NUI Galway Researchers Identify and Value The West’s 2,466 Creative Industries in €1.1m EU Project
Monday, 2 December 2013
The Creative Edge Project shows that the Audio Visual Sector added €72m to the economy of county Galway alone in 2012, employing over 600 people UNESCO has identified the creative economy as one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy. The recently published Creative Economy Report further confirmed that the creative economy can transform export earnings, job creation and an economy’s ability to generate income. The Creative Edge project, at the Whitaker Institute in NUI Galway is a €1.1 million funded initiative supported by the European Union through the Northern Periphery Programme that has explicitly focused on the development of the Creative Economy in Europe’s peripheral regions. To mark the end of the Creative Edge project, NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute will host a conference entitled ‘How Creative Industries Contribute To and Shape Peripheral Region Societies and Economies?’ on Monday, 2 December, 11am – 3pm in An Taibhdhearc, Middle St. in Galway City. Key findings of the research carried out by members of the Whitaker Institute point to the vibrancy of the Creative Economy across the Western Region of Ireland: The West of Ireland is home to 2,466 creative industries, ranging from micro enterprises to those who employ hundreds in this growing sector. The audio visual sector in Galway alone contributed over €72 million to the local economy in 2012, employing over 600 people in highly skilled positions County Galway hosted 83 festivals and events in 2012 ranging from local fairs to international events like the Volvo Ocean Race, which brought in over €62 million in expenditure to the Galway city-region. Graduates trained in creative economy pursuits are four times more likely to set up their own business. The creative sector has positive spillover benefits into other industrial sectors and more broadly in terms of contributing to social and community development as well as place making and identity formation. Dr Patrick Collins, School of Geography and Archaeology and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change at NUI Galway, said: “This is important work because we in the west of Ireland have an obvious competitive and comparative advantage in creative/cultural produce. We are known for our ability to tell stories, to paint a picture through the use of different media, and this sort of narrative construction is fundamental to success in the Creative Economy.” The project focuses on four regions across the northern periphery of Europe - Vasterbotten in Northern Sweden; Kemi-Tornio, in Northern Finland; South East Economic Development region in Northern Ireland; and the West of Ireland, all of whom share a high degree of rurality. James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, said: “The Creative Edge project has demonstrated the importance of the creative industries to the economic and social vibrancy of peripheral communities and has piloted new ways of how this sector can retain local authenticity while having an international focus in exploiting new markets and opportunities.” Ian Brannigan, Regional Development Director of the Western Development Commission said "The WDC is delighted to continue our efforts with the Whitaker institute to grow the creative industries sector in the West of Ireland and beyond. Our “mycreative-edge.eu” platform has allowed hundreds of regional creative businesses to access global markets and with 8,500 unique views last month alone we are excited to see interest translate to sales in the run up to the Christmas season". Those interested in creating a free online profile and promoting their creative business internationally with MyCreativeEdge can register at www.mycreativeedge.eu/register. -ends-
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NUI Galway Invites 4th, 5th & 6th Classes to Apply for its Youth Academy!
Monday, 2 December 2013
Are you in primary school? Would you like to see what NUI Galway is like? Monday, 02 December, 2013: NUI Galway is inviting students from 4th, 5th and 6th class to apply for a taste of university life. NUI Galway Youth Academy is now taking applications for its next round of courses beginning in January 2014. Classes will run over six Saturday mornings in January and February from 10am to 12.30pm, followed by a graduation ceremony for the University’s youngest graduates in March 2014! To date almost 400 students from primary schools across Galway city and county have participated in a range of specially designed courses ranging from IT to Italian and Engineering to Psychology. NUI Galway established their Youth Academy in 2012 in order to give 4th, 5th and 6th class primary school students with ability a stimulating introduction to University life. The Academy gives students and their families a taste of what it is like to study at one of Ireland’s most popular universities, and perhaps, inspire them to progress to third-level education. All courses are highly interactive and use a variety of teaching techniques to ensure students get the most out of their time at NUI Galway. The courses offered as part of the Youth Academy include: Idea detectives-Exploring the world with Philosophy Discovering Italy: Italian Language and Italian Genius Psychology: who we are, how we think and what we do Engineering our planet A fun introduction to computer programming, the internet and multimedia Weird stuff our ancestors did Words and books: playing with language and literature Introduction to Mandarin Bio-EXPLORERS Ocean Physics: Motion in the Ocean When Play Becomes Performance: How to Make Drama A fee of €150 per student applies for the six week programme and the graduation celebration day. A limited number of scholarships providing free places to students are available depending on family circumstances. To apply for the Youth Academy or for further information on all of the courses visit www.nuigalway.ie/youthacademy. Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and students participate in one course for the duration of the programme. The closing date for applications is Friday, 13 December and early booking is advisable. Geraldine Marley, the Youth Academy Coordinator said: “We are delighted to announce the next round of courses for 2014 and are looking forward to welcoming children and their families to NUI Galway.” -Ends-
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Stanford Biodesign designates BioInnovate Ireland as their first ‘Global Affiliate’ Programme
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne welcomes ‘further recognition of NUI Galway’s commitment to biomedical excellence.’ The Stanford Biodesign programme has selected BioInnovate Ireland, led by NUI Galway, as their first Global Affiliate Programme, an affiliation that represents the Stanford programme’s recognition of BioInnovate Ireland's continued growth and development. This affiliation will serve to further the collaborations between both programmes, lead to the development of further training materials and exercises, and allow interactions between Fellows on both programmes. Dr Paul Yock, Director of Stanford Biodesign said ‘We are pleased and excited to see the growth of BioInnovate Ireland into a world-class training program in biomedical technology innovation. Going forward, we are happy to be able to partner with BioInnovate as our first “Global Affiliate” program. We look forward to this opportunity to share best practices in education and training, create new teaching materials and provide mutually beneficial experiences for our fellows and students.’ President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne said ‘this affiliation is further recognition of NUI Galway’s commitment to biomedical excellence. The BioInnovate programme enables collaboration across diverse fields to meet the needs of patients, clinicians and industry and puts innovation at the forefront of what we do.” Dr Mark Bruzzi, Director of BioInnovate Ireland said ‘We are delighted to partner with Stanford Biodesign through their affiliates programme, and very much look forward to working with them and maximising our efforts to the benefit of both programs.’ The BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship is a medical device innovation training programme modelled on the prestigious Stanford Biodesign programme. With industry, academic and government support, and access to leading academic researchers, clinicians and industry experts worldwide, the programme facilitates and trains multidisciplinary teams of experienced professionals in the process of matching unmet clinical needs to attractive market opportunities. The programme is led by NUI Galway and offered in collaboration with University of Limerick, University College Cork and Dublin City University. Programme support comes from Enterprise Ireland, Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Creganna Tactx Medical, Steripack, Aerogen and Zeus.
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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Kildare
Monday, 4 November 2013
Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Kildare on Thursday, 14 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Osprey Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare. 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 whole 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) which is brand new for 2013-14. “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 Kildare, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Naas is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Kildare, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Siobhan Dorman on 086 042 1591 or email@example.com. -Ends-
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Flusurvey.ie, Hosted at NUI Galway, Aims to Track the Spread of Seasonal Flu in Ireland
Monday, 4 November 2013
The site, a collaboration between NUI Galway, the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, will provide real time data about the spread of the flu Flusurvey.ie is a new website that will map the spread of the seasonal flu and allow health authorities and members of the public fight against the seasonal flu. Flusurvey.ie is part of Influenzanet, already used in other European countries, which is an innovative development using on-line volunteers to support existing influenza monitoring systems. It is a research collaboration between NUI Galway, the HSE/Health Protection Surveillance Centre, and international partners from the EU-wide Influenzanet project. The system will indicate to those that register, how many other cases are recorded in their area. It will provide valuable real-time public health information on the demographics and geographic location of influenza sufferers. Using internet technology it provides public health agencies across Europe with novel opportunities for gathering data from members of the public on infectious diseases such as influenza. Volunteers register online and self-report by answering short questions relating to demographic, medical, socio-economic and lifestyle issues. The information received is anonymous and only general non-specific information is made available. Participants can view interactive maps with influenza data broken down at their local and national levels, and the system can map the spread of the disease in its early stages, and provide health professionals with an early warning signal of nationwide outbreaks. Project Leader Dr. Jim Duggan, Senior Lecturer at the College of Engineering and Informatics, and Researcher at the Ryan Institute, says that “Modern technology can transform the way people interact with their physicians, and the wider public health system. This new project will demonstrate the potential for national self-reporting systems, and the approach can be extended for surveillance of other diseases, especially those which are not being monitored regularly through traditional public health surveillance.” Dr. Darina O’Flanagan of the HSE/HPSC welcomed the initiative and said that Flusurvey.ie / Influenzanet will be a useful addition to flu surveillance in Ireland and that the information gathered will be aggregated to complement existing methods of influenza surveillance, and to support modelling and analysis activities. Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that is characterised by a sudden onset of fever, accompanied by muscle pain or headache, and a cough or sore throat. In Ireland, the influenza season typically starts in October, and continues through to late May. In additional to the debilitating nature of influenza for individuals, international studies have consistently highlighted the adverse economic impact of the virus due to absenteeism, and also how it can adversely impact on an individual’s productivity in the workplace. Influenzanet is accessible at http://flusurvey.ie, and will be available to the general public from Monday November 4th, 2013.
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NFB Research on Diatoms Published in Nature Communications
Monday, 4 November 2013
Harnessing diatoms, a type of microscopic algae, as a platform for drug delivery has been the focus of one of many research projects funded by Science Foundation Ireland at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway. Research describing methods to alter the chemical composition and architectural features of diatoms has recently been published in the November issueof Nature Communications. With an impact factor of 10.015, Nature Communications is rated third among all multidisciplinary science primary research journals for 2012. The production of nanomaterials is a fast developing field of nanotechnology. The synthesis of nanomaterials varying in chemical composition and size is challenging. Biological structures inspire for the design and fabrication of advanced nanostructured materials. A variety of organisms is capable of synthesising complicated architectures, among which are diatoms. Diatoms are microalgae found in both freshwater and seawater environments. To date over 100,000 species have been identified. Diatoms have enormous ecological importance and contain nano-scale diverse patterns and structures. Current engineering practices cannot manufacture the highly elaborate architecture of diatoms. Diatoms and their unique architecture are currently being investigated as new, effective vehicles for drug and gene delivery. In this application, the diatom would carry an appropriate amount of drug or gene to the desired site (e.g., tumours or diseased tissues), while minimising undesired side effects of the drugs on other tissues. Diatoms are also being explored as biosensors because of their large surface area and optical properties. The silica structures of diatoms are readily integrated with traditional processing methods in the semiconductor industry. Yvonne Lang, a PhD student at the NFB, collected diatoms from Galway Bay and cultured them in the laboratory. Her work was supervised by NUI Galway’s Professor Abhay Pandit and co-supervised by Dr David Finn. Yvonne’s research involved altering the chemistry of the living diatom and tailoring it for its intended application. The results presented in Nature Communications describe this innovative strategy, and how various microscopy techniques enabled both chemical and architectural modifications to be monitored in microscopic algae. An extension of this work will allow this natural resource to be harnessed for the preparation of biocompatible structures for the delivery of therapeutics.
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NUI Galway’s First Class Scholarships to Reward Excellence
Thursday, 7 November 2013
100 new Postgraduate Scholarships for full-time Taught Masters 2014 NUI Galway has announced details of a new scholarship scheme for postgraduate students designed to reward exceptional achievement. Postgraduate Scholarships valued at €1,500 per student will be awarded to all students studying a postgraduate taught Masters programme in the year 2014/15 who have a first class honours undergraduate degree. The scheme is open to postgraduate students, applying for a fulltime Taught Masters programme due to commence in autumn 2014. Scholarships will be awarded to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfill the criteria as outlined by the University. Interested students should visit the NUI Galway website for further detail about the scholarships and for information about the general postgraduate student application process: www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships. NUI Galway offers over 500 postgraduate taught programmes, with a wide range of programme choice across its five Colleges, and flexible modes of delivery. Postgraduate study is increasingly essential in enabling new graduates to develop specialist knowledge in particular fields, and in enhancing employability skills. But course fees, along with maintenance costs, put postgraduate study out of the reach of many talented students. Announcing the scholarships at the University’s recent Postgraduate Open Day on campus, Professor Nollaig MacCongháil, Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, said “the scholarships were developed in response to the cuts in maintenance funding for postgraduate students." He said "we know that more and more students are looking to postgraduate study as a means of enhancing their skills and their employability, but financial constraints are a big problem. We believe that these scholarships will enable more of the brightest and most committed students to progress to postgraduate study.” Postgraduate students make up a significant part of the student population at NUI Galway, with almost 4,000 students (taught and research) across all schools and disciplines. For more information on postgraduate programmes and scholarships at NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships or phone 091 492844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ENDS
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Fógraíonn OÉ Gaillimh Scoláireachtaí Nua den Scoth chun Mic Léinn Chumasacha a Aithint
Thursday, 7 November 2013
100 Scoláireacht nua Iarchéime do Chláir lánaimseartha Mháistreachta Mhúinte 2014 D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh sonraí faoi scéim scoláireachtaí do mhic léinn iarchéime chun gnóthachan eisceachtúil a aithint. Bronnfar Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime ar luach €1,500 an mac léinn ar gach mac léinn ar glacadh leo ar chláir lánaimseartha Mháistreachta Mhúinte in 2014/15 a bhfuil fochéim chéadonóracha acu. Tá an deis seo ar fáil do mhic léinn iarchéime a dhéanann iarratas ar chlár Máistreachta Múinte lánaimseartha atá le tosú i bhfómhar 2014. Bronnfar scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn a ghlacann le háit ar mháistreacht lánaimseartha teagaisc agus a chomhlíonann critéir na hOllscoile. Ba cheart do mhic léinn a bhfuil spéis acu anseo cuairt a thabhairt ar láithreán gréasáin OÉ Gaillimh chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi scoláireachtaí agus chun eolas ginearálta a fháil faoin bpróiseas iarratais do mhic léinn iarchéime: www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships. Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh os cionn 500 clár iarchéime múinte ar fáil le rogha leathan as cúig Choláiste agus modhanna solúbtha seachadta. Tá staidéar iarchéime ag éirí níos riachtanaí chun saineolas a thabhairt do chéimithe nua i réimsí áirithe agus chun scileanna fostaíochta a fheabhsú. Ach mar gheall ar tháillí na gcúrsaí mar aon le costais chothabhála bíonn go leor mic léinn chumasacha nach mbíonn in acmhainn tabhairt faoi staidéar iarchéime. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, a rinneadh ag an Lá Oscailte Iarchéime ar an gcampas le gairid, dúirt an tOllamh Nollaig MacCongháil, Meabhránaí agus Leas Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Forbraíodh na scoláireachtaí mar fhreagra díreach ar na ciorruithe a rinneadh ar mhaoiniú cothabhála do mhic léinn iarchéime. Tá a fhios againn go bhfuil níos mó mic léinn ag díriú ar staidéar iarchéime d’fhonn cur lena gcuid scileanna agus chun a gcuid deiseanna fostaíochta a fheabhsú, ach tá srianta airgid ag cothú fadhbanna móra. Creidimid go dtabharfaidh na scoláireachtaí seo deis do níos mó de na mic léinn is cliste agus is tiomanta dul ar aghaidh chuig staidéar iarchéime.” Is mic léinn iarchéime iad cuid mhór de phobal OÉ Gaillimh; tá beagnach 4,000 mac léinn (ar chláir mhúinte agus thaighde) sna scoileanna agus sna disciplíní ar fad. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil ar chláir agus ar scoláireachtaí iarchéime in OÉ Gaillimh téigh chuig http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships nó glaoigh ar 091 492844 nó seol rphost chuig email@example.com. CRÍOCH
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NUI Galway Seminar Explores Role of HR in Supporting Innovation
Friday, 8 November 2013
Event celebrates 10 years of Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) accreditation of NUI Galway’s Masters of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management Dr John McGurk, Head of CIPD, addressed HR professionals, Western Region CIPD branch members, NUI Galway students, staff and alumni and spoke about the importance of human resource management in supporting organizational innovation. The event, sponsored by Medtronic, was jointly organised by the Discipline of Management and the Western Region CIPD branch and was held the Aula Maxima in NUI Galway. Dr McGurk, explaining the people aspect of innovation, said “innovation is essentially about people connecting using their skills and sharing and combining knowledge. HR can play a critical role in supporting that effort.“ Martin Conroy, Senior Director of Continuous Improvement for Medtronic, also addressing the conference, agreed that product and process advances are not simply technological outcomes and require unlocking the potential of organisation’s employees. Mr. Conroy, who trained as an engineer, explained that value was added by HR policies that supported employee empowerment. Tom Ryan, Associate HR Director at Alkermes and Annette Murphy, Assistant Principal, Department of Social Protection, course alumni, described the role of HR in supporting innovation in private and public sector organisations. The event was chaired by alumnus Geraldine Grady, Chairperson of the Western Region branch of CIPD. Maureen Maloney, Programme Director for the Masters in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at NUI Galway said, “It was fantastic to assemble such a group of high quality participants to speak about an important and timely topic. Of course, we were delighted to reunite with our alumni and friends from the HR community.” This seminar was organised to celebrate 10 years of CIPD accreditation of the Master in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at NUI Galway. Over 200 alumni of the programme are working as professional HR managers in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, Australia, the United States and other countries.
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NUI Galway Trials Innovative Falls Detection System for Elderly Fallers
Monday, 11 November 2013
Project aims to tackle early falls detection both inside and outside the home NUI Galway is testing a wearable sensor and home wireless network to detect falls in the elderly, as part of a €2.25 million EU project called FATE. The project is actively recruiting participants aged 64 and over to test the system in their own homes. The FATE system is made up of a highly sensitive, portable fall detector, a wireless home network and a smart phone. The portable fall detector incorporates accelerometers which are capable of running complex falls detection algorithms. Unique features of this system include a bed sensor for night-time monitoring and the ability to monitor falls even outside the home. The FATE - FAll deTector for the Elderly is an EU Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) funded project involving 10 partners across Europe including a multidisciplinary team from NUI Galway, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Gerontology and Podiatry. The project aims to test and validate this innovative ICT-based solution to improve the quality of life of the elderly population, both at home and outdoors. Falls in the aging population are a very significant problem, an economic burden for care providers and are associated with significant deterioration in the person’s quality of life often resulting in hospitalisation. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Professor of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway and FATE Principal Investigator for NUI Galway says “one of the key issues with falls in the elderly is the so called “long lie” where fallers remain on the floor for more hour after the fall due to lack of detection. This system has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of undetected falls and drastically improve outcomes after a fall”. Dr Leo Quinlan from the Discipline of Physiology, School of Medicine at NUI Galway and project leader for FATE describes the potential impact of the system as very significant and explains “Falls can lead to a restriction in normal activity levels for the older person, due to developing a fear of falling leading to a social isolation and reduced quality of life. This system has the potential to give confidence and security to both the older person and their carers.” Recruitment for the study is on-going and Mary Rose Mulry (Occupational Therapy) and Dean Sweeney (Electronic & Electrical Engineering, NUI Galway) will visit interested candidates to discuss taking part in the study and what is involved for those that do. For more information visit http://fate.upc.edu/index.php Contact Mary Rose Mulry 085 815 1871 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Dean Sweeney 087 711 7064 email@example.com -ends-
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