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TU Dublin Joins SFI MaREI Research Centre

Posted: 9 May, 2019

TU Dublin has joined MaREI, the national SFI Research Centre undertaking research related to the energy transition, climate action, and blue economy and uses this research to empower business, shift policy and support society.

Prof. Brian Norton (TU Dublin), Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir (UCC), Prof. Sarah Culloty (UCC) and Brendan Tuohy (Nostos) Chairman of the MaREI Centre

Professor Brian Norton, Principal of TU Dublin, City Campus will join the Centre as a Principal Investigator in the area of Energy Management.

The news follows an announcement by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD of an investment of €230 million in six SFI Research Centres as part of Project Ireland 2040. The €230 million investment made by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland, will directly benefit approximately 850 researchers employed by the centres, while also supporting the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland initiative.

The MaREI Centre, led by University College Cork, helps small energy and marine companies to develop new technologies and provides strategic guidance to large energy companies, thereby harnessing the economic opportunities of the low carbon energy transition. MaREI research increasingly underpins energy and climate policies of the Irish Government and the European Union. Through engaged research and dialogue with communities, MaREI also supports the human and societal dimensions of climate action and marine conservation.

TU Dublin will contribute to the MaREI project in research areas focused on Energy Efficiency Buildings (EEB). Professor Norton will have the support of the Dublin Energy Lab (DEL) located within the University’s Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute (ESHI), in a new purpose-built €10m facility, on the environmentally sustainable Grangegorman campus. DEL is TU Dublin’s interdisciplinary research centre working in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy across all industry sectors. Over 90 researchers in science, engineering and business in DEL will contribute their specific expertise in the area of new and retrofitted buildings by:

  • Developing design specification and procurement,
  • Addressing technological challenges on materials, components and systems fabrication, integration and commissioning,
  • Solving societal and economic problems,
  • Addressing environmental challenges.

Speaking at the SFI funding announcement, Professor Brian Norton, Principal of TU Dublin, City Campus said, “The MaREI programme is closely aligned with the University’s strategic goal to be an important source of research and discovery. Our research underpins the full range of our educational provision and contribution to the economy and society. Our work with the MaREI centre will help us to better fulfil our public service mission, for the benefit of our students, staff, the economy and society as a whole.” 

Commenting on the announcement, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “This investment by my Department in the six SFI Research Centres is part of the Government’s strategy to prepare now for tomorrow’s world, through plans like Future Jobs Ireland and Project Ireland 2040. The work that has been done to date has positioned Ireland as a world leader in research, further strengthening our global credibility across many different sectors. The economic impact of this research is clear, not only through direct and in-direct employment levels, but also through increased foreign direct investment. Our Research Centres not only act as magnets to attract and retain investment; they also encourage companies, both Irish and foreign-owned, to develop their R&D activities here. This will continue to benefit Ireland and the world for years to come.”

The investment is set to benefit the whole country with third level institutions located across Ireland partnering with the Centres. The six SFI Research Centres will address the following:

  • The MaREI Centre, led by University College Cork
  • AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research, led by Trinity College Dublin
  • APC Microbiome Ireland, led by University College Cork
  • The Insight Centre for Data Analytics, co-led by NUI Galway, Dublin City University, University College Cork and University College Dublin
  • IPIC, the Irish Photonic Integration Centre, led by Tyndall National Institute
  • SSPC, the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals, led by University of Limerick


More information about this funding announcement is available from the SFI website