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€70m Announced for Research Centres on Climate and Sustainable Food

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan and Permanent Secretary at Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Katrina Godfrey have announced €70 million in joint funding to create two new research centres on climate and sustainable food.

The funding will bring together academics, industry and policymakers across the Irish Government, UK Government and Northern Ireland Government Departments to collaborate on common challenges such as food sustainability and climate change.  

The announcement was jointly made by Minister Harris and UK Government Secretary of State Donelan following their attendance at the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference and a bilateral discussion at Farmleigh House, Dublin. 

Welcoming the announcement, Minister Harris, said, “addressing climate change and achieving sustainable and resilient food systems are intertwined challenges facing us all. This investment in two new collaborative research centres is a major development in addressing these pressing issues in a coordinated and concerted way. I’m delighted to see the very best minds and methods being brought together to create a dynamic research network across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.” 

UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan said, “as I know from my own family links, UK and Ireland share deep ties – and in today’s fast-moving world, we share many of the same challenges, too. From our groundbreaking international work on AI, to our deal to join Horizon, the UK is determined to seize the opportunities for growth and prosperity that can be delivered, when we work together on science and tech with our neighbours. By bringing together the genius that exists across our islands, we will unlock the new ideas and inventions that will help us secure our food chains and tackle climate change, delivering innovative solutions for global good.”

Katrina Godfrey said, “the Co-Centres programme is an excellent example of Government funders working in partnership to support researchers and industry who will undertake cutting-edge research in areas of mutual economic, societal, health and environmental importance. I am particularly pleased that researchers in Northern Ireland will be integral to the establishment of these Co-centres.” 

The Co-Centres programme is funded over six years, with up to €40 million from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) (supported by the Department of Further, Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science and the Irish Government’s Shared Island Fund), up to £17 million from Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and up to £12 million through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and is co-funded by industry.  

The two new Co-Centres will formally commence activities on 1st January 2024, and will be funded to 2030.  

Source: Science Foundation Ireland

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