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Researchers based in NUI Galway have recently been awarded a highly prestigious research funding from the Irish Research Council through the Enterprise Partnership Scheme. In partnership with SmartBay Ireland, an investment of €96,000 has been made which will bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Discipline of Information Technology, NUI Galway and the Department of Chemical Sciences in Dublin City University to develop a number of research streams that utilise the National Marine Test and Demonstration Facility, managed by SmartBay Ireland.
The Primary Investigators from NUI Galway are Dr Enda Howley and Dr Jim Duggan, while Professor Fiona Regan is leading the researchers from DCU. John Breslin and Regina McNulty will lead the research team on behalf of SmartBay Ireland.
NUI Galway researchers will begin development on accurate data visualisations of Galway Bay marine environment that can leverage the existing SmartBay infrastructure and accurate weather data. The outcomes of this research will be of pivotal use to key stakeholders such as members of the public, emergency response agencies, city and marine professionals.
At the announcement of the funding Dr Enda Howley commented: “The project is a great vote of confidence by the IRC in the researchers involved in this area. This major investment shows the capacity of NUI Galway to partner on interdisciplinary research projects that have huge potential to impact on people’s daily lives. This particular research project based in NUI Galway aims to develop technologies that can assist all those who are potentially impacted by the marine conditions surrounding our cities. The chilling impact of this could be seen earlier this year in Galway City where extensive damage was inflicted by flood waters at Leisureland in Salthill and businesses at the Spanish Arch. Any technology that can assist us in better understanding the potential impact of coastal marine events can have a major long-term impact.”
John Breslin from SmartBay Ireland said: “We were delighted to secure four enterprise-academia research partnerships through the Irish Research Council's, Enterprise Partnership Scheme. SmartBay Ireland will support the successful students in a wide variety of research areas, such as: data visualisation from our sub-sea cabled observatory; flood management analytics; the development of materials to mitigate the effects of marine growth and the detection of harmful algae blooms. All projects will utilise the National Marine Test and Demonstration Facility managed by SmartBay Ireland in Galway Bay. The SmartBay team will provide data and technical support to ensure the success of these applied projects.”
The announcement was made in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland last month by Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock TD and Dr Eucharia Meehan. Awards to the sum of €5.7m were made by the IRC through the Enterprise Partnership Scheme.