SFI to invest €72m in four new research centres

Posted in Research on May 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Professor Mark Ferguson says the country needs to invest in areas of real potential to ensure future economic competitiveness. Eight new world class multimillion euro research centres have received approval in principle from Science Foundation Ireland. However, only four will be able to proceed straight away as there is no funding available for the others …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 2 May]

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Professor Mark Ferguson reappointed as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland

Posted in Governance and administration on February 9th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Science Foundation Ireland today announced the reappointment of Professor Mark Ferguson as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland. Professor Ferguson will serve a further five year term …” (more)

[SFI, 8 February]

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Stem graduates ‘are qualified for just about any job’

Posted in Governance and administration on August 25th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“While there is certainly a growing need for graduates in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects from a range of growth sectors across the economy, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) director general Prof Mark Ferguson believes there are compelling reasons beyond direct job opportunities for students to consider courses in this area …” (more)

[Barry McCall, Irish Times, 25 August]

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Ireland’s researchers are punching above their weight despite ‘below-average investment’

Posted in Research on August 6th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Ireland’s researchers are delivering among the best returns in Europe on the money put into their projects – despite ‘below-average public investment’ in the sector. That is according to Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), whose director general Mark Ferguson said …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 6 August]

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Wanted: more qualified PhD students for life sciences

Posted in Teaching on July 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Highly qualified graduates, and plenty of them, are central to sustaining Ireland’s life sciences success. But how to get them? ‘There is an ever-increasing need for ever better graduates’, says Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland …” (more)

[Sandra O’Connell, Irish Times, 28 July]

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Science agency unveils plan to open large research centres

Posted in Research on December 15th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Science Foundation Ireland expects to open three to five large research centres. The foundation also plans a new research programme to encourage more blue skies and close to market research and will continue to address gender imbalance in Ireland’s labs …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 15 December]

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Science strategy promises more funding

Posted in Research on December 9th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Government’s new science strategy will help bring full employment and a sustainable economy, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said. ‘Innovation 2020 is a fundamental part of our plan to keep the recovery going’, he said …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 9 December]

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Irish Universities work together to launch €46m software research facility Lero at the University of Limerick

Posted in Research on November 24th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A €46.4m software research facility launched at the University of Limerick yesterday will help more than 1,000 Irish companies develop and expand their products. Called Lero, it involves unique partnership between all the country’s universities …” (more)

[Jimmy Woulfe, Irish Examiner, 24 November]

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Mark Ferguson: defending the cause of science

Posted in Research on November 11th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The role of Ireland’s Chief Scientific Advisor is half-way between that of an ambassador and a facilitator for science …” (more)

[Sabine Louët, Euroscientist, 11 November]

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Climbing the international innovation rankings

Posted in Research on September 28th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“While Ireland may have had some mixed results in the latest international university rankings the country overall is doing very well indeed when it comes to innovation and research ratings …” (more)

[Bary McCall, Irish Times, 28 September]

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Ibec says Government should increase science research funding

Posted in Research on April 23rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Government should establish a fully independent advisory body for science and should also increase State funding for research, Ibec has said. These and other recommendations were included in a submission from the business representative body to an InterDepartmental Cabinet committee currently devising a new national science policy …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 23 April]

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Changes afoot at the Irish Research Council

Posted in Research on March 26th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Research Council is facing considerable change given the departure at the end of this month of its chairwoman, Prof Orla Feely. Much greater change may be on the way, however …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 26 March]

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Irish government under fire for turning its back on basic research

Posted in Research on March 17th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Ireland’s drive to focus government research grants on areas that might create jobs and wealth is ‘short-sighted’ and is destabilizing the country’s basic-research fabric, say around 900 scientists in a letter to the Irish government. The call is aimed at changing the course of Ireland’s national research strategy, which is currently under revision …” (more)

[Declan Butler, Nature, 17 March]

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Science Foundation Ireland aims to build on progress of 2014

Posted in Research on January 26th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has published its annual plan for 2015 as well as a review of key milestones and achievements during 2014. The coming year will see the organisation focusing on growing and linking existing research centres with industry and international collaborators …” (more)

[Barry McCall, Irish Times, 26 January]

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Research Minister says science spend has to rise

Posted in Research on January 15th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Government will have to increase its spending on science and research significantly in the future, the Minister of State with responsibility for the area has conceded. Damien English said Ireland currently spends less than 1% of GDP on science, while countries that are doing best in the area spend 2% …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 15 January]

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Minister Damien English wants researchers to think big

Posted in Research on October 31st, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr Damien English TD, today launched a new initiative to identify large-scale EU funding opportunities for businesses and researchers in Ireland and nurture applications that will give big wins for Ireland …” (more)

[SFI, 31 October]

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New Programme to Attract Iconic International Research Talent to Irish Universities

Posted in Research on July 11th, 2014 by steve

“The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, TD together with the Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr Sean Sherlock, TD today announced a major new drive by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to attract the world’s top research talent to the seven Irish universities …” (more)

[Science Foundation Ireland, 11 July]

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Irish Science Ethics: Poachers and Gamekeepers

Posted in Legal issues, Research on June 20th, 2014 by steve

“For most Irish scientists, being lectured by the government’s Chief Scientific Advisor Mark Ferguson about research ethics is a decidedly uncomfortable experience. Recently Ferguson, as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), took to the pages of Nature to announce the launch of SFI’s new audit system to check that funded research is being conducted with integrity …” (more)

[Network for Irish Educational Standards, 19 June]

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Irish university labs face external audits

Posted in Legal issues on June 17th, 2014 by steve

“Scientists in Ireland will soon have to open up their lab notebooks and explain their research processes to outside auditors, according to plans outlined by the head of the country’s basic-research funding agency …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature News & Comment, 17 June]

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The intangible value of research

Posted in Research on May 23rd, 2014 by steve

“SFI boss Mark Ferguson recently made a statement to the effect that ‘every single scientist ought to be able to explain why they are spending citizens’ tax dollars’. I agree. But …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 23 May]

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