Research to help deliver a low carbon, sustainable and healthy future – EPA announces €12.2 million Government of Ireland funding for environmental research

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced awards totalling €12.2 million to fund new environmental research projects. The EPA environmental research programme is a Government of Ireland initiative, funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

The new EPA research projects funded will address a wide range of topics, including:

  • Implementation of the Climate National Mitigation Plan and Adaptation Framework;
  • Implementation of the River Basin Management Plans;
  • Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Ireland;
  • Antibiotic resistance;
  • Plastics use;
  • Natural capital accounting;
  • Peatlands management;
  • Habitats drone mapping

Commenting on the announcement, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton T.D. said,

“I am currently developing an all of government plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. We must step up our response and make decisions now, which will see our natural environment protected and indeed thriving for future generations. Today’s announcement of €12.2million government funding, in research across the areas of climate, water, sustainability and green enterprise will drive the discovery of better, more innovative solutions to managing our environment effectively.”

Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA, said,

“Our environment impacts on our health and wellbeing – we know this and the science proves it.  We live better, healthier lives when our environment is valued and protected. As such, the EPA is pleased to announce awards totalling €12.2 million to fund new environmental research projects.

“The outputs from these projects will provide the foundation and evidence base for credible environmental decision-making into the future. As the issue of climate change becomes ever more pressing, there is an urgent need to find sustainable and low-carbon solutions to environmental pressures. To this end, the EPA works closely with other agencies to co-fund projects and prioritise research in areas such as climate change, water quality, agriculture and energy.”

Dr Alice Wemaere, EPA Research Manager, added,

“In our 2018 Call, researchers were invited to respond to specific topics as well as to propose their own ideas for relevant and innovative research. This resulted in a higher number of proposals received this year. The most promising projects have now been given the go-ahead and awarded funding. We very much look forward to seeing the researchers’ findings and their solutions to pressing environmental issues over the course of the next two and three years and will ensure that they are widely shared for implementation.”

Dr Wemaere also explained that the EPA again supported researchers in drawing down EU funding:

“In 2018, the EPA supported Irish environmental researchers in securing over €2.6 million in EU Horizon 2020 funding. This funding is for environmental research in areas embracing climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.”

Details on the 2018 EPA awards are available at:

http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/epafunding/researchawards/

Environmental research
The EPA is currently undertaking a consultation process about its 2019 Research Calls, which are due to be announced in April 2019.
Primary funding for the EPA-managed Environmental Research Programme is provided by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

Funding awarded in 2018

Examples include the following:

  • 52 new projects via the Annual 2018 Research Calls.  These were awarded on the following topics: Water (14), Climate (18), Green Enterprise (3) and Sustainability (17);
  • 6 new PhDs under the Irish Research Council-EPA Scholarship Scheme;
  • 4 Co-funded PhDs under the 2018 Pilot EPA 50:50 Cofunded Scholarship Scheme; and
  • Co- funding of three Fulbright-EPA awards and one transnational project under the 2017 BiodivERsA Joint Call.

Co-funding of environmental projects managed under the EPA Research Programme was provided by the following bodies: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM); Department of Transport, Tourisms and Sport (DTTAS), Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI), Met Éireann (ME) and the Marine Institute (MI), Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI); Southern Waste Region (SWR), ERP Ireland and WEEE Ireland; National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS); and Office of Public Works (OPW).

Applying under EPA Research Calls

EPA Research Calls are open to all types of organisations, within and outside Ireland. To apply for EPA funding, researchers must be registered on the EPA’s online Grant Application and project Management system. Research Proposals must be submitted in response to one of the topics included in the Call Descriptions. Further details about the EPA Research Programme are available on the EPA website at

http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/

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