Launch of ENABLE - SFI research programme

SFI Director General Professor Mark Ferguson, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD, and Professor Siobhán Clarke, Trinity College Dublin
Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 12:00

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD, together with Minister of State for Training, Skills, Research, and Development, John Halligan, TD, have launched ENABLE – a new €14.5 million Science Foundation Ireland research programme which will examine how the Internet of Things can be used to improve the quality of life for ordinary citizens living in urban environments.  

ENABLE’s academic researchers will work in partnership with over 25 companies including large multinationals such as Intel and Huawei, and SMEs such as Cork-based Accuflow. The ENABLE research programme will address a wide range of topics including water management, air pollution, transport congestion, data privacy and cyber security. It will receive €10 million from Science Foundation Ireland and a further €4.5 million through collaborative research agreements with industry partners.

ENABLE will be led by Professor Siobhán Clarke at Trinity College Dublin and will include 60 researchers based in Trinity College Dublin, Maynooth University, Dublin City University, Cork Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, University College Cork and University of Limerick.

Speaking at the launch of ENABLE, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D., said: “ENABLE’s research focus is strategically important. Up to 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050: this will increase pressure on resources and infrastructure in our towns and cities. Innovative, technology-based solutions will be part of how we address this global challenge and I am glad that this new Science Foundation Ireland funded programme, ENABLE, will explore creative solutions to issues such as air pollution, energy management, flooding, traffic congestion, and data security. ENABLE will involve significant collaboration with multiple industry partners ranging from large multinationals to SMEs. This engagement will ensure that the research outcomes will have industrial relevance.” 

Also speaking at the launch of ENABLE, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan, T.D., said: “SFI programmes such as ENABLE are of critical importance to Ireland’s economy. In addition to world-class scientific research, they also contribute to job creation and the development of a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland, said: “The high industry cost-share component of ENABLE’s funding reflects the importance and urgency of its research programme to industry.  We expect ENABLE to deliver excellent research results and, through its collaboration with its industry partners, to deliver significant economic and societal impact during its lifetime. I am particularly pleased to see that ENABLE has included citizen engagement as a core activity. The involvement of the public in academic research will result in solutions which are relevant to solving ordinary, everyday challenges. This ensures that the technology of the future will be placed at the service of the citizen.”