Research to help us deliver a low carbon, sustainable and healthy future - EPA announces environmental research awards

Date released: Jan 24 2018, 10:24 AM

The EPA awarded €11.2 million to fund new environmental research projects.

Announcing the awards today, Ms Laura Burke, Director General EPA, said,

“The EPA is pleased to announce these awards under our Research Programme and to continue to support research and innovation in areas of environmental importance. The outputs from these projects will provide the foundation and evidence base for credible environmental decision-making into the future.”

The Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment, acting through the EPA, is the primary funder of environmental research in Ireland.  Such research supports evidence-based policy development, addresses key pressures on Ireland’s environment, delivers solutions for more efficient use of resources and helps generate the knowledge and expertise needed to protect, manage and enhance Ireland's environment for the good of all its citizens.

The new research projects funded will address a wide range of topics, including: 

  • emerging contaminants;
  • antimicrobial resistance;
  • linkages between health and our environment in the areas of air quality, noise, odour and climate
  • the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Ireland.

The largest single award of €650,000 was made to NUI Galway for a project on antimicrobial resistance.

Dr Alice Wemaere, EPA Research Manager, said,

“What is notable in the recent round of awards for environmental research is a high-level of synergy between the EPA and other agencies in areas such as health, climate change, water quality, agriculture and energy. This demonstrates a clear and joined-up policy desire for sustainable and low-carbon solutions to environmental pressures.”

Dr Wemaere also explained that the EPA again successfully supported researchers in drawing down EU funding:

“In 2017 the EPA supported Irish environmental researchers in securing over €4 million in EU Horizon 2020 funding for environmental research in areas embracing climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.”

The EPA is currently undertaking a consultation process in relation to its 2018 Research Calls, which are due to be announced in May 2018.

Notes to Editor

Primary funding for the EPA managed environmental research programme is provided by Minister Naughten and his Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

Examples of the funding awarded in 2017 include the following:

  • 35 new projects via the Annual 2017 Research Calls.  These were awarded on the following topics: Water (8), Climate (8), Green Enterprise (3) and Sustainability (16);
  • 3 new PhDs under the Irish Research Council-EPA Scholarship Scheme; and
  • Co- funding of: two projects under the Science Foundation Ireland-EPA Investigator Programme; two Fulbright-EPA awards, five transnational projects under the Climate & Water Joint Programming Initiatives Calls.
  • Co-funding of environmental projects managed under the EPA Research Programme was provided by the following bodies: Health Service Executive; Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; the Marine Institute; Met Eireann; Iarnod Eireann; Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Dublin Airport Authority

EPA Research Calls are open to all types of organisations, within and outside Ireland. To apply for EPA funding, researchers must be registered on the EPA’s online Grant Application and project Management system. Research Proposals must be submitted in response to one of the topics included in the Call Descriptions. Further details about the EPA Research Programme are available on the EPA website.

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