Published on 

Science Week 2022: Minister Heydon announces two new tillage research projects

On the occasion of Science Week 2022, Martin Heydon T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for research and development has announced funding for two tillage focused research projects, a new research dashboard, and a series of science webinars.

Running from November 13th to 20th, Science Week aims to engage the Irish public on science, to discuss and explore the possibilities that science offers, and this year has the specific theme of ‘Infinite Possibilities’. Science and research are critical to the sustainable development of the agri-food, forest, marine and bioeconomy sector.

Marking the occasion, Minister Heydon announced two projects from a European agrobiodiversity research Call that will benefit from €1m in funding: “These two projects will provide practical knowledge on how diversity can improve our agricultural systems. They will focus on improving the resilience of barley and wheat crops across the EU, two of its most important crops. 

“A central element of the Food Vision 2030 Strategy is to restore and enhance biodiversity and this investment in research I am announcing today will be an important contributor to delivering on this commitment.”

The Minister also announced the launch of a new online dashboard that offers the public access to a range of information and statistics on research being funded by the Department.

Speaking on this Minister Heydon said: “this Department is a significant funder of public-good research in Ireland, having invested over €207m since 2010. It is crucial we continue to invest in modernising and increasing the resilience of our agri-food systems. The research we fund plays a crucial role in that and it is important that it can be accessed by the public and stakeholders alike.

As part of Science Week 2022, the Minister also announced a series of webinars on projects being funded by the Department.

They include:

  • the ‘SMARTSWARD’ project assessing the use of multispecies swards for sustainable pasture-based farming;
  • four projects exploring the mitigation and monitoring of greenhouse gases from agriculture;
  • and two projects on the National Adult Food Consumption Survey and dietary guidelines for sustainable and healthy eating.

The Minister remarked: “While my Department funds a wide range of research areas, we have chosen a selection of projects on topics that are of particularly high interest and I would encourage everyone to sign up to these webinars on the Departments website.”


These Notes for Editor:

c.€1 million research awards:






Sonia Negrao


Recovering and Exploiting Old and New Barley Diversity for Future-Ready Agriculture



Fiona Doohan 

UCD, Teagasc

Identification and sustainable deployment of wheat genetic diversity to enhance the resilience and security of the European food supply.




These awards arise from the joint call run by the European Joint Programme Initiative on

Financial support for Irish researchers in these successful projects (that also involve partners from other EU countries) is being provided through the DAFM Research Programme. The awards are contingent on successful completion of contract negotiations with all partners involved in each project.


DAFM Research Dashboard:


DAFM Science Week 2022 Webinars:

‘SMARTSWARD’, Assessing the use of multispecies swards: the multiple benefits for sustainable pasture-based farming

Speakers: Prof Tommy Boland, Dr Helen Sheridan, Michelle Kearns

Public Webinar Monday 14th November 9:30am – 10:15am

International Research Collaboration: Strengthening the monitoring and mitigation of greenhouse gases from agriculture through Ireland’s participation in the European Research Area Network, “ERAGAS”.

Speakers: Dr Karl Richards, Prof Bruce Osborne, Prof Paul Ross, Dr Paul Smith

Public Webinar Tuesday 15th November 9:30am – 10:45am

The National Adult Food Consumption Survey and Transitioning towards sustainable and healthy eating

Speakers: Dr Janette Walton, Dr Sinead McCarthy

Public Webinar Friday 18 November 11:30 – 12.30