The Irish and British governments have announced a joint €74 million initiative to support researchers seeking to develop answers to problems posed by climate change.

The new Co-Centres programme will bring together leading academic and industrial researchers, as well as policymakers across Ireland, Britain and Northern Ireland.

It will be managed by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Stormont's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The new programme will provide for a total investment of €74m funded through DAERA (up to £17m), SFI (up to €40m) and UKRI (up to £12m).

The initiative has been announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris; UK Minister for Science and Investment Security, Nusrat Ghani; and Stormont's Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots.

The programme will open next month and will focus on two thematic areas: climate, and sustainable and resilient food systems.

Announcing the collaboration, Mr Harris said: "We have seen in recent years how important it is to invest in collaborative research and we are pleased to be able to support this ambitious new programme through the Government's Shared Island initiative.

"By working together, we can foster new research collaborations that are crucial to addressing both climate, and sustainable and resilient food systems, these are critical issues that impact on all of us."

Professor Philip Nolan, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, said the research will address major societal challenges in areas of global importance.

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots said: "I look forward to our research community responding to the call and subsequently delivering world-leading collaborative science to provide the evidence and innovation we need to enable Northern Ireland to reduce carbon emissions and biodiversity crisis in the right way; balancing climate, driving efficiency, environment and green jobs."