Working with academic researchers

SFI specialises in addressing companies’ needs through our support of researchers in Ireland’s higher education institutions.  We play a complementary role to that of our sister agencies IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in assisting foreign and indigenous industry. SFI supports industry collaborations by providing researchers with funding, linking researchers and companies that are working on relevant projects and providing the supportive environment that’s so essential for collaborative work.


Technology Transfer & Intellectual Property (IP) Considerations

IP should be managed according to the policies set out in the National IP Protocol.

Connecting with the right researchers

The first step to forming fruitful partnerships for your business is finding the right researcher. The Enterprise team is happy to put you in touch with researchers with the relevant expertise for your needs.

SFI Research Centres:

The world-leading SFI Research Centres link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry. These partnerships address crucial research questions, foster the development of new and existing companies to create innovative products leading to job creation, and expand educational and career opportunities in Ireland in science and engineering. Projects can be formed with a single research centre or across a number of relevant centres. To find a centre relevant to your needs take a look through all SFI Research Centres.

KTI Find a Research Partner:

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) four tools to assist you in locating expertise in Irish HEIs (Universities and Institutes of Technology) to work with you.  To find a researcher appropriate to your needs see Knowledge Transfer Ireland.

Alternatively, over 2000 SFI funded researchers (past and present) can be identified through the SFI Researcher Database.

Finding the right funding programme for you

Science Foundation Ireland has a range of funding programmes that suit industry-informed research and industry-academic interactions at a number of levels, ranging from seeding an initial engagement with an academic group to large scale collaborative research endeavours.

  • The SFI Industry Fellowship programme supports a post-doctoral researcher or academic member of staff in an Irish Research Body to spend time in industry, or an industrial researcher to spend time in academia for up to a year (2 years if part time).
  • The SFI Spokes Programme enables the addition of new industrial and academic partners and projects to a SFI Research Centre, allowing the Centre to expand and develop in line with new priorities and opportunities.
  • The SFI Strategic Partnerships Programme funds strategic opportunities within all areas covered by SFI’s legal remit where significant co-funding from a company, collection of companies, funding agency, charity, philanthropic organization or Higher Education Institute is available.
  • The SFI-Pfizer Biotherapeutics Innovation Award Programme


In line with other international funding agencies, SFI has adopted the following definition of Impact, recognising it as the “the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy”. Further insights into SFI’s impact framework and the objectives of SFI’s impact assessment can be found at SFI Research Impact.

Read about the latest SFI funded Research News.

Useful documents

Other useful links