‌DIT researchers involved in €1.65m agri-food research projects

Posted: 12 December, 2014

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, and Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Forestry Tom Hayes TD, have announced awards of over €20 million for collaborative inter-institutional research projects under the Department’s FIRM, Stimulus and CoFoRD competitive research funding programmes. These awards arise from the Department’s 2014 Call for Research proposals.

Dr. P.J. Cullen, DIT School of Food Sciences and Environmental Health, with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, and Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Forestry Tom Hayes TD at the launch 

DIT researchers are involved in three of the winning proposals:

Dr PJ Cullen School of Food Sciences & Environmental Health, will co-ordinate a project entitled ‘Process Analytical Technologies for Dairy and Infant Formula powder manufacture’. The €549,590 project will be carried out in collaboration with UCD.  The overall project objective is to develop and characterise novel PAT technologies for control and optimisation of dairy powder and infant formula manufacturing.

Dr Catherine Barry-Ryan, School of Food Sciences & Environmental Health, is part of an all-Ireland project with funding of €675,000. ‘Sensory Food Network Ireland’ is led by Teagasc.  With representation from the key players in sensory science it will be a centre of excellence in this area of research for Ireland.

Paul O’Reilly, Head of Research, DIT College of Business, is a partner in another Teagasc-led project with a further €300,000 in funding: BIO-ÉIRE, or A Bio Economy for Ireland - An Evaluation of Development Opportunities, Policies and Initiatives Shaping Ireland’s Transformation to a Sustainable Low Carbon Bio Economy.  The project, which also has partners in NUIG and UCD, addresses agriculture, food, marine, energy crops and forestry as well as the bio-based pillars of the bio-economy.

Minister Coveney said that “this investment will build research capacity and capability in the Irish public research system and ultimately make a significant contribution to the sustainability and competitiveness of the Irish agri-food, forestry and aquaculture sectors.  It will also provide contract employment for 58 highly trained scientists as well as specialised scientific training for 53 post-graduate students”.

The Minister highlighted his on-going commitment to research within the agri-food sector by stating “today’s research awards bring the total investment made by my Department over the last 3 years to over €85 million.  This research is a key component in delivering on the ambitious targets set out in the Food Harvest 2020 strategy and the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs”.


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