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Trinity College Dublin


INSPIRE - Integrated NanoScience Platform for Ireland

INSPIRE is a consortium of all Irish third level institutions, eight from the South and two from the North, with international leading research capability in nanoscience and nanotechnology. It was officially launched on October 31st, 2008 at CRANN by the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Jimmy Devins.

In 2007, INSPIRE was funded to the level of €31.6M by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) via PRTLI4. This was the largest funding allocation to a national consortium.

CRANN is the Lead Administrative Partner for the INSPIRE consortium which builds on the defined areas of strategic importance for all Institutional partners. The consortium also represents all of the key educational institutions in Ireland and is focused on bringing together the researchers leaders nationally to determine a national nanoscience research commitment and to establish a new inter-institutional graduate programme. The programme also enables the many industry partners to the INSPIRE consortium members and will greatly assist in increasing the capability of translating research outputs to industry.

The all-island nature of the consortium is an aspect which is particularly welcome. Ireland is a small island and from an international competitiveness perspective it is critical that all Institutions work together to harness all our resources, talents and capabilities.

INSPIRE members are:

  • CRANN / Trinity Collage Dublin (TCD),
  • MSSI / University of Limerick (UL),
  • Tyndall National Institute / University College Cork (UCC),
  • FOCAS Institute / Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT),
  • NCPST and RINCE/ Dublin City University (DCU),
  • LightHOUSE / National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG),
  • Cork Institute of Technology (CIT),
  • CNBI, University College, Dublin (UCD).

Ancillary members are:

  • University of Ulster (UU)
  • Queens University, Belfast (QUB)


“INSPIRE exists to foster, facilitate and ultimately ensure collaboration and partnership between top ranking Irish and international scientists and engineers in nanoscience research and education. INSPIRE will enable Ireland to join an elite group of the highest ranking nanoscience countries worldwide making it an increasingly attractive location for relevant indigenous and foreign investment”.


“INSPIRE is a collaborative framework that will establish Ireland as an internationally-recognised centre of excellence in nanoscience research and graduate education. It will provide shared access to advanced instrumentation, graduate courses and new strategic research partnerships. It will be the focal point of all nanoscience activity in Ireland.”

INSPIRE aims are:

Creation of a shared national infrastructural capability serviced effectively by trained support staff to enhance the national capacity for delivering innovative research in nanoscience and nanoscale technologies.
Development of shared national nanoscience graduate programmes with international appeal resulting in graduate numbers aligned with stated SSTI goals.
Expansion of existing institutional linkages to facilitate new collaborations, locally, regionally and nationally across institutions and disciplines.

The three key research domains in INSPIRE are:


INSPIRE Current Collaborations

In each domain there already exists among the partners research excellence, collaboration across institutions, international research leadership and value-added relationships with industry.

In addition, these domains and the connections between them have been identified strategically and are structured to allow Nanoscience nationally to play an increasing role in other National programmes e.g. the Biomedical Sciences Network and Biopharma.

Underpinning these key domains is fundamental cross-cutting research in Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterisation. This cross-cutting capability is a vital enabler for all three key domains as well as potential emerging collaborations in other areas of the EU FP7.

For further information please contact INSPIRE programme manager at CRANN, Dr Colm McAtamney (colm.mcatamney at or visit the INSPIRE website,