HSC research funding of €8.8 million awarded by EU

HSC research funding of €8.8 million awarded by EU

Project funding of €8.8 million has been awarded through the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme to the Health and Social Care Research and Development (HSC R&D) Division of the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland and the Health Research Board (HRB) in Ireland.

Building on existing collaboration, the Cross-Border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN) project is a partnership between the two organisations which aims to develop a cross-border network that will deliver healthcare intervention trials that improve the health and social care of people living in the ‘eligible area’ for the project.

Many health trials take place in major centres in bigger cities, where patients are referred for specialist treatment. The CHITIN project will involve funding 10 healthcare intervention trials that will allow participation in trials outside of these centres in a broader range of settings, including primary care, regional hospitals and the community.

These cross-border research studies will address a number of critical areas that have been identified by the INTERREG programme. Proposals for trials will be submitted for consideration by an expert review panel through an open funding call.

The CHITIN project will also allow the development and expansion of research infrastructure and the delivery of an integrated training programme to enhance capability to deliver further research, thus creating a legacy for the future across the eligible area.

Outlining the importance of the funding award, Dr Janice Bailie, Assistant Director of HSC R&D Division said: “This award gives us an exciting opportunity to enrich our existing partnership working with our colleagues in HRB, jointly commission research involving communities with whom we would not otherwise have been in a position to engage, and support the development of innovative cross-border interventions that have real potential to bring improvements in health and social care services and benefits to service users”.

Dr Mairead O’Driscoll, Acting Chief Executive of the Health Research Board added: ‘Building capacity in clinical trials that improve people’s health and healthcare delivery is a key focus for the Health Research Board. The great thing about this partnership is that it creates the opportunity to do research in areas outside large specialist centres, in communities and primary care settings. The learning and health benefits that we get from this also have the potential to extend throughout the island of Ireland. We are creating a fantastic opportunity in these regions. We will see patient benefits, innovations in health care and enduring progress in health and social care as a result of this investment’.

Please see the HSC R&D Division website here or the HRB website at www.hrb.ie for further details of the call for proposals.

Further information

For more information please contact Tony Sheridan, Communications Manager, at Email: tony.sheridan@hscni.net 

Notes to the editor
  • €8.8 million has been awarded to HSC R&D Division and HRB for the Cross-Border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN) project by the Special EU Programmes Body.
  • This total includes match-funding of 15% provided by the Departments of Health in both Northern Ireland and Ireland.
  • The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation body sponsored by the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border cooperation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.
  • The programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the border region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.
  • The eligible area for the CHITIN project is Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland, including counties Donegal; Leitrim; Sligo; Cavan; Monaghan; and Louth.
  • The INTERREG VA Programme has a value of €283 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.