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Coughlan Details Awards of €21 Million in R & D Grants

Research Proposals covering agri-energy and agri-environment are grant assisted

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced details of 38 research projects that have been awarded grant assistance totalling €21 million under the 2007 Research Stimulus Fund Programme (RSFP).

The Minister said that her Department in co-operation with linked Departments under the strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-2013 earlier this year invited applications for funding for research into aspects of sustainable agriculture and forestry production. The selected research projects cover a broad range of areas including agri-energy, agri-environment and biodiversity, plant bioscience and agri-economy and policy. Most of the projects will be of 3 years duration and will involve inter-institutional collaboration. The research involved will be of a 'public good' nature and the results will be made freely available.

The Minister was pleased to note that a number of Northern Ireland Research Institutes are among the selected projects that will receive funding. She was also pleased to see that a further seven projects in the agri-energy area are being grant aided following the five projects selected for assistance in 2005 and 2006. This is an area of particular interest due to the environmental advantages of biofuels, the increasing cost of fossil fuels, and the opportunity farmers now have to explore alternative farm enterprises.

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.

Minister Coughlan said that the projects now being funded should produce benefits not only for producers but also for the wider rural community. They will also contribute to improved collaboration between various research institutions and to the establishment of critical mass in certain research areas.

Following the call for proposals earlier this year 67 applications were received and these were evaluated by expert panels and submitted to the Research Stimulus Fund Committee for consideration and approval.

A list of the projects awarded grant aid is attached.

9 January, 2008

Research Stimulus Fund Programme Awaards 2007

Project Title

Participating Institutions

Award

A micro level analysis of the Irish agri-food sector: lessons and recommendations from Denmark and the Netherlands Trinity College Dublin, Teagasc €498,015
Development of an integrated farm and processing sector model for the Irish dairy industry Teagasc, UCC, UCD, Cork IT €432,113
Analysis of the impact on farm income and farm numbers of market and non-market based strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Irish farms Teagasc, UCD €187,927
An integrated biosciences platform for the future control of potato late blight on the island of Ireland Teagasc, AFBI N.Ire. €635,348
Enhancing management practices to maintain the sustainability of current potato systems Teagasc, NUI Maynooth, UCD €576,328
Developing advanced technologies and resources for conventional and "omics"-based white clover breeding strategies Teagasc, UCD €418,906
Precision pasture management: impacts on weed control and implications for biodiversity Teagasc, UCD, Trinity College Dublin €342,159
Development of apomixes technology for agriculture UCC €408,851
Developing Sustainable Low-Input Fodder and Energy Maize Production Systems for Temperate Conditions UCD, Teagasc €778,295
Characterisation of salivary proteins from cereal aphids - towards novel methods of pest management UCD €167,105
Willow selection for resistance to herbivore damage using predictive climate change and Geographic Information System modelling Teagasc, NUI Maynooth €365,431
Mushroom Virus X disease: Understanding the factors which trigger "brown mushroom" symptom expression as a means to improved diagnosis and control Teagasc, Dublin Institute of Technology, AFBI N.Ire. €478,802
Investigating the potential of brassinosteroid-mediated plant disease resistance for plant disease control UCD €420,187
Isolation of novel anti-phytopathegon agents from soil bacteria using metagenomic tools UCC, UCD €478,275
Evaluating Irish grassland as a source for bio-energy: Environmental impacts and long-term sustainability UCD, Teagasc, AFBI N.Ire. €695,980
Greengrass: Developing grass for sustainable renewable energy generation and value-added products Teagasc, Queens University Belfast, UCC €1,200,000
High value products and ethanol from wheat straw and bran: enhancing our understanding and capacity for fungal bioconversion UCD, Teagasc €1,016,979
Analysis of the suitability of second-generation technologies (2GTs) for Irish agriculture and the viability and costs of feedstocks: Desk based evaluation supported by limited chemical analysis University of Limerick €120,638
Energy generation option from pig manure and sustainable disposal of residue Teagasc, NUIG, AFBI N.Ire €940,704
Field trials and agronomy of oilseed Camelina sativa as a novel low-input crop for Ireland Teagasc, UCC €156,644
On-farm combustion and energy recovery from poultry litter University of Limerick, UCD, Teagasc €371,568
Maximising the efficiency of slurry-N and urea-N utilisation by grassland using nitrification and urease inhibitors as a strategy for environmental protection Teagasc, AFBI N. Ire., UCD €861,940
Novel agri-engineering solutions for amelioration of surface and groundwater at critical source areas: technology and decision support blueprint for Irish farmers Teagasc, NUIG €611,296
Assessment of the vulnerability of groundwater to pesticide inputs from Irish Agriculture UCD, Trinity College Dublin, Teagasc €625,065
New biodegradable hydrogel materials for the delivery of nitrification and urease inhibitors NUI Maynooth, Teagasc €430,378
A coupled catchment model/Constructed Wetland Decision Support System for predicting, identifying and mitigating nitrate and phosphate losses from agricultural catchments UCD €324,528
Farm-scale decision support systems: a DSS for sustainable nutrient management UCD, Teagasc, University of Ulster €802,247
Assessing GHG impacts of establishing biomass and biofuel crops Teagasc, Trinity College Dublin, UCD €615,999
Assessing the greenhouse gas budget of eco-tillage and other mitigation options for arable systems Trinity College Dublin, UCD, Teagasc €662,405
Nutritional and Management Strategies to Reduce Nitrogen Excretion, Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Dairy, Beef and Pig Farms UCD, Teagasc €657,990
Quantification of the potential of white clover to lower GHG emissions from Irish grassland-based dairy production Teagasc, UCC, UCD €413,046
Mitigation strategies for methane emissions by dairy cows in Irish milk productions systems Teagasc, UCD, AFBI Northern Ire. €1,362,740
An ecological economic analysis of agrobiodiversity in the Irish uplands NUI Galway €569,885
A review of evidence for agri-environmental measures to create and enhance farmland habitats Teagasc, NUI Galway €89,983
Developments in grazing ruminant intake modelling using sward characteristics and measurement methodologies for grass cultivar evaluation Teagasc, AFBI Northern Ire., DAFF €499,634
Productivity of clover-based grassland under organic management and nitrate losses to ground water Teagasc, Waterford IT €429,000
Biogeochemistry of Irish Forests UCD €228,152
Assessment and mitigation of soil and nutrient losses from acid-sensitive forest catchments NUI Galway, Marine Institute €995,094

Date Released: 09 January 2008