I have secured increased funding for the National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration (RDD) programme under the National Development Programme. This will see funding for the 2021 call for project proposals increase to €19.8 million over the period 2021 to 2025.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administer the RDD programme on behalf of my department.
The overarching objectives of this programme are to:
- Accelerate the development and deployment in the Irish marketplace of competitive energy-related products, processes and systems,
- Support solutions that enable technical and other barriers to market uptake to be overcome,
- Grow Ireland's national capacity to access, develop and apply international class RD&D,
- Provide guidance and support to policy makers and public bodies through results, outcomes and learning from supported energy projects.
The RDD programme seeks to support research into a wide range of energy related topics, as evidenced by the 25 different themes set out in the call documents, which are published on the SEAI website.
The RDD programme continues to attract growing interest from the energy research sector, with a 45% increase in the number of applicants for this year’s call-in comparison to the 2019 call. The applicants are drawn from the academic and industrial sectors, demonstrating the wide appeal of this programme.
My department, in conjunction with SEAI, leads and coordinates national engagement with the development of the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and supports the participation of Irish researchers in this initiative.