.
An Irish Microkelvin Laboratory for Advanced Quantum Materials Research, University College Cork (UCC), will provide experimental facilities, unique in Europe, to discover and explore electronic and magnetic properties of novel quantum materials at the lowest accessible temperatures.
Accelerated Computing for Lifespan Brain Health, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), aims to utilise a strategic application of graphics processing units (GPUs) with a substantial training component that will enable Ireland to develop artificial intelligence approaches to analysing health data and leading to transformative discoveries in lifespan brain health.
Advanced Mass Spectrometry Infrastructure Enabling Strategic and Focused Multi-Disciplinary Scientific Discovery and Innovation, Maynooth University (MU), proposes a mass spectrometry infrastructure that will enable high sensitivity detection and enumeration of biomolecules, in a high-throughput and efficient manner, with applications in health, biotechnology and chemical sciences.

The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme supports the research community in building and sustaining cutting-edge infrastructure in order to accomplish high-quality, impactful and innovative research. The programme encourages partnerships and collaboration between different cohorts of researchers in Ireland, across academia and enterprise.

For more information about the research infrastructure programme visit: https://www.sfi.ie/funding/funding-calls/sfi-research-infrastructure-programme/

For full list of recipients can be found visit: http://www.sfi.ie/research-news/news/transformative-research/Research-Infrastructure-Programme-Award-details-(8-Projects-Jan-2024).pdf

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