Friday, 18 March 2016

Trinity’s largest-ever Horizon 2020 funding win to attract 71 leading ICT researchers



Three Science Foundation Ireland research centres led out of Trinity College Dublin - ADAPT, AMBER, and CONNECT - are to receive €6 million in Horizon 2020 EU funding for a new postdoctoral programme, EDGE, which will employ 71 world-class ICT researchers.

It is the single biggest award for Trinity College Dublin under Horizon 2020, the EU’s €80 billion research and innovation funding programme. The award, made under the EU’s COFUND initiative, will match €7m of funding already pledged to the EDGE project by the three centres.

EDGE will be coordinated by Professor Linda Doyle, Director of the CONNECT Centre for Future Networks and Communications, headquartered at Trinity.

“This programme will attract more leading ICT researchers to Ireland’s third level institutes,” according to Professor Doyle.

“EDGE will support research at the interface of three strategically important areas of ICT: advanced materials, telecommunications networks and digital content technology. Expertise in these fields is particularly attractive to employers and EDGE will strengthen Ireland’s ability to create and attract high quality jobs.

“Industry, in particular, will play a major role by providing secondment opportunities and specialised training to EDGE Fellows. The three participating research centres have unrivalled access to industrial partnerships and already work closely with more than 70 companies. EDGE will consolidate Ireland’s ‘knowledge triangle’, linking higher education, research innovation and industry.

“The primary beneficiaries will be the EDGE Fellows who will receive excellent cross-disciplinary training in their chosen area of research.”

Commenting on the award, the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said: “This is a significant funding success for Trinity. Securing funding from Horizon 2020 is a primary focus of Trinity’s research strategy and the EDGE project is the largest award for Trinity to date. This programme will result in exciting collaborative ICT research and innovation. I would like to congratulate the three research centres on this significant research award.”

The Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, welcomed the news, saying:

“This is an outstanding example of the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration involving three world-class Science Foundation Ireland research centres: ADAPT, AMBER and CONNECT. Ireland has an ambitious target of drawing down €1.25 billion of funding over the course of the lifetime of Horizon 2020. Today’s announcement is a major success story for Ireland, and is testament to the quality of research conducted at these Science Foundation Ireland centres. I would like to congratulate the centre directors: Professor Linda Doyle (CONNECT), Professor Michael Morris (AMBER), and Professor Vincent Wade (ADAPT).”



EDGE will run for five years with recruitment of postdoctoral researchers commencing in September 2016. Ten third-level institutes around the country are participating in the programme which will be coordinated by the CONNECT Centre at Trinity College.

Three SFI research centres are involved in the EDGE programme:

· ADAPT focuses on how to get the most from digital content through extracting meaning from global content streams, personalising content delivery and improving user interaction with the data stream.

· AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research) is focused on advanced materials research that will enable the development of nanoscale electronic devices with better functionality for sensors, data processing and memory applications, enabling next-generation consumer and business electronics.

· CONNECT designs flexible and responsive telecommunications networks with a strong focus on Internet-of-Things.

The EDGE project is funded under the European Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA): Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes (COFUND) Fellowship Programme scheme.