20 specialist researchers are to get the opportunity to work directly with industry, and a similar number of companies are to benefit from the expertise of Irish scientists.

This is part of new industry-academia partnerships, announced by Science Foundation Ireland today. 

The €1.7m Industry Fellowship Programme aims to increase collaboration levels between industry and academia here. 

Some of the the projects to be supported by the venture include new technology to improve the capacity of the electricity network to take on renewable power and new technology to enable industry to map the sea bed affordably using remote sensing techniques. 

The programme will see the 20 fellows work directly with particular companies to develop solutions to problems that the businesses are grappling with. The hope is that by collaborating together, the companies and the researchers can turn the projects into commercial ideas which will lead to the creation of jobs. 

The fellowships are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland. 

This is the first time the programme has taken place. Companies participating include Bell Labs Ireland, ESB Networks, IBM, Intel Ireland, Orbsen Therapeutics, TreeMetrics, AstraZeneca, AMGEN and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.