THE Government is rolling out the largest ever joint fund for research, paid for by both the taxpayer and the private sector.
The €300m package will be invested in seven research centres, described as "world class", over six years.
University College Cork will be the big winner from the funding pot, taking the lead on four of the projects, jointly leading a fifth and involved in two others.
The research areas include:
• "Big Data" technology around the storage of information on the internet.
• Marine renewable energy from wave, tidal and floating wind devices.
• Food research aimed at disease prevention and healthy ageing.
• Nanotechnology and engineered materials in information technology, industrial technology and medical devices and delivery systems.
• Generating, manipulating and using light for networks, communications systems and medical devices.
• Fast-tracking discoveries on complications of pregnancy and newborn babies.
• New mechanisms and better control processes to produce new and improved drug formulations and safe medicines.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the announcement "will lead to the establishment of world-class centres of research excellence and scale, which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research".