Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald have officially launched four new scientific research centres.

The centres, in the areas of smart manufacturing, bioeconomy, neurotherapeutics and 3D printed manufacturing, will have €74m invested in them by the Government and €40m by industry over the next six years.

Science Foundation Ireland's research centres programme aims to set up world class centres to support cutting edge basic and applied research that is backed by industry to drive economic growth and societal benefits.

These four new research hubs, selected through a competitive international peer-review process, will bring to 16 the number funded by SFI under the programme.

CONFIRM will study smart manufacturing methods, BEACON will find uses for residue left over from the processing of natural resources, FutureNeuro will develop innovative treatments for rare and chronic neurological diseases, while I-FORM will enhance the efficiency of manufacturing processing through 3D printing.

In total 17 research organisations in Ireland are collaborating in the new centres, with over 80 industry partners involved.

The investment from Government and industry will support 650 research jobs over the next six years.

But while these latest centres are good news for the research community, four more that have been approved cannot begin work because SFI lacks adequate funding to enable them to do so.