Thursday, 30 May 2013

The NUI Galway MBA in conjunction with the University’s BioInnovate programme has won a major award in the recent MBA World Trophy which took place in Dublin. The competition brought together teams of highly motivated entrepreneurs from some of the world’s top universities to compete against each other with their start-up businesses, where business models were challenged by a leading panel of successful entrepreneurs, VCs and thought leaders.  The MBA World Trophy is the first initiative of its kind: a unique showcase of entrepreneurial talent from some of the world’s finest graduate schools. Billed as a business start-up competition, the World Trophy will accelerate an early stage company using the lean start up principles and change how college students think about business building. Competing teams pitched their business models to an exclusive panel of VCs, and participated in workshops in Innovation, Finance, Growth and Leadership. Each team was paired with a mentor and on the final day each team presented their final pitch to the judging panel. The team that won the award for the most impactful business idea, which is based on a medical device innovation product, includes two BioInnovate Ireland Fellows, Ashwin Kher (NUI Galway BioInnovate Team) and Michael Morrissey (University of Limerick BioInnovate team), both of whom are NUI Galway MBA graduates and Joseph O’Callaghan, a 3rd Year Biomedical Engineering student at NUI Galway. Ashwin Kher, NUI Galway MBA graduate 2012 and current BioInnovate Ireland Fellow was on the winning team and said: “The World MBA trophy competition was an incredible experience, both in the content and the quality of the speakers. It was a privilege to get an opportunity to learn from global thought leaders on lean start-up strategy and entrepreneurship. The three-day competition was gruelling from start to finish and the standard of competitors was truly world class. Teams represented the finest international MBA programmes from Columbia University (USA) to INSEAD (France).” The value of the MBA and the training received during the BioInnovate programme was critical to the team’s success as another team member, Michael Morrissey (BioInnovate Ireland Fellow and NUI Galway MBA 2012) states: “The MBA at NUI Galway was instrumental in providing us with the skills to compete effectively at this level. The emphasis on strategy and innovation and its application out of the classroom provided a strong foundation for our success. The BioInnovate program taught us the fundamental steps in the process of medical device innovation and identifying clinical needs that stressed the importance of patient and user impact. Winning the title of ‘Business Most Likely to Have a Global Impact’ is something we’re proud of. Being recognised by someone of the calibre of Professor Vivek Wadwha is really huge for us.” Competition entrants included some of the best schools in the world including: INSEAD (FRANCE), UCD Smurfit, Instituto de Empresa Business School (ES), NYU Stern, ESAN Graduate School of Business (Peru), Columbia (US), Rotman School of Business (CA), Warwick (UK), Tel Aviv University (Israel), IPADE (Mexico) and Trinity College Dublin. This World Trophy follows from the recent announcement that NUI Galway has attained the global AMBA accreditation for its MBA programme offered in the School of Business and Economics. AMBA provide the only dedicated accreditation regime for MBA Programmes and now positions NUI Galway against the best worldwide. The Association of MBAs (AMBA) accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard for all MBA programmes. AMBA accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in MBA education and is earned only by the best programmes. AMBA accredits 200 Schools in over 70 countries.  Speaking about this most recent accolade, Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway said: “Winning an award at the MBA World Trophy demonstrates that our MBA graduates can successfully compete on the global stage and follows successes for NUI Galway MBA teams in the MBA Association of Ireland national all-Ireland competitions. We extend our congratulations to the BioInnovate Ireland team and wish them continued success in what promises to be an exciting entrepreneurial start-up journey.” Dr Mark Bruzzi, Programme Director, BioInnovate Ireland added: “BioInnovate are delighted that the teams activities in identifying unmet clinical needs and aligning them with market opportunities has been recognised in this way.”  ENDS

Friday, 16 May 2014

180 students and staff join forces to build a range of campus and society-enhancing projects. EXPLORE Expo celebrates 28 projects from mobile apps, education books, journals to student study aids, interactive beach information, new ways of studying Shakesphere in schools. 400 staff and students have delivered 69 projects to date The results of 28 joint student and staff projects focused on making an impact on society were unveiled at a ceremony in NUI Galway today. The EXPLORE Programme brings staff and students together to develop projects that can have a positive benefit on campus and also for wider society. Each project receives up to €1,000 in funding. This year’s projects include: ‘ShoutOut’, an anti-homophobic bullying programme for schools; ‘STARTS’, workshops in which NUI Galway students teach staff how to develop mobile apps; ‘Capture your Campus’, a campus-based amateur photography competition and exhibition; an Undergraduate Science Fair; a clothing brand based on the University’s “Big Yellow Thing”; the installation of a beehive on campus to promote awareness of pollinators; and a project bringing Shakespeare to life in secondary schools using theatre. Members of the public can see the impact of these projects in many ways: Copies of one project’s book, ‘Scary Noisy Things’, which is aimed at helping toddlers understand their emotions, will be available online and coming soon to Galway libraries. School teachers can contact ‘ShoutOut’ and the Shakespeare projects about visiting their schools. The ‘I Like Beaches’ project will soon have information boards on the importance of our beaches, placed on the Salthill prom. Quick response (QR) codes will be added to exhibits at NUI Galway’s Zoology and Marine Biology Museum in the coming weeks. A project which produced literature aimed at educating carers on how to avoid pressure ulcers will be shared in Ireland, the UK and North America. The Surgical Training Workshop project will be see the next generation of surgeons learning the skills that will save lives for decades to come. The Choral Online Resource (CÓR) project will put hard-to-find traditional Irish songs online for a global audience. Previous years’ projects include ‘Cell Explorers’, a programme whereby undergraduate science students and their lecturers visit primary schools showing schoolchildren basic scientific experiments. This project has gone on to expand across the country and has been awarded over €50,000 in external funding. NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Seán Kearns: “The Students’ Union is very proud of the EXPLORE initiative. EXPLORE shows how staff and students can work in partnership to achieve an incredible synergy to the benefit of our campus and the wider community.” NUI Galway’s Vice President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin, said:“EXPLORE is a fresh approach that harnesses the talents and passions of our campus community. EXPLORE has demonstrated our commitment to innovation as well as the power of staff-student partnership to achieve outstanding & exciting results in a very short space of time.” The project list and more background about the EXPLORE programme are available at http://www.su.nuigalway.ie/index.php/projects. -Ends-

Friday, 16 May 2014

A new guidebook has been published by NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences to help people explore the natural history of the Galway area. The booklet was produced as part of NUI Galway’s EXPLORE initiative that promotes and sponsors innovation through student and staff collaboration. Entitled Self Guided Fieldtrip – Galway Area, the booklet was compiled by Alina Wieczorek, a third year undergraduate student with the School of Natural Sciences, and Professor Martin Feely, Earth and Ocean Science at NUI Galway. The tour includes a visit to the James Mitchell Museum, in NUI Galway’s Quadrangle Building, to introduce the rocks, minerals and fossils of the Galway area and from around the globe. The guide highlights the natural history resource that is the coastal zone stretching from Galway city westwards to Salthill and beyond. The reader can explore the natural history by using the supplied map and the many field illustrations of bedrock geology, and the flora and fauna that live on the bedrock substrate highlighting the inextricable links between the Natural Sciences of Geology, Botany and Zoology. Those who engage with the guide are encouraged to share and discuss their discoveries through the webpage, www.exploregalway.npage.eu. A downloadable version of the guide is also available on this webpage. For a hard copy, visit NUI Galway’s James Mitchell Museum in the Quadrangle Building, or the Zoology Museum  in the Ryan Institute, or ask for it in the Earth and Ocean Sciences office on the second floor of the Quadrangle. The museums are open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Members of the public are invited to a Research Day at NUI Galway on Thursday, 11 April. Academics and researchers will present ideas that could lead to new discoveries and innovations. Representatives from NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, and College of Science, will be joined by colleagues from the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Limerick. This day-long event is being held in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway commencing at 10.30am. The annual NUI Galway event runs in conjunction with the University of Limerick, as part of the Strategic Alliance between the two organisations. Highlights of this year’s event include more than 200 research poster presentations by researchers from both universities. The event will showcase some of the cutting edge research being carried out by engineers and scientists across several diverse disciplines from energy, biomedical, ICT, civil, mechanical, chemical, mathematical and physical sciences to the biological sciences.   “This is an exceptional opportunity to hear first-hand from those who at the forefront of engineering, ICT and science innovation and research,” explained Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway. “Interaction is the lifeblood of scientific innovation so we are very much looking forward to meeting scientific and engineering colleagues and peers as well as members of the wider community,” said Professor Kieran Hodnett, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Limerick. Over the course of the day there will be talks from five speakers on topics as varied as Aerospace Research in Ireland, Marine Discovery Research, and Medical Device Research and Development. Speakers include: Gavin Campbell, Bombardier Aerospace; Martin Hynes, European Science Foundation; Professor Deniz Tasdemir, NUI Galway; Heinrich Anhold, StableLab; and Ray McCarthy, Boston Scientific.  Speaking about the event Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Vice-Dean of Research, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, said: “This is a unique day in the calendar of the two Universities, as engineers and scientists will get together to present and debate their research in a forum that is open to the public. Talks will be topical and aimed at a lay-audience. Our invited speakers are world-renowned and leaders in their field. We welcome local industry and the general public to participate in this event.” Presentations will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall with a simultaneous Postgraduate Poster Competition. Those interested in attending should visit the NUI Galway website to find out view the full programme of events www.nuigalway.ie/research-day or contact Sharon Allman sharon.allman@nuigalway.ie  -ENDS-

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Operation Transformation consultant, Professor Donal O'Shea, will deliver a seminar on ‘Obesity and the Immune System – Murmurations on a Theme’ at NUI Galway. Organised the Institute of Biology and the discipline of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway, the seminar will take place on Thursday, 11 April at 7.30pm in Máirtín O’Tnuthail Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building. Professor O’Shea is a Consultant Endocrinologist at St Vincent’s University and St Columcille’s Hospitals, Dublin where he runs a hospital based multidisciplinary treatment unit for the management of adult obesity. He chaired the Detection and Treatment subgroup of the National Obesity Taskforce in 2005 and currently chairs the nutrition council of the Irish Heart Foundation. In 2007 he appointed Associate Professor of Medicine in UCD. He is a member of the Department of Health special action group on obesity established in 2011 chaired the health impact assessment group on the potential benefits and harms of a tax on sugar sweetened drinks. Professor O’Shea’s work was recently highlighted in RTÉ’s ‘The Obesity Clinic’ and ‘Operation Transformation’. Dr Maura Grealy, Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway, said: “We are looking forward to an interesting and insightful lecture from Professor O’Shea, who is a world leader in research into and treatment of obesity.” The seminar is free to attend and is open to those interested in obesity issues. For further information on the seminar contact Dr Maura Grealy, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, NUI Galway at maura.grealy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Head and neck cancers related to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) According to the American Cancer Society, a new cancer epidemic is emerging in the US. Head and neck cancers related to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are rising dramatically and are projected to surpass cervical cancer by 2020. Experts will gather at NUI Galway on 17 May for a symposium to discuss the challenges this brings in terms of clinical management and broader public health ramifications. Jointly organised by NUI Galway’s Academic Department of Otorhinolaryngology and School of Economics, the event is funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) as part of its Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme (KEDS). HPV are a family of more than 100 viruses. The HPV- subtypes, 16 and 18, that are synonymous with cervical cancer, are also causal subtypes in head and neck cancer.  The incidence of HPV-related head and neck cancer are three-times more likely to occur in men than women raising debate about vaccinating boys against this sexually-transmitted virus. Symposium chair, Professor Ivan Keogh, Head of the Academic Department of Otorhinolaryngology at NUI Galway and Consultant Otolaryngologist at Galway University Hospitals, states: “There is a changing nature in the cause of tongue and tonsil cancers from traditional heavy smoking and drinking use to HPV. This symposium is a wonderful opportunity for all healthcare professionals involved in the provision of care to these patients to attend a free symposium with internationally-renowned keynote speakers from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution.” The symposium will bring together leading national and international epidemiologists, pathologists, head and neck cancer clinicians, health economists and public health experts to debate current and future best practice. The organisers are delighted that Dr Brenda Corcoran, HSE National Immunisation Office, will conclude the symposium. The clinical keynote speakers are Dr Sara Pai and Dr William Westra, both from Johns Hopkins, who will discuss their latest research in diagnosing, treating and managing these cancers. The symposium will also feature presentations from Professor Terry Jones, University of Liverpool and Dr Mererid Evans, Velindre Cancer Centre Cardiff, who will give the UK perspective on these cancers. Complimentary to the research angle, co-organiser, Mr Tony O’Connor, Consultant Otolaryngologist, Bon Secours Hospital, Galway makes the point that: “The symposium offers a unique opportunity for auxiliary healthcare professionals, dentists and GPs to engage in knowledge exchange on the detection and post-treatment management of these patients.”  This CPD-accredited symposium is limited to 120 delegates and reservation is strongly recommended. The full programme can be viewed at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=200  -ends-

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A new €3 million EU project is tasked with creating a clear strategy for Big Data in Europe. Researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway are leading Ireland’s involvement in the project called Big Data Public Private Forum (BIG). The BIG project aims to provide a platform for industry, research, policy makers, and community initiatives to discuss the challenges of Big Data and the emerging Data Economy. The project is developing a requirements roadmap together with action plans for addressing these challenges at the European-level. The project sees eleven companies, research institutions and community initiatives from six European countries join forces to tackle issue surrounding Big Data. The amount of data in our world has been exploding over recent years, with IDC, the market intelligence agency, estimating that there is a doubling of the world’s data every two years. Harnessing the increasing volume of data in enterprises, governments, and our everyday lives is the opportunity, explains Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI at NUI Galway. Professor Decker, who will deliver an address at the upcoming European Data Forum in Dublin on 9 April adds: “Big data is the opportunity to meet the challenges of our time. We are at a critical juncture where a concerted and collaborative effort is needed across Europe. Industry, government and academia must come together to put in place methods to deal with this data and maximise opportunities for Europe.” “The US has many early adopters of Big Data who have embraced it as an enabler of innovation. In Europe we are starting to see business leverage Big Data, but we need to accelerate its uptake”, says Dr Edward Curry, DERI Scientific Lead in the project. The BIG project will provide a major boost for technology adoption by identifying the key requirements for Big Data within different industry sectors (energy, transport, public sector, finance, manufacturing, retail, etc.) and creating technology and strategy roadmaps. Dr Curry adds: “We need to enable more European businesses to exploit the competitive edge that Big Data can provide. The roadmaps will help business communities understand the potential competitive advantages from Big Data technologies.”   The BIG project together with other supporting actions from the European Commission will contribute to the successful implementation of the Big Data economy. The BIG project will work towards the definition and implementation of a clear strategy that tackles the key research and innovation challenges with Big Data. Dr Curry notes, “It is critical that Europe is a leader in the Big Data economy. Key to this is a clear vision of the required technology research and innovation needed to gain Europe a competitive advantage. Within BIG Ireland is at the heart of defining a Big Data Strategy for Europe.” The strategy will be used as input for Horizon 2020, ensuring the strategy will be sustained beyond the project duration. The BIG project brings together major Big Data players within Europe. Along with NUI Galway, the consortium includes ATOS, Press Association, Siemens, AGT Group, Uni Innsbruck, University of Leipzig, DFKI, Exalead, Open Knowledge Foundation and STI International. -ends-

Monday, 8 April 2013

To get a taste of university life at NUI Galway, all CAO applicants and interested students of all years are invited to the campus for the annual Spring Open Day on Saturday, 20 April. The Open Day is an excellent opportunity for students, along with their parents and families, to learn about the courses on offer at NUI Galway, talk to lecturers and view the facilities. Running from 10am to 3pm, the Spring Open Day is expected to attract over 3,000 visitors. Taster sessions will run throughout the day, designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway, with hands-on interactive Science Experience workshops a particular highlight. New for this year, students from the School of Law will show short films they have made about famous legal cases, giving would-be solicitors and barristers a unique insight into the Law in action. A wide range of short taster sessions in Arts subjects, together with interactive Engineering and IT Zones will also form part of the packed programme for the day.  Tours of the campus will feature the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, and the new Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day. Popular highlights for parents will be the talks, 'Focus on Your Career' and 'A Parent's Guide to University'. With a packed programme of events for all ages, the event is an ideal family day out. This year, all counties in Ireland will be represented by a team of 'student ambassadors', answering questions on specific courses and all aspects of university life. Lecturers and support staff will also be available at over 80 stands to deal with any queries about courses, accommodation, finance and much more. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: "Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, check out the facilities and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Spring Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July.” NUI Galway is an internationally recognised university with a distinguished reputation for teaching excellence and research. Currently ranked third of the Irish universities in international rankings, NUI Galway is only one of two Irish Universities to be awarded the prestigious top rating of five stars in the latest QS Stars rating system. Five stars are awarded for exceptional developments in education, including teaching and research activity, as well as for top quality facilities. The University is also one of the top two universities in Ireland for student retention and graduate employment. NUI Galway recognises the academic excellence of new undergraduate students annually with the presentations of Excellence Scholarships valued at €2,000 to students who achieve exceptional Leaving Certificate results, while generous Sports Scholarships are awarded to high performing athletes. Visitors for the NUI Galway Spring Open Day can book a place and receive a programme in advance by visiting  www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, calling 091 494 145 or emailing visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- _________________________________ Fáilte roimh an bPobal teacht chuig Lá Oscailte an Earraigh in OÉ Gaillimh Chun blaiseadh a fháil de shaol na hollscoile in OÉ Gaillimh, tugtar cuireadh do gach iarratasóir CAO agus do mhic léinn eile i ngach bliain teacht chuig an gcampas do Lá Oscailte an Earraigh a bheidh ar siúl Dé Sathairn an 20 Aibreán. Is iontach an deis a fhaigheann mic léinn, agus a dtuismitheoirí agus a dteaghlaigh, ag an Lá Oscailte chun eolas a fháil faoi na cúrsaí atá á dtairiscint in OÉ Gaillimh, labhairt le léachtóirí agus féachaint ar na háiseanna atá ar fáil. Beidh Lá Oscailte an Earraigh ar siúl ó 10am go dtí 3pm agus táthar ag súil le breis agus 3,000 cuairteoir ar an lá. Beidh seisiúin eolais ar siúl ar feadh an lae chun léargas a thabhairt ar shaol na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh. Ar cheann de na gnéithe is suntasaí beidh ceardlanna praiticiúla idirghníomhacha Eolaíochta ar siúl. Den chéad uair i mbliana, taispeánfaidh mic léinn ó Scoil an Dlí gearrscannáin atá déanta acu faoi chásanna dlíthiúla a bhí i mbéal an phobail, rud a thabharfaidh léargas ar leith ar an Dlí dóibh siúd atá ag dréim le bheith ina ndlíodóirí agus ina n-abhcóidí. Beidh réimse leathan gearrsheisiúin eolais ar siúl in ábhair na Dána, chomh maith le Zóin idirghníomhacha Innealtóireachta agus IT.  Ar thurais den champas taispeánfar an t-ionad spóirt agus giomnáisiam den scoth mar aon leis an bhFoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta. Beidh turais ar lóistín na mac léinn ar fáil do chuairteoirí ar an lá chomh maith. Cuirfidh tuismitheoirí suim sna cainteanna, 'Focus on Your Career' agus 'A Parent's Guide to University'. Tá clár imeachtaí den scoth beartaithe don uile dhuine, agus is cinnte gur iontach an lá a bheas ann don teaghlach ar fad. I mbliana, beidh ionadaíocht ag gach contae sa tír ag an ócáid le foireann ‘ambasadóirí na mac léinn', a fhreagróidh ceisteanna faoi chúrsaí ar leith agus faoi aon ghné de shaol na hollscoile. Beidh léachtóirí agus an fhoireann tacaíochta ar fáil chomh maith ag breis agus 80 seastán chun ceisteanna faoi chúrsaí, lóistín, maoiniú agus go leor eile a fhreagairt. Dúirt Caroline Loughnane, an Stiúrthóir Margaíochta agus Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ceann de na cinntí is tábhachtaí a dhéanfaidh mac léinn ina s(h)aol an ollscoil a fhreastalóidh sé/sí uirthi a roghnú. Tá ról tábhachtach ag tuismitheoirí tacú le mic léinn agus iad i mbun an cinneadh sin a dhéanamh. Is é an Lá Oscailte an deis is fearr do thuismitheoirí a chinntiú go bhfuil an t-eolas ar fad acu chun tacú lena mac nó lena n-iníon ag an ollscoil. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith a bhfuil suim acu staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte, labhairt leis na léachtóirí agus leis na mic léinn reatha, eolas a fháil faoi chúrsaí, breathnú ar na háiseanna agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse. Bhain go leor mic léinn leas as Lá Oscailte an Earraigh sna blianta roimhe seo go háirithe má bhí rún acu athrú intinne an CAO a úsáid roimh an spriocdháta an 1 Iúil.” Tá aitheantas idirnáisiúnta ag OÉ Gaillimh mar ollscoil a bhfuil cáil an teagaisc agus an taighde uirthi. Faoi láthair tá OÉ Gaillimh sa tríú háit i measc na n-ollscoileanna Éireannacha sa rangú idirnáisiúnta, agus tá sí ar cheann den dá Ollscoil Éireannacha ar bronnadh an rátáil is airde cúig réalta uirthi sa chóras rátála QS Stars is déanaí. Bronntar cúig réalta mar gheall ar fhorbairtí den scoth san oideachas, lena n-áirítear gníomhaíocht teagaisc agus taighde, chomh maith le háiseanna ar ardchaighdeán. Tá an Ollscoil ar an dara hollscoil is fearr in Éirinn ó thaobh mic léinn a choinneáil agus fostaíocht na gcéimithe. Gach bliain tugann OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas d’fheabhas acadúil na mac léinn nua fochéime trí Scoláireachtaí Feabhais ar fiú €2,000 iad a bhronnadh ar mhic léinn a fhaigheann torthaí den scoth san Ardteistiméireacht, agus bronntar Scoláireachtaí Spóirt flaithiúla ar lúthchleasaithe ar ardchaighdeán chomh maith. Féadfaidh daoine ar mian leo freastal ar Lá Oscailte an Earraigh áit a chur in áirithe agus clár imeachtaí a fháil roimh ré ach dul chuig www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, glao ar 091 494 145 494145 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig visit@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

Monday, 8 April 2013

NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) together with Green Sod Ireland will host a public talk on leadership and the management of change in organisations, based on an innovative approach called complexity theory. The talk, entitled ‘Complexity and Collaboration – the way forward’ will be given by Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly of the London School of Economics, on Thursday, 18 April at 7.30pm in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway. ‘Complexity and Collaboration – the way forward’ will outline and discuss a variety of tools and methods which can be used to apply complexity theory in a practical way to organisational change in different environments.  Professor Mitleton-Kelly will discuss how insights from complexity theory can help tackle apparently intractable problems in bringing about organisational transformation, emphasising the application of complexity theory in practice. This talk will benefit people in education, health, the community and voluntary sector and business, who are dissatisfied with traditional approaches to organisational change, and academics who would like to learn more about the application of complexity theory in practice. Through her work, Professor Mitleton-Kelly has developed a theory of social systems and a method to address complex social problems which is being used for teaching at universities around the world. She has been Policy/ Scientific Advisor to European and USA organisations, the European Commission, several UK government departments, and several foreign governments. Her research has concentrated on the implications of the theories of complexity for organisations, specifically on strategy and policy development and on the creation of enabling environments to address problems encountered by organisations in both the public and private sector. Inspired by the vision of the environmental organisation Green Sod Ireland, Professor Mitleton-Kelly has agreed to assist the organisation to scale-up and grow, through the application of complexity theory. The aim is to co-create a new culture, structure and way of working within the organisation and the wider community as Green Sod Ireland works for social change. “It is tremendous for us to have a woman of Professor Mitleton-Kelly’s calibre working with us in Galway. We are also very happy with this opportunity to strengthen our partnership with NUI Galway through CKI” said Melissa Griffith of Green Sod Ireland. Ann Lyons of NUI Galway’s CKI, said: “This public talk is part of a week-long visit by Professor Mitleton-Kelly to Galway, to work with Green Sod Ireland. CKI is delighted to have the opportunity of collaborating with Green Sod Ireland on this public talk and to be in a position to bring the work of Professor Mitleton-Kelly to a wider audience in Galway.” Admission to the talk is free of charge, but as places are limited, booking is required. Please book by contacting Mary Bernard at mary.bernard@nuigalway.ie or 091 493823. -ENDS-

Monday, 8 April 2013

Social Sciences Computing Hub establishes NUI Galway at the forefront of global Business and Social Science Research A Social Sciences Computing Hub at the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, has been formally launched by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. The ‘Hub’ is a unique facility that will serve both as a repository of diverse social science databases, quantitative and qualitative, and a computing resource that can be used by researchers across the University. This one-stop facility will enable access to diverse data, analytics, visualization and computational resources for research clusters across various Social Science research institutes. The architecture of the Hub will be set up in such a way that it will provide remote access to university users, both on and off campus. The Hub will facilitate integration of advanced scientific computational methods in Business Analytics and Social Science research utilising and adapting the frontier research methodologies from Natural, Physical, Mathematical, IT and Engineering Sciences. The Hub is designed to deliver regional, national, and international academic and industry collaborations to deepen the multidisciplinary research agenda to inform public policy. To that end, the Hub will offer wide ranging cross disciplinary workshops for academic and industry partners to create innovative research methods for the analysis of global, national and regional public policy issues. Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute, said: “The creation of the Hub will enable our research community to continue to be at the forefront of international scientific excellence and opens up many new opportunites for our research community to contribute and engage in public policy analysis. The Hub also provides differentiating opportunities for students to develop new skills and knowledge.” Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, Associate Director for Multidisciplinary Research at the Whitaker Institute, said: “Globally, there seems to be a convergence on the importance of data and businesses that are driving for competitive advantage using superior analytics solutions. The Hub will be a creative space for developing innovative analytics both for businesses, and policy makers and other professionals in the public policy arena. Both big data in the business/finance domain and sparse data in the economic/social domain create challenging problems for the respective professionals. The Hub will actively pursue collaborative research in innovative research methods to address the challenges in both these domains.” “The first phase of the Hub ‘Advanced Business Analytics Laboratory (ABAL)’ has already begun its training programme in business analytics. Together with our Industrial partner Peracton, the ABAL provides state-of-the-art equity analytics platform – MAARS - via the cloud. Both these platforms will be used in training advanced business analytics, trading and investment techniques, historical back-testing, strategies consolidation and high frequency trading techniques using the financial market data.” Dr Raghavendra added: “One of the key goals of the Hub is to create a reinforcing link between research and teaching through advanced data analytics and visulaization techniques derived from the innovative multidisciplinary research conducted under its auspices. The ‘Hub’ aims to engage and challenge the undergraduate and postgraduate students in terms of both analytics and computation to enrich their educational experience at NUI Galway.” Dr Laurentiu Vasiliu, Peracton CEO, said: “I am delighted to partner with NUI Galway in this exciting development. This is a great opportunity for students, as well as various professionals to train on our MAARS platform where we have developed tools for big data class business analytics. Through this collaboration, Peracton is very proud to train the next generation of finance professionals using latest invsetment analytics platforms and help raise the entry level skill of these students in the business analytics and in investment/trading techniques” Peracton, a spin-out from NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute, was founded in 2010 to provide cutting-edge financial software via the Cloud. It develops and exploits advanced enabling technologies to solve complex business analytics problems for investment in the area of Stocks, Funds, ETFs, Bonds, Portfolio Management, Risk Assessment and algorithmic trading, as well as other solutions for investment management and the retail banking space. -ends-

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Over 400 delegates are attending a two-day European Data Forum, which opened in the Croke Park Conference Centre in Dublin this morning (April 9, 2013). The conference, which will discuss ‘Big Data’ strategies across Europe, was officially opened by Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence. The European Data Forum is the annual meeting place for industry, researchers, policy makers, and community initiatives to discuss the challenges and opportunities of ‘Big Data’ in Europe. The European Data Forum (EDF2013) is supported by the European Commission, and is being held in association with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU. Many representatives from the European Commission will attend and speak at the event, including Roberto Viola, Deputy Director General of DG Connect. Other speakers include Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, and representatives from businesses including Telefonica Digital, Exalead, Siemens and EMC. At the conference, Michael Gorriz, CIO Daimler, was presented with the European Data Innovator Award. The award recognises outstanding enterprises and individuals, who have shown extraordinary vision and execution in the field of linked enterprise data management. The 2013 European Data Innovator award was made possible by Eccena, a spin-off of Brox IT Solutions and AKSW Research group from University of Leipzig. Deirdre Lee of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway is the local organiser of the European event: “The Irish Government has recently announced Big Data and analytics as a key part of a €300 million investment in science and technology. This is part of a wider European trend to embrace the potential of Big Data and use it as a strategic and competitive tool for the economic region.” “At this conference we are asking key questions such as - is the European economy ready for Big Data? Are we reaching out to relevant stakeholders? What does Europe provide in terms of innovative Business Intelligence solutions?” The EDF2013 is supported by the European Commission as well as by the Digital Repository of Ireland (http://www.dri.ie/), STI International (http://www.sti2.org/) and DERI, NUI Galway (http://www.deri.ie/) with further support from Fáilte Ireland (http://www.failteireland.ie/). EDF2013 is an associated event of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU (http://www.eu2013.ie/). The programme will consist of presentations and networking sessions by industry leaders, academics, policy makers, and community organisers on a diverse range of topics, including research and technology development, training and knowledge transfer, and commercialisation. For a full programme visit: http://2013.data-forum.eu/program  ------------------------------- end of official press release -------------------------------

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Summary: RTÉ Archives announce an ambitious collaboration with the newly announced SFI “Big Data” Research Centre called INSIGHT and the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), which will be carried out in DERI (NUI Galway) at INSIGHT, to develop an innovative semantic content discovery platform to open up the treasures of the RTÉ Archives. At the 2013 European Data Forum in Dublin, Head of RTÉ Archives Bríd Dooley, together with Professor Stefan Decker (INSIGHT and Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway), and Dr Sandra Collins, Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland, announced an ambitious, ground-breaking collaboration to develop an innovative cross-archival semantic content discovery platform as part of the new SFI INSIGHT data analytics centre, a joint initiative between UCD, NUI Galway, UCC and DCU. Opening the event, Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, said: “A key part of the Irish Government’s plan for growth and jobs is identifying areas where we believe Ireland can compete and win on the global stage.” Minister Shatter added: “One such sector where our ambition is to be amongst the world’s best is in ‘Big Data’ and its analytics. The Irish Government believes that given our climate, educational and skills base and our existing major strengths in ICT, we can benefit significantly in terms of quality jobs and growth from the global expansion of this sector.” “Analysing this explosion of data will revolutionise industries such as manufacturing and pharmaceutical production to further develop Europe's data economy and create good sustainable jobs in Ireland.” Minister Shatter also spoke of the “need for a coherent and practical set of Data Protection rules at National and European Union levels”. Referring to the “new, and increasingly common, risks for privacy” that arise from technological advances, he emphasised the importance of ensuring “that Data Protection standards keep pace with the emerging technologies and new business models”. Progressing the new EU Data Protection regulation and securing agreement on its content he stated is “a priority of the Irish Presidency of the European Union.” Minister Shatter concluded by saying: “Importantly, Big Data will have a huge societal impact with projects such as that proposed by the new Insight research centre in partnership with RTÉ Digital to explore the RTÉ archives, and open up avenues to investigate our cultural, historical, sporting and linguistic heritage and provide us with deep insights into what it means to be Irish.” Speaking during the Opening Session of EDF2013, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The Big Data sector is growing by 40% annually and as a nation we must ensure that we are developing the specialised skills needed to remain globally competitive. INSIGHT is a new national research centre in the field of data analytics that brings together the leading players from academia and industry in Ireland. This new SFI Research Centre will undertake research and develop new technologies that will attract dynamic partnerships with industry, further leverage investment for Europe, and ultimately help create high value jobs in Ireland and deliver economic and societal impact.” Big Data is a global challenge that asks us to turn vast quantities of ubiquitous raw data into knowledge that will inform people and improve society, business, and health. The Irish Government, under the stewardship of Science Foundation Ireland, is making a major investment in Insight, the mega research centre that will use world-class data analytics to address Big Data. Minister Bruton, TD and Minister Sherlock, TD, announced this ground-breaking initiative in February 2013. RTÉ is a partner in the INSIGHT research centre, and Bríd Dooley will work with Professor Stefan Decker (INSIGHT) and Dr Sandra Collins (Royal Irish Academy) to bring together the skills and experience of the internationally recognised semantic web and linked data centre and the national trusted digital repository, with the rich essence and curation skills of RTÉ, to open up the wealth of treasures in the RTÉ Archives. Commenting on the project, Bríd Dooley, Head of RTÉ Archives, a division of RTÉ Digital, said: “Our key priorities at RTÉ Digital are to meet the needs of audiences now and in the future through innovation and technology, and by playing an active role within the Digital Economy. As RTÉ Archives is a national resource and a hugely valuable asset to the public, we cannot underestimate the significance of this partnership with the INSIGHT Centre and the Digital Repository of Ireland. Our vision is to enable RTÉ to further step-change its ability to meet audience needs and to provide a much richer discovery, analysis and access gateway to this culturally and historically important material through digital means.” Dr Sandra Collins added: “This is a very important collaboration for the Digital Repository of Ireland. Preservation and access to our nation’s cultural and social heritage is our mission, and a critical part of this is the technology solutions to discover archival content – the essence that informs the narrative. In the age of Big Data, discovering the content, information and knowledge you want requires cross-disciplinary research, and partnering with RTÉ and INSIGHT is a wonderful opportunity to advance the state of the art.” Professor Stefan Decker, also speaking at the conference, added that: “Linked data technologies are enabling the liberation of value out of archives. We are excited to do this research with RTÉ, transitioning the technologies into practise and contributing to society.”   -ends-

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

NUI Galway graduate and Galway GAA hurling committee representative, Joe Byrne presented the University’s inaugural Player of the Year Awards at a special ceremony at the University last night (Monday, 8 April). The Player of the Year Awards honours all teams led by the outstanding players who participated on behalf of NUI Galway during the past third-level GAA season. A number of intercounty players from different counties were winners in hurling, camogie, ladies football and men’s gaelic football. Special Merit awards were also presented to those who, whilst not winning individual awards, achieved distinction by playing with both fresher hurling and football awards, as well as club administration. NUI Galway GAA Officer Michael O’Connor said: “This is part of NUI Galway GAA's increased involvement with the community and the players that represent the University. NUI Galway is also involved in the sponsorship of Man of the Match Awards in all Connacht hurling and football finals at second level to help showcase the best Gaelic games talent and highlight the games that take place at this level.” 2012-13 Player of the Year Awards: Fresher A Football: Lee Cullen from Bellanleck, Co. Fermanagh Fresher B Football: Ger McWalter from Foxford, Co. Mayo Fresher C Football: Éanna Bane from Caherlistrane, Co.  Galway Junior Football: Joint winners - Paddy Collins from Breaffy, Co. Mayo and Ruardhí McLoughlin from Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim Intermediate Football: Kieran O’Donnell from the Aran Islands, Co. Galway Senior Football: Shane Nally from Garrymore, Co. Mayo Fresher A Hurling: David Reidy from Ennis, Co. Clare Fresher B Hurling: Hannan Iqbal from Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo Intermediate Hurling: Eoin O’Farrell from Blackpool, Cork Senior Hurling: Joseph Cooney from Bullaun, Co. Galway Camogie: Aisling Dunphy from Graigue Ballycallan, Co. Kilkenny Fresher Ladies Football: Emer Gallagher from Termon, Co. Donegal Lynch Cup Ladies Football: Michelle Guinan from Tullamore, Co. Offaly O’Connor Ladies Football: Ciara Hegarty from Moville, Co. Donegal Special Merit Awards: Conor Cleary from Kilmaley, Co. Clare (Dual Fresher); Kevin McMahon from Marino, Co. Dublin (Dual Fresher); Gordon Joyce from Fairhill, Cork City (Dual Fresher); Dinny Mulvey from Butlersbridge Co. Cavan (Junior Football Manager); Maureen Heneghan from Portstewart, Co. Derry (Camogie); Rebecca Towey from Ballaghadeeren, Co. Mayo (Ladies Football); and Byran O’Loughlin from Kilmaley Co. Clare (Intermediate Hurling). -ENDS-

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

11-12 April, 2013 A major €3 million EU research project investigating various aspects of tidal, wave and offshore wind energy will be presented at a conference in the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway, tomorrow. Running since 2009, the MAREN project focussed on the energy extraction potential of the Atlantic Area coastal waters. Scientists and engineers from Ireland, Wales, Spain, Portugal and France have collaborated on the MAREN project and will present their project findings at the event. Mr Ciaran Cannon, Minister of State for Training and Skills, will officially open the event. Conference speakers will present how detailed quantification of tidal, wind and wave energy has been carried out. Research into optimising layouts of marine renewable energy farms will be presented, along with environmental impacts such as likelihood of increased flooding. Professor Michael Hartnett of NUI Galway will chair the conference: “Here in Ireland, we are poised on potentially one of the most significant long-term energy resources on the planet. A fully-developed marine renewable energy industry in Ireland could lead to up 70,000 jobs. The Atlantic Ocean has huge potential in terms of energy and pan-European projects like this are vital to assess and predict how we can best harness this natural resource. In NUI Galway we have some of the most advance modelling software tools which are allowing us to quantify marine energy resources from the installations of large scale tide and wave farms.” “This project has also allowed us to predict the impact of marine renewable energy devices on the environment. We have investigated the environmental impact of new energy devices developed over recent years. For example, what is the optimum configuration of tidal or wave devices to minimise environmental impacts on pollutant dispersion and aquatic species. ” The MAREN project also investigated the impact of climate change on the CO2 reduction figures, including CO2 release resulting from increased storminess and flooding. A series of climate change scenarios have been simulated and design requirements for marine renewable energy devices developed for predicted altered hydrodynamic conditions present in coastal waters as a result of the impacts of climate change have been considered. The event will be of particular interest to academics and industry personnel engaged in marine renewable energy activities. It is also highly relevant to individuals involved in regulatory and planning aspects of marine renewable energy. The main emphasis will be on technical and environmental issues. The conference will also host workshops to stimulate stakeholder debate in key areas. The research undertaken within the MAREN project was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Atlantic Area Transnational Programme (INTERREG IV). The research partners were Cardiff University; National University of Ireland Galway; University of Cantabria, Spain; Centec, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal; and  Iferner, France. -ends-

Monday, 15 April 2013

Two third-year NUI Galway Civil Engineering students have departed for a three-month work experience in China which was organised as part of their overall degree. The students will be hosted by Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, China where they will work on wastewater treatment projects. The Professional Experience Programme (PEP) is an integral module of a number of NUI Galway undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes, offering students each year an opportunity to avail of work experience relevant to their programme of study. Students gain a practical appreciation of the needs and the method of operation of business and industry, and are given an opportunity to develop additional skills relevant in the workplace.  Dr Piaras Ó hEachteirn, Head of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “The professional experience is an example of work-based learning and the engineering placement experience will improve the employability of the participating students, with over 96% of Civil Engineering students securing a successful industrial placement in the past three years despite the economic downturn period. This experience not only benefits students in gaining work experience, but also benefits NUI Galway in long-term international collaborations with Chinese institutes since Tsinghua University is among the top two universities in China.”   Dr Xinmin Zhan, PEP Co-ordinator for NUI Galway’s Civil Engineering programme, established this link between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University and the placement is run in conjunction with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway. Dr Zhan, who is also funded by Tsinghua Global Scholars Fellowship Initiative to conduct collaborative research, believes that working in Shenzhen will shape the students’ careers through work in different cultures.  Tsinghua University was ranked 52nd in the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings and 31st in the subject of Engineering and Technology.    -ENDS-

Monday, 15 April 2013

A new book co-authored by NUI Galway academic Professor Ger Hurley with W.H. Wölfle of Convertec Ltd. Wexford and published by Wiley was launched on Friday, 12 April by President of the University Dr Jim Browne. Transformers and Inductors for Power Electronics: Theory, Design and Applications is a comprehensive reference for students and professional engineers working with power supplies and energy conversion systems who want to update their knowledge on a field that has progressed considerably in recent years. Power Electronics is an enabling technology for renewable energy systems and automotive systems.  The advent of wind and solar power means that transformers are required for converting the wind or solar energy into the electrical grid. The authors present a broad range of applications from modern power conversion systems. They provide rigorous design guidelines based on a robust methodology for inductor and transformer design.  They offer real design examples, informed by proven and working field examples. Professor of Electrical Engineering at NUI Galway, Professor Hurley is the Founder/Director of the Power Electronics Research Centre (PERC) at the University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (IEEE) and a Fellow of Engineers Ireland.  He was awarded the higher doctorate on published work D.Eng degree by the National University of Ireland in 2011. In his foreword for the book, Professor John Kassakian of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stated “With its comprehensive scope and careful organization of topics, covering fundamentals, high-frequency effects, unusual geometries, loss mechanisms, measurements and application examples, this book is a ‘must have’ reference for the serious power electronics engineer. Hurley and Wölfle have produced a text that is destined to be a classic on all our shelves.” Transformers and Inductors for Power Electronics: Theory, Design and Applications is published by Wiley. ENDS

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The 6th European Workshop on Cannabinoid Research will take place at Trinity College Dublin from Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th April. The conference is being organised by the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) together with Irish cannabinoid researchers and will be the largest and most high profile scientific conference on cannabis and cannabinoids ever held in Ireland. This conference is the leading forum in Europe for the presentation and discussion of novel findings in the area of cannabis and cannabinoid research. The meeting will feature a very lively and high calibre scientific programme with many of the world’s leading scientists in this area speaking in Dublin. It also represents a valuable forum for early career research students and postdoctoral researchers to present their work in oral or poster form, with number of prizes and awards conferred during the meeting. Cannabinoids are the biologically active constituents of the cannabis plant or synthetic drugs with similar effects. Cannabinoids bind to receptors throughout the body to exert their effects which can be wide-ranging. Indeed, the body itself produces its own cannabinoids, so-called endocannabinoids, which are now understood to play very important roles in health and disease processes. In recent years there has been considerable interest in the area of cannabis and cannabinoids for the treatment of a number of conditions including multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, obesity and others. The local organising committee comprises Irish cannabinoid researchers based at NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and University College Cork. Chair of the organising committee, Dr David Finn of NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming some of the world’s leading cannabinoid researchers to Ireland for what promises to be a very exciting and important conference, at a time when the potential benefits and harms of cannabis and cannabinoids continue to be hotly debated here in Ireland and overseas. Our understanding of the body’s own cannabinoid system has grown enormously – it is clear now that it plays a key role in health and wellbeing, and represents a promising therapeutic target for a range of diseases and disorders.”  There will be two keynote lectures. The first will be delivered by Professor Aron Lichtman of Virginia Commonwealth University, USA and is entitled ‘Harnessing the endogenous cannabinoid system to treat pain’.  The second keynote lecture is entitled ‘The road ahead for endocannabinoid research’ and will be delivered by Professor Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Professor Mechoulam is regarded by many as the founding father of modern scientific research into cannabinoids, having identified delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as the main psychoactive constituent within the cannabis plant in the mid-20th century. In addition to BPS, the conference has received support and sponsorship from Science Foundation Ireland, The Irish Research Council, The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland,  Fáilte Ireland, The International Society for Neurochemistry, industry sources and NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research. -ENDS- 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change will host the 2013 InterTradeIreland All-Island Innovation Lecture, ‘Innovating With ‘Hard Constraints’: How Low Cost Innovation is Changing What We Do’. Guest speaker, Professor Gerard George, Imperial College Business School in London, will deliver the lecture on Wednesday, 24 April at 6.30pm in MY127, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Professor Gerry Georgeis Vice Dean of the Business School and Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre at Imperial College London.  He has conducted extensive research into areas such as capabilities and innovation in new ventures and technology-intensive firms, organisation design and business models, and entrepreneurship and resources. During the lecture Professor George will address the benefits of ‘inclusive innovation’, and discuss the emerging ways companies are implementing low-cost innovations. He will also address the need to transform a culture to innovate within constraints, and focus on the ‘principles of inclusive innovation’ to inspire discussion on how to radically transform innovation practices by placing hard constraints on design, development and delivery of products and services. Professor George, who has conducted extensive research in o areas such as entrepreneurship, innovation and business models, says we need to radically transform our business practices to see businesses succeed. “When times are tough, businesses have to figure out innovative ways of broadening their market appeal and opening up new opportunities.  Low cost innovation is a strategic toolkit by which businesses can strip away the complexities of their products to focus on the core customer need.” Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “We are looking forward to Professor George’s visit to the Whitaker Institute NUI Galway to deliver a public lecture and master classes as part of the InterTradeIreland All-Island Innovation Programme. Professor George is one of the leading international taught leaders on innovation and entrepreneurship and his lecture will offer practical insights to businesses of any size in how they can undertake low cost innovation.” This lecture will be of interest to established organisations and businesses, start-ups, government bodies, policy makers and anyone who is interested in stimulating the local economy. To register to attend, please visit the event website at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=231 -ENDS-

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

British-based expert on the prostitution and the sex trade, Dr Julia O’Connell Davidson will give a talk in NUI Galway, questioning dominant assumptions about the relationship between prostitution, trafficking, debt and slavery. The public lecture will take place on Thursday, 18 April at 5pm in the Alexander Board Room, The Quadrangle. Dr O’Connell Davidson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. Her research and publishings over the past two decades have focused on prostitution, the sex trade, migration, and trafficking. Between 2001 and 2006, with Professor Bridget Anderson of Oxford University, Dr O’Connell Davidson coordinated research on ‘the demand side of trafficking’, with a particular focus on the sex and domestic work sectors. Dr O’Connell Davidson book, Prostitution, Power and Freedom, rejects the idea that all women in prostitution are victims of violence and is based on field research in the British sex industry over several years, and she is currently writing a book on modern slavery. She also rejects the argument that sex-trafficking can be understood as a modern form of slavery and proposes that this position in fact supports conservative state migration policies.       Dr Eilis Ward, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology, said: “Dr O’Connell Davidson’s work has been extremely important in clarifying the complexities of the worlds of prostitution, the sex trade and their relationship to migration. She is also raising very important and challenging questions especially for us in Ireland on the Department of Justice Equality and Defence recently held a public consultation process on possible changes in the law on prostitution which An Oireachtas Joint Committee is expected to publish a report with recommendations in the coming months.” The lecture is co-sponsored by the Gender, Discourse and Identity research group of NUI Galway’s Gender ARC at the Moore Institute and Global Women’s Studies and supported by the University’s Millennium Conference Fund. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

NUI Galway, in collaboration with a number of software industry partners, is offering a limited number of places on its innovative Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme for free. Due to the strategic importance of developing skills in this area, support has been arranged by the Higher Education Authority meaning that successful applicants will not have to pay any course fees, other than a student levy of just €224. In conjunction with 12 Industry partners in the ICT sector, NUI Galway have designed a twelve-month conversion programme which enables graduates to reskill for employment in the software development area. The overall goal of this one-year postgraduate conversion programme, is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast-track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. The new Diploma builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and will provide graduates with a solid foundation in key areas of software design, a choice of software architecture specializations in either .NET or Java Enterprise. The final aspect of the course involves a guaranteed three-month paid work placement to gain relevant experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start your career as a software developer. As each student progresses through the course, training content is determined by their associated industry partner.  On completion of the course, students will have transformed their employability in the current economy, with a range of great options opening up to them for further progression either in industry or via more specialisation through a Masters degree.  The industry partners involved include Avaya, Ericsson, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies, SourceDogg, Schneider Electric, CISCO and IBM. The new course will be delivered as part of the Information Technology Discipline’s complimentary portfolio of postgraduate degrees. Making the announcement, Dr Enda Howley, Course Director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates from engineering, science and business, to invest just one year of their time in further education. Through placement experience with our Industry partners, they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill.” Head of Information Technology in NUI Galway, Dr Michael Madden, said: “It is estimated that there will be 900,000 unfilled vacancies in the EU for ICT professionals by 2015. Now is a perfect time for people to reskill for employment in this sector, and courses such as this are designed specifically to make this as straight forward as possible. The economy is full of very talented and enthusiastic engineering or science graduates who unfortunately are finding it difficult to find employment due to a skills mismatch. But these people are ideally suited for a career in the ICT sector, and simply require some targeted training. Take for example, civil engineers. They are known for their great problem solving abilities, and having a can-do attitude. These are often the most sought after, and hard to find skills for software developers.” The course is open to all those who have a level 8 degree, or alternatively those with a level 7 degree with some relevant industry work experience. The course is ideal for those from a Science or Engineering background, and relish challenges along the lines of problem solving or project work. Applications are now being processed and those interested can apply through www.ictskills.ie or seek more information via Twitter, @hdipindustry.  The deadline for applications is Friday, 17 May and with significant interest expected, early application is advisable. For further queries contact Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

D’fhreastail idir lucht bainistíochta, riaracháin, mhic Léinn agus léachtóirí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh ar ócáid in Áras na Gaeilge inné chun Scéim Teanga Nua na hOllscoile a sheoladh go hoifigiúil. Ba í an dara scéim teanga de chuid OÉ Gaillimh a aontaíodh faoi alt 11 d’Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003 a seoladh ag an ócáid seo. Tá sé de rún ag lucht na hOllscoile go gcuirfear le líon agus le caighdeán na seirbhísí atá ar fáil do phobal na hOllscoile trí mheán na Gaeilge. Tá luaite i bPlean Straitéiseach na hOllscoile go bhfuil sé mar sprioc ag lucht OÉ Gaillimh campas eiseamláireach dátheangach a chruthú in OÉ Gaillimh agus is cuid thábhachtach den phróiseas sin é seoladh na scéime teanga. Ba é Gearóid Ó Conluain, Rúnaí na hOllscoile agus fear a’ tí  an lae a chuir tús leis an ócáid nuair a dúirt sé: “Tá ról ar leith ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh mar institiúid ardléinn maidir le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge, ról atá le sonrú in Acht an Choláiste Ollscoile, Gaillimh 2006 agus i bplean straitéiseach dár gcuid. Agus na tiomantais ar fad a tugadh sa chéad scéim teanga comhlíonta againn, cuirfear béim sa dara scéim ar sheirbhísí trí Ghaeilge d’ardchaighdeán a sholáthar do phobal na hOllscoile i réimsí acadúla, riaracháin agus sna seirbhísí ginearálta.” Dúirt an Rúnaí freisin: “Tá treo straitéiseach na dara scéime ar aon dul le cuspóirí na chéad scéime. Cuirfear seirbhísí nua ar fáil agus cuirfear béim bhreise ar mhonatóireacht na scéime le caighdeán agus le leanúnachas na seirbhísí a chinntiú. Beidh ‘an Tairiscint Ghníomhach’ mar chnámh droma na scéime, is é sin le rá go gcinnteofar go bhfuil sé soiléir do chustaiméirí ón gcéad teagmháil a bhíonn acu leis an institiúid, go bhfuil seirbhísí d’ardchaighdeán trí mheán na Gaeilge ar fáil dóibh in aonaid éagsúla.” Chuir an tUasal Ó Conluain fáilte mhór chroíúil roimh an láithreoir teilifíse ó RTÉ Evanne Ní Chuilinn a sheol an Scéim go hoifigiúil. Seo mar a labhair sí agus í ag caint faoin tsiombail nua a bheas le feiceáil ar fud na hOllscoile ag na háiteanna a bhfuil seirbhís trí mheán na Gaeilge ar fáil: “Mar iarmhac léinn a d’fhreastail ar Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh  tá an-áthas orm an dara scéim teanga de chuid na hOllscoile a sheoladh go hoifigiúil mar aon le feachtas poiblíochta na siombaile G. Is siombail nua shainiúil í seo atá deartha go speisialta ag an Ollscoil ionas go mbeidh a fhios ag pobal na hOllscoile go bhfuil seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge ar fáil.  Nuair a fheicfidh tú an tsiombail G, beidh a fhios agat ar an bpointe boise cá bhfuil fáil ar sheirbhísí trí mheán na Gaeilge ar fud na hinstitiúide. Tréaslaím leis an Ollscoil de bharr na hoibre seo ar fad agus guím gach rath ar an bhfeachtas uathúil seo.” Ghabh Evanne buíochas faoi leith leis an mbanna ceoil “Gan Ainm” a sheinn ag an ócáid agus mhol sí pobal na Gaeilge san Ollscoil as ucht a gcuid iarrachtaí thar na blianta an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn.  Is é 2015 an spriocdháta le haghaidh cur i bhfeidhm na scéime.                                                 Críoch

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A major new study of the sports film has been published by NUI Galway academic Seán Crosson. The sports film has become one of commercial cinema’s most recognizable genres, particularly over the past ten years, a period in which American society and culture has faced unprecedented crises. These include the controversy over the 2000 presidential election; the scandal surrounding the collapse of energy giant Enron; the bursting of the dotcom bubble and subsequent financial crisis of late 2000s, and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. In response to these challenges, the book’s author, Seán Crosson of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway, contends that the sports film genre has played a critical role in affirming American society and culture: “The mainstream sports film has been centrally concerned with affirming the meritocracy myth of the American Dream particularly at points where it would appear to be most under threat. Indeed, some of the most commercially successful depictions of a range of sports have been released over the past ten years and these films represent (at least partly) a response to contemporaneous political and economic challenges to the American Dream ideology itself.” Sport and Film traces the history of the sports film genre from the beginnings of cinema in the 1890s, to its consolidation as a distinct fiction genre in the mid-1920s in Hollywood films such as Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman (1925), and up to more recent Oscar-winning movies. Drawing on an extensive range of films as source material, Sport and Film explores key issues in the study of sport, film and wider society, including race, social class, gender and the legacy of 9/11. As Crosson remarks “Sport has featured in film from the very beginnings of moving images and the popularity of film in its earliest incarnations depended considerably on the appeal of sport. From classic boxing films such as Raging Bull (1980) to soccer-themed box-office successes like Bend it Like Beckham (2002), the sports film stands at the interface of two of the most important cultural forms. This relationship has continued right up to today where popular and critically acclaimed films continue to feature sport centrally, including recent Oscar-winning productions such as Million Dollar Baby (2004), The Blind Side (2009) and The Fighter (2010).” Seán Crosson is Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway. He has published widely on film, focusing in particular in recent years on the representation of sport in film. His previous publications include (as co-editor) the collection Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe (Peter Lang, 2010) and a special issue of Media History journal on ‘Sport and the Media in Ireland’ (2011). Sport and Film will be launched by Philip Dine at 5.30pm on Monday, 29 April in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway and all are welcome to attend. ENDS

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

 World’s leading Platform Enabling Linked Open Data (LOD) Applications Unveiled Fujitsu, the global ICT giant, today (17 April) announced the first output from its pioneering research collaboration with NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) which could provide the key to unlocking billions of items of Open Data and enable integrated uniform access to academic, government and industry data throughout the web. In a world-first, the Fujitsu-DERI research team has developed a single access point that enables Linked Open Data (LOD) - which currently exists on different sites and in different formats - to be stored and sorted up to 10 times faster than was previously possible. The key innovation of the new technology is the ability to easily find and use publically available datasets in order to combine these with other public or private datasets and gain new insights. A data search function has also been developed enabling users to quickly sort and access data without the need for application developers to trawl through individual sites and process underlying data. In a demonstration at the XBRL26 International Conference in Dublin on 17 April, Pierre-Yves Vandenbussche, Fujitsu Lead Researcher based at DERI, showed how the new technology can provide, for example, valuable new insights into the financial performance of public corporations. The demonstration quickly and easily compiled company financial information from multiple sources including industry profile, employee numbers, revenues, profits, stock or share price and press coverage (e.g. New York Times articles). Performing this task without the new technology would have required specialist programming techniques or many hours of manual data-gathering. The technology can be used by end users through a web interface or programatically by application developers. Part of the technology is a search function enabling users to quickly sort and access data in a consistent format without the need for application developers to trawl through individual sites and process underlying data. Fujitsu intend to make the technology – which is hosted on its global cloud infrastructure – freely available to users and application developers. Speaking at the launch, Anthony McCauley, Head of Research at Fujitsu in Ireland said: “The initial results are very exciting and it is hoped that the technology will lend itself to multiple applications – from financial appraisal to health breakthroughs by enabling previously separate data sets to be analysed together.” Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Big Data is a sector which is growing at 40% per annum internationally, and offers major potential for jobs and growth in Ireland. That is why we have targeted it as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and recently we established a Technology Centre in this area to bring industry and researchers together to help turn good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement by Fujitsu – a global leader in this field – and DERI – a world-class institution supported by my Department through SFI – represents a hugely exciting development in this area. I congratulate all involved and wish them every success for the future”. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI, said: “I am delighted that that this project has delivered both best practice industry academia knowledge sharing and a commercially important application. It has also created valuable high-end research jobs and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Fujitsu.” Regina Moran, CEO Fujitsu Ireland, said: “The DERI project was Fujitsu’s first industry-led research collaboration in Ireland and it is fitting that it will now provide the world’s first application platform which has the potential to realise the commercial opportunities presented by linked data. Fujitsu began this project with a commitment to help Ireland become a world leader in technology innovation with strong industry – research ties. The DERI team has made significant breakthroughs in a short period of time and Fujitsu is delighted to lend industry expertise to this collaborative project.” The new technology is the first output of the joint collaboration between Fujitsu and DERI launched in July 2012, supported by the IDA and SFI. ENDS

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Family networks and a strong bond between young and old are keeping many Irish people afloat during the recession, according to new research on the relationship between the generations launched today, Wednesday, 17 April, 2013 at 2pm. The Changing Generations study, carried out by Trinity College’s Social Policy and Ageing Research Centre (SPARC) and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology in NUI Galway, involved interviews with 100 men and women aged between 18 and 102 living in Ireland as well as interviews with 20 leaders from the public, private and civil society sectors. The research sheds light on how people of all ages are coping at a time of great challenges for the Irish economy and society. In particular, the research focused on relationships between different generations in Ireland against the backdrop of economic recession and demographic change. The research found that people in Ireland practise and value intergenerational solidarity in every aspect of their lives. The report demonstrates how family members are providing high levels of support to one another through periods of unemployment, emigration and financial difficulty. In many instances older generations are providing extensive financial, housing and childcare supports to younger generations. Strong views of solidarity between the generations were expressed by all age groups who participated in the research. The general view among younger participants in the research was that older people’s welfare entitlements are deserved and must not be cut. Older people who expressed desire for improved age-related benefits also tended to call for improved supports for some younger age groups. Socio-economic inequality, rather than differences between the generations, was identified by researchers as the most significant division in Irish society. In households where economic resources are most scarce, young people opt to close down options, such as further education, travel or job seeking, that are taken for granted by their peers in middle and higher socio-economic groups. Speaking at the launch of the report in Dublin, Professor Virpi Timonen, Director of the Social Policy and Ageing Research Centre in Trinity College Dublin, said: “Our research points to strong solidarity between generations in Ireland. This is an abiding strength of Irish society. Solidarity between family generations is perhaps the most important reason why Ireland is managing to maintain a reasonable degree of social cohesion under massive economic pressure.” Professor Thomas Scharf, Irish Centre for Social Geronotology, NUI Galway, added: “Our research shows the strong bonds between young and old in Ireland. These bonds are not only helping people to cope with the current recession. They also provide a solid foundation for the future welfare state, which will increasingly depend on the give and take between the generations.” Changing Generations was launched by Irish Times journalist and author Róisín Ingle. The launch was followed by a panel discussion entitled 'Challenges and Opportunities for Intergenerational Solidarity in Ireland’ featuring Patricia Conboy, Director, Older and Bolder;  John Lonergan, author and former Governor of Mountjoy Prison; Karen Kiernan, Director, One Family; and John Logue, President, Union of Students in Ireland. Ends

Thursday, 18 April 2013

NUI Galway societies were presented with three awards at the recent Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Society Awards. Over 350 students and 48 adjudicators from across Ireland came together to celebrate the achievements of students involved in Society organisation at the highest level. Presentations were made to 16 award winners, from nine different categories. This year, the Draíocht Society won the Best Civic Contribution Award for their outstanding work with underprivileged children in Nepal. In 2010, Draíocht Society’s founder, Melanie Hennessy from Cloughleigh, Co. Clare, won the JCI TOYP Outstanding Young Person in the World. Since then, a new generation of volunteers has been enthused by the Society and the difference every individual can make in the world. To date, the Draíocht Society has raised over €50,000, built an orphanage and school, and worked with the local community on educational, medical and entrepreneurial projects in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.  Most Improved Society went to the Medical Society, who wowed the judges with the way they had reinvented themselves this year to become a student movement that enhances its members’ university experience in creative and innovative ways, while embodying a spirit of altruism. With educational and health promoting activities, advocating on behalf of the medical profession plus providing an array of social activities they had a very busy and rewarding year. NUI Galway's final award of the evening was the Best Poster, which was presented to the Film Society for their poster advertising their new Film Festival Release the B’s. The poster was designed by the Auditor of the Film Society, Conor Hooper from Ballincollig, Co. Cork Since its inauguration in 1999 NUI Galway has won more national society awards than any other college in Ireland and tops the leader board at 33 trophies, with the next competitor standing at 22. NUI Galway Societies Officer and BICS Awards Coordinator, Riona Hughes, said: “The two-day event was a major success. It was all about celebrating, all of the societies who attended had achieved a very high standard in their own institutions and the judges were very impressed and had two very long days of deliberation which included interviews with all the nominees. The BICS Awards are the highlight of the Societies calendar and afford them an opportunity to network and share ideas and we are already expecting great things next year. The enthusiasm, talent, generosity and vision of all the students present bodes well for the future of our country.” For more info on BICS Awards visit http://bics.ie/. -ENDS-

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Speakers from across Britain and Ireland will attend a symposium on Friday, 19 April (tomorrow) at the University of Ulster to debate the legacy of the Good Friday Agreement / Belfast Agreement in a special symposium marking the fifteenth anniversary of the historic peace accord. The event, organised in collaboration with NUI Galway and the Political Studies Association of Ireland, will bring together some of the academics who played crucial roles as special advisors and negotiators to reflect on the negotiations that produced the Agreement, including: Professor Lord Bew (Advisor to David Trimble); Professor Monica McWilliams (Founding member of the Women’s Coalition); and Dr Martin Mansergh (Advisor to the Irish Government). Dr Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Director of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at University of Ulster and one of the organisers of the event, said: “The key aim of the conference is to generate discussion and provide an opportunity for an exchange and it will incorporate the views of established academics and new researchers.” Co-organiser Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh of NUI Galway, said: “The Agreement reorganised political structures within Northern Ireland but it also reordered relationships between the two jurisdictions in Ireland and between Ireland and Britain and was shaped by significant European and international involvement. The symposium pays particular attention to these multiple and interrelated contexts for political change.” Speakers will debate a number of issues at the event such as The changing political dynamics that set the scene for the talks process, including international influences (Professor Adrian Guelke, Queen’s University Belfast and Professor Etain Tannum, Trinity College Dublin ) and changing relationships on the island of Ireland (Professor John Coakley and Professor Jennifer Todd, University College Dublin); The implementation of the Agreement, including migrant experiences (Patrick Wu, Northern Ireland Centre for Ethnic Minorities) and the impact on the peace process by cultural change (Dr Eamonn Hughes, Queen’s University), on loyalists (Professor Jim McAuley, Huddersfield) and on dissident republicans (Professor Jonathan Tonge, Liverpool University); The unresolved past, including the possibilities for truth recovery (Professor Kieran McEvoy, Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Henry Patterson, University of Ulster) and the continuing force of historical memory (Dr Brian Feeney, St Mary’s College Belfast and Dr Ian McBride, Kings College London). The all-day symposium, which will take place at the University’s Belfast Campus, is a joint event of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences (IRiSS) at the University of Ulster, the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change at NUI Galway and the Peace and Conflict specialist group of the Political Studies Association of Ireland. ENDS

Friday, 19 April 2013

D’éirigh le mic léinn Aonad na Cumarsáide, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge , OÉ Gaillimh, trí dhuais a bhaint amach ag na gradaim S-MEDIA a bhí ar siúl i mBaile Átha Cliath ar an 17 Aibreán. Reáchtáiltear na gradaim S-MEDIA, atá dírithe ar mhic léinn sna hinstitiúidí tríú leibhéal ar fud na tíre, faoi choimirce www.Oxygen.ie .    Bhuaigh an clár Y.O.L.O. Dara Seans, a léirigh mic léinn an B.A. sa Chumarsáid, gradam don Léiriúchán Teilifíse is Fearr (in aon teanga).  Is clár faisnéise é seo faoi na dúshláin atá le sárú ag fear óg as Conamara, Micilín Ó Féinne,  tar éis droch thimpiste bhóthair a d’fhág gan lúth na ngéag é. Rinneadh taifead ar Y.O.L.O. Dara Seans i nGaeltacht Chonamara ag deireadh na bliana seo caite;  is é Aodhán Ó Maoileoin a scríobh an script agus a bhí i bhfeighil ar an stiúradh; bhí Mairéad Ní Chonghaile , Cian Ó Lorcáin agus Colleen Ní Bhaistir ar an bhfoireann léiriúcháin.  Tá na mic léinn seo sa bhliain dheireanach den B.A. sa Chumarsáid atá lonnaithe ar an gCeathrú Rua. Bhuaigh an clár dar teideal “ An Galar Dubhach” le Kirsty an Chnoic, mac léinn tríú bliana, an duais Iriseoireacht Raidió. Sa chlár seo rinne cairde léi cur síos ar an ngalar dubhach agus ar an gcaoi a ndeachaigh an galar i gcion orthu féin. Rinne  Kirsty an clár seo mar chuid den obair scrúdaithe sa mhodúl Craoltóireacht Raidió. D’eirigh le Daithí Ó Cinnéide ón B.A. sa Chumarsáid, gradam don Léiriúchán Teilifíse is Fearr i nGaeilge (Faisnéís agus Drámaíocht) a bhaint amach don ghearrscannán Scáth Daoine.  Tugann an scannán seo léargas ar an aonaracht agus coimhthíos a thagann ar fhear meán aosta agus é ag machnamh faoi na deiseanna a chaill sé agus é ina fhear óg.  Rinneadh taifead ar Scáth Daoine anuraidh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Go dtí seo tá mic léinn Aonad na Cumarsáide, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge,  tar éis an gradam don Léiriúchán Teilifíse is Fearr a bhaint amach i 2008 agus i 2009 agus tar éis an gradam don Léiriúchán Teilifíse i nGaeilge is Fearr a bhuachan i 2008, 2009, 2010, agus 2011. Críoch _______________________ NUI Galway Students win in three major categories at SMEDIA Awards Students of the Irish Language Communications Unit of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway based in Carraroe, Co. Galway, took home three major awards from the SMEDIAs, that were held in The Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin on the 17th of April. The SMEDIA Awards are targeted at third level students from institutions all around the country and is organised each year by www.Oxygen.ie. The Irish language programme “Y.O.L.O Dara Seans” (2nd Chance) won the award for best TV Production and was produced by a BA in Communications student. It is an Irish language (with English subtitles) documentary programme about the struggles of a young man from Conamara, Micilín Ó Féinne, following a road accident that left him paralysed. The programme was produced last year in the Conamara Gaeltacht; Aodhán Ó Maoileoin both wrote and directed the script; Mairéad Ní Chonghaile, Cian Ó Lorcáin and Colleen Ní Bhaistir formed the production team. These students are currently completing their final year of their BA in Communications degree in Carraroe, Co. Galway. “An Galar Dubhach” (Depression) a radio programme by Kirsty An Chnoic won the award for best Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge (Raidió) (Irish radio journalism). It sensitively approaches the issue of depression amongst her friends and how it affected them, and contains beautifully crafted sections where music moves the listener to empathise. Kirsty, a native of Tralee, produced the programme as part of her course work for the Radio Broadcasting module. Daithí Ó Cinnéide, another BA in Communications student from Dublin, received the award for Léiriúchán Teilifíse is Fearr i nGaeilge (Faisnéis agus Drámaíocht) (Best TV Production in Irish (Documentary and Drama) for his short film “Scáth Daoine”. It depicts the loneliness and alienation of a middle aged man as he ponders on the oportunities he missed out on in his youth. “Scáth Daoine” was produced in Carraroe last year while Daithí attended the BA in Communications, a course that draws from the Irish language media belt in its surroundings in the Conamara Gaeltacht.   ENDS

Monday, 22 April 2013

A new book examining how countries have transitioned from socialism to capitalism has been co-edited by Dr Gerard Turley, a lecturer in economics at NUI Galway. Dr Turley has just completed The Handbook of the Economics and Political Economy of Transition with co-editor Professor Paul Hare of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. The volume looks at the economics of transition, analysing countries such as China and Czech Republic, as they moved from socialism and the command economy to capitalism and the market economy. The Handbook of the Economics and Political Economy of Transition takes in over 30 transition countries, from the former socialist countries of the USSR and the satellite states of Central and Eastern Europe, to the Asian countries of China, Vietnam and others. Dr Gerard Turley, a member of the Whitaker Institute and the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway said: “Given the current interest in countries like China, Russia, the Eastern European EU accession countries and those former socialist countries that have either joined the eurozone or have turned to the IMF for financial support, this is a timely publication for all those interested in how these countries have fared since the collapse of the Berlin Wall almost twenty five years ago.”  The editors commissioned a team of leading experts from around the world, not just from the former socialist countries of China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Slovenia but also academics in Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Italy, UK, US and Ireland. Contributors included former Deputy Prime Ministers and Finance Ministers, special advisors to Prime Ministers, policy advisors to governments and international organisations (such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and chief international negotiators (with, for example, the European Commission and the World Trade Organisation).   Topics include the socialist system and central planning, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the re-emergence of China, economic reforms and institutions, enterprise restructuring and privatisation, performance and growth, trade and integration, the 2008/09 financial crisis, and people and transition. The Handbook of the Economics and Political Economy of Transition will be published next month in the UK and the US by Routledge. -ENDS-

Monday, 22 April 2013

‘Rails Girls’, a worldwide movement that aims to bridge the gender divide in technology and teach women how to code, is coming to Galway. The free weekend workshop will let females of all ages in the world of building web applications and software services. Funded by NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) Outreach Programme, ‘Rails Girls will take place from 17-18 May at DERI, located in the Dangan IDA Business Park. The organisers comprise mainly of young female IT researchers involved in local third-level colleges, businesses, schools and volunteer digital makers’ clubs such as CoderDojo and 091Labs. The workshop will use 'Ruby on Rails', a powerful web application framework for the Ruby programming language, and is open to all enthusiastic girls and women. No prior knowledge of programming is required and is suitable for absolute beginners to computer coding. Myriam Leggieri, DERI researcher at NUI Galway and one of the chief organisers, said: “The country desperately needs a generation of young coders of both sexes to help lay the foundations of a ‘Knowledge Economy’ and create the jobs for a sustainable future. But there is, in particular, a dire shortage of female IT developers in Ireland and across the world as well as in the professions of science, technology, engineering and maths professions generally. There is no reason why this should be the case except for lack of exposure to such environments. Events such as 'Rails Girls' directly address this issue and empower girls to take the first step in learning these in-demand skills and acquiring the tools to conquer one of the last great frontiers of science, namely the World Wide Web.” The first event, launched by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen, was held in Helsinki in 2010 and is a worldwide phenomena. Further information and application forms are available at www.railsgirls.com/galway. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 30 April. There are a limited amount of places available so early registration is recommended. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Niamh Duffy, an MSc in Clinical Research student at NUI Galway from Dublin, has scooped the top prize of €10,000 at the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards. Her winning project StudySmart is a study software application for secondary school students, which acts as a time management and motivational tool. The creator of StudySmart was presented with her prize by local entrepreneurs Pádraig O’Céidigh and Judy Greene together with NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne and NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Paul Curley. The StudySmart application will enable students to study in a more efficient, scientific manner and improve their grades. Judges were very impressed with StudySmart and its potential to motivate and encourage secondary school students in their studies. The competition which is the initiative of the NUI Galway Students’ Union is supported by NUI Galway and seeks to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst students. In its three years, the competition has attracted entries from students studying a variety of subjects. The Two runner-up prizes of €5,000 were awarded to Tim Groome for GaelicLinks, a networking website for all people involved in GAA and Jenny Groarke for Sing Bang Music Workshops which aims to provide inclusive, supportive and fun music workshops for older adults. Pádraig O’Céidigh, who attended the award ceremony, said: “The drive, determination and enthusiasm of the students is fantastic. It is heartening to see that within NUI Galway the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. I would also like to congratulate the University and the Students’ Union for their vision in fostering the talents of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.” NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Paul Curley, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. They show that students are both able and willing to create the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted to be in a position to facilitate some of these ideas as they take their first steps. I have no doubt but that we are working with the leaders of the future.” -ENDS-