Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the Best Medicine-image

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Galway hosts Ireland’s first Laughter Championship Ireland’s firstLaughter Championship will take place on Sunday, 5 May at 2pm in the Galway Harbour Hotel, Galway in aid ofJigsaw, Galway. Organised by NUI Galway student, Siobhan Kavanagh, the charity event coincides with next month’s Well Being in Ireland conference, where researchers from all over the world will gather in Galway to discuss the design of a national well-being index for Ireland. Laughter Championships are a new craze taking off worldwide re invented by Albert Nerenberg. Contestants are asked to demonstrate different types of laugher (e.g. a maniacal laugh or a diabolical laugh) and are then judged on their technique. The main aim is to improve the expression of positive human emotions. The growing popularity of Laugher Championships is partly due to the rise of Laughter Yoga, a modernised variant of Hasya Yoga. Laughter yoga is an aerobic exercise which involves breathing exercises, laughter exercises and guided meditation (yoga nidra), to provide participants with a safe space to laugh. Siobhan Kavanagh is a PhD student in Child and Youth Research in NUI Galway’s School of Psychology and a member of the Irish Laughter Yoga association. Her research with Dr Padraig MacNeela, Lecturer in the University’s School of Psychology, investigates the impact of Laughter Yoga on well-being. “Although laughter has been described as the best medicine, researchers are only starting to understand the positive effects it can have on the body and mind, or indeed on well-being. Research on laughter yoga has found many benefits, for example, increased levels of life satisfaction, positive emotion and decreased stress levels. However, to date there has only been a handful of different studies completed, and a lot of the 'evidence' for laughter yoga comes from humour based research. We need to be mindful when we are telling people about the positive effects of laughter yoga, that research is still in the early stages. However, ancedotally, laughter yoga participants report a range of benefits”, explains Siobhan. The event is free to attend with live entertainment, including laughter yoga demonstrations, face-painting, games and music and there is a €10 charge to enter the championship, with the chance of winning the title of Irish Laughter Champion. All proceeds will be donated to Jigsaw, a free and confidential support service for young people in Galway city and county. All competitors will be required to attend a workshop at 1pm in preparation for the laughter championships. For further information on competing, or to volunteer at the event email -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Host Conference on Future Role of EU Structural Funds

NUI Galway Host Conference on Future Role of EU Structural Funds-image

Thursday, 2 May 2013

A Major Test for the European Union – stop spending taxpayers’ money to Institutionalise EU citizens. There is a clamour around Europe to ensure that increasingly scarce European monies are not spent on institutionalising its citizens but are used instead to help States to promote a philosophy of living independently and being included in the community. To highlight the issue and press claims for a change in the Funds, a broad spectrum of European interest groups covering the disabled and the elderly, as well as national and international policy makers, will be brought together at a major conference organised by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway on Friday, 3 May. The issue is urgent as negotiations to agree new Regulations governing the EU Structural Funds are in their final stages. Advocates are not calling for more money – simply for an end to spending the available monies on institutions and a commitment of available resources to help the process of community living. The conference, ‘Community Living for All’ - A Conference on the Future Role of the European Union Structural Funds to Advance Community Living for Older People and People with Disabilities’, is organised in association with the Irish Presidency of the European Council with the support of European Foundation Centre (EFC), Belgium and Fundación ONCE, Spain.  Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “Ireland has taken initial positive steps in the right direction with the ‘Ending Congregated Settings’ report and the National Positive Ageing Strategy.  We have to make sure that our taxpayers’ money is not being used via the Structural Funds to achieve the opposite effect elsewhere in Europe.” Professor Quinn continued: “Both disabled and older citizens have a common cause here.  We owe it to our fellow disabled and older EU citizens across Europe to end bad practices and help generate real added-value put of diminishing EU funds.  It is very important that your voice is heard loud and clear.” The rejection of the conditionalities proposed by the European Commission for accessing and using the funds has particular legal implications as it probably exposes the EU to legal liability under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is the first UN human rights treaty to be ratified by the EU as such.  Professor Quinn added: “What are our citizens to think if the EU ratifies such a major international instrument and then keeps it at arms length where it matters most.  We certainly cannot preach to others if we fail to ensure basic respect for the convention in how major EU financial instruments are crafted. The conditions proposed by the Commission or something with the same effect have to be restored to the Regulations to keep faith with Europe’s 80 million persons with disabilities.”   The conference will be opened by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch T.D., who has responsibilities both for older people and people with disabilities, and one of the sessions will be chaired by Minister of State Brian Hayes T.D. The keynote address at the conference will be delivered by Professor Jerome Bickenbach on the unity of purpose between the disabled and older European citizens on community living and ageing in pace.  It will be addressed by the European Commission (DG Justice and DG Regio), the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, The EU Fundamental Rights Agency and high level representatives for European civil society (European Disability Forum) and Age Platform Europe. Jan Jarab, Regional Representative for Europe of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who will be a participant in the conference, said: “The Office of the High Commissioner is committed to the promotion of community living and inclusion in society for older persons as well as for children in need of alternative care and persons with disabilities.” Professor Quinn added: “We are proud of where Ireland has come from and its clear aspirations for the future. But the rights we take for granted should not be confined to us. Lets be both smart and ethical in how the EU spends our money. This conference will explore the need for these conditions and whether or how they can be achieved as the drafting of the new regulations reach a climax in early summer 2013.”  All are welcome and no prior knowledge of the Structural Funds is assumed or required. More information on the conference is available at and individuals can register at -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Student Selected for Washington Ireland Program 2013

NUI Galway Student Selected for Washington Ireland Program 2013-image

Friday, 3 May 2013

NUI Galway student, Maria Campbell has been handpicked as one of 30 students to represent Ireland and Northern Ireland in the USA this summer. A final year Legal Studies, Sociology and Politics student, Maria will complete an eight-week internship in Washington DC, following the footsteps of previous NUI Galway students who have interned in the offices of then US Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, former Presidential Candidate Senator McCain, at the Headquarters of the World Bank and at CNN. A native of Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Maria has been involved with Foróige, Ireland’s largest youth organisation, as a member, volunteer leader and recently co-founder and Auditor of Foróige’s first college society. During this time she has lead a team to win two national citizenship awards and was selected for the inaugural Albert Schweitzer leadership program. Maria recently completed an internship in the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre based in NUI Galway. Commenting on the announcement of the internship, Maria said: “I am both honored and excited to be given such a great opportunity.  I have already met some truly inspirational people and look forward to representing NUI Galway on the program.” Getting onto the Washington Ireland Program (WIP) is highly competitive with over 500 students from across, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain competing for a few coveted places. The WIP students are required to commit to a minimum of 30 hours of public service before their placement in Washington DC, and are encouraged to take on a new community service project. While in Washington DC the students will complete an extensive leadership curriculum with their peers – developing their leadership skills and learning from the leadership experiences of those in Global leadership positions. Students will also complete an individual internship. For more information visit -ENDS-

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Martin Reilly Lecture Series to Feature Harpist Kathleen Loughnane

Martin Reilly Lecture Series to Feature Harpist Kathleen Loughnane-image

Friday, 3 May 2013

Comhrá Ceoil and the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway, are delighted to announce details of the upcoming lecture in the annual Martin Reilly Lecture Series. The lecture will be given by harpist and Irish music Meteor Award (2010) nominee, Kathleen Loughnane, at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 14 May at the Galway City Library.  Kathleen will present her most recent research, ‘The music, life and times of the Harpers Connnellan (1642-1720)’ and will be joined by musical guests. A resident of Galway, Kathleen’s research has made a significant contribution to the recuperation of the music of Irish harp composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. She is highly regarded for her work in arranging traditional Irish dance tunes and airs for the harp. Kathleen co-founded the musical group Dordán in 1990, whose mix of Irish and Baroque music has received national and international acclaim. Dordán received the National Entertainment award for traditional music in 1993. Kathleen has four CDs and accompanying books to her credit, Affairs of the Harp, Harping On, Harp to Heart and her most recent The Harpers Connellan. This lecture series is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated East Galway uilleann piper and gives an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their work in a public forum. Admission is free and all are welcome. ENDS

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Scholarships Announced for Study on Gender, Globalisation and Human Rights

Scholarships Announced for Study on Gender, Globalisation and Human Rights -image

Friday, 3 May 2013

NUI Galway has announced that two scholarships of €2,000 will be available on a competitive basis to applicants of the 2013-2014 MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights at the Global Women’s Studies Centre. The MA offers a unique opportunity to combine advanced study of global issues and human rights, through a practice-oriented, gender lens.  Through the programme, students gain a thorough understanding of the complex terrain of globalization and related global issues and policy processes, spanning topics from extreme poverty, armed conflict and politicized religion to human trafficking, gender-based violence and global health challenges (e.g., HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, reproductive and sexual health).   Dr Niamh Reilly, School of Political Science and Sociology Co-director, Global Women's Studies at NUI Galway: “This MA offers a unique focus on gender, global issues and human rights and provides a dynamic mix of academic learning and professional placement.The MA also provides a solid grounding in international human rights practices with a focus on gender-aware and community-based approaches to human rights advocacy, implementation and monitoring. We are delighted to be offering two partial scholarships specifically for this programme and would encourage those interested to apply before the approaching deadline.” Modules are delivered by a lecturers and experts who combine extensive academic and practitioner experience in the areas covered by the course.  In addition to a range of core and optional academic modules, students have the opportunity to undertake a professional placement of 8-10 weeks and to complete a minor research thesis. As such, the programme offers students an exciting combination of engagement with academic debates and ideas, hands-on practical assignments and professional experience, as well as support in honing advanced research and writing skills.  Most recently, MA students have completed placements with: Amnesty International (Irish Section), Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Galway City Partnership (community development ), Gorta and Trócaire (international development organisations),  Irish Congress of Trade Unions,  National Women’s Council of Ireland, Pavee Point (Traveller and Roma rights) and Safe Ireland (domestic violence research and advocacy).  The MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights will be of interest to recent graduates, local or international, experienced development and/or human rights practitioners, or mature students who wish to pursue career paths related to gender, global issues, policy processes and human rights. The programme has a strong practitioner focus that prepares students for work in a range of policy and advocacy roles in non-governmental, media, local and national government, EU and UN agencies and/or to pursue further advanced academic research, including doctoral study. Extended deadline for partial scholarship applications is Friday, 17 May, 2013. For further information please see  ENDS

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu Event Cancelled

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Event Cancelled-image

Friday, 3 May 2013

Regretfully, an event due to take place in Ballina, Co. Mayo with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Saturday, 11 May has had to be cancelled. Archbishop Tutu (82) spent five days in hospital last week for treatment of a persistent infection and unfortunately it is not possible for him to make the journey to Ireland at this time. The Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town South Africa was to travel to Ballina, Co. Mayo - the home place of his fellow Elder and good friend Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland and UN Special Envoy to Africa's Great Lakes region) on Saturday, May 11 in order to endorse the proposed new Mary Robinson Centre, with the presentation of a Welcoming Stone at an ecumenical event in the local St Muredach’s Cathedral. The Mary Robinson Centre is being developed by a partnership including NUI Galway, Mayo County Council, Ballina Town Council, the local community and the Robinson / Bourke families together with Government support. The Centre will incorporate both a visitor centre and an academic research facility, supported by NUI Galway. The latter will be focused on scholarly research and education in the fields of human rights and women’s leadership.  Mary Robinson’s archive will be the centrepiece of the educational facility, with NUI Galway engaged in making available the archive to an international community of scholars.  The proposed development is intended to be opened to the public in 2015. Organisers of the event conveyed their very best wishes to Archbishop Tutu for a speedy recovery.   ENDS

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NUI Galway Researchers Publish New Book on Fungal Diagnostics

NUI Galway Researchers Publish New Book on Fungal Diagnostics-image

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Two NUI Galway researchers have published a new book on fungal diagnostics, detailing innovative methods for rapid, accurate detection of these potentially life threatening infections. Compiled andedited byNUI Galway’s Dr Louise O’Connor and Dr Barry Glynn, Fungal Diagnostics: Methods and Protocols also brings together contributions from experts in the field of fungal detection and identification. While focusing mainly in the clinical field, Fungal Diagnostics: Methods and Protocols also includes other areas where detection of fungi is important such as veterinary diagnostics, food and environmental testing. The format of the chapters is such that those in testing laboratories have step-by-step protocols with tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls. The idea behind the publication is to offer alternative innovative protocols to those in the field of diagnostic testing. From the common nail infection to life threatening bloodstream complications, fungi are a significant public health concern. The number of cases of infection, commonly seen in transplant recipients, AIDS and cancer patients has seen a significant increase over the last two decades. A worrying trend with fungal infections is the increase in resistance of these organisms to anti-fungal therapy. In an effort to limit the rise in resistance there has been a greater worldwide effort to improve the accuracy of diagnosis in order to ensure that appropriate therapy is administered at the earliest sign of infection, reducing the risk of resistant organisms emerging thus resulting in a better outcome for the patient. Dr Louise O’Connor, Co-Editor of Fungal Diagnostics: Methods and Protocols, said: “Traditional methods for fungal identification are time consuming meaning that the infection has progressed significantly before a definite identification has been achieved. The need for more rapid tests has led to significant advancements in the development of identification methods as well as subsequent treatment regimes.” Drs O’Connor and Glynn have worked with The Molecular Diagnostics Research Group at NUI Galway for over 10 years. The core activity of the group is the development and application of molecular diagnostic tests for bacteria and fungi. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway’s Adult and Continuing Education Information Evening

NUI Galway’s Adult and Continuing Education Information Evening-image

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

NUI Galway’s Adult and Continuing Education will host an Information Evening for adult learners on Tuesday, 14 May from 6-8pm in the Orbsen Building. Representation from over 30 part-time programmes will be showcased at the event across subject areas of: Arts and Social Sciences; Business; Community Education; Education and Training; Languages; Pre-University Courses; and Science and Technology programmes. The University’s Adult and Continuing Education courses suit students with a variety of learning and lifestyle needs. Courses are offered through classroom-based mode, online learning or through a blend of both, offering flexibility and support to prospective students. Nuala McGuinn, Director of Adult and Continuing Education at NUI Galway, said: “The flexibility offered by our part-time programmes whether classroom-based, online or blended-learning mode allow students to study while maintaining or seeking employment, and also enables them to meet their personal and family commitments.” One of the newer blended learning programmes on offer this year is the Diploma in International Business and Financial Markets. This programme aims to develop students’ knowledge and skills in doing business globally, and preparing students for work as business leaders in national and international markets. Students will also gain language skills in a choice of European languages, Chinese or Russian as part of this exciting programme. Interest in programmes in the Science and Technology area including specialisms in Medical Device Science, Environmental Sustainability and Lean and Quality Systems has grown over the past number of years as a direct result of industry requiring increased skills in these areas.  Study options are available at diploma, degree and individual module level. For students who wish to pursue a shorter term award, diplomas are available in a selection of high-quality language courses for adult learners including Irish, French, Italian, Spanish and German. Students practice their chosen language through a variety of activities, such as guided speaking practice, listening comprehension activities, grammar and vocabulary exercises. Dr Máire-Áine Ní Mhainnín, Diploma in French Programme Director, said: “Our aim is for students to achieve their language learning goals from our wide range of courses available in a friendly, welcoming environment. In our language classes you will be involved in speaking and listening as means of learning the language you study.” Students can also choose to take individual modules from the suite of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit options. “This may be useful for learners who may not have the time to commit to a full programme of study or for students who already have attained a formal qualification and wish to take a standalone module for the purposes of retraining or up-skilling”, explains Nuala McGuinn. Modules are available in Innovation Management, Technology Management, Education and Training, and Software Engineering. Alternatively, the MSc Software Engineering & Database Technologies and Postgraduate Diploma in Software Engineering are delivered completely online over one or two years, offering flexibility for students. Some of the newer courses on offer this year include the Professional Diploma in Education (Further Education) which provides Further Education teachers with the professional knowledge and skills to carry out their teaching roles. Additionally, a Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Practice Based Play Therapy is available in conjunction with the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC), ideal for teachers and educators who wish to add therapeutic play skills to their existing teaching or psychology skills for working with children. Diplomas are also available in Gemmology, Psychology of Counselling, General Studies and many more. Diplomas are two-years in duration with classes taking place on campus or at outreach centres one evening per week. A full list of programmes on offer and application details are available at For additional information contact the Adult and Continuing Education Office at or 091 495241, or visit the Facebook page at -Ends-

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NUI Galway Named in Top 200 Worldwide

NUI Galway Named in Top 200 Worldwide -image

Thursday, 9 May 2013

            Academics and employers name the world’s top universities in 30 individual disciplines The new 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject, released today on has revealed that NUI Galway is one of the eight Irish institutions to have appeared on the list of the world’s top 200 universities in 30 individual disciplines including mathematics, economics, history, environmental sciences and 25 others. The subject area ranking is based on last year’s (2012) rankings data. NUI Galway features in the top 200 institutions in 5 of the 30 subjects featured in this year's QS World University Rankings by Subject: *   English Language & Literature (151 – 200) *   History (101 – 150) *   Computer Science & Info Systems (101 – 150) *   Pharmacy & Pharmacology (151 – 200) *   Law (151 – 200) Speaking of the announcement, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “This is very good news for NUI Galway as the QS World University Rankings by Subject series takes into the account the opinion of academics and employers via a global survey confirming that our position globally is on the rise. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field and this international recognition of the quality of our research and teaching from academic and employer opinions around the world are very significant.” Now in its 3rd year, The QS World University Rankings by Subject series is the only international evaluation that allows prospective students to compare universities in their particular area of interest. Ben Sowter, head of research at QS says, “As many governments around the world move towards the ‘student pays’ model on higher education funding, employability is increasingly crucial to graduates. QS is the only ranking organisation that takes into account the opinion of employers” He continues, “Although only eight of Ireland’s institutions have ranked in the top 200, we found that 23 Irish institutions in total have been cited by academics in at least one subject, which suggests that the international reputation of the country’s institutions among academics is strong.” The new QS World University Rankings by Subject is published at a time where the impact of rankings is discussed in a report by the European Universities Association<>, which maintains that: “Comparisons between universities on a subject basis can be much more useful for them than global university league tables that try to encapsulate entire institutions in a single score.” The 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject evaluated 2,858 universities and ranked 678 institutions in total. The full methodology with an overview of the performance of all the Irish institutions considered is published on alongside the 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject tables for accounting and finance; chemistry; history; English language; sociology; electrical engineering; chemical engineering; politics, biological sciences; modern languages; psychology, and more. Ends __________________                               OÉ Gaillimh i measc an 200 Ollscoil is fearr ar domhan                          Ainmníonn acadóirí agus fostóirí na hollscoileanna is fearr i 30 disciplín ar leith Foilsíodh Ranguithe nua Ollscoile QS an Domhain de réir Ábhair 2013 inniu ar agus tá OÉ Gaillimh ar cheann de na hocht n-institiúid Éireannacha atá ar an liosta den 200 ollscoil is fearr sa domhan i 30 disciplín ar leith lena n-áirítear matamaitic, eacnamaíoch, stair, eolaíochtaí comhshaoil agus 25 disciplín eile. Tá an rangú ábhair bunaithe ar shonraí rangaithe na bliana seo caite (2012). Tá OÉ Gaillimh luaite i measc an 200 institiúid is fearr i gcúig cinn de na tríocha ábhar i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain de réir Ábhair: *   Béarla agus Litríocht (151 - 200) *   Stair (101 - 150) *   Eolaíocht Ríomhaireachta agus Córais Faisnéise (101 - 150) *   Cógaslann agus Cógaseolaíocht (151 - 200) *   Dlí (151 - 200) Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is iontach an scéal é seo do OÉ Gaillimh mar go gcuimsíonn sraith Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain de réir Ábhair tuairimí acadóirí agus fostóirí trí shuirbhé domhanda, rud a dhearbhaíonn go bhfuil ár seasamh domhanda ag dul i dtreise. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta agus tá an t-aitheantas idirnáisiúnta seo ar ár gcaighdeán taighde agus teagaisc bunaithe ar thuairimí acadóirí agus fostóirí ar fud an domhain, thar a bheith suntasach.” Is í seo an tríú bliain a bhfuil Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain de réir Ábhair foilsithe agus is é seo an t-aon mheasúnú idirnáisiúnta a thugann deis do mhic léinn ollscoileanna a chur i gcomparáid lena chéile i réimse spéise ar leith. Deir Ben Sowter, ceann an taighde ag QS, “De réir mar a bhogann rialtais go leor ar fud an domhain i dtreo an mhúnla maoinithe ardoideachais ina n-íocann an mac léinn féin, tá tábhacht níos mó ná riamh le hinfhostaitheacht do chéimithe. Is é QS an t-aon eagraíocht rangaithe a chuireann tuairimí fostóirí san áireamh.” Deir sé freisin, “Cé nach bhfuil ach ocht n-institiúid Éireannacha luaite i measc an 200 ollscoil is fearr, chonaiceamar go raibh 23 institiúid Éireannach san iomlán luaite ag lucht acadúil in ábhar amháin ar a laghad, rud a léiríonn go bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta institiúidí na tíre go láidir i measc an lucht acadúil.” Foilsítear Ranguithe nua Ollscoile QS an Domhain de réir Ábhair ag am ina bpléitear an tionchar a bhaineann le rangú i dtuarascáil de chuid Chumann na nOllscoileanna Eorpacha<>, a áitíonn:  “go mbíonn sé i bhfad níos úsáidí comparáidí a dhéanamh idir ollscoileanna bunaithe ar ábhair le hais táblaí sraithe domhanda ollscoile a dhéanann iarracht institiúidí iomlána a mharcáil in aon scór amháin.” Rinne Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain de réir Ábhair 2013 measúnú ar 2,858 ollscoil agus rinne sé 678 san iomlán a rangú. Is féidir teacht ar an modheolaíocht iomlán chomh maith le léargas ar fheidhmíocht na nInstitiúidí Éireannacha ar fad a measadh ar chomh maith le táblaí Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain de réir Ábhair do na hábhair seo a leanas - cuntasaíocht agus airgeadas; ceimic; stair; Béarla; socheolaíocht; innealtóireacht leictreach; innealtóireacht cheimiceach; polaitíocht; bitheolaíochtaí; nuatheangacha; síceolaíocht, agus tuilleadh nach hiad. Críoch

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Study Underway to Measure the Impact of the App Economy

Study Underway to Measure the Impact of the App Economy-image

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Workshop Brings Together Stakeholders to Drive Future Business Growth With almost a million apps now available worldwide, a new project has begun to measure the app economy in Europe and help guide stakeholders towards success. The ‘Eurapp’ project was launched by the European Commission, and is being run by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway in conjunction with leading technology industry analyst firm GigaOM Research. The project kicks off with a working workshop in Brussels on 14 June, “Shape the Future App Economy of Europe”, featuring leaders from the app industry. Eurapp is part of the Startup Europe initiative of the European Commission’s Digital Agenda, which aims to help technology entrepreneurs start, maintain and grow their businesses in Europe. The project will carry out interviews and surveys with various players in the app economy to determine its characteristics. It will also use a series of workshops and innovation challenges to crowdsource proposals for how growth can be stimulated in the future. The workshop will bring together stakeholders and experts to brainstorm how the ecosystem of developers, platform providers, regulators and other participants in the European app economy can grow in the future. It will also consider how companies can succeed in the app ‘aftermarket’. “Recent studies on the app economy in the US estimate that it was responsible for the creation of nearly 500,000 jobs. In Europe, we don’t have the same kind of data just yet, but the region is a strong player in the global app economy, with companies like Rovio, SoundCloud and SwiftKey leading the way,” said NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, who is leading the Eurapp project at DERI. The Shape the Future workshop in June will have invited speakers from the apps industry, including Samsung, SwiftKey and Betapond. The format will be a series of lightning talks featuring experts in the space, followed by mapping sessions to probe attendees’ collective thinking and examine some of the issues to be tackled in growing the app economy in Europe. “Some of the key talking points will include identifying the bottlenecks which are experienced by app developers - environmental, technical, or financial - so that the EU could develop policies to overcome or mitigate them. We also want to map out the best measures of success for an app company, such that they can be guided towards successful business outcomes.” After the workshop, solutions to address bottlenecks and to suggest potential success strategies will be crowdsourced in two innovation challenges via the Innocentive platform. Attendees at the event include: Peter Elger, CTO of Betapond; Kumardev Chatterjee, founder of the European Young Innovators Forum; David Card, Vice President of GigaOM Research; Kevin Mobbs, Director of Innovation Programs EMEA at Innocentive; and Eurapp project lead John Breslin, who is also co-founder of and the app company StreamGlider. According to Breslin, “The aim of this effort is to not just review the size of the app economy in Europe, but also to guide future app companies to success as per the aims of the Digital Agenda for Europe’s Startup Europe initiative.” The workshop will be held in BU33, Auderghem in Brussels on 14 June 2013. There are very limited places available for the workshop, but those interested can apply to attend at -- ENDS --

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