By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Coveney announces Research Grant Awards of €10 Million for Agri Food Research

And launches strategic research agendas for food and agricultural production 

 The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, today announced grant awards of approximately €10 million for research projects being undertaken, on a collaborative basis, by researchers from 13 institutions across the island of Ireland. This funding is vital to the future development and growth of these industries which are at present providing a leading example of the success of Irish exports and are a key part of the Government blue print for this industry, Food Harvest 2020.

Speaking at an event in the Backweston Laboratory Campus near Celbridge, Co. Kildare, the Minister said the awards would "help to underpin the sector by putting valuable expertise, capacity and capability at the disposal of industry while also feeding the pipeline for future innovation and commercialisation in the sector". The Minister added that the "awards cover a broad spectrum of research themes including a Dairy Research Programme focused on cheese and infant formula; a Gaseous Emissions and Land Use Network to ensure a coordinated research effort on Greenhouse Gas mitigation in agriculture; and a programme on Forest Genetic Resources focusing on tree improvement efforts in both broadleaf and conifer species". Full details of these awards are set out in Appendix 1.

The Minister also formally launched two new documents: 'Food Research Ireland - meeting the needs of Ireland's food sector through research and innovation' and 'Stimulating Sustainable Agricultural Production through Research & Innovation' (SSAPRI). These were prepared over the last 12 to 18 months by Expert Advisory Groups operated by the Department and constitute strategic research agendas for food and agricultural production respectively. They identify a number of key investment areas that will help guide the content of future Calls by the Department and indeed other funding agencies. The Minister said "I would like to commend both Advisory Groups for all their efforts and especially thank Dan Browne who chaired the Food Group and Matt Dempsey who chaired the Agricultural Production Group for overseeing this process and ensuring delivery of these impressive documents. I believe their completion is very timely as it not only constitutes delivery of some Food Harvest 2020 key actions but also enables us to make an early start on implementing some of the priorities likely to emerge under the National Research Prioritisation Exercise".

Acknowledging that the main focus of the morning event had been on launching Food Research Ireland and SSAPRI, the Minister said he was "acutely aware that without the provision of adequate funding these documents will have no impact on our sector". He then added that he was "delighted to announce that the Department will soon be launching a new Call for Proposals that will draw on elements of both documents as well as containing a number of forest research topics, and urged the research community to "submit quality applications that make the best possible use of this funding thereby contributing further to achieving the Food Harvest 2020 targets".

Minister Coveney went on to congratulate all those involved in recent successes under Call 5 of the 'Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology' Theme area of the EU 7th Framework Programme he concluded by urging "researchers and SME's alike to up their game and more aggressively pursue the increased funding opportunities that exist in the remaining years of FP7 and under its successor, Horizon 2020, which is likely to be much better resourced".

Photo PR 250/11 1 - 14.12.11 Photo PR 250/11 2 - 14.12.11 Photo PR 250/11 3 - 14.12.11

Notes for Editors

  1. The awards arise from a Call for Proposals launched in late 2010 under the three competitive, research funding programmes operated by the Department, namely, the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM), the Research Stimulus Fund (RSF), and the Programme of Competitive Forest Research for Development (COFORD).
  2. Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) has been in operation since 2000, and is the main programme for funding of food research in public research institutions in Ireland including Teagasc and the Higher Education Institutes (HEI).  The programme has funded 239 projects to date to the value of circa. €140m.
  3. Research Stimulus Fund (RSF) aims to facilitate research that fills gaps in the mainstream Teagasc programme, supports sustainable and competitive agricultural production practices and policies, and contributes to building and maintaining a knowledge economy and research capability in the agriculture sector. The programme has funded 113 projects to date to the value of circa. €48m.
  4. Programme of Competitive Forestry Research for Development (COFORD) is the primary source of forest research funding in Ireland.  It is responsible for the development of national forest research policy and priorities, the formulation and implementation of programmes that address these priorities and transferring the knowledge generated into practice. It aims to establish and strengthen links between research and industry; determine forest research needs to maintain international competitiveness, and to evaluate research progress and transfer technology to ensure maximum benefit.
  5. FP7 - EU 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, 2006-13 is a large Programme covering a wide area of Research.  It has a budget of €50 billion and its objective is to build a European Knowledge Economy, i.e. make Europe competitive with leading countries such as USA and Japan in knowledge generation and innovation. The Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology (FAFB) theme of the Co-operation element of the Programme funds research in Sustainable Agricultural Production, 'Fork to Farm' Food, and Non-Food uses of Land (incl. forestry), Marine and Aquatic resources.  Research is multidisciplinary and involves International Partnerships. Department officials act as the National Delegate and National Contact Point for the FAFB theme which involves servicing its Programme Committee and also encouraging, assisting and supporting the participation of Irish researchers. They also participate in the work of the Irish FP7 Support Network, operated by Enterprise Ireland, which develops and coordinates an overall strategy to support and increase Irish researcher involvement in FP.
  6. 'Food Research Ireland - meeting the needs of Ireland's food sector through research and innovation' and 'Stimulating Sustainable Agricultural Production through Research & Innovation (SSAPRI)' are strategic research agendas developed by industry-led Food & Agri Expert Advisory Groups operated by the Department and can be used by the Department and other funding agencies to help guide to content of future research Calls.

Appendix 1

Details of grant awards under DAFM's 2010 Call for Research Proposals

PROJECT TITLE

INSTITUTIONS INVOLVED

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR(S)

AWARD AMOUNT     €

Protection of bioactive peptides using novel encapsulation technologies

Teagasc, UCC, UL

Dr Andre Brodkorb / Dr Song Miao

300,000

Development of novel whey ingredients by protein-carbohydrate conjugation

UCC, Teagasc

Dr Seamus O'Mahony / Prof Daniel Mulvihill

348,053

The use of novel technologies for improving quality and process efficiency in high protein beverage production

Teagasc, UCD, UCC

Dr Mark Fenelon

356,104

National Cheese Research Programme 2015

Teagasc, UL, UCC, UCD, AFBI

Dr T Guinee

1,300,700

Infant Nutrition for Programming the Gut Microbiota in Neonates

Teagasc, UCC

Dr Catherine Stanton

398,858

Concept Protein Ingredient for Next Generation Infant Formulation

Teagasc, UCC

Dr Phil Kelly / Dr Seamus O'Mahony

296,194

Novel strategy for exploitation of milk glycoproteins in infant formula

NUIG, Teagasc

Prof Lokesh Joshi

348,286

Targeting the glycome of the milk fat globule membrane for anti-infective properties

Teagasc, NUIG

Dr Rita Hickey

254,513

Functional and biomedical application of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) based phospholipid rich fractions

Teagasc, UCC

Dr P. M. Kelly

299,650

Optimisation of the production of the antimicrobial defensin peptides in lager strains of yeast, a natural defense against beer-spoiling bacteria

TCD, UCD

Prof Ursula Bond

99,966

Low residual antigenicity and reduced bitterness casein hydrolysates

UL

Prof Dick Fitzgerald

74,315

A novel packaging system for food safety and shelf-life extension

DIT, UCD

Dr PJ Cullen

99,651

Controlling surface-activity of protein aggregates for their incorporation into nutritional formulation for optimised processibility.

Teagasc, UCC

Dr Andre Brodkorb

333,840

An economic analysis of the barriers to achievement of improved economic performance ofthe dairy farming sector.

Teagasc, UCC,UCD

Dr Bernadette O'Brien / Kieran Jordan

60,830

Examining the drivers of and barriers to the improved economic
performance of the dairy sector

Teagasc, NUIG

Dr Thia Hennessy

198,441

Volatility and Risk in Irish Agriculture

Teagasc, CIT, UCC

Trevor Donnellan

199,386

Gaseous Emissions - Agriculture and Land Use Network

Teagasc, UCD,TCD, NUIM, UL, AFBI

Dr Gary Lanigan

1,698,135

Forest Genetic Resources Research Programme

UCD, National Botanic Gardens, Teagasc

Dr Conor O'Reilly

1,600,000

Health and Protection for Forests - Deer

UCC, WIT

Prof John O'Halloran

384,195

The spread of grey squirrels to the west of Ireland

NUIG

Dr Colin Lawton

140,173

Multi-agent Control Options for Pine weevil

NUIM

Christine Griffin

317,324

Detection, Epidemiology and Control of P.ramorum and P.kernoviae in Irish Forests

DAFM, AFBI, Teagasc, UL, UCD

Dr James Choiseul

494,206

Green' Novel Approach for Weevil Control

UCD

Dr Olaf Schmidt

28,275

 

 

TOTAL AWARDS

9,631,095

Date Released: 12 December 2011