The Centres for Science Engineering and Technology (CSETs) are large centres (typically 100-200 research staff) operating in a number of areas, such as software, nano-technology, telecommunications, medical devices and life sciences. To date, SFI has funded nine CSETs.

The CSETs have, as one of their objectives, the goal of fostering industry-academic collaboration, through joint projects, providing partner companies the opportunity to access University researchers and research facilities. All CSETs have a number of industry partners, who help to shape the research agenda of the centre, and who can benefit from the commercialization of the technology that is subsequently developed.

Membership of a CSET typically entitles the industry partner company to access to existing technology and IP, access to research staff and facilities, work on joint projects and early access to newly developed technology and IP.

The key objectives of the CSET Programme are:

  • create centres formed by clusters of internationally competitive researchers from the third-level sector and industry, particularly Irish-based industry;
  • support excellence in research and education as measured by international merit review;
  • exploit opportunities in science, engineering, and technology where the complexity of the research agenda requires the advantages of scope, scale, dynamism, synergy, duration, equipment, and facilities that a centre can provide;
  • promote organisational connections and linkages within and among campuses, industry, other research bodies, private-sector research laboratories, and international collaborators;
  • support frontier investigations across disciplines that underpin biotechnology, information and communications technology, or both, and that are essential to the development and competitiveness of Ireland’s industrial base;
  • engage the intellectual talent within Ireland in conducting advanced research and education activities;
  • foster science and engineering in service to society, especially in research areas that promise to create new technologies.

TYPES OF ACTIVITIES: Joint industry-academic research projects in areas including:

  • software engineering;
  • semantic web and web technologies;
  • localisation, translation and personalization;
  • content management;
  • sensors and sensor networks;
  • nano-technology and bio-nano-technology;
  • bio-medical diagnostics;
  • digestive health;
  • functional foods;
  • systems biology.

ELIGIBILITY: The CSETs themselves are research centres hosted in universities. However, all companies, large or small, are eligible to become partners with the relevant CSET in their area of operations.

FUNDING: Each SFI CSET typically receives annual funding in the region of €3,000,000. While companies cannot apply for that funding directly, they can collaborate with one or more CSETs in their area of operation, and leverage the research excellence within that CSET. Typically, partner companies are encouraged to allocate one or more staff to joint projects.