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Press Release

Press release

New Research Funding Partnership with Wellcome Trust

29 September 2010

Ministers welcome joint funding deal boost for pioneering biomedical research. Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., and Minister for Labour Affairs and Public Service Transformation, Dara Calleary T.D., have welcomed the announcement today of a partnership agreement between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Health Research Board (HRB), with the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the UK.

The new SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Partnership will mean that the prestigious Wellcome Trust will jointly fund biomedical researchers in Ireland with Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board.

Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D. described the forging of the new arrangement as 'a significant occasion for health research in Ireland'. She added 'Vibrant health research is critical to how we generate new ways to care for patients, advance the delivery of our health services, and contribute to our economic development.  This agreement will add to the international standing of Ireland in health research and increase our attractiveness as a location for research and development in biomedical and lifesciences.  Today's strategic partnership with the Wellcome Trust represents a significant boost for the entire spectrum of Irish health research'.

Speaking at the announcement of the new partnership, Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said:

'We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board. By working together, our joint funding will support the best scientists and clinical researchers in Ireland, ensuring that biomedicine in the country remains globally competitive'.

Commenting on the importance of the agreement, Minister for Labour Affairs & Public Service Transformation, Dara Calleary T.D., said

'For Ireland's smart economy to properly manifest itself in our day-to-day lives, excellence in science, health and engineering R&D must be identified and given every opportunity to progress and prosper. The signing of this collaborative funding deal is a major endorsement of Ireland's research potential, and will greatly assist its connectivity with the international research community and, particularly, its engagement with the commercial sector, both here and abroad'.

The announcement of the agreement was also attended by Prof Pat Fottrell, Chairperson, Science Foundation Ireland, Dr Stephen Simpson, Director of Life Sciences at Science Foundation and Mr Enda Connolly, CEO of the Health Research Board.  

Ends.

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests. www.wellcome.ac.uk

For more information contact:
Gillian Markey, Communications Manager
Health Research Board
m 00353 87 2288514
t 00353 1 2345103
e gmarkey(at)hrb.ie

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