DAERA announces £1.3million for eight new agri-food research projects

Date published: 18 December 2019

The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced that three research institutions in Northern Ireland are to benefit from £1.3million of new funding awarded through the DAERA/DAFM 2019 Competitive Research Call.


The funding will be shared across eight collaborative projects involving one or more research partners from Northern Ireland including the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Ulster University and Queen’s University.

The Research and Development Partnership between DAERA and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in the Republic of Ireland, identifies opportunities to co-fund research in areas of shared strategic priority in the agri-food, forestry or bio-economy sections across the two jurisdictions. Funding is available to Northern Ireland research organisations for collaborative projects involving at least one research organisation from the Republic of Ireland.

Successful collaborations and projects in this latest tranche include:

  • Development of genomic epidemiology systems for tracking and eradication Mycobacterium bovis in Ireland - Queens University Belfast (QUB) in partnership with University College Dublin (UCD).
  • Development and validation of novel technologies to reduce methane emissions from pasture based Irish agricultural systems - Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) & (QUB), in partnership with Teagasc and National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI).
  • Response of tree species to climate change - AFBI in partnership with Teagasc, UCD and (NUI) Maynooth.
  • Food based dietary guidelines for sustainable and healthy lifestyles - QUB in partnership with Teagasc, UCD, University College Cork (UCC).
  • Optimised Breeding program for efficient and quality beef from dairy herds – AFBI in partnership with Teagasc, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).
  • Abating Ammonia in Agriculture - AFBI in partnership with Teagasc and UCD.
  • Next Steps in managing the impact of ash dieback - AFBI in partnership with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and UCD.
  • Blue Whiting protein hydrolysates for management of sarcopenia - Ulster University (UU) in partnership with University of Limerick (UL).

Making the announcement, DAERA Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser Dr Paul Devine said: “This is an excellent example of a successful collaborative approach to research to address common issues across both jurisdictions. The research delivered through this programme has the potential to contribute significantly to the future sustainability of the local agri-food sector. This Partnership approach focuses on the research capacity and expertise to meet the growing needs of this diverse sector.

“The Department recognises that science has a vital role in providing our farmers and agri-food industry with a competitive edge in highly demanding markets. By addressing transnational issues affecting the sustainability of the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland creates many overarching benefits.

“This funding to local scientists will play an essential part in assisting the agri-food sector here face the challenges of increasingly competitive markets. Sharing both knowledge and resources through collaboration enhances both the quality of research, and the value derived from DAERA funding.”

Further information on this funding award is available from the DAFM website and DAERA website.


Notes to editors: 

  1. This is the third tranche of DAFM/DAERA Partnership to support collaborative research in agreed priority areas across both jurisdictions. Ten successful projects featuring AFBI, QUB and UU have been offered funding to the value of £2,275,932 across the first two tranches.
  2. DAERA is currently on target to meet our objective to have commissioned £4.5million in research projects with an overall value of £18million by March 2020.
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