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HomeFarming NewsOver €750,000 awarded to develop new animal feed
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Over €750,000 awarded to develop new animal feed

€762,365 in funding has been allocated to a research team to develop new additives for animal feed and manure.

Professor Vincent O’Flaherty – School of Natural Sciences – will undertake the project to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Another core objective is to get more value for manure.

It is among a number of NUI Galway projects being supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funding.

More than €6.5million is being provided to progress the studies under SFI’s Frontiers for the Future Programme announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD.

“Our research is looking at using two naturally occurring additives in animal feed, or adding them to the manure or slurry that they produce,” Professor O’Flaherty said.

“By using these, we can temporarily switch off some microbes. We can lock in gases like methane and we can ensure the animals get more nutrients from their food.”

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“About one-third of Ireland’s greenhouse emissions come from agriculture. Progressing research like this and seeing how it can be applied on farms is huge in terms of the environmental implications, cost-saving and getting the best from our animals and land.”

‘Ireland will become an innovation leader’

Commenting on the SFI funding programme, Minister Harris said: “The funding will support researchers who are already carrying out excellent work in Ireland, as well as those in the early stages of their research careers who hold incredible potential.”

“It is through investment like this that Ireland will become an innovation leader and provide solutions and opportunities for our society and economy.”

NUI Galway projects supported under the SFI Frontiers for the Future Awards:
  • Dr Aideen Ryan – School of Medicine. Research to understand how sugars that naturally coat cancer cells affect how the cancer cells grow and interact with their surroundings. If successful, the project could point to a new way to treat cancer. Award – €697,606
  • Professor Vincent O’Flaherty – School of Natural Sciences. A research team will develop new additives for animal feed and manure, to reduce agricultural greenhouse-gas emissions and get more value from manure. Award – €762,365
  • Ronan Sulpice – School of Natural Sciences. Research on how sea lettuce could be grown in coastal regions to ‘depollute’ wastewater and estuaries. Award – €478,783
  • Noel Lowndes – School of Natural Sciences. Canonical and non-canonical roles for ATR in maintenance of genomic integrity. Award – €877,338
  • Dimitrios Zeugolis – School of Engineering. Cell Assembled Tissue Engineered Remedies for Enhanced Regeneration (CATERER) Award – €998,390
  • Professor James O’Gara – School of Natural Sciences. Targeting membrane transporters to increase antibiotic susceptibility in bacterial pathogens. Award – €477,395
  • Eilís Dowd – School of Medicine. Harnessing the potential of biomaterials for improving stem cell-derived brain repair for Parkinson’s disease €459,527
  • Gerhard Schlosser – School of Natural Sciences. Cofactor-dependent functions of Eya1 in sensory neurogenesis. Award – €393,893
  • Katarzyna Goljanek-Whysall – College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Pre-clinical development of oxi-mir inhibitors for muscle wasting. Award – €475,909
  • Professor Charles Spillane – School of Natural Sciences. Harnessing haploid inducers & cyto-nuclear interactions for enhanced plant growth and heterosis effects for sustainable agriculture (CytoHeterosis). Award – €479,966
  • Dr Andrew Simpkin – School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics (along with Norma Bargary UL). Functional data Analysis for Sensor Technologies. Award – €467,569
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