A €104m investment in scientific research across Ireland has been announced by higher education minister Patrick O’Donovan TD, and agriculture minister Charlie McConalogue TD. 
The funding is being allocated to four SFI Research Centres: BiOrbic Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre; FutureNeuro SFI Research Centre for Neurological Diseases; I-Form SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing; and VistaMilk SFI Research Centre.  An additional €21m has been committed by these centres’ industry partners. 

Trinity College is a research partner institution of three of the four centres: BiOrbic Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre; FutureNeuro SFI Research Centre for Neurological Diseases; and I-Form SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing.

Significant scientific advances 

Minister O’Donovan said: “The bioeconomy, agrifood, neurological disease and manufacturing are each critically important to how we function as individuals and how we develop our economy. While significant scientific advances have been made in these areas by Ireland’s research ecosystem, we need to remain vigilant in addressing challenges old and new, and turning these opportunities into real world impacts that people can see and feel.
“Today’s investment is as a result of close collaboration between individual researchers, research teams, research institutions, industry and government departments. I warmly welcome this multilayered partnership approach, and wish, in particular, to thank industry for their integral role.” 
Minister McConalogue stated: “My department is proud to commit over €8.7m in co-funding to the SFI Research Centre programme. Supporting VistaMilk SFI Research Centre over the next six years will help drive development and deployment of digital technology to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of dairy production and processing in Ireland.

"This progress will help to secure a sustainable food system that delivers safe and nutritious dairy products, positively impacts the environment and safeguards viable livelihoods for primary producers and rural communities.”  
Deputy director general of SFI Dr Ciarán Seoighe said: “The continued investment for these four SFI Research Centres follows a rigorous and extensive expert international peer review process of scientific excellence and strategic impact of each centre.

"The four centres represent a national research network of 17 host and partner institutions that, to date, has collaborated with more than 130 industry partners ranging from SMEs to multinationals, across all regions and in a variety of sectors.

"Research Centres play a vital role in developing and nurturing the next generation of research leaders and innovators, and today’s funding awards will support more than 600 researchers at senior researcher (PIs), postdoctoral, PhD and MSc levels.”