Irish science foundation wields 646m euro funding

The membership of the board of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has been named by the Irish government.

The board, which will wield a budget of 646 million euro has been appointed following the establishment of SFI on a statutory basis under the Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Act, 2003.

The 12-member board includes leaders from the engineering and the scientific research communities, business, academia and the public service. Four of the members are from the international research community.

In appointing the board the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Harney said: "I am extremely pleased that we have been able to name such a distinguished and diverse group of leaders to serve on the Board of SFI.

“The portfolio of skills and experiences that they will bring to SFI from leading edge scientific and engineering research, through to business, education and administration, will ensure that SFI, the Director General, Dr Harris and his staff, can build a research culture in this country that is recognised globally for its stature and significance."

The Chairperson of the SFI board, Dr Fottrell, said: "SFI represents an important departure in the history of research in this country. Now that the Foundation has been established on a statutory basis, my colleagues and I on the new board of SFI, will build on the efforts of the outgoing board to ensure that a world class research system is developed and sustained in Ireland in the future."

The SFI board members are: Dr Patrick Fottrell (Chairperson); Mr Frank McCabe (Deputy Chairperson) former VP, Intel; Mr Erich Bloch Washington Advisory Group; Mr Ned Costello, DETE; Dr Jane Grimson, Trinity College Dublin; Dr Anita Jones, University of Virginia; Dr Kristina Johnson-Dean, Duke University, North Carolina; Dr Martina Newell-McGloughlin, University of California; Dr Jim Mountjoy, Prospectus Consultancy Group; Dr Don Thornhill, Higher Education Authority; and Mr John Travers, Tourism Policy Review Group.

Dr William C. Harris as Director General of SFI will be an ex officio member of the board.

On behalf of the Irish government, SFI is to invest 646 million euro between 2000-2006 in academic researchers and research teams in two main areas, biotechnology and ICT.

The first grants were made in 2001, and SFI are funding work by over 130 researchers and research teams based in Ireland with grants that will total some 245 million euro over the next five years.


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