Maynooth University has been awarded almost €1.8 million under Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Infrastructure programme to fund advanced instrastructure for strategic multi-disciplinary scientific research and innovation.
The award of 1.77m will fund high sensitivity liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) that will enable detection and enumeration of biomolecules in a high-throughput and efficient manner.
This has applications in health, including research into cancer, infectious diseases and inflammatory and neurological disorders, as well as biotechnology, sustainability and chemical sciences.
Professor Sean Doyle of the Department of Biology led the successful application for the funding, along with Dr Rebecca Owens, Dr Paul Dowling and Dr James Carolan of the Biology Department and the Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health Research.
Professor Doyle said Maynooth University would now strategically expand its LC-MS facilities "to support a growing cohort of both local and external collaborative (academic/industry) partners, especially in the Technological University sector".
He added that the application was in line with the strategic objectives of the University as set out in its new Strategic Plan, which is committed to the growth of health and well-being research via investment in infrastructure.
"Mass spectrometry infrastructure is deployable in both academic and industrial settings, and has become a disseminated, multi-disciplinary technology which aids identification and quantification of biological and chemical molecules. As such, it will be available to all Irish and overseas researchers -- whether based in academic or industrial settings."
The funding was part of a €21 million investment in eight research infrastructure projects announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris. The awards contribute to the advancement of high-quality and high-impact research activities.
Speaking about the announcement, the Minister said: “I am delighted to announce €21 million in funding from my department to support transformative research with both national and international impact. Ireland is committed to investing in high quality, pioneering research. The funding announced today does just that.
"This support builds and sustains the required infrastructural capacity we need that enables our research community to thrive across the fields of materials science, earth and environmental sciences, energy, engineering, physics, and neuroscience and behaviour."
Welcoming the announcement, Prof Philip Nolan, SFI Director General, said: “The Research Infrastructure Programme funds state-of-the-art research infrastructure to drive excellent and highly collaborative research and innovation. The programme promotes transformative collaborations, in which increased inter-institutional and national sharing of research infrastructure across academia and enterprise makes for better research and accelerated innovation.
“The eight successful projects selected will help us, through research, to prepare for a challenging yet exciting future. The importance of this programme to our research system highlights the need for sustained and increased investment in research infrastructure over the coming decade.”
The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme supports the research community in building and sustaining cutting-edge infrastructure in order to accomplish high-quality, impactful and innovative research. The programme encourages partnerships and collaboration between different cohorts of researchers in Ireland, across academia and enterprise.