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Coughlan announces plans for new Research Stimulus call

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced a new round of research proposals for funding under the Research Stimulus Fund Programme (RSFP). Minister Coughlan said that the theme areas to be covered in the new call would include animal and plant bioscience, non-food uses of agricultural land and agri-environment. The research, the Minister said, will support sustainable agricultural production in its broad sense, particularly development and use of knowledge in the biosciences in order to exploit new and emerging opportunities that support competitiveness and the sustainable use of natural resources.

The Minister went on say that the main objectives of the RSFP are to facilitate research that fills gaps in mainstream programmes, to support sustainable and competitive agricultural production practices and policies, and to contribute to building and maintaining a knowledge economy and a scientific research capability in the agriculture sector.

The Minister said that all suitable Irish institutions that can demonstrate the necessary research capabilities including Universities, Institutes of Technology and Teagasc are eligible to submit proposals. The research funded will be of a "public good" nature, the results of which will be made freely available. Preference will be given to projects that involve inter-institutional collaboration and development of critical mass. Involvement of industry partners is welcome where appropriate.

Additional information on the theme areas and application procedures will be set out in the press notice to be published soon. The closing date for receipt of proposals will be Thursday, 27 April 2006.

15 March, 2006

Date Released: 15 March 2006