Science Foundation Ireland

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Science Foundation Ireland
Sfi logo.png
State Agency of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation overview
Formed July 2003
Jurisdiction Ireland
Headquarters Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2
State Agency of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation executives Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General
Ann Riordan, Chairman
Key document Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Act, 2003
Website SFI website

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is the statutory body in the Republic of Ireland with responsibility for disbursing funds for basic science research with a strategic focus. The agency was established in 2003 under the Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Act 2003 and is run by a board appointed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, to whom the agency is responsible.

Remit[edit]

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research. SFI invests in academic researchers and research teams who are most likely to generate new knowledge, leading edge technologies and competitive enterprises in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The Foundation also promotes and supports the study of, education in, 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. SFI makes grants based upon the merit review of distinguished scientists. SFI also advances co-operative efforts among education, government, and industry that support its fields of emphasis and promotes Ireland’s ensuing achievements around the world. When applying to SFI, applicants will be asked to justify the alignment of their research with Call- or Programme-specific themes and/or they will be required to describe the alignment of their research or activities with SFI’s legal remit, as outlined below. Eligible research areas, or themes, may vary according to the scope and objectives of an individual programme and are described in the relevant call documentation. Details of individual programmes are included in the SFI Annual Plan.

To view SFI Agenda 2020 click here:http://www.sfi.ie/assets/files/downloads/News%20and%20Events/AGENDA%202020.pdf

The formal definition of SFI’s legal remit is detailed within the following Acts of Government (2003 and Amendment 2013) and Statutory Instrument (2008): http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2003/en/act/pub/0030/index.html (particularly Section 7) http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2008/en/si/0134.html (addition of Energy) http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/2013/en.act.2013.0036.pdf (Amendment)

History[edit]

Following a Technology Foresight activity managed by Forfás the Irish Government allocated €1.3B under the 2000–2005 National Development Plan to be spend on R&D. SFI was responsible for disbursing €650M of these monies in the targeted strategic areas of ICT and Biotechnology during this period.

After an initial call for research proposals in 2000, the first Director General, Dr William Harris, joined SFI in 2001 leading the organization to the establishment of a range of research programmes from Principal Investigator Awards to large research centers, called Centers for Science & Engineering Technology.

In 2006, under the next National Development Plan, under the Strategy for Science, Technology & Innovation (SSTI), the Irish Government has allotted a further €3.7B to spend on R&D. A more recent and significant amendment to the SFI Act in 2013 widened SFI’s remit further to include both oriented basic research and applied research. The extension of SFI’s remit to include applied research will enable the outcome of oriented basic research funded by SFI to be taken closer to market, which in turn increases the potential of research to yield commercial opportunities and jobs as well as other societal benefits.

A more recent and significant amendment to the SFI Act in 2013 widened SFI’s remit further to include both oriented basic research and applied research. The extension of SFI’s remit to include applied research will enable the outcome of oriented basic research funded by SFI to be taken closer to market, which in turn increases the potential of research to yield commercial opportunities and jobs as well as other societal benefits.

Chairpersons of SFI[edit]

# Name Appointed Retired
1. Dr Pat Fottrell 2003 2011
2. Ann Riordan 2011 Incumbent

Directors General of SFI[edit]

# Name Appointed Retired
1. Dr William Harris 2001 2006
2. Prof Mark Keane 2006 2007
3. Prof Frank Gannon 2007 2011
4. Prof Mark Ferguson 2012 Incumbent

See also[edit]

SFI's Seven Research Funding centres:

References[edit]

SFI Website :http://www.sfi.ie/

Mark Fergusons Profile :http://www.sfi.ie/about/organisation/board-members/prof-mark-ferguson.html

SFI Updated Industrial developemnt act:http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/2013/en.act.2013.0036.pdf