Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister Simon Harris award over €37m under Shared Island North-South Research Programme Successful projects include research into precision cancer medicine, vaccine training, and youth crime



Maura O'Shea

By Maura O'Shea

Posted: 2 March, 2022

Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. today awarded sixty-two collaborative research projects between academics and institutions in Ireland and in Northern Ireland a total of €37.3 million under the first funding call from the North-South Research Programme.

The North-South Research Programme is a collaborative scheme funded through the Government’s Shared Island Fund. It is being administered by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

The awards ranging in value from €200,000 over two years to €4 million over four years are to be made to successful collaborations under three strands – Strand I: Bilateral researcher-researcher projects, Strand II: Emerging hubs of excellence and Strand III: Partnerships of scale.

Among the successful projects are:

· All-Island Cancer Research Institute – a collaboration between University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast, the project brings ten academic institutions and their associated teaching hospitals across the island of Ireland together to examine the area of precision cancer medicine;

· The All-Ireland Cancer Liquid Biopsies Consortium (CLuB) – a collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast will bring cohesive leadership, insights, novel approaches, excellence in research, training, and teaching collectively and on the individual components of Liquid Biopsies, feeding back into teaching North and South;

· Atlantic Innovation Corridor – a collaboration between the National University of Ireland, Galway and Ulster University which will address how a complex distributed and multi-city region can foster sustainable innovation. Other partners in this project include Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and University of Limerick;

· Stable Lives Safer Streets – a collaboration between the University of Limerick and Queen’s University Belfast looking at youth justice, community and youth work, trauma studies and community safety;

· All-island Vaccine Research and Training Alliance – a collaboration between University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast examining the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria (AMR).

Announcing the awards, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, said: “I’m delighted to see such substantial funding being awarded to researchers and Higher Education institutions from the North South Research Programme.

“These awards will support the Government’s Shared Island vision by bringing researchers from all corners of the island together to work on pioneering projects over the next four years, and is not only strengthening existing relationships, but is fostering new research partnerships.

“I’m particularly impressed by the high level of interest and the calibre of the proposals, and I am confident that these cross-border collaborations will further strengthen the island’s reputation for innovation and research excellence”. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, said: “Research, science and innovation are invaluable tools in helping us understand the challenges facing us and identify solutions to them. “Today, we are announcing 62 new research projects developed by researchers across the island on our shared challenges. “This will deepen relationships between North South and help create and build new ones. I want to thank An Taoiseach for his support and the funding secured through the Shared Island Fund.” Higher Education Authority CEO, Dr Alan Wall, said: “The North-South Research Programme provides an opportunity for researchers work to combine knowledge, expertise and skills, to work collaboratively to address global, national and regional challenges and to deepen the relationships between researchers and the impact of their research on how we share this island.”

Last year, €40m was allocated from the Shared Island Fund over five years for the North-South Research programme. This significant development is aimed at supporting the deepening of links between higher education institutions, researchers and research communities on the island of Ireland, delivering all-island approaches to research and innovation. As previously announced and agreed by Government there will be a second call under the Programme in 2023. The scope and scale of the second call is currently under active consideration. The full list of North South Research Programme awardees under the first call can be found here.

-Ends-

NOTES TO EDITOR:

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to “support a North/South programme of research and innovation” and the North-South Research Programme is a significant step in the implementation of that commitment.

The programme will support research which will be of economic and social benefit to the island of Ireland. The key principles of the programme are as follows:

· Strengthen research, innovation, development and collaboration in and between individuals and higher education institutions by rewarding innovation and excellence thereby enhancing the higher education sector, North and South;

· Enhance the research, teaching and learning continuum and the skills, quality and relevance of graduate output;

· Promote networks of excellence and partnerships of scale for research, innovation and development;

· Contribute to policy development relevant to the Shared Island initiative and benefiting enterprise and communities, north and south;

· Contribute to capacity building, place-making/innovation districts.

 

The Programme is being managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

The Programme is structured along the following three strands:

I. Bilateral researcher-researcher projects

This will support individual researchers based in an Irish higher education institution (HEI) collaborating with a researcher in a HEI in Northern Ireland on an identified research project.

II. Emerging hubs of excellence

This strand supports research teams collaborating on an agreed work programme.

III. Institutional strategic research engagement

Higher education institutions are supported to collaborate with each other on the basis of their respective institutional strategic research priorities.

North South PR Appendix Strand I II III

Fógraíonn an Taoiseach Micheál Martin agus an tAire Simon Harris cistí €37m faoi Chlár Taighde Thuaidh-Theas maidir le hOileán Comhroinnte

Áirítear ar na tograí a bhfuil ciste á bhronnadh ina leith taighde maidir le cógas leighis mionchóirithe i ndáil le hailse, oiliúint maidir le vacsaíní agus coiriúlacht óige

 

Bhronn an Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. agus an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta Simon Harris T.D. inniu €37.3 milliún faoin gcéad ghairm cistíochta a ghabhann leis an gClár Taighde Thuaidh Theas ar dhá thionscadal comharthaighde agus trí fichead idir an lucht léinn agus na foras léinn in Éirinn agus i dTuaisceart Éireann.

Is scéim comharoibre an Clár Taighde Thuaidh-Theas le maoiniú faoin gCiste um Oileán Comhroinnte. An tÚdarás um Ardoideachas a dhéanann riarachán air thar ceann na Roinne Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta.

Tá luach idir €200,000 le himeacht dhá bhliain agus €4 milliún le himeacht ceithre bliana leis na cistí atá á mbronnadh ar na comharthograí faoi thrí shnáithe – Snáithe I: Tograí déthaobhacha taighdeoir le taighdeoir, Snáithe II: Moil sárthaighde atá i mbéal forbartha agus Snáithe III: Comhar páirtnéireachta ar scála suntasach.

Áirítear ar na tograí ar éirigh leo:

· Conair Nuálaíochta an Atlantaigh – togra i gcomhar idir Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Uladh trína ndíreofar ar an modh inar féidir nuáil a chothú go leanúnach i réigiún ina bhfuil roinnt cathracha éagsúla agus dáileadh casta ar an daonra. Áirítear ar na forais páirtnéireachta eile atá ceangailte leis an togra seo Institiúid Teicneolaíochta na Gaillimhe agus Mhaigh Eo agus Ollscoil Luimnigh;

· Institiúid Taighde Ailse Uile-Oileáin – togra faoi cheannródaíocht Choláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath agus Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste, trína dtugtar deich gcinn d’fhorais léinn agus de na hospidéil teagaisc atá ceangailte leo ar fud oileán na hÉireann le chéile i mbun oibre ar chógais leighis mhionchóirithe i ndáil le hailse;

· Stable Lives Safer Streets – togra i gcomhar idir Ollscoil Luimnigh agus Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste lena ndéantar scrúdú ar chúrsaí dlí agus cirt maidir leis an óige, obair pobail agus óige, léann tráma agus sábháilteacht pobail;

· Comhaontas Taighde agus Oiliúint Vacsaíní Uile-Oileáin – togra i gcomhar idir Coláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath agus Ollscoil na Ríona, Béal Feirste lena scrúdaítear teacht chun cinn na mbaictéar ina bhfuil seasamh in aghaidh antaibheathach (AMR).

Ag fógairt na gcistí dó, dúirt an Taoiseach Micheál Martin: “Is breá liom cistí suntasacha den sórt seo a fheiceáil á ndáileadh ar thaighdeoirí agus ar fhorais Ardoideachais faoin gClár Taighde Thuaidh Theas.

Treiseoidh bronnadh na gcistí seo le fís an Rialtais maidir le hOileán Comhroinnte trí thaighdeoirí as gach cearn den oileán a thabhairt le chéile i mbun oibre ar thograí tionscantacha as seo go ceann ceithre bliana; ní dlús breise a chur le caidreamh atá ar bun cheana féin amháin atá i gceist, tá comhar nua páirtnéireachta á chothú freisin i gcásanna éagsúla.

Thug mé suntas faoi leith don leibhéal ard spéise a léiríodh sa chúram agus do shárchaighdeán na dtograí a cuireadh chun cinn. Táim lánmhuiníneach go dtreiseofar arís le clú na nuálaíochta agus an sárthaighde ar lucht léinn an oileáin seo mar gheall ar an gcomharobair trasteorann seo”. Dúirt an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, Simon Harris: “Is deiseanna barrthábhachtacha taighde, eolaíocht agus nuálaíocht maidir le cur lenár dtuiscint ar na réimsí dúshláin a chuirtear romhainn agus seifteanna míniúcháin a aimsiú ina leith. “Tá 62 togra nua taighde á bhfógairt inniu againn arna leagan amach ag an lucht taighde ar fud an oileáin d’fhonn ábhar dúshláin a chuirtear romhainn araon a mhíniú. “Cuirfidh seo dlús breise leis an gcaidreamh Thuaidh Theas agus cuideofar le caidreamh nua a chruthú agus a chothú idir dreamanna nach raibh i mbun an chomhair go dtí seo. Is mian liom buíochas a ghabháil leis an Taoiseach as a chuid tacaíochta agus an maoiniú faoin gCiste um Oileán Comhroinnte.” Dúirt an Dr Alan Wall, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Chlár Taighde Thuaidh-Theas: “Tugann an Clár Taighde Thuaidh-Theas deis do thaighdeoirí oibriú ar bhealach trína gcuirtear faisnéis, saineolas agus scileanna i bpáirt agus obair á déanamh i gcomhar d’fhonn díriú ar réimsí dúshláin domhanda, náisiúnta agus réigiúnacha agus treisiú leis an gcaidreamh idir daoine den lucht taighde agus leis an tionchar a bhíonn ag toradh a gcuid saothair ar an saol againn ar fad ar an oileán seo.”

Rinneadh €40m a leithroinnt ar an gClár Taighde Thuaidh Theas as an gCiste um Oileán Comhroinnte anuraidh. Cor suntasach seo atá dírithe ar threisiú an cheangail idir na forais ardoideachais, an lucht taighde agus meithle taighde ar oileán na hÉireann agus cur chuige uile-oileáin a thabhairt i dtreis maidir le cúrsaí taighde agus nuála. Mar a fógraíodh roimhe seo agus mar atá aontaithe ag an Rialtas, eagrófar an dara gairm faoin gClár i rith na bliana 2023. Táthar i mbun ceisteanna maidir le scóip agus scála an dara gairm a bhreithniú faoi láthair. Is féidir liosta iomlán de na tograí a bhfuil ciste á bhronnadh ina leith faoin gcéad ghairm seo faoin gClár Taighde Thuaidh Theas a aimsiú anseo. -Críoch-

NÓTA DON EAGARTHÓIR:

Luaitear i gClár an Rialtais go bhfuiltear tugtha do threisiú le clár taighde agus nuálaíochta Thuaidh/Theas agus is céim shuntasach maidir leis sin a thabhairt i bhfeidhm an Clár Taighde Thuaidh-Theas.

Cuideofar faoin gclár le hobair taighde óna dtiocfaidh tairbhe eacnamaíochta agus sóisialta d’oileán na hÉireann. Seo a leanas na prionsabail bhuntábhachtacha atá leis an gclár:

· Taighde, nuálaíocht, forbairt agus comharobair idir daoine aonair agus forais ardoideachais a chothú trí threisiú leis an nuálaíocht agus leis an tsainiúlacht ionas go gcuirtear dá réir le hearnáil an ardoideachais ó Thuaidh agus ó Dheas;

· Treisiú leis an leanúnachas taighde, teagaisc agus foghlamtha agus le scileanna agus ardchaighdeán na gcéimithe chomh maith le tábhacht reatha thoradh a gcuid saothair;

· Craobhchórais sárfheabhais agus meithle páirtnéireachta ar scála cuí a chothú maidir le cúrsaí taighde, nuálaíochta agus forbartha;

· Leas a dhéanamh maidir le ceapadh an bheartais a bhaineann le tionscnamh an Oileáin Comhroinnte agus tairbhe a dhéanamh don fhiontraíocht agus do dhreamanna pobail ó thuaidh agus ó dheas;

· Cion tairbhe a dhéanamh maidir le cothú acmhainne, cruthú áite/dúichí nuálaíochta.

 

Déanann an tÚdarás um Ardoideachas bainistíocht ar an gClár thar ceann na Roinne Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta.

Tá trí shnáithe i gceist le struchtúr an Chláir :

I. Tograí déthaobhacha taighdeoir le taighdeoir

Tugtar cúnamh taca faoi seo maidir le hobair i gcomhar idir taighdeoir aonair atá lonnaithe i bhforas ardoideachais de chuid na hÉireann agus taighdeoir i bhforas ardoideachais i dTuaisceart Éireann ar thogra taighde sonrach.

II. Moil Sárthaighde atá i mBéal Forbartha

Tugtar cúnamh taca do mheithle taighde maidir le taighde i gcomhar ar chlár oibre comhaontaithe.

III. Caidreamh straitéiseach taighde idir forais

Tugtar cúnamh taca d’fhorais ardoideachais maidir le hobair i gcomhar eatarthu atá bunaithe ar réimsí taighde a bhfuil tús áite ag na forais éagsúla leo ar bhonn straitéise.

More: Minister for Further and Higher Education, minister simon harris, North South Research Programme, Taoiseach Micheal Martin

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