Thursday, 2 October 2014

Major organisations from business, industry and voluntary sector will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall, on Tuesday 7 October from 12.30pm - 4.00pm. The popular annual event will showcase graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, consultancy and many other sectors represented. Visitors to the event can attend spend the afternoon networking with Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Creganna, Medtronic, Cisco, Sourcedogg, and SAP will attend, in addition to international companies including Accenture, Abbott, KPMG and Lidl. According to Emma Goode, Employment Officer with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway.” Her advice for those attending the fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Plan in advance - know what employers are attending and the type of opportunities they have available. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Bring along an up-to-date CV, have it reviewed at the CV Clinic and get feedback on how to package and sell all your experiences to date. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers     -ends-

Monday, 6 October 2014

Early-stage medical device company is developing minimally invasive embolization technology for the treatment of wide variety of diseases Embo Medical, an early stage medical device company focused on developing technology to shut down blood flow in blood vessels, has secured €3 million in seed-funding. The investment syndicate included the AIB Seed Capital Fund (managed by Enterprise Equity), Irrus Investments, HBAN’s Medtech Business Angel Syndicate, Western Development Commission, Enterprise Ireland and the AIB Start-Up Accelerator Fund (managed by ACT Venture Capital). The investment will enable Embo Medical to secure regulatory approval and enter the market, and in doing so employ approximately 10 people directly and up to another 10 people indirectly. Embo Medical is based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre. In 2011, the management team of Wayne Allen, Colin Forde and Liam Mullins undertook the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship, a specialist medical device innovation programme. Upon completion, they founded Embo Medical to develop solutions to unmet clinical needs that were identified while observing embolization procedures in hospitals during the Fellowship. Embolization is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure used to deliberately stop blood flow in blood vessels when treating cancers, internal haemorrhage, aneurysms, and venous disease. Current embolization procedures require multiple coils and plugs, which can be cumbersome and time consuming to insert and often do not provide an optimal clinical result. Embo is developing the first true one-shot (one device per vessel) vascular embolization device. The product is aimed at the peripheral vascular embolization market, a market where physicians perform about 180,000 procedures per year worldwide. The Embo platform technology is intended to provide a superior solution in shorter procedural times; resulting in safe, cost-effective embolization. In preclinical studies, Embo’s technology reduced blood vessel treatment time by over 80%, while ensuring rapid and durable occlusion across all blood vessel sizes. Embo CEO Wayne Allen said: “This investment will accelerate Embo’s development of a state-of-the-art solution for the treatment of several diseases, will further prove the product’s value through clinical studies and enable us to access the large US market. Our technology has the potential to become the standard of care while simultaneously reducing the cost of healthcare.” Dr Mahmood K. Razavi, Interventional Radiologist and Director of Clinical Trials, St. Joseph Heart & Vascular Centre, Orange, CA, USA, said: “The innovative Embo solution combines the desirable characteristics of coils and plugs into one device and represents a potential new gold standard in embolization. It is designed for safe and easy delivery, and rapid cessation of blood flow. The technology will be a clinically effective approach for patients requiring embolization.” The company outsources manufacture, packaging and sterilisation to med-tech companies based primarily in the West of Ireland, accounting for the indirect employment of approximately 10 people. Embo expects to directly create 10 new jobs over the next two years as a result of this investment. This includes a series of both senior management and technical/functional hires over the coming months to fulfil the research and development, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, marketing and finance functions of the company. -ends-

Monday, 6 October 2014

NUI Galway will launch a new exhibition of archive material from the collection of the Russian State Library on Tuesday, 7 October. “Unchanged but the Spirit...” is a co-exhibition between NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and the Russian State Art Library, Moscow and for the first time in Ireland, will present archive material on the production and stage history of the Seagull by Anton Chekhov, from initial staging in 19th Century Russia to later adaptations in contemporary Ireland. The Chekhovian classic The Seagull has engaged and provoked audiences since its Moscow premiere in 1896. From a poor initial reception from audiences and critics alike, the play was close to being abandoned and forgotten until it received its production at the Moscow Art Theatre, directed by Constantine Stanislavsky in 1898. Since then, the play has been regarded as one of Chekhov’s finest works. In an Irish context, the play received a translation and adaptation by playwright Thomas Kilroy, premiering at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 1981. In opening up and combining the archive sources of Kilroy and other theatre archives of the Hardiman Library and of the R.S.A.L collections in Moscow, will highlight how across cultures, languages, societies and centuries, theatre and its impact can remain unchanged. This exhibition will simultaneously stage material from the theatre collections of the Hardiman Library and the Russian State Art Library in both Galway and Moscow throughout the month of October and is a unique chance to see a visual and archival history of The Seagull, in its many manifestations, from Chekhov to Kilroy. All are welcome to attend the launch of the exhibition by Dr Ian Walsh, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway, at the Hardiman Building (Room G011) at 6pm, Tuesday, 7 October. -Ends-

Monday, 6 October 2014

Sheol Príomhfheidhmeannach Údarás na Gaeltachta Steve Ó Culáin an Dioplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais in Áras na hOllscoile, Carna le gairid. Cúrsa tráthúil nuálaíoch é a bheidh le tairiscint trí fhoghlaim chumaisc ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge an Fómhar seo. Ag freagairt don éileamh a bhí ar chúrsaí Leibhéal 7 sa réimse léinn seo, tríd an modh seachadadh traidisiúnta, ar fud na nGaeltachtaí le roinnt blianta chinn an tAcadamh leagan ar líne den chúrsa a fhorbairt ar mhaithe le freastal ar an éileamh níos leithne ó phobal labhartha na Gaeilge ó cheann ceann an Oileáin. Dúirt Dónal Ó Droighneáin, Stiúrthóir an Chúrsa: “Tabharfaidh an cúrsa nua seo deis do mhuintir na Gaeltachta agus do phobal na Gaeilge fré chéile páirt a ghlacadh i dturas léinn agus cultúrtha a chuireann deacrachtaí taistil ar ceal. Ina theannta sin is é a gcultúr fhéin – an cultúr dúchais - a bheidh á fhiosrú agus á léiriú ar an gcúrsa.” I measc na n-ábhar a chuimseoidh an Dioplóma nua a mhairfidh dhá bhliain Ollscoile, beidh: Gnéithe den Bhéaloideas, na hEalaíona Dúchais, Cultúr Ábhartha, Nósmhaireacht Thraidisiúnta agus an Amhránaíocht. Tabharfaidh fóram idirlín an chúrsa deis do rannpháirtithe a bheith ag comhrá faoi na hábhair éagsúla agus beidh teacht acu freisin ar stórchiste de chartlanna digiteacha a chuirfidh go mór lena n-éispéireas foghlama. Treiseoidh na ceardlanna a fhreastalóidh na rannpháirtithe orthu sna hIonaid Ghaeltachta le linn an chúrsa an eispéireas léinn agus cultúrtha a bheidh sealbhaithe ar an idirlíon acu le linn an chúrsa. Duirt Príomhfheidhmeannach an Údaráis Steve Ó Cualáin: “Tá tábhacht ar leith ag baint le cláir Ollscolaíochta ar nós an Dioplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais ar mhaithe le treisiú a dhéanamh ar chultúir shainiúla na Gaeltachta agus na hÉireann, rud a chabhróidh le seachadadh na Gaeilge agus chultúir dhúchasaigh ó ghlúin go glúin. Leis an modh sechadadh nuálaíoch seo cruthaítear deis cultúr uathúil na Gaeltachta a chur i láthair pobal níos leithne ná riamh agus deiseanna oibre a chothú bunaithe ar na hacmhainní dúchasacha.” -Críoch- NUI Galway Launch new Diploma in Traditional Culture Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO, Steve Ó Culáin, recently launched the Diploma in Traditional Culture (Diplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais) at Áras na hOllscoile, Carna. This new Diploma is a timely and innovative programme delivered through blended learning by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. In view of the demand for NUI Galway outreach programmes in this discipline, through traditional models of delivery, an online alternative has been developed to further meet the demand from Irish speakers throughout the island of Ireland. Dónal Ó Droighneáin, Programme Director, said: “This new programme will afford both Gaeltacht and Irish-speaking communities throughout the island of Ireland the opportunity to undertake an academic and cultural expedition, regardless of their location. Furthermore, it is the indigenous culture of these communities that the programme will investigate and exhibit.” The Programme which will run for two academic years will include the following subject areas: Aspects of Folklore, the Traditional Arts, Material Culture, Traditional Customs and Song. The programme’s online forum will allow participants to share their knowledge and experience of traditional culture with fellow learners. Participants will have access to a treasure house of digital archives which will greatly enhance the rich online learning milieu available to them. Workshops delivered in Gaeltacht Centres will augment the learning and cultural experience acquired online. Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO, Steve Ó Cúláin, said: “Educational programmes such as the Dioplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais have an important role in perpetuating traditional Gaeltacht and Irish Culture, and in doing so, assist in the intergenerational transmission of the Irish Language and its indigenous culture. This programme creates the opportunity to showcase our rich culture to a wider audience and in doing so nurture new educational and employment opportunities based on our natural resources.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Join NUI Galway’s MA in Publishing and MA in Writing Programmes students and the staff of Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on Saturday, 11 October from 11am-12:30pm, for a very special children’s story time, plus a fun build-your-own-book workshop for kids. Local children’s authors Patricia Forde, author of Mise agus an Dragún and Hedgehogs Do Not Like Heights, Michelle Melville, co-author of Óisín the Brave, and MA in Writing student Tony Gapper, will read at story time. Afterwards NUI Galway M.A. students will help the children create their very own books. Children will also be given their very own special-edition ‘Books are my Bag’ tote bag, so that they can carry their creations home safely. ‘Books are my Bag’ is the biggest-ever international campaign to promote books and bookshops. With the combined effort of booksellers, publishers, and authors, ‘Books are my Bag’ aims to create a simple but universal message about the joy of books and bookshops. For more information visit www.booksaremybag.com or contact Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on 091 561766. -Ends-

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Galway Senior Hurler Fergal Moore was at NUI Galway this week to launch a new series of cards promoting ‘Art and Positive Mental Health’. His visit also saw the official start of Mental Health Week at NUI Galway and the announcement of a new online resource for students, Student Health101. Student Health101 is a dynamic, continuously updated, monthly digital magazine for students, providing new information on nutrition, relationships, fitness and recipes every month for free. Widely available throughout the US and Canada, NUI Galway is the first third-level institute in Ireland to offer this resource, customised and edited for NUI Galway students. It includes student videos and comments from NUI Galway students as well as information about local events and resources available. There is also a parents’ edition, to help parents keep informed in order to better support their students. The ‘Art and Positive Mental Health’ set of cards list five simple steps to maintaining mental health and wellbeing. The size of a business-card, they will be available across campus. Sponsored by the Mental Health Association Galway, supported by Mental Health Services, HSE West and NUI Galway Health Promotion Service, the cards also feature original art by service users of the Céim Eile Day Centre and Service Users from Galway Training Centre, Merlin Park. At NUI Galway, Mental Health Week runs until Friday and features a range of opportunities to maintain one’s mental health. Students and staff can try meditation or laughter yoga, or enjoy ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’, a lunchtime comedy session. The show features an hilarious hour of entertainment from storyteller, comic and author Rab Fulton, who is also the editor of the NUI Galway health and resilience blog http://riskybizzness.blogspot.ie/ According to Cindy Dring, NUI Galway Health Promotion Coordinator, “Mental health underpins all health and wellbeing, and helps us to enjoy life more, so we all need to protect and strengthen our mental health every day. Find out what helps you to feel happier, and then do it!” On Saturday, 11 October at 10am, NUI Galway, in association with the Kingfisher Club, will host its second annual charity 8K Run/Walk. The route consists of a traffic-free, mixed terrain run around the University’s campus and along the banks of the river Corrib. The official charity partner for this event is Jigsaw Galway and coincides with global events around World Mental Health Day. ENDS

Friday, 10 October 2014

This October and November, the 8x8 Festival will be taking place on campuses in NUI Galway, UCC, UCD, TCD and DCU. 8x8 is a development focused arts festival, presented by Suas Educational Development and University campus partners. The festival is designed to raise awareness and challenge student’s perspectives of some of the key issues that are shaping our world today. A national survey of third level students conducted by Suas in 2012 found that 85% of students think it is important to take action on global development issues; yet only one in five believed that they could influence decisions affecting our world. This festival was born out of a need to inspire action amongst student and youth populations. In 2014 over 2,500 people attended the 8x8 Film Festival and for this year’s Festival we are expecting an increase in interest. The 8x8 exhibition touches the surface of what is currently happening worldwide. The exhibition and associated events bring together elements that we believe are key to achieving sustainable development and global justice. The exhibition begins with a focus on consumerism, its impact on people and the environment and the rising competition for natural resources. It continues with a glimpse into innovative solutions to development challenges before focusing on education and its role in sustainable development. Finally, it puts a lens to the topic of human rights, and people’s participation in democracy. The festival was launched recently, and will run in NUI Galway the week of October 13th, after which it will tour to DCU, UCC and finally UCD. Each campus will host the outdoor photo exhibit as well as a number of events including speaker events, discussions and film screenings, drawing out the themes of the festival. To find out more about the films, and to book free tickets for the festival, visit www.stand.ie/8x8. The 8x8 Film Festival is funded by Irish Aid and Europe Aid, and is part of the Irish and European Global Campus Programme. In NUI Galway it is part of the new Societies Global Week which runs from the 13th-17th of October  The themes for the week are: Celebrating Difference, Being Kind to The Planet & Understanding Global Issues. The timetable can be viewed on www.socs.nuigalway.ie.  There is a Global Fair on Monday 13th in the Bailey Allen Hall which will be transformed into a Global Village from 12pm-4pm.  Highlights will include Games from around the world - Storytelling - Short Films - Cakes of the World - Free Veggie Pizza - How to build a Water Purification System - Bicycle checks - Pétanque - Free tours - Food from all over the Globe - Dance - Stalls...and our community partners will be involved highlighting and raising awareness of global and green issues. ENDS Tugann Féile 8x8 léargais domhanda do hollscoileanna na hÉireann   Beidh an féile 8x8 ar siúl an Deireadh Fómhair agus Samhain seo i gcampas OÉ Gaillimh, UCC, UCD, TCD agus DCU. Féile na healaíona í dírithe ar forbairt idirnáisiúnta, a chur i láthair ag Suas Educational Development agus a bpáirtnéirí na hollscoile. Bhí an fhéile a cruthaíodh chun feasacht a ardú agus dúshlán a chur ar na mic léinn faoina príomh-shaincheisteanna ár ndomhan sa lá atá inniu. Thug Suas faoi deara tríd suirbhé náisiúnta i 2012 gur cheap 85% na mic léinn go bhfuil sé an-thábhactach chun gníomh a ghlacadh ar saincheisteanna forbartha domhanda; afach, ní chreideann ach duine as gach cúigear go bhfuil siad ábalta tionchar a chur ar na cinntí a théann i bhfeidhm ár ndomhan. Rugadh an féile seo amach as an gá chun gníomh a spreagadh i measc pobal na mac léinn agus an óige. Bhí níos mó ná 2,500 duine i láthair ar an féile i 2014 agus bímid ag súil le méadú an bhliain seo. Léiríonn an taispeántas 8x8 dúinn cuid de na rudaí ag tarlú ar fud an domhain faoi láthair. Tugann an taispeánas agus na imeachtaí a bhaineann leo heilimintí go bhfuil lárnach le forbairt inbhuanaithe agus ceartais dhomhanda le chéile. Thosaigh an taispeántas le díriú ar an tomhaltachas, a thionchar ar dhaoine agus ar an gcomhshaol agus leis an iomaíocht ag ardú le haghaidh acmhainní nádúrtha. Leanann sé ar aghaigh le léargas ar réitigh nuálacha le dúshláin forbartha roimh díriú ar oideachas agus ar a ról i bhforbairt inbhuanaithe. Ar deireadh, cuireann sé lionsa ar an ábhar ar chearta an duine, agus rannpháirtíocht na ndaoine sa daonlathas Beidh an Féile ar seoladh ar campas TCD ar an 6 Deireadh Fómhair, ar campas OÉ Gaillimh ar an 13 Deireadh Fómhair le haghaidh Seachtain an Domhain ina dhiaidh sin a mbeidh sé ar camchuairt go DCU, UCC agus ar deireadh UCD. Beidh gach gcampas a óstáil an taispeántas grianghraf amuigh faoin aer chomh maith le roinnt imeachtaí, le imeachtaí cainteoir  díospóireachtaí agus scannáin san áireamh, téamaí na féile ag tarraingt amach. Chun a fháil amach níos mó faoi na scannáin, agus chun ticéid saor in aisce don fhéile a chur in áirithe, cuairt a thabhairt ar www.stand.ie/8x8. Bíonn an Féile 8x8 a maoiníodh le Irish Aid agus Europe Aid, agus bíonn sé i bpáirt mar chuid de The Irish and European Global Campus Programme.

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics recently hosted a major international workshop in NUI Galway on ‘Controlled Natural Language’ that was attended by renowned experts in a field that is becoming increasingly important as a methodology for describing technical information related to web technologies. According to Dr Brian Davis of Insight, “The everyday or natural languages that humans use to communicate can be difficult for machines to understand as it is inherently ambiguous with for instance the same word having entirely different meanings in different contexts. So ‘Controlled Natural Language’ or CNL is designed to be a simplified language with restricted vocabulary, grammar, and semantics (meaning) which can be used to improve technical communication among humans, especially for non-native speakers of the respective natural language and is now commonly used in sectors such as ICT, localisaton, airline industries, global maritime among others. Applications include authoring and translating technical doucuments. It is about making it easier for computers to understand and to analyze documents faciliating for instance creating datababes or automatic translations into other languages.” Speakers at the workshop, that was sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Eurosentiment (http://eurosentiment.eu/ ) and Digital Grammars, included Professor Marti A. Hearst of the University of California at Berkeley, Professor Aarne Ranta of the University of Gothenburg and Professor Johan Bos, Univeristy of Groningen. Co-organisers of the workshop were Dr Brian Davis (Insight), Dr Tobias Kuhn (ETH, Zurich) and Dr Kaarel Kalijurand (University of Zurich). The Insight Centre for Data Analytics, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, is a joint initiative between researchers at Dublin City University, NUI Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin and other partner institutions. Insight brings together more than 200 researchers from these institutions, with over 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. For further information, contact Dr Brian Davis at brian.davis@insight-centre.org. -Ends-

Monday, 13 October 2014

Winners selected from almost 5,000 submissions from 200 institutions worldwide An NUI Galway student was awarded a 2014 Undergraduate Award - an international academic awards programme that identifies top students across the globe through their innovative undergraduate research. A further ten NUI Galway students were highly commended. Louisa Brophy Browne from Knocknacarra, Galway City was announced winner of the Undergraduate Award in the Classical Studies & Archaeology Category for her paper entitled Discuss and Evaluate the Main Points of the Debate on the Ethnics of Archaeological Work in War Zones and Occupied Territories Using Case Studies. Judged by a panel of academics and industry experts from each field, the winning essays were selected from almost 5000 submissions in over 200 colleges and universities across the globe. Congratulating Louise and the other highly-commended NUI Galway students, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “Louisa's success highlights the high quality of study which our undergraduate students are engaged in. Such success in these Awards will undoubtedly add lustre to the academic development of our students as well as underscore NUI Galway’s increasing profile as a centre of world-class research and teaching.”  Each winner is recognised as the top student in their respective field globally and will be awarded a gold medal of this achievement. Louisa, along with the 48 other UA winners, will be brought to Dublin for the UA Summit from 19-21 November to receive her medal. The Summit is designed to celebrate these outstanding students from across the world, and to inspire them with speakers assembled from a diverse range of backgrounds. For further information on the UA Summit and the results of the 2014 Undergraduate Awards, please see http://www.undergraduateawards.com. -Ends-

Monday, 13 October 2014

The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards, a competition to encourage enterprise and innovation among students, has been launched at NUI Galway. Now in its fifth year, the initiative invites students across campus to put forward proposals for a project or business, with a prize of €10,000 investment capital for the overall winner and two runners up prizes of €5,000 each. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards aim to unlock the potential of NUI Galway students by providing financial support and expertise for students who wish to start a project in the areas of business and/or social entrepreneurship. The six projects progressing to the second round will receive €500 each to develop their proposal further. They will also participate in a series of workshops in areas such as marketing, IT, legal and financial issues. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards are generously supported by NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union. The closing date for submissions is 5pm Friday 28th November. More information is available at www.su.nuigalway.ie  Declan Higgins, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “The Enterprise Awards are a showcase for the best and brightest student minds on campus and reflect the dynamic, innovative and creative graduates we all wish to see emerging from NUI Galway, now and in the years ahead.” Last year’s winner Brian Slattery of ‘Student Talks’ said: “The Student Enterprise Awards is a fantastic experience and I believe a must to enter if you want the chance of gaining expert advice and hopefully some considerable financial backing to kick-start your enterprise. I encourage anyone and everyone who has a business idea to take part, even just the process of applying is a good way to formalise your vision and refine your business model.”  -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Castlebar on Thursday, 23 October. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Harlequin Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge). Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Mayo, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Castlebar is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Castlebar, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Following the huge success of their respective roadshows, Cell EXPLORERS, Eco EXPLORERS and Kitchen Chemistry based in NUI Galway, are joining forces to host a day of fun science-related activities for children aged 7 to 13 years on Thursday, 30 October. DNA extractions, colourful chemical reactions and live exotic animals will be part of this exciting programme. With Cell EXPLORERS, children will learn about the fascinating world of cells and DNA. They will then learn how to design an experiment to extract DNA from fruit that they can do at home with their parents! Kitchen Chemistry will teach children how to make their own glow sticks and how to grow crystals at home. Eco EXPLORERS will complete the day with an exciting display of live exotic animals, ranging from tarantulas to snakes and stick insects. All three workshops will be delivered by NUI Galway students and staff members, all of whom want to share their enthusiasm for science. The workshops will run from 10am to 3pm and the cost of attending is €10 per child, with discounts available for multiple bookings (€15 for 2 children, €20 for 3 children). To register, email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie or or call 091 495748. Registration forms and payments will be organised on the day, from 9.30am to 10am. Places are limited, so early booking is advised. -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), NUI Galway, in close collaboration with project partner the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has won a major EU contract for Irish Law and Social Data Research and will become Ireland’s new national focal point for the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). This is the first time that the prestigious FRANET-Ireland contract for data collection and research services on fundamental rights issues in Ireland has been awarded to an Irish University-led bid. FRANET is the FRA’s multidisciplinary research network. It is composed of contractors in each EU Member State who provide relevant data to FRA on fundamental rights issues, to facilitate the Agency’s comparative analyses. This work of the FRA then informs EU policy and initiatives across the EU member States. The ICHR/ICCL project has assembled a team of Ireland’s leading human rights and social science experts, located at academic institutions and in civil society. Professor Michael O’Flaherty, the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, who becomes the FRANET Senior Expert for Ireland, commented: “We are very pleased to take on this contract that will generate crucial findings for the strengthening of fundamental rights in Ireland and across the EU. We are particularly pleased to partner with the ICCL and with Ireland’s top specialists to undertake this ground-breaking work.” Mark Kelly, the Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, who becomes the FRANET Senior Legal Expert for Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the ICHR to ensure that the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency has legally accurate and up-to-date information about the state of human rights in Ireland. We also look forward to spreading the word about the important evidence-based research published by the FRA.” Research will focus on a number of thematic areas. These include: access to justice; victims of crime, including compensation to victims; respect for private life and protection of personal data; Roma integration; judicial cooperation; rights of the child; discrimination; asylum, immigration and borders; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance.   ENDS

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Engineering students from NUI Galway are designing and building ‘the Geec’ (Galway energy-efficient car), Ireland’s most fuel efficient car, efficient enough to drive from Galway to Dublin on less than €1 worth of electricity. In May 2015, the team will compete with 200 other teams at Shell Eco-marathon Europe as the first team ever to represent Ireland in the event. At Shell Eco-marathon a future generation of engineers and scientists aged 16-25 from around 25 countries compete in cars they design and build. Success is measured on who can drive the furthest on the equivalent of 1 kWh of electricity or 1 litre of fuel, thanks to their creative designs and technical know-how. Shell Eco-marathon aims to involve citizens globally in challenges related to energy and mobility, while inspiring them to consider innovative solutions. In May 2015 in Rotterdam, the Geec from NUI Galway will race in the prototype electric category. The car combines electric drive with a streamlined composite body and ultra-low resistance tyres. The team consists of students across the Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic and Energy Systems Engineering disciplines with full backing from the University’s College of Engineering and Informatics. The team is currently testing and tuning the car and is seeking to build relationships with partners and sponsors who can help to develop this project for the 2015 Eco-marathon and beyond. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, recently unveiled the car alongside Shell representatives, students and alumni. “The Shell Eco-Marathon was first established in 1939 and I am delighted to see students from our College of Engineering and Informatics participate as the event challenges students across the world to design build and race ultra-efficient vehicles. There has never been an Irish team to compete in the event and this will change in 2015 with NUI Galway's contribution to the world of eco-friendly transport. This is a great team of students taking on the design, building and racing Ireland's most fuel efficient car and I really do commend them and wish them well.” Shell Eco-marathon is one of the world’s most challenging student innovation competitions and takes place annually in Europe, America and Asia. The competition brings together current and future leaders, along with a broader public passionate about energy issues. It encourages debate around sustainable solutions to the challenge of rising global energy demand. Speaking at an event today where the Engineering students presented and exhibited the vehicle, Michael Crothers, Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland Limited, said: “Shell E&P Ireland is delighted to support NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics as it competes in the 30th anniversary of the Shell Eco-marathon in 2015. The design of ultra-energy efficient vehicles is both a lot of fun and a great chance to learn as students apply their talents across a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines.”  Continuing, Mr Crothers added: “The NUI Galway team will be pitting their technical skills against 3,000 of the best and brightest engineering students in Europe, and I know they will represent the great tradition of Irish engineering excellence very well.  I wish the team every success in the competition.” For more information on NUI Galway’s entry visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NUIGEcoMarathon, or visit www.nuigalway.ie/thegeec. -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

NUI Galway’s discipline of German will launch a new art exhibition presenting engravings by Caspar Walter Rauh on Wednesday, 22 October at 5pm in Art Gallery in the Quadrangle. Rauh (1912-1983) was a German graphic artist, illustrator and painter working in the tradition of Fantastic Realism and Surrealism. Despite the huge initial success of his drawings and engravings after World War II, inspired by traumatic experiences as a soldier in Russia, public interest in his works declined as Germany turned its back on the war. He became an outsider who was ignored by mainstream art. It is only in recent years that Rauh’s work has been rediscovered with its Bosch-like testimony to the cruelties of the war. For the first time in Ireland, this exhibition displays some of his finest engravings, mostly created after 1960 – technically brilliant phantasmagories reminiscent of earlier traumas but increasingly revealing the artist’s whimsical sense of humour and his inclination towards the idyllic and bizarre. Dream-like images, oscillating between barbaric violence and fairy-tale fantasies, reflect the complexity of a highly original artist. The exhibition has been curated by NUI Galway’s Professor Hans-Walter Schmidt-Hannisa and Michael Shields, and is sponsored by the German Embassy and the Arts Office, NUI Galway. All are welcome to attend the launch, followed by a reception in the presence of the German cultural attaché, Peter Adams. The exhibition will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 1-4.30pm until Saturday, 8 November. -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dr Ciara Smyth, Director of the Doctoral Programme in the School of Law, NUI Galway, has been appointed to the government’s Working Group on Asylum.  The Working Group, which is convened by the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, and chaired by retired High Court judge, Mr Justice Bryan McMahon, is to recommend to Government what improvements should be made to the State’s existing direct provision and protection processes for asylum seekers in the short and longer term.  The establishment of the Working Group comes in response to mounting criticism of delays in the Irish asylum procedure and the conditions in which asylum seekers are required to live while they await the outcome of their asylum applications.  Other members of the Working Group include: Sue Conlan, Chief Executive of the Irish Refugee Council and Sophie Magennis, Head of UNHCR in Ireland.  Dr Ciara Smyth has been working in the asylum field for over fifteen years, both as a practitioner and as an academic.  She teaches Immigration Law, International Human Rights and International Law in the School of Law, NUI Galway, and Refugee Law in the Irish Centre for Human Rights.  She has been involved in training of staff in the asylum institutions, has conducted master-classes for barristers, solicitors and asylum decision-makers on various aspects of refugee law, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Refugee Council.  She has just published a monograph with Routledge on  European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child. Last year Ciara was presented with a prestigious Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award in Tilburg for her PhD thesis on ‘The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of the Child: An Exploration of Meaning and Compliance’, which she completed at Leiden University. Welcoming the announcement of Dr Smyth’s appointment to the new Working Group, the Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, Professor Donncha O’Connell, said: “This is a well-deserved recognition of Ciara Smyth’s standing as a leading Irish and European scholar on asylum and related matters. I have no doubt that she will make an invaluable contribution to the Working Group which will be chaired by Judge McMahon who was, previously, a part-time Professor in the School of Law at NUI Galway.” -Ends-

Thursday, 16 October 2014

NUI Galway Professor of Human Resource Management and Employment Relations, Professor Tony Dundon, has been has conferred with the award of Fellow by the Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Dundon is one of 34 leading social scientists to receive the award. The recipients have a wide range of expertise in the social sciences, including town planning, education, geography, social work, law, sociology, economics and psychology. These Fellows have made a substantial contribution to wider social science in a variety of contexts, including in higher education, government, funding councils, charitable foundations and think tanks. Professor Dundon is recognised as a key figure in the development of employment relations studies, in particular on employee voice, worker rights and regulatory systems of industrial relations. The Academy of Social Sciences is the National Academy of Academics, Learned Societies and Practitioners in the Social Sciences. It has around 1,000 individual Fellows, who are distinguished scholars and practitioners from academia and the public and private sectors. They are awarded Fellowship status after peer group review of the standing and impact of their work and evaluation of their contribution to wider social science. Fellows are entitled to use the post-nominal letters 'FAcSS'. For more information visit http://acss.org.uk/news/4-leading-social-scientists-conferred-fellows/.   -Ends-

Friday, 17 October 2014

Three Honorary Masters Degrees will also be presented Almost 3,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which take place from 18-24 October. The University will also confer three Honorary Masters Degrees during the ceremonies on Carl Hession, Charlie Byrne and Patricia Burke Brogan. Carl Hession - Masters of Music honoris causa: For over 30 years, Carl has been involved with music in Galway, primarily in Coláiste Iognáid where he teaches. In addition to his teaching, his association with and contribution to the school’s annual show and other events as composer and musical director is also highly regarded. Carl has designed and taught the Music Methodology on NUI Galway’s Professional Diploma in Education programme. In recent years as Musical Director for the University’s Medical Orchestra, he has helped rekindle and support the development of students’ musical talents, and to promote music engagement amongst students within the School of Medicine. Carl’s composition ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ and his most recent involvements with the Moscow Ballet are testament to his dedication and talent as a composer. Charlie Byrne - Masters of Arts honoris causa: Founder and owner of Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop which opened in 1988 as a market stall, the shop has grown successfully over the years and is now recognised as one of Ireland’s most successful bookshops. The business has become a cultural venue in Galway City, hosting book launches, readings, signings, poetry slams, musical evenings, art exhibitions and book clubs, and in 2013 he was awarded the Irish Times Bookshop of the Year award. A native of Longford, Charlie graduated from NUI Galway with a Bachelor of Arts in 1981. Patricia Burke Brogan - Masters of Arts honoris causa: Born in Co. Clare and now living in Galway City, Patricia is an internationally renowned poet, playwright and painter. Her paintings and graphics have been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, and has won many awards for her plays, poems, graphics and short stories. Her stage play Eclipsed, first produced in 1992, was presented with a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival that year and has since been produced all over the world and been translated into many languages, including Japanese for a recent production in Tokyo. Her memoir was published earlier this year. In advance of the conferring ceremonies, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. This week we are proud to honour Carl Hession, Charlie Byrne and Patricia Burke Brogan. Each of these individuals has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of music, education, literature and the arts. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise their exceptional talents and achievements.” The annual Autumn Conferring Ceremonies will begin with the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development ceremonies, where awards will be conferred on almost 950 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country. -ENDS- Bronnadh an Fhómhair in OÉ Gaillimh Bronnfar Trí Chéim Mháistreachta Oinigh chomh maith Bainfidh beagnach 3,000 mac léinn céim amach in OÉ Gaillimh sna Searmanais Bhronnta Céime a bheidh ar bun idir an 18-24 Deireadh Fómhair. Bronnfaidh an Ollscoil Céim Mháistreachta Oinigh ar an triúr seo a leanas: Carl Hession, Charlie Byrne agus Patricia Burke Brogan. Carl Hession - Céim Mháistreachta sa Cheol honoris causa: Le breis is 30 bliain, tá baint ag Carl le ceol i nGaillimh, go príomha i gColáiste Iognáid áit ina bhfuil sé ina mhúinteoir. Le cois na múinteoireachta, tá ardmheas ar a chuid oibre mar chumadóir agus mar stiúrthóir ceoil ar sheó bliantúil na scoile agus ar imeachtaí eile. Is é Carl a dhear agus a mhúin an Mhodheolaíocht Cheoil ar an Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas in OÉ Gaillimh. Le blianta beaga anuas agus é ina Stiúrthóir Ceoil le Ceolfhoireann Leighis na hOllscoile, chuidigh sé chun buanna ceoil na mac léinn a athmhúscailt agus a chothú, agus chun rannpháirtíocht cheoil a chur chun cinn i measc na mac léinn i Scoil an Leighis. Is teist iad ceapadóireacht Carl ar ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ agus an obair is déanaí a bhí idir lámha aige le Ballet Mhoscó ar a dhíograis agus a bhua mar chumadóir. Charlie Byrne - Céim Mháistreachta sna Dána honoris causa: Is é Charlie bunaitheoir agus úinéir Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop a d'oscail in 1988 mar stalla margaidh. Tá fás agus forbairt tagtha ar an siopa thar na blianta agus tá sé aitheanta anois ar cheann de na siopaí leabhar is rathúla in Éirinn. Ionad cultúrtha atá sa ghnó anois i gCathair na Gaillimhe, agus bíonn leabhair á seoladh, á léamh, agus á síniú ann, mar aon le hócáidí filíochta, oícheanta ceoil, taispeántais ealaíne agus clubanna leabhar agus bronnadh gradam an Irish Times do Shiopa Leabhar na Bliana ar an siopa sa bhliain 2013. Is as Longford ó dhúchas é Charlie, agus bhronn OÉ Gaillimh Céim sna Dána air sa bhliain 1981. Patricia Burke Brogan - Máistreacht sna Dána honoris causa: Rugadh Patricia i gCo. an Chláir agus tá sí anois ag cur fúithi i gCathair na Gaillimhe agus is file, drámadóir agus péintéir í a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta uirthi. Bhí péinteálacha agus grafaicí léi ar taispeáint go forleathan, go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta, agus is iomaí duais atá bainte amach aici as a cuid drámaí, dánta, grafaicí agus gearrscéalta. Cuireadh a dráma Eclipsed ar stáitse den chéad uair sa bhliain 1992, agus bronnadh duais Fringe First air ag Féile Amharclannaíochta Dhún Éideann agus ó shin i leith tá sé curtha ar stáitse ar fud an domhain agus tá sé aistrithe go teangacha eile lena n-áirítear an tSeapáinis do léiriú a rinneadh le gairid air i Tóiceo. Foilsíodh a cuimhní cinn níos luaithe i mbliana. Ag labhairt dó roimh na searmanais bhronnta, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith bainteach leis an oiread sin céimithe oinigh den scoth ó bunaíodh an Ollscoil. An tseachtain seo, táimid bródúil céim oinigh a bhronnadh ar Carl Hession, ar Charlie Byrne agus ar Patricia Burke Brogan. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh seo i réimsí éagsúla an cheoil, an oideachais, na litríochta agus na ndán. Is cúis áthais dúinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh an deis a bheith againn aitheantas a thabhairt don tallann agus don tsárobair atá déanta ag na daoine seo.” Cuirfear tús le Searmanais bhliantúla Bhronnadh Céimeanna an Fhómhair leis na searmanais an Ionaid Foghlama agus Forbartha Gairmiúla d’Aosaigh, áit a mbronnfar dámhachtainí ar bheagnach 950 mac léinn a chríochnaigh a gcúrsaí teastais, dioplóma agus céime in ionaid éagsúla ar fud na tíre. -CRÍOCH-

Monday, 20 October 2014

NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students with a special ceremony on Thursday, 17 October, in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Excellence Scholarships, 57 students received €2,000 each, along with a specially designed NUI Galway scroll. Each year the Excellence Scholarships are given to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. For Medical students 10 Scholarships were awarded certificates, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). The Excellence Scholarships are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. The awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships, Sports Scholarship Scheme and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. Speaking at the award ceremony, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, who presented the cheques to each individual winner, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these 57 outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway constantly strives to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these Awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their important contribution to such success.” This year Excellence Scholarships were awarded to students from 40 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 14 counties including Clare, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo and Tipperary. -Ends- Ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh ar Scothmhic Léinn a rinne Éacht san Ardteistiméireacht Rinneadh ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh le gairid ar ghrúpa ar leith mac léinn chéad bhliana ag searmanas speisialta Déardaoin, an 16 Deireadh Fómhair, mar aitheantas ar na pointí arda a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Mar chuid de shearmanas bliantúil na hOllscoile le Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin a bhronnadh, bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar fiú €1,500 an ceann iad mar aon le scrolla speisialta ar 49 mac léinn. Bronntar na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin gach bliain ar mhic léinn atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta, seachas mic léinn leighis. Sa Leigheas, bronntar deich Scoláireacht bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála nua (H-PAT Ireland) araon. Tá na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i sárchaighdeán acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. D’fhéadfaí go mbeadh scoláireachtaí nó deontais eile ag an té a fhaigheann na scoláireachtaí seo, Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime na hOllscoile, Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta, Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile agus scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí agus iad siúd a n-éiríonn thar barr leo sna scrúduithe Ollscoile san áireamh. Ag labhairt dó roimh bhronnadh na ngradam, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is cúis áthais dom na scoláireachtaí seo a bhronnadh ar an 49 duine den scoth seo mar aitheantas ar a gcumas acadúil. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le sárchaighdeán acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh. Tá na Gradaim seo ann le gach mac léinn a spreagadh le lántairbhe a bhaint as a gcumas mar mhic léinn, trí thairseach réalaíoch sárchaighdeáin a leagan amach agus luach saothair a thabhairt do gach mac léinn a bhaineann an leibhéal sin amach. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don tsárobair atá déanta ag a dtuismitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí.” I mbliana bronnadh na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin ar scoláirí ó 29 scoil ar fud na hÉireann. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn as na 11 chontae seo a leanas – Gaillimh, Maigh Eo, Luimneach, Sligeach, Ciarraí, Baile Átha Cliath, Tiobraid Árann, Ros Comáin, Dún  na nGall, an Dúin agus an Iarmhí. -Críoch-  

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

• NUI Galway to lead new national medical device research centre • NUI Galway to play key role in 3 of 5 new centres • €155 million of new Exchequer funds for 5 world-class Research Centres • €90 million co-investment by over 165 industry partners in new Centres A new world-class medical device research centre is to be established at NUI Galway as part of a €245 million Government investment in science and technology. In addition, NUI Galway is to play a key role in two other research centres announced today in Dublin by Richard Bruton, T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Damien English, T.D. Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation. An announcement of a total of five new SFI Research Centres today is a major investment by the Government in scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals. A total of €155 million of Irish exchequer funding will be invested in the new world class research centres of scale. The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over €90 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review. CÚRAM - The Centre for Research in Medical Devices This major new national research centre will be based at NUI Galway. The prime objective for CÚRAM will be to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs. NUI Galway’s Professor Abhay Pandit, who is currently Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), will be the Director of CÚRAM. Three high-profile Co-Directors will bring a depth and breadth of expertise to the new research centre: Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research and Stokes Professor of Glycosciences and Director of AGRC at NUI Galway; Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway; and Professor David Brayden, Professor of Drug Delivery at UCD. CÚRAM will design and create implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. Implants will be designed and manufactured to respond to the body’s environment and to deliver therapeutic agents, such as drugs, exactly where needed. Cutting-edge science will develop devices using the very latest research from biomaterials, stem cells and drug delivery. Devices will be developed with strong clinical collaborations and with industry partners and hospital groups to enable rapid translation to the clinic. CÚRAM’s outputs will benefit in particular patients with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and musculoskeletal diseases. As the global population ages, with one in 3 people expected to be over 65 by 2050, the financial burden for healthcare is expected to rocket. CÚRAM will position Ireland as the driver in developing medical device technologies which will provide affordable transformative solutions for chronic diseases to meet this challenge. Crucially, CÚRAM will also sustain and permanently strengthen Ireland’s standing as a major global hub for medical device sector research and development. CÚRAM brings together researchers from NUI Galway, UCD, DCU, UL, UCC and RCSI. The centre will include almost 40 industry partners and support product development and the creation of new spin-out companies. Partners will include indigenous Irish companies and multi-nationals such as Arch Therapeutics Inc, Aerogen, Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd. iCrag - Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences NUI Galway also forms part of the new Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG). This centre is focused on unlocking Ireland’s natural resources and providing solutions to resource security problems by securing supplies of energy, minerals and safe water. Part of this work will involve “de-risking” investment by exploration companies in Ireland by providing better descriptions and models of the geology to improve our understanding of the key processes influencing their formation. Additionally iCRAG will develop innovative techniques for predicting the location and nature of resources and link them to improved methods for optimising the production of resources throughout Ireland. iCRAG initial research is built around key sectors in the geosciences, notably Raw materials, Marine Geoscience, Groundwater and Hydrocarbons. Emphasis is also placed on increasing the public understanding of geoscience in Ireland and its role in the economy. NUI Galway researchers from the discipline of Earth and Ocean Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences will contribute to all aspects of iCRAG research. NUI Galway’s Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Peter Croot, is a co-PI in iCRAG and will lead research in Marine Geosciences in cooperation with colleagues from UCC, Maynooth, TCD, DIAS and the iCRAG host institute, UCD. Lero Software Research Centre NUI Galway is also a key part of the Lero Software Research Centre. Software is everywhere and key Irish industry sectors such as manufacturing, medical devices, financial services, cloud computing, analytics, and smart cities depend on it. LERO’s research mission is to replicate the success of traditional software engineering in the context of large-scale, pervasive, physically-integrated, highly interconnected, evolving, and continuously-available systems, in which the boundary between design-time and runtime is disappearing. NUI Galway’s Dr Kieran Conboy, Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy & Law at NUI Galway will lead a group of 14 new research staff to work on software project management and innovation. According to Dr Conboy, while the software industry is particularly strong in Ireland, accounting for €12bn in exports, there are significant challenges to overcome to ensure this sector can play a leading role in Ireland’s recovery. Together with industry the group at NUI Galway will develop, implement and evaluate world-leading software development and management practices in two core areas: • Evolving software: The ways in which software is created and managed are constantly changing. The Lero team at NUI Galway will lead research on contemporary methods for evolving software such as lean and agile approaches, project and portfolio management, decision making and lean analytics. • Open software: The development and management of software crosses teams, organisations and sectors. The team will lead research in open innovation, software ecosystems, crowdsourcing, cloud technologies and design thinking. Geophysics and particularly seismic data are typically very large and growing in size, driven by many factors including higher-resolution sensors, cheaper storage and global acquisition programmes. However much of the software used on a daily basis by engineers and scientists in the field was conceived and built before the era of “Big Data”. The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC), a technology centre at NUI Galway, and its industry partners will develop new methods to modernise our approach to handle large datasets in the oil and gas sector. Speaking about today’s announcement in Dublin, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “This is a wonderful endorsement of NUI Galway’s consistent approach to supporting selected priority areas of research, particularly in the area of biomedical science. CÚRAM will draw on the very significant pool of talented biomedical researchers on our campus, led by Professors Abhay Pandit, Tim O’Brien, Lokesh Joshi and their teams. CÚRAM holds enormous potential for the Irish economy and the Centre will work with industry partners to support innovation and development in the medical device sector – where Galway and Ireland already have a significant profile as an international hub for ‘medtech’. I am certain too that NUI Galway will make important contributions to the work of both iCrag Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences and Lero Software Centre, through the leadership of Professor Peter Croot and Dr Kieran Conboy. I congratulate my colleagues on securing this very significant research investment, as a result of which I look forward to the emergence of further dynamic and productive partnerships between NUI Galway researchers and industrial partners in the areas of biomedical science, geosciences and software engineering.” Speaking about the selection of the five world-class centres, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said, “These five new SFI Research Centres were selected following a highly competitive and rigorous international peer review process which screened for scientific excellence and assessed potential economic and societal impact. These five SFI Research Centres complement the seven we announced last year – which are already having a major positive impact: making important scientific advances, initiating and enhancing enterprise, training people with appropriate skills, winning EU projects and enhancing Ireland’s international reputation. These SFI Research Centres combine scientific research with deep and significant enterprise engagement, excellence and impact. We are confident that they will make a significant contribution to Ireland’s economy, employment and reputation.” Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research.” “The €245 million investment announced today, and the five new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This builds on the announcement of seven similar centres last year. With twelve world-class SFI Research Centres, Ireland is now well placed to take the lead developing cutting-edge research and new technologies, ultimately delivering more commercial ideas and jobs.” The new centres will link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, and foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies. The aim is also to attract industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy, and expand educational and career opportunities in Ireland in science and engineering. -ENDS- OÉ Gaillimh i lár an aonaigh san infheistíocht €245 milliún a d'fhógair an tAire Bruton agus an tAire English • Beidh OÉ Gaillimh i gceannas ar ionad taighde náisiúnta nua d'fheistí leighis • Beidh príomhról ag OÉ Gaillimh i dtrí cinn de na cúig ionad nua • €155 milliún de chistí an Státchiste do chúig Ionad Taighde den scoth • Comhinfheistíocht €90 milliún ó bhreis is 165 comhpháirtí tionscail sna hIonaid nua Táthar le hionad taighde nua den scoth d'fheistí leighis a bhunú in OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid den infheistíocht €245 milliún ón Rialtas san eolaíocht agus sa teicneolaíocht. Chomh maith leis sin, beidh ról lárnach ag OÉ Gaillimh in dhá ionad taighde eile a d'fhógair Richard Bruton, T.D. an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta agus Damien English, T.D. an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu. Is infheistíocht ollmhór ón Rialtas sa taighde eolaíoch é an fógra a rinneadh inniu faoi na cúig Ionad Taighde SFI nua, agus tá sé ceangailte go dlúth le riachtanais tionscail agus fiontair, le deiseanna fostaíochta agus le spriocanna na sochaí. Déanfar €155 milliún de mhaoiniú Státchiste na hÉireann a infheistiú sna hionaid taighde nua den scoth. Tiocfaidh an maoiniú nua ó Chlár Ionad Taighde Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI) mar aon le breis is €90 milliún in airgead tirim agus i ranníocaíochtaí comhchineálacha ó chomhpháirtithe tionscail. Cuirfear an maoiniú ar fáil as seo go ceann sé bliana agus déanfar athbhreithniú meántéarma air. CÚRAM - An tIonad Taighde d'Fheistí Leighis Beidh an t-ionad taighde náisiúnta ollmhór nua seo lonnaithe in OÉ Gaillimh. Is é príomhchuspóir CÚRAM feabhas radacach a chur ar thorthaí sláinte d'othair trí fheistí leighis so-ionchlannaithe nuálacha a fhorbairt chun cóireáil a chur ar fáil do riachtanais leighis nach bhfuil freastal á ndéanamh orthu. Beidh an tOllamh Abhay Pandit as OÉ Gaillimh, atá ina Stiúrthóir faoi láthair ar an nGréasán Feabhais do Bhithábhair Fheidhmeacha (NFB), ina Stiúrthóir ar CÚRAM. Cuirfidh triúr Comh-Stiúrthóirí iomráiteacha saineolas domhain agus leathan ar fáil don ionad taighde nua: An tOllamh Lokesh Joshi, Leas-Uachtarán Taighde agus Ollamh Stokes le Gliceolaíocht agus Stiúrthóir AGRC in OÉ Gaillimh; an tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Stiúrthóir Institiúid an Leighis Athghiniúnaigh  (REMEDI) agus an tOllamh le Leigheas in OÉ Gaillimh; agus an tOllamh David Brayden, Ollamh le Seachadadh Drugaí in UCD. Déanfaidh CÚRAM feistí leighis 'cliste' so-ionchlannaithe a dhearadh agus a chruthú. Déanfar ionchlannáin a dhearadh agus a tháirgeadh le freastal ar thimpeallacht an choirp agus chun gníomhaithe teiripeacha, cosúil le drugaí, a sholáthar san áit ina bhfuil siad ag teastáil. Forbróidh eolaíocht cheannródaíoch feistí trí úsáid a bhaint as an taighde is déanaí ó bhithábhair, ó ghaschealla agus ó sheachadadh drugaí. Forbrófar feistí le comhpháirtíochtaí cliniciúla láidre agus le comhpháirtithe tionscail agus le grúpaí ospidéil chun aistriú tapa go dtí an clinic a chumasú. Bainfidh othair a bhfuil galair ainsealacha cosúil le galar croí, diaibéiteas agus galair mhatánchnámharlaigh ag gabháil dóibh buntáiste as obair CÚRAM. De réir mar a théann daonra an domhain in aois, agus duine as gach triúr le bheith os cionn 65 bliain d'aois faoi 2050, táthar ag tuar go dtiocfaidh ardú thar na bearta ar an gcostas a bhaineann le cúram sláinte. Le cabhair ó CÚ‏RAM beidh Éire ar thús cadhnaíochta i bhforbairt teicneolaíochtaí feistí leighis agus cuirfidh sí réitigh thrasfhoirmeacha ar phraghas réasúnta ar fáil do ghalair ainsealacha chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar an dúshlán seo. Cothóidh agus neartóidh CÚRAM seasamh na hÉireann mar mhol domhanda do thaighde agus d'fhorbairt in earnáil na bhfeistí leighis. Beidh taighdeoirí as OÉ Gaillimh, UCD, DCU, UCC agus RCSI ag obair in CÚRAM. Beidh beagnach 40 comhpháirtí tionscail bainteach leis an ionad áit a bhforbrófar táirgí agus a gcruthófar mac-chuideachtaí nua. Beidh cuideachtaí Éireannacha agus ilnáisiúnta cosúil le Arch Therapeutics Inc, Aerogen, Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd. mar chomhpháirtithe. iCrag - Ionad do Thaighde Geo-eolaíochtaí Feidhmeacha Tá baint ag OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith leis an Ionad nua Éireannach do Thaighde Geo-eolaíochtaí Feidhmeacha (iCRAG). Tá an t-ionad dírithe ar acmhainní nádúrtha na hÉireann a chur ar fáil agus réitigh a fháil d'fhadhbanna slándála acmhainní trí fhuinneamh, mianraí agus uisce sábháilte a sholáthar. Bainfidh cuid den obair seo le hinfheistíocht dé-rioscaithe ó chuideachtaí taiscéalaíochta in Éirinn trí thuairiscí agus trí mhúnlaí níos fearr den gheolaíocht a chur ar fáil chun ár dtuiscint ar na príomhphróisis a mbíonn tionchar acu ar a bhfoirmiú a fheabhsú. Chomh maith leis sin, forbróidh iCRAG teicnící nuálaíocha chun suíomh agus nádúr na n-acmhainní a dhéanamh amach agus iad a cheangal le modhanna feabhsaithe chun táirgeadh acmhainní a uasmhéadú ar fud na hÉireann. Tá buntaighde iCRAG bunaithe ar phríomhearnálacha sna geo-eolaíochtaí, go háirithe Amhábhair, Geo-eolaíocht Mhuirí, Screamhuisce agus Hidreacarbóin. Cuirtear béim chomh maith ar chur thuiscint an phobail ar an ngeo-eolaíocht in Éirinn agus ar a ról sa gheilleagar a fheabhsú. Oibreoidh taighdeoirí OÉ Gaillimh ó dhisciplín na nEolaíochtaí Domhain agus Aigéin i Scoil na nEolaíochtaí Nádúrtha ar gach gné de thaighde iCRAG. Tá an tOllamh de chuid OÉ Gaillimh le hEolaíochtaí Domhain agus Aigéin, Peter Croot, ina chomh-Phríomhthaighdeoir in iCRAG agus beidh sé i gceannas an taighde ar Gheo-eolaíochtaí Muirí i gcomhar le comhghleacaithe ó UCC, Má Nuad, TCD, DIAS agus óstinstitiúid iCRAG, UCD. Ionad Taighde Bogearraí Lero Tá páirt lárnach chomh maith ag OÉ Gaillimh in Ionad Taighde Bogearraí Lero. Tá bogearraí i ngach áit agus braitheann príomhearnálacha tionscail na hÉireann cosúil le déantúsaíocht, feistí leighis, seirbhísí airgeadais, néalríomhaireacht, anailísíocht agus cathracha cliste ar bhogearraí. Is é misean taighde LERO macasamhail den rath a bhain le hinnealtóireacht thraidisiúnta bogearraí a chruthú i gcomhthéacs córas atá mór, forleatach, comhtháite go fisiciúil, thar a bheith idirnasctha, athraitheach agus ar fáil go leanúnach, áit a bhfuil deireadh ag teacht leis an teorainn idir an t-am a thógann sé iad a dhearadh agus iad a rith. Is é an Dr Kieran Conboy, Déan Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí in OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh ag stiúradh an ghrúpa de 14 chomhalta foirne taighde nua a bheidh ag obair ar bhainistíocht tionscadal agus nuálaíocht bogearraí. Dar leis an Dr Conboy, cé go bhfuil tionscal na mbogearraí thar a bheith láidir in Éirinn, agus é freagrach as €12bn in easpórtálacha, tá dúshláin shuntasacha le sárú le cinntiú go mbeidh páirt lárnach ag an earnáil seo in athshlánú na hÉireann. In éineacht leis an tionscal, déanfaidh an grúpa in OÉ Gaillimh cleachtais forbartha agus bhainistíochta bogearraí a fhorbairt, a chur i bhfeidhm agus a mheas in dhá phríomhréimse: • Bogearraí athraitheacha: Tá athrú de shíor ag teacht ar na bealaí ina ndéantar bogearraí a chruthú agus a bhainistiú. Beidh foireann LERO in OÉ Gaillimh ag stiúradh an taighde ar mhodhanna comhaimseartha do bhogearraí athraitheacha cosúil le cur chuigí barainneacha agus solúbtha, bainistíocht tionscadal agus punainne, cinnteoireacht agus anailísíocht bharainneach. • Bogearraí oscailte: Baineann forbairt agus bainistíocht bogearraí le foirne, le heagraíochtaí agus le hearnálacha. Beidh an fhoireann i gceannas ar thaighde ar nuálaíocht oscailte, éiceachórais bhogearraí, sluafhoinsiú, teicneolaíochtaí néalríomhaireachta agus smaointeoireacht dheartha. Is iondúil go mbíonn sonraí geoifisice agus seismeacha, go háirithe, an-mhór agus ag méadú. Is iomaí fachtóir is cúis leis seo lena n-áirítear braiteoirí le taifeach níos airde, cláir stórála agus shealbhaithe dhomhanda níos saoire. Ach baineann an chuid is mó de na bogearraí a úsáideann innealtóirí agus eolaithe go laethúil leis an tréimhse roimh an “Olltiomsú Sonraí”. Forbróidh Ionad Ríomhaireachta Ardleibhéil na hÉireann (ICHEC), ionad teicneolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh, agus a chomhpháirtithe tionscail, modhanna nua chun beocht a thabhairt don chur chuige maidir le tacair shonraí mhóra in earnáil an ola agus an gháis a láimhseáil. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is iontach an léiriú é seo ar chur chuige leanúnach OÉ Gaillimh i leith tacú le réimsí tosaíochta roghnaithe taighde, go háirithe i réimse na heolaíochta bithleighis. Bainfidh CÚRAM úsáid as an ngrúpa suntasach taighdeoirí bithleighis den scoth ar ár gcampas, faoi stiúir na nOllúna Abhay Pandit, Tim O’Brien, Lokesh Joshi agus a bhfoirne. Tá poitéinseal ollmhór ag baint le CÚRAM do gheilleagar na hÉireann agus oibreoidh an t-ionad le comhpháirtithe tionscail chun tacú le nuálaíocht agus le forbairt in earnáil na bhfeistí leighis – earnáil ina bhfuil próifíl ard cheana féin ag Gaillimh agus ag Éirinn mar mhol idirnáisiúnta do chuideachtaí leighis-teicneolaíochta. Táim cinnte chomh maith go gcuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh go mór le hobair an Ionaid iCrag do Thaighde sna Geo-eolaíochtaí Feidhmeacha agus Ionad Bogearraí Lero, le cabhair ó cheannaireacht an Ollaimh Peter Croot agus an Dr Kieran Conboy. Tréaslaím le mo chomhghleacaithe as an infheistíocht taighde an-suntasach seo a bhaint amach, agus táim ag súil dá bharr go mbeidh tuilleadh comhpháirtíochtaí fiúntacha agus dinimiciúla idir taighdeoirí OÉ Gaillimh agus comhpháirtithe tionscail sna réimsí eolaíochta bithleighis, geo-eolaíochtaí agus innealtóireachta bogearraí.” Ag labhairt dó faoi roghnú na gcúig ionad den chéad scoth, dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir SFI agus Príomh-Chomhairleoir Eolaíoch le Rialtas na hÉireann: “Roghnaíodh na cúig Ionad nua Taighde SFI seo tar éis próiseas athbhreithnithe piaraí idirnáisiúnta thar a bheith iomaíoch agus dian. Rinne an próiseas scagadh ar shárchaighdeán eolaíoch agus rinne sé tionchar poitéinsiúil eacnamaíoch agus sochaíoch a mheas. Feidhmeoidh na cúig Ionad Taighde SFI seo leis na seacht gcinn a fógraíodh anuraidh – agus a bhfuil tionchar thar a bheith dearfach acu cheana féin: ag déanamh dul chun cinn tábhachtach ó thaobh na heolaíochta de, ag cur tús le fiontraíocht agus á feabhsú, ag cur oiliúint ar dhaoine le scileanna cuí, ag buachan thionscadail AE agus ag cur le cáil idirnáisiúnta na hÉireann. Nascann na hIonaid Taighde SFI seo taighde eolaíoch le rannpháirtíocht, le sárchaighdeán agus le tionchar fiontraíochta ar leibhéal domhain agus suntasach. Táimid muiníneach go gcuirfidh siad go suntasach le geilleagar, le fostaíocht agus le cáil na hÉireann.” Ag labhairt dó ag an bhfógra, dúirt an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Richard Bruton TD: “Is príomhchuid de Phlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist an Rialtais cur leis na móréachtaí i dtaighde eolaíoch atá déanta againn le deich mbliana anuas agus poist mhaithe a chruthú as smaointe maithe eile. Mar thoradh ar fhógra an lae inniu, bunófar ionaid sárchaighdeáin taighde den chéad scoth in Éirinn a athróidh go suntasach an taighde eolaíoch in Éirinn as seo amach.” “Tá an infheistíocht €245 milliún a fógraíodh inniu, agus na cúig ionad nua mhórscála taighde den scoth a gheobhaidh tacaíocht ón infheistíocht sin, dírithe ar athrú suntasach a bhaint amach i gclú agus i bhfeidhmíocht an chórais taighde in Éirinn. Cheana féin anuraidh fógraíodh go raibh seacht n-ionad eile chun maoiniú a fháil. Agus dhá Ionad Taighde SFI déag den scoth in Éirinn, tá deis againn anois ceannas a thógáil ar thaighde ceannródaíoch agus teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt, a chuirfidh níos mó smaointe tráchtála agus post ar fáil.” Déanfaidh na hionaid nua eolaithe agus innealtóirí a nascadh i gcomhpháirtíochtaí sa saol acadúil agus sa saol tionsclaíochta chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar cheisteanna fíorthábhachtacha taighde, agus chun forbairt cuideachtaí teicneolaíochta atá bunaithe in Éirinn, idir chuideachtaí nua agus chuideachtaí atá ann cheana féin, a chothú. Tá sé mar aidhm freisin tionscal a mhealladh a d’fhéadfadh a bheith an-tairbheach d’Éirinn agus do gheilleagar na hÉireann, agus níos mó deiseanna oideachais agus gairme san eolaíocht agus san innealtóireacht a chur ar fáil in Éirinn.  

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Students from across Connacht who received an A in Junior Certificate Honours Business Studies, were presented with Certificates of Achievement from the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway recently. The presentations, in association with the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI), were made at a special ceremony at the University which included teachers and parents. This is the fifth year NUI Galway has presented these awards and 300 students received recognition for their achievement at the ceremony. The certificates were awarded to students from over 55 individual schools throughout the counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Dr Kieran Conboy, Dean of the College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway, who presented the certificates to each individual winner, said “NUI Galway believes these awards are important to recognise the achievements of our potential future business leaders. I congratulate all the students on their success and also the work of teachers in helping students achieve their potential. I’m sure I will have the pleasure of meeting many of these students again in NUI Galway in the future on one of our business or commerce programmes.”  Jennie Harrington, President, BSTAI said “The BSTAI are delighted to continue its partnership with NUI Galway in hosting this ceremony which celebrates and recognises academic excellence in Business Studies at a young age.  I’m confident many of today’s award recipients will build successful careers in the business world.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Education experts will gather in the School of Education, NUI Galway on Friday to discuss the issue of diversity among Ireland’s teachers. While many schools now have student populations from many backgrounds and cultures, the teaching population remains predominantly female, and from the majority ethnic and upper socio-economic backgrounds. Initial findings from an NUI Galway research project on ‘Diversity in Initial Teacher Education’ (DITE) in Ireland will be presented at a seminar on Friday. The seminar, which is supported by the University’s Moore Institute, will feature two presentations. The Cultural Diversification of the Teaching Profession: How Effective is it? Professor Ninetta Santoro, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland. Diversity in Initial Teacher Education (DITE) in Ireland: A Rationale and Initial Analysis. Dr Elaine Keane, Dr Manuela Heinz, and Dr Conor Foley, School of Education, NUI Galway. Dr Elaine Keane is the recipient of an Irish Research Council Research Project Grant for the DITE project, and, along with Dr Heinz, is heading up the DITE research project in the School of Education at NUI Galway. According to Dr Keane: “While research and policy documents emphasise the necessity of diversifying the teaching population, we are lacking data adequately describing our national context in relation to diversity in initial teacher education. The gathering of comprehensive data on those applying to enter, and entering, initial teacher education is crucial in informing future directions in policy and research on teacher diversity in Ireland.” For more information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/education/research/dite/dite.html -ends-

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Last week saw the final challenge for the Inaugural Ryan Award for Innovation, support by the Tony Ryan Trust, as four finalists from NUI Galway presented their innovations from the Marine, Energy and Environment sector. The award, a €25,000 fund to advance the technology, will be presented to Dr Margaret Rae and her team in the University’s Ryan Institute, for their ground-breaking work on a new cancer treatment. This early stage ground breaking technology has the potential to and hopefully will save lives. The Award was established in 2013 to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and spin-outs from postgraduate research at NUI Galway in the areas of environment, marine and energy.  The annual competition, targeted at researchers and/or postgraduate students within the Ryan Institute, assesses business ideas arising from research. This award is to enable the winner to commercialise, or develop their idea through further research at home or abroad. The nature of the technologies from the four finalists included: A marine inspired cancer therapeutic presented by Dr Margaret Rae from the Ryan Institute. A multi-application improved sensing system in the monitoring of wastewater pollution presented by Peter Ó Conghaile of the School of Chemistry and Ryan Institute. A new customised, meteorological, forecasting technology with high-level accuracy opportunities presented by Enda O’Brien and Sufian Al Aswad from the Ireland High-Performance Computing Centre (ICHEC). A study involving the regenerative abilities of a marine invertebrate, with the hope of applying the knowledge to human research presented by Professor Uri Frank of REMEDI. The team of judges included Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President; Michael McNicholas from Ervia (formally Bord Gáis Eireann); Barry Egan, West Regional Director of Enterprise Ireland; and JP Prendergast of Biopharmed-West, an energy related start up. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The high value placed on our rivers, lakes and seas by the Irish public has been shown in a new research report published by the EPA today. The research, which was undertaken by NUI Galway and Teagasc, illustrates the value placed by the public on our waterways and their associated features.  In the nationwide survey, respondents rated a number of water body features including the health of the aquatic ecosystems, water clarity and smell, access to recreational activities and the conditions of banks and shorelines.   The results demonstrated that respondents assigned the highest value to the aquatic feature of ‘water clarity and smell’ and the lowest values to ‘access to recreational activities’.  While over half of all respondents expressed positive willingness to pay, the research also found that 44% of respondents were unwilling to pay for improvements to Irish water bodies. The main reasons given for this were because they felt that they could not afford to pay or the government should be responsible for the costs of improvement. Dara Lynott, Deputy Director General of the EPA said, “The quality of our environment is critical to our wellbeing. This EPA funded research shows what value Irish citizens are willing to put on the environmental, health and recreational benefits associated with aquatic environments.   Dr Stephen Hynes, NUI Galway, explains, “Our research presents new information on what the benefit value is of achieving improved access and better environmental standards on Irish water bodies. Valuing the benefits derived from aquatic ecosystem services allows those managing water bodies (i.e. regional policy makers and related stakeholders) to make more informed decisions in relation to how water bodies might be sustainably developed and managed. Such estimates are also now a requirement for assessments under the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.” The key findings of the report are: The highest Marginal Willingness to Pay (MWTP) estimates were for a good status of water clarity and smell (€46.48 per respondent per year), which indicates that respondents place a high price on the aesthetic value of water bodies. The lowest MWTP estimate was for secondary access to recreational activity (€11.04 per respondent per year). ‘Cannot afford to pay’ was the main reason given by respondents who were unwilling to pay for improvements to Irish water bodies followed by ‘Government should be pay for improvements’. Findings from the survey showed that respondents’ concern for the water body attributes (health of ecosystems; water clarity and smell; access to recreational activities; condition of banks and shoreline) varied significantly according to the number of times they had visited the water bodies in the past 12 months. There is also evidence that individuals’ recreational use of rivers, lakes and seas differ substantially. The highest frequency of visits to any water body was for the purpose of walking, jogging or running along its boundary. Respondents also, on average, travelled the furthest distance to a water body in order to undertake this particular activity.  Respondents displayed mainly positive opinions on the environmental quality of Irish water bodies, but the extent of this positivity varied somewhat across water body type. The preferred payment vehicle identified by the survey was a once-off lump sum whilst the payment vehicle used in the choice experiment (an increase in personal income tax for 10 years) was only the second most popular payment type listed in the survey. ENDS

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

On Wednesday, 29 October, a table quiz will be held and hosted by NUI Galway’s Centre of Adult Learning and Professional Development, in aid of the charity Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians. The quiz will take place in ‘The View’, Áras na Mac Léinn from 1-2pm. The funds raised will go directly to Caritas Gaza, which is a campaign to provide counselling support to up to 3000 Palestinian children who have lost close family members (parents and siblings) in the recent fighting.  Tables can consist of between 4-6 players and participants are invited to contribute €5.00 per person. A raffle will also be held offering a number of prizes, which have been generously sponsored by local businesses. Free teas, coffees and biscuits will be provided for all. Lisa Walshe, event organiser, Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, said: “Fundraising events like this are an opportunity for people to reach out to help the people of Gaza, to show support for a people under siege and to save lives. Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians needs the continued generosity of Irish people to continue their relief efforts on the ground in Gaza. We are delighted to assist them with their work in supporting the children of Gaza in the aftermath of the recent humanitarian crisis.” For Further information, please contact Lisa Walshe at Lisa.Walshe@nuigalway.ie or 091 495787.                                                                         -ends-

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Athlone on Thursday, 6 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics - degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge). Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Athlone, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Athlone is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Athlone, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne at 087 2440858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

This November, Startup Weekend is coming to Galway. Running from 14-16 November, teams of entrepreneurs and innovators will gather together to develop their ideas from an initial 60 second pitch to a scalable company. 54 hours of activity will culminate in a round of presentations to the assembled judges, mentors, and other teams, leaving attendees with valuable feedback on their ideas, new skills, great contacts, and hopefully, a viable startup business. With 36% of Startup Weekend startups not only continuing after the weekend, but through the three month mark, taking part is a great initial step for anyone wondering what it takes to launch a startup. Startup Weekends have taken place all across the world, including in Dublin and Cork, with Galway joining in for the first time in November. NUI Galway will play host for the weekend, and with the backing of the local business community behind it, Galway Startup Weekend promises to be a great addition to the annual event calendar. The organisational team includes: Dr John Breslin, senior lecturer in NUI Galway and cofounder of Boards.ie; Michael Campion of NUI Galway’s Cairnes school of Business and Economics; Michael FitzGerald, founder and CEO of sales management software company OnePage CRM; Paul Killoran, founder and CEO of research publishing software company Exordo; and Tara Dalrymple, founder and CEO of lifestyle management and outsourcing businesses, Busy Lizzie and Mission Possible. Between them, they represent the wealth of startup knowledge that exists in the Galway business community, as well as a significant skill set ranging from finance and marketing to programming and design. Startup Weekend is all about action, giving attendees the chance to test out an idea in a creative space. People will share their skills and form teams, with mentors on hand to provide guidance throughout the weekend. The 54 hours of hard work will be interspersed with meals, short talks, and some surprises along the way. Attendees usually have either a technical or business background, resulting in a diverse range of skills and mindsets and an excellent collaborative environment. Galway Startup Weekend offers the perfect opportunity to validate an idea, learn valuable skills, or simply collaborate with similarly focused people. For regular updates, see www.facebook.com/GalStartweekend, or www.twitter.com/GalStartWeekend. As well as encouraging people to attend and take part, the organisers are currently seeking volunteers to help both at the event and in the run up to it. Anyone interested in lending a hand (particularly photographers or video bloggers) should send an email to galway@startupweekend.org -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

World-leading experts from the field of stem cell science will convene at NUI Galway on 29-30 October 2014. The Galway International Stem Cell Conference will focus on the latest developments in basic science and translational aspects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) research in Ireland, the UK and worldwide. A type of adult stem cell, Mesenchymal Stem Cells or MSCs, have shown huge potential for use in many medical therapies. In addition to plenary talks from internationally renowned speakers, the program is structured to include oral paper presentations selected from submitted abstracts. With Ireland hosting the event this year, there will be a particular focus on some of the ground breaking research taking place here. The latest plans from researchers at NUI Galway for stem cell trials in Galway, focusing on arterial disease in the lower leg and osteoarthritis in the knee will be discussed. According to Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway: “The impact of this conference will be high because it focuses on those aspects of basic science and clinical evaluation which represent obstacles to translation. New biological insights have emerged recently about stem cells and their clinical potential has been demonstrated. However, there are still substantial gaps in knowledge in the field, such as how we can standardise the mass production of stem cells in facilities around the world.” As of 2014, Ireland now boasts its own specialist facility which can ‘grow’ stems cells for use in such clinical trials in humans. Located at NUI Galway, the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) is a custom-built facility certified to the highest EU manufacturing standards and criteria. The CCMI at NUI Galway is the first ever facility on the island of Ireland to receive a licence from the Irish Medicines Board, and firmly positions the country as a global player in the regenerative medicine field. Alongside Professor Frank Barry, other key speakers include: Javier Garcia-Sancho, Institute for Molecular Biology & Genetics (IBGM), University of Valladolid & Spanish Research Council, Valladolid, Spain; Silviu Itescu, Mesoblast, Melbourne, Australia; Sue Kimber, Tissue Regeneration and Stem Cell Network, University of Manchester; Ian McNiece, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; Mark Pittenger, University of Maryland, USA; and Darwin Prockop, Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M, USA. ENDS

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Antarctic explorer, Professor Bill Baker of the University of South Florida, has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Marine Biodiscovery at NUI Galway through funding from the Beaufort Research Awards for one year. Marine Biodiscovery forms an integral part of the strategic programme for the marine sector – SeaChange, which is coordinated by the Marine Institute. The funding of the Professorship of Marine Biodiscovery at NUI Galway by the Beaufort Marine Research Awards is a critical component of the strategy to develop overall Irish research capacity and to position Ireland’s marine sector within a global knowledge-based economy. The Beaufort awards have been used to support research of international standing by making funding available for Principal Investigators and a number of researchers.  Professor Baker has established his international reputation in Marine Biodiscovery by searching for chemicals in the Antarctic. This programme at the Antarctic has been funded by the National Science Foundation in the USA for the last 24 years and now Professor Baker will turn his attention to the Irish shores in terms of searching for molecular treasures. The chemical compound Palmerolide A, one of the treasures discovered originally in the Antarctic by Professor Baker, is extremely promising against skin cancer and exploration of the Irish waters could potentially lead to a compound with similar potential. Professor Baker will provide expertise in the area of marine natural products chemistry in searching for molecular treasures from the Irish waters. The isolation and identification of novel secondary metabolites from marine organisms (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes) in Irish marine environments is still underexplored and provides an opportunity to identify bioactive agents of interest in the context of drug discovery, functional foods and other biotechnological applications. In a European and world-wide context, Ireland’s marine biodiversity is exceptionally high for its size: for example, 7.5% of the world’s marine benthic algae are found in Irish waters.  Professor Baker will conduct Chemistry, Bioassays and Biofermentation activities during his period in Ireland.  It is hoped that discoveries made during the Professorship in Ireland will lead to a better understanding of the chemistry of marine species and hopefully produce pharmaceuticals that fight killer diseases. Professor Baker will also deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway entitled ‘Treasures from the Antarctic Ice’ on Monday, 10 November at 7.15pm in the Kirwan Theatre, Arts/Science Building. During the lecture Professor Baker will describe the challenges of carrying out research in Antarctica but show the potential rewards of this research. This will be linked to his efforts in searching the Irish waters for novel chemical agents could potentially lead to new molecules to treat killer diseases. To register for the lecture visit http://billbakeratnuig.rsvpify.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Cancer, asthma, kidney injuries and antibiotics are just some of the areas likely to benefit from €13.5 million in funding for new health research projects announced this week by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. A total of 36 projects are being supported by the Health Research Board (HRB) over the next three – five years, four of which have been secured by NUI Galway. Announcing the investment, Minister Varadkar said:“These 36 projects cover a huge range of areas, including research into stem cell research to fight pneumonia, developing diet and exercise plans following cancer surgery and combating osteoporosis in older HIV patients. Others will look at how to help asthma sufferers who cannot control their condition, new treatments for resistant types of breast cancer, and the impact of salt on kidney function. Many of these projects receiving funding today will go on to make a real difference to people’s lives, not just in Ireland but around the world. “This investment highlights the Government’s commitment to developing new research in areas with a clear health benefit, as well as developing new approaches to health care, and boosting the medical science sector. Every treatment, every medical device and every procedure in our health service starts with a good idea that has been proved in practice.” Speaking at the launch of the awards, Graham Love, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board said:“The HRB focuses on driving more research into policy and practice. This is illustrated by today’s investments. Innovation can help bridge the gap between demand for health services and the resources to pay for them. That innovation comes from implementing top class research, which is our raison d'être at the HRB.” NUI Galway projects funded include: Sexual assessment and counselling in hospital cardiac rehabilitation: A pilot study by Dr Molly Byrne, School of Psychology; Software in 100 GP practices will enable sophisticated analysis of high blood pressure patients  by Professor Andrew Murphy, General Practice; A randomised controlled trial (the first to address this question), to determine whether a low salt intake, compared to average/moderate intake, is associated with a slower rate of decline in kidney function in patients with chronic kidney impairment by Professor Martin O’Donnell, Associate Director, HRB Clinical Research Facility; Using patient samples and animal models to investigate whether blocking a particular protein can reduce the massive inflammation response in sepsis by Professor Afshin Samali, Biochemistry.   The research teams securing the HRB funding are spread across Ireland, with researchers linked to TCD, UCD, NUI Galway, UCC, RCSI, Athlone Institute of Technology, NUI Maynooth and University of Limerick. The HRB will monitor progress in each project and will receive annual and end-of-grant reports. The outcomes from the projects will be assessed, using an international framework, in terms of short and medium terms outcomes like new knowledge, research capacity building, and informing policy. The HRB will also look at the longer term impact of each project such as new innovations including devices, new diagnostics, approaches to care; changes in policy or practice; or economic and commercial activity such as patents and spin-offs. Ends