The funding will establish two new research centres, one focused on climate and the other on sustainable food.
Funding for two new all Island research centres was announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, plus Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, and Permanent Secretary at Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Katrina Godfrey.
€70-million in funding will establish two new research centres, one focused on climate and the other on sustainable food on both sides of the Irish Border.
The funding brings together academics, industry, and policymakers across the Irish Government, UK government, and Stormont. The two new co-centres will formally commence activities on January 1, 2024, and will be funded until 2030.
The announcement was jointly made by Minister Harris and UK Government Secretary of State Donelan ahead of their attendance at the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference and a bilateral discussion at Farmleigh House, Dublin, this afternoon, November 28.
Minister Harris commented on the funding, saying: “Addressing climate change and achieving sustainable and resilient food systems are intertwined challenges facing us all. This investment in two new collaborative research centres is a major development in addressing these pressing issues in a coordinated and concerted way.”
UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan said: “From our groundbreaking international work on AI, to our deal to join Horizon, the UK is determined to seize the opportunities for growth and prosperity that can be delivered, when we work together on science and tech with our neighbours. By bringing together the genius that exists across our islands, we will unlock the new ideas and inventions that will help us secure our food chains and tackle climate change, delivering innovative solutions for global good.”
Ms Godfrey added: “The Co-Centres programme is an excellent example of Government funders working in partnership to support researchers and industry who will undertake cutting-edge research in areas of mutual economic, societal, health and environmental importance. I am particularly pleased that researchers in Northern Ireland will be integral to the establishment of these Co-centres.”
The co-centres programme is funded over six years, with up to €40-million from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) (supported by the Department of Further, Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science and the Irish Government’s Shared Island Fund), up to £17-million from Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and up to £12-million through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and is co-funded by industry.