Science Foundation Ireland is to invest €4.7m in a new research centre, to be known as the Financial Mathematics and Computation Cluster (FMC). SFI distributes research funding on behalf of the Government.

SFI says the cluster will create 'a centre of financial research excellence' by bringing together experts in financial mathematics, financial economics and computer science. The research will initially concentrate on the development of theory and methods for managing assets.

Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Mary Coughlan said Dublin's International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) generated around €22 billion a year in services exports.

She said the establishment of the new research centre built on this, and also dispelled 'any notion that scientific research and investment is primarily theoretical and somewhat removed from the day-to-day economic activity of our country'.

The FMC is led by Professor Anthony Brabazon of University College Dublin (UCD) and will involve collaboration with researchers in Dublin City University, NUI Maynooth, University of Ulster, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Columbia University, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Industry partners involved with the project so far are Pioneer Investments, Ryan Capital Ltd and The Institute of Bankers in Ireland.

SFI director-general Professor Frank Gannon said the research would focus on three areas - risk, information and liquidity.