Trinity Researchers Secure Major Government funding for AMBER Centre

Posted on: 25 February 2013

CRANN, Ireland’s leading nanoscience institute and the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCBE), both based at Trinity College have today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise Richard Bruton that its Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research Centre (AMBER*) is amongst seven centres to receive a total of €200 million of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funding over the next five years.

The new funding will be delivered through SFI Research Centres Programme coupled with over €100 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners, making it the largest ever combined state/industry co-funding announcement of its kind in the research field in Ireland. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review.

AMBER will deliver world-leading research into engineered materials and interfaces for applications in a number of priority sectors in Ireland such as ICT, medical devices, and industrial technology.

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation and Prof John Boland, Director of CRANN 

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research.

The €300 million investment announced today, and the seven new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This will support more than 800 talented scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help to create the jobs we need”.

Commenting on the significance of the funding, Director of CRANN Professor John Boland said:  “Today’s announcement provides an opportunity to grow on the success of Ireland’s nanoscience sector, a sector that accounts for 10% of exports and over 250,000 jobs.

This funding decision is a measure of Government support for quality research, research for which Ireland is internationally recognised. Ireland is ranked 6th and 8th in the world for nanoscience and materials science respectively and continues to attract researchers of the highest calibre.

Nineteen companies in Ireland will partner with AMBER. In this, the tenth year of CRANN in Ireland, it is fitting that we now move to the next phase of nanoscience research and develop AMBER within CRANN”.

Professor Fergal O’Brien, Adjunct Associate Professor, TCBE and RCSI said:  “This centre provides a great opportunity to bring together CRANN’s expertise in materials science with our capabilities in tissue engineering which will significantly impact the medical devices sector in Ireland”.

*AMBER is a collaboration of both researchers from TCD, UCC and RCSI and industry representatives, which will utilise nanoscience to develop new materials for use in ICT, medical device, energy and pharmaceuticals manufacturing.  Further details on AMBER and its structure will be announced in the coming months.