Member of Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to Speak on Climate Change at NUI Galway

Member of Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to Speak on Climate Change at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Professor Daniel Schrag, Director of Harvard Centre for the Environment and member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, will participate in a public talk at NUI Galway on Thursday, 14 February. ‘How Can we Change Attitudes to Climate Change?’ will feature Professor Daniel Schrag in conversation with Dr Henrike Rau, a lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, and leader of the Ryan Institute’s Socio-Economics and Policy priority research area. The event is part of the Climate Gathering, which will see over 50 participants from more than 10 countries gather in The Burren to discuss climate change. The Ryan Institute at NUI Galway is hosting the Galway event, and the Institute’s Director, Professor Colin Brown, commented: “The evidence for climate disruption from human activities is clear, and so are the broad strategies for dealing with it. What we urgently need are detailed policies that significantly change behaviour at every level of society.” The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway has over 300 researchers making it Ireland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century. Climate Gathering participants are coming from a variety of different backgrounds ranging from science, politics, culture and business. Conversations will be held over three days in the Burren College of Art, in an informal and non-binding context. Innovative facilitation techniques will be employed to access the collective insight and wisdom within the diverse group. The intention is to distil this into the beginning of new narratives to catalyse profound change in the way we approach and address the challenges associated with climate change. Talks get underway in Ballyvaughan, County Clare on Friday, 15 February. -ends-

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NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week

NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week-image

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

NUI Galway is calling all wanna-be-engineers to participate in a week of events and activities from 25 February to 3 March as part of National Engineers Week. Engineers Week will provide an opportunity for members of the public of all ages to meet practicing engineers and IT specialists who are creatively using imagination and creativity to envisage the future. As part of the line-up NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics and Ryan Institute will host Bringing Dreams to Life, a free family-event for all ages where visitors will be able to take part in hands-on experiments, workshops, and demonstrations. There will be puppets and a lego-build area especially for the young visitors and a display of antique engineering equipment to make the grown-ups feel at home. Highlights of the event will include a K’Nex Bridge Building Contest, an Eco-House Design Challenge, a Renewable Energy Demonstration Station, Water Treatment experiments, Robotics and much more. Speaking about Engineers Week, Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Engineering is an exciting profession. Everything around you has been engineered in some way, yet you may not see the engineers behind the scenes. Engineers take maths and science from the lab to invent, design, and build things that matter. By dreaming up creative and practical solutions, engineers are changing the world all the time. We encourage you to come and explore engineering through cool, fun and exciting demonstrations, meet with practicing engineers and IT specialists, learn about robotics, mobile phone apps, sports engineering, building design, renewable energies, medical implants and much more.” Transition Year students will be able to participate in a dedicated ‘Youth Enterprise Ideation Camp’. During this two-day camp, students will focus on solving real world challenges using technology. At the end of the camp teams will present their ideas to a professional jury and winners will go forward to a national competition at Intel, Leixlip in April 2013. Other activities include an interactive engineering show for primary school pupils, ‘Airmazing’, a second-level students event which will re-imagine the works of pioneering Irish Structural Engineer Peter Rice, and an event that will include the local Coderdojo Club. Additional NUI Galway events being hosted during National Engineers Week includes a public talk on Cyberbulling by Brendan Smith of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway. Brendan will give an overview of the modern phenomena of Cyberbulling from mobile phone texting to online social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and Ask.fm. This presentation will give a brief history of the development of communication technologies, the laws governing harassment by electronic devices and guidelines on Internet Safety. ‘Energising Ireland: What’s the Best Option’ will be the topic for discussion at the 3rd annual Energy Night which also takes place during National Engineers Week. Experts in the field of Nuclear Energy, Renewable Energy and fossil fuels will discuss the best solution to the Irish Energy Crisis. All of these events are free of charge but booking is essential as spaces are limited. For further information, or to book a place contact Ena Brophy, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway at 091 492664 or email ena.brophy@nuigalway.ie. For more information on all the events taking place during Engineers Week visit www.nuigalway.ie/engineers-week or www.engineersweek.ie. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Letterkenny

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Letterkenny-image

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Letterkenny on Thursday, 21 February. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. 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 including 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 Donegal, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Letterkenny 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 Letterkenny, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 244 0858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

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‘To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?’

‘To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?’-image

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Dr Maurice Hayes for Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway The 2013 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture, entitled “To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?” will be delivered by former public servant (north and south) and former Senator and political analyst Maurice Hayes. The event will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on Monday, 25 February at 8.00pm and booking is essential. A native of County Down, Maurice Hayes is a graduate in Literature and in Law of Queen’s University Belfast.  He has spent most of his life working in the public service in Northern Ireland, variously as Town Clerk; as Head of Human Resources, Northern Ireland Civil Service; Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Social Services; and Northern Ireland Ombudsman. He was first Chairman of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission and a member of the Human Rights Commission. He has acted as Electoral Boundary Commissioner, as Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Constitutional Convention, and chaired a review of acute hospital services in Northern Ireland. He served for ten years as a member of Seanad Éireann, and chaired the National Forum on Europe. A Member of the Royal Irish Academy, he holds honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland, TCD, QUB, and the University of Ulster. He was a member of the Patten Commission and authored the report which led to the establishment of the Office of Police Ombudsman.  He has also advised and produced reports on management issues in An Garda Síochána, Tallaght Hospital and RTÉ.  He chairs the Irish Language Broadcast Fund (NI). He has published three books of memoirs Sweet Killough let go your anchor, Black Puddings with slimand Minority Verdict as well as numerous articles and papers on conflict resolution and other aspects of social policy. He is a regular political columnist and book reviewer in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph. He is married with five children. In his younger days he was an interprovincial hurler. For several years he was  secretary of the County Down board of the GAA and set out a ten year plan that saw Down win the All-Ireland football trophy for the first time in 1960 and go on to win the title a further four times. According to NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne: “The Monsignor Pádraig De Brún lecture honours a former University President who was a renowned polymath with keen interest in the arts, the sciences and the culture of his day.  This year’s De Brún memorial lecture is both timely and relevant.  It will be of great interest to all those interested in the future of the Irish public service at a time of great turmoil in the public sector.  We are delighted to welcome the very distinguished public servant, Maurice Hayes to give this year’s Dr Brún lecture and I look forward to his insights into this important matter of public discourse.  Speaking in advance of the lecture, Dr Maurice Hayes said: “The first and main challenge for the public service is to regain public respect, to recover the public trust which has been lost, and to restore the parallel loss of morale which has been shattered by mindless criticism on the one hand and blind self-interest on the other.  The next is to re-structure and re-equip to meet the needs of a changing society, and then to find the people who can deliver on both objectives at a price the nation can afford.” The public lecture takes place at 8pm on Monday, 25 February and while admission is free registration is required via www.conference.ie -ends-

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Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway

Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 14 February 2013

NUI Galway recently conferred the second cohort of graduates from its Youth Academy. At the special ceremony held at the University, 133 primary school children from across Galway City and County were presented with certificates, with more than 800 attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 200 children have graduated from a range of Saturday morning courses that the Youth Academy established in Italian Language and Culture, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, Irish History, Science Exploration, English and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is committed to sharing knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and support of the parents gathered, for encouraging a culture of learning and knowledge among some of the youngest members of the community, who will go onto to fuel the knowledge economy.” The Youth Academy was founded by three NUI Galway colleagues, Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, and Lorraine Mc Ilrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, and is supported by NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin. The Irish Centre for Talented Youth, based at Dublin City University, has supported and guided the activity. On behalf of the founding members, Dr Heary said: “Encouraging and nurturing children’s strengths and interests from an early age is vital, and the University, in partnership with schools and communities can play an enormous role in this process.” It is anticipated that another round of courses will be offered to fourth and fifth class children in Galway City and County in the spring of 2013. For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

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Rocket Engineers to Develop New Materials to Improve Space Launchers

Rocket Engineers to Develop New Materials to Improve Space Launchers-image

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

European Space Agency and Irish Research Council Sponsor NUI Galway Research Rocket engineers at NUI Galway are developing new materials which will reduce the cost of launching rockets into space. The European Space Agency (ESA) is cooperating with the Irish Research Council and Irish and European companies to fund the research project. Two PhD students in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway will research innovative methods of using thermoplastic composite materials to reduce the weight of fuel tanks for space launchers.  David Grogan, from Renmore in Galway, and Brendan Murray from Annaglough, Co. Cavan, will work with NUI Galway’s Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh and Professor Seán Leen. Dr Christopher Semprimoschnig of the European Space Agency (ESA) has said that the Agency was delighted to support the work of the NUI Galway researchers: “It costs up to €30,000 to launch 1kg of payload into space. If ESA can reduce the weight of our liquid hydrogen/oxygen fuel tanks on launchers such as Ariane 5 and future launchers, by substituting lightweight composites for metals, this will reduce the cost of telecommunications, internet and satellite television and even help enable manned-missions to Mars and further parts of the Universe.” David Grogan’s PhD topic is “Finite Element Prediction of Microcracking in Thermoplastic Composite Cyrogenic Fuel Tanks”, and Brendan Murray’s research is on the “Development of Cost-Effective Rotationally-Moulded Polymer Liners for Composite Fuel Tanks.” The students’ PhD work is jointly sponsored for three years by ESA through its Network Partnering Initiative, and by the Irish Research Council through its EMBARK postgraduate Scholarships. David and Brendan’s work is also supported by ÉireComposites Teo. in Indreabhán, Co. Galway, and Astrium Space Transportation in Bordeaux, France, as well as the Irish Centre for Composites Research at the University of Limerick. -ends-

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Law Reform Commission to Hold Public Consultation in Galway on Programme of Law Reform

Law Reform Commission to Hold Public Consultation in Galway on Programme of Law Reform -image

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Law Reform Commission will hold a public consultation on its Fourth Programme of Law Reform in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 27 February. The event will be chaired by the Commission President, Mr Justice John Quirke, and there will be two contributions from invited speakers: Judge Tom O'Donnell of the Circuit Court and Damien McCallig, an Irish Research Council-funded PhD candidate in the School of Law, NUI Galway. The purpose of the evening is to hear the views of members of the public on what should be contained in the Fourth Programme of Law Reform. Members of the Law Reform Commission, including Tom O'Malley and Donncha O'Connell from the School of Law, NUIG, will be in attendance in a listening capacity. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. The Law Reform Commission is a statutory body, established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975, with a mandate to keep the law under review, to undertake examinations and conduct research with a view to reforming the law, and to formulate proposals for law reform. Having completed the majority of the projects set out in its Third Programme of Law Reform, the Law Reform Commission is now in the process of preparing a new Programme of Law Reform which will form the principal basis of the Commission’s work over the coming years, subject to approval by the Government. Further information is available on our website www.lawreform.ie and any enquiries may be sent to fourthprogramme@lawreform.ie

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Biomnis Ireland and Full Health Medical to roll out Full Health innovation offering to Irish businesses

Biomnis Ireland and Full Health Medical to roll out Full Health innovation offering to Irish businesses-image

Friday, 22 February 2013

“Full Health puts employees in the driving seat on preventative health”  – Taoiseach A major personal health initiative which promises to revolutionise the way medical test results are reported, was unveiled by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. in Dublin yesterday.  The new initiative, ‘Full Health’, which is being introduced into Biomnis Ireland’s workplace health screening programme, has the potential to significantly enhance preventative health planning for employees. Developed by a team of doctors at Full Health Medical, a company based in the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre, ‘Full Health’ converts medical test results into a personalised report, outlining what the medical test results mean in a simple and easy-to-understand way.  The report, which combines medical, family history and lifestyle information with the test results, provides the individual with a personalised set of recommendations and preventative health measures. The ‘Full Health’ technology is now being introduced by Biomnis Ireland – the leading provider of medical laboratory testing services – as part of its workplace health screening programme, HealthWatch, which will benefit both employees and their employers. HealthWatch is Ireland's largest independent provider of workplace health and lifestyle screening programmes. Speaking at the launch event at the Biomnis Ireland Laboratories in Sandyford, Mr Kenny described Full Health as an empowering solution which puts employees firmly in control of their own personal health.  “As Ireland moves towards economic recovery, we need to secure the health and wellbeing of our workforce. Companies are increasingly aware that employee health can have a significant impact on the bottom line. This is a wonderful example of an innovative start-up company, Full Health, responding to a market opportunity and then commercialising its offering in conjunction with Biomnis Ireland. It is especially gratifying to see this level of collaboration happening in an Irish business setting and I wish the venture every success.” Full Health Medical is a Galway–based company that has developed new health technology which decodes complex medical data and creates simple medical reports that can empower people to improve their health. Dr Ann Shortt of Full Health Medical predicted Full Health would be a valuable tool in detecting and offsetting chronic illnesses and disease in the workplace. “The cost of just one chronic illness can be huge to a national economy, for example, type 2 diabetes which affects 5% of the Irish population.  Extrapolating from UK figures, type 2 diabetes leads to  approximately 515,000 absentee days per year in Ireland, costing €72.5 million while diabetes presenteeism (productivity loss among people still in work but suffering from this disease) costs a further €247 million.1 When the largest cost to business is wages and salaries, it makes sound business sense to invest in understanding employee health. Full Health can really help employers in a practical and meaningful way to anticipate and mitigate against future financial loss.” John O’Sullivan, CEO Biomnis Ireland said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Full Health on this partnership which we see as a unique medical reporting solution, which will form a key part of our growing HealthWatch brand. The HealthWatch screening service delivers health checks to approximately 10,000 employees every year. The Full Health initiative will provide employees with the important information in an easy-to-understand format as well as recommendations on how to stay healthy.  We also see it as having a wider application across the Biomnis group for our laboratory testing service as a premium content offering for clinicians and their patients.” Fiona Neary of NUI Galway’s Technology Transfer Office and Business Innovation Centre, said: “The NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre is buzzing with so much technology expertise, and Full Health Medical Ltd being no exception. We are here to support pioneering and ground-breaking companies that offer business solutions through the use of technology as can be demonstrated by the launch of ‘Full Health’, a preventative health innovation developed by our client company Full Health Medical Ltd. NUI Galway is a great place to do business, because of the workspace suitability for start-ups, the technical infrastructure, the atmosphere of innovation, as well as having research and industry located together is definitely a winning combination.” ENDS

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NUI Galway Secures Significant Funding in Government’s €300 million Investment in World-Class Research Centres

NUI Galway Secures Significant Funding in Government’s €300 million Investment in World-Class Research Centres -image

Monday, 25 February 2013

      Largest ever state/industry co-funded research investment in Ireland       €200m of new Exchequer funds for 7 World Class Research Centres over 6 years      €100m co-investment by over 150 industry partners      NUI Galway represented in 3 of the 7 Centres      Supports key growth areas targeted in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013     Targets research into major social challenges, including Health and Energy     Directly supporting 800 top-class researcher positions NUI Galway features prominently in Government plans for science and technology research over the next six years, as part of a €300 million investment announcement today. The University will participate in three of the seven new Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres as announced by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard BrutonTD and Sean Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation, in Dublin today. In a landmark investment by the Government in scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals, €200 million of Irish exchequer funding will be invested in seven world class research centres of scale. The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over €100 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners, making it the largest ever combined state/industry co-funding announcement of its kind in the research field in Ireland. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review. Big Data and Analytics - INSIGHT NUI Galway’s web science research centre, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), along with colleagues from the discipline of IT, will play a leading role in a new ‘big data’ and analytics centre, INSIGHT. For the last decade DERI has been at the vanguard of web science research and now has 140 researchers based in NUI Galway. With the explosion of internet based information, ‘Big Data’ represents a sector that is currently growing at up to 40% per annum. With 32 industry partners, including CISCO, Avaya and HP in Galway,INSIGHT will lead the development of breakthrough data analytics technologies to make Ireland a global leader in this rapidly expanding area. The goal of INSIGHT is explained by Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI: “In our digital age, the amount of data is growing exponentially. We want to harness that information and make it work for individuals, for business and for society. With significant support from SFI we are taking our research to the next phase, which is world-class and will have world-wide influence. This will have huge impact on the ICT sector in Ireland, in terms of supporting existing industry, attracting foreign direct investment and propelling Ireland onto the world stage in this area.” Marine Renewable Energy - MaREI Another new initiative, the Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), will carry out world-leading research on all aspects required for the success of the marine renewable energy sector while also educating and training the next generation of engineers and scientists for the marine renewable energy industry. Ireland is one of the best locations in the world in terms of marine renewable energy resources. This centre will look to generate energy technologies for industry from wave, tidal and floating wind devices. NUI Galway’s Professor Michael Hartnett, who will be Deputy Director of MaREI, along with Dr Conchur O'Bradaigh will lead teams of researchers investigating tidal energy and the development of novel materials for use in the marine renewable energy industry.   Synthesis and solid State Pharmaceutical Technologies Cluster (SSPC) NUI Galway will also be part of Synthesis and solid State Pharmaceutical TechnologiesCluster along with its Alliance Partner, the University of Limerick. Speaking about the selection of the seven world-class centres, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said: “These seven funded research centres were selected from 35 proposals following a highly competitive and rigorous international peer review process. This 20% success rate is comparable to international funding success rates.  Each centre proposal was examined for scientific excellence through international scientific review by eminent scientists from the world’s leading universities and for potential economic impact through an international impact review by distinguished industrial R&D leaders, high technology investors, translational institute directors and tech transfer directors from world leading universities.  Over 100 esteemed international reviewers have joined with Industry and agency experts to ensure that the centres supported have excellent science with the potential to deliver societal and economic impact. ” At today’s announcement in Dublin, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is a leading international, research-intensive university, ranked amongst the top 250 universities in the world. The level of investment announced today by SFI in NUI Galway is very significant.  It is an endorsement not only of our research excellence, but also of our collaboration with academic partners and industry. “We have an ambitious research agenda, which is having a direct effect on job creation, through industry partnerships, spin-outs and innovation. Today’s investment is a welcome validation of our research agenda, past and future.” Commenting on the benefits for job-creation, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research.” “The €300million investment announced today, and the seven new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This will support more than 800 talented scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help to create the jobs we need.” The new centres will link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, and foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies. The aim is also to attract industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy, and expand educational and career opportunities in Ireland in science and engineering. “We are pushing the frontiers of science and discovery at NUI Galway. Whether it’s securing Ireland’s energy independence through marine renewables or revolutionising the World Wide Web, our research shapes and influences all of our futures. Our research, carried out in conjunction with collaborators and our industry partners, also has huge potential in terms of job creation and growth”, said Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway. -ENDS-   Faigheann OÉ Gaillimh Maoiniú Suntasach  in Infheistíócht €300 milliún ón Rialtais in Ionaid Thaighde den Chéad Scoth    ·         An infheistíocht taighde is mó riamh in Éirinn atá cómhaoinithe ag stát/tionsclaíocht ·         €200m maoiniú nua ón Státchiste d’Ionaid Taighde den Chéad Scoth thar thréimhse 6 bliana ·         €100m comhaoinithe ag breis is 150 comhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta ·         Ionadaíocht ag OÉ Gaillimh i dtrí cinn de na seacht nIonad Taighde ·         Tacaíocht á tabhairt do phríomhréimsí fáis atá mar spriocanna i bPlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist 2013 ·         Dírithe ar thaighde ar mhórdhúshláin shóisialta, Sláinte agus Fuinneamh san áireamh ·         Tacaíocht á tabhairt go díreach do 800 post den chéad scoth do thaighdeoirí Tá páirt suntasach ag OÉ Gaillimh i bpleananna an Rialtais don taighde eolaíochta agus teicneolaíochta as seo go ceann sé bliana, mar chuid de mhaoiniú €300 milliún don taighde a fógraíodh inniu. Glacfaidh an Ollscoil páirt i dtrí cinn de na seacht nIonad Taighde nua de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann mar a d’fhógair an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta,  Risteárd  De Briotún TD agus Seán Sherlock, TD, An tAire Taighde agus Nuála,  i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu. De bharr infheistíocht shuntasach an Rialtais i dtaighde eolaíoch a bhfuil dlúthbhaint aige le riachtanais tionsclaíochta agus fiontraíochta, deiseanna oibre agus spriocanna sochaíocha, déanfar €200 milliún maoiniú ó státchiste na hÉireann a infheistiú i seacht n-ionad taighde scála den scoth. Déanfar an maoiniú nua a sheachadadh trí Chlár Ionad Taighde Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI), mar aon le breis is €100 milliún in airgead tirim nó mar ranníocaíochtaí comhchineálacha ó chomhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta, rud a dhéanann é seo ar an infheistíocht taighde is mó atá comhaoinithe ag stát/tionsclaíochta a fógraíodh riamh sa réimse taighde in Éirinn. Cuirfear an maoiniú ar fáil as seo go ceann sé bliana agus déanfar athbhreithniú meántéarma air. Olltiomsú Sonraí agus Anailísíocht - INSIGHT Beidh ról ceannasach ag ionad taighde eolaíochta gréasáin OÉ Gaillimh, an Institiúid um Thaighde ar an bhFiontraíocht Dhigiteach (DERI), mar aon le comhghleacaithe ó dhisciplín na Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise, in ionad nua ‘olltiomsaithe’ agus anailísíochta, INSIGHT. Le deich mbliana anuas tá DERI ar thús cadhnaíochta i dtaighde eolaíochta gréasáin agus anois tá 140 taighdeoir dá chuid lonnaithe in OÉ Gaillimh. Leis an bhfás ollmhór atá tagtha ar fhaisnéis bunaithe ar an idirlíon, seasann ‘Olltiomsú Sonraí’ d’earnáil a bhfuil fás de suas go 40% in aghaidh na bliana ag teacht uirthi. Le 32 comhpháirtí tionsclaíochta, lena n-áirítear CASCO, Avaya agus HP i nGaillimh, beidh INSIGHT i gceannas ar fhorbairt teicneolaíochtaí ceannródaíocha anailísíochta sonraí chun Éire a chur chun tosaigh ar domhan sa réimse seo atá ag teacht chun cinn go sciobtha. Tá  míniú tugtha ag an Ollamh Stefan Decker, Stiúrthóir  DERI, ar chuspóir an ionaid taighde, INSIGHT: “San aois dhigiteach atá againn anois, tá fás easpónantúil ag teacht ar líon sonraí. Teastaíonn uainn leas a bhaint as an bhfaisnéis sin agus agus úsáid a bhaint aisti ar mhaithe le daoine aonair, le gnó agus leis an tsochaí. Agus tacaíocht shuntasach á fáil againn ó SFI táimid ag tabhairt ár gcuid taighde go dtí an chéad chéim eile, taighde den chéad scoth agus a mbeidh tionchar aige ar fud an domhain. Beidh tionchar an-mhór aige seo ar earnáil na Teicneolaíochta Eolais agus Cumarsáide in Éirinn,ó thaobh tacú leis an tionsclaíocht atá ann cheana féin, infheistíocht dhíreach a mhealladh ó thíortha thar lear agus Éire a chur ar stáitse an domhain sa réimse seo.” Fuinneamh Mara In-athnuaite - MaREI Beidh taighde den scoth ar siúl freisin ag tionscnamh nua eile, Fuinneamh Mara In-athnuaite na hÉireann (MaREI), ar na gnéithe uile atá de dhíth chun go n-éireoidh le hearnáil an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite agus ag an am céanna oideachas á thabhairt don chéad ghlúin eile innealtóirí agus eolaithe do thionsclaíocht an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite agus oiliúint á cur orthu. Tá Éire ar cheann de na háiteanna is fearr ar domhan ó thaobh acmhainní fuinnimh mara in-athnuaite. Cinnteoidh an t-ionad seo chuige go nginfear teicneolaiochtaí fuinnimh don tionsclaíocht ó ghléasanna toinne, taoide agus gaoithe. Beidh an  tOllamh Michael Hartnett ó OÉ Gaillimh, a bheidh ina Leas-Stiúrthóir ar MaREI, mar aon leis an Dr Conchur O’Bradaigh, i gceannas ar fhoirne taighdeoirí a bheidh ag déanamh imscrúdú ar fhuinneamh taoide agus ar fhorbairt ábhar núíosach lena n-úsáid i dtionsclaíocht an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite.     Braisle na Cógaisíochta Staide Soladaí (SSPC) Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ina chuid de Bhraisle na Cógaisíochta Staide Soladaí (SSPC) freisin, mar aon lena Comhpháirtí Comhghuaillíochta, Ollscoil Luimnigh. Ag labhairt faoi roghnú na seacht n-ionad den chéad scoth, dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir SFI: “Roghnaíodh na seacht n-ionad taighde maoinithe ó 35 togra tar éis próiseas athbhreithnithe piaraí idirnáisiúnta a raibh iomaíocht ghéar agus doichte ag baint leis. Tá an ráta ratha 20% seo inchomparáide leis na rátaí ratha a bhaineann le maoiniú idirnáisiúnta.  Rinneadh cíoradh ar gach togra le haghaidh ionaid chun a fháil amach an raibh feabhas eolaíochta i gceist leis trí athbhreithniú idirnáisiúnta eolaíoch a rinne eolaithe oirirce ó na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan agus chun a fháil amach an raibh tionchar ionchasach eacnamaíoch i gceist leis trí athbhreithniú idirnáisiúnta tionchair a rinne ceannairí céimiúla tionsclaíocha T&F, infheisteoirí ardteicneolaíochta, stiúrthóirí institiúidí aistritheacha agus stiúrthóirí ar aistriú teicneolaíochta ó na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan.  Bhí níos mó ná 100 athbhreithneoirí idirnáisiúnta measúla ag obair le saineolaithe tionsclaíochta agus gníomhaireachta le cinntiú go bhfuil eolaíocht den scoth ag na hionaid a dtugtar tacaíocht dóibh agus an acmhainneacht iontu tionchar sochaíoch agus eacnamaíoch a imirt.” Ag an bhfógairt i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is Ollscoil dlúth-thaighde idirnáisiúnta,ar thús cadhnaíochta í OÉ Gaillimh, agus áit bainte amach aici i measc an 250 ollscoil is fearr sa domhan. Tá leibhéal na hinfheistíochta in OÉ Gaillimh a d’fhógair SFI inniu fíorshuntasach.  Is formheas é ní hamháin ar fheabhas ár gcuid taighde, ach ar an gcomhoibriú atá á dhéanamh againn freisin le comhpháirtithe acadúla agus le tionsclaíocht. Tá clár uaillmhianach taighde againn, a bhfuil iarmhairt díreach aige ar chruthú post, trí  chomhpháirtíochtaí, mac-chuideachtaí agus nuálaíocht tionsclaíochta. Déanann infheistíocht an lae inniu bailmheas a gcuirimid fáilte roimhe ar ár gclár taighde, san am atá thart agus sa todhchaí.” Ag labhairt faoi na tairbhí atá ann do chruthú post, dúirt an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Risteárd De Briotún TD: “Is príomhchuid de Phlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist an Rialtais cur leis na móréachtaí i dtaighde eolaíoch atá déanta againn le deich mbliana anuas agus poist mhaithe a dhéanamh as smaointe maithe eile. Mar thoradh ar fhógairt an lae inniu, bunófar in Éirinn ionaid bharr feabhais taighde agus scála den chéad scoth a athróidh go suntasach an taighde eolaíoch in Éirinn as seo amach.” “Tá an infheistíocht €300 milliún a fógraíodh inniu, agus na seacht n-ionad nua mórscála taighde  den chéad scoth a gheobhaidh tacaíocht ón infheistíocht sin, dírithe ar athrú suntasach a bhaint amach i gclú agus i bhfeidhmíocht an chórais taighde in Éirinn. Déanfaidh sé seo tacaíocht a thabhairt do bhreis is 800 eolaí tallannach, taighde ceannródaíoch agus teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt, comhpháirtíochtaí dinimiciúla le tionsclaíocht a mhealladh agus ar deireadh thiar thall cabhrú leis na poist atá uainn a chruthú.” Déanfaidh na hionaid nua eolaithe agus innealtóirí a nascadh i gcomhpháirtíochtaí sa saol acadúil agus sa saol tionsclaíochta chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar cheisteanna fíorthábhachtacha taighde, agus chun forbairt cuideachtaí teicneolaíochta atá bunaithe in Éirinn, idir chuideachtaí nua agus chuideachtaí atá ann cheana féin, a chothú. Is í an aidhm freisin tionsclaíocht a mhealladh a d’fhéadfadh cúnamh tábhachtach a thabhairt d’Éirinn agus do gheilleagar na hÉireann, agus níos mó deiseanna oideachais agus gairme san eolaíocht agus san innealtóireacht a chur ar fáil in Éirinn. “Tá teorainneacha na heolaíochta agus na fionnachtana á leathnú againn in OÉ Gaillimh. Cibé acu an bhfuil neamhspleáchas fuinnimh na hÉireann á bhaint amach trí athnuaiteáin mhara nó tríd an Gréasán Domhanda a athrú ó bhonn, déanann ár dtaighde ár saol sa todhchaí a mhúnlú agus imríonn sé tionchar air.  Tá acmhainneacht mhór chun poist a chruthú agus ardacmhainneacht fáis inár gcuid taighde, a dhéantar i gcomhar lenár gcomhoibrithe agus lenár bpáirtithe tionsclaíochta”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lokesh Joshi, Leas-Uachtarán don Taighde in OÉ Gaillimh. -CRÍOCH-     

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Secures Significant Funding in Government’s €300 million Investment in World-Class Research Centres

Banbridge Academy Win Debating Science Issues Competition

Banbridge Academy Win Debating Science Issues Competition-image

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Secondary schools students from across Ireland participated in the sixth All-Ireland Final of the Debating Science Issues (DSI) competition on Friday, 22 February, in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin. After closely contested debates, Banbridge Academy, Co. Down came out victorious to become the 2013 Debating Science Issues winners, with Pobal Scoil Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal awarded second place. Other finalists included Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Co. Cork and St. Andrew’s College, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. DSI is a dynamic debating competition inviting young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Open to students in the senior cycle of secondary school, the competition provides a great opportunity for students to expand their communication and scientific skills. Funded by Discover Science and Engineering, Abbott Ireland, Boston Scientific and Pfizer, this All-Ireland project is coordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in conjunction with eight science research and discovery centres throughout Ireland - Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, UCC; Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU; CRANN in Trinity College Dublin; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), W5 in Belfast, Clarity at UCD, Cork Institute of Technology and the Centre for Cross Border Studies. Danielle Nicholson, DSI Coordinator and Outreach Officer with REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: “DSI provides young people with an insight into science as an institution and the processes by which scientific knowledge is produced.  Incorporating the values and limits in science as well as its tactics for decision-making, DSI employs a discussion-based teaching model. The pre-competition workshops involve both science and non-science students. It is important that students do not judge their understanding of scientific knowledge to be insufficient to allow them to engage with socio-scientific issues of concern.  Argumentation is one of the cornerstones of the scientific process.  DSI increases student engagement with science content and promotes reasoning and justification skills that help prepare an informed citizenry.” Judges for the DSI Final included: Terry McWade, Deputy CEO of RCSI; Louise Mylotte, Lecturer at St. Angela’s College, Sligo; Katharine Jensen, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Abbott Ireland; Oonagh Ward, Programme Manager at Health Research Board; Eimear Holohan and Dara Dunican, both Scientific Programme Managers at Science Foundation Ireland; Maria Daly, Science Calling; Joan Flanagan, Education Liaison at European Commission Representation in Ireland; and Hannah McGee, Dean of Faculty of Medicine RCSI. Full information on the DSI competition is available at www.debatingscienceissues.com. -ENDS-

>> Read full story about Banbridge Academy Win Debating Science Issues Competition

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