May 2019/ EirGrid and RTE commit to ‘Ulysses’ research partnership [fr]

Irish and French electricity grid operators EirGrid and RTE
(Réseau de transport d’électricité) commit to ‘Ulysses’ research partnership


EirGrid and RTE, which are developing the Celtic Interconnector project together, met in Cork on Friday 31 May 2019 in the presence of François de Rugy, Ministre d’État and Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Simon Coveney, Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Richard Bruton, Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

At the meeting, the two companies announced their support for Ulysses, the Franco-Irish scientific cooperation programme. Between 2019 and 2023, RTE and EirGrid pledge to finance 20 research projects conducted by Franco-Irish teams in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. This support is worth a total of €100,000. The first project has already been under way since 2019 and is focusing on energy efficiency in Internet of Things.


Created in 1997, the Ulysses programme is implemented and administered in Ireland by the Irish Research Council(IRC) and in France by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI). The French Embassy in Ireland and the IRC manage calls for projects and handle bids.

The Ulysses partnership supports cooperation projects between our two countries. It makes grants available of up to €5,000 to help get research projects up and running, bringing together researchers based in France and Ireland. The partnership focuses on all research disciplines. Since its creation, it has enabled 600 researchers to develop new cooperation projects and establish long-term relations.

In 2019, the French Embassy in Ireland and the IRC opened the programme with the support of new partners including RTE and EirGrid, but also Inserm [French National Institute of Health and Medical Research] and the HRB (Health Research Board) for research projects in the health field, and Ademe [French Environment and Energy Management Agency] and the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) for projects focusing on issues related to climate upheavals.

The next call for projects will be made public on 16 June, on Bloomsday.

More information about the Ulysses funding programme is available at

Contact: French Embassy in Ireland / Tel (353) 12775056. Email:


About the Ulysses programme
Christened Ulysses in homage to James Joyce, the programme has been in existence since 1997. More than 300 projects have been supported since its creation. Ulysses is one of the 67 Hubert Curien partnerships implemented around the world by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

About the Irish Research Council
The Irish Research Council (IRC) is an agency created in 2012 within the Department of Education and Skills. Its main purpose is to support excellence in frontier research, across all disciplines and career levels. The IRC encourages diverse career opportunities for researchers, by developing partnerships with the industrial sector and employers. The Council also plays a special role in supporting research through its societal focus and by establishing partnerships with the government and civil society.
More information:, @IrishResearch, #LoveIrishResearch.

About Eirgrid
EirGrid is a state-owned company that manages and operates the electricity transmission grid across the island of Ireland. The high-voltage network brings power from generators, and supplies wholesale energy to heavy users. The grid also supplies the electricity distribution network. EirGrid is responsible for a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity: now, and in the future.

About RTE
RTE, Réseau de Transport d’Électricité, is a French electricity service company. Our fundamental mission is to provide all our customers with economical, safe, clean electricity. RTE connects its customers using a tailored infrastructure and provides them with all the tools and services they need to meet their requirements, in the interests of economic efficiency, respect for the environment and a secure energy supply. To do this, RTE operates, maintains and develops the French high- and very-high-voltage grids. It guarantees the smooth running and safety of the country’s power grid. RTE transports electricity in France between electricity suppliers (French and other European providers) and consumers, be they electricity distributors or industries directly connected to the transmission network. The French grid is connected to 33 European countries by 105,000 km of power lines carrying between 63,000 and 400,000 volts and 50 international power lines, thus offering opportunities for power exchanges essential for the economic optimization of the power grid. RTE employs 8,500 staff.

About the French Embassy in Ireland
The French Embassy in Ireland supports scientific cooperation through various programmes, including the Ulysses partnership. It also supports the creation of double degrees, the joint supervision of theses and the preparation of bids for European funding. The Embassy also promotes French research in Ireland, through scientific mediation activities and a network of French researchers and scientists. It helps organize and support lectures, exhibitions and invitations to French speakers in Ireland, in partnership with Irish higher education institutions.
More information:, @FranceinIreland.

Published on 31/05/2019

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