The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) with responsibility for Research and Development, Martin Heydon T.D., today announced details of the latest Call for Research Proposals in selected agri-food related areas under the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership in conjunction with our partners from the United States of America (USA) and Northern Ireland.
The Minister stated, “Over the last five years the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership has brought researchers together from Ireland, North and South, as well as the United States in order to deliver key insights and solutions to challenges facing the agriculture sector on an international scale. The programme has so far been very successfuland my department is delighted to announce our continued support for the tri-jurisdictional research partnership.”
The 2021 US-Ireland R&D Partnership Call in Agriculture aims to advance knowledge, specifically in: beneficial and pest species in agricultural production systems; animal health and welfare; animal nutrition; tackling antibiotic resistance across the food chain; and animal breeding and genomics, all of which are of critical importance to the agriculture sector. This Research Call also intends to create and reinforce the collaboration between research partners coming from different countries and different fields of expertise to promote research and innovation, and support education and extension activities that deliver science-based knowledge to end-users to allow them to make informed, practical decisions.
Stressing the importance of strategically aligned international funding opportunities to help address national challenges and maximise research and innovation in the Irish agri-food sector, the Minister said, “Although I can very much appreciate the difficulties in carrying out collaborative research inthe current uncertain times, continuing to maintain and develop relationships with our international partners is incredibly important as the challenges facing our industry become ever more complex. As academic research becomes increasingly more international it is vital that Ireland continues to recognise opportunities to share resources and expertise where common goals exist. This will not only allow us to better address national research priorities but also contribute to issues which affect the agri-food industry on a global level.”
The call invites eligible Research Performing Organisations from the Republic of Ireland to submit joint research proposals, with collaborating partners from the USA and Northern Ireland, under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The submission deadline to DAFM and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland is four weeks in advance of the stated NIFA deadline for the respective Programme Area Priority in AFRI’s 2021 Foundation Competitive Grant Programme.
The US-Ireland R&D Partnership is a product of the Northern Ireland Peace Process and involves the governments of the United States of America, Ireland and Northern Ireland working together for scientific progress by awarding grants for research on a competitive basis.
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) is the leading competitive grants program for agricultural sciences in the US. Since 2016 the scope of the Partnership has been extended to include agriculture on a pilot basis whereby researchers in eligible institutions in Ireland and Northern Ireland can link with a US-based researcher to submit research funding applications to annual Calls launched by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
The Partnership was launched in 2006 and to date a total combined funding of €105.697 million ($125.552 million) has been awarded to 65 projects in 7 priority areas under the Partnership that include:
- Nanoscale Science & Engineering
- Sensors & Sensor Networks
- Energy & Sustainability