An investment of €7.9m in 80 research projects has been announced under the Irish Research Council's (IRC) enterprise programmes.

The IRC partners with around 70 organisations every year, ranging from multinational corporations to SMEs, public-sector agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), under its Enterprise Partnership Schemes and Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme.

Through these co-funded programmes, postgraduate or postdoctoral researchers develop new, advanced knowledge and skills linked with industry and employer needs.

The programmes train early-career researchers for the diversity of employment opportunities in industry, the public sector and the non-government sectors.

For enterprise and employers, the schemes provide a low-risk, flexible route to research collaboration and identifying new talent for innovation.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris said that talent and innovation are key priorities of his department and will be increasingly important to build a sustainable 21st century economy.

"This investment will further boost the skills and knowledge pipeline for innovation in industry and employers," he said.

He added that he was delighted to see both multinational companies and indigenous industry reflected in this year's enterprise awards.

Among the researchers awarded funding under the IRC’s enterprise schemes this year are Soumyadipta Kundu, registered with NUI Galway, and who is based with ONK Therapeutics and will be conducting research in the area of lymphoma cells.

Lucy Costelloe, registered with the University of Limerick and based with TicketSolve, will research how models from the business sector can inform strategies for non-profits in times of crisis.

Beatrice Olayiwola, registered with IT Carlow and based with TheraDep, will conduct research on the deposition of antibiotic layers on implant surface and bacterial biofilms.

Douglas Carton, registered with University College Dublin and based with MíNAN Technologies, will start a research project on the development of a microfluidic nanoparticle synthesis device.

Jen Balfe, based with RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, will conduct a study of the experience of fertility and maternity care for people with cystic fibrosis, supported by Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.