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Minister Coveney Opens UCD's Rosemount Environmental Research Station at Belfield

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today officially opened Rosemount Environmental Research Station, a major new research station in the heart of UCD's Belfield campus. The Minister welcomed the new development at UCD which provides cutting edge facilities for a diverse range of research disciplines including Plant Biology, Plant Biotechnology, Horticulture, Agriculture and Environmental and Evolutionary Biology.

The Minister acknowledged that "the excellent research facilities and highly skilled staff working at this new station will further assist the development of the Agri-Food sector here in Ireland, while also strengthening UCD's position in attracting future funding in the area". The ability of the station to integrate research with world class education was also praised by the Minister.

Minster Coveney outlined his continued support for research and development in the wider Agri-Food sector. He recalled how his Department, through the Research Stimulus Fund, has awarded approx. €4.2m over the past 5 years to researchers at the station working in the area of biological control of plant diseases, low input crop systems and novel methods of pest management.

Remarking that the challenge now is for industry to tap into and make use of the outputs of the research at this station the Minister said "the ability of the Agri-food sector to remain competitive ultimately depends on its ability to rapidly adopt new technological innovations across a broad range of areas".He went on to add that "improvements in productivity, efficiency and sustainability will provide the basis to deliver on a number of recommendations and targets outlined in Food Harvest 2020 report".

The Minster concluded by wishing researchers at Rosemount Environmental Research Station continued success in their efforts to secure funding particularly from EU and international sources for research activity in this area.

Notes to Editors:

The first phase of the €5 million infrastructure development programme is now complete and a second phase is currently underway. Support for Infrastructural development is provided by EU FP6 Marie Curie, Higher Education Authority (HEA) Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) Cycle 5 and UCD College of Science.

Rosemount Environmental Research Station incorporates high specification production and containment glasshouses, PEAC: Programme for Experimental Atmospheres and Climate, the Irish National Heritage apple collection, experimental turf grass facilities, automatic weather station and teaching facilities.

Current research at the station is funded by DAFF, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), European Research Council (ERC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 


Date Released: 27 September 2011