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Teagasc ranks 5th among research organisations in Europe

Teagasc secured €3.7 million funding for research from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme in 2019. In comparison with all other research organisations and universities across Europe, Teagasc is ranked 5th in terms of number of projects awarded in the agri-food stream of European funding since Horizon 2020 began in 2014.

Teagasc ranks 5th among research organisations in Europe

Horizon 2020 is the European Commission’s research funding programme which runs from 2014 to 2020.  In 2014, Teagasc set a target of securing €19 million from Horizon 2020.  This has already been exceeded, with €25.3 million secured so far, and more funding expected over the coming months.

Commenting on the news, Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, said: “European funding is a very important measure of success for Teagasc.  It shows that we perform on a par with the best research organisations across Europe despite our small size relative to research organisations of many other European countries.  Our contribution to the European research agenda matches the important contribution we are making to the national science and research agenda.  Collaboration with European colleagues will be a key part of Teagasc’s contribution to the research required by the new European Strategies on Farm-to-Fork and Biodiversity.”

Teagasc funding success is based on a solid foundation of high quality research published in international peer reviewed journals.  Teagasc is the biggest publisher of agriculture and food science in Ireland, and published 611 peer reviewed articles in 2019, its’ highest ever number.  Nearly all Teagasc research (92%) is carried out in collaboration with other national and international research organisations such as Irish universities and Institutes of Technology, with 49% of publications having partners from international universities or research organisations. This reflects the strong international standing of Teagasc. The investment of the Irish Government, through direct funding to Teagasc and competitive funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Science Foundation Ireland and other funding agencies, has helped Teagasc to build a strong scientific base and it is this that allows it to compete so successfully at a European level.

Professor Frank O’Mara, Director of Research at Teagasc said: “Many important and exciting projects have been funded in 2019, and of particular significance in this era of climate change is the €80 million European Joint Programme on soils.  We look forward to working with other European countries to drive on the research agenda in relation to soil carbon sequestration. Achieving impact from excellent research is our goal and examples of recent impacts are science based changes to regulations around fertilisers and water quality, the Marginal Abatement Cost Curves for greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions, our contribution to the continued improvement of the genetic merit of the national dairy herd as measured by the Economic Breeding Index, and the improved management of our grassland resources through the Teagasc PastureBase Ireland decision support system”.