International funding manager Dr Martina Prendergast will lead the ambitious research funding goals of Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for software, based in University of Limerick.
Lero’s research spans a wide range of application domains from driverless cars to artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, esports, fintech, govtech, smart communities, agtech and healthtech.
She joins from UL’s research office, where she worked predominantly covering the environment, marine and energy remit, while also providing training on grant proposal writing to researchers.
The Galway native and NUIG graduate will target funding from international sources, including the EU to bolster exchequer funding channelled through SFI and from industry partners.
She said: “I have come to know Lero research and many of its researchers well over recent years. Lero has a defined vision for research excellence and impact, as well as a strong record of academic research performance. It also has a strong tradition of engagement with industry.”
Lero brings together expert software teams from universities and institutes of technology across Ireland in a co-ordinated centre of research excellence with a strong industry focus.
Lero general manager, Joe Gibbs, said that Dr Prendergast will be a major asset as the centre seeks to boost its levels of international funding.
“Martina brings extensive funding experience to the Centre, having worked in strategic funding and research support roles in NUIG and UL,” he said. “In her new role, she will support Lero’s researchers in the pursuit of funding applications for Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, ESA and other non-Irish Exchequer opportunities as well as helping to identify potential future philanthropic sources of funding for the centre.”
Dr Prendergast holds a PhD in Clinical Microbiology from NUIG. Since 2016, she has worked as a research officer in the research office in UL.
She was also strategic development manager of the Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy research at NUIG, driving the academic and technical development of the Institute.