The investment will support about 1,060 graduate and post-doctoral students and research fellows employed by the research centres


The investment will help conduct research on AI, cybersecurity and smart medical devices. (Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Ireland is set to invest €193m in five Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centres over six years to carry out research on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, smart medical devices, e-health and telecommunications networks.

The five SFI centres will also conduct research on smart cities, ethics and data privacy, as well as, applied geosciences, energy security and marine resources.

The investment announcement was made by Ireland’s Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris.

The five SFI research facilities that are receiving the funding include: ADAPT – ADAPT, the SFI Research Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology, led by Trinity College Dublin; CONNECT – the SFI Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications, led by Trinity College Dublin; CÚRAM – the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices led by NUI Galway;  iCRAG – the SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences led by University College Dublin; and Lero – the SFI Research Centre for Software, led by the University of Limerick.

Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to announce this significant government investment in five SFI Research Centres, which reflects Ireland’s position as a world leader in research and innovation.

“The investment will ensure that we are prepared for the changes and disruption that we are facing in addressing global societal and economic challenges.

“SFI Research Centres promote discovery and impact, as well as collaboration between academia, government and industry across the Island of Ireland and internationally.

“This support will further enhance the important work these centres have already achieved, so they continue to play a pivotal role in the years ahead in protecting the wellbeing of the population and the economy.”

The investment will support about 1,060 graduate and post-doctoral students and research fellows employed by the centres. It is further backed by 200 industry partners committing more than €91m in cash and in-kind contributions.

Minister Harris added: “The five centres will also work to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to the wider public through extensive Education and Public Engagement outreach.

“These initiatives include summer computer camps, developing secondary school education modules, and residency programmes for filmmakers, artists and teachers to forge collaborations between researchers and the community.”

Furthermore, the investment will benefit Ireland with 17 higher education institutions across the country partnering in centres.