Thursday, 23 March 2017
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Research and Development Funding
15. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she is satisfied with the level of funding allocated to the programme for research in third level institutions on an annual basis in 2017; and the amount of funding that has been ring-fenced for research and frontier research in 2017. [14450/17]
The Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) has involved €1.2 billion investment of private and public investment. It has supported the provision of top-class research infrastructure (buildings, laboratories and cutting edge equipment) as well as human capital development, through Structured PhD programmes across Ireland’s Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). It has facilitated Ireland in producing world class research in key strategic areas and has provided the base infrastructure for research teams funded by Science Foundation Ireland and other funders.
In 2017, PRTLI has an allocation in my Department's Vote of €14.4m. The annual allocation to PRTLI has been reducing in recent years as we are discharging the remaining liabilities for projects funded under Cycle 5 of the programme. In addition to the PRTLI allocation, my Department is also allocating €162.5 million to Science Foundation Ireland in 2017 to fund oriented basic and applied research. SFI does not predetermine or “ring fence” specific funding allocation for basic or applied research. Funding decisions are made through international peer review on the basis of research excellence and impact.
In addition in 2017 my Department has allocated a further €122m to Enterprise Ireland specifically to support investment in research, development and innovation in Irish enterprise. The IDA also invests in RDI through its R&D Grants, with a total of €55.6m in investment in this area in 2015.
Innovation 2020, Ireland’s strategy for research and innovation, provides for the establishment of a new programme to fund frontier research across all disciplines and all career stages. The Irish Research Council (an agency of the Department of Education and Skills) has responsibility for developing and implementing this Programme.