MaREI researchers receive funding from the SFI National Challenge Fund

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today welcomed 47 new teams to compete in the €65 million National Challenge Fund – receiving initial funding totalling more than €13 million to work on solutions to major environmental and societal issues.

Congratulations to MaREI at University College Cork researchers Dr Kunwar Paritosh, Dr Archishman Bose, Dr Paul Leahy and their teams. 

Project Summary
EMERGEDr Kunwar Paritosh (MaREI centre for energy, climate and the marine at the Environmental Research Institute), Dr Archishman Bose, (MaREI centre and the School of Engineering and Architecture, UCC) and Dr James Browne (Irish Distillers Limited, Societal Impact Champion) This project will be performed in collaboration with Irish Distillers Limited, aims to develop a novel engineered bio-based functional material (pyrochar/hydrochar) from the effluent of an anaerobic digester (AD) processing distillery by-products and from used distillery barrels.
Eirblade – Dr Vesna Jaksic (lead applicant, MTU) and Dr Paul Leahy (co-lead applicant, School of Engineering and Architecture and MaREI, UCC) This project will assist in accelerating Ireland’s transition to a secure and clean energy system.


Congratulations to the UCC research teams on their National Challenge Fund awards. These awards address problems related to Ireland’s green transition and digital transformation. The interdisciplinary team approach to solving major environmental and societal issues aligns with our UCC Futures initiative to secure a better future for all.
Professor John F. Cryan
Vice President for Research and Innovation
University College Cork
SFI is very pleased with the response to the National Challenge Fund calls and we are happy to be supporting these teams as they embark on an intense period of engaged research, refining and validating their solutions. We have learnt from our previous challenge-based funding that teams can make huge strides in very short periods of time.
Philip Nolan
Director General
Science Foundation Ireland

Learn more about National Challenge Fund here.