Co-Centre Programme to Establish Joint Research Centres in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain
Funding agencies SFI, DAERA and UKRI are committing significant funding over a six-year period to establish collaborative academic-industry centres of excellence in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain in the areas of climate and food research.
The Co-Centre Programme is a joint research initiative between Ireland, Great Britain, and Northern Ireland to establish collaborative, virtual centres of excellence linking academia and industry to perform cutting-edge research.
Each Co-Centre will be funded for a period of 72 months by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and co-funded by industry.
The 2022 programme focuses on two thematic areas:
- Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems
The Co-Centres will consist of a number of Principal Investigators from multiple research bodies across all jurisdictions who will co-develop a collaborative work programme including targeted projects and common ‘platform’ research.
Each applicant group must be led by two experienced postdoctoral researchers from eligible institutions in Ireland and Northern Ireland acting as Co-Directors. Host Research Bodies must be eligible to receive funding from SFI, UKRI or DAERA. Those in Northern Ireland which are eligible to apply to both UKRI and DAERA should choose which body they wish to apply to for which parts of their application.
The involvement of industry is mandatory in the targeted projects carried out by each Co-Centre; each such project must have at least one industry partner.
Each funding agency will provide research funding for participating academic organisations within their own jurisdiction, within the following range:
- Proposals may request funding of between €2 million and €3.3 million per annum (total costs) from SFI to fund the Co-Centre activities within Ireland.
- Proposals may request funding of between £1 million and £1.4 million per annum (total costs) from DAERA to fund the Co-Centre activities within Northern Ireland.
- Proposals may request funding of between £500,000 and £1,000,000 per annum (full economic costs) from UKRI to fund defined research activities within eligible UKRI research bodies.
Co-Centres will be required to achieve and maintain a minimum of 30% of their budget in contributions from industry sources.
The 2022 programme call consists of two mandatory application stages:
- Abstracts must be submitted to SFI by 20 January 2023 (13:00 Irish time).
- Full proposals must be submitted by 16 March 2023 (13:00 Irish time).
The funding partners expect to announce their funding decisions in October 2023.
(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)