Irish Research Council welcomes funding for frontier research in Budget 2017



Posted: 11 October, 2016

The Irish Research Council has welcomed increased funding for research in today’s Budget, including funding to commence a frontier research programme and funding for a new initiative aimed at attracting world-leading researchers in the aftermath of Brexit.

Commenting today (11.10.16), Dr Eucharia Meehan, Director of the Irish Research Council, said: ‘The increased investment in research and higher education announced today is very welcome. Additional funding will enable us to continue to support the thousands of researchers nationwide who are powering the knowledge economy and cementing Ireland’s position as an innovation leader.’

Funding for frontier research

Dr Meehan said funding for the implementation of a new frontier research programme was particularly welcome.

‘One of the key actions agreed in the Government’s Innovation 2020 strategy was the establishment of a new programme to fund frontier research across all disciplines and all career stages,’ she said. ‘This will enable the Irish research community to be more competitive internationally and will support the next generation of researchers to progress.

‘Today’s announcement is an important first step in ensuring Ireland can continue to support excellence in research and that our researchers can compete really effectively on the global stage.’

European Research Council in Dublin this week

Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Irish Research Council, said the announcement of funding for the frontier research programme and new initiative to attract world-leading researchers in the context of Brexit is particularly timely, as a plenary meeting of the European Research Council (ERC) is taking place in Dublin this week. The Minister for Education and Skills is due to meet with representatives of the ERC tomorrow.

‘In Innovation 2020, the Irish Research Council was allocated responsibility for establishing and operating the new frontier research programme,’ said Professor Ohlmeyer. ‘This initiative recognises the widely-identified gap in the system in Ireland and will contribute to reducing the disparity between Ireland’s investment in frontier research, compared to European investment.

‘The funding measures announced today will help to leverage further success in obtaining grants from the European Research Council, so it is very timely that their representatives are in Dublin this week to witness first-hand the Government’s commitment to supporting this aspect of our work.’