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Coughlan awards further €31 million to food research projects

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan TD announced that grant assistance of €31 million has been approved for a further 57 food research projects. This brings to €93 million the total funding approved for the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The grants being awarded, following an open call for proposals and a robust evaluation process by teams of external experts, cover the following theme areas:

  • Food and Health, including functional foods and product reformulation for enhanced health.
  • Food quality and manufacturing including new innovative products and novel technologies.
  • Food safety and security of the food chain.
  • Food, the consumer and the food supply chain.
  • New uses for food and drink by-products.

Minister Coughlan stated that the research projects selected for funding are novel and innovative in nature and reflect consumer interest in quality foods and healthy lifestyles. The outputs of the research will ensure a supply of well-trained graduates and a base of knowledge to the Irish food industry to assist in meeting the opportunities and challenges provided by the modern global marketplace. A full list of the projects to be grant aided is attached.

"Both the 'Agri-Vision 2015 Plan of Action' and the 'Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-2013' place considerable emphasis on building a competitive, innovative and consumer focussed agri-food sector. My Department is fully committed to play its part in bringing this about as is evidenced by the funding being announced today." In line with the objectives and vision set out in these key policy documents, Minister Coughlan added that funding was also being provided under FIRM towards new initiatives in the area of 'Strategic Equipment', 'Graduate Development', and 'Networking and Team Building'.

31 December 2006

NOTE FOR EDITORS

FIRM is part of the Productive Sector Operational Programme of the National Development Plan 2000-2006. FIRM finances public good research by qualified research institutions. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis and projects involving collaboration between institutions are encouraged in order to build up centres of excellence. The research results are disseminated through the RELAY project to food companies and institutions throughout Ireland.

List of food research projects (xls 39Kb) 

Date Released: 31 December 2006