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Coveney Announces further Research Support for the Agri-Food Sector

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD has announced grant awards in excess of €6 million for research projects being undertaken, on a collaborative basis, by researchers from Institutions across the island of Ireland.

The awards cover a broad range of research activities from sustainable food production at farm level right through to innovations in the processing sector. Many of the projects funded are applied and pre-commercial in nature and there is also a heavy emphasis on research involving the modern biosciences. Funded projects include research on novel marine derived agents for the control of salmonella in pork and a project looking at lamb meat flavour based on the animal’s diet.

In general, these awards will further enhance and develop research capacity and capability in the Irish public research system that contributes to underpinning the sustainability and competitiveness of the Irish agri-food sector. The Minister reiterated his commitment to targeted research and innovation within the agri-food sector by stating that “Following the significant awards of €32m last November, I am delighted to announce the provision of further financial support for publicly funded research. This research will play a key role in driving innovation within our sector thus contributing to the growth targets outlined in the Food Harvest 2020 and ultimately making a positive contribution to the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.”

The Minister pointed out that "the research funded will address many of the opportunities and challenges identified in 'Food Research Ireland' and 'Stimulating Sustainable Agricultural Production through Research & Innovation (SSAPRI)', which in turn are very well aligned with the priority areas identified in the National Research Prioritisation Exercise and I applaud all stakeholders, including industry, for their continuing engagement in the process.”

 

Full details of these awards are set out in Appendix 1. 

Notes for editor:

  1. The awards arise from a Call for Proposals launched in late 2011 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). 55 awards were announced on 26th November, with a further 12 awards announced today.
  2. Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) has been in operation since 2000, and is the main programme for funding food research in research performing organisations in Ireland including Teagasc and the Higher Education Institutes (HEI) thereby contributing to building and maintaining a research capability that helps underpin a vibrant, competitive and innovative food manufacturing industry.
  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.
  4. Food Research Ireland is the strategic research agenda that guides all public funding of food research in Ireland.  It was drawn up by an industry-led Food Research Expert Advisory Group and was published in December 2011 following agreement with all relevant stakeholders. It is also very closely aligned with a number of priority areas identified in the National Research Prioritisation Exercise in particular 'Sustainable Food Production and Processing’ and 'Food for Health'.
  5. Stimulating Sustainable Agricultural Production through Research & Innovation (SSAPRI) is the strategic research agenda that guides all public funding of agricultural research in Ireland.  It was drawn up by an industry-led Agriculture Research Expert Advisory Group and was published in December 2011 following agreement with all relevant stakeholders. It is also very closely aligned with a number of priority areas identified in the National Research Prioritisation Exercise in particular 'Sustainable Food Production and Processing'.

Appendix 1 – Details of Projects Funded

No.

Project Title

Principal Investigator

Institutions involved

Award Amount

1

High pressure processing to control pathogens in ready-to-eat traditional cooked meat products with reduced sodium, lower preservatives and no artificial colours or flavours

Dr. Joe Kerry

UCC, Teagasc

€496,817

2

Dehydration/ Rehydration dynamics for development of 'SMART' Dairy ingredients

Dr. Phil Kelly

Teagasc, UCC, UL

€800,983

3

Extraction and validation of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients from Brewers Spent Grain

Prof. R.J. Fitzgerald

UL, UCC, Kerry Ingredients, Diageo

€456,586

4

The use of marine derived antibacterial agents to combat the prevalence of Salmonella in pork products

Prof. Alan Dobson

UCC, Teagasc

€490,393

5

Packaging & Chilling technologies to enhance meat quality & safety

Dr. Declan Bolton

Teagasc, UCC, UCD

€565,722

6

Genetics of Cost production traits( fertility, health, milk yield and feed efficiency for livestock)

Dr. Noirin McHugh

Teagasc, ICBF, UCD, DCU

€290,142

7

Predisposing factors for disease and immunocompetence 
in artificially-reared dairy and suckled beef calves from birth to weaning

Dr. Bernadette Earley

Teagasc, UCD, AFBI

€754,719

8

Gender, age and diet effects on lamb meat flavour and sensory quality

Prof. Frank Monahan

UCD, Teagasc, AFBI

€833,482

9

Precision Nutrition for improved animal productivity, product quality and environmental  sustainability

Dr. Bernadette O’Brien

Teagasc, AFBI

€504,115

10

Breeding of wheat in order to enhance yield and disease resistance- mutation of the BRI1 brassinosteroid receptor gene

Dr. Fiona Doohan

UCD, Teagasc

€770,202

11

Understanding and facilitating Farmers Adoption
 of Technologies

Dr. Aine Macken-Walsh

Teagasc, NUIG

€199,463

12

Joint Ventures to Enhance the Demographic Profile and Socio-Economic Sustainability of Irish Farming

Dr. Kevin Heanue

Teagasc, NUIG, UCC

€198,817

Date Released: 13 September 2013