NUI Galway academic elected Chairperson of Research Association

NUI Galway academic elected Chairperson of Research Association-image

Monday, 14 January 2002

Release date: 15 January, 2002 NUI Galway academic elected Chairperson of Research Association Dr. Donal Leech, of the Department of Chemistry, NUI, Galway, was elected Chairperson of the Irish Research Scientists Association (IRSA) for the year 2002 at the association s annual general meeting in Dublin recently. The IRSA exists to promote excellence in scientific research in Ireland, a greater awareness of the role of research in our lives, and Ireland s scientific heritage. The IRSA was established in 1993 in response to the then Government policy of eliminating expenditure on fundamental research. IRSA was successful in reversing that decision and the association continues to campaign for improved research funding policies, mechanisms and resources today. IRSA is a voluntary association of individuals and organisations interested in its aims and currently has a membership of over 700, composed of academic and industrial researchers, teachers, journalists, politicians and civil servants from within Ireland and abroad. More information on IRSA is available on the association s web-site (www.irsa.ie) or by contacting Dr. Leech (donal.leech@nuigalway.ie) Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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NUI Galway awarded £29 million by HEA

NUI Galway awarded £29 million by HEA-image

Monday, 7 January 2002

Date released: 21 December, 2001 NUI Galway awarded £29 million by HEA The National University of Ireland, Galway has been awarded £29 million (€36.57m) from the Higher Education Authority under the National Development Plan. The University plans to use this allocation of funds to advance key research and development projects. Two main beneficiaries of the funding are the marine research facility and a proposed Centre for Innovation and Structural Change. President of NUI, Galway Dr. Iognáid Ó'Muircheartaigh commented "This funding award from the HEA is highly significant for NUI, Galway. Firstly it allows the University to become a major international centre for marine research and establishes us as the main source of marine knowledge in Ireland and secondly, the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change will be central to in-depth analysis of the Irish economy in a way that has not been widely researched in the past." As well as these projects, the HEA funding will also fund substantial research into three additional areas: biomedical engineering science, human settlement and historical and environmental change. According to NUI Galway's Dean of Research, Professor Ger Hurley, the five projects, when combined, will transform the university. "We will become a research-led institution," he says. "All of this will put us into a different league." Marine Research The HEA funding will allow for the radical expansion of the university's marine research resources, which will be allocated £15.1 million (€19.17m) of the overall award. When combined with the imminent relocation of the national Marine Institute from Dublin to Galway, it makes for exciting times in marine circles. "It's spectacular," says Professor Michael Guiry, director of NUI Galway's existing marine facility, the Martin Ryan Institute. "It will give our work an amazing dimension and depth and we're more than ready for it. We have a very enthusiastic and aggressive research agenda." Centre for Innovation and Structural Change The university also plans to use £2.2 million (€2.79m) of its HEA allocation to establish a Centre for Innovation and Structural Change – a place where the vagaries and patterns of Irish economic behaviour will be explored and analysed, and the results made publicly available. Resident innovation policy guru, Professor Roy Green says that this data could offer an understanding of the Irish economy that has never before been available to policymakers. It could even reveal the aspects of economic behaviour that need to be in place for prosperity. "To what extent is knowledge-based activity now sustainable within the Irish economy? How do we measure the extent to which it has become part of the landscape? What are the ingredients for growth? Does the slowdown mean that we're back to square one? That's what this centre is designed to research," says Professor Green. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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February 2002

John McGahern at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway

John McGahern at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 12 February 2002

Release date: 12 February, 2001 John McGahern at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI, Galway has announced the appointment of novelist and short-story writer, John McGahern, to the position of Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies for a period of three years. Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies, welcomed the appointment which, he said, was appropriate recognition for a lifetime of creative achievement at the highest level. 'Its a considerable honour for the University and the Centre for Irish Studies in particular, that a writer of John McGahern's achievement and international distinction should be affiliated with us in this way,' said de Paor. 'It is crucial to our work here that we should acknowledge and celebrate the achievement of our pre-eminent artists and writers in this way and forge a more dynamic relationship between the creative and performing arts and the academic community at NUI, Galway.' John McGahern has had a long and productive relationship with NUI, Galway as a regular contributor to the Summer School, and recipient of an honorary Doctorate in Literature in 1994. In his position as Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies, he will give a number of readings each year and conduct seminars on aspects of Irish life and culture under the auspices of the Centre for Irish Studies. Critics have hailed his latest novel, That They May Face the Rising Sun, as a masterpiece by Ireland's finest living novelist with one commentator being moved to declare himself envious of anyone who had yet to read it for the first time. John McGahern will launch a new series of Public Lectures in Irish Studies at NUI, Galway with a reading from the novel on Tuesday 19 February. The reading will take place in the Ó hEocha Theatre in the Millennium Arts Building and will begin at 8.00pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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Awards for Outstanding Graduates to be presented

Awards for Outstanding Graduates to be presented-image

Monday, 11 February 2002

Release date: 11 February, 2002 Awards for Outstanding Graduates to be presented The NUI, Galway Alumni Awards will be presented at a Gala Banquet in the Radisson Hotel, on Saturday, 2 March. Awards will be presented in four categories to graduates who have made a distinctive contribution in their chosen careers. Through the awards programme, the University recognises individual excellence among its 43,000 graduates. The ntl Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics will be presented to Áine Brazil, from Salthill, a Managing Principal at Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, New York. Throughout her 24 years experience she has been responsible for the design and construction of high-rise offices, hotels, air-rights projects with long span transfer systems, hospitals and sports arenas. In recent years Áine has been responsible for the structural design of several high profile high-rise projects in the New York City area, which include three commercial buildings on Times Square ranging from 550 ft to 850 ft tall. Also high on the list of her accomplishments is the role she played in leading the structural engineering team for the design of the 850,000 square feet expansion of New York Hospital spanning over the FDR highway. In 1999 Ms. Brazil was named one of "New York's 100 Most Influential Women in Business" by Crain's New York Business. Last month she was featured in a New York Times article entitled "More Engineers in Hard Hats and Heels," which explored the hurdles she overcame as a woman in the construction industry. In May 2001, Ms. Brazil was honoured by Professional Women in Construction (PWC) in their Salute to Women of Achievement. The Medtronic AVE Award for Health Care and Medical Science will be presented to Dr Luke Clancy, a consultant respiratory physician at St James's Hospital in Dublin. Originally from Salthill, Dr Clancy first graduated from NUI, Galway in 1963 with a BSc and again in 1966 as a medical doctor. He is Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and has conducted remarkable research into respiratorial conditions such as asthma, and why it is on the increase in Ireland. He is a member of the Euro TB advisory committee, an organisation that carries out surveillance of tuberculosis in Europe, as well as being involved with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. This work also includes a study of air pollution trends and its associations with adverse health effects, comparing Northern Ireland and the Republic. Dr Clancy is a long-time anti-smoking campaigner and in his former capacity as Chairman of ASH Ireland, has worked tirelessly, and continues to do so, to combat the dangers involved with smoking in this country. Dr Clancy is also a former Director of the William Stokes Post Graduate Centre at St James's Hospital. The Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce, will be presented to Hugh Friel, who graduated from NUI, Galway with a B.Comm degree in 1966. Hugh is currently the Managing Director of the Kerry Group plc. A native of Donegal, he previously worked with Aer Lingus in New York, Mobil Oil Corp. in London and Erin Foods in Ireland. In 1972 he was appointed Financial Controller of North Kerry Milk Products Limited, the forerunner of Kerry Co-op and now Kerry Group plc. Kerry Group today is a leader in global food ingredients markets and a leading consumer foods processing and marketing organisation in selected EU markets. In less than 30 years, from the commissioning of its first manufacturing plant in Listowel, the Kerry organisation has grown to become a highly successful public company, having achieved sustained profitable growth with current annualised sales in excess of €2.6 billion. Listed on the Dublin and London Stock markets, Kerry has established over 80 manufacturing facilities across four continents and provides over 10,000 food and ingredient products through its network of international sales and technical centres to a wide customer base in 80 countries. The Compaq Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts will be presented to Eddie Lenihan, County Clare based seanchaí and author who graduated from NUI, Galway in 1973 with a BA, again in 1975 with a HDip in Education and in 1978 with an MA. A historian, folklorist and until recently a teacher, he has been collecting Irish lore from the elders of Ireland for the past twenty-seven years, and now possesses probably the largest tape-archive held in private hands in Ireland today. Well known in Ireland and beyond as a seanchaí (who has been called 'Ireland's greatest living storyteller'), Eddie has published sixteen books, eleven audio-tapes, a double CD and a video on Irish culture and folklore, and his television programmes Storyteller and Ten Minute Tales ran for three consecutive years on RTÉ. His most recent audio programme, The Good People, a collection of authentic Irish fairy stories for all ages, was published in the USA in 2001. Meeting The Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland, co-edited with Carolyn E. Green, and due for publication in 2003, will be Lenihan's definitive collection of 'real' fairy stories from Ireland, to be followed by Tales from the Táin, Foreign Irish Tales for Children (No. 8 in his 15-book Fionn Mac Cumhail saga). Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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Minister launches Technology Transfer Initiative

Minister launches Technology Transfer Initiative-image

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Release date: 4 February, 2002 Minister launches Technology Transfer Initiative Mr. Noel Treacy T.D., Minster of State at the Department of Education and Science, launched the Atlantic University Alliance / Technology Transfer Initiative, today (Monday, 4 February at 2.30 p.m.), in National University of Ireland, Galway. The Atlantic University Alliance (AUA) is an inter-regional University collaboration involving UCC (University College Cork), NUI, Galway (National University of Ireland, Galway) and UL (University of Limerick) and was formally launched in May 1999. The Technology Transfer Initiative (TTI) programme is the first project to be carried out under the aegis of the AUA and is intended to provide an innovative support structure for Irish indigenous companies and act as a gateway for Irish companies into the universities. It will also facilitate the effective transfer and commercialisation of technology within the universities and between industry and university. The TTI programme has now been funded for three years by Enterprise Ireland to the value of €1.12 million. The main objectives of the Technology Transfer Initiative are: To develop the capability of indigenous industry in the target regions To make available to Irish companies the combined research resources and expertise of the three universities To encourage and facilitate interaction between industry-industry and academia and industry. To facilitate regional and inter-regional "technology transfer" To encourage companies to engage in R&D projects which will ultimately enhance their competitiveness. Critical to the success of the Technology Transfer Initiative is the need for the project to be industry led and that the companies are involved in every aspect of the programme. Recognising the concerns and constraints of small industries and other Irish firms is the key to the progression of the project together with the provision of an easy-to-access entry point to the resources and expertise within the three universities. As a prime source of knowledge, universities have a significant role in the process of technology transfer to Irish Industry. The Technology Transfer Initiative will target the four industrial sectors that represent the main growth sectors within the Atlantic seaboard region: Information Communications Technology (ICT), Engineering, Biomedical-Healthcare and Food. The aim is to build strong relationships with these sectors and to apply new knowledge and technologies within them for the economic benefit of the region. It is intended to increase the number of indigenous companies in the target regions that are technology literate and to encourage these companies, where possible, to include a research and development dimension in their operation. Companies can receive financial assistance to undertake R&D projects. Currently within Enterprise Ireland a number of support schemes operate - Feasibility Study funding, Innovation Partnerships, Research Innovation fund to support Industry- University Collaboration. Assistance is provided to university researchers to undertake collaborative research and development projects between networks of companies and universities. During its pilot phase, Technology Transfer Programme promoters have found that by accessing network structures they are better able to propose, develop and implement technology transfer actions between AUA and industry. Establishment of inter-regional market driven technology networks is also being used as a means to identify industry needs and communicate relevant information to key company employees. A catalogue of expertise and resources (across the three universities) that are relevant to industrial needs is also being established as part of the TTI programme. Dedicated TTI Programme staff have been appointed on each of the three university campuses. They will provide the necessary links and facilitate contact between indigenous industry with academic staff in the AUA universities to implement the objectives of the TTI. They also act as catalysts for the development of the sectoral networks and facilitate access to R&D opportunities. The TTI team will achieve their objectives by engaging in the following activities: Focusing on the technological needs of small and medium sized companies by creating a cadre of academic scientists and engineers with strong links to Irish companies who are willing and capable to contribute to their technological development. Bringing together clusters of companies to identify common constraints to their development. Using the networks of companies to allow interchange of knowledge to occur between firms with a strong technical base and those who wish to learn to apply technology. Enterprise Ireland is committed to working with the TTI to identify appropriate companies, capable of benefiting from such interaction. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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NUI Galway's Múscailt 02 Spring Festival

NUI Galway's Múscailt 02 Spring Festival-image

Tuesday, 5 February 2002

Release date: 5 February, 2002 NUI Galway s Múscailt 02 Spring Festival From creative dance to classical music, provocative drama to poetry and story telling - all this and more will be featured in Múscailt 02, NUI, Galway s Spring Festival, which will take place from the 18Th to the 22nd of February, 2002. An apt title for this original and innovative festival, múscailt means to awaken, inspire, celebrate. John McGahern, Finghin Collins, Mick Lally and Joe Steve Ó Neachtain will be participating in the festival, which aims to showcase and celebrate the artistic achievements of the University Community – the students, staff and graduates on and off campus – as well as those of internationally renowned artists. The student societies have a significant role in the festival s programme. Focus 2002 is a photographic exhibition presented by the Photographic Society. While the Music Society is tapping into the diverse musical energy on campus with Witless , a contemporary bands mini-festival, the University's relatively new Chamber Orchestra will also be performing. The musical, Fiddler on the Roof involves the collective talents of six of the largest college societies and is sure to play to packed audiences in the Black Box Theatre. One of Ireland s most popular writers, John McGahern will read from his new novel, That the May face the Rising Sun on the 19 February. Mick Lally will read a selection of poems on festival opening day, while other poetry readings featuring University Writer-in-residence, Trevor Joyce, Patrick Carton and Peter Jankowski will take place throughout the week. The theatrical highlight of the festival is Inis Theatre Company's critically acclaimed presentation of Jane Austen s only novel-of -letters, Lady Susan. This hour long rollercoaster ride through a world of machinations, secrets and illicit liaisons was a sell out show in the 2001 Dublin Fringe Festival and is touring to Galway especially for Múscailt 02. Garry Hynes will perform the relaunch of the Literary and Debating Society s Criterion magazine on 21 February. A journal of new writing of both the students of NUI, Galway and local writers, Criterion was published by the Arts Society on and off between 1953 and 1991. Among those formerly involved in its production were Michael D. Higgins, Gerald Dawe and Ian Kilroy, while writers for it included Rita Ann Higgins, Julian Gough, Caitlin Maude, John McGahern, and Fred Johnston. Galway based theatre company, Catastrophe, returns to their alma mater as a part of Muscailt to perform Falling Pianos. Following the lives of two self-reflexive characters controlled by an unknown author, the play ranges in style from slapstick comedy to thoughtful drama and satirizes themes including religion, friendship, death and the woman sitting in the second row! "Múscailt 02 is a 'don't miss' event," says Emily Cullen, NUI, Galway s Arts Officer and festival Co-ordinator, "not only because the students have invested it with so much energy and enthusiasm but also because the quality programme we have put together is guaranteed to appeal to a wide variety of tastes." Muscáilt 02 is supported by funds raised from NUI, Galway graduates through the Alumni Annual Fund and Kombucha is the festival's product sponsor. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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March 2002

Irish Universities Unite to Encourage Students to Study Science

Irish Universities Unite to Encourage Students to Study Science-image

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Release date: 27 March 2002 Irish Universities Unite to Encourage Students to Study Science A pioneering web site to encourage students to study science devised by all seven Irish university science faculties was launched today (Wednesday 27 March) in Dublin Castle by Mr. Noel Treacy, TD, Minister for Science, Technology and Commerce. Conscious of the declining interest in schools and universities in many areas of basic science, the group 'Irish Universities Promoting Science', consisting of the Deans of Science and Science Faculty Administrative Officers, has worked together for the past three years with the aim of furthering science and science education nationally and internationally and attracting students to the wide range of teaching programmes on offer. Activities have included schools liaison and collaboration in activities that popularise science such as the ESAT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Minister Treacy said, "This is an exciting initiative undertaken by the Deans and Faculties of our seven Irish universities This Inter-University website will provide quick and efficient access to reliable information not only to students interested in studying science, but also to students and researchers in other countries who wish to inform themselves about the excellent work being carried out in Irish universities. By doing so, it helps to make both Ireland and Europe a more attractive research environment, and ultimately contributes to the EU goal of having, by 2010, the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world." "I am delighted to formally launch the Joint Inter-University Science Website – www.universityscience.ie - and I congratulate the universities on their use of technology as a means of positively impacting on science and science education at all levels," Minister Treacy added. The web site provides information on scientific disciplines, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in each university and careers and research opportunities in science. It may be viewed at http://www.universityscience.ie Ends For further information, please contact: Fidelma Haffey, Science Faculty Administrator, TCD. Tel: 01 – 608 2024 Mairéad Loughman, Administrator Officer, Faculty of Science, UCC. Tel: 021 490 2800 / 087 620 1812

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Minister announces Inaugural Science Awards at NUI Galway

Minister announces Inaugural Science Awards at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 12 March 2002

Release date: 12 March, 2002 Minister announces Inaugural Science Awards at NUI Galway A new awards scheme funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and aimed at attracting international researchers to Ireland for a period of up to one year will be announced in NUI, Galway this evening (6.30 p.m., Tuesday, 12 March), by Mr. Noel Treacy, T.D., Minister for Science and Technology and Commerce. The Walton Visitor Awards are named in honour of Ernest T. S. Walton, who with his colleague, John Cockcroft, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1951. Walton s son, Professor Philip Walton, is Professor of Applied Physics at NUI, Galway. In making the announcement, Minister Treacy will be joined by Dr. William C. Harris, SFI director general, Professor Walton, and members of the Walton family. Dr. Harris called the Walton Visitor Awards "a new bridge between Ireland and the international scientific community". He pledged that SFI would fund each Walton Visitor Award with up to €200,000 per year, including salary and laboratory and moving expenses. When Walton and Cockcroft split the atom in 1932, it ushered in a new era in scientific research and is regarded as one of the great landmarks in the history of science. SFI's decision to name the new awards after Ireland s greatest 20th century scientist is an appropriate way of fostering research and collaborative links with the International scientific community. The specific aims of the Walton Visitor Awards are: To bring international researchers to Ireland for periods normally ranging up to one year To strengthen Ireland s connections to and collaborations with the international research community To enhance Ireland s reputation and culture as a home of first-class research To foster the recruitment of excellent undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students The Walton Visitor Awards programme is one of a number of new initiatives from Science Foundation Ireland to support a strong scientific research base and attract and retain excellent researchers to create a critical mass of world-class research excellence in niche areas of Information Communication Technologies and Biotechnology. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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Understandings of Rural Development challenged in new book by NUI Galway expert

Understandings of Rural Development challenged in new book by NUI Galway expert-image

Friday, 8 March 2002

Release date: 25 February, 2002 Understandings of Rural Development challenged in new book by NUI Galway expert Irish rural society has an image of being isolated, poverty-stricken and marginalised. However, the nature of rural areas, and particularly that of rural development, is being "rethought" and "redefined" throughout Europe. A new book by NUI, Galway expert, Dr John McDonagh, Renegotiating Rural Development in Ireland, explores this "redefining" of rural development and the implications this has for the future sustainability of rural communities in Ireland. The book, which was officially launched today (Monday, 25 February), in NUI, Galway by Eamon Ó Cúiv TD, Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, challenges different perceptions about rural life while deconstructing current processes and practices utilised in this complex arena. Dr McDonagh states that a new form of governance is required in order to achieve a collective benefit that is unobtainable through current practices of groups acting either independently or in isolation. Dr McDonagh states: "The premise of this book is that rural Ireland does not have a democratic ethos under which it can develop greater self-reliance … where local communities can participate genuinely in the decision-making process." Throughout the book Dr McDonagh suggests that current methods need to be drastically overhauled in order for rural communities to survive. He argues that there has been a perception that EU-funded initiatives such as LEADER have been the driving force behind development but in reality these programmes often do not get to the core of what is required. As such, there is a need for a renegotiation of the methods of funding and implementation of rural development projects, as well as a need for greater input and influence from the rural communities affected by, and involved in, these projects. In particular the book argues for new methods of rural management that are more than merely partnerships between governmental and non-governmental groups fulfilling a set of funding criteria. "While there has been a perceptible shift in recent years from the top down policy to a more bottom-up partnership approach," says Dr McDonagh, "rural communities in Ireland still have only limited influence on the development process." He argues that the reluctance of successive Irish governments to alter the administrative and institutional capacities of the state has given rise to the perception that these programmes are effective. However, in many cases these programmes and projects are not meeting the requirements of rural people and this goal is only attainable through the integration of government and EU programmes with the input and needs of rural communities. Dr McDonagh further argues that there is a need for greater understanding of what rural development is all about; "what people want from rural areas; whether people will accept trade-offs between rural and urban living and whether problems in rural areas can be dealt with exclusively through some specific rural development strategy or rural-oriented planning". Ends Information: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel: 091 750418

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Taoiseach launches new Research Centre in NUI Galway

Taoiseach launches new Research Centre in NUI Galway-image

Monday, 4 March 2002

Release date: 1 March, 2002 Taoiseach launches new Research Centre in NUI Galway An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, T.D., today (Friday, 1 March), launched the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI, Galway. CISC has been awarded competitive funding of €2.8 million under the Irish Government's Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). Professor Roy Green has been leading NUI Galway's innovation policy work since he arrived from the University of Newcastle in Australia a few years ago. He has already fostered links with institutions of excellence abroad, including MIT in the US and the University of Cambridge in England. "Research in CISC will be undertaken in areas including spatial strategy, internationally-traded services and industry clustering", he said. "Our research will help inform economic and structural policy in what I believe are three areas of "weakness" in the Irish economy: a dependence on foreign investment, low levels of research and development and a geographical imbalance in economic activity". Since innovation policy is not widely studied in Ireland at the moment, he believes that the data produced by the new centre will fill a void in international terms as well as in a regional or national sense. "All of our research will produce publicly available results which we'll post on a website. Since there's no comprehensive source of data on the area at the moment, it will be especially useful in contributing to EU and OECD data collection," according to Professor Green. A number of smaller-scale projects in the innovation area are already underway, including a survey which will map the innovation structure of the Galway/Limerick/Shannon region, or the "Atlantic Technology Corridor". This work involves the development of statistical categories designed specifically to identify trends such as levels of research work among companies in the region or connections between business and the local community. Speaking at the launch of the new research centre, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI, Galway said, "The University is proud of its excellence in research and the contribution that its research activity makes to national and international policy-making. The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change is a significant and exciting development in an important area of business strategy". Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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