Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research in NUI Galway
Dec 23 2015 Posted: 12:40 GMT

NUI Galway achieves highest success rate in attracting EU Horizon 2020 funding for research and innovation


NUI Galway continued to excel in delivering outcomes for research activities throughout 2015. It achieved the highest success rate in attracting EU Horizon 2020 funding for research and innovation.

Over the next five years, NUI Galway aims to secure its place in the top 200 universities worldwide while securing €100 million in competitive EU research funds. These and other goals are outlined in ‘Vision 2020’, the University’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020. NUI Galway set an ambitious goal to achieve €100 million throughout the seven year lifespan of the EU Horizon 2020 programme. And having won €15 million in 2015, are already ahead of target.

Reflecting on a significant year for research at the University, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research in NUI Galway, said: “Given the diversity of research being carried out at NUI Galway, our ambition is to become leaders in research and contribute significantly to ‘Innovation 2020’, Ireland’s five year strategy on research and development, science and technology. Innovation 2020 sets out the roadmap for continuing progress towards the goal of making Ireland a Global Innovation Leader, driving a strong sustainable economy and a better society.”

Professor Joshi added, “We are incredibly proud of our research community and aim to enhance and develop this area across the University while continuing to form collaborative partnerships with industry. A clear indicator of our success as a university is how relevant our research is to our community and how it positively impacts upon society.”

In 2015, several units at NUI Galway have achieved great levels of success. The Research Office has experienced a hugely successful year in many research disciplines across campus. Five of its up and-coming research leaders won European Research Council (ERC) grants, a rare feat for a University. In 2015, Research at NUI Galway resulted in the University being ranked at number 40 among the top 100 organisations from the Horizon 2020 programme with an EC contribution of almost €17 million. And out of the Top 100 organisations involved in Horizon 2020 projects NUI Galway was ranked at number 47.

This year has also seen the US-based Blackstone Charitable Foundation extend its campus entrepreneurship Programme ‘Blackstone LaunchPad’ outside the US for the first time, to include NUI Galway. The Programme at NUI Galway is being established in partnership with Galway University Foundation, with an overall award of €1.3 million. This award will establish a partnership between NUI Galway and two other Irish universities, to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and provide over 50,000 students with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support service.

E-CAM, a new centre of excellence for supercomputing, of which the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) based at NUI Galway will be a major partner, was awarded €4.8 million to develop vital software components for the simulation of materials, including biological systems and advanced food for health and pharmaceuticals. The €4.8 million investment will support the EU’s efforts to become a world leader in the next generation of supercomputing.

More than 150 robust software modules and associated applications will be created through the E-CAM centre over the next five years. The investment forms part of a wider €140 million euro investment by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. The investment will support the EU’s efforts to become a world leader in the next generation of supercomputing. ICHEC will co-host the first E-CAM workshop in 2016.

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway was established in 2013 by Science Foundation Ireland with funding of €42 million over six years. During 2015, Insight enjoyed considerable success in acquiring additional competitive funding of over €5.4 million by the Insight Galway team. €4.7 million came from the EU Horizon 2020 programme demonstrating the remarkable connectivity that Galway's data analytics research team has with institutes across Europe.

Insight received further funding support from Enterprise Ireland demonstrating a strong link to indigenous SMEs, funding from the Irish Research Council, support from Science Foundation Ireland through their TIDA programme and significant funding from private industry. The confidence that private industry has shown to date in the research carried out by Insight is testament to the relevance of data analytics research in solving real life enterprise issues. For 2016 Insight plans to further grow its research income, to increase multidisciplinary research particularly within NUI Galway and to further leverage its strong position as a recognised international leader in data analytics, academically and across multiple domains such as eGovernment, Healthcare & Lifesciences and business enterprises.

CÚRAM, the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices, has been established at a pivotal point in the medical device industry in Ireland and Europe, as there are large markets with unmet clinical needs. CÚRAM's research builds on and enhances existing technology for the development of the next generation of medical devices to radically improve health outcomes for patients. A significant collaboration with Arch Therapeutics in 2015 will see CÚRAM work to advance an AC5 Surgical Hemostatic Device™ through the first clinical trial, leading up to potential commercialisation and develop pipeline applications for new products.

CÚRAM has also been successful in 2015 securing funding of almost €24 million under the EU Horizon 2020 Programme. €12 million of this will fund two projects under the Research and Innovation Action (RIA), Personal Health Care programme and a further €12 million will fund three Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks – European Training Network projects, all to be coordinated by CÚRAM investigators.

Looking to the next five years, NUI Galway will continue to maximise the potential of its research to have a global impact on society and significantly enhance the University’s international profile, attracting the best students, teachers and researchers.

ENDS

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