Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Willie O’Dea TD has called on the Taoiseach to address the “growing concern that his government has little commitment to protecting the enormous strides made in University research in the last decade.”

Deputy O’Dea said: “The Taoiseach opened a €40m facility at NUIG today, another fantastic piece of infrastructure supported by Fianna Fáil in Government.  However during the last four months the Taoiseach and ministers have launched a series of centres and facilities which won funding before the election but have yet to make a single statement supporting the four-year research commitment outlined in the last Budget.”

“There are worrying signs that budgets for basic research will be cut in favour of more applied schemes.  This move would be like trying to build an extra storey on a house by taking out the foundation.”

Deputy O’Dea said: “The reason why 50% of all IDA projects are in the research area is because of the combination of both basic and applied research schemes which were developed by the last government.  Universities are producing the people and the ideas which underpin thousands of jobs and the government needs to end its four month silence and give a clear commitment to sustaining current programmes.”

Deputy O’Dea concluded: “The current uncertainty is causing damage to recruitment to research teams and will undermine the huge contribution which research could make in economic renewal.”