McIlveen announces £1.7million for new agri-food research

Date published: 15 December 2016

Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen today announced that research institutions in Northern Ireland are to benefit from £1.7million of new funding awarded through the DAERA Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) initiative.

DAERA has been working in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) in the Republic of Ireland and the US Department of Agriculture to identify opportunities to co-fund research in areas of shared strategic priority. Addressing common issues with a collaborative approach has many benefits including the leverage of additional research capacity and expertise to meet the needs of the local agri-food sector.

The Agri Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the Ulster University will receive approximately £1.7million to complete six projects.

Announcing the funding, Michelle McIlveen said: “Science has a vital role in providing our farmers and agri-food industry with a competitive edge in demanding markets. I am therefore pleased to see AFBI, Queen’s and Ulster University, achieving funding awards totalling £1.7million through the Collaborative Research Fund.

“Local scientists, technologists and advisers play an essential part in assisting NI farmers who face the challenges of increasingly competitive agri-food and forestry sectors. Sharing both knowledge and resources through transnational collaboration enhances both the quality of research, and the value derived from DAERA funding.”  

Notes to editors: 

1. 1. The first tranche of seven approved, exciting and innovative research projects will receive their letters of offer this week. Letters of offer, to the total value of £1,740,209 will be issued to the Northern Ireland based research partners by DAERA.  DAFM have committed £6,927,323[1] to Republic of Ireland based research partners working on these projects.

2. DAERA is currently on target to meet our objective of 11 new research projects contracting at least 11 new postdoctoral scientists and 11 new postgraduate students based in NI research organisations by December 2018.

3. The following are the successful projects;

  • Fisheries knowledge for optimal sustainable management  - QUB and AFBI in partnership with Marine Institute, University College Cork and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.
  • Functional foods for optimal nutrition for healthier ageing – UU in partnership with University College Dublin.
  • Developing the next generation of protein enriched spray dried dairy powders with enhanced hydration properties – UU in partnership with Teagasc and Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork and Waterford Institute of Technology.
  • Manipulation and integration of nitrogen emissions to convert excess soil nitrogen to environmentally benign N2. AFBI in partnership with Teagasc, National University of Ireland Galway, Trinity College Dublin.
  • The interaction between genotype and nutrition in high yielding dairy cows in seasonal grass based systems of milk production – AFBI in partnership with University College Dubin and Teagasc.
  • A multi-disciplinary approach to improving the reproductive performance in the Irish sheep, beef and dairy populations – AFBI in partnership with Teagasc, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation and Waterford Institute of Technology.
  • Irish Land Use Emission and Sequestration Support Tool – AFBI in partnership with Teagasc, university College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology.

4. Follow us on Twitter @daera_ni.

5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

[1] [1] Exchange rate calculated at 1:0.852 -  25.11.16

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