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UCC and Food Safety Authority of Ireland join forces on research project

22 Oct 2020
  • University College Cork to work with Food Safety Authority on research project
  • The Project is one of 12 to share €700,000 Science Foundation Ireland funding
  • UCC/FSAI project is an ‘Assessment of the Safety of Probiotic Foods on Sale targeted at vulnerable groups in Ireland’

A University College Cork scientist has been awarded a share of a €700,000 research fund to work with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland on the safety of probiotic foods targeted at vulnerable groups.

Dr Mary O’Connell Motherway, Research Fellow at the UCC School of Microbiology and the APC Microbiome Institute, is the lead on one of 12 research projects which will receive funding through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Public Service Fellowship programme.

The award was announced today by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, to coincide with Public Service Innovation Week.

The SFI Public Service Fellowship programme offers academic researchers a unique opportunity to be seconded to Government Departments, agencies and the Library & Research Service of the Oireachtas, to work on specific collaborative research projects. The fellowships awarded will foster innovation within the Public Sector by supporting the development and implementation of data-driven and evidence-based approaches.

Dr O’Connell Motherway said she is delighted with the award:

“I am delighted to accept the SFI Public Service fellowship to work with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) on assessing the safety of probiotic foods targeted at vulnerable groups in Ireland. I see this as a wonderful opportunity to bring my academic and research background within APC Microbiome Ireland and the School of Microbiology to the FSAI and contribute to the development of guidance for the food industry in relation to probiotics in foods. I see this as a natural extension of my academic, research and industry collaborations that will further develop and influence my research career,” she said.

Professor Anita Maguire, UCC Vice President for Research & Innovation, said the award represents a great opportunity for the university to strengthen its links with the FSAI:

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Mary O’Connell Motherway - in addition to the experience she will gain, the award provides an unprecedented opportunity to enhance collaborative links with FSAI as a strategic partner,” she said.

Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, Food Safety Authority of Ireland commented:

“The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is delighted to avail of this opportunity to work with an expert in the field of probiotic research.  Dr O’Connell Motherway will assist us in assessing the food safety risks with probiotics aimed at vulnerable groups and contribute to the development of much needed industry guidance."

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF

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