Professor Philip Nolan is to head a new national body on funding for research and innovation that will be created under legislation that is due to go through the Oireachtas later this year.
The Research and Innovation Bill 2023 will amalgamate the activities and functions of the Irish Research Council (IRC) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
Prof Nolan is currently the Director General of SFI, and will stay in this role until the establishment of the new agency, which is expected to begin work in January 2024.
A former president of Maynooth University, he also headed NPHET’s modelling group during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Simon Harris (Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science) said that Prof Nolan would bring “a wealth of experience and knowledge” to the role.
“This appointment marks a significant milestone in the establishment of the agency. It will allow for the operational and transitional work required to set up the agency proceed at pace, alongside the legislative process,” the minister stated.
The new agency will fund research and innovation in arts, engineering, humanities, mathematics, science, social sciences, technology and other areas.
The department says that the new legislation will place arts, humanities and social-sciences research on a statutory footing for the first time.