Belfast material research firm MOF wins £335K of EU funding
Belfast materials research firm MOF Technologies hopes to use an EU cash injection for projects including methane cars and fruit that can last nine months. The Queen's University spin-out develops gas storage solutions and has just been awarded €371,000 (£335,000) of EU funding through Horizon 2020.
It could be the last time it wins such funding after the vote to leave the EU.
The firm will be one of nine project partners working to design new nanostructured materials in an effort to more efficiently contain greenhouse gases. It is the first time a Northern Ireland company has won Horizon 2020 funding for a second project.
The scheme is part of Gramofon, a European collaboration with South Korea.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever, with nearly €80bn (£72.2bn) available over seven years, with assistance provided from Invest Northern Ireland in preparation of an application.
In November, the firm received €1.2m (£1.09m) of EU funding that allowed it to build a new laboratory.
MOFs are highly porous materials that can store, separate and capture specific gases. They have a range of applications, including natural gas storage in vehicles, carbon capture, heat transformation processes and drug delivery.
Dr Paschal McCloskey, CEO of MOF Technologies, said he believed the research would still have attracted private funding due to its innovative nature, but added that it would have been "much harder to get". "We would have got it from external sources, but what it would mean is that after Brexit, we might not be able to apply for the next tranche of EU funding," he explained.
It is hoped that MOF will employ 27 people by 2018.