Tánaiste Announces Establishment of Five New Science Foundation Ireland 'Strateg

Tánaiste Announces Establishment of Five New Science Foundation Ireland 'Strateg-image

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Researchers to partner with 22 companies in a strategic €23.9 million collaborative investment Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D., has today (Wednesday, 25 February, 2009) announced the establishment of five new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs), representing a €23.9 million investment in ground-breaking, collaborative research activities involving seven academic institutions and 22 companies. A relatively new element in SFI's portfolio of supports, the SRC programme was first introduced in 2007 to link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies, and to grow partnerships with industry. Making the announcement, the Tánaiste said: "Science, while engaging and exciting, is also a fiercely competitive arena, and it is increasingly clear that a country's economic fortunes are significantly dependent on its ability to conduct research that translates into economically-beneficial outcomes. The Government's 'Building Ireland's Smart Economy' framework prioritises continued investment in science and engineering infrastructure to assist with the creation of a thriving enterprise sector, high-quality employment and first-class infrastructure. The 170 highly skilled personnel involved in these SRCs, together with the 22 partner companies are central to achieving this," the Tánaiste stressed. Also present at the announcement the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Dr Jimmy Devins T.D. said: "SRCs bring together academic and industrial expertise to create innovative research and entrepreneurial foresight that, in combination, will help to re-shape Ireland's economy, create employment opportunities, boost our reputation abroad and ultimately act as the engine that sustains all of these in the long-term". The Lead Principal Investigators of the five new SRCs are: 1. Professor Lokesh Joshi of NUI Galway - Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC) 2. Professor Pádraig Cunningham of UCD - Clique SRC 3. Dr William Donnelly of Waterford Institute of Technology - Federated, Autonomic Management of End-to-end Communication Services (FAME SRC) 4. Professor Miles Turner of DCU - Precision SRC 5. Professor Brett Paul, also from DCU - Irish Separation Science Cluster Welcoming the announcement, Director-General of SFI, Professor Frank Gannon said: "SFI believes in supporting only top-level relevant research - subsidising mediocre research activity will not produce the outputs required to enhance Ireland's scientific and innovation landscape and re-energise Ireland's economy. These new SRCs, have successfully come through a lengthy and thorough peer review. From 40 proposals, I am confident that SFI is supporting the very best teams of researchers and industry-based experts that will help to provide a range of strategic economic benefits to Ireland". Funding announced today was approved by the SFI Board following a rigorous, multi-faceted assessment process. This encompassed international scientific peer review, 23 reviews participated in the pre-proposal panel, 27 international experts participated in the postal review process and 27 international experts participated in the five on-site reviews. In addition, a 'Strategic Value to Ireland' assessment was performed by key Government agency stakeholders, including IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Department of Taoiseach, Forfás, the Higher Education Authority and the Health Research Board. Fógraíonn an Tánaiste Cúig 'Ghrúpa Taighde Straitéiseacha' Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann Taighdeoirí le hoibriú i gcomhar le 22 cuideachta mar chuid d'infheistíocht straitéiseach chomhoibríoch ar fiú €23.9 milliún í (View in English) D'fhógair an Tánaiste agus Aire Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta, Mary Coughlan T.D., inniu (Dé Céadaoin, 25 Feabhra 2009) go bhfuil cúig Ghrúpa Taighde Straitéiseacha bunaithe ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann. Is ionann na grúpaí taighde straitéiseacha seo agus infheistíocht ar fiú €23.9 milliún i ngníomhaíochtaí úrnua, comhoibríocha taighde a bhfuil 7 n-institiúid acadúla agus 22 cuideachta páirteach iontu. Gné réasúnta nua d'obair Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann é clár na nGrúpaí Taighde Straitéiseacha ar cuireadh tús leis in 2007. Tá sé mar aidhm leis an gclár seo eolaithe agus innealtóirí atá ag obair sa timpeallacht acadúil agus sa tionscal a thabhairt le chéile, le déileáil le príomhcheisteanna taighde, le cuideachtaí teicneolaíochta nua agus reatha Éireannacha a fhorbairt, agus le comhpháirtíochtaí a chruthú leis an tionscal. Ag fógairt an chláir di, dúirt an Tánaiste: "Cé gur ábhar iontach suimiúil agus spéisiúil í an eolaíocht, is réimse thar a bheith iomaíoch í freisin, agus tá sé ag éirí níos soiléire de réir a chéile go mbeidh rath geilleagrach na tíre ag brath go mór ar chumas na tíre taighde a dhéanamh a mbaineann torthaí a théann chun tairbhe an gheilleagair leis. Díríonn an foilseachán Rialtais 'Building Ireland's Smart Economy' ar infheistíocht leanúnach san eolaíocht agus san infreastruchtúr innealtóireachta ar mhaithe le hearnáil ghníomhach fiontair a chruthú, mar aon le fostaíocht ar ardchaighdeán agus infreastruchtúr ar ardchaighdeán. Beidh ról lárnach ag an 170 oibrí ardcháilithe atá páirteach sna Grúpaí Taighde Straitéiseacha seo, mar aon leis an 22 cuideachta comhpháirtíochta leis an aidhm seo a chur i gcrích." Bhí an tAire Eolaíochta, Teicneolaíochta agus Nuálaíochta, an Dr Jimmy Devins T.D. i láthair ag an ócáid freisin agus bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aige: "Éiríonn leis na Grúpaí Taighde Straitéiseacha seo saineolas acadúil agus tionsclaíoch a thabhairt le chéile ar mhaithe le taighde nuálaíoch agus forbairt fiontraíochta a chabhróidh le geilleagar na hÉireann a athchruthú, deiseanna fostaíochta a chruthú, cur lenár gcáil thar lear agus na nithe seo ar fad a chothú sna blianta amach romhainn". Is iad na Príomhthaighdeoirí atá páirteach sna cúig Ghrúpa Taighde Straitéiseacha nua: 1. An tOllamh Lokesh Joshi, OÉ Gaillimh – Grúpa Taighde um Ghlioceolaíocht Bia (AGRC) 2. An tOllamh Pádraig Cunningham, An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath – Grúpa Taighde Straitéiseach Clique 3. An Dr William Donnelly, Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Phort Láirge – Bainistíocht Chónasctha, Uathnómach Seirbhísí Cumarsáide Ceann go Ceann (Grúpa Taighde Straitéiseach FAME) 4. An tOllamh Miles Turner, Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath – Grúpa Taighde Straitéiseach Precision 5. An tOllamh Brett Paul, Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath – Grúpa Taighde Eolaíocht Deighilte Éireannach Ag caint dó faoin dea-scéala seo, dúirt an tOllamh Frank Gannon, Príomh-Stiúrthóir Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann, an méid seo a leanas: "Tá sé mar aidhm ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann tacú le taighde ábhartha ardleibhéil – ní chruthófar na torthaí inmhianaithe le timpeallacht eolaíochta agus nuálaíochta na hÉireann a fheabhsú agus geilleagar na hÉireann a thabhairt chun beochta arís trí mhaoiniú a chur ar fáil do ghníomhaíocht taighde lagmheasartha. Tá athbhreithniú piaraí déanta ar na Grúpaí Taighde Straitéiseacha seo. Ón 40 togra, táim muiníneach go bhfuil Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann ag tacú leis na taighdeoirí agus leis na saineolaithe tionscail is fearr a chabhróidh le raon tairbhí geilleagracha straitéiseacha a chruthú d'Éirinn". Cheadaigh Bord Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann an maoiniú a fógraíodh inniu i ndiaidh próisis mheasúnaithe a bhí dian agus ilghnéitheach. Áiríodh sa phróiseas athbhreithniú eolaíoch idirnáisiúnta piaraí, bhí 23 athbhreithniú páirteach sa phainéal réamhthogra, bhí 27 saineolaí idirnáisiúnta páirteach sa phróiseas athbhreithnithe poist agus bhí 27 saineolaí idirnáisiúnta páirteach i gcúig athbhreithniú ar an láthair. Chomh maith leis sin, rinne lucht leasa gníomhaireachtaí Rialtais, an IDA, Fiontraíocht Éireann, Roinn an Taoisigh, Forfás, an tÚdarás um Ard-Oideachas agus an Bord Taighde Sláinte measúnú air maidir leis an 'Luach Straitéiseach d'Éirinn'. -Críoch-

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New Sports Centre is Venue for Water Polo Intervarsities

New Sports Centre is Venue for Water Polo Intervarsities-image

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The first major competition to be held at NUI Galway's new 25 metre pool takes place this Friday and Saturday as the University hosts the Irish Water Polo Intervarsities. Some 100 athletes, representing up to ten third-level institutions from across the country, will participate. NUI Galway' Swimming and Water Polo Club have won the men's title four times and competition is expected to be fierce in what is known to be a great spectator sport. Water polo is the oldest Olympic team sport having been contested continuously at every modern Olympic Games since Paris 1900. An extremely demanding and physical sport, players may swim the equivalent of up to five kilometres in a singe game. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the bottom of the pool while the rest of the players risk a foul if they do so. Kathy Hynes, Development Officer for Clubs and Participation at NUI Galway, has noted the growing interest in pool sports: "At NUI Galway, swimming and water polo have always been very strong, with very dedicated and talented club members. With the opening of the Sports Centre there has been a surge of interest in all water sports. The new pool provides an ideal opportunity for all students and staff to learn the lifelong skill of swimming. We are proud to host other universities at our state-of-the-art facilities". The six-lane pool at NUI Galway is equipped with a moveable floor, which can be adjusted to provide a perfect setting for various pool sports including water polo, kayaking or sub-aqua training. According to Kathy Hynes, "This is an exciting time for all involved in aquatic sport at NUI Galway. A Swimming Gala, which will hopefully become an annual event in the University calendar, is currently being planned by the Swimming and Water Polo Club". The Intervarsities will begin on Friday afternoon, 27 February, with the finals scheduled for Saturday evening. Kathy Hynes added: "Onlookers will be guaranteed a memorable few hours, as the competitors this year are of a particularly high standard". For more information on the event, email swimming@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Report Finds Multi-disciplinary Education in Child Protection Issues Lacking Amo

Report Finds Multi-disciplinary Education in Child Protection Issues Lacking Amo-image

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

A research project conducted by NUI Galway, in conjunction with the HSE West, has revealed that many postgraduate students who will go on to be involved in child protection have very little knowledge of the processes to be adhered to when reporting and following up on child protection concerns. The project explored knowledge of the existing processes in child protection services in Ireland among postgraduate students from various disciplines including general and mental health nursing, teaching and social work. Focus group interviews with participants revealed major inconsistencies between the disciplines in relation to knowledge of child protection issues and their respective roles. The report has been published by the multi-disciplinary Child Protection Education Group West. According to Sinead Hahessy, Lecturer in Nursing at NUI Galway, and co-author of the report with fellow Nursing lecturer Marcella Kelly: "The report's findings raise concerns as to whether professionals understand the importance of the multi-disciplinary roles needed to enact effective child protection and welfare practices. In essence, this threatens what is advocated as international best practice". Other key conclusions to emerge from the study included: - Those agencies that have the most frequent professional contact with children, such as teachers, nurses, social workers etc. are often not aware of each others professional responsibilities. - Reporting concerns was deemed to be a convoluted process by postgraduate students. - There is considerable ambiguity surrounding the identification of a first point of contact for professionals, with evidence of ad hoc approaches to reporting among students. - Multi-disciplinary approaches to child protection is continuously being threatened in service provision across the disciplines. Sinead Hahessy added: "Child protection has to become a fundamental building block in training nurses, social workers and educators. The alarming theme emerging from this report is the fact that students are not being comprehensively trained in how to best deal with child protection issues in a multi-disciplinary manner. There needs to be consistency and inter-connections in training to deliver a truly multi-disciplinary skill set and mindset among students which will best serve society's needs. Multi-disciplinary education is the way forward." It is envisaged that the findings of this study will inform the development of an educational framework that will encapsulate the ethos of multi-disciplinary approaches to child protection. This is to ensure that those involved in professional contact with children can work effectively in the spirit of collaboration in providing protection for vulnerable children and their families. Funding is being sought to develop a specialist training module and it is envisaged that this could be done in an e-learning format to facilitate access and dissemination for all involved. E-learning offers a flexible mode of delivery for learners. It also has the potential to allow updating of material as legislation evolves in this area. Multi-media resources will be developed using the specialist facilities at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, NUI Galway. -ends-

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Minister Wallace Publishes Mental Health and Social Well-being of the Irish Popu

Minister Wallace Publishes Mental Health and Social Well-being of the Irish Popu-image

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Ms Mary Wallace, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Health Promotion and Food Safety, today (24th February, 2009) published the results from the Mental Health and Social Well-being Report of the National Health and Lifestyle Survey (SLÁN 2007). This report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children, is part of a series based on the main SLÁN 2007 survey which was carried out by a research consortium involving NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Economic and Social Research Institute, and University College Cork. Involving face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of 10,364 respondents, the study is the largest national survey to date on the extent of both positive and negative mental health and social well-being in the Irish adult population. "We are very pleased to launch this report, which provides important national level data to guide policy and service development in promoting mental health improvement at a population level. Promoting and protecting population mental health contributes to the functioning of individuals, communities and society and reduces the social and economic burden of mental disorders" said Minister Wallace. The research team from NUI Galway was led by Professor Margaret Barry, Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre, and included Mr Eric Van Lente and Dr Michal Molcho, also from the Health Promotion Research Centre. "This report provides the most comprehensive information to date on levels of positive mental health and mental health problems in the Irish adult population. The findings indicate that while the majority of people report reasonably high levels of positive mental health, respondents with low levels of education, low income, who are not in paid emploment and have lower levels of social support, all experience poorer mental health. The findings also indicate the importance of good mental health for our physical health and well-being and underscore the need to implement the recommendations of the national mental health policy Vision for Change", Professor Barry said on behalf of the team. The report is available on line at www.dohc.ie or www.slan07.ie ENDS

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Huston School Contributes to African Film Festival

Huston School Contributes to African Film Festival-image

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Rod Stoneman and James Finlan of NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media are in Western Africa for the continent's largest film festival, FESPACO. Held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the film festival first started 40 years ago and has evolved into an internationally renowned event. The team from NUI Galway will continue a long-standing collaboration with the Imagine Film School in Ouagadougou, by running a newsreel workshop for its students. The resulting newsreels will be shown on television and in cinemas throughout Ouagadougou as part of the festival, which runs from 28 February to 7 March. Founded by leading African film director Gaston Kabore in 2005, the Imagine Film School has set an example in stimulating creative filmmaking across the African continent. The Huston School previously collaborated with the Imagine Film School on a script workshop in 2005. All workshops at Imagine are supported by NUI Galway's Community Knowledge Initiative, which promotes the ethos of civic engagement among students, staff and the wider community. Commenting on the trip to Burkina Faso, James Finlan co-ordinator of the M.A. in Production and Direction says: "Our involvement with the Imagine Film School and FESPACO festival continues our association with the continent of Africa. Last year, two of our production/direction students travelled to Nigeria to shoot their award-winning film FGM – No Way Home, which looks at the controversial topic of female genital mutilation. A current Huston student on the Public Advocacy and Activism course, Stephen Stewart also recently picked up a Digital Media award for his film Appeal to the people of Africa". The Huston School of Film & Digital Media runs a number of M.A. courses including Production/Direction, Screenwriting, Film Studies, Arts Policy & Practice, Digital Media, and Public Advocacy & Activism. Further information is available from: www.filmschool.ie -ends-

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