The National Challenge Fund provides ambitious researchers the chance to make a difference by developing solutions to key challenges in the areas of Green Transition and Digital Transformation.

The National Challenge Fund is a €65M research fund that consists of eight challenges. In total, it aims to fund approximately 90 research teams with up to €250k over 18 months to develop their ideas. Under each challenge stream, a number of teams will then be awarded follow-on funding of up to €500k before going on to compete for prizes between €1-€2m.

The first challenges under the National Challenge Fund are the 2050 Challenge and Future Digital Challenge, which are now open to applications. 

Challenge Funding is a solution-focused approach to research funding that uses prizes, phases, defined timelines, teamwork, mentorship, and competition to direct research activity towards addressing pressing societal and economic problems.

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The National Challenge Fund encourages collaboration between government departments, agencies, enterprise, the academic research community, and societal stakeholders to identify challenges and enable action to address green transition and digitalisation targets set at government level. These partnerships will inform the expected outputs and outcomes to ensure that they are meaningful and relevant to the end user.

It is expected that solutions are inclusive, equitable and sustainable and adhere to the principles of responsible research and innovation.   

The National Challenge Fund was established under the Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), funded by the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. The fund is coordinated and administered by Science Foundation Ireland.

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Green Transition Challenges

Digital Transformation Challenges

Contact Us

If you would like to find out more about the National Challenge Fund, or explore opportunities to become involved, please contact Dr Stephen O’Driscoll (Digital Transformation Lead) or Dr Darragh O’Neill (Green Transition Lead) at challenges@sfi.ie