Tuesday 23 July 2019

350 new research positions to be created as part of €40m investment

Photo: Stock Image
Photo: Stock Image

Áine Kenny

AMBER, Ireland's materials science research centre, announced the creation of 350 jobs today as part of their second phase of research.

The new research positions will be created between 2019 and 2025.

This research will focus on the creation of new materials and technologies that minimize environmental impact, improve health, and build a sustainable future, according to AMBER.

AMBER stands for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research. Materials science can be described as the "the science of stuff". 

AMBER researchers look for materials that can transform everyday products like mobile phones, knee implants, batteries to beer bottles.

This new funding will expand AMBER’s remit into materials for sustainability. AMBER claim this will help to develop "Irish science to support a green revolution and play a significant part in tackling climate change and supporting the circular economy."

The Research Centre also work with industry to reduce waste and increase resource efficiency.

An example of AMBER's research is investigating sustainable biopolymers as alternatives to synthetic polymers.

Polymers are the components of every day products. An example of a synthetic polymer is nylon. Most synthetic polymers are non-biodegradable and this is why plastic, which contains many polymers, is so difficult to break down.

An example of a biopolymer would be a biodegradable plastic made from microorganisms that feed on seaweed. This is sustainable and non-polluting.

AMBER also hope to create new energy technologies and innovative materials for harvesting, delivering, and storing energy.

An example of this technology would be cost-effective thermo-electric generators or high-performing magnets for energy applications. These would reduce Ireland's reliance on fossil fuels for energy and therefore reduce environmentally damaging emissions.

AMBER's new research phase is being funded by €40 million over six years from Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Centres Programme, coupled with €77 million from cash and in-kind contributions, which AMBER will raise from industry and non-exchequer sources through their international research activities.

AMBER is headquartered at Trinity College Dublin.

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