The largest-ever state/industry co-funded scientific research investment in Ireland – €300 million – includes millions to establish a large-scale research center devoted to advancing photonics and biomedical science. The investment will be made through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centers Program, coupled with more than €100 million in cash and in-kind contributions from its industry partners, which to date total 156 and include Eblana Photonics, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Medtronic, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Intel, IBM and Roche. Pictured at Science Gallery Dublin is Sean Sherlock, TD, minister for Research and Innovation, with professor Mark Ferguson, director general Science Foundation Ireland, and Minister Richard Bruton, TD. Images courtesy of Jason Clarke Photography. The project supports key growth areas identified in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013 and was announced by Richard Bruton, TD, minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; and Sean Sherlock TD, minister for Research and Innovation. The funding will be provided over the next six years, with a midterm review. “This is a landmark moment in the evolution of Ireland’s research system, which will deliver major economic and societal benefits for Ireland in the years to come,” Sherlock said. “Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centers of research excellence and scale, which will be game changers for Irish scientific research,” Bruton said. Two-thirds of the money, or €200 million, will be used to establish seven research centers focused on seven key areas: photonics, Big Data, nanotechnology and engineered materials, marine renewable energy, food for health/functional foods, perinatal translational research and drug synthesis/crystallization. Those pictured include Anita Maguire, VP research, UCC; professor Mark Ferguson, director general, SFI; Sean Sherlock, TD, minister for Research and Innovation; Dr. Guillaume Huyet, head of CAPP, CIT; Dr. Peter O’ Brien, PI, Photonics Packaging, Tyndall National Institute; professor Paul Townsend, head of photonics at Tyndall National Institute and research professor in the Department of Physics, UCC. “This will support more than 800 talented scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help to create the jobs we need,” Bruton said. The Irish Photonic Integration Research Centre (I-PIC) will be located at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork (UCC) in Cork City. UCC will lead four of the seven centers, co-lead a fifth and partner the remaining two. Professor Paul Townsend, head of photonics at Tyndall and research professor in the university’s physics department, is the principal investigator for I-PIC. Others on the I-PIC team include: • Liam Barry, associate dean of research, faculty of Engineering & Computing, Dublin City University (DCU). • Dr. Frank Peters, researcher/lecturer, Tyndall National Institute. • Dr. Emanuele Pelucchi, senior research fellow, Tyndall National Institute. • Brian Corbett, head of the III-V Material and Devices Group, Tyndall National Institute. • Dr. Guillaume Huyet, head of Center for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis, and senior lecturer, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). • Dr. Peter O’Brien, principal investigator, photonics packaging, Tyndall National Institute. • Eoin P. O’Reilly, head of Theory, Modeling and Design Center and head of photonics theory, Tyndall National Institute. • Colette McDonagh, head of school, DCU. • Dmitri Papkovsky, biochemistry professor, UCC. The goals of the center will be to provide technological solutions via photonic integration to enable continued growth of the Internet and to bring advanced photonics into new application areas such as point-of-care diagnostics, and minimally invasive patient monitoring and screening procedures. “Photonics is an enabling technology that underpins a wide range of application areas. The European photonics market alone is worth €58 billion and is estimated to impact 10 percent of the European economy,” said Dr. Kieran Drain, Tyndall National Institute CEO. “This award will allow us to further extend our world-class platform to meet the challenges as defined by the initial 16 industry partners in the center.” “The Irish Photonic Integration Center brings together internationally recognized Irish research capabilities in photonics and biomedical science and 16 industry partners, many of whom are indigenous SMEs. The center will address major scientific and technological challenges confronting these industries by working in close partnership with them within world-class facilities to develop and apply new integrated photonic solutions,” Townsend said.