Science Foundation Ireland
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) (Irish: Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (FEÉ)), 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.
Under its remit, 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 and engineering underpinning the areas of biotechnology, information and communications technology (ICT) and sustainable energy and energy-efficient technologies.
Science Foundation Ireland is a key organisation in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2007–2013 and the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI) 2006–2013. A sum of €8.2 billion has been allocated for scientific research under the NDP and SSTI of which SFI has responsibility to invest €1.4 billion.
SFI's typical grants range from about one hundred thousand euro per year to about one million euro per year per project.
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.
Chairpersons of SFI
|1.||Dr Pat Fottrell||2003||Incumbent|
Directors General of SFI
|1.||Dr William Harris||2001||2006|
|2.||Prof Mark Keane||2006||2007|
|3.||Prof Frank Gannon||2007||2010|
- *Profile of SFI.
- Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Act 2003, Republic of Ireland.
- Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation, Republic of Ireland.
- Dr William Harris.
- Prof Frank Gannon.