Submissions are now open for research institutions in Northern Ireland to apply for funding for joint projects with the United States and the Republic of Ireland that will benefit the local agri-food sector.

The ‘Research and Development Partnership’ is a tri-jurisdictional collaborative funding arrangement between The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The partnership seeks to identify opportunities to co-fund research in areas of shared strategic priority.


DAERA science advisor Dr. Alistair Carson said: “Addressing common issues with a collaborative approach has many benefits including the leverage of additional research capacity and expertise to meet the needs of the local agri-food sector.

“DAERA recognises that science has a vital role in providing our farmers and agri-food industry with a competitive edge in highly demanding markets.

“Addressing transnational issues affecting the sustainability of the agri-food sector through collaborative research creates many shared benefits for NI, ROI and the US.

This funding to local scientists, technologists and advisers will play an essential part in assisting NI farmers who face the challenges of increasingly competitive agri-food and forestry sectors.

“Sharing knowledge and resources through transnational collaboration enhances both the quality of research, and the value derived from department funding.”

With the addition of four new areas of shared strategic priority across the three jurisdictions, the 2018 US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership Call in Agriculture sees the number of areas supported more than double.

This year supported topics include:

  • Pests and beneficial species in agricultural production systems;
  • Animal nutrition, growth, and lactation;
  • Animal well-being;
  • Animal health and disease;
  • Tools and resources – animal breeding, genetics and genomics;
  • Understanding antimicrobial resistance;
  • Food manufacturing technologies.

The submission deadline to DAERA and DAFM is four weeks in advance of the stated National Institute of Food and Agriculture deadline for the respective area in the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative 2018 Foundation Competitive Grant Programme.