At a briefing to discuss its achievements in 2014 and to outline its 2015 programme, SFI announced that 2014 was Ireland's best ever performance at the ERC. Ireland jumped from second lowest to second highest in Europe in 2014 with a success rate of 17%
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Ireland’s success rate (17%) in securing European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants jumped from second lowest to second highest in Europe in 2014. Approximately €11 million was awarded to eight Irish researchers through ERC Starting Grants in 2014.

ERC grants are recognised as a hallmark of excellence and this year’s record number awarded to Irish-based researchers reflects the expansion of Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) support for young Irish researchers.

This improvement was highlighted this week as SFI, the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research, hosted a briefing to discuss its achievements in 2014 and to outline its 2015 programme.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD described the need to build on Ireland’s achievements in scientific research over the past decade as a “key element of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs”, this work will be done “with a view to driving growth and creating jobs”.

Minister English said that “through investment in academic researchers, cutting-edge technologies and competitive enterprises in the fields of ICT, health and life sciences, energy and manufacturing competitiveness, SFI will continue to play a vital role in terms of the attraction, retention and expansion of industry in 2015, ultimately delivering more commercial ideas and creating jobs.”

In 2014 SFI funded five additional SFI Research Centres. The five centres, which added to the seven world class centres already in Ireland, covered areas such as medical devices, software, applied geosciences, Internet of Things and digital content.

Professor Mark Ferguson, director general of SFI and chief scientific adviser to the Government said “the SFI Research Centres programme is working well: developing new industry and academic partnerships through the Spokes programme, attracting and training young researchers, making important fundamental discoveries, spinning out companies, leveraging technologies to other companies and enhancing Ireland’s international reputation.

SFI will continue the implementation of its ambitious Agenda 2020 Strategy in 2015. The focus for this year will be industry partnerships, support of its early career researchers and attracting top international research talent to Ireland.

As part of the strategy SFI has set itself the challenge of an SFI researcher or team winning a prestigious international prize (e.g Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, European Science Prize, Lasker Prize) by 2020.

http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SFI-ERC-Grants-1024x682.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SFI-ERC-Grants-300x300.jpgDavid O'RiordanNewsfunding,Ireland,research,SFI
  Ireland’s success rate (17%) in securing European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants jumped from second lowest to second highest in Europe in 2014. Approximately €11 million was awarded to eight Irish researchers through ERC Starting Grants in 2014. ERC grants are recognised as a hallmark of excellence and this year’s...