A research fund of more than €2.5 million to support research, development and demonstration energy projects this year, has been announced by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme aims to develop new energy solutions that can help our homes, businesses and communities become more energy efficient and deliver a cleaner energy future.

Open to wide range of proposal types

The funding programme is open to a wide range of proposal types including technology RD&D, field research, and feasibility studies. For the first time, multiannual projects up to a value of €650,000 will be funded for up to four years. This will facilitate the funding of longer, larger and more impactful projects. Smaller projects with budgets of up to €100,000 and durations of up to one year can also apply. “The SEAI is delighted to grow our investment in the solutions that will shape the energy systems of the future," said Jim Gannon, CEO, SEAI. "Business, academic and technology alumni of the SEAI RD&D programme continue to thrive, and garner awards, recognising their innovation and entrepreneurship.

One of best ratios of any research funding body in Ireland

"For every euro SEAI invests in research it attracts three euro in investment from industry which is one of the bests ratios of any research funding body in Ireland. "In 2018, we will increase Ireland’s level of energy-related RD&D through our collaboration with other research funding bodies, by introducing multi-annual projects and by focusing on strategic areas. "This year, the SEAI will also host an inaugural National Forum on Energy Research, which will bring together the energy research community, industry and policy-makers to share their experiences and ambitions. We will also further develop our national energy research portal.”

Last year, SEAI invested more than €2m in R&D projects

Last year, the SEAI invested more than €2 million in RD&D projects. Examples include: • Exploring the application of blockchain technology in the energy sector which resulted in the development and prototyping of the SmartBlocks solution (The Nimbus Research Centre in CIT); • Examining the growth of Ireland’s data centres, as well as identifying sustainability measures for the sector (Host in Ireland); • Demonstrating the real-world operation of a rural battery storage network (The eStore project - Solo Energy Ltd., in partnership with DP Energy and ESB Networks). The fund is open to applications from companies, research performing organisations (e.g. universities, Institutes of Technology and publically funded research institutions) and public sector bodies who are based in the Republic of Ireland. Organisations working in collaboration are also encouraged to apply.