News and Views

UCC awarded €6.8m funding for health and climate research

10 May 2022

Pioneering plans to develop processes to enable waste products to be exploited as resources, reduce a bacterial virus problem in dairy manufacturing, and design gut-based strategies to prevent and treat stress-related disorder depression and learning & memory disorders, are among 12 research projects at University College Cork (UCC) to share in €6.8m funding from Science Foundation Ireland.

Today Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, announced a total of 76 grants valued at €53.7 million to support frontiers research across ten Higher Education Institutions through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
Other UCC research projects awarded under the SFI Future Frontiers Programme include studies on designing new fungicides to manage potato blight and the development of effective, easy-to-administer vaccines and will eventually result in improved global vaccines access and public health.
In addition Tyndall National Institute based at UCC received a further €999,313 for research on Next Generation Visible and UV Light Emitting Devices in collaboration with UCC faculty staff. 
UCC President Professor John O’Halloran welcomed the funding announcement:
I’m delighted to see the hard work of our frontrunning researchers recognised with this grant success. We recently launched UCC Futures as part of our ongoing commitment to leading research - an ambitious programme of academic recruitment that will build a foundation for scholarly, economic and societal resilience and prosperity.
“UCC Futures will sharpen our research profile, support the development of multi-disciplinary networks, strengthen UCC’s position as an outstanding place to conduct research, and further develop our curricular offerings.
Professor John Cryan, Vice President for Research & Innovation at UCC said:
I would like to congratulate these 12 talented researchers on their success in this prestigious call. Such awards help to address global challenges in key areas of sustainability, pharmaceuticals, vaccine development and brain science and are in line with our ambitious UCC Futures programme which is securing our future through excellence in research.
Professor Sarah Culloty, Head, College of Science, Engineering and Food Science said:
I would like to congratulate our researchers from the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science on securing this transformative funding which will enable them to lead in new areas of discovery that advance our mission of supporting the delivery of superior quality research that provides tangible impact on the world.
The SFI Future Frontiers Programme is run in collaboration with Geological Survey Ireland and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) who are co-funding a number of the grants.
Commenting on the SFI Future Frontiers Programme, Minister Harris TD, said:
Congratulations to all the researchers who have received funding today as part of the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme. I am delighted to support this programme which funds individual-led research, with an emphasis on fundamental research at the cutting edge of science and engineering which will help us build a better future for Ireland through discovery, innovation, and impact.
“Not only will these grants support research in important areas for Irish society, they will also fund 216 people in varying research positions across 10 Higher Education Institutes to further develop their research careers. We are investing in talent. I would like to offer my thanks to the Higher Education Institutions for their support in delivering this programme again this year.
Professor Philip Nolan, Director General of SFI said:
After the success of the first SFI Future Frontiers Programme in 2020, I am delighted to see 76 research grants awarded. The research programmes are wonderfully diverse, but they have one thing in common: they ask fundamental questions and will lead to important scientific breakthroughs, with important applications in areas such as climate action, biodiversity, human and animal health and digital transformation, with real and lasting benefits to our society and economy. The SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme is a key element of SFI’s new strategy – Shaping Our Future providing support for excellent research.
It is really encouraging to see that 42% of the research grants are led by female researchers for the second year running. SFI is committed to addressing the gender imbalance evident in areas of Irish research and this is another example of that commitment in action.
The SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme supports the development of world class research capability and human capital in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that demonstrably support and underpin enterprise competitiveness and societal development in Ireland.


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