Thursday, 15 November 2012

Music for Galway’s archive has been catalogued at NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and Erika Casey, founding Member of Music for Galway, will officially launch the archive on Monday, 19 November at 6pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. The evening will include an exhibition of material from the archive, an overview of the archive material and a performance from Con Tempo Quartet. Ranging in date from 1981 to 2011 the archive includes numerous series of original records documenting the Irish and international acts that played to audiences across Galway and the West of Ireland. The archive traces the relationship between Music for Galway and NUI Galway, as the group found a home for concerts and their grand piano at the Aula Maxima on the University's campus. The archive consists of nineteen boxes of records comprising of a comprehensive record of Music for Galway's legacy. These include records of productions including posters, flyers, invitations, programs, press releases and number of black and white and colour photographs of Music for Galway committee members, musicians and concerts. Financial records, details of membership and rates, correspondence between Music for Galway and various musicians and groups, newsletters and press cuttings of news and coverage of concerts and events are also included in the archive. Music for Galway’s archive will offer researchers a unique insight into the establishment and growth of one the West's premier music groups while documenting the creative and administrative processes of Music for Galway's numerous achievements. NUI Galway Librarian, John Cox, said: “The University was honoured to receive this important archival collection in 2007 and the James Hardiman Library is delighted to be able to open it for consultation now that it is fully catalogued. The catalogue is itself an excellent resource and will make it easy to use the archive productively.” -ENDS-

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards, a competition to encourage enterprise and innovation among students, has been launched at NUI Galway. Now in its third year, the initiative invites students across campus to put forward proposals for a project or business, with a prize of €10,000 investment capital for the overall winner and two runners up prizes of €5,000 each. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards aim to unlock the potential of NUI Galway students by providing financial support and expertise for students who wish to start a project in the areas of business and social entrepreneurship. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards are generously supported by NUI Galway Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd., NUI Galway and the NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office. Paul Curley, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “The Enterprise Awards are a showcase for the best and brightest student minds on campus and reflect the dynamic, innovative and creative graduates we all wish to see emerging from NUI Galway, now and in the years ahead.” Last year’s winner Niall O’Connor of SonorPlex said: “Participating in the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise awards really helped me to develop a concept into a real-world proposition. The profile generated - even by taking part, not to mention winning was extremely valuable. The prize money is now helping me to take the project to the next level.”  The closing date for submissions is 5pm Friday 30th November. More information is available at www.su.nuigalway.ie  -ENDS-

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Swim Ireland, in conjunction with Kingfisher Club and NUI Galway launched its new Connacht Swimming Performance Centre on Wednesday, 14 November at the Kingfisher Club, Galway. The event was attended by representatives from NUI Galway, the Irish Sports Council, Swim Ireland, Kingfisher Club, Connacht clubs, swimmers and coaches. The Connacht Swimming Performance Centre(in operation since September 2012) is based at the Kingfisher Club in NUI Galway and is led by swimming coach Pearse McGuigan, in conjunction with Peter Banks, National Performance Director. The Centre is designed specifically to provide additional training hours, develop skills, provide opportunities for the best swimmers to train together on a weekly basis and provide support to club, coaches and athletes.  A total of twenty five swimmers currently avail of the centre, across a variety of training programmes. Swimmers are offered a range of sports science services such as strength and conditioning, video analysis and physiology and they can avail of both full and part-time programmes. Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director, Peter Banks, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Kingfisher Club and NUI Galway to develop swimming in Connacht. The new centre will help us to raise the level of training opportunities for Irish swimmers at home, and will also provide the structure and programmes to enable swimmers who are based in Connacht to achieve success at European, World, and ultimately Olympic level. We are grateful for the support of the Irish Sports Council, Kingfisher Club, NUI Galway and other partners in this regard.” Speaking at the launch Kingfisher Managing Director, Joe Cosgrove, commented: “The Kingfisher Fitness Club are honoured to be chosen as Connacht’s Premier Performance Centre. Through our partnership we strive to help the young talent steadily emerging throughout Connacht and allow them develop their skills to propel them towards successfully performing at international standard. We fully believe that we can support the new generation of Irish swimmers with better training facilities and opportunities. By setting ourselves high standards and living and working by these standards we cannot but see results.” Gary Ryan, Elite Sports Development Officer, NUI Galway, said: “This is an exciting development for Sport in the region. NUI Galway has a long history of supporting excellence in sport and this Performance Centre is an important venture for Swimming in Ireland. We hope that this will not only help the development of young sporting talent but encourage more students to study at NUI Galway and progress their sporting performance to the highest levels.” - ENDS –

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Full Health Medical secures €20,000 in funding and go forward to national final Galway company, Full Health Medical was named the Best Emerging company at the Connacht and Leinster final of the 2012 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn all-island business competition. Full Health Medical which is based in the Business Innovation Centre of NUI Galway beat tough competition from the other Connacht and Leinster finalists in its category to win €20,000 to help finance the early stages of their ventures.  The company will now go on to compete in the all-island final of the competition, which will take place on the 28th November 2012 at the iconic Titanic Belfast building. Now in its tenth year, Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for early stage/high growth companies in any sector, from any part of the island.  The competition, aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement, has a record prize fund of €280,000.  To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 1,600 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process and previous finalists have gone on to leverage around €159m worth of equity since taking part. The Seedcorn competition is considered an important barometer for new and emerging companies among the investment and business communities. Full Health Medical, has designed a system that addresses one of the most basic deficits in healthcare – the meaningful communication of test results in the context of a person’s own history and lifestyle.  Developed over three years by a team led by GP and A&E doctor Ann Shortt, the Full Health system uses a series of clinical algorithms and combines medical, family history and lifestyle information with the examinations and test results to generate a personalised report for the doctor’s approval.  The results are then presented in an easily understandable format, complete with recommendations and advice for the patient.  This system offers doctors a huge saving of time and expense, and allows a doctor to provide a better service to significantly more patients. Paul McCarthy, Managing Director of Full Health Medical said; “We are thrilled to have won the Connacht and Leinster Emerging Category award and we’re going to put all of our efforts into the national final at the end of this month.  Seedcorn is such a recognised competition so to win this accolade is a great milestone for us.  After years of extensive development and testing, winning the Seedcorn regional final really validates the hard work that our team has put into the company.  Although we have already secured a number of key contracts, it is only now we are launching for the wider primary care and corporate health market.” Thomas Hunter McGowan, Chief Executive, InterTradeIreland added; “It is inspiring to see the level of innovative thinking, determination and optimism for the future displayed by businesses coming through this process.  These companies have the potential to be a key driver of future economic growth.  The Seedcorn competition reaches out to businesses at the early stages in their development and it is exciting for InterTradeIreland to work with these companies at such a crucial stage of their business.  The quality of companies in the Connacht and Leinster final was outstanding and I congratulate Full Health Medical on its win today from these very competitive fields.” Full Health Medical will go head-to-head with the winners of the Northern Ireland, Dublin and Munster finals for the title of overall Best Emerging company. Finalist companies also benefit from being part of the Seedcorn Network – an extensive business and investment community that helps boost their profile, contacts and future potential investment opportunities. The all-island finals will take place at the Titanic Belfast building on the 28th November, where companies are in with a chance to compete for the overall ‘Best Emerging Company’ prize worth €50,000 or the overall ‘Best High Growth Company’ prize worth €100,000.  Previous finalists have included companies from sectors including technology, online, medical devices, green tech solutions, healthcare solutions and consumer products.  Further details are available on www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn. Companies can follow the Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn) where they can get valuable information and advice.  ENDS

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Researchers from NUI Galway, along with members of the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Regional Assembly, officially launched the new MARNET project at a major EU Commission Marine conference in Bilbao, Spain earlier this week. MARNET (Marine Atlantic Regions Network) is a three year co-operation project involving regional authorities and marine socio-economists in Ireland, Spain, France, Portugal and Scotland. The initiative will establish an EU Atlantic Marine Socio-Economic Network that will map the value of the Atlantic Marine economy through the development of reliable and comparable socio-economic data throughout Atlantic Regions. Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) in NUI Galway is the lead scientific partner on this large scale EU INTERREG project. SEMRU, created in NUI Galway in 2008 with the support of the Marine Institute Beaufort Marine Socio-Economic Award, is focused on economic and social research to quantify the economic importance of Ireland’s marine environment in support of ‘evidence-based’ policy development within the marine sector. Attending the launch, Dr Frances Fahy, Lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway and MARNET researcher, said: “The main aim of the MARNET project is to develop a Marine Atlantic Regions Network and to establish formal co-operative links between marine socio-economic research institutions and other bodies operating in the European Atlantic coastal zone.” Assembly Director Gerry Finn welcomed the EU Commission's support for the MARNET project adding: “MARNET is an important development in Maritime co-operation in Atlantic Regions. The availability of comparable socio-economic data in the sector is vital to targeting future  funds to niche areas of the Marine Economy. I am delighted that the BMW Regional Assembly is in a position to co-ordinate this exercise which up to this point has not been achieved at an EU level. I look forward to the engagement of local authorities and industry representatives in the project who will identify specific practical initiatives for the sector. This initiative complements the recently launched Marine strategy for Ireland 'Our Ocean Wealth' which aims to realise the significant potential of the marine sector to contribute to job creation and economic development in Ireland.” MARNET was presented to over 150 delegates from throughout the Atlantic Region at an EU Forum Conference event in Bilbao, Spain. The consultation seminar was organised by DG MARE of the EU Commission as part of the development of the EU Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Area. The key note address was delivered by President of the Poitou Charentes Regional Council, Ms Segolene Royal who was a candidate for the presidency of France in 2007. -ENDS-

Friday, 16 November 2012

The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra will give two concerts in Mayo and Sligo Hospitals this month. The concerts will take place on Saturday, 24 November at 6pm in the Hume Hall, Sligo IT and on Sunday afternoon, 25 November at 2pm at Mayo General Hospital (St. Mary’s Hall) in Castlebar. Entitled ‘The Maureen Woods Memorial Concerts’, students will perform for the patients and medical staff of both hospitals, to invited guest musicians from the medical academy of Sligo and Mayo and also to invited members of the public. Both performances are free, thanks to the benefactors, the Woods family of Tarmon Co. Leitrim. The concerts by the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra celebrate much of what Maureen Woods loved and believed in – the healing power of music, the essential role of the arts in medicine, and the close bonds between the creative instinct and the best of science and medicine. Speaking in advance of the performance in Castlebar, Kevin Barry, Dean, Mayo Medical Academy, said:  “I am delighted that NUI Galway Medical Orchestra is coming to perform at Mayo General Hospital/Mayo Medical Academy.  This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the cultural, spiritual and healing powers associated with music.  We have long recognised the importance of the arts in promoting patient welfare.  The Arts Committee at Mayo General Hospital has for example, hosted many wonderful exhibitions at our hospital over the years including the works of our patients.  NUI Galway Medical Orchestra is a fantastic initiative and the various student members are to be congratulated for their dedication and strength of character. I look forward to a great afternoon of entertainment.  This is a most inspiring event.” Dr Geraldine McCarthy, Dean of Sligo Medical Academy, said: “Sligo Medical Academy and Sligo Regional Hospital are delighted to welcome the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra to Sligo for their concert for hospital staff and patients. It is a wonderful initiative linking the arts and health and the students have been great ambassadors for Galway Medical School.”   The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra is made up solely of medical students from across Clinical Sciences to include medical students as well as students from Nursing, Midwifery and the Therapies. One of the ground breaking initiatives of Clinical Sciences at NUI Galway under Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School and Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine, is to offer formal academic credit to medical students who choose to join the orchestra special study module. The arranger and musical director is the well-known musician Carl Hession and the producer of the orchestra is Mary McPartlan of NUI Galway and originally from Drumkeerin, Co. Leitrim. Speaking of the initiative, Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School at Clinical Sciences, said: “This is an excellent performance opportunity for the students involved, as well as recognising the benefits of music and the importance of the creative arts in the development of young students studying medicine, the holistic nature of their endeavour and the integrity it embeds into their lives as healthcare professionals. I would particularly like to thank the family of Maureen Woods for helping to make these two concerts possible through their generous sponsorship of these two concerts in Sligo and Castlebar.” The Medical Orchestra at NUI Galway has been in existence for over a year and it has already established itself as a very positive initiative with a number of high profile public performances. The orchestra is open to students across the Schools of Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery and Health Sciences and students may select the orchestra to attain academic credit or simply participate for their personal satisfaction, enjoyment and development. ENDS

Friday, 16 November 2012

9.6% of Irish Population with Diabetes Diabetes is now the commonest metabolic illness in the world and earlier this week marked World Diabetes Day (Wednesday, 14 November). An estimated 9.6% of the Irish population now have the disease. With a particularly high prevalence in the Western Region of the country, NUI Galway and Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group have joined forces to create the Galway Diabetes Research Centre. The Galway Diabetes Research Centre (GDRC) will bring together an interdisciplinary research consortium of active researchers and clinicians. GDRC members comprise of individuals from across the diverse disciplines including psychology, engineering, economics, health promotion, nursing, midwifery, podiatry and information technology, all of whom have a track record in the field of diabetes. Based at NUI Galway, the GDRC will link researchers from these diverse disciplines to strengthen and develop close links with clinicians from Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group and the hospitals linked to the NUI Galway regional Medical Academies.  Professor Fidelma Dunne,School of Medicine, Co-director of the GDRC explains: “This is an exciting opportunity for researchers and clinicians working in Diabetes at NUI Galway and Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group. The centre will facilitate the development of each individual’s skills and provide the academic environment for collaboration. The collaboration between an academic institution and Health Care Delivery network will facilitate the efficient translation of research findings into clinical practice resulting in tangible benefits for patients with diabetes.” Bill Maher, CEO of the Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group said: “This new research centre for Galway is another example of where the synergy of the Hospital and University can lead to tangible benefits for patients and improved outcomes. Diabetes is a growing health care problem which is putting additional strain on a public health service which will face funding difficulties for the foreseeable future; advances in research which lead to improved treatment and which enhance the skills of our clinicians will promote patient health and are to be welcomed.” Research clusters Through three main clusters: Aetiology and Prevention, Current and Future Clinical Management, and Population and Health Services Research, the GDRC will serve the needs of patients with diabetes mellitus and those at risk of developing diabetes mellitus by creating the treatments of the future through research, providing state of the art clinical care and developing the carers of the future through education.  The three main research clusters, capitalise on the already high volume of diabetes related work undertaken by the University and hospitals. 1. Aetiology and Prevention                                                                                     Aetiology and Prevention contributes to our understanding of how diabetes develops and what are the underlying mechanisms. Researchers in this cluster are active at every level of disease, from genes, through to glycoproteins and stem cells. 2. Current and Future Clinical management             Investigators in this strand are focused on the development of new therapies for diabetes mellitus. There is an active clinical trial programme through the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway, with the support of research nurses, quality assurance staff and biostatisticians. There is also a major focus on the development of biomaterials and stem cell based approaches to regenerative therapies through the Science Foundation Ireland funded research centres REMEDI and NFB. 3. Population and Health Services Research            This cluster will contribute to the evidence required to help address the many challenges of health care delivery in diabetes. These challenges include changing the way services are delivered, evaluating the health care needs of the diabetes population and measuring the relative effectiveness of interventions. The GDRC will be official launched on Friday, 16 November by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Mr Bill Maher, CEO Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group.  Speakers at the event will include: Professor Stephen O’Rahilly, University of Cambridge; Professor John Nolan, STENO Diabetes Centre Denmark; Professor James Shaw, Newcastle University; and Dr Peter Hammond, Harrogate District Hospital, UK. Sligo senior footballer, Mr Kenneth Sweeney also addressed the event who is 11 years living with type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Statistics Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It is the commonest metabolic illness globally, according to the World Health Organisation, 346 million people worldwide have the condition. It is estimated that this figure will double by 2030.  About 90% of all diabetes is type 2. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in tandem with rising obesity rates. In Ireland the number of people with type 2 diabetes is growing as a result of an ageing population and rising obesity rates. The Diabetes Federation of Ireland estimated that 200,000 people had diabetes in Ireland in 2003 and a further 200,000 had the condition but were unaware of it. They also estimated that a further 250,000 had pre-diabetes and 50% would develop diabetes in the ensuing 5 years if lifestyle changes were not met. The Institute of Public Health (2005) concluded that 4.7% of the population (circa 150,000) of the Republic had established diabetes, with the highest prevalence in the Western Region (5.2%). The Institute of Public Health have revised their figures again (2012) and now conclude that 9.6% of the population have Diabetes. Ends

Friday, 16 November 2012

A report launched at NUI Galway today calls for the human rights of children of asylum seekers to be respected and criticises the current direct provision system. The situation facing hundreds of soon to be displaced asylum seekers, residents of Lisbrook House in Galway, also came in for sharp criticism. ‘Parenting in Direct Provision: Parent’s perspectives regarding stresses and supports’ was written by Helen Ogbu, a graduate of the MA in Family Support Studies in the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. Parents interviewed in the report felt that their mental health problems and those of their childrenwere increased by prolonged stays in the centres, the strain of living in over-crowded rooms, poor diets, unavailability of recreational and study space, and the educational restriction for older children. She stated that: “Direct Provision is an unsuitable environment for children and families, that it is damaging to family life and that it is not in the best interests of the child.”Her report recommends that the policy of Direct Provision as it currently stands should be reviewed and that such communal accommodation should not be used for periods of longer than six months. The report was launched at an event hosted by NUI Galway and chaired by Professor Ray Murphy of the University’s Irish Centre for Human Rights. Opening the event Professor Murphy stated: “Of the 5,098 residents in Direct Provision, over one third are children. These children spend a significant proportion of their childhood in Direct Provision accommodation. This report indicates a failure of the state to vindicate rights set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the family life rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights in the case of children in the asylum system.” He added: “This is particularly shocking given the recent campaign on the amendment to the Constitution regarding children’s rights. In particular the situation for those children who have grown up and attend school in Galway, currently housed in Lisbrook House and who are to be scattered throughout the country give rise to concern on how this can be in the best interests of these children.” The audience of students, members of the public and asylum seekers also heard from Sade, an asylum seeker who has been living in the direct provision system for 5 years and 9 months and Samantha Arnold of the Irish Refugee Council. Samantha Arnold, Children’s and Young Persons’ Officer with the Irish Refugee Council Report has also recently published a report on the same topic entitled, ‘State sanctioned child poverty and exclusion:  the case of children in accommodation for asylum-seekers.’ She said “Both Fine Gael and Labour committed to reviewing the system of Direct Provision in July 2010. So far, those commitments haven’t been met. Under the Children First Guidelines, the conditions that children in Direct Provision live in amounts to child abuse or neglect. Despite not having chosen to live in Ireland or seek asylum here, the children living in and growing up in Direct Provision are subjected to enforced poverty, discrimination and social exclusion.” Samantha Arnold’s report makes a number of recommendations including ensuring that heating, hot water and cleanliness are guaranteed, children have access to private toilet facilities, children are not exposed to inappropriate behaviour, including that of a sexual or violent nature, and children are able to fully participate in the Irish education system. For further information and copies of this report visit http://www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/children-and-young-people/children-in-direct-provision-accommodation/attachment/state-sanctioned-child-poverty-and-exclusion Ends

Friday, 16 November 2012

NUI Galway Marine Expert among International Researchers to Publish Findings In a landmark paper published in the prestigious international journal Current Biology 220 marine experts worldwide, including Professor Mike Guiry of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, have come together to estimate how many species there are in our oceans. The answer will come as something of a disappointment to those who claim more than a million marine species because the authors show that the true number is less than a quarter of that. About 225,000 species have been described to date, and the final tally is likely to be about 500,000. Previous estimates of a million marine species were based on unreliable figures passed from textbook to textbook and gaining credence when uttered by some famous individual at international conferences. Species are notoriously difficult to count. Unlike, say, books in a library, they are not discrete objects that can simply be catalogued and a final figure arrived at. The notion of a species is a human construct, essentially a philosophical notion, and the names we use for them, called binomials, are simply for us to communicate, and have no meaning without us. The numbers in this paper are the best that can be arrived at as, for once, they come from expert opinion, mainly from database curators and world experts in the various groups. One of these experts is Professor Mike Guiry of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. He is the founder of the database AlgaeBase (www.algaebase.org) funded in 2004-2009 by the Higher Education Authority under the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions, itself generously underwritten by Chuck Feeney, recently publically honoured by all the Irish universities, through Atlantic Philantrophies. Professor Guiry has to date catalogued 130,000 names of algae, including 34,000 species. Of these, about half are marine, and include some 9,500 seaweeds. This is the only global species database in Ireland. Speaking on the findings, Professor Guiry said: “We do not yet know how many species there are in the world, estimates vary from 5-50 million, but the most reliable recent estimates are that 1.9 million, with the insects accounting for more than 1 million.” Professor Guiry added: “The marine environment is relatively species-poor, despite claims to the contrary, with less than 12% of all currently described species occurring in the sea. But what the sea lacks in species numbers it makes up spectacularly in diversity and beauty, and in the active part these organisms play in keeping our planet healthy. More than 75% of all photosynthetic oxygen is produced by marine algae.” The marine Professor’s forthcoming book, A Catalogue of Irish Seaweeds, will show that 7.5% of all seaweeds occurs in Ireland, which is extraordinary for the size and geographical spread of the island, and contrasts strongly with our native flowering-plants, which amount to no more than 0.25% of the world’s 350,000-400,000 species. The marine experts predict that all marine species will have been described by the end of this century, so that the task will have taken the human race 350 years. ENDS

Monday, 19 November 2012

On Friday, 30 November, NUI Galway's Aula Maxima will resound with the ancient sounds of early Irish harp, voice and horn.  Gold-strung cláirseachs (harps), played by Ann Heymann, will accompany 7th-18th century Gaelic poems, including genres of laoi, rosc and amhrán, sung by Charlie Heymann and NUI Galway’s Lillis Ó Laoire.  Ann Heymann is a Visiting Fellow with the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, NUI Galway where she is studying the use of the harp in the performance of early Irish poetry.  Early Welsh poetry by the famous poets Aneirin and Taliesin, accompanied by horsehair harp, crwth and various lyres will also featured.  Adding to the musical soundscape will be Simon O'Dwyer's pre-historic and medieval horns, bells and pipes. Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, Lecturer in Irish and Head of NUI Galway’s School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, is an award winning sean-nós singer, scholar, and writer from the Gaelic speaking region of Donegal. Dr O’Laoire teaches courses in Gaelic language, culture and folklore at NUI Galway, and his publications include On a Rock in the Middle of the Ocean: Songs and Singers in Tory Island, Ireland. Ann Heymann is renowned for having recreated specialised techniques that articulate the voice of the cláirseach. Her use of gold wire, which is based both on evidence in the literature and in the physical construction of the cláirseach, has restored a brilliant rich voice to the instrument. Her husband Charlie is both a vocalist and instrumentalist, and for over 35 years the couple have performed and taught across four continents.   Simon O'Dwyer has brought the sound of ancient Irish horns, bells and pipes to audiences around the globe.  Author of Prehistoric Music of Ireland, O'Dwyer documents both his research and his making of these reproduction instruments. This event is free and open to the public and takes place at 7pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. -ENDS-

Monday, 19 November 2012

NUI Galway’s REMEDI and Orbsen Therapeutics win €6 million European funding NUI Galway has been awarded a major new €6 million European project, designed to address complications associated with diabetes. The research project will examine the ability of stem cells to safely control glucose levels and alleviate the damage caused by six different diabetic complications. Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, who is also a Consultant in Endocrinology at Galway University Hospitals, will co-ordinate the project. Orbsen Therapeutics Limited, an NUI Galway spin-out company, is the lead SME on the project. Clinical trials will take place in Ireland and Denmark using stem cells discovered by Orbsen. In total, nine new research jobs are to be created in Ireland by the project. An estimated 60 million patients with diabetes mellitus in the EU are using prescription drugs to control blood glucose levels. Poor control of blood glucose levels may lead to a number of diabetic complications, including: nephropathy, retinopathy, cardiomyopathy, neuropathy, impaired bone repair and wound ulceration. “At the moment, there are very few treatment options available to control the initiation and progression of these complications”, explains Professor O’Brien. “In addition, there are no treatments which will improve glucose levels and simultaneously treat the diabetic complication. These complications therefore continue to be a major challenge for clinicians and patients alike.” The REDDSTAR project, originally conceived by Dr Steve Elliman, Head of Research & Development at Orbsen Therapeutics, will take place over two phases. The first will examine which diabetic complication responds best to stem cell treatment in various models of diabetes. The second phase will involve a clinical trial at the Steno Diabetes Centre in Denmark, in collaboration with clinicians at the Diabetes Centre in Galway University Hospitals, specifically in the complication which showed the most promising results in the first phase. Orbsen Therapeutics Limited was formed as a spin out company to advance and commercialise new intellectual property developed by researchers at the SFI-funded REMEDI at NUI Galway. The University has become a leading centre of translational research in adult stem cells involving its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) and REMEDI. Co-ordinated by NUI Galway, the REDDSTAR (Repair of Diabetic Damage by Stromal Cell Administration) project brings together ten expert teams from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal and the US will comprehensively examine if stem cellscan safely address this challenge. Converting research funding into job creation The REDDSTAR EU FP7 funding will be used to create three new positions within REMEDI and a further five new positions at Orbsen. Administration of the REDDSTAR project will be supported by a third SME, Dublin-based EU specialists Pintail Ltd, bringing the total number of new Irish jobs created by this project to nine. Professor O’Brien states: “The creation of new jobs is a very important impact of government-funded research through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The funding of REMEDI by SFI has allowed this EU support to be leveraged resulting in job creation in Ireland.”  Orbsen CEO Brian Molloy adds: “Our participation in REDDSTAR assists us in the development of our core stem cell technology and will make a substantial contribution to our R&D programme. Our mission is to become Europe’s leading Stem Cell Therapy company. Collaborations such as this with REMEDI and NUI Galway help to position Ireland as a European hub for cell therapy development.” Orbsen recently developed and is patenting a unique method of isolating therapeutic stem cells from human tissue at class-leading levels of purity. The Orbsen cell therapy product is unique in that it has been designed to meet future EU regulations regarding cell-based medicines. The Orbsen therapy will be independently assessed by the REDDSTAR experts in each diabetic complication.   Dr Steve Elliman, states: “This project design has a number of advantages over similar approaches being taken by other researchers. Primarily, this is the first FP7 project to unite EU experts on all six diabetic complications to work together and assess how a therapy might impact all six tissues at the same time. It is expected that this REDDSTAR ‘network’ of researchers will live beyond this project and be used by other drug developers.” In addition, REDDSTAR has permitted a unique collaboration between Orbsen and the US-based SME, Owl Biomedical Inc. Owl Biomedical is developing the unique “Nanosorter”, a bench-top device that will permit isolation of the Orbsen cell therapy for clinical use in line with forthcoming EU regulations. -ends-

Monday, 19 November 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Clonmel on Wednesday, 28 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer any questions in relation to courses and practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which are brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Clonmel is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Clonmel, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 239 1219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Monday, 19 November 2012

Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, visited NUI Galway this weekend to mark the beginning of a new partnership with the University. Recent plans have been unveiled to establish a Mary Robinson Centre in the former President’s home town of Ballina, Co. Mayo. The Centre, supported by Mayo County Council and Ballina Town Council will be established at Mary Robinson’s birthplace and will include both a Visitor Centre and an academic research centre, supported by NUI Galway and focused on scholarly research and education in the fields of Human Rights and Women’s Leadership. Speaking at NUI Galway, Mary Robinson also announced details of a public interview on her life and work, with Fintan O’Toole, to take place at NUI Galway on January 14, 2013. Mary Robinson’s archive will be the centrepiece of the educational facility, and as academic partner to the project, NUI Galway will bring researchers and students from all over the world to Ballina to engage with the archive. NUI Galway is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of Human Rights and Gender research, and offers undergraduate degrees and Masters programmes in the area. The University will also advise on the cataloguing and making available of the extensive archive which is valued at over €2.5 million. President Jim Browne of NUI Galway commented: “We at NUI Galway are delighted to have been invited to become involved in this project.  We believe that the Mary Robinson Archive is very important  for scholarship globally; for our region – it adds a truly unique piece of infrastructure to the knowledge capital of the West of Ireland; and for Ireland as a nation  preserving the narrative of the life and work of probably the most significant figure to emerge from our country – a transformative figure of modern Ireland – Mary Robinson.” The proposed Visitor Centre, which is set to open to the public by the end of 2014, will provide a unique cultural tourism resource for Mayo as visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about Mary Robinson’s life and work, including her early roots in Ballina. The project will involve the refurbishment of Victoria House, a protected 19th century Georgian house, together with the construction of an Annex to the house. Parts of the house will be recreated to its original condition at the time of Mary Robinson’s birth in 1944. The property at Victoria House, which has been in the Bourke Family for generations, is being made available to the Centre by the owner, Mary’s brother Adrian Bourke, and will be leased in perpetuity. Mary Robinson’s archive is a vast collection illuminating the life and career of one of Ireland’s most distinguished public figures. The archive includes a library of books, and periodicals, Mary Robinson’s personal diaries, working files and detailed records of her career as a champion of human rights and women’s equality. Also included are numerous recordings and manuscripts from her time as President of Ireland. ENDS

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A new €4.4 million EU project A new €4.4 million EU project is using the latest web technologies to make the most of the wealth of medical information contained in electronic medical records. The project aims to aid decision-making for medical practitioners and improve safety in clinical research. The Linked2Safety project will build a medical and clinical data management infrastructure, using privacy-aware, semantic technology. At the forefront of technologies being deployed by the project, are researchers from the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at the National University of Ireland Galway. Their task is to imbue meaning into the data contained within the European healthcare information space, which is fragmented and disparate, and connect that data. To do so, the project will use ‘linked-data’ and other sematic technologies developed by DERI. “So much valuable information sits in seclusion in medical records in hospitals across Europe. They have the potential to significantly help and advance medical research, as well as improve health policies,” explains Ronan Fox, Health Care and Life Sciences Leader at DERI. “What we need to do is put in place a framework so that the information can be interconnected, this could lead to all kinds of possibilities. For example, within the context of the data governance, and legal and ethical framework created in Linked2Safety, individuals could be identified to join a clinical trial for a rare disease, whether they are in Ireland or Cyprus.” In addition, using ‘linked data’, information contained in the records will be leveraged in clinical research for the early detection of potential patient safety issues. Such issues might be based on genetic data analysis and the extraction of the bio-markers associated with an identified type of an adverse event. The Linked2Safety project will also support the effective organization and execution of clinical trials by allowing health carers and medical scientists to easily submit their own query and get homogenized access to high-quality medical data. Linked2Safety is an FP7 project funded by the European Commission under the area of ICT for health. With over 140 researchers, DERI is the largest web science institute of its kind in the world, set up in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland and the National University of Ireland Galway. -ends-

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Officials from the Chinese Government Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) visited the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway last week.  Organised by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ireland, the visit was a follow-up to the signing of collaborative research agreements between REMEDI and two Chinese research institutes based in Shanghai and Xi’an earlier this year. The collaboration will see the partners work together in the areas of regenerative medicine clinical trials, particularly in the areas of diabetes and orthopaedics.  As part of their visit the officials from MOST had the opportunity to see the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) at NUI Galway, which is a specially designed facility for manufacturing GMP-grade stem cells for use in human clinical trials. At present there is no similar facility in China. REMEDI hopes to work with its collaborators and the Chinese Government to help set up similar resources in China, ultimately opening up new opportunities for partnership in the area of clinical trials using stem cells. Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of REMEDI states, “We look forward to undertaking collaborative clinical trials using stem cells in Ireland and China. This will allow efficacy to be assessed in different ethnic populations and will also serve to harmonize transnational conduct of such trials.” “We highly appreciate that NUI Galway has been actively developing close scientific collaborations with Chinese institutions in recent years”, added Liya Dong, Deputy Director General, Department of Science & Technology Development, MOST, “and we strongly support Ireland-China bi-lateral collaborations in life science and other areas, and will do our best to provide assistance for promoting the collaborations between NUI Galway and the Chinese Institutions in Shanghai and Xi’an.” The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) is a Science Foundation Ireland-funded Strategic Research Cluster, led by NUI Galway and with partners in University College Cork and NUI Maynooth. REMEDI is a partnership between scientists, clinicians and industry and it is the leading centre in the area of stem cell and regenerative medicine in Ireland. -ends-

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

First Podiatry Students in Ireland to Graduate Over 1400 students, including the first Podiatry students in the country, will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from today, Wednesday 21 to Friday, 23 November. George Cunningham will also be conferred with an honorary Master of Arts degree. From Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, George Cunningham is a former Principal of Coolderry Central School, Birr, Co. Offaly. He was prominently associated with the successful campaign to save and subsequently restore Damer House in his native Tipperary town of Roscrea. He founded there, in 1980, Ireland’s first heritage centre together with the Roscrea Heritage Society, of which he is still President and honorary Life Member.  He has been deeply involved with every aspect of Irish heritage tourism during the past thirty years. He receives this honorary degree in recognition of his enormous contribution to heritage, conservation and education. The winter conferring will see the first cohort of graduates from the discipline of Podiatry in the School of Health Sciences at the University, which is the only undergraduate programme available in the Republic of Ireland leading to a BSc (Hons) in Podiatry. 13 students will graduate, qualifying after four years of study as healthcare professionals specialising in the management of disease and disorders of the lower limb and foot. Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The graduation of the first cohort of podiatry graduates in Ireland is a historic milestone.  We are delighted to have worked closely with colleagues in the HSE and with international experts to develop this new programme. I am also pleased that this week we will honour the achievements of George Cunningham, an enlightened educationalist and custodian of Irish heritage, by conferring him with an honorary degree.  In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. -Ends-

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week and sponsored by Medtronic Galway, will host the Festival’s Final Exhibition Day at NUI Galway on Sunday, 25 November from 10am to 6pm. Professor Pat Fottrell, Chairman of Science Foundation Ireland is the Festival’s special guest and will visit exhibits accompanied by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, Mr Gerard Kilcommins, VP of Global Vascular Operations Medtronic, Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science NUI Galway, Mr Michael Carmody, President of GMIT, Dr Des Foley, Head of Science & Research GMIT and Mr Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Festival. During the Final Day Exhibition at NUI Galway visitors can enjoy over 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment at the Bailey Allen Hall and Orbsen Building. Visitors can take a tour of the new Engineering Building and visit the Zoology and Marine Biology Museum, while 20 separate shows for families will take place in the IT Building, Aula Maxima and the Arts and Science Concourse buildings. There will be a number of volunteers who will direct visitors to shows and exhibits and there will also be a Park and Ride facility at Corrib Village, Newcastle with a shuttle bus to and from the University Campus. Up to 20 Primary and Secondary Schools will exhibit stands covering Life Science, Technology and Physics and Chemistry themes, with the overall winning schools receiving a prize for most creative exhibits. Visitors can expect to be greeted by students lurking around exhibit areas dressed in mad scientist and bacteria costumes. Festival Sponsors providing exciting interactive exhibits include Medtronic, Galway Enterprise Board, NUI Galway, GMIT, Cisco, Boston Scientific, Avaya, SAP, Covidien, Hewlett Packard, Creganna, The Marine Institute and Galway County Council. Medtronic’s exhibit will focus on Innovation, with engineers on hand to demonstrate how to get from Idea to Product and all the steps in between. There will be a showcase of products for the treatment of Coronary Artery Disease and Hypertension. Visitors to the stand are encouraged to ask lots of questions and may be in with a chance of winning a prize. Medtronic will also provide a fun Games Corner where children of all ages are invited to come and test their manual dexterity with lots of helpful people from Medtronic on hand to greet you on the day. Gerard Kilcommins, VP of Global Vascular Operations and General Manager Galway Site Medtronic commented, “Medtronic became the main sponsor of the Galway Science and Technology Festival over ten years ago.  Since then, we are delighted to have experienced the journey that has seen the event evolve and flourish into one of the highlights in the calendars of the educational and science communities. This year’s theme is “Everyday Experimenting” and experimentation is something that makes Science and Technology so fascinating. Engaging the younger generation throughout this festival about the wonders and possibilities of Science and Technology will help ensure we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland’s future success as a nation. As Thomas A. Edison once said, ‘to have a great idea, have a lot of them’ and I have no doubt the action-packed Exhibition on Sunday will generate lots of ideas and open minds to the many great possibilities and opportunities out there.” The Computer & Communication Museum of Ireland, part of the University’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute, will be on display in the Bailey Allen, providing a fascinating insight into advances in communications and computing through the years. Hewlett Packard will join the Coderdojo Galway members in the Museum and demonstrate coding. Also, on the day a Prize-Giving Ceremony will take place at the Boston Scientific stand, awarding the winner of the Coding the Big Bang competition where entrants had to create a web-based computer programme that explains the role of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The competition coincided with the CERN ‘Accelerating Science’ Exhibition sponsored by Boston Scientific in association with Coderdojo Galway City. Visitors to the Boston Scientific stand will also learn about the technology behind Angioplasty and Balloon Formation and try their hand at the Guidewire Tracking Challenge for a chance to win an iPad Nano every hour. NUI Galway will have a number of exhibits including a H-Racer and Solar Hydrogen Station. The H-Racer is the smallest and coolest hydrogen fuel cell car in the world. Visitors can witness the power of new energy technology in the palm of their hand. The car does not need batteres and uses a real fuel cell and its own on-board hydrogen storage system. The Hydrogen station will provide the H-Racer with an unlimited supply of clean energy. To create free hydrogen fuel at the flick of a switch, just add water to the station’s tank while fuelling is animated by a special blue light display. GMIT will have a number of interactive Science and Technology exhibit stands to mark their 40th Anniversary. Exhibit themes include How Engines Work where visitors will see how different engine types work with interactive models on display as well as touch screen animations, and Energy Engineering will demonstrate how energy management is a vital part of everyday life and learn about how energy can be harnessed from the sea, the sun and the wind. Family shows include Black John The Bogus Pirate, a cartoon workshop aimed at teaching children of all ages about marine environment while having fun. K’nex Roadshow, is based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system and Mr Bug with Matt Lewis allows children get up close to friendly tropical animals like snakes and lizards. Killaloe Exploration Dome is a mobile planetarium designed to explore science, astronomy, geology and geography in a fun and interactive way. True Physics Show is an interactive hands-on science show where students participate in launching rockets and flying helicopters and Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show will demonstrate wacky experiments like super foams, colour changes and disgusting slime. Galway Science and Technology Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland commented, “On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I would like to thank our main sponsor Medtronic and all of our partners who have contributed to the growth and development of this Festival into a very significant vehicle for the promotion of the STEM subjects to our young people and help bring excitement and fun to Science and Technology for children and families across the city and county.”  Exhibition day bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com to help people plan their day. ENDS

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Over 157 NUI Galway students received certificates at the annual NUI Galway Annual Access Awards Ceremony recently. The certificates were presented by Professor Chris Curtin, NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, for successful completion of the University’s Access courses delivered during the academic year 2011/2012, both on campus and in Outreach Centres in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, Screebe, Co. Galway and in Longford. Also receiving awards were 73 Access Students who graduated with degrees in Arts, Commerce, Law, Engineering, Nursing and Medicine. A further 14 students who received post-graduate diplomas in Education, Health, Arts and Business Studies, and post-graduate degrees in Marketing, Social Work, Community Development and Law were also acknowledged.  NUI Galway’s Access Officer, Imelda Byrne, said: “By the end of this year, a total of 463 graduates and 139 postgraduates will have come through the University’s Access Programme since its introduction in 2001. This ceremony was to mark the wonderful achievement of those inspirational students and to commend all on their perseverance, dedication and hard work.”  The function of the NUI Galway Access Programme is to address and respond appropriately to the issues of equality of access, equity of life long opportunities and responding to the issues of rural (and to a lesser extent, urban) social exclusion in the Border, Midland and Western Region and County Clare. All of the elements of the access programmes have important initiatives designed to give everyone a chance to benefit from third level education.  -ENDS-

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bachelor of Commerce graduate and Executive Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company, Irial Finan took time during a business trip to Ireland this week to visit his Alma Mater, the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Mr Finan, who is also President of the Bottling Investments Group and Supply Chain, was on hand to talk to students of the Masters in International Management, passing on his valuable expertise in the arena of international management. The Roscommon native is responsible for managing a multi-billion dollar internal bottling business, the Bottling Investments Group (BIG), which has operations on four continents, with revenues of over $8 billion and employs in excess of 60,000 people. Additionally, he is responsible for stewarding the Company's equity investments. Dr Paul Ryan, Programme Director of the MSc (International Management) was delighted to have Mr Finan address the class saying,“The aim of the programme has always been to bring real learning into the class room. The insights he was able to provide, leading a company with a portfolio featuring 15 billion dollar brands, will not only stand to our students in their studies but also in their future careers.” Mr Finan commented: “The Coca-Cola Company operates in 207 countries and is truly both a global and a local company. We constantly challenge ourselves to remain relevant to our consumers. The ability to do business internationally across different cultures is a key feature of my role. I was delighted to share my thoughts with students in the institution which provided a springboard for my career.” ENDS

Thursday, 22 November 2012

NUI Galway’s Alumni Club will host an interview with Dr John Killeen, CEO of Cold Chon and Chairperson of Let's Do it Galway, the group responsible for bringing the Volvo Ocean Race to the City. The interview will be conducted by fellow graduate and broadcaster, Tomás Ó Síocháin of RTÉ and TG4, on Thursday, 29 November at 8pm in NUI Galway's Engineering Building. Prior to the interview, guests will have the opportunity to take a tour of the award-winning Engineering Building at 7pm. Sandra Butler, Chairperson of NUI Galway Alumni Association, said: “John Killeen is one of those people who has a clear vision of what can be achieved when Galway makes full use of its maritime environment. The Volvo Ocean Race is but one example of that potential.” Registration can be completed online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or by contacting the Alumni Office on 091493750 or alumni@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Living Scenes programme in Millstreet Community School, Co. Cork has been awarded second place in an EU Commission competition, celebrating the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. At a ceremony in Brussels recently, Millstreet Community School beat off 1,000 schools from 30 countries to win this major accolade and put intergenerational learning in Ireland on the European radar. The Living Scenes programme, which is designed, implemented and funded by NUI Galway, has been in existence since 1999 and is currently in eight centres throughout Ireland. A Transition Year based initiative, NUI Galway’s Living Scenes allows teenagers and older adults to learn together, share experiences and build bonds of mutual respect and understanding through a curricular based programme of learning. A strong emphasis is placed on the holistic development of the participants, promoting equality, personal development, well being and confidence building in both the younger and older adults. The winning entry from Millstreet Community School saw retired adults and teenagers from the school create a multi-media programme aimed at bridging the gap between young and old. The Living Scenes group created an intergenerational rap song; compiled a book titled Two Generations, One Road; and used clay, wood, tiles, glass, and metal to create a permanent display about crossing the generational divide to scoop their prestigious award. The generations@school Project is organised by the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and is about engaging pupils and seniors in intergenerational dialogue. This year the focus is on bringing together pupils and older people to engage in a conversation about what it means to get older and how older and younger people can collaborate for a better life.  Living Scenes is the brainchild of NUI Galway's Dr Mary Surlis, and as the Living Scenes Programme Director, she has developed the programme on a national level. Commenting on the award, Dr Surlis said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the Living Scenes Programme and in particular for John Magee, Pat Piggott and his staff, the outstanding participants and facilitation team in Millstreet Community School. Such an achievement cements the programme as a world class example of civic engagement from a university perspective and also highlights the value of experiential learning in a school’s curriculum.” Congratulating Millstreet Community School on its success, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “This is a wonderful example of intergenerational learning in Millstreet. It also highlights the prioritisation of civic engagement here at NUI Galway. I would like to congratulate all involved in the project – teachers, school leadership, students, seniors and my own colleagues here in the University - on their tremendous achievement in winning this prestigious EU Commission prize. John Magee, co-ordinator of the Living Scenes programme at Millstreet Community School, said: “This is a wonderful achievement for our school. I would like to thank Dr Mary Surlis, Living Scenes Programme Director, and NUI Galway, who have supported the project in Millstreet from the start. Over the seven years that Living Scenes has been in Millstreet Community School, a great many friendships have been formed between the older adults and the 80 students who have taken part in the project over that time. Rather than one group assuming the role of ‘expert’ on a certain topic, people from both age groups have been given the opportunity to work collaboratively, learning about one another along the way.  A lot of misconceptions about ‘youth and old age’ have been dispelled through the work of the project.”  -ENDS-

Monday, 26 November 2012

Over 500,000 visitors to Galway City; 97% positive rating for festival experience                                   Over 1 billion global audience for Galway A new report from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway reveals that the Volvo Ocean Race Finale (VOR) which took place in Galway city earlier this year, having hosted a stopover for the Race in 2009, was worth €60.5 million to the Irish economy. Over 500,000 visitors attended events during the festival period from 30 June to 8 July 2012, with 16% of those coming from outside of Ireland. The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race lasted for nine months and covered 39,270 nautical miles. The boats circumnavigated the globe, visiting eight stopover ports before finishing in Galway. The participants sailed through four oceans and visited ports in five continents, making it the toughest sailing event in the world. Hundreds of thousands of spectators visited the race villages in the participating ports, while millions tuned in via numerous media channels. The report, An Economic Assessment of the Volvo Ocean Race Finale, Galway 2012, takes an in-depth scientific examination of the economic impact of the event in Galway over the nine day period. It also reports on the extra-economic benefits of the VOR finale which saw an investment by organisers and Galway City of €7.6 million. Speaking of the findings, Dr Patrick Collins of NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute said: “For nine days and nights, Galway City became the focal point of one of the most highly regarded international sporting events, supported by over 275 free events around the city. The magnitude of the event in terms of the relatively small economy of the Galway area was exceptional.” For the duration of the event the harbour area of Galway city was transformed into a hub of activity in both the commercial and entertainment spheres. The addition of the ‘Global Village’, a unique expo highlighting the best of Irish business, education and craft, brought a new feel and focus to the event. The hosting of showcases under the pillars of marine, innovation, green and food, was a platform for the city and the region to display its unique strengths. The report, which was launched today (26 November) at NUI Galway, identifies key questions on the event’s economic impact. Findings reveal the direct expenditure of €35.5 million and indirect spend during the festival period of €25 million giving an overall economic impact of €60.5 million. The hospitality industries gained the most in terms of relative increase in revenue. In particular the Bar/Lounge sector enjoyed a significant boost over the course of the event with turnover showing a 50% increase across the sector. However, a quarter of local businesses found their business was negatively affected by the Race as most of the economic benefit was located in the areas surrounding the event and particularly by the hospitality industries. Dr Patrick Collins explains: “What becomes immediately obvious when we look at the relative change in turnover spatially is the tight geography of benefit. What might be termed the ‘honey-pot’ effect of the Race and Global Villages are obvious with adjacent businesses in particular sectors gaining extra revenue. Revenue gains were highly differentiated by location and business sector. ” Positive employment figures showed an increase in numbers employed over the course of the event, with over 70% of these in the hospitality industry and more than 80% of this located in Galway city centre. However, these employment gains were of a temporary nature - of those hired on a full or part-time basis, 42% were for the duration of the festival only, and only 7% of the new employees lasting beyond a three month period. The report states that approximately 800,000 visits were recorded to the Race Village and the Global Village over the duration of the Volvo Ocean Race festival and 97% of these race attendees rated their Galway experience as positive. According to Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway: “The Volvo Ocean Race finale focused the attention of a global audience of over one billion on the city of Galway for the duration of the event. This kind of attention brings with it massive opportunities for the promotion of the city and its businesses.”  Extra economic impacts examined and included in the report include results on how businesses and attendees during the Volvo Ocean Race Finale also cited non-economic aspects of the festival. More than 1,500 volunteers took part in the organisation of the Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway. They contributed thousands of hours to cater for more than 500,000 visitors to the nine-day event. Dr Mulligan added:  “Looking beyond the economic helps us identify the ancillary benefits and costs of hosting an international event of this scale. Economic impact events of this magnitude are significant but it is incumbent on any assessment to incorporate the extra economic impacts such as boost of morale for the host city and the upsurge of community spirit experienced by all. While the commercial emphasis was obvious, the event did not lose the key element which was held most precious during the 2009 stopover, the family-friendly community spirit.” The report was compiled by Dr Patrick Collins, Dr Stephen Hynes and Dr Emer Mulligan of NUI Galway on behalf of Let’s Do It Global. ENDS

Friday, 23 November 2012

NUI Galway’s School of Education recently developed and launched the Sci-Hook Series, an innovative APPLE iBook resource for science educators. Sci-Hooks are introductory video clips which aim to grab the learner’s attention by capturing what is interesting and engaging about a range of science topics. The series forms part of the School of Education’s mission to build collaborative and supportive partnerships with second-level schools. Dr Veronica McCauley and Seán Ó Grádaigh, lecturers from the School of Education at NUI Galway, led this Science Education Research project with a design team of student science teachers from NUI Galway’s Professional Diploma in Education and Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas programmes. Dr Mary Fleming, Director of Teacher Education with NUI Galway’s School of Education, said: “Engaging student interest in a learning process which is relevant and connected with the students’ own life experiences not only determines what they will learn, but also the depth of learning and degree to which they process the material being taught.” These Sci-Hook resources have been developed into a set of three iBooks - Physics, Chemistry and Biology, with over 10 videos and support material available in each category, with over 30 Sci-Hooks created for the Junior Science classroom.   The creative design process was highlighted by NUI Galway’s Dr Veronica McCauley: “The design team has created innovative videos that capture novel and engaging aspects of science, and engage pupils immediately with their curious content, quirky film editing and animation fluidity. These edgy snippets have been created in a way that allows seamless translation into other languages. As such, a vibrant team of Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas students have adapted them for dissemination throughout Irish Medium Schools nationally.” NUI Galway’s Seán Ó Grádaigh emphasised the impact that this new form of iPad technology has had in terms of initial dissemination, saying: “Prior to its launch, Sci-Hook Series had already received over 500 downloads. They are available on iBookstores across 50 countries, with our largest market being the US with 32% of all downloads and this is expected to increase further as the Biology resources are published.” These iBook resources are free to download on your iPad through the iBookstore and also available as videos and pdf on iTunesU and through the scoilnet portal. Funding from NUI Galway, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) and Apple Ireland supported the project. -ENDS-

Monday, 26 November 2012

NUI Galway’s Executive MBA, in association with the MBA Association of Ireland Western Chapter, recently hosted its fifth Masterclass event. Entitled Maximising Human Potential & Performance: Lessons from Sports Psychology and Business the Masterclass included a line-up of high-profile speakers including Professor Eamon O’Shea, Caroline Currid, Martin Conroy and Seán McGowan, who shared their insights and personal experiences in a discussion chaired by businessman Pádraig Ó Céidigh. Professor Eamon O’Shea is a Professor of Economics at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and has recently been appointed Manager of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Team for 2013. Professor O’Shea was also the coach for the All-Ireland Champions in 2010. Caroline Currid, Performance Coach with the National Athlete Development Academy, has had a profound impact on Gaelic games. She has worked with All-Ireland Football Champions Tyrone in 2008 and helped the Tipperary hurlers and Dublin footballers bridge 10 and 16 year gaps, respectively, attain silverware. Martin Conroy is Director of Continuous Improvement, Global Vascular Operations at Medtronic, Galway. Martin is responsible for developing and deploying the corporate lean strategy across a number of global sites for over 5,000 employees. Seán McGowan, Ocean Rower, spent 118 days at sea alone, crossing the Atlantic in a small boat. He is a qualified Engineer and holds an MBA and assists with organisations in turnaround situations. During the event Seán spoke very personally of his solo journey across the Atlantic and attributes much of his achievement in doing so to the power of the mind. The panel discussed the effects of attitude on human potential and the importance in self-belief concluding that Irish people need the move away from their current negative ‘I’m not too bad’ state of mind to an ‘I’m great’ culture. The power and importance of values and the panel’s failures and success were also discussed by the panel. Dr Alma McCarthy, Director of NUI Galway’s Executive MBA programme, said: “It is an honour and a privilege to receive insights on the psychology of success which are relevant to any context and incumbent on all of us to use the learnings in our personal and professional lives.” ENDS

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Roscommon on Thursday, 6 December. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Roscommon Abbey Hotel, Roscommon Town. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer any questions in relation to courses and practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which are brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Roscommon, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Roscommon is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Roscommon, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 2440858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Déanfaidh an fear scannáin agus fiadhúlra, Éamon de Buitléar, a chartlann phearsanta a bhronnadh ar Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, inniú, Dé Céadaoin, 28 Samhain, 2012. Tá breis is trí scór bliain d’ábhar ilmheáin sa chartlann seo, ar léargas é ar spéiseanna pearsanta agus proifisiúnta Éamoin de Buitléar. Cuimsítear sa chartlann: Scannáin fhaisnéise Éamoin ó chuaigh sé leis an scannánaíocht; Bunábhar fíor-shuntasach a bhaineann le stair na craoltóireachta agus na scannánaíochta in Éirinn; Buntaifeadtaí agus ábhar eisceachtúil a bhaineann le Seán Ó Riada, Ceoltóirí Chualann agus Ceoltóirí Laighean a thugann léargas luachmhar ar athréimniú an cheoil dúchais san fhichiú haois; Taifid fhuaime agus físe a thugann léargas tábhachtach ar stair na timpeallachta agus na tuaithe in Éirinn; Ábhar cultúrtha mórshuntais i measc pháipéir theaghlaigh mhuintir de Buitléar, lámhscríbhinní agus bunchóip de Fhoclóir na nÉan, a réitigh an Coirnéal Éamon de Buitléar, iar aide-de-camp Dhubhghlas de hÍde, an chéad Uachtarán ar Éirinn. Dúirt Éamon de Buitléar agus an togra á sheoladh aige: “Saothar saoil atá sa chartlann seo. Is mór i gceist agam an timpeallacht, an teanga agus an ceol dúchais agus tá ríméad orm go bhfáilteofar roimh an mbailiúchán ina iomláine in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá sé fíor-thábhachtach go mbeadh teacht ag daoine óga agus pobal na Gaeltachta ar an mbailiúchán seo go furasta agus go saoráideach, i nGaeltacht Chonamara go háirithe.” Mhol Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, an bronnadh flaithiúil seo ar an Ollscoil ó lámh Éamoin: “Bronnadh thar a bheith gnaíúil é seo ó dhuine de cheannródaithe móra na craoltóireachta in Éirinn. Is cás le hÉamon gnéithe éagsúla dár n-oidhreacht – idir cheol, chultúr agus nádúr – agus rinne sé saibhriú ar shaol na tíre gan trácht ar a chartlann phearsanta. Bainfidh an Ollscoil lánearraíocht as an acmhainn luachmhar seo de bharr an luí atá againn leis an nGaeilge agus le staidéar na físe.” Cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh tús le mórthogra le go ndéanfaí digitiú agus clárú ar an gcnuasach seo a bhfuil tábhacht náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta leis. Cuirfidh an togra ar chumas scoláirí, taighdeoirí, mic léinn agus pobal na Gaeltachta teacht ar an ábhar. Bainfidh OÉ Gaillimh leas ar leith as ábhar na cartlainne i bhfianaise obair na hOllscoile le Taisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann. Fágfaidh seo go mbeidh ábhar na cartlainne ar fáil taobh istigh de chreatlach bhonneagair a éascóidh rochtain scolártha agus rannpháirteachas pobail. Oibreoidh an Ollscoil i gcomhar le páirtnéirí ar nós Cartlanna RTÉ le go bhforbrófaí an dea-chleachtas agus prótacail chomhchoitianta maidir le rochtain phoiblí agus caomhnú na hoidhreachta náisiúnta clos-amhairc. Déanfaidh OÉ Gaillimh an chartlann a dhigitiú, a chlárú, a chaomhnú agus rochtain ar an gcartlann a chur ar fáil trí pháirtnéireacht idir Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge agus Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin. Déanfar próiseáil ar ábhair scannáin, fístéipe, téip fuaime agus páipéar mar chuid den togra. Gné eisceachtúil den togra an comhthéacsú atá déanta ag Éamon de Buitléar féin ar an mbailiúchán. Tá suas le 20 uair a chloig de thaifeadtaí fuaime déanta ag Éamon le taighdeoir an togra, Micheál Holmes, agus cur síos déanta aige ar réimsí éagsúla dá shaol oibre. Cuirfidh Cartlann Éamoin de Buitléar go mór le bailiúcháin eile i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin, leithéidí togra digitithe Amharclann na Mainistreach agus páipéir Bhrendan Duddy, Thomas Kilroy agus John McGahern. Beidh taispeántas i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin i ndiaidh sheoladh an togra Dé Céadaoin 28 Samhain a thabharfaidh léargas ar earraí tábhachtacha ón mbailiúchán agus éagsúlacht an chnuasaigh trí chéile. Beidh teacht ar an gcartlann dhigiteach in Áras Taighde nua na nDán, na nDaonnachtaí agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta, a osclófar díreach taobh le Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin ar phríomhchampas OÉ Gaillimh i 2013 agus in Ionaid Ghaeltachta na hOllscoile, i gCarna agus ar an gCeathrú Rua mar a ndéantar BA agus MA sa Chumarsáid a mhúineadh trí mheán na Gaeilge. Tabharfar faoi Dhigitiú an Tionscadail i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Ardagáin agus in Ionad na hOllscoile i gCarna mar a bhfuil tograí taighde ilmheáin eile á riaradh ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, leithéidí www.joeheaney.org, Cartlann Raidió na Gaeltachta, Cartlann Joe Burke agus iTunesU de chuid COGG, togra acmhainní digiteacha don seomra ranga bunscoile. Tuilleadh eolais agus ábhar cartlainne le fáil anseo CRÍOCH   Éamon de Buitléar to Present His Unique Multi-Media Archive Collection to NUI Galway Today, Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, renowned film-maker and environmentalist Éamon de Buitléar will officially present his exceptional personal archive to NUI Galway. This multi-media archive collection spans some sixty years of creativity and reflects a broad range of Éamon de Buitléar’s professional and personal concerns. The archive contains: Éamon’s documentary film output over the course of his career; Key materials relating to the history of broadcasting & film production in Ireland; Original recordings and unique insights into the revival of Irish traditional music in the twentieth century with material relating to Seán Ó Riada, Ceoltóirí Chualann and Ceoltóirí Laighean; Visual and audio records of interest in terms of historical environmental studies; Culturally significant material within the de Buitléar family papers including manuscripts and A Dictionary of Irish Bird Names, compiled by An Coirnéal Éamon de Buitléar, former aide-de-camp to Dubhghlas de hÍde, the first President of Ireland. Launching the project, Éamon de Buitléar said: “The collection contains my life’s work. The environment, the Irish language and our native music have been cornerstones of my work and I am happy that the archive as a whole will find a home in NUI Galway. It is important that the collection will be available and accessible, particularly to young people and also to the Gaeltacht community in Conamara.” President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne paid tribute to Éamon’s generous donation to the University: “This is a magnificent gesture by one of the pioneers of Irish broadcasting. Éamon’s constant concern for various aspects of our heritage – natural, cultural and musical – has enriched not only his personal archive but national life. We will use our institutional strengths in visual studies and the Irish language to fully exploit and conserve this rich resource.” NUI Galway, will begin a major project to catalogue and to digitise this collection of national and international significance to facilitate access to scholars, researchers, students and the Gaeltacht community. Playing a key role in the Digital Repository of Ireland, the University is uniquely positioned to exploit the archive material and place it in a framework which will facilitate scholarly access and public engagement while working with partners such as RTÉ Archives to develop common protocols and best practice in the conservation of and public access to the national audio-visual heritage. Work on this multi-media project will be carried out by NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and will process materials on film, video, audio tape and paper. A unique aspect of the collection is the contextualisation which has been provided by Éamon de Buitléar himself in the form of 20 hours of audio recordings describing the various facets of his work to project researcher, Micheál Holmes. The Éamon de Buitléar Archive will complement existing and newly acquired collections in the James Hardiman Library such as the project to digitise the Abbey Theatre archive and the acquisition of the papers of Brendan Duddy, Thomas Kilroy and John McGahern. Following the launch on Wednesday, 28 November, an exhibition will be staged in the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway which will highlight the diversity of Éamon de Buitléar’s work and display key items from the collection. The collection will be accessible in the new Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Building which will open at the heart of the NUI Galway campus in 2013 and at the University’s Gaeltacht centres in Carna and at An Cheathrú Rua where BA and MA programmes in Communications are taught through the medium of Irish. The Project Digitisation will take place in the James Hardiman Library and in the University’s centre in Carna where Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge have already managed multi-media research projects such as www.joeheaney.org, Cartlann Raidió na Gaeltachta, The Joe Burke Archive and, most recently, iTunes U COGG, a project to develop digital classroom resources for primary schools. Further information and access to archive material here ENDS

Thursday, 29 November 2012

 Druid’s Garry Hynes to Launch Project for the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway Small and medium enterprises with creative offerings encouraged to participate Today (Thursday 29 November) Druid’s award winning director Garry Hynes will launch the Creative Edge project. The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change will lead the project which will help creative businesses in Europe’s Northern Periphery to export to new markets and nurture emerging creative talent. The project received €1.1 million in funding through the European Union’s Interreg Initiative under the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) and brings together universities, development agencies and industry bodies from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Finland and Sweden. The main objectiveof the Creative Edge project is promote the active participation of local creative organisations and businesses in global markets while also aiding them in their ability to attract and utilise local emerging creative talent in these markets. This is important as the creative economy is increasingly seen to be a major area of growth in the coming decades for rural peripheral regions. Studies continue to show how the creative sector is a leading indicator of global growth. The cultural and creative sector is globally one of the fastest growing. Estimates value the sector at 7% of the world’s GDP and forecast 10% growth per year[1]. According to NUI Galway’s Dr Patrick Collins lead researcher on the project: “When you look at the emerging trend of increased demand for goods and services that are authentic, sustainable, and that tell a story, you are looking at the growth of the creative economy. The west of Ireland, and other regions on the edge of Europe stand to gain from the promotion of small and medium enterprises with creative offerings.”  The project itself has grown out of direct consultations with the Creative Industries across the NPP region. Of particular policy relevance were the constraints faced by new and established creative industries in the NPP region. Consultation with the sector across a variety of disciplines, from craft to App development, showed that most people working in the creative sector found themselves confined by their inability to access international markets and the inability to share information and learn from contemporaries here and abroad. The project is now looking for the active participation of ‘Creatives’ located in the west of Ireland. Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute called on local creative businesses and individuals to engage with the project. “This work is built on addressing the needs of the creative sector, needs change and we want to keep abreast of those changes. We are therefore actively encouraging creatives to engage with us and with our project partner in the region – the Western Development Commission. The incentive is that this project will help them develop as an individual and / or company and opportunities to engage with creative industries in Northern Ireland, Finland and Sweden.” For more information, please visit www.nuigalway.ie/whitakerinstitute or www.creative-edge.eu -ends-

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week and sponsored by Medtronic Galway saw over 20,000 visitors attend the Final Exhibition Day at NUI Galway on Sunday (25 November). Professor Pat Fottrell, Chairman of Science Foundation Ireland was the Festival’s special guest who visited exhibits accompanied by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway; John McNamara, Research & Development Director of Medtronic; Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science NUI Galway; Michael Carmody, President of GMIT; Dr Des Foley, Head of Science & Research, GMIT; and Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Festival. Thousands of families and children enjoyed over 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment at the Bailey Allen Hall and Orbsen Building. Visitors took a tour of the new Engineering Building, Zoology and Marine Biology Museums, while 20 fun shows for families took place in the IT Building, Aula Maxima and the Arts and Science Concourse building at NUI Galway. Up to 20 Primary and Secondary Schools exhibited stands covering Life Science, Technology and Physics and Chemistry themes with prizes being presented to the overall winners from Milltown N.S, Galway Educate Together N.S. and Inis Meain N.S. for most creative exhibits in each category. Brendan Smith, Community Education and Outreach Officer for the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway, was presented with the Science Person of the Year Award at the Festival Exhibition on Sunday for his outstanding contribution in the field of Science & Technology. Festival Sponsors provided jaw-dropping, high-tech exhibits for young people to interact with including Medtronic, Galway Enterprise Board, NUI Galway, GMIT, Cisco, Boston Scientific, Avaya, SAP, Covidien, Hewlett Packard, Creganna, The Marine Institute and Galway County Council. Medtronic’s exhibit focused on Innovation, with engineers demonstrating how to get from Idea to Product and all the steps in between. They also showcased products for the treatment of Coronary Artery Disease and Hypertension, and provided a fun Games Corner where children were invited to test their manual dexterity with lots of helpful people from Medtronic on hand to guide them through it. John McNamara, Director of Research & Development at Medtronic commented, “Medtronic became the main sponsor of the Galway Science and Technology Festival over ten years ago.  Since then, we are delighted to have experienced the journey that has seen the event evolve and flourish into one of the highlights in the calendars of the educational and science communities.  This year’s theme is “Everyday Experimenting” and experimentation is something that makes Science and Technology so fascinating. Engaging the younger generation throughout this festival about the wonders and possibilities of Science and Technology will help ensure we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland’s future success as a nation. I have no doubt today’s Exhibition will generate lots of ideas and open minds to the many great possibilities and opportunities out there.” The Computer & Communications Museum of Ireland provided a fascinating insight into advances in communications and computing through the years. Hewlett Packard joined the Coderdojo Galway members in the Museum and demonstrated coding. Young people crowded around the Boston Scientific stand learning about the technology behind Angioplasty and Balloon Formation and tried their hand at the Guidewire Tracking Challenge for a chance to win an iPad Nano every hour. NUI Galway had a number of exhibits including a H-Racer and Solar Hydrogen Station. The H-Racer is the smallest and coolest hydrogen fuel cell car in the world. Visitors got to witness the power of new energy technology in the palm of their hand. The car does not need batteres and uses a real fuel cell and its own on-board hydrogen storage system. The Hydrogen station will provide the H-Racer with an unlimited supply of clean energy. To create free hydrogen fuel at the flick of a switch, water was added to the station’s tank while fuelling was animated by a special blue light display. GMIT displayed a number of interactive Science and Technology exhibit stands to mark their 40th Anniversary. Exhibit themes included How Engines Work where visitors saw how different engine types work with interactive models on display as well as touch screen animations. Energy Engineering demonstrated how energy management is a vital part of everyday life and how energy can be harnessed from the sea, the sun and the wind. Family fun shows were a huge hit that included Black John The Bogus Pirate, a cartoon workshop aimed at teaching children of all ages about marine environment while having fun. K’nex Roadshow, based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system, Mr Bug with Matt Lewis allowed children get up close to friendly tropical animals and Killaloe Exploration Dome, a mobile planetarium designed to explore science, astronomy, geology and geography in a fun and interactive way. True Physics Show was an interactive hands-on science show where students participated in launching rockets and flying helicopters and Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show consisted of wacky experiments like super foams, colour changes and disgusting slime. Galway Science and Technology Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland commented, “On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I would like to thank our main sponsor Medtronic and all of our partners who have contributed to the growth and development of this Festival into a very significant vehicle for the promotion of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects to our young people and help bring excitement and fun to Science and Technology for children and families across the city and county.”  To view photos and videos from the Exhibition visit www.galwayscience.ie ENDS

Monday, 1 October 2012

Major organisations from business and industry will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair on Monday, 8 October, from 12.30- 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. This free event will showcase graduate employment opportunities from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, consultancy, education, engineering, IT, law, science, retail and many other sectors represented throughout the day. Major Galway-based employers such as Avaya, Creganna, Lidl, Medtronic, Merit Medical, Smyths Toys will attend, in addition to international companies such as Abbott, Accenture, Analog Devices, PWC and Microsoft. Visitors to the event can spend the afternoon networking with Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters and avail of the opportunity to have their CV reviewed at the CV Clinic, which will run from 1.30-3.30pm. According to John Hannon, Head of the NUI Galway Career Development Centre: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status and many of Ireland’s major graduate recruiters are coming to the Jobs Fair hoping to find the next generation of leaders for their businesses. Over 90% of our most recent graduates went into work or further study last year and this Fair will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway for those interested in further study.” Event organiser, Josephine Walsh, advises those attending the Fair not to forget their main objective: “Securing your first graduate job is the main priority. Plan in advance. Know what employers are attending and the type of opportunities they have available. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so do not be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network. I would also recommend that attendees bring a CV, have it reviewed at the CV Clinic and get feedback on how to package and sell all their experiences to date.” Full details on the Graduate Jobs Fair and list of exhibitors are available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers. -ENDS-     Fostóirí Móra na Gaillimhe ag Aonach Post Chéimithe OÉ Gaillimh Beidh eagraíochtaí móra ón saol gnó agus ón tionscal i láthair ag Aonach Post Chéimithe OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh ar siúl i Halla Bailey Allen, Dé Luain, an 8 Deireadh Fómhair, ó 12.30 - 4pm. Léireoidh an ócáid saor in aisce seo na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ann do chéimithe ó gach disciplín, lena n-áirítear cuntasaíocht, comhairleoireacht, oideachas, innealtóireacht, IT, dlí, eolaíocht, miondíol agus go leor earnálacha eile. Beidh fostóirí móra na Gaillimhe ar nós Avaya, Creganna, Lidl, Medtronic, Merit Medical, Smyths Toys i láthair, chomh maith le cuideachtaí idirnáisiúnta ar nós Abbott, Accenture, Analog Devices, PWC agus Microsoft. Féadfaidh cuairteoirí chuig an ócáid an tráthnóna a chaitheamh i gcuideachta earcaitheoirí móra chéimithe na hÉireann agus an deis a thapú lena gcuid CVanna a scrúdú ag Clinic na CVanna, a bheidh ar siúl idir 1.30-3.30pm. Dar le John Hannon, Ceann Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha OÉ Gaillimh:  “Tá an-éileamh i gcónaí ar chéimithe OÉ Gaillimh, rud a léiríonn an stádas fostaíochta den scoth atá acu agus tá go leor d’earcaitheoirí móra chéimithe na hÉireann ag teacht chuig Aonach na bPost ag súil go n-aimseoidh siad ceannairí den chéad ghlúin eile dá gcuid gnóthaí. Chuaigh os cionn 90% dár gcéimithe anuraidh isteach san ionad oibre nó i staidéar breise agus is deis a bheidh san Aonach seo freisin le heolas a fháil ar chláir iarchéime OÉ Gaillimh don té ar mian leis tabhairt faoin staidéar breise.” Mhol eagraí na hócáide, Josephine Walsh, dóibh siúd a bheidh ag freastal ar an Aonach gan dearmad a dhéanamh ar a bpríomhchuspóir: “Is í an chloch is mó ar do phaidrín do chéad phost mar chéimí a bhaint amach. Bí réidh ina choinne. Bí ar an eolas faoi na fostóirí a bheidh i láthair agus na deiseanna atá ar tairiscint acu. Earcaíonn go leor fostóirí céimithe as gach disciplín acadúil anois mar sin ná cuireadh teideal na heagraíochta aon dul amú ort – d’fhéadfadh deis a bheith acu a d’fheilfeadh duitse. Tar chuig an imeacht le meon dearfach agus bí sásta meascadh le daoine éagsúla. Mholfainn do dhaoine CV a thabhairt leo chomh maith agus breathnófar air ag Clinic na CVanna agus tabharfar aiseolas duit faoin mbealach is fearr le gach taithí dá bhfuil agat go dtí seo a chur le chéile agus a dhíol.” Tá an t-eolas iomlán faoin Aonach Post do Chéimithe agus liosta de na taispeántóirí le fáil ar www.nuigalway.ie/careers. -CRÍOCH-      

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

For a second year in a row, the free day-long research festival, Sea2Sky, has been hailed as a huge success. Organised by NUI Galway last Friday (28 September), up to 10,000 visitors attended exhibitions in three different locations in Galway and in CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. Sea2Sky was part of European Researchers Night, which took place across 800 venues in 320 cities. Throughout Europe, the general public were encouraged to participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, to watch demonstrations and simulations, to exchange ideas and get to know researchers. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, officially opened Sea2Sky, saying: “I am delighted to be here at the Sea2Sky Researchers Night in Galway where scientists and researchers are opening up the world of science to the general public and to young people in particular. Europe needs to attract more young people into careers as researchers to stay ahead of the game in research and to tackle the biggest issues of our time, such as energy, climate change and our ageing population. Exciting events like this, which are bringing science to life right across Europe tonight, will certainly help to achieve this goal.” Sea2Sky was organised by NUI Galway, with huge support from partners the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria, and CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. Visitors to Sea2Sky had access to the ‘Accelerating Science’ exhibition in Leisureland and over 40 stands in the Galway Bay Hotel showcasing local research. The Galway Atlantaquaria was also open for free to the public. Local scuba divers gave an exhibition in the aquarium, the Marine Institute showcased their Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) and a Japanese oyster farmer made a special guest appearance as a tie in with the Galway Oyster Festival. Thousands visited the Promenade in Salthill and watched a parade with Galway Colour’s Street Theatre, while others viewed the night sky through telescopes from Galway Astronomy Club. “Sea2sky this year was an even bigger success than 2011 with astronomers, marine scientists and atmospheric physicists engaging with a wide cross section of the community from small children to the over eighties. One of the highlights was the Café Scientifique linking Galway, Cork and NASA astronaut Dan Tani in the US. Our Sea2sky event was even mentioned in the NASA broadcast showcasing the recent Curiosity Rover findings,” explained chief organiser, NUI Galway’s Dr Andrew Shearer, a lecturer in physics. -ends-