Funding will see researchers working with Sanofi, and Irish Injured Jockeys

Health Science
Pictured far right at the Irish Research Council funding announcement is WIT researchers Arthur Dunne and Ashutosh Sharma

Pictured far right at the Irish Research Council funding announcement is WIT researchers Arthur Dunne and Ashutosh Sharma

Two research projects ‘bone health and safety and well-being of jockeys’, and ‘stabilization of biopharmaceuticals for parenteral use’ awarded funding

Researchers at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have had success in creating new linkages to enterprises through Irish Research Council funding.

The €48,000 investment from the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme in the two research projects allows researchers work in close collaboration with partner enterprises Sanofi and Irish Injured Jockeys throughout the duration of their studies.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD announced on 17 August 2020 an investment of €4.3 million in 50 enterprise-focused research awards under the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

The awards will cover a broad range of topics including the areas of health, food production, law, agriculture and heritage.

The two WIT projects awarded funding are:


Dr Mark White, VP Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies at Waterford Institute of Technology welcomed this great achievement of three successful Irish Research Council Awards, stating “We value ourselves here in WIT with competing for and delivering high quality, relevant and impactful research projects for our community. Through schemes like the IRC Enterprise Partnership Schemes WIT creates linkages and partnerships with enterprises which are invaluable to embedding our research into the region. Receiving such prestigious awards reminds us and the higher education sector that WIT is ready to start our journey towards becoming the Technological University of the South East.”

Irish Injured Jockey Fund

The development and implementation of novel strategies to promote bone health and body composition for the safety and well-being of jockeys research is in partnership with the Irish Injured Jockey Fund. Arthur Dunne will work under the supervision of Dr SarahJane Cullen (WIT), Dr Giles Warrington (UL) and Dr Michael Harrison (WIT). This work aims to develop and implement novel strategies to promote bone health and body composition for the safety and well-being of jockeys.


Novel Process Strategies for the Stabilization of Biopharmaceuticals for Parenteral Use is in partnership with Sanofi and will see researcher Ashutosh Sharma focus on assessing novel processing technologies and their relevance to the commercial biopharmaceutical products that have never been studied before. The potential impact of these novel technologies will significantly reduce time, energy and costs associated with the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.

Harris outlines importance of promoting research

Announcing the investment, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to announce funding for 50 research and innovation projects as part of the 2020 Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme. This scheme provides a valuable opportunity for enterprise and employers to access research talent and expertise within Ireland’s higher education system.

“The research will cover a broad range of areas, including sexual violence, the delivery of healthcare, how we produce better dairy products, the impact of jellyfish blooms on salmon aquaculture in Ireland, and how we improve bone health in jockeys.

“We must continue to promote Irish research and offer our researchers every opportunity and every support. We must continue to support this type of engagement to attract foreign direct investment into our knowledge economy, to assist indigenous SMEs and NGOs to innovate.”

Dynamic research opportunity

The Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, added: “The Council has a long history of supporting early career researchers across all disciplines, and the Enterprise Partnership Scheme is a keystone of this ongoing mission. By bridging research, industry and enterprise, this programme gives participating scholars and fellows a dynamic research opportunity, allowing them to gain experience of working on a project with enterprise impact and innovation potential, and providing insight into career paths beyond academia. The Council wishes the new awardees and their partners every success with their projects.”

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