THE Environmental Protection Agency is to invest €100 million over the next five years in a new research and innovation programme which will see more than 1,000 researchers employed to engage in cutting-edge projects which, it hopes, will greatly improve and protect the natural environment.
The new EPA Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) programme is open to researchers and companies, will support environmental policy development and implementation, and will run up until 2013.
As part of the first phase of the programme, the EPA yesterday launched the search for research proposals in the areas of:
* Environmental technologies;
* Waste, resource management and chemicals;
* Sustainable development and environmental socio-economics;
* Environment and health;
* Environmental research data management.
According to the EPA, the STRIVE programme will continue the expansion of Irish environmental research. Its success will depend on the collaboration of a range of agencies, research performers and industry partners, working together.
A combination of projects will be funded, ranging from short-desk studies to large multi-annual capability development projects involving several organisations. The programme will involve more than 1,000 researchers and industrial innovators focusing on key national and international environmental priorities.
Dr Mary Kelly, director general of the EPA, said: “The importance of research and innovation across the Irish economy is well recognised and is extremely important in the environmental area. Good quality research can provide the foundation for credible decision-making, while technology and innovation can provide solutions to environmental problems. The EPA STRIVE programme will support research and innovation in key areas of environmental importance and will help to build capacity and capability in Irish institutions as well as delivering world class results in an Irish context.”