NUI Galway Pavilion attracts thousands of visitors at Volvo Ocean Race Finale Festival
The relocation of NUI Galway’s Quadrangle to the Global Village last week, created somewhat of a stir locally where the University created a partial replica of its Quadrangle building, to front its Pavilion at the Global Village during the Volvo Ocean Race. NUI Galway graduate and now President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins paid a special visit to see for himself how his Alma Mater looked in South Park.
The Global Village is a free exhibition arena, open for the duration of the festival, located in South Park. The NUI Galway pavilion has been a central attraction, recreating a sense of the University’s iconic Quadrangle building, which dates back to 1845.
Inside, the NUI Galway pavilion looks to the future, with interactive demonstrations and exhibitions showcasing the cutting-edge innovation and research for which the University has a world-wide reputation.
“This is the largest sporting event in Ireland this year, and a wonderful opportunity to promote all that is great about Galway”, said NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. “The event had almost 100,000 visitors to the City last time round, over half of whom came from abroad, with significant international media reach also. Our whole-hearted involvement, in the volunteering aspects of this event and in the exhibitions, is a reflection of the importance of reaching such a world-wide audience.”
The NUI Galway pavilion, which will remain until the end of the festival, features four zones based on themes of Exploration, Innovation, Creativity and Go Global as well as Ideas Lab.
Activities also include an Alumni Family Day to which all NUI Galway graduates are invited on Sunday, 8 July.
NUI Galway has also been the official education partner of Volvo Ocean Race Galway’s volunteering programme, bringing its considerable experience in the field of volunteering and community engagement to the event to recruit the ‘small army’ of volunteers needed to support the overall festival.
As well as NUI Galway having a presence in the Innovation and Marine Pillars at the Global Village, a separate Speaker Session pavilion in the Global Village has featured some of NUI Galway’s experts.
In addition, the Inmarsat Film Lecture in association with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media takes place on Thursday, 5 July, presenting a unique sense of what is required of an extreme sports reporter onboard a multi-million dollar round the world racing yacht.
Official Festival App
The official ‘Volvo Ocean Race Festival Galway’ App, specifically designed for the event, was the creation of a team of researchers based at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) in NUI Galway. The free app, billed as a must for all visitors to Galway during the festival, providing maps, a full festival programme and lots of visitor information about Galway City. With tens of thousands of visitors in Galway for the festival, the app allows individuals to make the most of the experience, while able to track their friends and network with groups.
Vice-Director of DERI, Professor Manfred Hauswirth, said: “This app demonstrates the leading role of DERI in cyber-physical systems. DERI technology makes real-world sensor input easy to use in any application.”
With over 140 researchers, DERI is the largest web science institute of its kind in the world, but were thrilled to get behind this local project as DERI’s Brian Wall explains: “We really embraced the whole concept of ‘get onboard’ for the festival, so developed this unique app which is a must for every visitor.”
The app is available for free from the Apple App Store and from the Google Play Android store. The app will be updated and improved as new information becomes available so please check for updates during the festival.
Find out more about the University’s involvement at http://www.nuigalway.ie/volvo-ocean-race-2012/