News & Events

Minister Humphreys announces €1.8 million investment in 23 new Science Foundation Ireland Industry Fellowships

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD today announced €1.8 million in funding to support the latest round of SFI Industry Fellowship Programme awards. The Industry Fellowship Programme, which is funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and awarded through Science Foundation Ireland, will see 23 researchers from the 2017 Programme call, take up temporary placements in industry. The placements – ranging from 2-24 months – have proven a great success, with over 130 industry partnerships to date.

Congratulating the awardees, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “Collaboration with industry is a key objective of “Innovation 2020”. Ireland has a highly skilled workforce driving our knowledge economy and programmes such as the SFI Industry Fellowship provide a vital platform for the flow of talent and expertise between our academic institutions and the corporate world. Industry partners benefit from access to leading edge technology within Irish academic institutions and our research community gains first-hand knowledge of research in a commercial setting.”

The SFI Industry Fellowship Programme offers researchers from academia the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the commercial working environment; the cultural differences, and industrial approach to project management. For industry researchers entering academic institutions, they can benefit from access to highly specialised equipment and the deep repository of knowledge and insight within the academic community.

Dr Ciarán Seoighe, Deputy Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, added: “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support the ongoing collaborative framework provided by the Industry Fellowship Programme. The Irish higher education institutions are an excellent source of highly skilled individuals, with nearly a third of PhD students and Postdocs departing to industry as a first destination. The Industry Fellowship Programme is an ideal conduit for industry partners to grow their talent base and stimulate excellence through knowledge exchange and training.”

Discussing his participation in the Industry Fellowship Programme, Dr Sibu Padmanabhan said; "I am looking forward to the year ahead with Versatile Packaging. My research will focus on developing an antimicrobial coating process for food packaging, to ensure safety, reduce food waste and in turn support sustainable food development. The SFI Industry Fellowship Programme has enabled me to connect with a relevant industry partner in Versatile Packaging, where access to real world expertise and high throughput processing technology will be a huge benefit to my research.”

The 23 projects supported by funding announced today cover a range of topics, including; renewable energy; cancer research; medical devices; environmental sensors; and materials science. These projects are supported by 20 industry partners ranging from Irish start-ups and SMEs to large MNCs.

“Versatile Packing is an Irish SME with a relentless focus on continuous improvement and a passion for providing unparalleled packaging solutions using leading edge technologies, so for us, the SFI Industry Fellowship Programme offers a fantastic opportunity to link into the latest research taking place in Irish Universities and bring some new ideas and perspectives in-house. We are very excited to have Sibu join our team, his project fits in very well with the company’s portfolio and having him on board allows us to explore new, more speculative product ideas using the latest in materials innovation.” Richard Mulligan, Director, Versatile Packaging, Monaghan.


For further media information contact: 

Science Foundation Ireland

Donna McCabe

01 607 3042 / 087 675 6845

About Science Foundation Ireland 

Science Foundation Ireland funds oriented basic and applied research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) which promotes and assists the development and competitiveness of industry, enterprise and employment in Ireland. The Foundation also promotes and supports the study of, and engagement with STEM, and promotes an awareness and understanding of the value of STEM to society and in particular to the growth of the economy.  See

Science Foundation Ireland has launched the #BelieveInScience campaign to promote the potential that science and discovery offer Ireland, today and in tomorrow’s world. The #BelieveInScience campaign will see Science Foundation Ireland work in partnership with the Irish research community to share a mutual passion for science with the public; to promote an understanding of the ability of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to create positive change in the world and to drive a sustainable economy in Ireland.




Host   Institution

Proposal   Title

James McGrath


Secondary   Exposure to Aerosol Emitted During Respiratory Therapy

Aleksandra   Kaszubowska-Anandarajah


Comb-Based   Integrated THz transmitter - COMBINE

Declan Byrne


Modelling of   low inertia grid systems with the objective of maximizing renewable energy

Janina   Berghoff


Deciphering   the most clinically and biologically relevant circulating tumour cells (CTCs)   in cancer metastasis.

Debra Higgins


Extending the   Clinical Utility of OncoMasTR via Technology Transitioning and Cross-Cancer   Approach

Rachel   Gleeson


Process and   System Development for Chipscale Energy Harvesting

Sibu   Padmanabhan


Optimization   of a pilot plant dip coating process for manufacturing antimicrobial polymer film-based   food packaging materials and product validation

Tatiana   Stefanov*


Advanced   Catheter Development

Shaun Mills


To enhance   the capability and reliability of pressure sensors used in harsh environment   applications

Naveen Balla


Understanding   Thermal Interfacial Resistance using Time Domain ThermoReflectance

Isaac Tobin


Lean   Engineering of Next Generation Cell Imaging Microscopes: Soft X-ray Optical   Feedback Stabilising Sub 5 µm Sources

Francesca   Bottacini


Development   of a biocomputing platform to screen bifidobacteria for the food industry

Daithi De   Faoite


Thermal   Control Coatings for Space and Terrestrial Applications

Zohreh   ​Pourzolfaghar


Enhancement   of the Skills to Utilise BIM technology to Improve Information Sharing in   Building Projects

Atif Madi


Optimisation   of the Downstream Formulation and Processing of Spray Dried Amorphous Solid   Dispersion (ASD) Powders

Carlo   Galiotto


An   Alternative RAN Architecture to Perfect the Connected World

Abdollah   Malekjafarian


Dynamic   soil-structure interaction modelling for the optimisation of offshore wind   turbines

Sofiane   Zemouri


Using   Software Defined Networks to unleash the power of Edge Computing for   Connected Vehicles

Mohammad Reza   Ghaani


Exploration   of COValEnt inhibitoRs vIa Tight-binding molecular simulation (COVER IT)

Kate Smith


Novel passive   thermal management solutions for small-scale electronics cooling

Paul O'Callaghan


Payment for   Ecosystem Services Schemes, from Theory to Policy and Practice

David   MacManus*


Development   of an experimental multiscale preclinical model for lipohypertrophy using an   in vitro cell scratch assay and an ex vivo intra-tissue perfusion model

Magdalena   Hajdukiewicz


The influence   of structural design on the environmental and energy performance of   non-residential buildings