EPA awards €10.7 million for research to support environmental protection in Ireland

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced €10.7 million of research funding for 42 research projects addressing climate change and other emerging, complex environmental problems. This funding will contribute to the delivery of high-quality research, evidence-based policy development and further build Irish environmental research capacity. The funding is an important element of the EPA 2030 Research Strategy which delivers essential scientific support for environmental policy development, implementation and broader decision making across four thematic areas:

  • Addressing climate change evidence needs,
  • Facilitating a green and circular economy,
  • Delivering a healthy environment,
  • Protecting and restoring our natural environment.

This funding will support more than 200 researchers across the higher education sector. University of Galway had the highest success rate and was awarded more than €2.3 million of funding for projects related to greenhouse gas emissions, ozone levels, radon, human biomonitoring and earth observation. University College Dublin followed with €1.9 million of funding in the areas of Strategic Environmental Assessment, extreme climatic events, peatlands, DNA-based assessment, and soil quality.Announcing the awards, Laura Burke, EPA Director General said:
“EPA-funded research delivers trusted scientific evidence to address key knowledge gaps and support environmental policy development and implementation. Environmental challenges such as climate change are complex and require an integrated, cross-sectoral approach and we are delighted to be working in partnership with a number of organisations, including the Geological Survey Ireland; the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Met Éireann, to co-fund environmental research.”The EPA places a high priority on promoting the uptake of funded research to inform policy development and implementation and to maximise the impact of research and innovation. To this end, the EPA supports and fosters linkages between the public research system and policymakers to address key environmental challenges. Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: 
“This investment by the EPA is a testament to the success of research across higher education in Ireland. It is a huge bonus to see such a high level of achievement for our researchers in University of Galway, where we lead eight of the EPA-backed projects and partner on another four. The focus of this funding on environmental research further demonstrates the drive among our researchers to collaborate for the public good and the ambition to respond to the challenges facing humanity and society, now and in the years ahead.”The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The EPA has been funding research in Ireland since 1994 and is currently funding more than 200 on-going research projects. EPA Research Calls are designed to support the development and implementation of environmental policies in Ireland. The EPA’s 2023 Research Call will open in April 2023. Details will be made available on the EPA website.
Supporting environmental policies: EPA Research Calls are designed to support the development and implementation of environmental policies in Ireland including: the Climate Action Plan; National Climate Adaption Framework; Circular Economy Action Plan and Strategy; the Biodiversity National Action Plan; the National Peatlands Strategy; the National Radon Strategy; the National Land Use Evidence Review; the National Implementation Plan for the Sustainable Development Goals; the National Boglands Restoration and Rehabilitation scheme; as well as policies in the water and air protection areas. 
2022 EPA Research CallsThe EPA Research call opened in April 2022 and closed in June 2022. In total, 77 proposals were received (giving a success rate of over 40%), with 83% of applications coming from Higher Education Institutions and Research Organisations. 
Summary of funding awarded in 2022Details about the 2022 EPA Research Awards are available on the EPA website.

Funding SchemeNumber of awardsTotal Grant Aid Committed
2022 EPA Research Call including42€10,750,732.34
Addressing Climate Change Evidence Needs13€5,864,213.76
Delivering a Healthy Environment8€2,033,395.51
Facilitating a Green and Circular Economy10€1,845,664.46
Protecting and Restoring our Natural Environment11€1,007,458.61
Other Funding Opportunitiesincluding52€3,668,390.30
2022 Innovation and Demonstration projects7€597,028.50
2022 – EPA-Irish Research Council Scholarship Scheme9€797,080.00
2022 Fulbright-EPA Awards2€26,273.04
DAFM 2022 strategic partnership1€60,000.00
Strategic partnership with the GSI (ERAMin3 Call)1€120,862.00
2022 EPA Collaborative Awards (2020/2021 BioDIVRestore Joint Transnational Call)1€146,876.76
2022 EPA Collaborative Awards (2021/2022 Biodiversa+ Joint Transnational Call)1€249,100.00
Event Support 2022 Scheme14€40,770.00
EPA-ESRI Research Framework Agreement14€1,190,000.00
EPA-IPA Research Framework Agreement2€440,400.00

Further funding: It is expected that the 2023 EPA Research Call will include open topics and will be launched in April 2023. More details available on the EPA website.

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