The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced €10.7m of research funding for 42 research projects addressing climate change and other emerging, complex environmental problems. This funding will contribute to the delivery of high-quality research, evidence-based policy development and further build Irish environmental research capacity. 

The funding is an important element of the EPA 2030 Research Strategy which delivers essential scientific support for environmental policy development, implementation and broader decision making across four thematic areas:

  • Addressing climate change evidence needs;
  • Facilitating a green and circular economy;
  • Delivering a healthy environment;
  • Protecting and restoring our natural environment.

Support more than 200 researchers

This funding will support more than 200 researchers across the higher education sector. University of Galway had the highest success rate and was awarded more than €2.3m of funding for projects related to greenhouse gas emissions, ozone levels, radon, human biomonitoring and earth observation.

University College Dublin followed with €1.9m of funding in the areas of Strategic Environmental Assessment, extreme climatic events, peatlands, DNA-based assessment, and soil quality.

Laura Burke, EPA director general and Engineers Ireland vice president, said: “EPA-funded research delivers trusted scientific evidence to address key knowledge gaps and support environmental policy development and implementation.

"Environmental challenges such as climate change are complex and require an integrated, cross-sectoral approach and we are delighted to be working in partnership with a number of organisations, including the Geological Survey Ireland; the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Met Éireann, to co-fund environmental research.”

Maximise impact of research and innovation

The EPA places a high priority on promoting the uptake of funded research to inform policy development and implementation and to maximise the impact of research and innovation. To this end, the EPA supports and fosters linkages between the public research system and policymakers to address key environmental challenges. 

Professor Jim Livesey, vice president research and innovation at University of Galway, said: “This investment by the EPA is a testament to the success of research across higher education in Ireland.

"It is a huge bonus to see such a high level of achievement for our researchers in University of Galway, where we lead eight of the EPA-backed projects and partner on another four.

"The focus of this funding on environmental research further demonstrates the drive among our researchers to collaborate for the public good and the ambition to respond to the challenges facing humanity and society, now and in the years ahead.”