Written Answers. - Research Funding.

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

171 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science further to the December 2001 announcement of ?34.4 million under the higher education authority's PRTLI Cycle for the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology, including ?6 million for equipment and ?12.5 million for a specialist building, the reason for the delay in releasing this funding; if this funding will be made available without further delay in view of the fact that the NICB scientists are now left without equipment or laboratory facilities necessary for their research; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19194/03]

Joan Burton

Ceist:

172 Ms Burton asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has received a proposal from the Higher Education Authority to enable it to seek a private loan for the funding of scientific research, such as the National Institute of Cellular Biology at DCU for which funding was announced in 2001 but not yet allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19419/03]

John Cregan

Ceist:

173 Mr. Cregan asked the Minister for Education and Science the situation in relation to the aim and commitment to provide world class centres for research in biotechnology; if he will report on the provision and availability of ?34.4 million funding to develop NICB, as announced in 2001 under the HEA's PRTLI Cycle 3, including resources for equipment and specialist building; the reason this has not gone ahead; the reason other innovative solutions to take out loans with interest payments paid by a private source have not been approved; the reason action to assist world class centres is so lacking; and if immediate progress can now be made in this regard. [19514/03]

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

181 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology and to the delays in delivering on the development programme announced in December 2001; if he has received proposals from the Higher Education Authority to overcome the funding delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19037/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 171, 172, 173 and 181 together.

The National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology at Dublin City University was awarded funding under Cycle 3 of the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) in December 2001. I have announced a pause in all capital developments in the third level sector, including capital projects under Cycle 3 of the PRTLI, pending clarification of the future funding position. My Department received proposals from the Higher Education Authority in relation to a particular funding mechanism and these are being examined by my Department.