Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has announced £3.6 million of research funding for five research projects involving Queen’s University Belfast.
The Investigators Programme Partnership between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Department for the Economy (DfE) supports collaborative projects involving universities from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) in undertaking internationally peer-reviewed, leading-edge discovery and fundamental research. The five successful projects were selected by SFI Investigators Programme competitive peer review involving international scientists and are in a range of strategically important sectors.
Minister Hamilton said: “Following the tremendous success of Northern Ireland universities in SFI’s 2015 Investigators Programme, my Department will be providing almost £3.6 million to Queen’s University to support five successful partnership projects.
The projects, which are in key research areas such as Energy, Sustainable Food Production and Processing, and Personalised Medicine, will have significant social and economic benefits for Northern Ireland. The projects will not only strengthen cross-border research, but they will provide an invaluable basis for leveraging funding from other research and innovation programmes.”
A further four SFI-DfE partnership projects, three from Queen’s University and one from Ulster University, were also deemed scientifically excellent and impactful by the International Review Panel and have been placed on a reserve list.
Dr Darrin Morrissey, Director of Programmes, Science Foundation Ireland, said, “We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland and are delighted to have so many excellent and impactful collaborative research projects selected for funding by the international expert peer review panel. The research projects selected will all strengthen cross-border research and also create training and employment opportunities, promote industrial collaboration and drive advances in energy, food production and processing and personalised medicine.”
Scott Rutherford, MATRIX panellist and Director of Research and Enterprise at Queen’s University, said: “We are delighted to have been hugely successful in the Investigators Programme Partnership funding. The level of success through competitive peer review reflects the excellence of Queen’s research in a range of important sectors, which are advancing knowledge and changing lives.
“World leading research needs teams who are connected through meaningful partnerships and the Investigators Programme Partnership has been an important mechanism through which NI researchers have been connected to collaborators across the island. It is vital that this type of high quality partnership is sustained in the longer term and continues to link Northern Ireland with other global players.”