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UCC and Tyndall National Institute Secure €15.7 Million for Pioneering Research Infrastructure Projects

18 Jan 2024
  • UCC and Tyndall awarded projects awarded combined €15.7m Science Foundation Ireland funding.
  • UCC and Tyndall account for half of the eight awards announced today under SFI’s Research Infrastructure programme.
  • UCC/Tyndall projects will research offshore wind energy generation, quantum materials, semiconductor performance, and integrated electronics.

Four leading research projects at University College Cork (UCC) and UCC's Tyndall National Institute have been awarded a combined funding of almost €15.7m under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Infrastructure programme.

The multimillion-euro funding will support research in offshore wind energy generation, quantum materials, semiconductor performance, and integrated electronics.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has announced a total of €21 million investment in eight research infrastructure projects through the programme, with UCC and Tyndall accounting for four of the eight projects awarded.

UCC’s Floating Wind Testbed integrated with Energy System Observatory (FLOWT-EOB), was granted €4.2m under the programme, an award that was co-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

The project aims to provide an infrastructure that would be unique worldwide for addressing knowledge gaps and optimising energy utilisation. The primary component of FLOWT-EOB will be a 200kW floating wind platform, deployed in Cork Harbour.

Margie McCarthy, SEAI Director of Research and Policy Insights, said:

“SEAI is delighted to collaborate with SFI supporting Irish energy RD&D, co-funding this exciting demonstration infrastructure in Cork Harbour. We expect this particular project to unlock the significant potential for floating offshore wind in Irish coastal waters. Trial infrastructure and gathering delivery knowledge are key to achieving government ambitions in this sector and ultimately accelerating Ireland’s clean energy transition.”

An Irish Microkelvin Laboratory for Advanced Quantum Materials Research, at UCC will provide experimental facilities, unique in Europe, to discover and explore electronic and magnetic properties of novel quantum materials at the lowest accessible temperatures. It was awarded €1.96m funding under the Research Infrastructure programme.

UCC's Tyndall National Institute had two awarded projects. Advanced Heterogeneous Device Integration (AHDI), was awarded €6.2m and proposes a unique cutting-edge facility utilizing Hybrid Integration to enhance semiconductor performance.

IQ: the Irish Quantum technology facility for advanced qubit manipulation, was awarded €3.3m and will establish a world-class facility for developing devices for quantum-bit generation and manipulation, explicitly designed to facilitate the ‘fusion’ between integrated silicon electronics, hybrid photonic devices and novel materials.

Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to announce €21 million in funding from my department to support transformative research with both national and international impact. Ireland is committed to investing in high quality, pioneering research. The funding announced today does just that.

 "This support builds and sustains the required infrastructural capacity we need that enables our research community to thrive across the fields of materials science, earth and environmental sciences, energy, engineering, physics, and neuroscience and behaviour."

 In welcoming the announcement, Prof Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said:

“The Research Infrastructure Programme funds state-of-the-art research infrastructure to drive excellent and highly collaborative research and innovation. The programme promotes transformative collaborations, in which increased inter-institutional and national sharing of research infrastructure across academia and enterprise makes for better research and accelerated innovation. The eight successful projects selected will help us, through research, to prepare for a challenging yet exciting future. The importance of this programme to our research system highlights the need for sustained and increased investment in research infrastructure over the coming decade.”

Professor John Cryan, UCC Vice President for Research and Innovation said:

“Huge congratulations to the teams behind these very important prestigious awards. These projects will be important national resources and enhance UCC & Tyndall’s capabilities in strategic research areas including Sustainability, Quantum and Photonics as well as Semiconductor science. They will be key enabling technologies for our UCC Futures efforts over the coming years.”

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