€53.3m investment in research infrastructure projects announced

Funding will allow researchers to ‘meet future challenges’, SFI chief says

More than €53 million has been allocated for 33 research infrastructure projects, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has announced.

The awards, funded through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Infrastructure Fund, seek to contribute to the advancement of high-quality and high-impact research activities.

A significant proportion of the successful projects relate to sustainability and meeting future challenges.

One of the awards is for a national rechargeable battery fabrication and test facility at the University of Limerick, which is co-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The facility will be a one-stop-shop for battery development, which the department said would be unique in Europe.


The highest award, of €4.2 million, was provided to the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, for the development of a national synthetic biology and cell line development facility.

The University of Galway received €3.3 million for the development of a centre of excellence in multimodal microscopy. This facility will comprise a workflow where biological and biomedical samples can be imaged across scales and resolutions by combing three high-end microscopy technologies: super resolution microscopy, multiphoton microscopy and serial block face SEM (scanning electron microscopy).

Mr Harris said he is “delighted” to announce the funding that will “support and encourage transformative research which will have both a national and international impact”.

“The research community on our island has consistently proved itself to be world-class, not least during Covid-19, and continues to undertake cutting-edge, innovative research projects. In order for this community to continue to thrive, it’s essential that they have sustained access to modern infrastructure and equipment,” he added.

Prof Philip Nolan, director general of SFI, said encouraging and supporting “excellent, ambitious and innovative research projects is the core objective of Science Foundation Ireland”.

“The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme was developed with this in mind; in order for researchers to continue to deliver outstanding research and meet evolving and future challenges, we must ensure that they have the tools required for their research,” he said.

“The 33 infrastructure projects awarded funding are at the cutting edge and are truly helping us to achieve our goal of delivering today and preparing for tomorrow.”

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is Health Correspondent of The Irish Times