Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Renowned fiddle player Rónán Galvin to present first lecture of series Comhrá Ceoil and the NUI Galway Centre for Irish Studies have announced details of the third Martin Reilly Lecture Series. Fiddle player Rónán Galvin will present the first talk this year, entitled The Póitín Gathering: two 19th century fiddle players from south-west Donegal, which takes place at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 11 February in the Galway City Library.  Rónán’s talk will focus on Paddy O’Gara and John Mhosaí McGinley from the parish of Glencolumbkille. John Mhosaí was held in the highest regard as a fiddler and composer, and many of his compositions are still played in the repertoire of south-west Donegal. Paddy O'Gara was a fiddler and is also remembered for his stories of the supernatural. The talk will explore primary sources from Glencolumbkille in addition to material held at the National Folklore Collection (NFC) with music composed by both fiddlers performed during the lecture. Rónán Galvin is Dublin-born but closely connected with the Donegal tradition of fiddle playing through his parents, both of whom are from south-west Donegal. He teaches annually at the Glencolmcille Fiddle School as well as at various workshops throughout the year. Rónán works with the NFC and was awarded an MA in Irish Folklore. He is involved in projects at the NFC including ‘Captured by Song: Images from the song collector Tom Munnelly’ and is currently treasurer of the Folklore of Ireland Society. This lecture series dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated East Galway uilleann piper, gives an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their work in a public forum. The success of the previous lectures in 2012 and 2013 confirms the interest in research of this kind here in Galway, where traditional music and dance are part of the cultural fabric of the city. Admission is free to all talks in the Martin Reilly Lecture Series. Further information on this and other planned talks in the series available by emailing Martinreillylectureseries@gmail.com, or Facebook: Martin-Reilly-Lecture-Series -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Dr Kieran O’Conor, Lecturer in Archaeology, launched the 14th annual NUI Galway Arts Festival programme, Múscailt, last night (Monday, 27 January). The Festival, which runs from 10-14 February, will contain a superb programme of music, art, spectacle, performance and literature, with many free events to which the public are welcome. Speaking at the launch, Dr O’Conor said: “NUI Galway has unique art research modules in the disciplines of Archaeology, Philosophy and Classics and Múscailt offers a chance for us to explore the treasures on offer in the University.” This year’s theme ‘Laugh, Nourish, Love’features artists at play. On Tuesday, 11 February, A Victorian Funfair will take place in the Mechanical Soils Lab, a Victorian Building, from 12-5pm, allowing guests to enjoy a walk back in time to learn more about the Victorian art, science, literature and pastimes, all recreated with fun and games by the popular new Victorian Society at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s Knitting and Crochet Group have created an enormous doily named ‘Doily-icious’, which will hang in Áras na Mac Léinn, alongside a group show of staff and student artists entitled ‘Wonder’. Throughout the week, Artist Joe McCaul will be doing free self portraits of those who want to sit for him in the atrium of Áras na Mac Léinn. All the new portraits he paints during Múscailt will be added to the walls and be on show in the atrium until 1 March. The Mechanical Soils Lab, next to the Bank of Ireland Theatre, will act as a magnificent Exhibition Space in which the works of three artists will be on view. NUI Galway is honoured to have, on loan, five large paintings by the late Sharon O’Malley, a singular, internationally established artist with close links to Galway who held a life-long interest in classical mythology. Additionally, Susanne Keane will present ‘Where Sea meets Sky’, an exhibition of atmospheric, abstract, seascapes, painted with swathes of bright colours. And Joe McCaul will show a selection of his new and recent portraits and sculptures. All the exhibitions will run until 1 March. Events include: Two illustrated visual art lectures will take place on Wednesday, 12 February from 11am-1pm, with artist Joe McCaul, who will deliver an illustrated lecture on portraiture entitled ‘Getting A Head’ and Conor Newman, Chair of The Heritage Council and Lecturer in Archaeology at NUI Galway, will give a presentation on Insular Art (early Medieval), entitled ‘Portraiture through Possessions’. Ancient Music Ireland members, Simon O’Dwyer and Maria Cullen O’Dwyer, will present and demonstrate a musical exploration through pre-historic instruments up to 700AD on Tuesday, 11 at 8pm in The Cube. Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) will perform the musical, ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’,at the Black Box Theatre from 11-15 February. This colourful comedy takes place in the glitz and glamour of the 1920s with frantic preparations for a wedding. On Tuesday, 11 February at 8pm the Witless Band Competition Final will take place in the Student Union Bar with judges and public vote deciding the winning act. Arts in Action presents remarkable young musician Padraic Keane on uileann pipes, accompanied by his sisters Maisie-Kate and Siobhán on fiddles. ‘Hello, Delia Murphy’, a show on the iconic Irish ballad singer Delia Murphy, written by her niece Carmen Cullen. ‘Hello, Delia Murphy, will include a dramatised reading and family photographs, among the songs performed by Carmen Cullen and Máirín O’Donovan with accompaniment by musician Gerry Anderson. Celebrating its fifth year, the ‘Solo Show: Múscailt Monologues’includes new writing and performance from NUI Galway’s students and staff and visitors. ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ by Oscar Wilde, featuring a powerful performance by Rab Swannock and directed by Sandra Coffey, is back by popular demand after a successful début in the inaugural Oscar Wilde festival last October. Dramsoc will perform the show ‘Overcast Teacups’. Colours Street Theatre will début their new show, ‘The Seat,’ written and performed by James Fleming. Múscailt will also see the launch of ‘Jumbo Wants to be a Hippo’, a children’s story by Lionel Gallagher with illustrations by Marina Wild. Galway based storyteller, author, poet, playwright and performer, Rab Swannock Fulton will read from his sci-fi blog-novel ‘Marcus Marcus and the Hurting Heart’. NUI Galway President, Jim Browne extends an open invitation to the public to attend the closing event of Múscailt, ‘The Galway Music Residency-NUI Galway Sponsor’s Concert’, at 1pm on Friday, 14  February in the Bailey Allen Hall. The specially chosen programme for Valentine’s Day, ‘Viennese Classics’, includes works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, performed by Galway Ensemble in Residence, ConTempo Quartet. Special Guests, Triko Cirkus Teatar, from Croatia, who starred in Múscailt 2013 will present a new Clown Cabaret with performers and traditional musicians from NUI Galway featuring alongside Triko clowns in ‘Night of the Living Clown’, written and directed by Lee DeLong to a live musical score. Specially prepared for Múscailt The Cabaret will be performed for three nights in An Taibhdhearc, under the banner ‘Múscailt-Clown Cabaret’, on 27, 28 February and 1 March. Commenting on this year's line up, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer said: “Our theme this year, ‘Laugh, Nourish, Love’allows us to look within, have a laugh and highlight our strengths in all of the art-forms. Everyone is welcome to participate.” All exhibitions are open Monday to Saturday until 1 March. For a copy of the programme or further information contact the Arts Office at 091 493766 or 091 495098, or visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie. Tickets for events will be available from the Socsbox at 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. Tickets for the ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ are also available from Town Hall Theatre www.tht.ie or 091 569777. ‘Múscailt-Clown Cabaret’ tickets are available from An Taibhdhearc www.antaibhdhearc.com or 091 562024. -Ends- Múscailt - an 14ú Féile Ealaíon Bhliantúil seolta ag OÉ Gaillimh Sheol an Dr Kieran O’Conor, Léachtóir le Seandálaíocht, an clár do 14ú Féile Ealaíon Bhliantúil OÉ Gaillimh, Múscailt, aréir (Dé Luain, 27 Eanáir). Beidh an Fhéile ar siúl 10-14 Feabhra, le clár iontach ceoil, ealaíon, seónna, taibhithe agus litríochta. Beidh go leor de na himeachtaí saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách a bheith i láthair. Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh, dúirt an Dr O’Conor: “Tá modúil taighde ealaíon ar leith ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh i ndisciplíní na Seandálaíochta, na Fealsúnachta agus an Léinn Chlasaicigh agus deis é Múscailt an saibhreas atá le fáil san Ollscoil a bhlaiseadh.” Léiríonn téama na bliana seo ‘Gáire, Cothú, Grá’ ealaíontóirí ag baint sásaimh as a gceird. Dé Máirt, an 11 Feabhra, beidh Aonach Siamsaíochta Victeoireach i Saotharlann na nIthreacha Meicniúla, Foirgneamh Victeoireach, idir 12-5pm. Tabharfaidh Cumann Victeoireach OÉ Gaillimh blaiseadh do chuairteoirí d’ealaín, d’eolaíocht, de litríocht agus de chaitheamh aimsire Victeoiriach, ar bhealach spraíúil. Tá mionscaraoid mhór mhillteach déanta ag Grúpa Cniotála agus Cróise OÉ Gaillimh dar teideal ‘Doily-icious’ a bheidh ar crochadh in Áras na Mac Léinn, mar aon le taispeántas grúpa comhaltaí foirne agus mac léinn dar teideal ‘Wonder’. I rith na seachtaine, beidh an t-ealaíontóir Joe McCaul ag déanamh portráidí saor in aisce de dhaoine ar spéis leo é i bhforhalla Áras na Mac Léinn. Beidh na portráidí nua ar fad a phéinteálfaidh sé i rith Múscailt le crochadh ar na ballaí agus beidh siad ar taispeáint san fhorhalla go dtí an 1 Márta. Beidh spás iontach Taispeántais i Saotharlann na nIthreacha Meicniúla, béal dorais d’Amharclann Bhanc na hÉireann, agus beidh saothar triúr ealaíontóirí ar taispeáint ann. Is mór an onóir do OÉ Gaillimh cúig phictiúr mhóra le Sharon O’Malley, nach maireann, a bheith ar iasacht againn. Ealaíontóir mór le rá idirnáisiúnta a bhí inti a raibh dlúthcheangal aici le Gaillimh agus a raibh suim riamh aici sa mhiotaseolaíocht chlasaiceach. Chomh maith leis sin, cuirfidh Susanne Keane ‘Where Sea meets Sky’ inár láthair, taispeántas radharc mara atá atmaisféarach agus teibí agus péinteáilte i ndathanna lonracha. Agus cuirfidh Joe McCaul roinnt portráidí nua agus dealbha ar taispeáint. Beidh na taispeántais ar fad ar siúl go dtí an 1 Márta. I measc na n-imeachtaí beidh siad seo a leanas: Beidh dhá léacht amharcealaíon ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 12 Feabhra idir 11am-1pm. Ceann leis an ealaíontóir Joe McCaul ar an bportráidíocht dar teideal ‘Getting A Head’ agus ceann le Conor Newman, Cathaoirleach na Comhairle Oidhreachta agus Léachtóir le Seandálaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh a dhéanfaidh cur síos ar an Ealaín Oileánach (Luath-Mheánaois), dar teideal ‘Portraiture through Possessions’. Déanfaidh beirt ó Cheol Ársa na hÉireann, Simon O’Dwyer agus Maria Cullen O’Dwyer, cur i láthair ar uirlisí ceoil réamhstairiúla go dtí 700AD Dé Máirt, 11 Feabhra ag 8pm in The Cube. Cuirfidh Cumann Ceoldrámaíochta Ollscoil na Gaillimhe (GUMS) an ceoldráma, ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’,ar stáitse sa Dubhlann idir 11-15 Feabhra. Tá an scéal grinn seo suite i laethanta geala na 1920idí agus daoine ag ullmhú do bhainis. Beidh craobhchomórtas na mBannaí Witless ar siúl i mBeár Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn Dé Máirt, an 11 Feabhra ag 8pm agus roghnóidh moltóirí agus an pobal na buaiteoirí. Cuirfidh Arts in Action an ceoltóir óg Padraic Keane i láthair ar an bpíb uilleann, agus é á thionlacan ag a chuid deirfiúracha Maisie-Kate agus Siobhán ar an bhfidil. An seó ‘Hello, Delia Murphy’, faoin amhránaí bailéad Éireannach mór le rá Delia Murphy, a scríobh a neacht, Carmen Cullen. Beidh léitheoireacht dhrámata agus grianghraif an teaghlaigh mar chuid de ‘Hello, Delia Murphy’. Casfaidh Carmen Cullen agus Máirín O’Donovan amhráin agus beidh siad á dtionlacan ag an gceoltóir Gerry Anderson. Don chúigiú bliain, tá saothar nua ó mhic léinn, ó chomhaltaí foirne agus ó chuairteoirí OÉ Gaillimh sa ‘Seó Aonair: Monalóga Múscailt’. Bhí an-éileamh ar ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ le Oscar Wilde, ina raibh páirt an-láidir ag Rab Swannock faoi stiúir Sandra Coffey, ag an gcéad fhéile Oscar Wilde i nDeireadh Fómhair agus tá sé á thabhairt ar ais arís dá bharr. Cuirfidh Dramsoc an seó ‘Overcast Teacups’ ar stáitse. Cuirfidh Colours Street Theatre a gcéad seó, ‘The Seat,’ ar stáitse, scríofa agus curtha i láthair ag James Fleming. Seolfar ‘Jumbo Wants to be a Hippo’ chomh maith ag Múscailt. Is scéal é seo do ghasúir a scríobh Lionel Gallagher agus is í Marina Wild a rinne na léaráidí. Léifidh an scéalaí, údar, file, drámadóir agus taibheoir, Rab Swannock Fulton atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh óna bhlagúrscéal ficsin eolaíochta ‘Marcus Marcus and the Hurting Heart’. Mar sméar mhullaigh ar Mhúscailt, ba mhaith le hUachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, Jim Browne, cuireadh oscailte a thabhairt don phobal freastal ar Cheol Cónaitheach na Gaillimhe - Ceolchoirm Urraitheoirí OÉ Gaillimh, ag 1pm Dé hAoine, an 14 Feabhra i Halla Bailey Allen. Tá clár speisialta roghnaithe do Lá Fhéile Vailintín, ‘Clasaicí Vín’, ina mbeidh saothar Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven agus Schubert le cloisteáil ó Ensemble Cónaitheach na Gaillimhe, ConTempo Quartet. Cuirfidh na haíonna speisialta, Triko Cirkus Teatar, as an gCróit, a bhí ina réaltaí ag Múscailt 2013, Cabaret Cábóige nua ar stáitse le taibhithe agus ceoltóirí traidisiúnta as OÉ Gaillimh i gcuideachta chábóga Triko in ‘Night of the Living Clown’, scríofa agus stúrtha ag Lee DeLong le scór beo ceoil. Cuireadh an Cabaret le chéile go speisialta do Mhúscailt agus beidh sé ar siúl ar feadh trí oíche sa Taibhdhearc, faoin teideal ‘Múscailt-Cabaret Cábóige’, an 27, 28 Feabhra agus an 1 Márta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Fionnuala Gallagher, Oifigeach Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh, faoi chlár na bliana seo: “Tabharfaidh téama na bliana seo, ‘Gáire, Cothú, Grá’ deis machnaimh agus gáire dúinn, agus léireoidh sí ár láidreachtaí sna foirmeacha ealaíne ar fad. Tá fáilte roimh chách a bheith páirteach.” Beidh na taispeántais ar fad oscailte Luan go Satharn go dtí an 1 Márta. Tá cóip den chlár nó eolas breise le fáil ón Oifig Ealaíon ar 091 493766 nó 091 495098, nó téigh chuig www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie. Beidh ticéid do na himeachtaí ar fáil ón Socsbox ag 091 492852 nó socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. Tá ticéid ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ ar fáil ó Amharclann na Cathrach chomh maith www.tht.ie nó 091 569777. Tá ticéid ‘Múscailt-Cabaret Cábóige’ ar fáil ón Taibhdhearc www.antaibhdhearc.com nó 091 562024. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

CONSENSUS, a research project on sustainable consumption involving NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin researchers, has successfully been awarded an additional €454,000 in funding from the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out further research. It is the first all-island, large-scale research project examining solutions for sustainable consumption in Irish households with more than €1.4 million invested since 2009. CONSENSUS (Consumption Environment Sustainability) will feature on RTÉ’s Eco Eye programme this evening, Tuesday 28th January at 7pm. This episode ‘2050’ is based on the question; “What will the world look like in 2050 and what will these changes mean for us in Ireland?” On the programme, CONSENSUS team members, including Dr. Henrike Rau from the School of Political Science and Sociology, will be discussing how our everyday lives might evolve in the future to reduce our impact on the environment through cultural change, technology and policy innovation. Some of the research found to date includes Persistent Gaps between Water Consumption Concerns and Actions where 80% of respondents stated there was a need to conserve water and 43% felt that they could save more water. Research also found High Levels of Environmental Concern, with 86% stating they were concerned about environmental issues. There was also an Awareness of Food Waste with 89% trying to reduce food waste and 46% composting their food waste. Research also showed High Levels of Car Dependency, with 71% commuting to work, school or college by car and 7% using public transport to commute. Respondents stated A Desire for Government Action on Energy Issues, with 38% saying they would like to source more energy from renewable sources and 14% would like more environmental protection laws. The project’s innovative and collaborative research initiatives have involved stakeholders in the Republic and Northern Ireland along with over 2,000 members from the public. Today, CONSENSUS is announcing its next phase of research, CONSENSUS#2, which will run until December 2015 and will test novel methodologies for identifying and supporting innovations for sustainable consumption practices. It examines innovative and radical actions that society, government and business can address to achieve sustainable household consumption. One aspect of the research will be the development of a lifestyle segmentation model that will identify different segments of the population according to their environmental actions and attitudes. Speaking about the benefits of this research, Dr. Frances Fahy, Department of Geography at NUI Galway commented, “This research will assist in the development of tailored educational, policy and social media initiatives for sustainable behaviours in Ireland, helping to improve their effectiveness. The segmentation model will be basedon the results of our survey of 1,500 people across Ireland, North and South.” The first phase of CONSENSUS also revealed changes in people’s consumption behavior across the life course. CONSENSUS#2 will investigate how certain life events, for example moving home or having a baby can affect consumption activities in relation to physical mobility, including car ownership and use and routes people choose for their daily travel. It will also make recommendations on how to develop effective policies that focus on these life events to encourage more sustainable mobility practices like cycling, walking and public transport use. Dr. Henrike Rau, Environmental Sociologist at NUI Galway and leader of mobility-related research in CONSENSUS#2 states, “We know that people’s consumption habits can change dramatically in response to major life events such as moving to a new place, the transition from education to employment or the arrival of the first child. Our research will focus on whether and how people’s physical mobility change around these events.” Another goal of CONSENSUS#2 will be the establishment of “Living Labs” with Irish householders to trial and evaluate new, sustainable ways of carrying out everyday washing and eating practices. To find out more about CONSENSUS visit www.consensus.ie and to see a short animation video on the Lifestyle Survey visit www.consensus.ie/lifestyle-survey/ -ends-

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald this morning (28 January) launches new Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) research on Young People, Alcohol and Sex, undertaken by Pádraig MacNeela and his research team in NUI Galway. Fiona Neary, RCNI Executive Director said, ‘this report tells us that without Government action rapes that can be prevented will continue to occur.  The findings are so shocking that the government must immediately take action to prevent further sexual violence. Therefore  RCNI today also launches ‘The Older Child and Sexual Violence: Questions and Challenges in delivering a national response,’ which is a pathway for our government to address the serious gaps and failings in the protection of older children from sexual violence. This research is relentless in demonstrating young people’s inability to talk about sex, never mind negotiate consent. The young people who took part in this research told us they were wholly unprepared for the task of negotiating sexual consent and thus were at risk of sexual violence. Naming crimes of rape and sexual violence remains very difficult for young people, other than in a far too narrow, uninformed manner. Growing up in a binge drinking culture for young Irish people means that reporting crimes and concerns to the appropriate authorities is rarely seen as an option – leaving young sex offenders free to reoffend causing trauma and lifelong harm to others. Decreasing sexual violence is possible and our strategy document shows the way. This will only happen however with sustained resources and actions, in combination across Government agencies. There is little evidence of this at present in relation to the older child. At today’s seminar Dr. Pádraig MacNeela’s will present the stark findings of his research. We are delighted to have with us one of the most published authors on the area of sexual violence and alcohol Dr. Antonia Abbey, from Wayne State University, Michigan, to further guide us in international evidence and best practice. After which Rape Crisis Network brings to you our reflections on the policy implications of this and previous research. The Full Report, Summary of Findings and Recommendations and RCNI Policy Document will be available on www.rcni.ie

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Today, during the Belfast run of The Colleen Bawn, Druid Theatre Company and NUI Galway announced a new Druid Academy, to transform Drama and Theatre teaching in Ireland, as part of a 10 year partnership between the two organisations. Part of the Centre for Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, the Druid Academy covers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, as well as PhD research opportunities.  The Druid Academy will provide training in drama that meets best international practice while also embedding the values associated with Druid Theatre into the teaching curriculum. Borne out of a vision to create excellent theatre, teaching in the Druid Academy will follow the Druid approach, focusing on ensemble as a mode of performance, rigorous critical analysis of theatre, by both practitioners and audiences, and an awareness of the importance of audience, in a variety of locations: locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Speaking at the launch of the Druid Academy, Professor Patrick Lonergan, Head of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The Druid Academy allows us to bring the best of the University together with the best of the Irish theatre world. Druid have for many years showed that Galway can be a wonderful place to create theatre – and that it can be an ideal base to bring new Irish drama to audiences all over the world. By working with Druid, we will be able to foster new generations of theatre-makers and playwrights, who will change the way we produce drama in Galway, Ireland, and the world”. Led by Tony Award-winning Director, Dr Garry Hynes, Druid staff will work alongside NUI Galway's Drama and Theatre scholars to provide world-class training in directing, design, playwriting, and many other areas of theatre studies. In a partnership that will see close integration between Druid staff and NUI Galway Drama scholars, Dr Garry Hynes takes up the role of Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway, with Drama students benefitting from regular workshops and master classes with the renowned Theatre Director. The Druid Academy will also feature other Druid staff including the Druid Director-in-Residence, Thomas Conway. Thomas, a practising professional director and dramaturge, will have particular responsibility for developing the performance elements of the Druid Academy. The Druid Director-in-Residence will play a key role in building relationships between Druid staff and NUI Galway Drama and theatre students and in developing the practice and performance aspects of the Drama curriculum. Attending the launch of the Druid Academy, Belfast-born actor, Marty Rea, did a dramatic reading of Lucy Caldwall’s LEAVES with NUI Galway Donegal student, Bridín Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh.  Commenting on the benefits of the Druid Academy, Marty Rea said: “There is a beautiful legacy in the fact that Druid was a company founded in Galway, by NUI Galway students, and that it will be passing the baton on to new generations of theatre students in Galway - strengthening the endeavour of establishing Galway city as a centre of Irish and international theatre excellence.” The Academy will also lead to the development of new courses, including three new MA programmes. These are in Irish Drama, Writing for Theatre, and Theatre Practice and Production. NUI Galway also offers a part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, and has two very popular undergraduate Drama programmes. Students of the Druid Academy will gain a unique insight into the world of professional theatre when they get the opportunity to stage an annual professional-standard production, directed by the Druid Director-in-Residence.  Artistic Director of Druid, Dr Garry Hynes, said: “This is a very significant relationship not just for Druid but for Irish Theatre generally. I am really looking forward to working with my colleagues both in Druid and NUI Galway in seeing this relationship flourish". The relationship between NUI Galway and Druid is a long and fruitful one. The company was founded on campus in 1975 by graduates Marie Mullen, Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally. Through the years the two organisations have collaborated at various times including notably the housing of the Druid archive at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and the establishment of a playwriting award in memory of the late Jerome Hynes who was General Manager of Druid at a formative stage in the company's development. The three founders, as well as being graduates, have all been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University. Three years ago that relationship was formalised into a strategic partnership that saw Druid and NUI Galway join forces to train the next generation of theatre-makers. Today that partnership moves on to a new level with the announcement of the Druid Academy. Commenting at the launch, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The development of Drama and Theatre Studies represents a natural fit for NUI Galway given the vibrant theatre world in Galway. Our Drama and Theatre offering has gone from strength to strength thanks to a unique collaboration with world-class theatre-makers like Druid.  The Druid Academy represents the culmination of a long and fruitful partnership between Druid and NUI Galway and provides our students with unique access to some of Ireland’s leading theatre-makers”. Students interested in finding out more about programmes in the Druid Academy should visit: www.nuigalway.ie/drama

Friday, 31 January 2014

Research led by NUI Galway and the University of Aberdeen published in the Journal of Cell Science Professor Sanbing Shen of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway has led a multi-institutional study which has identified a novel rare risk factor linked with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a disorder which although many genetic risk factors have been identified, no effective treatment is available. Professor Shen and his colleagues have identified for the first time that changes in a little known gene called ULK4 were observed in individuals with schizophrenia. Unlike many other genetic studies, Shen and colleagues have also characterised how ULK4 functions in the brain. When levels of ULK4 are decreased, neuronal (brain) cells tend to function less well, leading to reduced synaptic function and other changes which are also known as risk factors of schizophrenia. The scientists were also able to show that ULK4 is essential for the formation of the nerve fibres which connect the two sides of our brains. The research not only demonstrates that ULK4 dysregulation is a risk factor for schizophrenia, but also that ULK4 plays an essential role in proper brain formation. The findings published in the Journal of Cell Science (Thursday, 30th January) were supported by genetic data provided by the International Schizophrenia Consortium, and confirmed using new data generated from other mental illness groups including autism, major depression, and bipolar disorder. Follow up studies already underway in NUI Galway will lead to a better understanding of the disease and how drugs may be developed to target ULK4 for the treatment of mental illness. The research was funded by Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway, Cunningham Trust, Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance, Medical Research Scotland and the University of Aberdeen. Link to Journal of Cell Science http://jcs.biologists.org/content/127/3/630 -ends-

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report shows the sector employed 16,300 and had a turnover of €3.5bn NUI Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) has published its second report on Ireland’s Ocean Economy as part of their ongoing process of collection and analysis of marine socio-economic data in Ireland. Results from the report show that in 2010, the direct economic value of the Irish ocean economy was €1.2 billion or approximately 0.8% of GDP. The sector had a turnover of €3.5 billion, and provided employment for approximately 16,300 people (Full Time Equivalent). The report allows for the comparative analysis of the contribution of the marine sector to the national economy in the 2007-2010 period. Summary 2007-2010 Established marine industries such as shipping, maritime transport, marine tourism and marine manufacturing, construction and engineering recorded a significant fall in activity. Sea fisheries experienced a fall in overall turnover but gross value added and employment increased Aquaculture increased turnover and gross value added, but employment fell In comparison with the established marine industries, the emerging marine industries have seen growth. High tech marine products and services, marine biotechnology, bio-products and marine renewable energy all recorded an increase in turnover and employment but gross value added was unchanged or decreased. Marine commerce as an emerging sector saw a significant decrease, in line with the general economy and the international financial markets.    Dr Amaya Vega (SEMRU) said “Our research profiles the ocean economy, as a whole and by sector, in a way that allows us to observe and monitor progress on meeting the targets set out in the Government’s Integrated Marine Plan (IMP) for Ireland - Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth (HOOW) (2012). The full report is available to download online at www.nuigalway.ie/semru/publications.html Based in the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway, SEMRU conducts research in a variety of marine related issues. The main research focus of the unit is on the economic importance of coastal and off-shore marine environments. This involves examining the economic utility of the marine environment (e.g. transportation, recreation) and ecological value (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture) derived from the productivity of associated ecosystems.  The coastal and contiguous marine environment surrounding Ireland and the EU in general provides the geographical focus for the research carried out in the unit. Consideration of the human dimension in the management of marine ecosystems is also a critical component of all research projects undertaken. Since its establishment in 2009, SEMRU has been successful in attracting research funding to support the expansion of its marine socio-economic research programme. The unit is now a partner in a number of European funded projects in the area of the socio-economics of the marine environment. For more information on SEMRU, please visit www.nuigalway.ie/semru/. Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report Series is funded through the Beaufort Marine Research Award, which is carried out under the Sea Change Strategy and the Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (2006-2013), with the support of the Marine Institute, funded under the Marine Research Sub-Programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. ENDS

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Dr Ciara Smyth of NUI Galway’s School of Law was presented with a prestigious Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award in Tilburg recently. Nominated by the Law Faculty Board of Leiden University where she graduated with a doctorate, she received the award for her PhD thesis on ‘The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of the Child: An Exploration of Meaning and Compliance’. Commenting on the award, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “Dr Smyth’s work in the broad areas of asylum an immigration is cutting-edge and engaged. This award is concrete evidence of its rich academic value and impact internationally.” The Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award was established in 1995 as an incentive for students and PhD students who have written a thesis or any other academic work in the field of human rights. The award was an initiative of the Law Faculty and Studium Generale of Tilburg University and was joined by the School of Human Rights Research as of 1998.  Since 2002, the Human Rights Award is named after Max van der Stoel, the former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, in honour of his work in that field. -Ends-

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The CONSENSUS research project on sustainable consumption has designed a set of exciting video animations on their research. CONSENSUS, five year collaboration between NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin, represents the first comprehensive analysis of sustainable consumption in Irish households on an all-island basis. NUI Galway’s Dr Frances Fahy and Dr Henrike Rau lead CONSENSUS’s lifestyle, governance and mobility research. The new videos provide an overview of CONSENSUS’s key findings and innovative research processes, and coincide with the launch of a brand new project website, www.consensus.ie, containing CONSENSUS’s latest reports, publications and a regularly-updated blog. The website includes animation providing an overview of CONSENSUS's research on sustainable transport, food, energy and water consumption. Another animation discusses CONSENSUS’s collaborative visioning process that re-imagined how we might carry out our daily washing, eating and heating practices in the future. Finally, an animated infographic completes the video set depicting key results from CONSENSUS’s all-Ireland survey of 1,500 households on sustainable consumption. Since its launch in 2009, CONSENSUS has been committed to collaborative research, engaging over 100,000 members of the public and 100 government, private sector, and civil society stakeholders through workshops and interactive exhibits. Postgraduate and Postdoctoral researchers from NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology and School of Geography and Archeology, Mike Hynes and Mary Jo Lavelle are researching CONSENSUS's innovative work on sustainable transport and lifestyles. The short animations can be view here, or for more information on CONSENSUS visit www.consensus.ie  -Ends-  

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The final year of NUI Galway’s undergraduate medical curriculum has been enhanced by an intern teaching programme, which has been developed and delivered in first semester of the current academic year. Newly graduated medical doctors teach NUI Galway’s final year medical students and simultaneously act as mentors and role models. This is achieved ‘by on the ward training’ whereby medical interns teach groups of five medical students and take them through the assessment of common patient presentations they encounter, covering history-taking, examination, clinical reasoning and management skills essential to becoming a competent doctor. Teaching takes place at the bedside, in a clinical context. This initiative was conceived and designed by Drs Jennifer Scott and Miroslawa Gorecka, two recent graduates from the University’s School of Medicine. The teaching is ward based and revolves around bedside and clinical teaching, with 20 interns participating in this programme in semester one. Dr Yvonne Finn, Academic Coordinator, School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: “While the concept of intern teaching is not new, this is the first time that it has been developed into a structured programme. This allows teaching to cover topics in each of the key specialities and offers intern teaching to all final medical students who are currently on clinical placements in Galway University Hospitals.” There are plans to continue this Intern-led Teaching Programme into semester two when those students who have been in the Medical Academies in semester one return to Galway. The final medical students will themselves be graduating in June 2014, and it is anticipated that many of them, having experienced the benefit of the Intern-led Teaching Programme, will volunteer their time and skills to teach and thus continue this valuable teaching programme. -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) has been presented with a Medical Technology Industry Excellence Award for 2013. NUI Galway’s Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials has won the 2013 Academic/Emerging Medical Technology Company of the Year-Silver Award, was awarded at a ceremony in Galway recently. The awards, established in 2007, are supported by Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland and aimed at recognising and promoting outstanding performance in the medical technology sector in Ireland. The NFB is an academia-industry-clinician partnership which has established collaborative projects with a large number of leading medical device companies. These projects focus on trouble-shooting biomaterial-based issues in medical devices such as pre-clinical evaluation of prototypes, and validation of novel medical device technologies through clinician-led innovation. Joint efforts between the NFB and partners address biomaterial-based medical device solutions for unmet clinical niche markets. NFB’s unique biomaterial platform technologies help to enrich companies’ existing portfolios through product enhancements and adding value to their existing technology. Collaborative projects with the NFB add to existing devices through process and solution development and consultative support. The market share, head count and profitability of the NFB’s medical device industry partners represent significant economic benefit to Ireland. Professor Abhay Pandit, NFB Team Leader said, “It is an honour to be recognised at the Med Tech Awards. The NFB prides itself on its collaborations with the medical device industry having engaged with nearly forty companies, licenced one of our extracellular matrix technologies and created a spin out company. We are very thankful that our hard work and achievements have been acknowledged.” -Ends-  

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Startup Galway’s first guest is Pat Phelan, CEO and Founder of Trustev – this week named by Forbes as one of the top 7 Tech Start-ups globally RTÉ Dragon and outgoing Vice President of Cisco Systems Barry O’Sullivan, John Breslin of NUI Galway and co-founder of Boards.ie, John Brosnan, CEO and founder of Netfort Technologies and Michael FitzGerald, CEO and founder of OnePageCRM have come together to create Startup Galway. Startup Galway aims to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Galway and this Thursday December 19 in McSwiggan’s at 8pm its first guest is Pat Phelan, CEO and Founder of Trustev, this week named as one of Forbes’ Magazine Top 7 Tech Startups Globally for 2013. Trustev, a real-time online identity verification service designed to eliminate fraud from e-commerce transactions has raised €3m in seed funding this year. CEO Pat Phelan is a serial entrepreneur in the internet, mobile, and telecoms sectors. It was his own negative experience with online fraud as an e-commerce merchant that led him to develop technologies to address this drain on revenues. RTÉ Dragon Barry O’Sullivan says “Startup Galway is about bringing together the tech community in Galway to share ideas and experience so we can grow successful companies, we want Galway to be the Birthplace of Ambition for future global technology companies.” NUI Galway’s John Breslin says "The presence of several national research labs, including Insight, a new national multi-location Centre for Data Analytics (formerly DERI), and the Irish Marine Institute contribute significantly to the number of PhD students and researchers working in Galway". “We have a great range of tech startups here in Galway, including the likes of OnePageCRM, Ex Ordo, Element Wave, Duolog, Netfort, BuilderEngine, Pocket Anatomy, Altocloud, SpamTitan, Meterlogix, RealSim, Tribal City Interactive and Alison.com. These are in close proximity to larger companies like DigitalOptics Corporation, Cisco, HP, Avaya, SAP, IBM and EA, and are all part of an ecosystem of tech here in the west.” he added. “Galway is well known as a great city to live in, has two excellent colleges, high-tech companies of all sizes with fantastic talent,” says John Brosnan of Netfort Technologies. “The objective of this group is to help develop and encourage the entrepreneurial culture in Galway. We want to build a community and organise regular events where people can learn from and help each other.” “To develop an entrepreneurial culture within Galway, especially amongst tech start-ups, it is essential that we expose what has been achieved already, and then build on it and learn from each other,” says Michael FitzGerald of OnePageCRM. “Startup Galway is the first step towards unifying that local spirit for global gain, showcasing Galway to the world as a great place to start and grow a tech business.” Registration is free for this and future events at www.startupgalway.org -ENDS-

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The €2m European Research Council (ERC) Grant will fund five postdoctoral researchers for five years Dr Marie-Louise Coolahan, Lecturer in English at NUI Galway, has been awarded the highly prestigious Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council. It is the first such award ever made to an Irish researcher in any field of literature, and the only award made in Ireland this year in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The award, of just under €2m, will fund Dr Coolahan and a team of five postdoctoral researchers for a five-year period on her project ‘RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550-1700’. Dr Coolahan’s project will produce a new, large-scale understanding of how women’s writing circulated in the early modern English-speaking world, using the results to analyse how texts, ideas and reputations gained traction. Dr Coolahan says “While there has been an increasing number of case studies on individual women writers in recent years, we have lacked an understanding of how and where women’s writing made an impact on a broader scale. “ The period in question, from 1550-1700, is particularly challenging because writing continued to circulate in manuscript, via handwritten copies, as well as in print. For women, in particular, manuscript circulation was more attractive as it offered a means to circumvent social anxieties about female authorship. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne congratulated Dr Coolahan and said “This is only the second time ever that a researcher in humanities in an Irish University has secured an ERC award. It is, as such, a remarkable achievement, not only for Dr Marie-Louise Coolahan but for the Discipline of English and for NUI Galway as whole.” Although focused on the English-speaking world,  RECIRC will attend to the international context by including writers who were read in Ireland and Britain as well as women who were born and resident in those countries. Dr Coolahan said “RECIRC will provide a comprehensive view of how texts were used and re-used, and of how gender shaped ideas about authorship. The methodologies we develop are designed to be transferable to other languages and geographies, enabling future work on an even larger European scale.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

NUI Galway’s Professor Robert Lahue receives Pharmaceutical Laboratory of the Year award The inaugural Irish Laboratory Awardstook place before an audience of almost 400 scientists drawn from industry, State and education sectors. The awards were supported by Science Foundation Ireland, Teagasc, IDA and media-partnered with the Irish Independent. NUI Galway’s Professor Robert Lahue Pharmaceutical Laboratory of the Year Award for The Lahue Lab, Centre for Chromosome Biology, NUI Galway. The need for the awards was signalled through the volume and diversity of entries. Judging Co-ordinator, Dr Catherine Dempsey, said “These awards were sorely needed. We know from the hugely successful Young Scientists Competition that recognition is a key enabler of fund raising and career progress. With over 100 entries in year one, the size and scope of the Lab Awards took us all a little by surprise. 2014 is going to be even bigger.” The judges said, “The Immune Regulation Group was a very strong collection of fantastic researchers, and was highly rated in one of Ireland’s most competitive areas of research. The group has secured more than €25 million of research grants and has published 155 peer- reviewed papers in the last 20 years.” Full a full review of the winners and to view the awards night video visit www.labawards.ie the official website for the Irish Laboratory Awards 2013. The awards were judged by: Dr Catherine Dempsey- Judging Co-Ordinator Dr Aoife McLysaght, Smurfit Institute of Genetics Dr Barry Heavey, IDA Ireland Dr Kevin Kavanagh, NUIM Dr Fionnuala Hickey, Trinity Health Kidney Centre Leonard Hobbs, Intel Ireland Dr Paul Simmons, Enfer Group Professor Declan McLoughlin, St. Patrick’s University Hospital & TCD Dr Kaye Burgess, Teagasc Food Research Centre Professor John Cryan, UCC Dr Paul Duffy, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Professor Brian Glennon, UCD Mary Mullaghy, ISTA Dr Andrew Roche, ICON Central Laboratories Dr Marie Coggins, NUI Galway Dr Keith O Neill, Enterprise Ireland Dr Graeme Horley, SFI -Ends-

Monday, 16 December 2013

Winning research included work on effect of speed on foetal development and using human skin cells to help heal brain injuries NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre, based within the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway, held its sixth Annual Research Day recently. This meeting showcased the very best of neuroscience research in the University with presentations from undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as post-doctoral research scientists from a number of different disciplines and research centres within the University. The award for the best oral presentation at the meeting was presented by Dr David Finn, Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, to Ms Kate McDonnell-Dowling (Pharmacology & Therapeutics, NUI Galway) whose work detailed the impact on foetal development of pregnant mothers taking the illicit drug, amphetamine (speed). Mr Martin Madill (Regenerative Medicine Institute, NUI Galway) won the poster presentation prize for presenting his work on the conversion of human skin cells into brain cells to use in repairing the brain after injury. Dr Honorata Kraśkiewicz (Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials) and Sinéad Healy (National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science) won the runner-up prizes for their work on the development of novel drug delivery systems for spinal cord repair and the development of novel systems to study the impact of iron on the pathology of multiple sclerosis. Dr Declan McKernan, organiser of the event, said “The quality and variety of presentations featured here today highlights the promising future that neuroscience research has at NUI Galway”. The presentations included the development of relevant models to study pain, depression and autism, the use of stem cell to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, and investigations into the underlying changes in the brains of patients with schizophrenia or multiple sclerosis. The meeting also featured keynote presentations from Professor Artur Swiergiel from the University of Gdansk in Poland on the brain’s response to chronic stress, as well as presentations from NUI Galway research scientists, Professor Gary Donohoe and Dr Derek Morris, on the psychiatry and genetics of schizophrenia. The meeting coincided with Galway Neuroscience Centre member, Prof. Bob Lahue, winning the Medical Laboratory of the Year and the Pharmaceutical Laboratory of the Year in the Irish Laboratory Awards which were held in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dublin. The mission of the Galway Neuroscience Centre is to develop Neuroscience in Galway through research, education and community initiatives. The Centre is truly multidisciplinary in membership, bringing together researchers from a range of clinical and preclinical disciplines, which enable the investigation of nervous system disease at a number of levels. The Galway Neuroscience Centre gained the status of Centre of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (COEN) after a national and international review process last year. ENDS

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Insight, the Centre for Data Analytics, will position Ireland at the heart of global Data Analytics research The largest investment in a single research centre in the history of the state Uniting 4 universities, 30 industry partners, and 200 researchers in one multi-location research centre Creating 300 direct jobs through 12 funded spin outs, as well as creating indirectly thousands of other job opportunities The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton T.D. and Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr Sean Sherlock T.D. officially launched Insight, a new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Data Analytics. In a joint initiative between NUI Galway, UCC, DCU and UCD, Insight brings together more than 200 researchers from these and other Higher Education institutions, with 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. The Centre will receive funding of €58 million from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through SFI’s Research Centres Programme, along with a further contribution of €30 million from 30 industry partners. Insight represents a new approach to research and development in Ireland, by connecting the scientific research of Ireland’s leading data analytics researchers with the needs of industry and enterprise.  Insight will work with more than 30 industry partners, including many Galway partners, and ranging from small Irish startups to established SMEs and large multinationals, on a range of projects to advance data analytics technologies in Ireland. Industry partners include RTÉ, The Irish Times, Cisco, Microsoft,  Alcatel-Lucent , Santry  Sports Clinic, the IRFU, Avaya, TE Labs, TreeMetrics, NitroSell, Avego, UTRC , Shimmer and many more.  Big data is a sector targeted as part of the Disruptive Reforms in Action Plan for Jobs 2013, and today’s announcement marks delivery of a key action contained in the Plan. Speaking at the launch of Insight, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton T.D. said:“Big data is a sector growing globally at 40% per annum, and we have targeted it as part of the Disruptive Reforms contained in Action Plan for Jobs 2013. This is a sector where Ireland has the potential to gain competitive advantage and attract significant numbers of investments and jobs, and we are putting in place measures to ensure that we can deliver on that potential. The establishment of this world-class SFI research centre in data analytics, with a total investment of €88million supported by my Department, is a strong signal of our ambition in this area. Today’s announcement, in combination with the other measures we have put in place in this sector, will help attract the investment, support the business ideas and create the jobs in Ireland that we need.” Also speaking at the launch, Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr Sean Sherlock T.D. said: “The launch of Insight is an important step forward in the development of the skills base necessary for Ireland to harness and channel the current and future potential of Big Data. Insight is a major national investment in this new area of research and one that is essential for Ireland’s future success in the technology sector.” In today’s society, an increasing torrent of data is being created every second in the world around us. Insight will play a leading role in developing next generation technologies to capture and transform the raw data being generated into valuable concepts and ideas that can inform better decisions about society, the economy, healthcare and government. At the launch today, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: "NUI Galway has an international reputation in the field of data analytics and the semantic web, so we are delighted to be part of such a significant national research centre in a rapidly expanding field.  In bringing together so many talented researchers, across four locations, Insight will put Ireland on the map for Data Analytics globally and will bring tremendous benefits to both the University and our ICT industry partners in Galway and beyond." Insight will lead to the creation of 300 direct jobs, as well as to the training of the next generation of data analytics experts. Over the next six years, Insight research is expected to result in 12 new spin out companies, approximately 50 patent filings, and over 50 technology licenses, leading to thousands of indirect jobs in the data analytics sector. Data Analytics is big business as Ireland stands to benefit significantly from the scale of the global analytics market. The global market for business analytics is estimated to be worth in excess of $34 billion, with Big Data driving a 60% increase in the operating margins of retailers, while the annual value of data analytics for the US healthcare system is valued at $300 billion. Commenting on the potential for data analytics research in Ireland, Professor Stefan Decker, a Director of Insight, said: "Data Analytics offers enormous potential for Ireland's economy. Data by itself is meaningless but with the technologies and understanding to extract meaning from data, its potential is limitless. As a technology, Data Analytics transcends boundaries, bringing benefits to sectors as diverse as healthcare, government, the economy and the media. Insight is a unique partnership between research and industry, enabling us to transition our technologies into practise for the benefit of society.” Commenting on the potential for the data analytics market in Ireland, CEO of Insight, Professor Barry Smyth, said:  “Data analytics represents a huge growth opportunity for Ireland and we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of it. Spending on Big Data technologies is growing at 30% per annum as demand for data analytics skills continues to outstrip supply. In Insight we have brought together the country’s leading data analytics researchers to meet this demand and create new opportunities for Ireland and our industry partners.”  Speaking at the announcement, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government said: “Insight will provide Ireland with a new flagship national research resource in information and communications technology (ICT) and underlines Ireland’s focused investment in excellent research with impact. Insight is one of seven world-class SFI Research Centres of scale and excellence that involve significant co-investment by industry partners. Insight will be undertaking research that is fundamental to Ireland’s enhanced competitive positioning in the area of data analytics as well as our international standing in the overall ICT sector.” Ends OÉ Gaillimh páirteach in ionad nua €88 milliún na hAnailísíochta Sonraí a sheol an tAire Bruton Cuirfidh Insight, Ionad na hAnailísíochta Sonraí, Éire i gcroílár an taighde dhomhanda ar Anailísíocht Sonraí An infheistíocht is mó in aon ionad taighde amháin ó bunaíodh an stát Ag cónascadh 4 ollscoil, 30 comhpháirtí tionscail, agus 200 taighdeoir in aon ionad taighde amháin scaipthe thar réigiúin éagsúla Cruthófar 300 post go díreach trí 12 sheach-chuideachta maoinithe agus cruthófar na mílte post eile go hindíreach. Sheol an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Richard Bruton T.D. agus an tAire Taighde agus Nuálaíochta, Sean Sherlock T.D. Insight go hoifigiúil. Is Ionad Taighde nua de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI) don Anailísíocht Sonraí  é Insight. I gcomhthionscadal idir OÉ Gaillimh, UCC, DCU agus UCD, tugann Insight níos mó ná 200 taighdeoir as na hinstitiúidí seo agus as institiúidí Ardoideachais eile, le chéile le 30 comhpháirtí tionscail chun a chinntiú go mbeidh Éire ina ceannródaí sa taighde domhanda ar anailísíocht sonraí. Gheobhaidh an tIonad maoiniú €58 milliún ón Roinn Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta trí Chlár Ionad Taighde SFI, mar aon le  €30 milliún breise ón 30 comhpháirtí tionscail. Léiríonn Insight cur chuige nua taighde agus forbartha in Éirinn; trí nasc a chothú idir taighde eolaíoch na dtaighdeoirí anailísíochta sonraí is fearr in Éirinn agus riachtanais tionscail agus fiontraíochta.  Oibreoidh Insight le níos mó ná 30 comhpháirtí tionscail, go leor acu sin bunaithe i nGaillimh, idir gnólachtaí beaga nuathionscanta, gnóthais bheaga agus mheánmhéide sheanbhunaithe agus gnólachtaí móra ilnáisiúnta, ar réimse tionscadal chun teinceolaíochtaí anailísíochta sonraí a chur chun cinn in Éirinn. Is measc na gcomhpháirtithe tionscail tá RTÉ, The Irish Times, Cisco, Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent, Santry Sports Clinic, Cumann Rugbaí na hÉireann, Avaya, TE Labs, TreeMetrics, NitroSell, Avego, UTRC , Shimmer agus go leor eile.  Is earnáil é an t-olltiomsú sonraí a bhfuiltear ag díriú air mar chuid den Athchóiriú ar Phlean Gníomhaíochta na bPost 2013, agus is fianaise é fógra an lae inniu go bhfuil plean gníomhaíochta amháin as an bPlean sin curtha i gcrích. Ag labhairt dó ag seoladh Insight, dúirt an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Richard Bruton T.D.:“Is earnáil é an t-olltiomsú sonraí atá ag fás ag ráta 40 sa bhliain agus táimid ag díriú ar an earnáil mar chuid den Athchóiriú atá i bPlean Gníomhaíochta na bPost 2013. Earnáil í seo a bhfuil an deis ag Éirinn buntáiste iomaíoch a bhaint amach inti agus infheistíochtaí móra agus poist a mhealladh, agus tá céimeanna á nglacadh againn chun a chinntiú go mbainfimid ár spriocanna amach. Is cruthúnas láidir é an t-ionad taighde SFI den scoth seo in anailísíocht sonraí a bhfuil infheistíocht iomlán €88 milliún déanta ann agus a bhfuil tacaíocht aige ó mo Roinn féin, ár mianaidhm sa réimse seo. Cuideoidh fógra an lae inniu, mar aon leis na céimeanna eile atá á nglacadh againn san earnáil seo, le hinfheistíocht a mhealladh, le smaointe gnó agus le poist a chruthú sa tír seo a bhfuil géarghá leo.” Ag labhairt chomh maith ag seoladh Insight bhí an tAire Taighde agus Nuálaíochta, Sean Sherlock T.D., a dúirt: “Céim thábhachtach chun cinn atá i seoladh Insight chun na scileanna atá riachtanach d’Éirinn a fhorbairt d’fhonn na féidearthachtaí a bhaineann le holltiomsú sonraí a chothú agus leas a bhaint astu. Infheistíocht mhór náisiúnta é Insight sa réimse nua taighde seo atá riachtanach más le Éire a bheith rathúil in earnáil na teicneolaíochta amach anseo.” Sa lá atá inniu ann, tá an oiread sin sonraí á gcruthú gach uile soicind timpeall orainn. Beidh ról lárnach ag Insight i dteicneolaíochtaí don chéad ghlúin eile a fhorbairt chun na sonraí loma atá á gcruthú a fháil agus a úsáid mar choincheapa agus mar smaointe luachmhara a chuideoidh le cinntí níos fearr a dhéanamh faoin tsochaí, faoin ngeilleagar, faoi chúram sláinte agus faoin rialtas. Ag an seoladh inniu, dúirt an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá cáil idirnáisiúnta ar OÉ Gaillimh i réimse na hanailísíochta sonraí agus an ghréasáin shéimeantaigh. Tá an-ríméad orainn, dá bhrí sin, a bheith páirteach in ionad taighde náisiúnta den chineál seo in earnáil atá ag méadú as cuimse.  De bhrí go dtabharfaidh Insight an oiread sin taighdeoirí den scoth le chéile i gceithre áit éagsúla, cuirfidh sé cáil na hÉireann as Anailísíocht Sonraí ar fud an domhain agus beidh buntáiste anseo don Ollscoil agus dár gcomhpháirtithe ICT i nGaillimh agus níos faide i gcéin." Cruthófar 300 post go díreach as Insight, agus cuirfidh sé le hoiliúint an chéad ghlúin eile de shaineolaithe in anailísíocht sonraí. As seo go ceann sé bliana, táthar ag súil go mbunóidh taighde Insight 12 seach-chuideachta nua, timpeall 50 iarratas ar phaitinní, agus os cionn 50 ceadúnas teicneolaíochta, rud a chruthóidh na mílte post go hindíreach in earnáil na hanailísíochta sonraí. Is gnó ollmhór í an Anailísíocht Sonraí mar go mbainfidh Éire sochar as sciar de mhargadh na hanailísíochta domhanda. Meastar gur fiú os cionn $34 billiún an margadh domhanda d’anailísíocht ghnó agus is é an t-olltiomsú sonraí is cúis leis an méadú 60% i gcorrlach oibriúcháin miondíoltóirí. Meastar go bhfuil luach bliantúil $300 billiún ar anailísíocht sonraí sa chóras sláinte na Stát Aontaithe. Ag labhairt ar an bpoitéinseal a bhaineann le taighde in anailísíocht sonraí in Éirinn, dúirt an tOllamh Stefan Decker, Stiúrthóir Insight: “Tá poitéinseal ollmhór le hAnailísíocht Sonraí do gheilleagar na tíre seo. Níl fiúntas ar bith le sonraí astu féin ach le teicneolaíocht agus an t-eolas a bhaineann ciall as sonraí, níl teorainn ar bith leis an bhfiúntas atá ann. Mar theicneolaíocht, níl teorainn ar bith le hAnailísíocht Sonraí, tá buntáiste ann do na hearnálacha atá chomh héagsúil le cúram sláinte, rialtas, an geilleagar agus na meáin. Comhpháirtíocht ar leith é Insight idir taighde agus tionscal, rud a chuidíonn linn leas a bhaint as teicneolaíocht ar mhaithe leis an bpobal.” Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir SFI agus Príomhchomhairleoir Eolaíochta an Rialtais: “Acmhainn taighde náisiúnta i dteicneolaíocht faisnéise agus cumarsáide (ICT) é Insight d’Éirinn agus léiríonn sé an infheistíocht atá dírithe ag an tír seo i dtaighde den scoth. Tá Insight ar cheann de sheacht nIonad Taighde SFI den scoth atá chomh mór agus chomh fiúntach sin go bhfuil comhinfheistíocht déanta ag comhpháirtithe tionscail iontu. Beidh Insight i mbun taighde atá riachtanach do sheasamh iomaíoch feabhsaithe na hÉireann i réimse na hanailísíochta sonraí chomh maith lenár seasamh idirnáisiúnta in earnáil an ICT.” Críoch

Thursday, 12 December 2013

NUI Galway Alumni Club is holding its annual Alumni Christmas get-together on Thursday, 19 December from 5:30- 80pm in the Aula Maxima, The Quadrangle, NUI Galway. Graduates are invited to attend and meet with former classmates from home and abroad for carols, mince pies and refreshments. According to Sandra Butler, Galway Alumni Club chair, "Christmas is the ideal time to renew old NUI Galway acquaintances and make new ones. We would love to see as many graduates as possible back in their alma mater for the evening.” RSVP online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or telephone the alumni office at 091 492721 by Wednesday, 18 December. Graduates, friends and family welcome. Ends  Ócáid Bhliantúil na Nollag ag Alumni OÉ Gaillimh Beidh ceiliúradh bliantúil na Nollag ag Club Alumni OÉ Gaillimh Déardaoin, an 19 Nollaig san Aula Maxima, an Chearnóg, OE Gaillimh idir 5:30pm agus 8:00pm. Deis a bheas anseo do chéimithe sásamh a bhaint as carúil, as pióga mionra agus as sólaistí i dteannta a gcomhghleacaithe ranga sa bhaile agus i gcéin. Dúirt Sandra Butler, Cathaoirleach Chlub ALumni OÉ Gaillimh “Níl aon am níos fearr ná an Nollaig chun casadh le seanchairde as OÉ Gaillimh agus aithne a chur ar dhaoine nua. Ba bhreá linn an oiread céimithe agus is féidir a fheiceáil ar ais ina n-alma mater don ócáid.” Is féidir RSVP a sheoladh ar líne ag www.nuigalway.ie/alumni nó cuir glao ar an Oifig Alumni ag 091-492721 faoi Dé Céadaoin, an 18 Nollaig. Fáilte roimh chéimithe, a gcairde agus a dteaghlaigh. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society, with the Galway Astronomy Club, will welcome Astronomer Dr Jacqueline Keane for a special Christmas talk entitled ‘2013: The Year of the Long-haired Stars’. The free talk will take place on Tuesday, 17 December at 7.30pm in IT 250, IT Building, NUI Galway. In ancient times, comets or “long-haired stars” inspired terror because of their sudden appearance, potentially great brightness, and large tails. Comets, long considered harbingers of doom, have been blamed for some of history's darkest times. About once a decade, a truly spectacular comet is visible even through the bright city lights. This public talk will discuss what comets are and how comets help us understand the formation of the Solar System. A summary of the Comet ISON observing campaign will be presented, with a special focus on the University of Hawaii campaign using numerous 10-meter telescopes at 14000 feet on the summit of Mauna Kea. The prospects of viewing comets in 2014 will also be discussed. Dr Jacqueline Keane is an Assistant Astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. An NUI Galway BSc in Physics and Masters in Astronomy graduate, Dr Keane received her PhD in Astrophysics from Groningen University in the Netherlands, where she worked with the Infrared Space Observatory observations of interstellar ice features and their formation via grain-surface reactions. After her PhD, she moved to California to work at the NASA Ames Research Center where her work concentrated on understanding the composition of cold material in star-forming molecular clouds using the Spitzer space-based telescope. Dr Keane currently specialises in ground-based observations of comets and how they can be used to understand the conditions in the early Solar System. The NUI Galway Astronomy society is in its second year with nearly 600 members. The main goal of the society is to promote astronomy, both recreationally and academically. Throughout the year the society hosts a series of talks on astronomy and organise events to increase general awareness and understanding of astronomy and host a series of talks on astronomy and events throughout the year. They work with the Galway Astronomy club and are supported by the University's Centre for Astronomy. For more information on NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society and Galway Astronomy Club visit www.socs.nuigalway.ie/society_profiles/view/447 or www.galwayastronomyclub.ie.  -Ends-

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

“Horizon 2020; an opportunity to bring NUI Galway’s research to market in Europe and to bring Europe’s best researchers to NUI Galway” says NUI Galway VP for Innovation, Lokesh Joshi NUI Galway is prepared for the significant opportunity presented by the launch of Horizon 2020, at €80bn the biggest and most ambitious European funding scheme to date. Irish Universities are aiming to secure €1bn from Horizon 2020 which will replace Framework 7 which is currently running. NUI Galway secured €38.8m in research funding under Framework 7 between January 2007 and July 2013, with further applications pending. The action plan for participation of the Irish universities in Horizon 2020 has been launched by Minister for Research and Innovation Mr Sean Sherlock TD as part of the national launch of the European Union’s new Horizon 2020 Programme. Minister Sean Sherlock, TD, speaking at the launch said, “I welcome the renewed commitment of the universities to maximise their participation in Horizon 2020 across all areas. At a time when national funding for research must be carefully invested, it is critical that the universities and all public research institutions gain maximum leverage from exchequer funds”. NUI Galway Vice President for Research, and Chair of the Irish Universities Association VPs of Research Group, Professor Lokesh Joshi said “Horizon 2020, the biggest and most ambitious research funding scheme in European history is an opportunity to bring NUI Galway’s research to market in Europe and to bring Europe’s best researchers to NUI Galway. NUI Galway is prepared for this significant opportunity and European challenge to build on our experience and successful track-record in winning European funding. The national action plan entitled “Horizon 2020: Sustaining Excellence in University Research & Innovation” outlines the position of the universities on the Horizon 2020 proposals and sets out a series of recommendations and actions to enhance the performance of Irish universities, giving the sector the best chance of success in Horizon 2020. The Irish Universities, in partnership with the private sector, have been the most successful participants in FP7 and their involvement is essential for Ireland to reach its target of securing over €1 billion in funding from Horizon 2020. More information on www.nuigalway.ie/our-research  or  www.iua.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Hospital Saturday Fund gives opportunity to students to spend two months in a developing country Students of medicine will have new opportunities to spend two months in a developing country with funding made available by The Hospital Saturday Fund. The School of Medicine working with the Galway University Foundation will invite fourth year students of medicine to apply for funding for the medical electives, which will be offered in the summer of 2014. A medical elective is a period of supervised learning, chosen by the student.  In this case the work will be in a resource poor setting which has many recognised benefits for students: to experience clinical practice and health care in different cultural and organisational settings and to learn about diseases and conditions that are not often seen at home. Senior Lecturer in Social and Preventative Medicine Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan welcomed the support of The Hospital Saturday Fund and said “these electives help to improve the ability of students to manage patients from diverse backgrounds and to better understand global health. Many electives are based in low-resource tropical settings where the organisation and provision of healthcare, and the social, cultural, economic and political environments are very different from what students have experienced in their home institutions.” Hospital Saturday Fund (HSF) Chief Executive Paul Jackson visited NUI Galway to meet some of the staff and students of the medical school and said The Hospital Saturday Fund is delighted to be supporting Galway University with the establishment of their Medical Electives Programme which will give students the opportunity to extend their knowledge and skills in diverse overseas locations. The Hospital Saturday Fund is pleased to have the opportunity to establish a partnership with Galway University and look forward to working closely with them in future and seeing the development of the students as they benefit from first-hand clinical experience and development of their skills’. The Hospital Saturday Fund is a charity that provides grants to medical charities, hospitals and hospices and this includes making awards to medical schools to fund medical student electives. The support has been welcomed by the School of Medicine. Research and clinical elective opportunities are highly prized among medical students.  This support will facilitate twelve students who will work in various clinical disciplines in developing countries.  These elective opportunities will be awarded based on an essay competition that will be open to all students in the fourth medical year. NUI Galway’s School of Medicine is also exploring the possibility of student exchanges with medical schools in developing countries. NUI Galway is committed to providing a high standard of training to ensure that students receive adequate and appropriate preparation before going abroad.  Students planning to travel are offered training by the School of Medicine, in conjunction with the International Office and the Community Knowledge Initiative programme. This training covers broad areas such as personal health advice, travel safety and security, cultural awareness and stress management. -ends-

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

An mbíonn tú ag féachaint ar TG4? Ar mhaith leat do thuairimí faoi TG4 a roinnt linn?   Seoladh tráthnóna Fios Físe, Togra Taighde de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh chun Painéal Lucht Féachana a bhunú do TG4.  Is i gcomhar le TG4 atá an cinneadh tógtha an Painéal a bhunú. Beidh sé mar aidhm ag an togra nósanna féachana agus tuairimí Phobal na Gaeilge i leith TG4 a fhiosrú. Beidh ballraíocht an Phainéil dírithe ar Phobal na Gaeilge ar fud na tíre, ón nGaeltacht agus lasmuigh di, agus ó Thuaisceart Éireann.  Baileofar eolas ó bhaill an Phainéil go seachtainiúil trí Dhialann Féachana a bheidh le líonadh ar líne.  Má tá tú 15 bliana d’aois nó os a chionn, Gaeilge ar do thoil agat agus spéis agat do thaithí agus do thuairimí ar TG4 a roinnt, déan teagmháil linn: eolas@fiosfise.ie Céard go díreach a bheidh le déanamh ag baill an Phainéil?   Gheobhaidh baill an Phainéil ríomhphost gach Luan ina mbeidh nasc chuig Dialann Féachana a bheidh le líonadh ar líne.  Beidh roinnt ceisteanna sa dialann féachana a bhaineann le sceideal TG4 don tseachtain atá thart (Luan go Domhnach). Ní thógfaidh sé ach roinnt bheag nóiméad an dialann féachana a líonadh gach seachtain.  Is beag scríobh atá i gceist, ticeanna i mboscaí ar cheisteanna ilroghnacha den chuid is mó.  Beidh tú in ann do shástacht maidir le cláir ar fhéach tú orthu i gcaitheamh na seachtaine a thuairisciú sa dialann.  Beidh spás sa dialann freisin le tuairimí a thabhairt i bhfoirm scríofa, más mian leat é sin a dhéanamh. Beidh an chéad Dhialann Féachana le líonadh an tseachtain dar tús 16 Nollaig 2013. Beidh sé riachtanach an Dialann Féachana a bheith seolta ar ais roimh 5pm gach Máirt. Níl aon tréimhse ar leith a gcaithfidh ball fanacht ar an bPainéal Féachana Scéim Dílseachta Mar chomhartha aitheantais do bhaill an Phainéil beidh tarraingt oscailte ag deireadh gach míosa ina mbeidh ainmneacha bhaill uile an Phainéil a mbeidh ceithre dhialann seolta ar ais acu i gcaitheamh na míosa sin.  Bronnfar duais €500 ar an gcéad duine a dtiocfaidh a (h)ainm as an tarraingt agus bronnfar €100 an duine ar an gcéad chúigear eile a dtiocfaidh a n-ainmneacha amach. Cosaint Sonraí Ní roinnfear sonraí pearsanta bhaill an phainéil le haon tríú páirtí.  Ní bheidh do shonraí pearsanta le feiceáil ach an oiread ar aon tuairiscí a eascróidh ón eolas a bheidh sna dialanna féachana a sheolfar ar ais.  Eolas staitistiúil agus tuairiscí gan ainm a bheidh i gceist.  Stórálfar do chuid sonraí go sábháilte. An bhfuil spéis agat clárú don Phainéal? Má tá, téigh go dtí: http://www.fiosfise.ie/register.asp le do thoil. Tuilleadh eolais: www.fiosfise.ie  eolas@fiosfise.ie nó glaoigh ar 091 505060     ‘Fios Físe’ Launched by NUI Galway and TG4 Do you watch TG4? Would you like to let us know what you think about TG4?    NUI Galway and TG4 have launched Fios Físe,a joint research project which will establish a Viewer Panel for TG4. The Panel will seek to capture the TG4 viewing habits and preferences of Irish Speakers. Panel membership, aimed at Irish speakers inside and outside An Ghaeltacht, in the Republic and in the North of Ireland, will ask panel members to fill in an online ‘Viewing Diary’ once a week.  If you are a fluent Irish speaker, over 15 years of age, and you would like to share your thoughts and experiences of TG4, contact us on eolas@fiosfise.ie  What is expected of viewers who sign up?  Panel members will be sent an email every Monday with a link to a Viewing Diary which can be filled in online. The Diary will ask questions about the TG4 schedule of the previous week (Monday to Sunday) A short multiple-choice questionnaire will assess your views on any programme you watched in the previous week, and will allow you to add comments if you so wish. The first Viewing Diary will be available on the 16 December 2013. The Viewing Diary must be filled in by 5pm on the Tuesday of each week surveyed. Panel members can opt out at any stage they wish to do so. Loyalty Scheme TG4, to show their appreciation to participating viewers, will have a draw at the end of each month for all viewers that return four completed weekly Viewing Diaries. There will be one prize of €500 and five prizes of €100 each month for the winning  respondents.   Data Protection Viewers’ personal information will be securely stored and will not be shared with any third party. No information which could identify any individual will be published in any report arising from the viewing diairies and viewers opinions. Information published arising from the viewers’ panel will be anonymous and based on analysis of all viewers’ viewing patterns.   Would you like to register for Fios Físe? If you would, please register at: http://www.fiosfise.ie/register.asp -ends-  

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Galway companies Westway Health and Element Software were named as Best Early Stage company and New Start company respectively at InterTradeIreland’s 11th annual all-island Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition. The winners were announced at the grand final of the competition at Clontarf Castle in Dublin last night. Westway Health as Best Early Stage company will take away a cash prize of €100,000 and Element Software wins €50,000 as the Best New Start company. Two Northern Ireland companies were also recognised at the Awards.  Belfast-based Blow Moulding Technologies and See.Sense from Newtownards each won €20,000 as the Northern Ireland regional winners in the Best New Start and Best Early-stage categories respectively.Their recognition at the Awards brings the total prize money secured by Northern Ireland companies in the Competition to date to €645,000. Seedcorn is the island’s largest business competition for new start and early stage companies in any sector, from any part of the island.  The competition, aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement, has an overall total cash prize fund of €280,000.  To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 1,950 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process with previous finalists going on to secure more than €174 million worth of equity. Bizimply from Dublin was also awarded for the best venture stemming from a University spinout / support programme, walking away with a cash prize fund of €10,000 on the night.  Speaking at the final, Thomas Hunter McGowan, CEO, InterTradeIreland said:“To be truly investor ready, it’s not all about the pitch and having a perfect presentation; the proposition, the substance behind it and the team are all key for potential investors.  Seedcorn provides young companies, who are at a critical stage of their development, the opportunity to really put their proposition to the test.  This year we opened our master classes to all the 24 companies that were taking part in the regional finals, which was a valuable opportunity for them.  Not only does this give companies an opportunity to test their proposition robustly but it also starts them off on the journey to learn from the experience of those that have already ‘been there, done that’.  “Both Westway Health and Element Software have overcome extremely tough competition throughout the Seedcorn process and their success highlights that they are the bright stars for the future.  The team at InterTradeIreland and I sincerely congratulate them both and we look forward to working with them and watching them grow.” Westway Health has developed a technology designed to tackle major problems in human and animal medicine and to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, like MRSA.  Westway Health has specifically focused on the treatment and prevention of bovine mastitis (infection of the udder) which is a major health and economic issue, costing the dairy industry in the EU and US over €3 billion a year.  Conventional antibiotics are currently used to treat mastitis. However, this solution has poor treatment outcomes, leading to culling of cows and lost milk revenues, as milk from cows treated with antibiotics must be withdrawn from sale for a period of time during and after treatment.  Westway Health’s product, PanaMast, is the first non-antibiotic solution meaning farmers can continue to sell milk during and following treatment.  As up to 80% of dairy cows exhibit some signs of infections at some stage each year, this will have a major impact on the bottom line of farmers and milk producers. Prof. Vincent O’Flaherty, Chairman, Westway Health and Head of NUI Galway's School of Natural Sciences said; “The Seedcorn competition process was a great learning curve and we received invaluable feedback from investors, entrepreneurs and advisors regarding our pitch and business plan.  The potential market for PanaMast is €1.5 billion per annum from the major markets in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We are absolutely thrilled to have received this recognition from the Seedcorn judges, especially when we were up against such tough competition.  The prize money will help us to fund formal clinical trials next year and to advance towards our target of PanaMast hitting the shelves by 2017.” Founded in 2011 by Dorothy Creaven (CEO) and James Harkin (CTO), Element Software developed Element Wave, a real-time analytics and mobile messaging platform for app publishers who want to address the issues of customer retention and user conversion.  One of the biggest issues with the mobile app market is low user retention with more than 70% of mobile app users drop off within the first three months. Real-time analytics and mobile messaging platform, Element Wave, tackles this problem for app publishers by keeping people interested in using their apps. Dorothy Creaven, CEO, Element Software said: “We are absolutely delighted to be InterTradeIreland's Seedcorn winner in the New Start category for 2013. With the high standard of competition, it has been great validation for our new product, Element Wave, and an important milestone for our mobile technology company. Element Wave is the next generation in mobile marketing for B2C companies as it helping to solve the major problem of low user retention in the mobile app industry. The Seedcorn competition has meant a lot to us in terms of attracting marketing and investment opportunities, and the prize money will mainly be used to assist us in closing sales with our growing customer base outside of Ireland. Seedcorn is much more than a standard competition; the feedback on our business plan that we have received along the way has really helped to push our business ahead and we look forward to announcing more exciting news in 2014.” The Seedcorn competition imitates the real-life investment process and gives companies a valuable opportunity to put their business idea to the test and ensure that it is investor- ready and stands up to external scrutiny.  Business plans received were initially assessed and short listed companies were subjected to a rigorous investment pitch process by a panel of judges made up of entrepreneurs, investors and business experts in competing for the Best New Start and Best Early Stage Company titles on a regional basis in Connacht & Leinster, Munster, Dublin and Northern Ireland. The regional winners in each category secured an initial €20,000 share of the prize fund for their company. Finalist companies also benefit from being part of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Network – an extensive business and investment community that helps boost their profile, contacts and future potential investment opportunities. Further details are available on http://www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn/.  Follow the Seedcorn Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn #Seedcorn) or on LinkedIn (Seedcorn Network).

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

NUI Galway’s researchers will have the answers at the final of Threesis; Three Slides, Three Minutes Ever wondered how research at NUI Galway affects you, your family, and your community? The public are invited to a competition which might just answer that question on Thursday December 12th, at 7.30 pm in An Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway City Centre. The THREESIS competition will see NUI Galway staff and students present their research to the audience and a panel of judges in accessible language a non-expert can understand, in three minutes or less. Each of the 8 finalists will have only three slides and three minutes to communicate their research area and relevancy. Competitors are judged on how well they convey their subject and their ability to communicate to a general audience. Each of NUI Galway’s five priority research areas will be represented, with topics ranging from the brain structure of people with Bipolar Disorder to the transport of pollutants in groundwater. The winner will receive a prize and award, based on the decision of the judges who will include: Eithne Verling, Director of the Galway City Museum; Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway; and Johnny Holden, Irish Times Journalist and Editor of the NUI Galway Research Matters Publication. Professor Lokesh Joshi said: “This event will provide a snapshot of the diversity of research going on at NUI Galway.  The talks will be sharp and to-the-point, with plenty of time while the judges deliberate for NUI Galway researchers and members of the community to share ideas over a glass of mulled wine.”  He added “The audience will also be treated to a short talk from last year’s THREESIS competition winner, Dr. Ronán Hennessy.  His talk “Making Time for Old Lines” is based on his work in developing an animated Google Earth based application for visualizing the evolution of the Irish rail network.” The event is free and refreshments will be served on the night.  Please RSVP to ryaninstitute@nuigalway.ie . -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

 EU initiative, Puzzled by Policy, provides a  free, interactive platform for understanding public attitudes to key policy issues An NUI Galway project, led by INSIGHT will offer Europeans the opportunity to understand key EU policies and issues. The project, an EU Commission eGovernment project aims to give Europeans a voice in policy creation. Developed by leading IT companies, public authorities, universities and NGOs from across Europe, Puzzled by Policy aims to consult with people in a way that is both fun and engaging. It combines innovative online tools with traditional face-to-face consultation techniques to ensure accessibility, transparancy and inclusion, transforming the way in which those who shape European policy listen to and get feedback from the public.  Developed over the last 3 years, Puzzled by Policy is a unique combination of online and offline engagement. The online platform, which is freely available to utilise, download and install, makes it easy for any organisation to begin talking with people about the issues that affect them most. Deirdre Lee, Project Co-ordinator from INISIGHT@NUI Galway, says “Puzzled by Policy has demonstrated that new web technologies can improve our democratic systems and can help produce more effective government policy, through open and transparent processes.” “Such innovative technologies are imperative for supporting Irish government initiatives such as the eGovernment Strategy, Open Data Initiative and Open Government Partnership, and was used as part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Ireland consultation process to define Ireland’s first OGP National Action Plan” she said. Policy Profiler offers a unique way for citizens to understand where their views lie on the political specturm. The uDebate eParticipation platform enables people to freely discuss and exchange ideas. Consultation initiators (government, NGOs, research institutes, thinktanks, etc.) can access all this information in a summarised, visual form to help them understand exactly where public opinion lies on key issues. Ten policy-makers from regional, national and European governments engaged in the Puzzled by Policy process, as did over a hundred NGOs from Spain, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Ireland. Since its inception, the Puzzled by Policy platform has had over 200,000 page views with 6,600 people actively participating. Puzzled by Policy will be presented at a number of major international events over the coming weeks, including the European Commission and EESC’s ‘European Integration Forum’, the Council of Europe’s ‘World Forum for Democracy’ and the Assembly of European Regions’ ‘Building Inclusive Societies Conference’. For more information on adopting Puzzled by Policy visit http://puzzledbypolicy.moonfruit.com/ or www.puzzledbypolicy.eu, or contact Deirdre Lee, the project coordinator, at NUI Galway at 091 495336 or email deirdre.lee@deri.org. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The innovative Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development offers internships to graduates and works with leading ICT companies to meet their employment needs   NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne has awarded the first group of students their Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) programme.  90% of those that graduated from the course have found employment. The programme is an innovative collaboration between NUI Galway and leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies which help design the course and provide internships for the graduates. Dr Enda Howley, Director of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) said “we are seeing huge benefits of closer collaboration between academics and industry and we are fortunate now that these students are able to reap the rewards of this new programme.” “The first year of the programme has exceeded all expectations” he said “and we look forward to working with many more talented students over the coming years and engaging with more new companies interested in developing their long-term supply chain of talent.” The ICT Skills scheme was devised by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to fund the university fees of suitable graduates from areas such as engineering and science to give them the skills that are needed in the software development industry. NUI Galway has developed the Higher Diploma programme with a view to selecting up to 20 highly performing graduates from areas such as Civil Engineering and pairing them for re-training and internships with suitable industry partners.    -ends-  

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Tá áiseanna nua ilmheáin, toradh comhshaothar foirne agus mic léinn faoin scéim EXPLORE seolta ag Scoil an Oideachais, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh Forbraíodh na háiseanna Ardteistiméireachta seo mar iBooks. Tá siad bunaithe ar churaclam Éiceolaíochta agus Tíreolaíochta na hArdteistiméireachta. Is de thoradh compháirtíochta idir mic léinn agus foireann an DGO (Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas) a forbraíodh na iBooks seo faoin scéim EXPLORE agus le maoiniú ó COGG (An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta). Ba iad Séan Ó Grádaigh agus Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir ón DGO a bhí mar bhainisteoirí togra agus a stiúir. Áiseanna teagaisc agus foghlama iad atá feiliúnach do mhúinteoirí agus do dhaltaí araon, atá daite, mealltach, spreagúil agus lán le pictiúir, físeáin agus idirghníomhaíocht. Ag seoladh na sraithe dó, thréaslaigh Gearóid Ó Conluain, Rúnaí na hOllscoile le foireann agus le mic léinn an DGO a rá “Is sampla den scoth iad na háiseanna seo d’fhiúntas comhoibriú foirne agus mic léinn agus béim na hOllscoile ar nuálaíocht agus ar thacaíocht d’úrsmaointe.” Dúirt Seán Ó Grádaigh, agus é ag tagairt do na leabhair thíreolaíochta: “Is fíorannamh a fhaigheann múinteoirí tíreolaíochta an deis a gcuid daltaí a thabhairt amach le hobair allamuigh a chomhlíonadh, ach ag baint úsáide as an gcineál seo teicneolaíochta, is féidir linn an tíreolaíocht bheo a thabhairt isteach sa seomra ranga.” “Tá idir scileanna teicneolaíochta, digiteacha agus praiticiúla le feiceáil agus le foghlaim ag baint úsáide as na leabhair seo. Cuireadh go mór le máistreacht ar an ábhar agus le cumas teicneolaíochta na múinteoirí faoi oiliúint agus iad ag forbairt na leabhar seo” a dúirt Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir. Is féidir teacht ar an háiseanna seo saor in aisce ar an iBook Store.   The School of Education in NUI Galway has launched Leaving Cert iBooks, the product of staff – student collaboration on the Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas   iBooks developed by the School of Education in NUI Galway are breathing new life into Woodland Ecology and Geography Fieldwork for Leaving Cert students. The iBooks are the result of NUI Galway’s EXPLORE student / staff innovation collaboration. Seán Ó Grádaigh and Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir from the Dioplóma Gairimiúil san Oideachas in the School of Education collaborated with students from the course to develop the iBooks with the aid of funding from An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) Rúnaí na hOllscoile Gearóid Ó Conluain congratulated staff and students on the iBooks and said “The School of Education’s iBooks are an excellent example of the benefits of staff / student collaboration and underline NUI Galway’s commitment to facilitating innovation and bringing good ideas to life.” Project manager Seán Ó Grádaigh said “Geography students rarely get the opportunity to experience the great outdoors, but this type of technology brings the living Geography into the classroom.” Co-manager Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir said “Using these books enhances not only content knowledge, but also develops digital literacy and practical skills. The student teachers gained invaluable experience in subject mastery and in educational technological competency during the project.” The interactive multimedia teaching resources are aimed at both teachers and students and are packed with imagery, videos and interactive learning. They are now available in the iBook store.   -ENDS-

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Athlone Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Athlone on Thursday, 12 December. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a 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 Athlone, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Athlone is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Athlone, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Project aims to foster academic-industry research interactions between Ireland and Japan    An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. has announced that a consortium of Irish Higher Education Institutions, led by NUI Galway has been awarded €1.24m in funding to collaborate with their Japanese counterparts through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) International Strategic Cooperation Award (ISCA). The NUI Galway-led consortium of Irish Research Bodies will partner with 21 Japanese Universities and a number of companies and research institutes, with the aim of building strategic partnerships to perform cutting-edge scientific research, encourage more industry-informed research, and foster academic-industry interactions between Ireland and Japan. Speaking in Tokyo, Japan, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said, “This new initiative, supported by the Irish Government through Science Foundation Ireland, will build on the extensive linkages that already exist between the Irish and Japanese research communities. It will encourage a higher level of research engagement at both an academic and industrial level." "The ultimate aim" An Taoiseach said "is to create innovative products, services and jobs to benefit Ireland and Japan as well as tackling important social challenges such as caring for an ageing population and climate change. Importantly, it will also help increase awareness of Ireland’s growing international standing in the area of research among potential new partner organisations in Japan.” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, said, "Ireland ranks 20 in the world for the quality of its research. Our focus on funding excellent scientific research with impact is important for the economy and country. Ireland continues to develop strategic international partnerships. Through SFI’s ISCA programme we are fostering new important research collaborations between Irish based Researchers and both academic and industry partners in Japan.”  The partnerships developed by the consortium will address 6 key thematic areas which align with both Irish and Japanese research priorities. These are:  ·         Environmental and climate sciences and technologies; ·         ICT and Big Data analytics; ·         Advanced manufacturing and materials; ·         Imaging and optics; ·         Future healthcare including connected health; ·         Medical devices and regenerative medicine. Project Leader, Professor Ciaran Morrison of NUI Galway, commented "Many Irish researchers already have significant interactions with Japanese colleagues but until now there has not been a framework to support those interactions and to convert them into more tangible collaborations.  The key goal of this initiative is to promote Irish science to Japanese research institutions, in order to forge new collaborative links between researchers in the two countries. Japanese research is very strong and Irish researchers can really benefit from closer association with their Japanese counterparts".   ENDS  

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

                         The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards, now in their 4th year, reward enterprise and innovation among students.   The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards, now in its fourth year, invites students across the campus to put forward proposals for a project or business. The winner will receive a prize of €10,000 investment capital and the two runners up will receive prizes of €5,000 each. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards aim to unlock the potential of NUI Galway students by providing financial support and expertise for students who wish to start a project in the areas of business and/or social entrepreneurship. The awards are generously supported by NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union. The closing date for submissions is 5pm Friday 17th January. More information is available at www.su.nuigalway.ie  NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said “The Enterprise Awards offer an opportunity for students to bring ideas to life and, in doing so, learn invaluable business and entrepreneurial skills. A key aim in NUI Galway is to offer our students a broad skillset that builds on their academic achievements and prepares them for the challenges of working life. “ Sean Kearns, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said “the Enterprise Awards are a showcase for the best and brightest student minds on campus. They reflect the dynamic, innovative and creative graduates we all wish to see emerging from NUI Galway, now and in the years ahead.” 2012 Enterprise Award Overall Winner Niamh Duffy said “The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise awards is a truly life changing experience. Having zero business knowledge prior to taking part, the skills and knowledge I gained were invaluable to making my vision a reality no matter what the outcome. A year on and we are getting ready for our big launch thanks to the awards!”   -Ends-  

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-