Minister English announces the Creation of 36 Research-Based Jobs under the Irish Research Council's Employment-Based Programme

FUNDING OF €3.9 MILLION TO SUPPORT ENTERPRISE-ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIPS

The Minster for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD today (Friday 29th May) announced the awarding of €3.9 million to support 36 new enterprise-academia research partnerships through the Irish Research Council's (IRC) Employment Based Programme.

The Programme supports the enterprise sector in creating employment opportunities for early-stage researchers and nurturing the development of transferable skills as researchers benefit from the supervision of leading experts in enterprise and academic domains.

Announcing the funding, Minister English said, “The Irish Research Council’s Employment Based Programme is an important instrument through which our enterprise sector, particularly our SME’s, can build their research and innovation capacity, through access to high-level research skills.

The funding of 36 new awards marks the fourth successive round of the Employment Based Programme. The Awards will support research partnerships over the coming four years in key areas such as Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Tissue Regeneration, Sports Performance, Therapeutics, Wastewater Treatment, Bio-conservation, Justice Reform and Community integration.

The Minister went on to say, “This Programme is an effective way for Irish-based enterprise to secure support and resources for their research and development and it supports our research talent pipeline, with these awardees set to become the next generation of leaders at the cutting-edge of innovation. The Programme can also lay the groundwork for companies to potentially tap into future research opportunities under Horizon 2020.” 

Dr. Eucharia Meehan, Director of the IRC indicated that, “An objective for the Council is to support the education and skills development of excellent early stage researchers and to offer a range of opportunities to them which support diverse career paths. This programme is key for delivering on that objective, for enabling the development of research capacity in enterprise and for delivering on the Action Plan for Jobs.”

In delivering on objectives of the Action Plan for Jobs, the Employment Based Programme nurtures Irish enterprise to yield economic, cultural and societal benefits. This year over 70% of Awards are going to SMEs. A further 15% will go to large indigenous enterprise with over 10% supporting research based employment opportunities in multinational corporations in Ireland. Companies benefiting from the creation of new research-based positions include: TE Laboratories Ltd, Orbsen Therapeutics, Pilot Photonics, RehabCare, Nuritas, EdenShelters Products Ltd, Sigmoid Pharma Ltd, Irish Rugby Football Union, Fota Wildlife Park, Bell Labs Ireland and Ingersoll Rand International Ltd. 

Orbsen Therapeutics, founded as a spin out from Ireland's Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) in NUI Galway, is among the companies receiving an Employment Based Programme award this year. Steve Elliman, Chief Scientific Officer said, “At Orbsen, our focus on the novel biology of cells have yielded two targeted therapeutic approaches that we hope will alleviate drug resistance and provide benefit to breast cancer patients. We're thrilled to receive this IRC PhD Scholarship and we're excited to host a student of the calibre and experience of the awardee in collaboration with our partners, Dr. Laura Barkley and Prof Michael Kerin at NUI Galway. This is our second award from IRC in collaboration with NUI Galway and these Scholarships will allow Orbsen to leverage the strong oncology expertise at NUI Galway to develop our innovative therapeutics for breast cancer."