The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, announced awards of over €28 million for collaborative inter-institutional research projects today (15 December). The awards are designed to advance the Irish agri-food, forestry and marine sectors.
The 43 awards involve collaborations between 19 different institutions and organisations including Teagasc, a number of universities and institutes of technology. The research investment announced will provide direct employment for 186 people including 65 contract researchers and 83 post graduate research opportunities.
Projects covered by the awards cover a number of key themes for the sectors: sustainable food production and processing; managing for environmental protection and enhancement; sustainable forest management; delivering food safety & food quality; and food for improved nutrition and health.
Speaking at the announcement, Minister Creed said, “Today’s research funding announcement, coupled with other initiatives announced recently, will make a significant contribution to the sustainability, innovation and competitiveness of the Irish agri-food, forestry and marine sectors whilst also adding to research capability at the institutional level.”
Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII), the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, welcomed the announcement. Paul Kelly, FDII Director: “Today’s research grant announcement will help underpin competitiveness in the Irish agri-food sector. It is particularly welcome in light of the challenges posed by Brexit as well as the wider growth ambitions outlined in the national agri-food strategy FoodWise 2025.”
In addition, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs of Northern Ireland, has teamed up with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to provide funding of over €2 million to enable three research performing organisations north of the border to participate in seven of the successful research projects.
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