NUI Galway centre-stage in €245 million investment announcement by Minister Bruton and Minister English

NUI Galway centre-stage in €245 million investment announcement  by Minister Bruton and Minister English-image

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

• NUI Galway to lead new national medical device research centre • NUI Galway to play key role in 3 of 5 new centres • €155 million of new Exchequer funds for 5 world-class Research Centres • €90 million co-investment by over 165 industry partners in new Centres A new world-class medical device research centre is to be established at NUI Galway as part of a €245 million Government investment in science and technology. In addition, NUI Galway is to play a key role in two other research centres announced today in Dublin by Richard Bruton, T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Damien English, T.D. Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation. An announcement of a total of five new SFI Research Centres today is a major investment by the Government in scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals. A total of €155 million of Irish exchequer funding will be invested in the new world class research centres of scale. The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over €90 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review. CÚRAM - The Centre for Research in Medical Devices This major new national research centre will be based at NUI Galway. The prime objective for CÚRAM will be to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs. NUI Galway’s Professor Abhay Pandit, who is currently Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), will be the Director of CÚRAM. Three high-profile Co-Directors will bring a depth and breadth of expertise to the new research centre: Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research and Stokes Professor of Glycosciences and Director of AGRC at NUI Galway; Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway; and Professor David Brayden, Professor of Drug Delivery at UCD. CÚRAM will design and create implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. Implants will be designed and manufactured to respond to the body’s environment and to deliver therapeutic agents, such as drugs, exactly where needed. Cutting-edge science will develop devices using the very latest research from biomaterials, stem cells and drug delivery. Devices will be developed with strong clinical collaborations and with industry partners and hospital groups to enable rapid translation to the clinic. CÚRAM’s outputs will benefit in particular patients with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and musculoskeletal diseases. As the global population ages, with one in 3 people expected to be over 65 by 2050, the financial burden for healthcare is expected to rocket. CÚRAM will position Ireland as the driver in developing medical device technologies which will provide affordable transformative solutions for chronic diseases to meet this challenge. Crucially, CÚRAM will also sustain and permanently strengthen Ireland’s standing as a major global hub for medical device sector research and development. CÚRAM brings together researchers from NUI Galway, UCD, DCU, UL, UCC and RCSI. The centre will include almost 40 industry partners and support product development and the creation of new spin-out companies. Partners will include indigenous Irish companies and multi-nationals such as Arch Therapeutics Inc, Aerogen, Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd. iCrag - Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences NUI Galway also forms part of the new Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG). This centre is focused on unlocking Ireland’s natural resources and providing solutions to resource security problems by securing supplies of energy, minerals and safe water. Part of this work will involve “de-risking” investment by exploration companies in Ireland by providing better descriptions and models of the geology to improve our understanding of the key processes influencing their formation. Additionally iCRAG will develop innovative techniques for predicting the location and nature of resources and link them to improved methods for optimising the production of resources throughout Ireland. iCRAG initial research is built around key sectors in the geosciences, notably Raw materials, Marine Geoscience, Groundwater and Hydrocarbons. Emphasis is also placed on increasing the public understanding of geoscience in Ireland and its role in the economy. NUI Galway researchers from the discipline of Earth and Ocean Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences will contribute to all aspects of iCRAG research. NUI Galway’s Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Peter Croot, is a co-PI in iCRAG and will lead research in Marine Geosciences in cooperation with colleagues from UCC, Maynooth, TCD, DIAS and the iCRAG host institute, UCD. Lero Software Research Centre NUI Galway is also a key part of the Lero Software Research Centre. Software is everywhere and key Irish industry sectors such as manufacturing, medical devices, financial services, cloud computing, analytics, and smart cities depend on it. LERO’s research mission is to replicate the success of traditional software engineering in the context of large-scale, pervasive, physically-integrated, highly interconnected, evolving, and continuously-available systems, in which the boundary between design-time and runtime is disappearing. NUI Galway’s Dr Kieran Conboy, Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy & Law at NUI Galway will lead a group of 14 new research staff to work on software project management and innovation. According to Dr Conboy, while the software industry is particularly strong in Ireland, accounting for €12bn in exports, there are significant challenges to overcome to ensure this sector can play a leading role in Ireland’s recovery. Together with industry the group at NUI Galway will develop, implement and evaluate world-leading software development and management practices in two core areas: • Evolving software: The ways in which software is created and managed are constantly changing. The Lero team at NUI Galway will lead research on contemporary methods for evolving software such as lean and agile approaches, project and portfolio management, decision making and lean analytics. • Open software: The development and management of software crosses teams, organisations and sectors. The team will lead research in open innovation, software ecosystems, crowdsourcing, cloud technologies and design thinking. Geophysics and particularly seismic data are typically very large and growing in size, driven by many factors including higher-resolution sensors, cheaper storage and global acquisition programmes. However much of the software used on a daily basis by engineers and scientists in the field was conceived and built before the era of “Big Data”. The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC), a technology centre at NUI Galway, and its industry partners will develop new methods to modernise our approach to handle large datasets in the oil and gas sector. Speaking about today’s announcement in Dublin, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “This is a wonderful endorsement of NUI Galway’s consistent approach to supporting selected priority areas of research, particularly in the area of biomedical science. CÚRAM will draw on the very significant pool of talented biomedical researchers on our campus, led by Professors Abhay Pandit, Tim O’Brien, Lokesh Joshi and their teams. CÚRAM holds enormous potential for the Irish economy and the Centre will work with industry partners to support innovation and development in the medical device sector – where Galway and Ireland already have a significant profile as an international hub for ‘medtech’. I am certain too that NUI Galway will make important contributions to the work of both iCrag Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences and Lero Software Centre, through the leadership of Professor Peter Croot and Dr Kieran Conboy. I congratulate my colleagues on securing this very significant research investment, as a result of which I look forward to the emergence of further dynamic and productive partnerships between NUI Galway researchers and industrial partners in the areas of biomedical science, geosciences and software engineering.” Speaking about the selection of the five world-class centres, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said, “These five new SFI Research Centres were selected following a highly competitive and rigorous international peer review process which screened for scientific excellence and assessed potential economic and societal impact. These five SFI Research Centres complement the seven we announced last year – which are already having a major positive impact: making important scientific advances, initiating and enhancing enterprise, training people with appropriate skills, winning EU projects and enhancing Ireland’s international reputation. These SFI Research Centres combine scientific research with deep and significant enterprise engagement, excellence and impact. We are confident that they will make a significant contribution to Ireland’s economy, employment and reputation.” Speaking at the announcement, 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 €245 million investment announced today, and the five 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 builds on the announcement of seven similar centres last year. With twelve world-class SFI Research Centres, Ireland is now well placed to take the lead developing cutting-edge research and new technologies, ultimately delivering more commercial ideas and jobs.” 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. -ENDS- OÉ Gaillimh i lár an aonaigh san infheistíocht €245 milliún a d'fhógair an tAire Bruton agus an tAire English • Beidh OÉ Gaillimh i gceannas ar ionad taighde náisiúnta nua d'fheistí leighis • Beidh príomhról ag OÉ Gaillimh i dtrí cinn de na cúig ionad nua • €155 milliún de chistí an Státchiste do chúig Ionad Taighde den scoth • Comhinfheistíocht €90 milliún ó bhreis is 165 comhpháirtí tionscail sna hIonaid nua Táthar le hionad taighde nua den scoth d'fheistí leighis a bhunú in OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid den infheistíocht €245 milliún ón Rialtas san eolaíocht agus sa teicneolaíocht. Chomh maith leis sin, beidh ról lárnach ag OÉ Gaillimh in dhá ionad taighde eile a d'fhógair Richard Bruton, T.D. an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta agus Damien English, T.D. an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu. Is infheistíocht ollmhór ón Rialtas sa taighde eolaíoch é an fógra a rinneadh inniu faoi na cúig Ionad Taighde SFI nua, agus tá sé ceangailte go dlúth le riachtanais tionscail agus fiontair, le deiseanna fostaíochta agus le spriocanna na sochaí. Déanfar €155 milliún de mhaoiniú Státchiste na hÉireann a infheistiú sna hionaid taighde nua den scoth. Tiocfaidh an maoiniú nua ó Chlár Ionad Taighde Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI) mar aon le breis is €90 milliún in airgead tirim agus i ranníocaíochtaí comhchineálacha ó chomhpháirtithe tionscail. Cuirfear an maoiniú ar fáil as seo go ceann sé bliana agus déanfar athbhreithniú meántéarma air. CÚRAM - An tIonad Taighde d'Fheistí Leighis Beidh an t-ionad taighde náisiúnta ollmhór nua seo lonnaithe in OÉ Gaillimh. Is é príomhchuspóir CÚRAM feabhas radacach a chur ar thorthaí sláinte d'othair trí fheistí leighis so-ionchlannaithe nuálacha a fhorbairt chun cóireáil a chur ar fáil do riachtanais leighis nach bhfuil freastal á ndéanamh orthu. Beidh an tOllamh Abhay Pandit as OÉ Gaillimh, atá ina Stiúrthóir faoi láthair ar an nGréasán Feabhais do Bhithábhair Fheidhmeacha (NFB), ina Stiúrthóir ar CÚRAM. Cuirfidh triúr Comh-Stiúrthóirí iomráiteacha saineolas domhain agus leathan ar fáil don ionad taighde nua: An tOllamh Lokesh Joshi, Leas-Uachtarán Taighde agus Ollamh Stokes le Gliceolaíocht agus Stiúrthóir AGRC in OÉ Gaillimh; an tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Stiúrthóir Institiúid an Leighis Athghiniúnaigh  (REMEDI) agus an tOllamh le Leigheas in OÉ Gaillimh; agus an tOllamh David Brayden, Ollamh le Seachadadh Drugaí in UCD. Déanfaidh CÚRAM feistí leighis 'cliste' so-ionchlannaithe a dhearadh agus a chruthú. Déanfar ionchlannáin a dhearadh agus a tháirgeadh le freastal ar thimpeallacht an choirp agus chun gníomhaithe teiripeacha, cosúil le drugaí, a sholáthar san áit ina bhfuil siad ag teastáil. Forbróidh eolaíocht cheannródaíoch feistí trí úsáid a bhaint as an taighde is déanaí ó bhithábhair, ó ghaschealla agus ó sheachadadh drugaí. Forbrófar feistí le comhpháirtíochtaí cliniciúla láidre agus le comhpháirtithe tionscail agus le grúpaí ospidéil chun aistriú tapa go dtí an clinic a chumasú. Bainfidh othair a bhfuil galair ainsealacha cosúil le galar croí, diaibéiteas agus galair mhatánchnámharlaigh ag gabháil dóibh buntáiste as obair CÚRAM. De réir mar a théann daonra an domhain in aois, agus duine as gach triúr le bheith os cionn 65 bliain d'aois faoi 2050, táthar ag tuar go dtiocfaidh ardú thar na bearta ar an gcostas a bhaineann le cúram sláinte. Le cabhair ó CÚ‏RAM beidh Éire ar thús cadhnaíochta i bhforbairt teicneolaíochtaí feistí leighis agus cuirfidh sí réitigh thrasfhoirmeacha ar phraghas réasúnta ar fáil do ghalair ainsealacha chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar an dúshlán seo. Cothóidh agus neartóidh CÚRAM seasamh na hÉireann mar mhol domhanda do thaighde agus d'fhorbairt in earnáil na bhfeistí leighis. Beidh taighdeoirí as OÉ Gaillimh, UCD, DCU, UCC agus RCSI ag obair in CÚRAM. Beidh beagnach 40 comhpháirtí tionscail bainteach leis an ionad áit a bhforbrófar táirgí agus a gcruthófar mac-chuideachtaí nua. Beidh cuideachtaí Éireannacha agus ilnáisiúnta cosúil le Arch Therapeutics Inc, Aerogen, Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd. mar chomhpháirtithe. iCrag - Ionad do Thaighde Geo-eolaíochtaí Feidhmeacha Tá baint ag OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith leis an Ionad nua Éireannach do Thaighde Geo-eolaíochtaí Feidhmeacha (iCRAG). Tá an t-ionad dírithe ar acmhainní nádúrtha na hÉireann a chur ar fáil agus réitigh a fháil d'fhadhbanna slándála acmhainní trí fhuinneamh, mianraí agus uisce sábháilte a sholáthar. Bainfidh cuid den obair seo le hinfheistíocht dé-rioscaithe ó chuideachtaí taiscéalaíochta in Éirinn trí thuairiscí agus trí mhúnlaí níos fearr den gheolaíocht a chur ar fáil chun ár dtuiscint ar na príomhphróisis a mbíonn tionchar acu ar a bhfoirmiú a fheabhsú. Chomh maith leis sin, forbróidh iCRAG teicnící nuálaíocha chun suíomh agus nádúr na n-acmhainní a dhéanamh amach agus iad a cheangal le modhanna feabhsaithe chun táirgeadh acmhainní a uasmhéadú ar fud na hÉireann. Tá buntaighde iCRAG bunaithe ar phríomhearnálacha sna geo-eolaíochtaí, go háirithe Amhábhair, Geo-eolaíocht Mhuirí, Screamhuisce agus Hidreacarbóin. Cuirtear béim chomh maith ar chur thuiscint an phobail ar an ngeo-eolaíocht in Éirinn agus ar a ról sa gheilleagar a fheabhsú. Oibreoidh taighdeoirí OÉ Gaillimh ó dhisciplín na nEolaíochtaí Domhain agus Aigéin i Scoil na nEolaíochtaí Nádúrtha ar gach gné de thaighde iCRAG. Tá an tOllamh de chuid OÉ Gaillimh le hEolaíochtaí Domhain agus Aigéin, Peter Croot, ina chomh-Phríomhthaighdeoir in iCRAG agus beidh sé i gceannas an taighde ar Gheo-eolaíochtaí Muirí i gcomhar le comhghleacaithe ó UCC, Má Nuad, TCD, DIAS agus óstinstitiúid iCRAG, UCD. Ionad Taighde Bogearraí Lero Tá páirt lárnach chomh maith ag OÉ Gaillimh in Ionad Taighde Bogearraí Lero. Tá bogearraí i ngach áit agus braitheann príomhearnálacha tionscail na hÉireann cosúil le déantúsaíocht, feistí leighis, seirbhísí airgeadais, néalríomhaireacht, anailísíocht agus cathracha cliste ar bhogearraí. Is é misean taighde LERO macasamhail den rath a bhain le hinnealtóireacht thraidisiúnta bogearraí a chruthú i gcomhthéacs córas atá mór, forleatach, comhtháite go fisiciúil, thar a bheith idirnasctha, athraitheach agus ar fáil go leanúnach, áit a bhfuil deireadh ag teacht leis an teorainn idir an t-am a thógann sé iad a dhearadh agus iad a rith. Is é an Dr Kieran Conboy, Déan Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí in OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh ag stiúradh an ghrúpa de 14 chomhalta foirne taighde nua a bheidh ag obair ar bhainistíocht tionscadal agus nuálaíocht bogearraí. Dar leis an Dr Conboy, cé go bhfuil tionscal na mbogearraí thar a bheith láidir in Éirinn, agus é freagrach as €12bn in easpórtálacha, tá dúshláin shuntasacha le sárú le cinntiú go mbeidh páirt lárnach ag an earnáil seo in athshlánú na hÉireann. In éineacht leis an tionscal, déanfaidh an grúpa in OÉ Gaillimh cleachtais forbartha agus bhainistíochta bogearraí a fhorbairt, a chur i bhfeidhm agus a mheas in dhá phríomhréimse: • Bogearraí athraitheacha: Tá athrú de shíor ag teacht ar na bealaí ina ndéantar bogearraí a chruthú agus a bhainistiú. Beidh foireann LERO in OÉ Gaillimh ag stiúradh an taighde ar mhodhanna comhaimseartha do bhogearraí athraitheacha cosúil le cur chuigí barainneacha agus solúbtha, bainistíocht tionscadal agus punainne, cinnteoireacht agus anailísíocht bharainneach. • Bogearraí oscailte: Baineann forbairt agus bainistíocht bogearraí le foirne, le heagraíochtaí agus le hearnálacha. Beidh an fhoireann i gceannas ar thaighde ar nuálaíocht oscailte, éiceachórais bhogearraí, sluafhoinsiú, teicneolaíochtaí néalríomhaireachta agus smaointeoireacht dheartha. Is iondúil go mbíonn sonraí geoifisice agus seismeacha, go háirithe, an-mhór agus ag méadú. Is iomaí fachtóir is cúis leis seo lena n-áirítear braiteoirí le taifeach níos airde, cláir stórála agus shealbhaithe dhomhanda níos saoire. Ach baineann an chuid is mó de na bogearraí a úsáideann innealtóirí agus eolaithe go laethúil leis an tréimhse roimh an “Olltiomsú Sonraí”. Forbróidh Ionad Ríomhaireachta Ardleibhéil na hÉireann (ICHEC), ionad teicneolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh, agus a chomhpháirtithe tionscail, modhanna nua chun beocht a thabhairt don chur chuige maidir le tacair shonraí mhóra in earnáil an ola agus an gháis a láimhseáil. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is iontach an léiriú é seo ar chur chuige leanúnach OÉ Gaillimh i leith tacú le réimsí tosaíochta roghnaithe taighde, go háirithe i réimse na heolaíochta bithleighis. Bainfidh CÚRAM úsáid as an ngrúpa suntasach taighdeoirí bithleighis den scoth ar ár gcampas, faoi stiúir na nOllúna Abhay Pandit, Tim O’Brien, Lokesh Joshi agus a bhfoirne. Tá poitéinseal ollmhór ag baint le CÚRAM do gheilleagar na hÉireann agus oibreoidh an t-ionad le comhpháirtithe tionscail chun tacú le nuálaíocht agus le forbairt in earnáil na bhfeistí leighis – earnáil ina bhfuil próifíl ard cheana féin ag Gaillimh agus ag Éirinn mar mhol idirnáisiúnta do chuideachtaí leighis-teicneolaíochta. Táim cinnte chomh maith go gcuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh go mór le hobair an Ionaid iCrag do Thaighde sna Geo-eolaíochtaí Feidhmeacha agus Ionad Bogearraí Lero, le cabhair ó cheannaireacht an Ollaimh Peter Croot agus an Dr Kieran Conboy. Tréaslaím le mo chomhghleacaithe as an infheistíocht taighde an-suntasach seo a bhaint amach, agus táim ag súil dá bharr go mbeidh tuilleadh comhpháirtíochtaí fiúntacha agus dinimiciúla idir taighdeoirí OÉ Gaillimh agus comhpháirtithe tionscail sna réimsí eolaíochta bithleighis, geo-eolaíochtaí agus innealtóireachta bogearraí.” Ag labhairt dó faoi roghnú na gcúig ionad den chéad scoth, dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir SFI agus Príomh-Chomhairleoir Eolaíoch le Rialtas na hÉireann: “Roghnaíodh na cúig Ionad nua Taighde SFI seo tar éis próiseas athbhreithnithe piaraí idirnáisiúnta thar a bheith iomaíoch agus dian. Rinne an próiseas scagadh ar shárchaighdeán eolaíoch agus rinne sé tionchar poitéinsiúil eacnamaíoch agus sochaíoch a mheas. Feidhmeoidh na cúig Ionad Taighde SFI seo leis na seacht gcinn a fógraíodh anuraidh – agus a bhfuil tionchar thar a bheith dearfach acu cheana féin: ag déanamh dul chun cinn tábhachtach ó thaobh na heolaíochta de, ag cur tús le fiontraíocht agus á feabhsú, ag cur oiliúint ar dhaoine le scileanna cuí, ag buachan thionscadail AE agus ag cur le cáil idirnáisiúnta na hÉireann. Nascann na hIonaid Taighde SFI seo taighde eolaíoch le rannpháirtíocht, le sárchaighdeán agus le tionchar fiontraíochta ar leibhéal domhain agus suntasach. Táimid muiníneach go gcuirfidh siad go suntasach le geilleagar, le fostaíocht agus le cáil na hÉireann.” Ag labhairt dó ag an bhfógra, dúirt an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Richard Bruton 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 chruthú as smaointe maithe eile. Mar thoradh ar fhógra an lae inniu, bunófar ionaid sárchaighdeáin taighde den chéad scoth in Éirinn a athróidh go suntasach an taighde eolaíoch in Éirinn as seo amach.” “Tá an infheistíocht €245 milliún a fógraíodh inniu, agus na cúig ionad nua mhórscála taighde den scoth a gheobhaidh tacaíocht ón infheistíocht sin, dírithe ar athrú suntasach a bhaint amach i gclú agus i bhfeidhmíocht an chórais taighde in Éirinn. Cheana féin anuraidh fógraíodh go raibh seacht n-ionad eile chun maoiniú a fháil. Agus dhá Ionad Taighde SFI déag den scoth in Éirinn, tá deis againn anois ceannas a thógáil ar thaighde ceannródaíoch agus teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt, a chuirfidh níos mó smaointe tráchtála agus post ar fáil.” 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. Tá sé mar aidhm freisin tionscal a mhealladh a d’fhéadfadh a bheith an-tairbheach 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.  

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NUI Galway Awards Business Certificate to 300 Junior Certificate Students

NUI Galway Awards Business Certificate to 300 Junior Certificate Students -image

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Students from across Connacht who received an A in Junior Certificate Honours Business Studies, were presented with Certificates of Achievement from the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway recently. The presentations, in association with the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI), were made at a special ceremony at the University which included teachers and parents. This is the fifth year NUI Galway has presented these awards and 300 students received recognition for their achievement at the ceremony. The certificates were awarded to students from over 55 individual schools throughout the counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Dr Kieran Conboy, Dean of the College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway, who presented the certificates to each individual winner, said “NUI Galway believes these awards are important to recognise the achievements of our potential future business leaders. I congratulate all the students on their success and also the work of teachers in helping students achieve their potential. I’m sure I will have the pleasure of meeting many of these students again in NUI Galway in the future on one of our business or commerce programmes.”  Jennie Harrington, President, BSTAI said “The BSTAI are delighted to continue its partnership with NUI Galway in hosting this ceremony which celebrates and recognises academic excellence in Business Studies at a young age.  I’m confident many of today’s award recipients will build successful careers in the business world.” -Ends-

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Research seminar to discuss the issue of diversity among Ireland’s teachers

Research seminar to discuss the issue of diversity among Ireland’s teachers-image

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Education experts will gather in the School of Education, NUI Galway on Friday to discuss the issue of diversity among Ireland’s teachers. While many schools now have student populations from many backgrounds and cultures, the teaching population remains predominantly female, and from the majority ethnic and upper socio-economic backgrounds. Initial findings from an NUI Galway research project on ‘Diversity in Initial Teacher Education’ (DITE) in Ireland will be presented at a seminar on Friday. The seminar, which is supported by the University’s Moore Institute, will feature two presentations. The Cultural Diversification of the Teaching Profession: How Effective is it? Professor Ninetta Santoro, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland. Diversity in Initial Teacher Education (DITE) in Ireland: A Rationale and Initial Analysis. Dr Elaine Keane, Dr Manuela Heinz, and Dr Conor Foley, School of Education, NUI Galway. Dr Elaine Keane is the recipient of an Irish Research Council Research Project Grant for the DITE project, and, along with Dr Heinz, is heading up the DITE research project in the School of Education at NUI Galway. According to Dr Keane: “While research and policy documents emphasise the necessity of diversifying the teaching population, we are lacking data adequately describing our national context in relation to diversity in initial teacher education. The gathering of comprehensive data on those applying to enter, and entering, initial teacher education is crucial in informing future directions in policy and research on teacher diversity in Ireland.” For more information visit -ends-

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Winner of the Inaugural Ryan Award for Innovation Announced

Winner of the Inaugural Ryan Award for Innovation Announced-image

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Last week saw the final challenge for the Inaugural Ryan Award for Innovation, support by the Tony Ryan Trust, as four finalists from NUI Galway presented their innovations from the Marine, Energy and Environment sector. The award, a €25,000 fund to advance the technology, will be presented to Dr Margaret Rae and her team in the University’s Ryan Institute, for their ground-breaking work on a new cancer treatment. This early stage ground breaking technology has the potential to and hopefully will save lives. The Award was established in 2013 to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and spin-outs from postgraduate research at NUI Galway in the areas of environment, marine and energy.  The annual competition, targeted at researchers and/or postgraduate students within the Ryan Institute, assesses business ideas arising from research. This award is to enable the winner to commercialise, or develop their idea through further research at home or abroad. The nature of the technologies from the four finalists included: A marine inspired cancer therapeutic presented by Dr Margaret Rae from the Ryan Institute. A multi-application improved sensing system in the monitoring of wastewater pollution presented by Peter Ó Conghaile of the School of Chemistry and Ryan Institute. A new customised, meteorological, forecasting technology with high-level accuracy opportunities presented by Enda O’Brien and Sufian Al Aswad from the Ireland High-Performance Computing Centre (ICHEC). A study involving the regenerative abilities of a marine invertebrate, with the hope of applying the knowledge to human research presented by Professor Uri Frank of REMEDI. The team of judges included Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President; Michael McNicholas from Ervia (formally Bord Gáis Eireann); Barry Egan, West Regional Director of Enterprise Ireland; and JP Prendergast of Biopharmed-West, an energy related start up. -Ends-

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Irish public places a high value on our rivers, lakes and seas

Irish public places a high value on our rivers, lakes and seas -image

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The high value placed on our rivers, lakes and seas by the Irish public has been shown in a new research report published by the EPA today. The research, which was undertaken by NUI Galway and Teagasc, illustrates the value placed by the public on our waterways and their associated features.  In the nationwide survey, respondents rated a number of water body features including the health of the aquatic ecosystems, water clarity and smell, access to recreational activities and the conditions of banks and shorelines.   The results demonstrated that respondents assigned the highest value to the aquatic feature of ‘water clarity and smell’ and the lowest values to ‘access to recreational activities’.  While over half of all respondents expressed positive willingness to pay, the research also found that 44% of respondents were unwilling to pay for improvements to Irish water bodies. The main reasons given for this were because they felt that they could not afford to pay or the government should be responsible for the costs of improvement. Dara Lynott, Deputy Director General of the EPA said, “The quality of our environment is critical to our wellbeing. This EPA funded research shows what value Irish citizens are willing to put on the environmental, health and recreational benefits associated with aquatic environments.   Dr Stephen Hynes, NUI Galway, explains, “Our research presents new information on what the benefit value is of achieving improved access and better environmental standards on Irish water bodies. Valuing the benefits derived from aquatic ecosystem services allows those managing water bodies (i.e. regional policy makers and related stakeholders) to make more informed decisions in relation to how water bodies might be sustainably developed and managed. Such estimates are also now a requirement for assessments under the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.” The key findings of the report are: The highest Marginal Willingness to Pay (MWTP) estimates were for a good status of water clarity and smell (€46.48 per respondent per year), which indicates that respondents place a high price on the aesthetic value of water bodies. The lowest MWTP estimate was for secondary access to recreational activity (€11.04 per respondent per year). ‘Cannot afford to pay’ was the main reason given by respondents who were unwilling to pay for improvements to Irish water bodies followed by ‘Government should be pay for improvements’. Findings from the survey showed that respondents’ concern for the water body attributes (health of ecosystems; water clarity and smell; access to recreational activities; condition of banks and shoreline) varied significantly according to the number of times they had visited the water bodies in the past 12 months. There is also evidence that individuals’ recreational use of rivers, lakes and seas differ substantially. The highest frequency of visits to any water body was for the purpose of walking, jogging or running along its boundary. Respondents also, on average, travelled the furthest distance to a water body in order to undertake this particular activity.  Respondents displayed mainly positive opinions on the environmental quality of Irish water bodies, but the extent of this positivity varied somewhat across water body type. The preferred payment vehicle identified by the survey was a once-off lump sum whilst the payment vehicle used in the choice experiment (an increase in personal income tax for 10 years) was only the second most popular payment type listed in the survey. ENDS

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NUI Galway Table Quiz in aid of Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians

NUI Galway Table Quiz in aid of Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians-image

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

On Wednesday, 29 October, a table quiz will be held and hosted by NUI Galway’s Centre of Adult Learning and Professional Development, in aid of the charity Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians. The quiz will take place in ‘The View’, Áras na Mac Léinn from 1-2pm. The funds raised will go directly to Caritas Gaza, which is a campaign to provide counselling support to up to 3000 Palestinian children who have lost close family members (parents and siblings) in the recent fighting.  Tables can consist of between 4-6 players and participants are invited to contribute €5.00 per person. A raffle will also be held offering a number of prizes, which have been generously sponsored by local businesses. Free teas, coffees and biscuits will be provided for all. Lisa Walshe, event organiser, Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, said: “Fundraising events like this are an opportunity for people to reach out to help the people of Gaza, to show support for a people under siege and to save lives. Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians needs the continued generosity of Irish people to continue their relief efforts on the ground in Gaza. We are delighted to assist them with their work in supporting the children of Gaza in the aftermath of the recent humanitarian crisis.” For Further information, please contact Lisa Walshe at or 091 495787.                                                                         -ends-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Athlone

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Athlone-image

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Athlone on Thursday, 6 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. 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 at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in 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 programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics - degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge). Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “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 Athlone, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Athlone is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Athlone, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne at 087 2440858 or -Ends-

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Galway joins worldwide network of Startup Weekends

Galway joins worldwide network of Startup Weekends-image

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

This November, Startup Weekend is coming to Galway. Running from 14-16 November, teams of entrepreneurs and innovators will gather together to develop their ideas from an initial 60 second pitch to a scalable company. 54 hours of activity will culminate in a round of presentations to the assembled judges, mentors, and other teams, leaving attendees with valuable feedback on their ideas, new skills, great contacts, and hopefully, a viable startup business. With 36% of Startup Weekend startups not only continuing after the weekend, but through the three month mark, taking part is a great initial step for anyone wondering what it takes to launch a startup. Startup Weekends have taken place all across the world, including in Dublin and Cork, with Galway joining in for the first time in November. NUI Galway will play host for the weekend, and with the backing of the local business community behind it, Galway Startup Weekend promises to be a great addition to the annual event calendar. The organisational team includes: Dr John Breslin, senior lecturer in NUI Galway and cofounder of; Michael Campion of NUI Galway’s Cairnes school of Business and Economics; Michael FitzGerald, founder and CEO of sales management software company OnePage CRM; Paul Killoran, founder and CEO of research publishing software company Exordo; and Tara Dalrymple, founder and CEO of lifestyle management and outsourcing businesses, Busy Lizzie and Mission Possible. Between them, they represent the wealth of startup knowledge that exists in the Galway business community, as well as a significant skill set ranging from finance and marketing to programming and design. Startup Weekend is all about action, giving attendees the chance to test out an idea in a creative space. People will share their skills and form teams, with mentors on hand to provide guidance throughout the weekend. The 54 hours of hard work will be interspersed with meals, short talks, and some surprises along the way. Attendees usually have either a technical or business background, resulting in a diverse range of skills and mindsets and an excellent collaborative environment. Galway Startup Weekend offers the perfect opportunity to validate an idea, learn valuable skills, or simply collaborate with similarly focused people. For regular updates, see, or As well as encouraging people to attend and take part, the organisers are currently seeking volunteers to help both at the event and in the run up to it. Anyone interested in lending a hand (particularly photographers or video bloggers) should send an email to -Ends-

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World-leading experts from the field of stem cell science to convene at NUI Galway

World-leading experts from the field of stem cell science to convene at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

World-leading experts from the field of stem cell science will convene at NUI Galway on 29-30 October 2014. The Galway International Stem Cell Conference will focus on the latest developments in basic science and translational aspects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) research in Ireland, the UK and worldwide. A type of adult stem cell, Mesenchymal Stem Cells or MSCs, have shown huge potential for use in many medical therapies. In addition to plenary talks from internationally renowned speakers, the program is structured to include oral paper presentations selected from submitted abstracts. With Ireland hosting the event this year, there will be a particular focus on some of the ground breaking research taking place here. The latest plans from researchers at NUI Galway for stem cell trials in Galway, focusing on arterial disease in the lower leg and osteoarthritis in the knee will be discussed. According to Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway: “The impact of this conference will be high because it focuses on those aspects of basic science and clinical evaluation which represent obstacles to translation. New biological insights have emerged recently about stem cells and their clinical potential has been demonstrated. However, there are still substantial gaps in knowledge in the field, such as how we can standardise the mass production of stem cells in facilities around the world.” As of 2014, Ireland now boasts its own specialist facility which can ‘grow’ stems cells for use in such clinical trials in humans. Located at NUI Galway, the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) is a custom-built facility certified to the highest EU manufacturing standards and criteria. The CCMI at NUI Galway is the first ever facility on the island of Ireland to receive a licence from the Irish Medicines Board, and firmly positions the country as a global player in the regenerative medicine field. Alongside Professor Frank Barry, other key speakers include: Javier Garcia-Sancho, Institute for Molecular Biology & Genetics (IBGM), University of Valladolid & Spanish Research Council, Valladolid, Spain; Silviu Itescu, Mesoblast, Melbourne, Australia; Sue Kimber, Tissue Regeneration and Stem Cell Network, University of Manchester; Ian McNiece, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; Mark Pittenger, University of Maryland, USA; and Darwin Prockop, Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M, USA. ENDS

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NUI Galway Appoints Antarctic Explorer as Beaufort Visiting Professor of Marine Biodiscovery

NUI Galway Appoints Antarctic Explorer as Beaufort Visiting Professor of Marine Biodiscovery-image

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Antarctic explorer, Professor Bill Baker of the University of South Florida, has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Marine Biodiscovery at NUI Galway through funding from the Beaufort Research Awards for one year. Marine Biodiscovery forms an integral part of the strategic programme for the marine sector – SeaChange, which is coordinated by the Marine Institute. The funding of the Professorship of Marine Biodiscovery at NUI Galway by the Beaufort Marine Research Awards is a critical component of the strategy to develop overall Irish research capacity and to position Ireland’s marine sector within a global knowledge-based economy. The Beaufort awards have been used to support research of international standing by making funding available for Principal Investigators and a number of researchers.  Professor Baker has established his international reputation in Marine Biodiscovery by searching for chemicals in the Antarctic. This programme at the Antarctic has been funded by the National Science Foundation in the USA for the last 24 years and now Professor Baker will turn his attention to the Irish shores in terms of searching for molecular treasures. The chemical compound Palmerolide A, one of the treasures discovered originally in the Antarctic by Professor Baker, is extremely promising against skin cancer and exploration of the Irish waters could potentially lead to a compound with similar potential. Professor Baker will provide expertise in the area of marine natural products chemistry in searching for molecular treasures from the Irish waters. The isolation and identification of novel secondary metabolites from marine organisms (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes) in Irish marine environments is still underexplored and provides an opportunity to identify bioactive agents of interest in the context of drug discovery, functional foods and other biotechnological applications. In a European and world-wide context, Ireland’s marine biodiversity is exceptionally high for its size: for example, 7.5% of the world’s marine benthic algae are found in Irish waters.  Professor Baker will conduct Chemistry, Bioassays and Biofermentation activities during his period in Ireland.  It is hoped that discoveries made during the Professorship in Ireland will lead to a better understanding of the chemistry of marine species and hopefully produce pharmaceuticals that fight killer diseases. Professor Baker will also deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway entitled ‘Treasures from the Antarctic Ice’ on Monday, 10 November at 7.15pm in the Kirwan Theatre, Arts/Science Building. During the lecture Professor Baker will describe the challenges of carrying out research in Antarctica but show the potential rewards of this research. This will be linked to his efforts in searching the Irish waters for novel chemical agents could potentially lead to new molecules to treat killer diseases. To register for the lecture visit -Ends-

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