Generaldirektor, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)

Mark FERGUSON‘Impact – made in Europe’
Professor Mark WJ Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government

Impact is the demonstrable effect that excellent research makes to society and the economy.  It can be summarised across 6 pillars and 3 cross cutting themes.  Funding science and innovation requires a diverse portfolio of uncorrelated risk including support for outstanding people, projects, centres, infrastructure, movement, collaboration, themes, challenges and missions.  The EU and member states should increase investment in research and innovation.  Why?

  • Crucial for our future to address citizens’ concerns and provide rewarding employment
  • Grow the economy, enhancing EU productivity and competitiveness
  • Contribute decisively to the EU Commissions priorities: digital single market, energy union, climate action, security, defence, immigration
  • To maintain / grow Europe’s place in the world in light of increasing investment in R&I from other countries, e.g. China, South Korea


Prof.Mark Ferguson
Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland

Professor Mark W.J. Ferguson commenced as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland in January 2012 and as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland in October 2012. Professor Ferguson is a founding member of the Small Advanced Economies Initiative, was Chair of the eHealth Ireland Committee, (2015 – 2017), a member of the EU High Level Expert Group on Horizon 2020 Impact (2017) and has been involved in a number of international reviews of R&D systems, including Hungary and Canada. Previously he was Professor in Life Sciences at the University of Manchester (since 1984) and co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Renovo Group plc (1998-2011).

He is the recipient of numerous international research awards including the 2002 European Science Prize (jointly), and is the author of 327 research papers and book chapters, 60 patent families and author / editor of 8 books.

Mark graduated from the Queens University of Belfast with degrees in Dentistry (BDS 1st class honours), Anatomy and Embryology (BSc 1st class honours, PhD) and Medical Sciences (DMedSc), holds Fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Ireland (FFD), and Edinburgh (FDS) and is a Founding Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). He is a member or Fellow of a number of learned Societies, and was made a “Commander of the British Empire” (CBE) by the Queen in 1999 for services to Health and Life Sciences.