Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Munster Technological University’s (MTU) CAPPA Centre Wins Funding Award in €9 Million US-Ireland Research Programme


A high-priority research project, led by Munster Technological University’s CAPPA Research Centre, in partnership with Ulster University, Virginia Tech (US) and University College Cork’s Tyndall National Institute, has beaten off stiff competition from industry experts worldwide to secure €382,567 in international funding. The research project, entitled “Strained Engineered Germanium Quantum-Well Laser on GaAs and Si for Nanoscale Photonics”, is within the areas of materials sciences, optics and photonics research.   


The funding is being awarded as part of a joint investment of €9 million, that was announced today, through a tripartite research and development partnership between the United States of America (USA), Republic of Ireland (RoI) and Northern Ireland (NI), spanning sixteen research institutions. 


In all, seven research projects in the areas of energy and sustainability, telecommunication and quantum networks, nanomaterials, optics and photonics; tissue engineering for tendon reconstruction; and sensor monitoring for water quality and peatlands, will receive funding. These research projects are expected to support more than fourteen research positions in the Republic of Ireland and ten research positions in Northern Ireland for three to five years. 


The sixteen collaborating institutions are Munster Technological University (MTU), University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), Tyndall National Institute (TNI), and Dublin City University (DCU) in the Republic of Ireland; Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and Ulster University (UU) in Northern Ireland; and University of Pennsylvania, Virginia Tech, University of Colorado Boulder, Arizona State University, Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic University in the United States. 


The funding agencies involved in the awards being announced today are Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the USA, and the Department for the Economy (DfE) in Northern Ireland. The Health Research Board (ROI), the Health & Social Care R&D Division (NI) and National Institutes of Health (USA) have also been cofounding partners in the programme.  


Dr. Tomasz Ochalski, Senior Research Fellow at Munster Technological University’s CAPPA Research Centre, who is heading up the project said: “MTU, together with Virginia Tech and Ulster University, has a great opportunity to develop modern light sources which will enable better contrast and resolution scanning of human tissues. These three research teams have unique, complimentary experiences in laser material synthesis (Prof. Mantu K Hudait, VT), structural analysis of semiconductor materials (Dr. Supriya Chakrabarti, UU) and laser processing and packaging (Dr. Tomasz Ochalski, MTU). The project will also be supported in numerical modelling of laser materials by Dr Philip Murphy from the Tyndall National Institute (TNI).” 


Michael Loftus, Vice President for External Affairs at MTU said: “Congratulations to all the researchers involved in this world-class project. This funding award is a hugely positive endorsement of the excellence of Irish research and innovation, and a strong indicator of the global impact of Munster Technological University’s research centres. The CAPPA Research Centre’s contribution to this vital project will not only elevate the impact of Ireland on the international research stage, it will also directly generate new jobs at the research centre.” 


Prof Philip Nolan, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland welcomed the announcement, saying: “I am delighted to congratulate all of the award recipients and their collaborators. These are world-class research projects, driving innovation with the potential to greatly benefit our collective societies and economies. The US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme demonstrates the strong collaborative relationship between our countries, encouraging globally-relevant scientific discovery across borders.”   


Also welcoming the announcement, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation, said: “The US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme provides a unique opportunity to advance research on a global scale. I am delighted to congratulate the awardees collaborating across the Atlantic, who are working to create future world-class technological innovations.”  


The overall goal of the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership, launched in July 2006, is to increase the level of collaborative R&D amongst researchers and industry professionals across the three jurisdictions. This unique collaboration aims to generate valuable discoveries and innovations which are transferable to the marketplace, or will lead to enhancements in health, disease prevention or healthcare. 



Trevor Cooper, Director of Higher Education in the Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland) said: “The US-Ireland R&D Partnership is playing a key role in driving forward Northern Ireland’s economic vision for a ‘10x Economy’ which champions greater collaboration and innovation to deliver a ten times better economy with benefits for all our people. ‘10x Economy’ recognises that international collaboration is a key feature of the Northern Ireland research landscape and fundamental to driving both economic impact and social advancement. This flagship trans-Atlantic partnership is crucial to delivering this vision.” 


For more information on the programme, visit



Dr. Tomasz Ochalski, Senior Research Fellow at Munster Technological University’s CAPPA Research Centre
Dr. Tomasz Ochalski - MTU CAPPA Research Centre


Dr. Supriya Chakrabarti, University of Ulster
Dr. Supriya Chakrabarti - University of Ulster


Dr Philip Murphy from the Tyndall National Institute
Dr Philip Murphy - Tyndall National Institute


Prof. Mantu K Hudait Virginia Tech
Prof. Mantu K Hudait - Virginia Tech
Get Started
Keep up to date

CAO Applicants

Please sign up if you would like to receive updates regarding our events for CAO applicants.