By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Launches Research Call and Research Newsletter

Following on from the Food Harvest 2020 Report the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced details of a €10 million Research Call across the Department's three competitive research programs FIRM, RSF and COFORD[1].

The Minister reaffirmed his belief that a vibrant Agri-Food Industry is a key part of the Smart Economy and will play a key role in leading our country to better economic times. The Minister said "the importance of research and innovation was emphasised in the Food Harvest 2020 Report as a prerequisite to achieving the growth targets for the agrifood sector. In response to the Report I am therefore delighted to launch these very significant research initiatives".

Under FIRM a number of initiatives have been developed which will build on existing research capacity and capability and will add value to existing research outputs whilst also delivering new knowledge to underpin the future development of the food industry. The industry itself has been very involved in informing the content of the Call under the remit of the AgriVision 2015 Food Industry Research Group chaired by Dan Browne. The Minister stressed that "the outputs of the research will provide the basis to deliver on a number of the growth targets outlined in Food Harvest 2020.  One of those targets is to increase the production of milk by 50% over the next 10 years and one of the initiatives under the FIRM programme will provide the scientific knowledge to add value to this sector".

Through the Stimulus programme the Department has committed substantial resources to agriculture based research, resulting in the development of significant research capacity. The Department wishes to further strengthen this capability by supporting the development of a collaborative research network on climate change in agriculture. This network will assist the development of sustainable high calibre integrated multidisciplinary collaborative research effort and will facilitate greater participation in International Collaborative Research Initiatives in this field.

The Minister added that "in addressing the issue of competitiveness, a joint FIRM/Stimulus initiative will also be launched".

In forestry research, proposals relating to forest reproductive material and forest health and protection will be invited from Irish research institutions. Both of these research areas are vital to the productivity and well being of the forest resource, especially in times of the predicted environmental impacts from climate change.

Minister Smith stated that "benefits from projects funded under the Research Call will accrue not only to producers and processors but also to the wider rural community". They will also contribute to improved collaboration between various research institutions and the establishment of critical mass in the respective research areas.

Further details of the research call will be published on the Department's website from Tuesday 19 October.

The Minister also announced the publication of the 1st edition of a new Department Newsletter - Research News. This Newsletter, produced by DAFF's Research Division, will be circulated on a quarterly basis to all DAFF's research stakeholders. It is designed to give an overview of research funded by DAFF primarily under its three competitive funding programmes (FIRM, Stimulus & COFORD), to alert researchers of EU and other international funding opportunities, and to update readers on related policy developments.  The Minister said "The launch of Research News is part of a communications strategy intended to keep relevant parties better informed of the nature, extent and value of DAFF's on-going commitment to investing in agri-food & forestry research and innovation which is seen as a priority for the future under Food Harvest 2020". The Newsletter will appear on DAFF website shortly.

[1] FIRM - Food Institutional Research Measure; RSF - Research Stimulus Fund; COFORD - Programme of Competitive Forest Research for Development.

Date Released: 18 October 2010