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€4.5 million investment in research commercialisation to positively impact the economy and society

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, today announced €4.5 million in funding for 38 research projects to support the commercialisation of government-funded research. 47 research positions will be supported through the awards, in areas such as cancer research, preterm infant care, medical devices, agriculture, energy and food technologies, for a duration of 12 months.

The funding is provided through Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme, which has been running since 2009. The programme provides project development funding and training in entrepreneurship skills to third-level researchers, to support them in exploring commercial opportunities associated with their research. Researchers will demonstrate if an applied research project (that is, research used to find practical solutions to everyday problems, cure illness, etc.), is technically feasible, and has potential for further commercial development.

Speaking of the awards, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said “I am delighted to announce the recipients of the SFI TIDA Awards and commercialisation support for 38 research projects. The programme is aligned with a number of key Government strategies including Innovation 2020, the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship in Ireland and Project Ireland 2040. It will develop important entrepreneurship skills and commercialisation capabilities, ensuring Ireland maintains its position as a leader in cutting-edge research.”

Researchers funded through the TIDA programme will also participate in the new SFI Spark Pre-Accelerator, which is an intensive five-day programme delivered by the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs. This will support STEM researchers to develop skills in areas such as evidence-based entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking and facilitates mentoring and networking.

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, also welcomed the announcement, adding: “Through the SFI TIDA programme the Irish government is supporting and encouraging innovation and collaborative partnerships, across the regions. Fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and helping researchers in Ireland to realise the commercialisation potential of their work is an important factor in deepening Ireland’s economic resilience.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said, “Science Foundation Ireland is committed to investing in the translation of world-class research from the laboratory to market. A key objective is to increase the number and quality of discoveries that have strong economic impact potential, that can secure follow-on public or private investment. The TIDA programme plays a key role in this process by providing funding to develop technologies, as well as fostering entrepreneurship skills among our research community.”The research projects supported by the SFI TIDA programmes will be funded through 12 research bodies, as follows: Trinity College Dublin (11), National University of Ireland Galway (5), University College Cork (4); University College Dublin (4); Dublin City University (3); Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (3), University Limerick (2), National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (2), Tyndall National Institute (1), National University of Ireland Maynooth (1), Dublin Institute of Technology (1) and Cork Institute of Technology (1) Below is a summary of the projects receiving funding:

Research highlights include:

  • An implantable device to help immune cells fight ovarian cancer tumours - Dr Eimear Dolan (NUIG)
  • A new drug therapy to treat inherited and acquired bleeding disorders such as haemophilia – Dr Roger Preston (RCSI)
  • Development of a novel biomarker-based platform and diagnostic test for identifying obese individuals with highest health-risks – Dr Fiona McGillicuddy (UCD)
  • Development of a new surface treatment for hip replacement implants that improves adhesion and reduces the risk of failure - Prof Brendan Duffy (TU Dublin)
  • Viability testing of real-world petrol and diesel made from household and plant waste - Dr Stephen Dooley (TCD)
  • Development of a computer-based system that continuously monitors the brain health of preterm infants in intensive care – Dr John O’Toole (UCC)
  • An Autonomous lifeguard and search system using computer vision and machine learning - Prof Michael Madden and Dr Enda Barrett (NUIG)

Full list of awards


For further information, please contact:

Donna McCabe, Science Foundation Ireland +353 (0)1 607 3042 / 087 6756845


About the Science Foundation Ireland Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme

The SFI TIDA Programme is designed to enable researchers to focus on the initial stages of an applied research project which may have a commercial benefit if further developed. The TIDA programme enables researchers to demonstrate the technical feasibility of an applied research project directed toward the development of a new or innovative technology, product, process or service that has potential for further commercial development. It is aligned with a number of key Government RD&I strategies including Innovation 2020, the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship in Ireland and Project Ireland 2040.

About Science Foundation Ireland

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research. SFI funds oriented basic and applied research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) which promotes and assists the development and competitiveness of industry, enterprise and employment in Ireland. The Foundation also promotes and supports the study of and engagement with STEM and promotes an awareness and understanding of the value of STEM to society and, in particular, to the growth of the economy.  See for more information.