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Coughlan details awards of 18 million in Research and Development grants

Research Proposals covering bioenergy and agri-environment are grant assisted

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced details of 35 research projects that have been awarded grant assistance totalling €18 million under the 2006 Research Stimulus Fund Programme (RSFP).
The Minister said that the selected research projects cover a broad range of areas including animal and plant bioscience, non-food uses of agricultural land and agri-environment. Most of the projects will be of 3 years duration and will involve inter-institutional collaboration. The research involved will be of a 'public good' nature and the results will be made freely available.

The Minister was pleased to note that a further two projects relating to biofuels and energy crops are being grant aided under the 2006 awards following the three research projects which were selected for assistance in 2005. This is an area of particular interest due to the environmental advantages of biofuels, the increasing cost of fossil fuels, and the opportunity farmers now have to explore alternative farm enterprises.

The Minister went on say that the main objectives of the RSFP are to facilitate research that fills gaps in mainstream programmes, to support sustainable and competitive agricultural production practices and policies, and to contribute to building and maintaining a knowledge economy and a scientific research capability in the agriculture sector.

Minister Coughlan said that the projects now being funded should produce benefits not only for producers but also for the wider rural community. They will also contribute to improved collaboration between various research institutions and to the establishment of critical mass in certain research areas.

Following the Call for proposals earlier in 2006 one hundred and ten applications were received and these were evaluated by expert panels and submitted to the Research Stimulus Fund Committee for consideration and approval.

A list of the projects grant aided is attached.

8 January, 2007

Project Title Institutions Involved Total Award
Bovine snpChip genome localisations of production and disease resistance genes TCD, Teagasc, ICBF, DAF, UCD €437,611
Development of high-throughput genetic markers for beef traits using variation in genes subject to genomic imprinting UCD, UCC €557,678
Relationships among maternal environment, fetal development, follicle numbers and fertility in cattle UCD, Teagasc €519,434
Genetics of improved health, fertility, grass dry matter intake and feed efficiency in Irish dairy cattle Teagasc, UCD, DAF, ICBF €669,971
Bovine neosporosis- epidemiological and proteomic steps to improved control UCD, UCG, DAF €450,591
Rhodococcus equi genomics, rational design of control and preventative measures to combat foal pneumonia IEC, UCD, DAF €790,233
Equine post-coital endrometritis: Is sialidase the key to diagnosis and treatment UCD, IEC €533,421
Antimicrobial resistance in commercial organisms in dairy, pig and poultry production in Ireland as a reservoir of resistance for animal and zoonotic pathogens UCD, Carlow IT, DAF €648,598
Epidemiological studies of leptospirosis in Ireland UCD, DAF €327,468
Immunopathogenesis studies and the development of novel diagnostic methodologies with application in the targeted surveillance of reproductive loss in sheep due to Taxoplasma gondi and Chlamydophila abortus UCD, DAF €624,989
Structural and functional identification of candidate immune genes for resistance to mastitis and metritis UCD €770,735
Identification of resistant genes via functional genomics expression studies of bovine macrophages exposed to three economically important animal pathogens (Mycobacterium bovis, Brucella Abortus and M. avium subsp. Paratuberculosis) UCD €512,493
Effect of low phosphorus diets on aspects of welfare and health of slaughter pigs and breeding sows Teagasc, UCD €469,093
Nutrition of farm animals for improved health and performance UCD, Teagasc, DAF €533,845
Development of a dietary supplement based on omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to increase cow fertility UCD, Teagasc, NUI Galway €581,980
Elucidation of the potential contribution of bio-control and bio-fertiliser inoculants to low-input crop production using genomic, metabolic and conventional research methodologies UCD, UCC €775,997
Investigation into the biological and genetic control of fatty acid levels in perennial ryegrass UCD, Teagasc €267,812
Feasibility of production and combustion of pellets from straw and energy crops Teagasc, UCD, UL €424,945
Creating an environmental baseline for the evaluation of Irish agri-environmental policy (Agri-Baseline) UCD, DAF, Waterford IT €1,024,602
An evaluation of existing and potential measures to sustain an increased biodiversity and water quality on Irish farms Teagasc, UCD, UCC €650,014
Studies on the management and utilisation of soiled water and dilute slurry on Irish farms Teagasc, UCD, NUI Galway €751,099
Understanding and reducing emissions in ruminants UCD, Teagasc €1,076,364
Co-existence of GM and non GM crops: Modelling the effects of cropping systems on gene flow from herbicide tolerant oilseed rape Teagasc, TCD €169,301
Managing bumblebee imports to maintain pollinator diversity and increase efficiency in horticultural production Teagasc, Carlow IT €299,901
Development of HNMR based metabolomics to benefit marker assisted breeding of perennial ryegrass Teagasc €438,624
Utilising waste heat from organic animal and food wastes for culture enterprises (Agri-heat) Galway/Mayo IT, Mountbellew Agricultural College €225,000
Subsoil and groundwater dentrification Teagasc, TCD, NUI Galway €699,480
Microbially-mediated solubisation of phosporate (P) for sustainable agriculture: Influence of low input decision-based management practice UCC, Carlow IT, Teagasc €568,085
Managing soil organic carbon in Irish agricultural systems TCD, Teagasc €838,728
Nitrous oxide from Irish agricultural grasslands: Current emissions and future trends UCC, Carlow IT €513,983
Exploring the effect of policy reform on the economic, social and environmental sustainability of Irish farms Teagasc, NUI Galway €272,756
International Workshop of EU Milk Quota Policy Reform Teagasc €8,000
Effective structures for farmers' markets in Ireland UCC €84,125
The impact of climate change on Irish farming Teagasc, TCD €216,125
An economic evaluation of public access provision to farmland in Ireland NUI Galway, Teagasc €394,192

Date Released: 08 January 2007