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Further momentum in drive to commercialise scientific researchas Minister Sherlock announces €6.5million for 58 research projects

Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, has today (Thursday) announced Government funding via the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation of over €6.5million covering 58 research awards.

The investment is being made as part of Science Foundation Ireland’sTechnology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme and will enable SFI-funded research groups to focus on the first steps of an applied research project which may have a commercial benefit if further developed.

Making the announcement at Dublin’s RDS, Minister Sherlock said: “The TIDA Programme focuses on the first stages of an applied research project. It provides financial support to research teams to enable them to get from concept to market.”

The Minister added: “There is a particular momentum at present in the drive to commercialise scientific research. This is at the core of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2012, announced last week: investment in research leading to jobs”.

Minister Sherlock also took the opportunity to urge the wider research community to support all endeavours towards commercialisation of research, stating “While today is an endorsement of research endeavours, it is also very much a call to action for all higher education institutions to get behind and support their researchers in every way possible towards facilitating the commercialisation of their research”.

The Minister concluded by saying that “The spirit of convergence and collaboration that has characterised Irish scientific research over the past decade is not only the best way forward – it is the only way forward.”

Welcoming the Minister’s announcement, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, said: “The TIDA awards being announced today will make a telling impact on how academia and enterprise intertwine towards commercialisation. The projects present significant opportunities for commercialization of research and potential treatments in diverse areas such as new drug delivery system, new transistor devices, 4G wireless communication, cornea repair, SMART needles, hay fever, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, biomass, wastewater treatment and acoustic sensors to detect damage in pipes. Enterprise Ireland has played a key role in the programme’s selection process, further underpinning the market potential of the award recipients.”

Ends

For further Information, please contact:

DJEI Press Office Roisin McCann, +353 1 631 2222 or Alva O’Cleirigh, SFI. Tel: +353 1 607 3249 / +353 87 9152553 / Email: Alva.O'Cleirigh@sfi.ie   Website: www.sfi.ie   

Photography from this morning’s event to follow from Jason Clarke Photography (Tel: +353 1 660 7938 / Email: info@jasonclarkephotography.ie

Notes for Editors:

Institutions represented under this TIDA announcement for 2012 are:

NUI Galway (8 awards), Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (5), University of Limerick(1), Dublin City University (6), University College Cork (4), IT Carlow (1), Dublin Institute of Technology (3), Trinity College Dublin (11), University Collage Dublin (8), Tyndall National Institute (3), Cork Institute of Technology (2), Waterford Institute of Technology (2), IT Tralee (1), NUI Maynooth (2) and Athlone Institute of Technology (1).

Some examples of the 58 projects include:

Prof. Vincent Wade at TCD will look at integrated software suite to provide next-generation personalised multilingual customer care. The overall market for customer care in 2009 was approximately US $2.1 Billion. This project proposes to make use of cutting-edge personalisation technology and multi-source digital content management to create an adaptive, social support environment for the next generation of customer care.

Prof Terry Smith at NUIG will investigate the feasibility of a device for the rapid detection of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, which is the species most frequently isolated from pharmaceutical process water and water for injection (WFI). This is the bacteria which was recently responsible for several infant deaths in a Belfast hospital.

Dr Eric Moore at the Tyndall National Institute will develop a ‘SMART’ needle which will improve the safety of a clinical procedure, which treats acute or chronic pain via delivery of anaesthetic via a needle to a nerve. This procedure must be done with incredible precision to be successful.

Dr Qiang Wu at the Dublin Institute of Technology will seek to investigate the feasibility of using an acoustic sensor to detect damage to railway and pipelines.

Prof Fergal O’Brien at the RCSI will develop a new type of material that can be used to repair the clear membrane (Cornea) that covers the front of the eye. This can be used to treat several kinds of disorders that can cause blindness.

Dr. Brendan Duff at the Dublin Institute of Technology will look a determining the feasibility of multifunctional coating to extend the lifetime of magnesium stents used to treat cardiovascular disease.

Note a full list of awards is available on the SFI website: www.sfi.ie

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