Five DCU research projects awarded funding under the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme
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Five DCU research projects awarded funding under the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme

€4.3 million investment announced by Minister Harris into enterprise research partnerships


The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has today (Monday, August 17th) announced an investment of €4.3 million in 50 enterprise-focused research awards under the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme. 

The awards will cover a broad range of topics including the areas of health, food production, law, agriculture and heritage.

Five projects from DCU were successful in this year’s funding announcement.

The list of recipients and project title are, 

• Arpita Chakraborty, DCU and ActionAid Ireland (Enterprise Partner): Project title; Medical Practitioners and Sexual Violence Survivors: The Influence of Caste on Healthcare System in India and Nepal

• Craig Smith, DCU and Irish Heart Foundation (Enterprise Partner): Project title; Next Generation Health Hub: The design, development and evaluation of an interactive and collaborative educational experience to support improved health knowledge and understanding, and health outcomes in post primary school adolescents.

• Letizia Palanga, DCU and Clinical Cancer Research Trust (Enterprise Partner): Project Title; Microfluidic techniques to develop pre-clinical tumour-derived models for analysis of personalised therapies in uveal melanoma

• Lucy Hayden, School of Psychology, DCU and Breakthrough Cancer Research (Enterprise Partner): Project Title; Living and Dying Well – An Investigation of the Psychosocial and Spiritual Needs of Patients with Terminal Cancer

• Neil Conlon, DCU and Clinical Cancer Research Trust (Enterprise Partner): Project Title; Combinatorial targeted therapy for the treatment of HER2-driven cancer

The Enterprise Partnership Scheme has been operating for 15 years in the Irish research and innovation landscape and connects enterprise, early career researchers and higher education institutions.

As a unique tripartite research collaboration, it provides key benefits for all parties. Industry and employers – including social innovation organisations – are supported to enhance their research and innovation capacity on a low-risk basis, and companies gain access to a pipeline of research talent for their future development needs.

For postgraduate and postdoctoral participants, the scheme builds links between researchers and the broader economy and society, which is key to driving future innovation.

Finally, as the scheme has shown, Enterprise Partnership Scheme awards promote long-term collaborations and engagement between higher education institutions and industry/employers.


Announcing today’s investment, Minister Harris said,

“I am delighted to announce funding for 50 research and innovation projects as part of the 2020 Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

This scheme provides a valuable opportunity for enterprise and employers to access research talent and expertise within Ireland’s higher education system.

“The research will cover a broad range of areas, including sexual violence, the delivery of healthcare, how we produce better dairy products, the impact of jellyfish blooms on salmon aquaculture in Ireland, and how we improve bone health in jockeys.

“We must continue to promote Irish research and offer our researchers every opportunity and every support. We must continue to support this type of engagement to attract foreign direct investment into our knowledge economy, to assist indigenous SMEs and NGOs to innovate.”


The Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, added,

“The Council has a long history of supporting early career researchers across all disciplines, and the Enterprise Partnership Scheme is a keystone of this ongoing mission.

By bridging research, industry and enterprise, this programme gives participating scholars and fellows a dynamic research opportunity, allowing them to gain experience of working on a project with enterprise impact and innovation potential, and providing insight into career paths beyond academia.

The Council wishes the new awardees and their partners every success with their projects.”


About the Irish Research Council

The Council is an associated agency of the Department of Education and Skills, operating under the aegis of the HEA.

The Council was established in 2012 as a result of a merger between two research councils, one for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) and one for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET).

The Council funds exceptional individual researchers across the national research priority areas, but also across the many disciplines in the research ecosystem that fall outside these priority areas.

The latter include the vast majority of research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS), but also in myriad fields within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

In this way, the Council is a key enabler of balance in the research ecosystem and of the broad-based development of the research landscape.

About the Enterprise Partnership Scheme

The Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme supports collaborations between early career researchers and enterprise on co-funded projects.

These projects are related to the interests of the enterprise partner, which may be a national or international company, charity, non-governmental organisation or public body.