The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has announced a call for marine research projects relating to Food Innovation, Food Processing Technologies and Food for Health. Researchers in higher education institutions and research institutions and on the island of Ireland are invited to submit proposals under the Food Industry Research Measure (FIRM) in an initiative jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Marine Institute.
The recent announcement by DAFM for research proposals under the Food Industry Research Measure (FIRM) reflects the importance of maximising Ireland’s potential to exploit the commercial potential of our natural resources. In a continuation of collaboration between DAFM and the Marine Institute to co-fund strategic research, this FIRM programme includes a dedicated call for marine origin foods research; seeking to build on the investment made by both parties to the marine functional foods research initiative - NutraMara.
Ireland’s Research Prioritisation Exercise identified 14 strategically important research areas including Sustainable Food Production and Processing, and Food for Health. The co-funding of research in these areas by the Marine Institute and DAFM, in addition to supporting the marine foods strategic research agenda of Food Research Ireland, reflects a collaborative approach by funding agencies to support strategic research.
Food Harvest 2020 sets out a road map for growing the agri-food and fisheries sector over the next decade and sets ambitious targets for many sectors of the wider industry. The report also recognises the vital role research will play in underpinning that growth and helping to achieve the targets. Furthermore, research is viewed as a central enabling action, in support of the development of the marine economy, in the Government’s Integrated Marine Action Plan for Ireland (Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth).
The new research funded by joint FIRM-MI contributions will support Ireland’s goals to maximise the potential of the marine environment as a source of new food products and food ingredients. There is a strong expectation by the joint funders that research proposals will both build on existing projects and further develop collaboration between institutions in the area of marine foods related research. The closing date for submissions to this FIRM-MI call is 7th May, 2013. Full details of the specific research projects in this call are to be found at: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/research/call2013firmstimuluscoford/