RTÉ Digital is delighted to be one of the companies chosen to work with SFI/DERI “INSIGHT” Research Centre and will collaborating on a Data Analytics project.
Below is today’s announcement by Minister Bruton, and Minister Sherlock on a landmark investment of €300m in Seven World-Class Research Centres of which INSIGHT is one.
€300million Investment in Seven World-Class Research Centres – Minister Bruton, Minister Sherlock
• Largest ever state/industry co-funded research investment in Ireland
• €200m of new Exchequer funds for 7 World Class Research Centres over 6 years
• €100m co-investment by over 150 industry partners
• Supports key growth areas targeted in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013
• Targets research into major social challenges, including Health and Energy
• Directly supporting 800 top-class researcher positions
Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Sean Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation today announced a landmark investment by the Government in scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals.
€200 million of Irish exchequer funding will be invested in seven world class research centres of scale. The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over €100 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners, making it the largest ever combined state/industry co-funding announcement of its kind in the research field in Ireland. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review. Thus far 156 industry partners are connected to the centres, spanning multinationals and SMEs, including Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Medtronic, GSK, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, BT, Kerry Group, The Irish Times, ESB, Alere, Intune Networks, Intel, IBM, RTÉ, Roche, UTRC Ireland and many more. Today’s announcement marks the delivery of a key commitment in Action Plan 2013. Among the research activities funded are:
• “Big Data”, a sector currently growing at up to 40% per annum
• Advanced food research based around microbes which live in the gut
• World-leading research to take advantage of Ireland’s natural advantages in marine energies
• Research to develop screening and diagnostic tests for perinatal and neonatal conditions
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said, “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research.”
“The €300million investment announced today, and the seven new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This will support more than 800 talented scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help to create the jobs we need.”
Speaking at the announcement the Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD said, “This is a landmark moment in the evolution of Ireland’s research system which will deliver major economic and societal benefits for Ireland in the years to come. Today’s unprecedented funding announcement will help deliver the quality jobs of the future for Ireland in a range of areas such as information and communications technology; internet based services; pharmaceuticals; medical technologies and energy amongst other things.”
Minister Sherlock added, “The sheer scale of the industry involvement with a commitment so far of over €100m also indicates a major endorsement of Ireland’s research capability. Industry globally clearly recognizes that this is a really good country in which to conduct their business. Today also delivers another milestone for this Government’s Research Prioritisation objectives, with SFI leading the way. Importantly, these centres will also strongly position Irish based scientists with EU research programmes, and should enable us to win further significant investments to these shores in the coming years. “ The seven research centres mark a new collaborative approach and bring together multidisciplinary teams comprising 800 scientists from across Ireland’s leading higher education and research institutions and interacting with 156 industry partners.
The centres will be in the following areas:
1. Big Data – with the explosion of internet based information through this centre we will see the development of breakthrough data analytics technologies to make Ireland a global leader in this rapidly expanding area;
2. Marine renewable energy – Ireland is one of the best locations in the world in terms of marine renewable energy resources. This centre will look to generate energy technologies for industry from wave, tidal and floating wind devices.
3. Nanotechnology/engineered materials – will deliver world-leading research across a number of key enterprise sectors, most notably ICT, industrial technology and medical devices and delivery systems. Ireland is currently ranked 6th globally in nanotechnology and 8th in materials science.
4. Food for health/functional foods; the centre will address important issues such as disease prevention, healthy ageing and improved population health in general. Ireland is currently ranked 2nd in the world in probiotics research.
5. Photonics – which is the generation, manipulation and utilization of light, is an important enabling technology that underpins many areas such as future networks, communications systems and medical devices.
6. Perinatal Translational Research – which will focus on fast-tracking discoveries relating to most complications of pregnancy and newborn babies and service a huge societal and economic need globally.
7. Drug synthesis/crystallization – this centre will develop new mechanisms and better control processes to produce new and improved drug formulations and safe medicines. This centre is of major importance to Ireland’s pharmaceutical sector, a sector which generated over €56 billion in exports in 2012.
Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said, “These seven funded research centres were selected from 35 proposals following a highly competitive and rigorous international peer review process. This 20% success rate is comparable to international funding success rates. Each centre proposal was examined for scientific excellence through international scientific review by eminent scientists from the world’s leading universities and for potential economic impact through an international impact review by distinguished industrial R&D leaders, high technology investors, translational institute directors and tech transfer directors from world leading universities. Over 100 esteemed international reviewers have joined with Industry and agency experts to ensure that the centres supported have excellent science with the potential to deliver societal and economic impact. ”
“Each centre will become a hub for platform research areas of national importance, for example, data analytics or renewable energy with an overall operations capability. This model enables the centres to add new industry and academic partners in ‘spokes’ or linked research streams to ensure that funding is used in a collaborative and consolidated way. This ‘hub and spoke’ model will allow every centre to maximize the potential of the platform research provide flexibility and scalability by allowing new and existing multi-national companies, SMEs and academic groups to partner in research projects and potentially create new research breakthroughs. “ The seven centres involve a collaborative partnership across research institutions in Ireland with participation from University College Cork, University College Dublin, Tyndall National Institute (UCC), Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, NUI Galway, Dublin City University, Cork Institute of Technology, Teagasc, the Marine Institute, Geological Survey Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons and CSO Cork amongst others.
For further information or media queries please contact: Aidan McLaughlin, Fleishman-Hillard, 085 749 0484 or firstname.lastname@example.org Alva O’Cleirigh, SFI, 087 915 2553 or email@example.com Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors: Under the SFI Research Centres Programme (2012 call) –the seven research centres outlined below are being funded
Full details on funded research centres in attached notes
Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research Centre (AMBER)
The prime objective of the AMBER Centre is to deliver world-leading research into engineered materials and interfaces for applications in a number of priority sectors in Ireland, most notably in ICT, medical devices, and industrial technology. Through 30 individual platform projects and 18 industry-focused targeted projects, the AMBER Centre will carry out research in four broad areas: • Development of enhanced nanoscale electronic devices for data processing and memory applications; • New materials to support innovation in medical devices and delivery systems, implants based on novel therapies, and regenerative tissue engineering; • Novel materials and processing for new products in areas such as the bottling industry, solar energy, medical devices, medical diagnostics and chemical and biological filtration; • Novel formulations and packaging to improve the distribution of pharmaceuticals. AMBER researchers will work with their industry partners, many of whom are long-term collaborators with the parent CRANN Institute, in the areas above. The team has already demonstrated strong interactions with industry, with a number of researchers-in-residence carrying out projects at TCD, and a pathway for graduates to move into industry already in place. Technologies developed by AMBER investigators will be utilised for the design of real-world devices and materials with strong potential for significant scientific and economic impacts.
Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC)
Lay Research Summary
The gut microbiota is a complex community of trillions of microbes, unique to every individual. We acquire these microbial partners at birth, and live in harmony (or disharmony) until death us do part. They share our food, provide us with many essential vitamins and promote the development of a healthy gut. Recent evidence also supports a role for the microbes in optimal brain function, and in healthy ageing. The Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) investigates the close links between diet, the microbiota and health status. The Centre aims to provide the necessary scientific basis for the selection of health-promoting bacteria and food constituents for incorporation into ‘functional foods’ for improved health, and which can support the development of novel bioactives to treat intestinal and infectious diseases. The research undertaken by the APC will address important societal issues such as disease prevention, improved cognition and healthy ageing and is supported by food, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries.
INFANT – Institute of Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research
Lay Research Summary
Despite huge societal and economic need, the progress of perinatal research has been painfully slow and consequently there are no effective screening tests for the most common complications of pregnancy and newborn babies. As a result, prompt detection of problems and the development of appropriate treatments are impacted. The INFANT team is a diverse group of doctors and scientists who are supported by strong industry partners, international collaborators and business and regulatory advisors. Over the last 5 years the team has collaborated to develop screening and diagnostic tests and novel methods of monitoring pregnancy and newborns and the team members have become international leaders in this area. INFANT will focus on fast-tracking discoveries to the bedside by serving as a hub for innovation spanning 3 of the major priority areas outlined in the Research Prioritisation Report; Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Connected Health. These areas are associated with large global markets that have a strong Irish base. Thus, by directly aligning with areas of national strategic importance, INFANT will lead to significant economic gains and will transform perinatal care on a global level, improving outcomes for mothers and babies.
Irish Photonic Integration Research Centre (I-PIC)
Photonics is the generation, manipulation and utilisation of light, and forms an important enabling technology that underpins a wide range of application areas. The European photonics market alone is worth €58billion and is estimated to impact 10% of the European economy. Major advances in photonics integration are required, however, similar to the development of electronic integrated circuits some fifty years ago, to enable much higher levels of functionality whilst simultaneously reducing the cost and size of devices. Advances in photonic integration will enable new market opportunities in areas such as Communications Technology and Medical Devices, which are key sectors of the Irish economy, employing over 100,000 people, and have been identified as Key Enabling Technologies and Research Priorities by the Irish Government.
The Irish Photonic Integration Research Centre (I-PIC) brings together the internationally recognised Irish research capabilities in Photonics and Biomedical Science and 16 industrial partners, many of whom are indigenous SMEs. They will share world-class facilities to address the technological challenges confronting these industries. The specific goals of the centre will be to provide technological solutions via photonic integration to enable point-of care medical diagnostics, minimally invasive patient monitoring and screening procedures, and continued growth of the internet.
INSIGHT- Ireland’s Big Data and Analytics Research Centre
Lay Research Summary
The commoditization of connectivity and content through the Internet has highlighted how always-on data services can transform almost every aspect of our lives. As we enter the age of “Big Data”, we will witness an unprecedented shift in the quantity and quality of information from all aspects of our lives. This will provide an unlimited source of raw material for a new generation of transformative knowledge-based industries, from new visions of healthcare to novel location-based and discovery based services. The ability to mine insights from these data is a new basis for sustained advantage in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. INSIGHT integrates four world-class research centres to position Ireland at the heart of data analytics research and develop a scalable and sustainable eco-system for education, investment, and industry in this crucial technology sector. INSIGHT will develop breakthrough data analytics technologies to deal with the volume, variety and velocity challenges of Big Data helping individuals, communities, organisations and societies to make better decisions: better decisions about where we might live; better decisions about the food we eat and the exercise we should take; better decisions by our governments when it comes to investing in education, energy, food, healthcare and infrastructure.
MaREI- Marine Renewable Energy Ireland
Lay Research Summary
Ireland is in one of the best locations in the World in terms of marine renewable energy resources. The Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) will develop the science and technology required by industry to generate energy from wave, tidal and floating wind devices. MaREI will carry out world-leading research on all aspects required for the success of the marine renewable energy sector while also educating and training the next generation of engineers and scientists for the marine renewable energy industry. In particular, MaREI will look at a wide range of challenges concerned with the optimized deployment of marine renewable energy devices, the connection of such devices to the national grid, methods for storing the energy generated, and related marine governance, planning, economics and environmental issues. By making Ireland an international focus for the marine renewable industry, MaREI will help satisfy national energy demands and ensure that the expected thousands of jobs created in this sector benefit the national economy. MaREI will itself directly create companies and jobs, SFI Research Centres Programme Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) and will act as a catalyst to Ireland establishing sustainable, secure, profitable energy supply both at home and for export.
Synthesis & Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC)
Lay Research Summary including economic impact
The overarching aim of the SSPC2 Centre will be to better understand mechanisms, control processes and predict outcomes for the efficient and environmentally sustainable production of safe medicines. This will be achieve by utilising a “molecule-to-medicine” approach that encompasses chemical synthesis, crystal engineering, and drug production and manufacture. A total of 19 individual projects will be carried out, which all fall under one of three main themes: • New Frontiers in Pharmaceutical Synthesis: Efficient synthetic routes and processes for molecules that are precursors to potential pharmaceutically relevant materials; • Crystal Growth and Design: Studying the physical characteristics of crystalline materials and their interactions to understand how to utilise them most effectively as active pharmaceutical ingredients; • Drug Product Formulation and Manufacture: Using science- and engineering-based knowledge to optimise solid-state pharmaceutics and produce new and improved drug formulations. The SSPC2 Centre will continue the work of its forerunner, the SSPC SRC, in providing critical support to the national pharmaceutical industry, which is the most significant industrial sector in Ireland, directly employing over 25,000 people and creating revenue that totalled 56% of all exports in 2012. Ireland has attracted 13 of the 15 largest pharmaceutical multinational companies to its shores; SSPC2 are already working with many of these companies to develop new and improved processing technologies, and help to retain the economic value of important drugs, many of which are soon to lose their patent protection.