The Government has announced €200m worth of State funding for seven scientific research projects.

The money will be spent over the next six years and will be combined with €100m from private industry.

The Government hopes it will raise the profile of academic research here and help in attracting foreign investment.

The package is the largest ever state/industry co-funded research investment here.

It will be overseen by Minister of State Sean Sherlock and Science Foundation Ireland.

The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review.

Among the research activities funded are: marine renewable energy, nanotechnology, food for health and functional foods, photonics, perinatal translational research, drug synthesis and crystallisation and ''Big Data''.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said the funding will support more than 800 scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help create jobs.

''Today's announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game changers for Irish scientific research,'' he said.