Dáil Éireann - Volume 653 - 08 May, 2008

Written Answers. - Research Funding.

Deputy Liz McManus asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made in regard to the commitment given in the programme for Government to amend the remit of Science Foundation Ireland to include a third research pillar in the area of sustainable energy and energy efficient technologies. [17931/08]

  Deputy Mary Coughlan: On 6th May 2008 new Regulations to amend the remit of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to include sustainable energy and energy-efficient technologies were signed into law. The Regulations (SI No 134 /2008) are in fulfilment of the commitment in the Programme for Government 2007-2012 to amend the remit of SFI to include a third research pillar in these areas.

The Regulations prescribe sustainable energy and energy-efficient technologies as strategic areas of scientific endeavour in addition to the areas of ICT and biotechnology specified in section 7(3) of the Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Act 2003. The signing into law of these regulations will allow SFI to build a world-class research capacity in these areas and will provide a solid basis to address Ireland’s challenges in the sustainable energy field.

The Regulations follow the agreement between myself and my colleague, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to combine resources and to target a world-[1170] class research capacity investment through SFI of €90 million in these areas, over the period to 2013, details of which I announced at the Energy Summit held in March this year.