Department for Science, Innovation & Technology
£60 million joint Irish government, UK government and Northern Ireland Executive funding announced for two new research centres on climate and sustainable food
Investment will facilitate unprecedented collaboration between academia, industry and policy-makers across Ireland and the UK over the next six years.
- Investment will facilitate unprecedented collaboration between academia, industry and policy-makers across the Irish government, UK government and Northern Ireland Executive over the next six years
- comes as UK Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan visits Dublin, meeting Ireland’s Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, and Northern Irish officials
£60 million in joint funding was recently (Tuesday 28 November) announced to bring academics, industry and policymakers across the Irish government, UK government and Northern Ireland Executive closer together than ever before, to work together on food sustainability and tackling climate change.
The Co-Centres programme will see researchers from across Ireland and the UK work together, to bring the power of science and innovation to bear on work ranging from protecting precious supplies of clean water, to ensuring that we can feed a growing global population at the same time as reaching Net Zero goals.
The announcement was jointly made in Dublin by the Irish government’s Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, UK government Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, and Permanent Secretary at Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Katrina Godfrey.
UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan recently said:
“As I know from my own family links, the UK and Ireland share deep ties – and in today’s fast-moving world, we share many of the same challenges, too. From our groundbreaking international work on AI, to our deal to join Horizon, the UK is determined to seize the opportunities for growth and prosperity that can be delivered, when we work together on science and tech with our neighbours.
“By bringing together the genius that exists across our islands, we will unlock the new ideas and inventions that will help us secure our food chains and tackle climate change, delivering innovative solutions for global good.”
Minister Harris recently said:
“Addressing climate change and achieving sustainable and resilient food systems are intertwined challenges facing us all.
“This investment in two new collaborative research centres is a major development in addressing these pressing issues in a coordinated and concerted way.
“I’m delighted to see the very best minds and methods being brought together to create a dynamic research network across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.”
Katrina Godfrey recently said:
“The Co-Centres programme is an excellent example of government funders working in partnership to support researchers and industry who will undertake cutting-edge research in areas of mutual economic, societal, health and environmental importance.
“I am particularly pleased that researchers in Northern Ireland will be integral to the establishment of these Co-centres.”
The Co-Centres programme is funded over six years, with up to €40 million from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), up to £17 million from Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and up to £12 million through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and is co-funded by industry.
The two new Co-Centres will formally commence activities on 1st January 2024, and will be funded to 2030.
Overview of Co-Centres
Co-Centre for Climate + Biodiversity and Water
- Vision: To be a home of research, innovation, and policy development across the interlinked challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and water degradation. This will be achieved through research to enable fair transformations to Net Zero, reverse biodiversity loss, restore water quality and ensure resilience for communities and a sustainable economy.
- Number of research performing organisations: 14
- Number of researchers: 64
- Leadership Team: Prof. Yvonne Buckley, Trinity College Dublin, Prof. Mark Emmerson, Queens University Belfast; Prof. Edward Hawkins, University of Reading
Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems
- Vision: To develop innovative and transformative solutions to transition the food system for positive and sustainable change in the transition to climate-neutrality by 2050. In order to address specific challenges centred around food system integrity and resilience, food safety and healthy diets from sustainable sources, the Co-Centre proposes to undertake a research programme across 4 platforms – Sustainable Food, Food Safety and Integrity, Nutrition and Health, and Food Systems Data Modelling. End-to-end solutions from soil-to-society will be developed and showcased.
- Number of research performing organisations: 15
- Number of funded researchers: 68
- Leadership team: Prof. Eileen Gibney, University College Dublin; Prof. Aedin Cassidy, Queen’s University Belfast; Prof. Louise Dye, University of Sheffield
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