'Boost to the Economy' as €130m Construction Plans Revealed by NUI Galway

'Boost to the Economy' as €130m Construction Plans Revealed by NUI Galway   -image

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

NUI Galway's new Strategic Plan 2009-2014 was officially launched in Galway today (Wednesday, 16 December) by the University's President Dr James J. Browne. Key elements of the plan include a major €130m construction plan, increased numbers of spin-out companies, and a rise in numbers of mature, international and PhD students. "We are the biggest employer in Galway City, a fast growing and dynamic University, and increasingly recognised internationally for our research and scholarship", President Browne said. "Our strategic plan enshrines not only our commitment to supporting the social, economic, industrial and cultural development of the region, but our national role in supporting economic recovery. The strategic plan also cements our research ambitions which will bring further international recognition in our priority areas of expertise". NUI Galway will be a major contributor to the economy through its ambitious €130m in construction activity, which will ramp up throughout 2010. Five new buildings will be constructed, potentially creating hundreds of jobs in Galway City. Over one third of the funds for construction will come from philanthropic sources, due to intensive and very successful fundraising activity by Galway University Foundation. President Browne said the plans are a significant short-term boost to the economy and also put in place the long-term infrastructure to produce the graduates who will fuel the economic recovery to a Smart Economy. "We will play our part in revitalising the economy and developing the Smart Economy. We will do this by taking advantage of the value now available in the building industry to address our capital deficit and put in place the infrastructure to grow our research effort and our graduate output. Given that in the case of the planned research buildings the University is able to provide close to half of the cost in private philanthropic funding, we are planning significant additions to the nation's vital infrastructure at a minimal cost to the Exchequer, and ensuring the creation or preservation of hundreds of jobs in the construction industry". The new infrastructure requirements on campus stem from the rapid growth of research activity, in biomedical science for example, which directly supports the region's vital medical devices industry. Infrastructure requirements are also being fuelled by dramatic rises in student numbers. In the area of student numbers, NUI Galway's Strategic Plan sets out a target of 200 PhD graduates per year by 2014. By this time, non-traditional students will account for 7.5% of the total student population, international students for 15%, and mature students for 27%. The Strategic Plan firmly commits NUI Galway to leading the Smart Economy in the region and to its becoming a centre of innovation and enterprise for industries. Targets of a four-fold increase in patent filings, a five-fold increase in licence agreements and an average of five spin-out companies per year have been set. Online version of the Strategic Plan is available at www.nuigalway.ie/strategicplan. -Ends-

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Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy Booklet Launched

Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy Booklet Launched -image

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

An information booklet, entitled "Clinical Practices - Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy", has been launched at University Hospital Galway. The booklet is intended for use by midwives, registered nurses, obstetricians, physicians and GPs responsible for the care of women with diabetes who are pregnant or who are intending a pregnancy and for women with gestational diabetes. The guidelines, which are authored by Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine, NUI Galway and the ATLANTIC DIP research group, aim to promote high quality care and service to women with diabetes to ensure that the outcome for mother and baby matches that of non-diabetic women. In this respect, it provides a common framework to all professionals involved in the care of pregnant women at risk of, or with, gestational diabetes and those with pre-existing diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Speaking at the launch, Professor Fidelma Dunne, said: "The guidelines are an aid for professionals who deliver care to women with diabetes before, during and after pregnancy. We hope to update them on a regular basis as new information through research appears through our own work and internationally. We are also developing a booklet for patients which will be available soon. All these tools will be available on the ATLANTIC DIP website early in 2010". Diabetes is the most common medical disorder of pregnancy and complicates 1 in 200 pregnancies in Ireland. Even with the recent improvements in diabetic and obstetric care, the risk of stillbirth is 5 times and perinatal mortality is 3.5 times greater than non diabetic pregnant women. In addition, the incidence of congenital malformations remains twice the rate as for non-diabetic pregnancies. The number of women with established type 2 diabetes entering pregnancy is also on the increase and represents 25% of women with pre-gestational diabetes at antenatal clinics. Research through ATLANTIC DIP has identified that a further 1:10 women with no known diabetes, develops gestational diabetes in pregnancy. Some of the areas covered in the "Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy" are: Preconceptual Care Gestational Diabetes Antenatal Care Management during Delivery Postnatal Care Care of the Newborn -Ends-

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NUI Galway's Professor Schabas Chairs UN Human Rights Board

NUI Galway's Professor Schabas Chairs UN Human Rights Board-image

Monday, 14 December 2009

NUI Galway's Professor William Schabas has been designated the chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights. Professor Schabas is Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and holds the Chair in Human Rights Law at the University. A world-renowned expert on international human rights law, Professor Schabas has particular expertise is in the areas of genocide and international criminal courts. The Board of Trustees is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. Individuals are appointed to represent the different geographic regions of the world and are chosen for their independence and wide experience in the field of human rights and technical cooperation. Commenting on the work of the five members of the Board of Trustees, the new Chair, Professor Schabas said: "The Board meets twice annually in Geneva to oversee the work of the Fund which is used to support Human Rights Advisors and Field Offices of the High Commissioner in a number of countries around the world. We also function as an advisory council for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Many governments, including that of Ireland, contribute to the Fund, which had an income this year of $17.5 million". Professor Schabas has participated in numerous international human rights missions on behalf of non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International and the International Federation of Human Rights, to Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Cambodia and Guyana. In 2002, the President of Sierra Leone appointed him to the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission upon the recommendation of Mary Robinson, the then United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Professor Schabas teaches at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway, which has become internationally recognised in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. This has enabled the institution to attract high quality students to its acclaimed MA programmes and doctoral research. Reflecting the growing interest in this field, the University has also now developed a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights. -ends-

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Irish Researchers Help Solve 100-Year-Old Cosmic Mystery

Irish Researchers Help Solve 100-Year-Old Cosmic Mystery-image

Friday, 11 December 2009

Irish scientists have contributed to an important astronomical discovery published yesterday (Thursday, 10 December) in the prestigious academic magazine Nature. Scientists from NUI Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, CIT and UCD are part of the VERITAS project which has found evidence to support the theory that cosmic rays are powered by exploding stars and stellar winds. This discovery has been predicted for almost 20 years, but until now no instrument was sensitive enough to see it. VERITAS is operated by a collaboration of more than 100 scientists from 22 different institutions in the US, Ireland, England and Canada. Using an array of four giant telescopes based at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Arizona, the VERITAS project observed very high energy gamma radiation from the 'starburst' galaxy M82, often called the 'Cigar Galaxy'. Through deep observations of M82 the scientists made significant discoveries about cosmic rays. Scientists first detected signs of cosmic rays, which are subatomic particles that zip through space at nearly the speed of light, some 100 years ago. The challenge for astronomers, which the VERITAS project has finally succeeded in, has been to answer the question as to which natural force could accelerate particles to such high energies. Dr Gary Gillanders from the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway is one of the Irish scientists involved in VERITAS and a member of the VERITAS Science Board: "This discovery provides fundamental insight into the origin of cosmic rays and is an important scientific milestone in astronomy. The VERITAS observations strongly support the long-held belief that supernovae and stellar winds from massive stars are the dominant accelerators of cosmic ray particles". VERITAS could not detect M82 s cosmic rays directly but looked for clues to their presence. When cosmic rays interact with interstellar gas and radiation, they produce gamma rays, which were then detected by the VERITAS team and used to infer that cosmic rays were indeed present and being accelerated to high energies. The scientific revelation in Nature magazine is the culmination of two years of dedicated data collection and analysis by the VERITAS team. Dr Pat Moriarty, a VERITAS scientist from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology remarked: "This project is an example of scientists at four Irish third-level Institutions collaborating in a world-class experiment". The other Irish co-investigators in VERITAS are Dr Mark Lang at NUI Galway, Dr Paul Reynolds at CIT and Dr John Quinn at UCD. The Irish VERITAS members are part funded by Science Foundation Ireland. -Ends-

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The Social Semantic Web

The Social Semantic Web-image

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

- A new book about online information - The solution to problems associated with social websites, such as information integration, dissemination and searchability are the subject of a new book by NUI Galway internet experts. The Social Semantic Web investigates how emerging Semantic Web technology has produced a variety of approaches to overcome existing information boundaries. The book is authored by John Breslin, School of Engineering and Informatics, and Alexandre Passant and Stefan Decker of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), based at NUI Galway. The content is intended for computer science professionals, researchers, and graduates interested in understanding the technologies and research issues involved in applying Semantic Web technologies to social software. Breslin et al. describe some popular social media and social networking applications, list their strengths and limitations, and describe some applications of semantic web technology to address their current shortcomings by enhancing them with semantics. Across these social websites, they demonstrate a twofold approach for interconnecting the islands that are social websites with semantic technologies, and for powering semantic applications with rich community-created content. Practitioners and developers interested in applications such as blogs, social networks or wikis will also learn about methods for increasing the levels of automation in these forms of web communication. Co-author John Breslin, who founded boards.ie, one of the most popular internet forums in Ireland: “The ‘Social Semantic Web’, also called ‘Web 3.0’ is all about forming a network of interlinked and semantically-rich content and knowledge. This leads to a web of data that can be used by computers to help people with their daily tasks, and is an ideal platform for interlinking and performing operations on the diverse data available from Web 2.0”. The success of much of the work described in the book has been demonstrated in its adoption by various groups and companies. The SIOC system, described in the book and developed by researchers in DERI, has been used by Yahoo! in its SearchMonkey application. It has also recently been integrated into the Drupal content management system that is used by thousands of organisations. The Social Semantic Web, is published by Springer; for more information see www.socialsemanticweb.net. -Ends-

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Professor Stefan Decker Presented with ITAG Award

Professor Stefan Decker Presented with ITAG Award-image

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Professor Stefan Decker, Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway, was announced the award winner for ‘Academic Contribution to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector’ at the recent Information Technology Association Galway (ITAG) Industry Awards. DERI is an internationally recognised institute in semantic web research, education and technology transfer. DERI brings together academic and industrial partners to boost innovation in science and technology, which directly contributes to the Irish government s plan of transforming Ireland into a competitive knowledge economy. On receiving the award, Professor Decker said: “I am delighted to be presented with this award for the continued growth and excellence of our research at DERI. This recognition from ITAG is hugely important and I welcome the endorsement from such and established group on our work. ICT in Galway is crucial to its development and we look forward to continued relationships in the future with local industry”. DERI was established in 2003 by Science Foundation Ireland as a Centre for Science and Engineering Technology (CSET) and has become the largest research institute in the world dedicated to the development of advanced web technologies. DERI is also actively engaged in technology spin-outs and licensing of its leading edge technologies. Since its establishment DERI has grown to over 120 people and has acquired significant additional research funding from sources such as the European Union Framework Programmes, Enterprise Ireland and industrial partnerships. Its core industry partners include CISCO, Nortel, Ericsson, Storm, Celtrak, Openlink, and Cyntelix. The ITAG was established in September 2000 by a group of IT professionals representing both multinational and indigenous IT companies. Through ITAG, the IT sector in Galway has played its role in shaping the future development of the region, both economically and socially. Each year, ITAG rewards the achievements and encourages further success of its outstanding members through the ITAG Industry Awards. -Ends-

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Criminal Justice System is Failing Rape Victims According to Report

Criminal Justice System is Failing Rape Victims According to Report-image

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Rape Crisis Network Ireland has published ground breaking research into rape and its treatment within the criminal justice system. The research, which was carried out by NUI Galway s School of Law, had the participation of 100 survivors of recent adult rape, examined almost 600 DPP files and further examined over 170 Central Criminal Court trials and the transcripts of appealed cases. The research was prompted by Ireland s increasing levels of reporting of rape and decreasing convictions. The four-year study, entitled "Rape and Justice in Ireland", looks at different key stages of our criminal justice system, and reveals insights that have not previously been documented in Ireland before. Fiona Neary, Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, said: "We know from victims that the Criminal Justice System is failing in rape cases. Ireland s conviction rate from reported incidents to conviction is amongst the lowest in Europe. Survivors in Rape Crisis Centres tell us of their fears about reporting. They talk of the lack of dignity and respect in how they are treated; how they feel it is they who are on trial, and how their voice is ignored by the system. For those who have a positive experience of reporting, they also feel isolated and lost, are not kept informed, and have been unable to move on with their lives because of the years waiting for their case to come to court". This research, which was headed by NUI Galway s Conor Hanley, had the full, unreserved, and by and large, unprecedented cooperation of key agencies, from the Rape Crisis sector to the DPP and the Court Services. Never before has such extensive and reliable data on our legal system been documented. Given the breath of the research, the findings have application beyond rape cases. For example, there is a thorough examination of whether or not complainants use Victim Impact Statements to seek vengeance and thus abuse the system. This report looks at the journey from incident to conviction and how cases fail to engage with, simply fall out or are dropped out of the Criminal Justice System along the way. Hanley and his team have made wide-ranging recommendations for reform in the legal system and in society. For a copy of the report visit visit www.rcni.ie. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Scoop West's Top Marketing Prize

NUI Galway Scoop West's Top Marketing Prize-image

Friday, 4 December 2009

NUI Galway has been named the Overall Winner in the Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region's Annual Awards. Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, Chairperson of the Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region Emma Dillon-Leetch congratulated NUI Galway on their very talented team efforts in outstanding marketing development. "The Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region Awards is the premier independent awards programme for companies and businesses in the West of Ireland today. NUI Galway has demonstrated an innovative approach to marketing within business and is a worthy winner of the overall top prize", she said. In 2009 the University's Marketing Team led a major brand development project with the aim of repositioning the University and creating a strong visual identity to differentiate NUI Galway from its competitors. Significant measurable successes as a result of the University's outstanding marketing activity saw NUI Galway show a substantial increase of 13.1% in CAO First Preference applications- a growth of more than double that of the University Sector and the highest year-on-year increase of all the Universities. The University was also named University of the Year 2009 by The Sunday Times. On accepting the award, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications, NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted to accept these prestigious awards from the Marketing Institute. Winning the overall award on top of the 'Marketing Team of the Year' category was simply overwhelming. It really has been a fantastic year for NUI Galway. We have enjoyed success on many fronts in 2009 and the Marketing Institute Awards are a fitting recognition of the University's achievements over the last year". Now in their eighth year the MII West Region Marketing Awards are the premier independent awards programme available to marketers in the West of Ireland and attracted an initial entry of over 80 from businesses and companies operating in Galway Mayo and Roscommon. This year several new awards categories were added creating eleven categories that companies, teams or individuals could enter. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Nanoscience Experts Participate in Nanoweek

NUI Galway Nanoscience Experts Participate in Nanoweek-image

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Newly appointed SFI Stokes Professor of Biophotonics at NUI Galway, Malini Olivo, is one of the University's nanoscience experts participating in Nanoweek, which was opened in Cork this week by Mr Batt O'Keefe, Minister for Science and Education. Organised by the Nanoscience Network, Nanoweek, will run until 4 December and will include a wide range of events designed to raise awareness of the contribution that nanoscience makes to the Irish economy and to society. Nanoweek will also highlight the central role nanoscience can play in driving the Smart Economy. Professor Malini Olivo has pioneered the area of clinical application of Photodynamic Diagnosis and Treatment in Cancer in Singapore. She has spearheaded several collaborative projects with Singapore linked government research agencies and universities in biophotonics and nanophotonics for in-vivo optical bio-imaging applications in cancer and metabolic medicine. Dr Margaret Brennan Fournet from NUI Galway's School of Physics will also participate in Nanoweek, events at the University Research to Economic Value workshop to be held in Dublin on 3 December. This workshop focuses on the development of economic value from university research, including discussions on intellectual property and case studies on developing nanotechnology companies. Members of the National Centre for Laser Applications (NCLA) at NUI Galway will also be visiting local secondary schools in Galway during Nanoweek. The visits will introduce nanoscience and photonics to secondary-school students and include lesson plans/worksheets linked to the school curriculum. The NCLA recently launched a new Clean Room Ultrafast Laser Laboratory. The laser facility combines state-of-the-art laser research technology with advanced spectral and imaging diagnostics. The facility includes nano-second, pico-second, and femto-second laser systems integrated with advanced motion systems and precision spectral and imaging diagnostics. The development is part of the National Integrated Nanoscience Platform for Ireland (INSPIRE) supported under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI4). Dr Gerard O'Connor, who leads the INSPIRE project at NUI Galway, said: "Nanoweek, has two aims. Firstly, it seeks to bring the remarkable transformation that is occurring in nanoscience to the attention of the young people in schools so that they may make more informed decisions regarding their future careers. Secondly Nanoweek showcases the excellent research activities and facilities, such as the new laser laboratory at NUI Galway that are available to industry and academic partners for collaboration". -Ends-

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Growing Brands Through a Recession

Growing Brands Through a Recession-image

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A one-day Branding Masterclass for Business Leaders The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway is to host a one-day Masterclass for business leaders entitled ?Growing Brands through a Recession?. The event will be co-hosted by marketing guru Professor Leslie de Chernatony, Professor of Brand Marketing at Universita della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland and Aston Business School, UK, and Dr Elaine Wallace, Lecturer in Marketing and Associate Head of Development and Promotion at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Dr Wallace says: ?During recessionary times, many companies are tempted to cut prices in order to offer value to customers. However, focusing on price can negatively affect brand equity, leading to a weaker brand image and a loss of market share. The recession represents an opportunity to reconsider how brands can offer more relevant value. This Masterclass will show how a budget can be better used to deliver a ?wow factor? by offering more appropriate value to customers?. Designed with business professionals in mind, the event will highlight factors leading to brand success and, using examples, will show how leading brands get through tough times. Billed as a ?hands on? event, delegates will get practical tools for brand building. Frameworks will be presented, and delegates will work in syndicate groups to apply those frameworks to their own businesses. During plenary sessions, ideas for growing brand value will be shared, and discussions will help to shape brand-building activities. Dr Wallace added: ?The event, in particular Professor de Chernatony?s insights, will be invaluable for large and small businesses in product and service sectors?. The Chartered Institute of Marketing cite Professor Leslie de Chernatony as one of the 50 gurus who have shaped the future of marketing due to his pioneering work on brand management. His cutting edge work on strategically building brands has helped many organisations develop more effective brand strategies. A firm advocate of the need for managers to benefit from his work on brand marketing, he has run many highly acclaimed management development workshops throughout Europe, the USA, the Middle East, Asia and Australia and his advice has been sought by numerous organisations throughout the world on developing more effective brand strategies. The Masterclass will take place on Thursday, 21 January, 2010 and the cost of a full day is ?195. To register for this event please visit www.conference.ie. For further information please contact Angela Sice, Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, at 091 492817 or Dr Elaine Wallace, Marketing, J. E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway at 091 492603. -Ends-

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