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Minister Creed announces grant awards of over €28m for Agri-Food, Marine and Forest Research

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, today announced awards of over €28 million for collaborative inter-institutional research projects under the Department’s competitive research funding programmes.

Announcing the awards at a briefing in Dublin today the Minister said “Today’s research funding announcement, coupled with other initiatives announced recently, will make a significant contribution to the sustainability, innovation and competitiveness of the Irish agri-food, forestry and marine sectors whilst also adding to research capability at the institutional level”.

The content of this Call was heavily influenced by strategic research and innovation agendas drawn up by industry-led, stakeholder advisory groups.  Accordingly, the projects cover a number of key overarching themes including; sustainable food production and processing; managing for environmental protection and enhancement; sustainable forest management; delivering food safety & food quality; and food for improved nutrition and health.  

The 43 awards involve collaborations between 19 different institutions and organisations including Teagasc, a number of our universities and our institutes of technology.  The research investment announced will provide direct employment for 186 people including 65 contract researchers and 83 post graduate research opportunities in the form of PhDs (66) and Masters degrees (17).   

In addition,  as part of the on-going North-South cooperation on agri-food research and innovation, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland, has teamed up with DAFM to provide funding of over €2 million to enable 3 research performing organisations north of the border to participate in 7 of the successful  research projects. 

Stressing his on-going commitment to research and innovation in the agri-food sector Minister Creed said “today’s research awards brings the total investment made by my Department over the last five years to just over €124 million.  This research is a key component in delivering on the ambitious targets set out in the Food Wise 2025 and the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs”.

Full details of these awards are set out in DAFM Research Awards 2016 (pdf 406Kb) 

Notes for editor

Information on Projects Funded can be found on the Departments website at


  1. The awards arise from a Call for Proposals launched 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 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. Competitive Forest Research for Development (CoFoRD) aims, inter alia, to develop a scientific foundation and support for a sustainable, competitive, market orientated and innovative forest industry. In this regard, funding for public good research is provided to public research organisations and higher education institutes through the Department managed COFORD Programme on a competitive basis.

Date Released: 15 December 2016