Shortlisted Team for prestigious “SFI Future Innovator Prize”

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Dr Ioannis Manolakis, from the Department of Life Sciences and PEM Strategic Research Centre & Gateway, is Lead Investigator of one of only ten Challenge Teams recently selected to compete in the Science Foundation Ireland Future Innovator Prize – Plastics Challenge 2020.

The SFI Future Innovator Prize, funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Science through Science Foundation Ireland, is part of an overall government plan to cultivate challenge-based funding in Ireland. The focus of this competition is highly topical, given it is aimed at tackling plastic waste and pollution – something Sir David Attenborough has described as an “unfolding catastrophe” around the world.

The project is entitled “r2-Epoxy: Making epoxy resins recyclable”, and is led by Ioannis along with Dr Angeliki Chanteli from the University of Limerick and Dr Marcus Ó Conaire from Údarás na Gaeltachta (as Societal Impact Champion), aiming to directly address the issue of currently non-recyclable thermoset epoxy plastic waste, such as in wind turbine blades.

Notably IT Sligo is the only Institute of Technology competing in the Plastics Challenge 2020, and we wish Ioannis and the Team every success with this novel and impactful project work over the coming months.

More information on this exciting initiative can be found at: