Almost €30 million in funding for scientific research equipment and facilities has been announced by the Government.

Among the 21 projects to receive money from the Science Foundation Ireland Infrastructure Awards are a new radio telescope in Birr, Co Offaly as part of a €150m Low Frequency Array network of radio telescopes across Europe, with a grant of €1.4m.

€1.8m is to be given to the CONNECT centre to spend on a new Ireland-wide wireless network to support research into the so-called Internet-of-Things, which is devices and machines connected to each other via the internet.

The AMBER materials science centre, based at Trinity College Dublin, is to receive €3.3m for equipment to manufacture prototype and customised products.

Meanwhile, the MAREI centre based at UCC will get funding to build the most advanced small scale model testing capability in the world for next generation marine renewable energy systems.

The winning projects were chosen through a competitive process and following rigorous international review.

Announcing the grants, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said the equipment and facilities would help address major research opportunities and challenges and would ensure Irish researchers continue to be internationally competitive.

Mr Bruton added: "By investing in world-class R&D infrastructure, both at a regional and national level, this will ensure that we can compete at the highest levels internationally and continue to turn more good ideas into good jobs."