'A Brief History of Weather Forecasting' at NUI Galway
Monday, 20 November 2006
20 November 2006: Brendan McWilliams, author of the popular Irish Times column 'Weather Eye', will deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway at 7pm on 29 November, in the IT Building, room 125. The free public event, entitled 'From Elementary Curiosity to Chaos: A Brief History of Weather Forecasting', will take a fascinating look at the art and science of predicting weather through the years. McWilliams is a meteorologist, and for the past eighteen years he has written the daily Irish Times column, which is a fascinating and authoritative insight into our daily weather patterns. He is a former Deputy Director of Met Éireann and in the early 1990s served as Director of the Programme of Expert Studies on Climate Change on behalf of the Department of the Environment. According to McWilliams, "Our ancestors tried to predict weather changes by the appearance of the sky or by watching the behaviour of plants and animals. During the past 400 years our knowledge of the mechanics of the weather has progressed to the stage where accurate forecasts, based on the latest satellite technology, advanced computer models of the atmosphere and sophisticated communications networks, are taken more or less for granted. The current challenge for meteorology is to predict, not just tomorrow's weather, but the climatic evolution of our planet in the coming decades." The event is being hosted by NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute (ECI), which leads research in areas such as Biodiversity, Climate Change, Marine Environment, Waste, Social and Economic Impact, Human Impact and Modelling Systems. Professor Gerard Jennings, Director of the ECI, commented, "This promises to be a fascinating and informational evening with one of Ireland's foremost experts on weather. In Ireland, discussing the weather is the perennial conversation piece and even more so now as people are noticing changing weather patterns and becoming more conscious of the human impact on our environment." For further information on the event, please contact Sarah Knight of NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute on 086 3092663. - ends - Notes to editors Brendan Mc Williams is a meteorologist, and for the past 18 years he has written the daily Irish Times column 'Weather Eye'. He is a former Deputy Director of Met Éireann and in the early 1990s served as Director of the Programme of Expert Studies on Climate Change on behalf of the Department of the Environment. From 1998-2000 he was a Member of EU Fifth Framework Programme External Advisory Group on Global Change, Climate and Biodiversity, and has been, more recently, a Director and member of the Management Board of EUMETSAT, the European Meteorological Satellite Organisation in Darmstadt, Germany. He is an Honorary Life Member of both the Royal Dublin Society and the Irish Meteorological Society.
>> Read full story about 'A Brief History of Weather Forecasting' at NUI Galway
Scoláireachtaí Spóirt bronnta ar Lúthchleasaithe atá ina Mic Léinn in OÉ Gaillim
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
01 Samhain 2006:Tá Scoláireachtaí Spóirt, ar fiú breis is €90,000 iad, bronnta ar lúthchleasaithe OÉ Gaillimh ag Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, faoi Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile don bhliain seo. Is í seo an naoú bliain den scéim, a thugann tacaíocht do lúthchleasaithe a dhéanann éacht ina spórt féin agus atá ina mic léinn san Ollscoil. Cuidíonn an scéim scoláireachtaí agus sparánachtaí leis na mic léinn seo agus iad i mbun staidéir san ollscoil. Baineann buaiteoirí na bliana seo le réimse leathan spórt, lena n-áirítear Peil Ghaelach, Peil Ghaelach na mBan, Iománaíocht, Camógaíocht, Lúthchleasaíocht, Rámhaíocht, Badmantan, Cispheil, Galf, Sacar, Haca, Scuais agus Tonnmharcaíocht, agus is as réimse leathan áiteanna iad freisin. Tá ag éirí thar cionn leis an scéim le hocht mbliana anuas; d'imir go leor de na buaiteoirí ar son na hOllscoile i gcomórtais náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta agus d'éirigh go geal leo. Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, go léiríonn an scéim tiomantas na hOllscoile do thacaíocht a thabhairt don fheabhas i gcúrsaí spóirt i measc a cuid mac léinn, agus é sin a éascú. "D'éirigh thar barr le Scéim na Scoláireachtaí Spóirt le hocht mbliana anuas agus tá an-chabhair tugtha aici do na lúthchleasaithe mic léinn a gcumas iomlán a chomhlíonadh. Léiríonn an tionscnamh seo tiomantas OÉ Gaillimh do chur chun cinn an spóirt, atá chomh tábhachtach sin ó thaobh saol sláintiúil a bheith ag na mic léinn", a dúirt sé. Tugadh €2,000 an duine arís i mbliana do dhá lúthchleasaí déag atá ar scoláireacht spóirt cheana féin agus atá fós san Ollscoil. Bronnadh scoláireacht (€2,000 an duine) ar naonúr mac léinn eile den chéad uair, agus tugadh €1,000 an duine do 47 eile, faoi scéim Spáranachtaí na hOllscoile. Chomh maith leis na gradaim sin, bronnfar gradaim eile ar mhic léinn a mbeidh eagraíochtaí spóirt ag déanamh urraíochta orthu: dhá scoláireacht i bpeil ghaelach urraithe ag Cadbury's mar chuid d'urraíocht ar 'Craobh fé21 Cadbury's', trí scoláireacht urraithe ag Galway United, agus gradam urraithe ag Sports Med West. Ar na mic léinn a bhuaigh Scoláireacht i mbliana tá Cian Nihill as Maigh Cuilinn (Cispheil), a d'imir 41 uair d'Éirinn agus a bhí ar an duine ba mhó a scoráil pointí d'Éirinn i gCraobhchomórtas na hEorpa faoi 16 agus faoi 18; Richard Macey as Sligeach (Dornálaíocht) a bhuaigh an Craobhchomórtas Sinsearach Trom-mheáchain Idir-Ollscoile agus Craobhchomórtas Trom-mheáchain Éadroim na Breataine agus na hÉireann in 2006; Fiachra Breathnach as Leitir Móir, Co. na Gaillimhe, atá ar phainéal sinsearach na Gaillimhe (Peil Ghaelach); agus David Mannion as Cnoc na Cathrach (Rámhaíocht) ar bhí ar fhoireann na hÉireann sna Home Internationals in 2005. Tugann na Scoláireachtaí Spóirt deis do mhic léinn páirt a ghlacadh ina spórt féin ag an leibhéal is airde amuigh, dar le Tony Regan, Oifigeach Spóirt agus Áineasa na hOllscoile: "Cuireann Scéim na Scoláireachtaí Spóirt go mór le héiteas spóirt OÉ Gaillimh. Cuidíonn na gradaim seo leis na mic léinn a bhuann iad leanúint ar aghaidh ag forbairt a gcuid scileanna agus buanna agus iad fós ar an Ollscoil", a dúirt sé. -CRÍOCH-
>> Read full story about Scoláireachtaí Spóirt bronnta ar Lúthchleasaithe atá ina Mic Léinn in OÉ Gaillim
John Huston Centenary Conference at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
……..including FREE screenings of classic film at the Omniplex in association with the Irish Film Institute 14 November 2006: To mark 100 years since the birth of John Huston, the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway, will host a unique two day conference, from 23-24 November, to celebrate the life and work of the legendary director. As part of the centenary celebrations there will be a public screening of a brand new print of The Misfits, starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, at 7pm on Wednesday 22 November at the Galway Omniplex. The last film Huston directed, The Dead, from the James Joyce short story and starring Donal McCann with Angelica Huston, will be shown at 9pm on Saturday, 25 November at the Galway Omniplex. Entry to both screenings is free of charge. Huston had strong connections with the west of Ireland, having made Craughwell, Co Galway his home for 18 years, where his fine Georgian manor house St Clerans still stands. In between hunting and fishing – he was joint master of the Galway Blazers - Huston continued his international film-making career and made significant contributions to the Irish film industry. Parts of Moby Dick (1956), Macintosh Man (1973) and the original Casino Royale (1967) were shot in Ireland and he chaired the committee which produced the Huston Report (1968), which marked an early attempt to establish an Irish film board. Tony Tracy, Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, commented, "Huston directed 41 films over 46 years and was much celebrated by his peers and associates, with 15 Oscar nominations. However, he has been under-represented in movie literature and criticism. This conference seeks to redress such neglect and provide a forum for as wide a consideration of his contribution to cinema as possible." Highlights of the conference will be panel discussions, film critiques and keynote speeches by Patrick McGilligan, contributing editor of American Film magazine, Luke Gibbons of Notre Dame University and by Joseph McBride of San Francisco State University. The Conference is sponsored by Coca-Cola Bottlers Ireland and is supported by the NUI Galway Millennium Fund. For more information contact Tony Tracy (091 512188) / email@example.com -ends- Notes to Editors A hugely versatile and charismatic figure in American film, Huston directed 41 films over 46 years - the first being the film noir classic The Maltese Falcon (1941), while his last was The Dead (1987), adapted from the James Joyce short story. Huston had a long and distinguished career as a writer, director and later as an actor, notably as the chillingly corrupt Noah Cross in Polanski's Chinatown (1974). He was nominated, in various capacities, 15 times for an Academy Award (Oscar), winning twice for his work as writer and director for The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948). He has the distinction of being the only director to direct both his father and daughter to Oscar success: the first in Sierra Madre and Angelica in Prizzi's Honor (1985). He was recipient of an AFI Lifetime Achievement award in 1983.
>> Read full story about John Huston Centenary Conference at NUI Galway
Technology Transfer Offices in Irish Third-Level Institutions have yet to Achiev
Monday, 13 November 2006
– The Challenge in Establishing a Knowledge Based Economy – 13 November 2006: Recently established Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) in Irish Third-Level Institutions will not achieve their full potential unless adequate investment is made in fostering links between academic institutions and specific industries and the transfer of technology from campus to the company is strategically managed. In their new book, 'Strategic management of Technology Transfer: The new Challenge on Campus', NUI Galway academics James Cunningham and Brian Harney argue this approach is critical if the Irish government is to deliver a real return on its promised investment of €3.8 billion in a Knowledge Economy. Commercialisation programmes at universities need to be developed further to meet industry needs, ensuring that knowledge generated is translated into new products, processes and services. James Cunningham, Senior Lecturer in Management at NUI Galway, makes the following recommendations for the success of TTOs: Effective creation, exploitation and commercialisation of research from third level institutions to sustain economic momentum. Hard measures for performance metrics, with national and local targets to be put in place. Soft measures (cultural aspects) to be put in place to ensure that the hard measures performance metrics will be reached. The attraction to Ireland of the best PhD students in the world. The internationalisation of Irish research and researchers in worldwide centres of excellence. Researchers to become more commercially aware and actively seek market opportunities for their research with the support of well resourced Technology Transfer Offices. Cunningham and Harney have reviewed national and international best practice in this area and present a framework to guide the strategic management of technology transfer in the Irish Third-level context. They argue that with a planned investment of €3.8 billion, delivering on the return to Ireland Inc is what will mark the success of the Government's Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. Technology Transfer Offices will play a crucial strategic role in this and Cunningham and Harney are the first to lay down specific guidelines on the role of TTOs and how they should be developed in order to ensure adequate return on this investment. NUI Galway established a dedicated Technology Transfer Office (TTO), directed by Dr Daniel O'Mahony, in 2005 who is responsible for the strategic management and commercialization of university developed intellectual property and technologies and in forging links with industries leading to collaborative projects and co-development of new technologies. The TTO has recruited Commercialization Executives or Technology Transfer professionals in biotech, in ICT/engineering and in Business Development, it has invested in IP management systems, reinforcing the university's investment in technology transfer and technology commercialization. The TTO has also received support from Enterprise Ireland (EI) in filling other posts for Technology Transfer Professionals under the EI €30 million support scheme to strengthen technology transfer offices in universities. It also manages both the Technology Transfer Initiative program (focused on developing industry collaborative projects) and the EDP program which supports entrepreneurs in the formation of High Potential Start-up companies. Since establishment of the TTO at NUI Galway there has been a substantial increase in filing of invention disclosure forms and in patent filing, along with a sizable increase in licensing, in the spin-out of university developed technologies into new companies and in other technology transfer / commercialization activities – key metrics for technology commercialization identified in the new book. In light of the success of the Celtic Tiger, Ireland is seen as a model for developing countries, particularly the recent new entrants to the EU. However the tendency to highlight Ireland as a benchmark for knowledge economies is premature – we still have a long way to go. "Strategic Management of Technology Transfer: The New Challenge on Campus" by James Cunningham and Brian Harney is available from Oak Tree Press at http://www.oaktreepress.com/. – ends – For further information, contact: Dr. James Cunningham, NUI Galway, Tel: 091 493472/087 2655970, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Ruth Hynes, NUI Galway, Press Office, tel: 00 353 (0)91 493361 Note to Editors – About the Authors Dr James Cunningham is a lecturer in strategic management in the Department of Management, a research fellow for Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and EMBA Programme Director at NUI Galway. Prior to joining NUI Galway he lectured in the Department of Business Administration, at University College Dublin and worked as a strategy consultant. His research interests encompass three areas namely, strategy practice, strategy and the environment and entrepreneurship and technology transfer. His research has been published in leading journals and strategy books. He is the co-author of Enterprise in Action, now in its second edition, and he has completed commissioned reports for Udáras na Gaeltachta, Forfás, ICSTI and the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC). In addition, James has made a number of guest presentations on the subject of strategy practice, technology transfer and entrepreneurship. He also held a visiting professorship at the Department of Management and Organisation at Penn State University, Mr. Brian Harney holds a first class honours BA degree from the University of Dublin, Trinity College and a first class honours MBS (Corporate Strategy and Human Resource Management) from the National University of Ireland, Galway. In 2004 he was a recipient of the Irish Institute of Management Sir Charles Harvey Medal as one of the most outstanding graduates of a postgraduate Business Degree in Ireland. Brian has published in leading HR journals including the Human Resource Management Journal and in Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations. Brian's other main research interests include Strategy as Practice, University Technology Transfer and the determinants of HRM. Brian lectures in strategy and HRM at NUI Galway, and is currently pursuing a PhD, funded by a CISC scholarship, at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge where he is also the recipient of a Cambridge European Trust Bursary and a Fellow of the Cambridge European Society.
>> Read full story about Technology Transfer Offices in Irish Third-Level Institutions have yet to Achiev
Sports Scholarships Awarded to Student-Athletes at NUI Galway
Monday, 13 November 2006
13 November 2006: Sports Scholarships amounting to over € 90,000 have been presented by NUI Galway President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, to athletes who are the recipients of this year's NUI Galway's Sports Scholarships Scheme. This is the ninth year of the scheme, which supports athletes who excel in their respective sporting fields and are students of the University. The scholarship and bursary scheme assists these students financially through their time in University and this year's selection of athletes is representative of many sports, including Gaelic Games, Athletics, Rowing, Ladies Football, Badminton, Basketball, Camogie, Golf, Soccer, Hockey, Squash and Surfing, and also includes a wide geographical spread. The scheme has been a phenomenal success over the past eight years, with many recipients representing the University with distinction at national and international level. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway, says the scheme shows the commitment of the University to supporting and facilitating sporting excellence in its students. "The Sports Scholarships Scheme has been a huge success over the years and has enabled top student athletes reach their full potential. This initiative illustrates NUI Galway's commitment to the promotion of sport which is so important in creating a balanced lifestyle for our students," he said. A total of twelve athletes, who are already on sports scholarships and are still studying at the University, have received € 2,000 again this year. A further nine students have received scholarships (worth € 2,000) for the first time, while an additional 47 students have benefited to the tune of € 1,000 each, under the University's Bursary scheme. In addition to these awards two students will receive Gaelic Football scholarships sponsored by Cadbury's as part of their sponsorship of the Cadbury U21 Football Championship; three scholarships sponsored by Galway United; and an award sponsored by Sports Med West. This year's Scholarship winners include Cian Nihill from Moycullen (Basketball), who has 41 International caps as well as being top scorer for U16 & U18 Irish teams at European Championships; Richard Macey from Sligo (Boxing), the 2006 Senior Intervarsity Champion at heavyweight as well as British and Irish Champion at light heavyweight; Fiachra Breathnach from Leitir Móir, Co. na Gaillimhe (Gaelic Football), a current Galway Senior panellist; and David Mannion, from Knocknacarra (Rowing), who represented Ireland in the Home Internationals in 2005. NUI Galway Sports & Recreation Officer, Tony Regan says the Sports Scholarship Scheme initiative encourages students to participate at the highest levels in sport. "The Sports Scholarship Scheme gives a tremendous boost to the sporting ethos of NUI Galway. These awards help the individual sports people continue to develop their sporting skills and talents at the University", he said. - ENDS -
>> Read full story about Sports Scholarships Awarded to Student-Athletes at NUI Galway
NUI Galway Alumni Unveil Award in Honour of Jerome Hynes
Friday, 10 November 2006
Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council, is to be special guest at the NUI Galway launch of the 'Jerome Hynes Best One Act Play Award' on Friday 24 November at 6pm in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway. The award, which will be presented to the best Director/Writer of a one-act play, will be an annual event and is in honour of NUI Galway alumnus, the late Jerome Hynes, for his contribution to the arts. The launch will be hosted by the NUI Galway Alumni Association who also commissioned John Coll to design the sculpture being unveiled at the launch. The sculpture will be permanently showcased in the Bank of Ireland Theatre at the University. Catherine Hickey-O'Maoláin, Vice Chairperson of the NUI Galway Alumni Association, said "We are tremendously proud of Jerome as one of our own, one who contributed so much to this country's cultural life. Before his untimely death, Jerome was in line to be honoured with a prestigious Alumni Award and we thought it fitting that we pay tribute to him in another way – a way in which we hope he would approve." Jerome was a native of Galway and his sister is the theatre Director Gary Hynes. In 1981 he was appointed administrator, and later General Manager, of the Druid Theatre Company. He managed that organisation during its development into a major company, notably through its international touring. In 1988, he was appointed the first Managing Director, and later Chief Executive, of Wexford Festival Opera. In 2003, he was appointed by the Government as a member of The Arts Council and as Deputy Chair. He was also on the Board of the National concert hall as well as appointed by the Arts Minister John O Donoghue to chair a special committee on the traditional arts in 2005. A dramatic tribute performed by acclaimed actress Marie Mullen and members of NUI Galway DramSoc will also take place on the night. Further information is available from the Alumni Office on 091 493 750 or email email@example.com -Ends-
>> Read full story about NUI Galway Alumni Unveil Award in Honour of Jerome Hynes
Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between the BMW Region and the West
Tuesday, 7 November 2006
07 November 2006: A new agreement has been put in place to support growth in the already significant medical devices industry in both the Border Midland and Western Region, Ireland and in the West Midlands, UK. The cooperation agreement, signed at NUI Galway, will involve the identification of areas for inter-regional working, particularly in the areas of collaborative research proposals, mobility of researchers and exchange of best practice in technology transfer from research labs and centres to the medical devices firms. The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway, facilitated by the Border Midland and Western Regional Assembly, worked with the West Midlands Regional Development Agency - Advantage West Midlands - to set out the terms of the Inter-Regional Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement. This lays down a framework in which research and technological development activities of mutual benefit can be developed between institutions of higher education, research institutions, regional development organisations, business support agencies and companies in the regions. The Agreement is a result of an EU funded Interreg IIIB initiative to support the development of networks amongst regions in Europe. The President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, welcomed the initiative, stating that, "This is an exciting opportunity for the research insitutions, technology transfer offices and medical devices firms in the regions to identify areas for joint activites, reducing duplication of effort and promoting effective responses to the needs of medical devices companies in both regions". The Project Director, Professor Michael Cuddy, commented that the signing of the Agreement represented a success story for European funded initiatives: "In developing the Agreement with colleagues in the regional development agency and the University of Coventry, the BMW Region is well placed to transfer and exploit best practice in research to support the medical devices industry as a key sector in the EU". The Agreement outlines five specific areas in which inter-regional Cooperation can take place: 1. Support for reciprocal exchanges of scientists, researchers, technicians and trainees for visits, study tours and advanced studies (and in particular the promotion of the Marie Curie Fellowships between Higher Education Instutions in the BMW and West Midlands regions) 2. Promoting and developing joint research on projects and programmes of mutual interest, with a particular focus on medical and health technologies 3. The organisation of bilateral scientific meetings and participation in conferences, symposia and inter-regional seminars; 4. Collaboration and participation in the submission of proposals and other actions requesting funding and other support from the European Commission and other sources; and 5. Direct support to the development of partnerships among SMEs and between SMEs and Higher Education, through collaboration and co-operation with regional business support agencies such as the Chambers of Commerce and Business Links. The Agreement will be for one year initially and will be reviewed by the institutions involved at the end of that period. Key stakeholders in both regions will be involved over the course of its implementation. This initiative, undertaken by the BMW region, supports the goals of the Irish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (2006-2013) which addresses what it sees as 'vital' international dimensions of research and innovation in securing Ireland's position, by 2013, as a country that is internationally renowned for the excellence of its research, and to the forefront in generating and using new knowledge for economic and social progress, within an innovation driven culture. -ends- Contact: Professor Michael Cuddy, Project Director / Dr Lorna Ryan, Project Manager +353 91 524411 Notes to Editors The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the National University of Ireland, Galway partnered by University College Dublin and Dublin City University Business School. CISC was formally launched at NUI, Galway by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern T.D. on 1st March 2002. The key objective of CISC is to build an internationally recognised programme of research and research training on the innovation processes and policies that are fundamental to the development of a knowledge-based economy. CISC has been awarded competitive funding of Euro 2.8 million under the Irish Government s Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) of the Higher Education Authority. NUI Galway, Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, www.nuigalway.ie/cisc The Border, Midlands and Western Regional Assembly was established by the Government on 21st July, 1999 and consists of 29 elected members from the constituent local authorities, within the B.M.W. Region. The Border, Midland and Western Region consists of the following 13 counties: Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Westmeath. The Role of the B.M.W. Assembly is to: Manage the B.M.W. Regional Operational Programme under the National Development Plan. Monitor the impact of the EU programme under the National Development Plan/Community Support Framework framework within the BMW Region Promote the co-ordination of public services within the Region Advantage West Midlands is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England whose role is to provide leadership and action to create more, better jobs and an improved quality of life in the West Midlands.
>> Read full story about Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between the BMW Region and the West
Photonics Industry Meets in Galway
Monday, 6 November 2006
06 November 2006: NUI Galway's Atlantic Laser and Optics Forum (LightForum) holds its first annual meeting on 8 November in the Westwood House Hotel, Galway. The theme of the meeting is the expanding role of photonics (light and laser technology) in manufacturing, and will feature a number of invited international speakers, addressing important topics related to photonics in industry and society in general. The event will include strategic perspectives from the European Commission, international photonics research and the European manufacturing industry. Attendees will also be updated on recent developments in the Forum and in the Photonics community at NUI Galway, as well as new initiatives designed to make the interaction between industry and the photonics research community simpler and more effective. Tony Flaherty of the National Centre for Laser Applications, NUI Galway, explained, "Although we may not all realise, photonics has long been a fundamental technology for manufacturing such as telecommunications and information technology. More recently, photonics has become mainstream in areas such as medicine, where poor eyesight is being remedied by laser treatment, and in manufacturing, where laser processing is rapidly becoming the industry standard for many applications. As the use of photonics across industry expands and the Irish economy adapts to become a high-tech knowledge economy, the strength of our photonics research and expertise will be critical". The Atlantic Laser and Optics Forum provides a framework in which scientists and professionals in industry and the University can explore and develop interactions of mutual interest. The forum was launched last year and has had a busy year hosting courses, workshops and round-table discussions on topics as diverse as Adaptive Optics and Fiber-Laser Applications in Micro-machining. The Forum is the ideal way to join the laser users community in Ireland and meet professionals in other companies who have had similar issues or experiences relating to laser and optics innovation. The Forum is free to professionals in Irish industry and more information is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/lighthouse/news3.html -ends-
>> Read full story about Photonics Industry Meets in Galway
NUI Galway Secures €2.8 Million Grant for Biomolecular Electronics Research
Monday, 6 November 2006
06 November 2006: The European Commission has announced a grant of €2.8 million for an international research project which will take place at NUI Galway on bio-powered bio-electrochemical sensing systems. The Research Project, which is being run in collaboration with research groups across international universities, will be headed up by Dr. Dónal Leech of NUI Galway's Chemistry Department. The Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP) titled BIO-MEDNANO, aims to investigate technologies for the development of biocatalytic fuel cells and biosensors. For example, 21st century medicine will increasingly demand the monitoring and control of a range of medical conditions by sophisticated, miniaturised and integrated implantable devices. Current battery technology uses highly reactive lithium making miniaturisation expensive and difficult, and thus biocatalytic fuel cells will be of significant importance in medical devices of the future. Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Dónal Leech said: "Biocatalytic fuel cells represent a realistic opportunity for the provision of implantable power and there is enormous scope for the wider application of biosensors in the area of medical diagnostics, in environmental monitoring and in food quality. We are delighted to have secured this funding which will allow us to make important strides forward over the next number of years and look forward to leading the way in research in this field". The Biomolecular Electronics Research Laboratory of NUI Galway's Chemistry Department will co-ordinate the research project. It is a collaboration between NUI Galway and research groups at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Southampton, the University of Rome, Czech Republic company BVT Technologies, and Finish organisations Abo Akademi and VTT Biotechnology. -ends- Note to editors: The major innovation of this project is related to an optimised combination of enzyme, mediator, and molecular bridges on novel electrodes to ensure efficient and sustainable electron transfer in order to power devices such as biosensors. Biocatalytic fuel cells are fuel cells which rely upon biocatalytic reactions at the electrodes to convert chemicals into electrical power. These fuel cells represent a realistic opportunity for provision of implantable power, given the exquisite selectivity of enzyme catalysts, their activity under physiological conditions, and the relative ease of immobilisation of isolated enzymes. Implantable biocatalytic fuel calls have thus been proposed, where the body's own chemicals are used to produce power in-viro. It is anticipated that the implanted biofuel cells could use body fluids, particularly blood, as the fuel source for the generation of electrical power, which may then be used to activate pacemakers, insulin pumps, prosthetic elements, or biosensing systems. Biofuel cells have also been suggested in military or security fields for detection of explosives.
>> Read full story about NUI Galway Secures €2.8 Million Grant for Biomolecular Electronics Research
Irish Studies Programme Launched in Japan
Monday, 6 November 2006
06 November 2006: The Irish Studies Online Programme from NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies, is set to make its mark in Japan. Thursday last, at a function in Tokyo, His Excellency Brendan Scannell, Irish Ambassador to Japan, formally launched an exciting new development which will allow Japanese students the opportunity to be taught the online diploma in Irish Studies in their own language. The programme, developed in partnership between NUI Galway and Regis University, Denver, Colorado, provides an introduction to Irish life and culture through the disciplines of Archaeology, History, English, Irish Political Science and Sociology. All of the seminars and group discussions will be in Japanese. NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies, which has pioneered the development of online courses in Irish Studies, has appointed two highly qualified Japanese facilitators to teach the programme and provide tuition and guidance to students in Japanese. The online diploma, the first of its kind in the world, provides an overview of Irish history from the pagan Celtic world and the coming of Christianity, through to the cataclysmic famines of the 1840s, the establishment of an independent state in 1922, and Ireland's integration into the European community that has been ongoing since the 1970s. Students are introduced to Irish literature in both the Irish (Gaelic) and English languages, from the Old-Irish sagas and early Irish lyrics through the emergence of Anglo-Irish literature in the eighteenth century, to the twentieth-century revival of writing in Irish. Ambassador Scannell described this initiative as further evidence of commitment on the part of the Irish Education sector to consolidate its efforts in Japan. NUI Galway was represented in Tokyo by Prof Ger Hurley, Vice-President for External Affairs, Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs and Chinatsu Hakamada, a PhD student at Scoil na Gaeilge. Miss Hakamada addressed the gathering of 150 guests in fluent Irish and English. She has recently been appointed by the Centre for Irish Studies to teach the online programme and provide tuition and guidance to students in Japanese. Many of the guests at the reception availed of the opportunity to view a demonstration of the online programme. Given that 2007 marks the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan, this is an opportune time to launch such an initiative in Japan. While students will require a considerable degree of competence in English as most of the learning materials are in English, the online instruction will be provided through the medium of Japanese. "This is particularly important on an online programme," according to Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies, "as the level of interaction between students and their teachers online is greater than in traditional on-campus programmes. All of the seminars and group discussions will be in Japanese, as will all interaction between the students and their online tutor, and among the students themselves. This is a very exciting development for us, as it allows us, for the first time, to offer courses in Irish Studies to Japanese students in their own language." In order to celebrate this new initiative, the Centre for Irish Studies is offering a number of scholarships to the first intake of Japanese students on its online programme. -ends-
>> Read full story about Irish Studies Programme Launched in Japan