Recognition for Ireland’s Scientists

Recognition for Ireland’s Scientists-image

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

NUI Galway’s Professor Robert Lahue receives Pharmaceutical Laboratory of the Year award The inaugural Irish Laboratory Awardstook place before an audience of almost 400 scientists drawn from industry, State and education sectors. The awards were supported by Science Foundation Ireland, Teagasc, IDA and media-partnered with the Irish Independent. NUI Galway’s Professor Robert Lahue Pharmaceutical Laboratory of the Year Award for The Lahue Lab, Centre for Chromosome Biology, NUI Galway. The need for the awards was signalled through the volume and diversity of entries. Judging Co-ordinator, Dr Catherine Dempsey, said “These awards were sorely needed. We know from the hugely successful Young Scientists Competition that recognition is a key enabler of fund raising and career progress. With over 100 entries in year one, the size and scope of the Lab Awards took us all a little by surprise. 2014 is going to be even bigger.” The judges said, “The Immune Regulation Group was a very strong collection of fantastic researchers, and was highly rated in one of Ireland’s most competitive areas of research. The group has secured more than €25 million of research grants and has published 155 peer- reviewed papers in the last 20 years.” Full a full review of the winners and to view the awards night video visit the official website for the Irish Laboratory Awards 2013. The awards were judged by: Dr Catherine Dempsey- Judging Co-Ordinator Dr Aoife McLysaght, Smurfit Institute of Genetics Dr Barry Heavey, IDA Ireland Dr Kevin Kavanagh, NUIM Dr Fionnuala Hickey, Trinity Health Kidney Centre Leonard Hobbs, Intel Ireland Dr Paul Simmons, Enfer Group Professor Declan McLoughlin, St. Patrick’s University Hospital & TCD Dr Kaye Burgess, Teagasc Food Research Centre Professor John Cryan, UCC Dr Paul Duffy, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Professor Brian Glennon, UCD Mary Mullaghy, ISTA Dr Andrew Roche, ICON Central Laboratories Dr Marie Coggins, NUI Galway Dr Keith O Neill, Enterprise Ireland Dr Graeme Horley, SFI -Ends-

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NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre holds its 6th Annual Research Day

NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre holds its 6th Annual Research Day-image

Monday, 16 December 2013

Winning research included work on effect of speed on foetal development and using human skin cells to help heal brain injuries NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre, based within the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway, held its sixth Annual Research Day recently. This meeting showcased the very best of neuroscience research in the University with presentations from undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as post-doctoral research scientists from a number of different disciplines and research centres within the University. The award for the best oral presentation at the meeting was presented by Dr David Finn, Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, to Ms Kate McDonnell-Dowling (Pharmacology & Therapeutics, NUI Galway) whose work detailed the impact on foetal development of pregnant mothers taking the illicit drug, amphetamine (speed). Mr Martin Madill (Regenerative Medicine Institute, NUI Galway) won the poster presentation prize for presenting his work on the conversion of human skin cells into brain cells to use in repairing the brain after injury. Dr Honorata Kraśkiewicz (Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials) and Sinéad Healy (National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science) won the runner-up prizes for their work on the development of novel drug delivery systems for spinal cord repair and the development of novel systems to study the impact of iron on the pathology of multiple sclerosis. Dr Declan McKernan, organiser of the event, said “The quality and variety of presentations featured here today highlights the promising future that neuroscience research has at NUI Galway”. The presentations included the development of relevant models to study pain, depression and autism, the use of stem cell to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, and investigations into the underlying changes in the brains of patients with schizophrenia or multiple sclerosis. The meeting also featured keynote presentations from Professor Artur Swiergiel from the University of Gdansk in Poland on the brain’s response to chronic stress, as well as presentations from NUI Galway research scientists, Professor Gary Donohoe and Dr Derek Morris, on the psychiatry and genetics of schizophrenia. The meeting coincided with Galway Neuroscience Centre member, Prof. Bob Lahue, winning the Medical Laboratory of the Year and the Pharmaceutical Laboratory of the Year in the Irish Laboratory Awards which were held in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dublin. The mission of the Galway Neuroscience Centre is to develop Neuroscience in Galway through research, education and community initiatives. The Centre is truly multidisciplinary in membership, bringing together researchers from a range of clinical and preclinical disciplines, which enable the investigation of nervous system disease at a number of levels. The Galway Neuroscience Centre gained the status of Centre of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (COEN) after a national and international review process last year. ENDS

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NUI Galway part of new €88 million Data Analytics centre, launched by Minister Bruton

NUI Galway part of new €88 million Data Analytics centre, launched by Minister Bruton-image

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Insight, the Centre for Data Analytics, will position Ireland at the heart of global Data Analytics research The largest investment in a single research centre in the history of the state Uniting 4 universities, 30 industry partners, and 200 researchers in one multi-location research centre Creating 300 direct jobs through 12 funded spin outs, as well as creating indirectly thousands of other job opportunities The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton T.D. and Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr Sean Sherlock T.D. officially launched Insight, a new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Data Analytics. In a joint initiative between NUI Galway, UCC, DCU and UCD, Insight brings together more than 200 researchers from these and other Higher Education institutions, with 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. The Centre will receive funding of €58 million from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through SFI’s Research Centres Programme, along with a further contribution of €30 million from 30 industry partners. Insight represents a new approach to research and development in Ireland, by connecting the scientific research of Ireland’s leading data analytics researchers with the needs of industry and enterprise.  Insight will work with more than 30 industry partners, including many Galway partners, and ranging from small Irish startups to established SMEs and large multinationals, on a range of projects to advance data analytics technologies in Ireland. Industry partners include RTÉ, The Irish Times, Cisco, Microsoft,  Alcatel-Lucent , Santry  Sports Clinic, the IRFU, Avaya, TE Labs, TreeMetrics, NitroSell, Avego, UTRC , Shimmer and many more.  Big data is a sector targeted as part of the Disruptive Reforms in Action Plan for Jobs 2013, and today’s announcement marks delivery of a key action contained in the Plan. Speaking at the launch of Insight, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton T.D. said:“Big data is a sector growing globally at 40% per annum, and we have targeted it as part of the Disruptive Reforms contained in Action Plan for Jobs 2013. This is a sector where Ireland has the potential to gain competitive advantage and attract significant numbers of investments and jobs, and we are putting in place measures to ensure that we can deliver on that potential. The establishment of this world-class SFI research centre in data analytics, with a total investment of €88million supported by my Department, is a strong signal of our ambition in this area. Today’s announcement, in combination with the other measures we have put in place in this sector, will help attract the investment, support the business ideas and create the jobs in Ireland that we need.” Also speaking at the launch, Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr Sean Sherlock T.D. said: “The launch of Insight is an important step forward in the development of the skills base necessary for Ireland to harness and channel the current and future potential of Big Data. Insight is a major national investment in this new area of research and one that is essential for Ireland’s future success in the technology sector.” In today’s society, an increasing torrent of data is being created every second in the world around us. Insight will play a leading role in developing next generation technologies to capture and transform the raw data being generated into valuable concepts and ideas that can inform better decisions about society, the economy, healthcare and government. At the launch today, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: "NUI Galway has an international reputation in the field of data analytics and the semantic web, so we are delighted to be part of such a significant national research centre in a rapidly expanding field.  In bringing together so many talented researchers, across four locations, Insight will put Ireland on the map for Data Analytics globally and will bring tremendous benefits to both the University and our ICT industry partners in Galway and beyond." Insight will lead to the creation of 300 direct jobs, as well as to the training of the next generation of data analytics experts. Over the next six years, Insight research is expected to result in 12 new spin out companies, approximately 50 patent filings, and over 50 technology licenses, leading to thousands of indirect jobs in the data analytics sector. Data Analytics is big business as Ireland stands to benefit significantly from the scale of the global analytics market. The global market for business analytics is estimated to be worth in excess of $34 billion, with Big Data driving a 60% increase in the operating margins of retailers, while the annual value of data analytics for the US healthcare system is valued at $300 billion. Commenting on the potential for data analytics research in Ireland, Professor Stefan Decker, a Director of Insight, said: "Data Analytics offers enormous potential for Ireland's economy. Data by itself is meaningless but with the technologies and understanding to extract meaning from data, its potential is limitless. As a technology, Data Analytics transcends boundaries, bringing benefits to sectors as diverse as healthcare, government, the economy and the media. Insight is a unique partnership between research and industry, enabling us to transition our technologies into practise for the benefit of society.” Commenting on the potential for the data analytics market in Ireland, CEO of Insight, Professor Barry Smyth, said:  “Data analytics represents a huge growth opportunity for Ireland and we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of it. Spending on Big Data technologies is growing at 30% per annum as demand for data analytics skills continues to outstrip supply. In Insight we have brought together the country’s leading data analytics researchers to meet this demand and create new opportunities for Ireland and our industry partners.”  Speaking at the announcement, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government said: “Insight will provide Ireland with a new flagship national research resource in information and communications technology (ICT) and underlines Ireland’s focused investment in excellent research with impact. Insight is one of seven world-class SFI Research Centres of scale and excellence that involve significant co-investment by industry partners. Insight will be undertaking research that is fundamental to Ireland’s enhanced competitive positioning in the area of data analytics as well as our international standing in the overall ICT sector.” Ends OÉ Gaillimh páirteach in ionad nua €88 milliún na hAnailísíochta Sonraí a sheol an tAire Bruton Cuirfidh Insight, Ionad na hAnailísíochta Sonraí, Éire i gcroílár an taighde dhomhanda ar Anailísíocht Sonraí An infheistíocht is mó in aon ionad taighde amháin ó bunaíodh an stát Ag cónascadh 4 ollscoil, 30 comhpháirtí tionscail, agus 200 taighdeoir in aon ionad taighde amháin scaipthe thar réigiúin éagsúla Cruthófar 300 post go díreach trí 12 sheach-chuideachta maoinithe agus cruthófar na mílte post eile go hindíreach. Sheol an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Richard Bruton T.D. agus an tAire Taighde agus Nuálaíochta, Sean Sherlock T.D. Insight go hoifigiúil. Is Ionad Taighde nua de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI) don Anailísíocht Sonraí  é Insight. I gcomhthionscadal idir OÉ Gaillimh, UCC, DCU agus UCD, tugann Insight níos mó ná 200 taighdeoir as na hinstitiúidí seo agus as institiúidí Ardoideachais eile, le chéile le 30 comhpháirtí tionscail chun a chinntiú go mbeidh Éire ina ceannródaí sa taighde domhanda ar anailísíocht sonraí. Gheobhaidh an tIonad maoiniú €58 milliún ón Roinn Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta trí Chlár Ionad Taighde SFI, mar aon le  €30 milliún breise ón 30 comhpháirtí tionscail. Léiríonn Insight cur chuige nua taighde agus forbartha in Éirinn; trí nasc a chothú idir taighde eolaíoch na dtaighdeoirí anailísíochta sonraí is fearr in Éirinn agus riachtanais tionscail agus fiontraíochta.  Oibreoidh Insight le níos mó ná 30 comhpháirtí tionscail, go leor acu sin bunaithe i nGaillimh, idir gnólachtaí beaga nuathionscanta, gnóthais bheaga agus mheánmhéide sheanbhunaithe agus gnólachtaí móra ilnáisiúnta, ar réimse tionscadal chun teinceolaíochtaí anailísíochta sonraí a chur chun cinn in Éirinn. Is measc na gcomhpháirtithe tionscail tá RTÉ, The Irish Times, Cisco, Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent, Santry Sports Clinic, Cumann Rugbaí na hÉireann, Avaya, TE Labs, TreeMetrics, NitroSell, Avego, UTRC , Shimmer agus go leor eile.  Is earnáil é an t-olltiomsú sonraí a bhfuiltear ag díriú air mar chuid den Athchóiriú ar Phlean Gníomhaíochta na bPost 2013, agus is fianaise é fógra an lae inniu go bhfuil plean gníomhaíochta amháin as an bPlean sin curtha i gcrích. Ag labhairt dó ag seoladh Insight, dúirt an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Richard Bruton T.D.:“Is earnáil é an t-olltiomsú sonraí atá ag fás ag ráta 40 sa bhliain agus táimid ag díriú ar an earnáil mar chuid den Athchóiriú atá i bPlean Gníomhaíochta na bPost 2013. Earnáil í seo a bhfuil an deis ag Éirinn buntáiste iomaíoch a bhaint amach inti agus infheistíochtaí móra agus poist a mhealladh, agus tá céimeanna á nglacadh againn chun a chinntiú go mbainfimid ár spriocanna amach. Is cruthúnas láidir é an t-ionad taighde SFI den scoth seo in anailísíocht sonraí a bhfuil infheistíocht iomlán €88 milliún déanta ann agus a bhfuil tacaíocht aige ó mo Roinn féin, ár mianaidhm sa réimse seo. Cuideoidh fógra an lae inniu, mar aon leis na céimeanna eile atá á nglacadh againn san earnáil seo, le hinfheistíocht a mhealladh, le smaointe gnó agus le poist a chruthú sa tír seo a bhfuil géarghá leo.” Ag labhairt chomh maith ag seoladh Insight bhí an tAire Taighde agus Nuálaíochta, Sean Sherlock T.D., a dúirt: “Céim thábhachtach chun cinn atá i seoladh Insight chun na scileanna atá riachtanach d’Éirinn a fhorbairt d’fhonn na féidearthachtaí a bhaineann le holltiomsú sonraí a chothú agus leas a bhaint astu. Infheistíocht mhór náisiúnta é Insight sa réimse nua taighde seo atá riachtanach más le Éire a bheith rathúil in earnáil na teicneolaíochta amach anseo.” Sa lá atá inniu ann, tá an oiread sin sonraí á gcruthú gach uile soicind timpeall orainn. Beidh ról lárnach ag Insight i dteicneolaíochtaí don chéad ghlúin eile a fhorbairt chun na sonraí loma atá á gcruthú a fháil agus a úsáid mar choincheapa agus mar smaointe luachmhara a chuideoidh le cinntí níos fearr a dhéanamh faoin tsochaí, faoin ngeilleagar, faoi chúram sláinte agus faoin rialtas. Ag an seoladh inniu, dúirt an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá cáil idirnáisiúnta ar OÉ Gaillimh i réimse na hanailísíochta sonraí agus an ghréasáin shéimeantaigh. Tá an-ríméad orainn, dá bhrí sin, a bheith páirteach in ionad taighde náisiúnta den chineál seo in earnáil atá ag méadú as cuimse.  De bhrí go dtabharfaidh Insight an oiread sin taighdeoirí den scoth le chéile i gceithre áit éagsúla, cuirfidh sé cáil na hÉireann as Anailísíocht Sonraí ar fud an domhain agus beidh buntáiste anseo don Ollscoil agus dár gcomhpháirtithe ICT i nGaillimh agus níos faide i gcéin." Cruthófar 300 post go díreach as Insight, agus cuirfidh sé le hoiliúint an chéad ghlúin eile de shaineolaithe in anailísíocht sonraí. As seo go ceann sé bliana, táthar ag súil go mbunóidh taighde Insight 12 seach-chuideachta nua, timpeall 50 iarratas ar phaitinní, agus os cionn 50 ceadúnas teicneolaíochta, rud a chruthóidh na mílte post go hindíreach in earnáil na hanailísíochta sonraí. Is gnó ollmhór í an Anailísíocht Sonraí mar go mbainfidh Éire sochar as sciar de mhargadh na hanailísíochta domhanda. Meastar gur fiú os cionn $34 billiún an margadh domhanda d’anailísíocht ghnó agus is é an t-olltiomsú sonraí is cúis leis an méadú 60% i gcorrlach oibriúcháin miondíoltóirí. Meastar go bhfuil luach bliantúil $300 billiún ar anailísíocht sonraí sa chóras sláinte na Stát Aontaithe. Ag labhairt ar an bpoitéinseal a bhaineann le taighde in anailísíocht sonraí in Éirinn, dúirt an tOllamh Stefan Decker, Stiúrthóir Insight: “Tá poitéinseal ollmhór le hAnailísíocht Sonraí do gheilleagar na tíre seo. Níl fiúntas ar bith le sonraí astu féin ach le teicneolaíocht agus an t-eolas a bhaineann ciall as sonraí, níl teorainn ar bith leis an bhfiúntas atá ann. Mar theicneolaíocht, níl teorainn ar bith le hAnailísíocht Sonraí, tá buntáiste ann do na hearnálacha atá chomh héagsúil le cúram sláinte, rialtas, an geilleagar agus na meáin. Comhpháirtíocht ar leith é Insight idir taighde agus tionscal, rud a chuidíonn linn leas a bhaint as teicneolaíocht ar mhaithe leis an bpobal.” Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir SFI agus Príomhchomhairleoir Eolaíochta an Rialtais: “Acmhainn taighde náisiúnta i dteicneolaíocht faisnéise agus cumarsáide (ICT) é Insight d’Éirinn agus léiríonn sé an infheistíocht atá dírithe ag an tír seo i dtaighde den scoth. Tá Insight ar cheann de sheacht nIonad Taighde SFI den scoth atá chomh mór agus chomh fiúntach sin go bhfuil comhinfheistíocht déanta ag comhpháirtithe tionscail iontu. Beidh Insight i mbun taighde atá riachtanach do sheasamh iomaíoch feabhsaithe na hÉireann i réimse na hanailísíochta sonraí chomh maith lenár seasamh idirnáisiúnta in earnáil an ICT.” Críoch

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NUI Galway Alumni Christmas Get-Together

NUI Galway Alumni Christmas Get-Together-image

Thursday, 12 December 2013

NUI Galway Alumni Club is holding its annual Alumni Christmas get-together on Thursday, 19 December from 5:30- 80pm in the Aula Maxima, The Quadrangle, NUI Galway. Graduates are invited to attend and meet with former classmates from home and abroad for carols, mince pies and refreshments. According to Sandra Butler, Galway Alumni Club chair, "Christmas is the ideal time to renew old NUI Galway acquaintances and make new ones. We would love to see as many graduates as possible back in their alma mater for the evening.” RSVP online at or telephone the alumni office at 091 492721 by Wednesday, 18 December. Graduates, friends and family welcome. Ends  Ócáid Bhliantúil na Nollag ag Alumni OÉ Gaillimh Beidh ceiliúradh bliantúil na Nollag ag Club Alumni OÉ Gaillimh Déardaoin, an 19 Nollaig san Aula Maxima, an Chearnóg, OE Gaillimh idir 5:30pm agus 8:00pm. Deis a bheas anseo do chéimithe sásamh a bhaint as carúil, as pióga mionra agus as sólaistí i dteannta a gcomhghleacaithe ranga sa bhaile agus i gcéin. Dúirt Sandra Butler, Cathaoirleach Chlub ALumni OÉ Gaillimh “Níl aon am níos fearr ná an Nollaig chun casadh le seanchairde as OÉ Gaillimh agus aithne a chur ar dhaoine nua. Ba bhreá linn an oiread céimithe agus is féidir a fheiceáil ar ais ina n-alma mater don ócáid.” Is féidir RSVP a sheoladh ar líne ag nó cuir glao ar an Oifig Alumni ag 091-492721 faoi Dé Céadaoin, an 18 Nollaig. Fáilte roimh chéimithe, a gcairde agus a dteaghlaigh. -Críoch-

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NUI Galway Host Christmas Talk on Long-Haired Stars

NUI Galway Host Christmas Talk on Long-Haired Stars-image

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society, with the Galway Astronomy Club, will welcome Astronomer Dr Jacqueline Keane for a special Christmas talk entitled ‘2013: The Year of the Long-haired Stars’. The free talk will take place on Tuesday, 17 December at 7.30pm in IT 250, IT Building, NUI Galway. In ancient times, comets or “long-haired stars” inspired terror because of their sudden appearance, potentially great brightness, and large tails. Comets, long considered harbingers of doom, have been blamed for some of history's darkest times. About once a decade, a truly spectacular comet is visible even through the bright city lights. This public talk will discuss what comets are and how comets help us understand the formation of the Solar System. A summary of the Comet ISON observing campaign will be presented, with a special focus on the University of Hawaii campaign using numerous 10-meter telescopes at 14000 feet on the summit of Mauna Kea. The prospects of viewing comets in 2014 will also be discussed. Dr Jacqueline Keane is an Assistant Astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. An NUI Galway BSc in Physics and Masters in Astronomy graduate, Dr Keane received her PhD in Astrophysics from Groningen University in the Netherlands, where she worked with the Infrared Space Observatory observations of interstellar ice features and their formation via grain-surface reactions. After her PhD, she moved to California to work at the NASA Ames Research Center where her work concentrated on understanding the composition of cold material in star-forming molecular clouds using the Spitzer space-based telescope. Dr Keane currently specialises in ground-based observations of comets and how they can be used to understand the conditions in the early Solar System. The NUI Galway Astronomy society is in its second year with nearly 600 members. The main goal of the society is to promote astronomy, both recreationally and academically. Throughout the year the society hosts a series of talks on astronomy and organise events to increase general awareness and understanding of astronomy and host a series of talks on astronomy and events throughout the year. They work with the Galway Astronomy club and are supported by the University's Centre for Astronomy. For more information on NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society and Galway Astronomy Club visit or  -Ends-

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NUI Galway Sets its Sights on Horizon 2020, the Dawn of a New Era for EU Research

NUI Galway Sets its Sights on Horizon 2020, the Dawn of a New Era for EU Research-image

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

“Horizon 2020; an opportunity to bring NUI Galway’s research to market in Europe and to bring Europe’s best researchers to NUI Galway” says NUI Galway VP for Innovation, Lokesh Joshi NUI Galway is prepared for the significant opportunity presented by the launch of Horizon 2020, at €80bn the biggest and most ambitious European funding scheme to date. Irish Universities are aiming to secure €1bn from Horizon 2020 which will replace Framework 7 which is currently running. NUI Galway secured €38.8m in research funding under Framework 7 between January 2007 and July 2013, with further applications pending. The action plan for participation of the Irish universities in Horizon 2020 has been launched by Minister for Research and Innovation Mr Sean Sherlock TD as part of the national launch of the European Union’s new Horizon 2020 Programme. Minister Sean Sherlock, TD, speaking at the launch said, “I welcome the renewed commitment of the universities to maximise their participation in Horizon 2020 across all areas. At a time when national funding for research must be carefully invested, it is critical that the universities and all public research institutions gain maximum leverage from exchequer funds”. NUI Galway Vice President for Research, and Chair of the Irish Universities Association VPs of Research Group, Professor Lokesh Joshi said “Horizon 2020, the biggest and most ambitious research funding scheme in European history is an opportunity to bring NUI Galway’s research to market in Europe and to bring Europe’s best researchers to NUI Galway. NUI Galway is prepared for this significant opportunity and European challenge to build on our experience and successful track-record in winning European funding. The national action plan entitled “Horizon 2020: Sustaining Excellence in University Research & Innovation” outlines the position of the universities on the Horizon 2020 proposals and sets out a series of recommendations and actions to enhance the performance of Irish universities, giving the sector the best chance of success in Horizon 2020. The Irish Universities, in partnership with the private sector, have been the most successful participants in FP7 and their involvement is essential for Ireland to reach its target of securing over €1 billion in funding from Horizon 2020. More information on  or -Ends-

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12 NUI Galway Medical Students to be Given Opportunity to Train in Developing Countries

12 NUI Galway Medical Students to be Given Opportunity to Train in Developing Countries-image

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Hospital Saturday Fund gives opportunity to students to spend two months in a developing country Students of medicine will have new opportunities to spend two months in a developing country with funding made available by The Hospital Saturday Fund. The School of Medicine working with the Galway University Foundation will invite fourth year students of medicine to apply for funding for the medical electives, which will be offered in the summer of 2014. A medical elective is a period of supervised learning, chosen by the student.  In this case the work will be in a resource poor setting which has many recognised benefits for students: to experience clinical practice and health care in different cultural and organisational settings and to learn about diseases and conditions that are not often seen at home. Senior Lecturer in Social and Preventative Medicine Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan welcomed the support of The Hospital Saturday Fund and said “these electives help to improve the ability of students to manage patients from diverse backgrounds and to better understand global health. Many electives are based in low-resource tropical settings where the organisation and provision of healthcare, and the social, cultural, economic and political environments are very different from what students have experienced in their home institutions.” Hospital Saturday Fund (HSF) Chief Executive Paul Jackson visited NUI Galway to meet some of the staff and students of the medical school and said The Hospital Saturday Fund is delighted to be supporting Galway University with the establishment of their Medical Electives Programme which will give students the opportunity to extend their knowledge and skills in diverse overseas locations. The Hospital Saturday Fund is pleased to have the opportunity to establish a partnership with Galway University and look forward to working closely with them in future and seeing the development of the students as they benefit from first-hand clinical experience and development of their skills’. The Hospital Saturday Fund is a charity that provides grants to medical charities, hospitals and hospices and this includes making awards to medical schools to fund medical student electives. The support has been welcomed by the School of Medicine. Research and clinical elective opportunities are highly prized among medical students.  This support will facilitate twelve students who will work in various clinical disciplines in developing countries.  These elective opportunities will be awarded based on an essay competition that will be open to all students in the fourth medical year. NUI Galway’s School of Medicine is also exploring the possibility of student exchanges with medical schools in developing countries. NUI Galway is committed to providing a high standard of training to ensure that students receive adequate and appropriate preparation before going abroad.  Students planning to travel are offered training by the School of Medicine, in conjunction with the International Office and the Community Knowledge Initiative programme. This training covers broad areas such as personal health advice, travel safety and security, cultural awareness and stress management. -ends-

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‘Fios Físe’ Seolta ag Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh agus TG4

‘Fios Físe’ Seolta ag Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh agus TG4-image

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

An mbíonn tú ag féachaint ar TG4? Ar mhaith leat do thuairimí faoi TG4 a roinnt linn?   Seoladh tráthnóna Fios Físe, Togra Taighde de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh chun Painéal Lucht Féachana a bhunú do TG4.  Is i gcomhar le TG4 atá an cinneadh tógtha an Painéal a bhunú. Beidh sé mar aidhm ag an togra nósanna féachana agus tuairimí Phobal na Gaeilge i leith TG4 a fhiosrú. Beidh ballraíocht an Phainéil dírithe ar Phobal na Gaeilge ar fud na tíre, ón nGaeltacht agus lasmuigh di, agus ó Thuaisceart Éireann.  Baileofar eolas ó bhaill an Phainéil go seachtainiúil trí Dhialann Féachana a bheidh le líonadh ar líne.  Má tá tú 15 bliana d’aois nó os a chionn, Gaeilge ar do thoil agat agus spéis agat do thaithí agus do thuairimí ar TG4 a roinnt, déan teagmháil linn: Céard go díreach a bheidh le déanamh ag baill an Phainéil?   Gheobhaidh baill an Phainéil ríomhphost gach Luan ina mbeidh nasc chuig Dialann Féachana a bheidh le líonadh ar líne.  Beidh roinnt ceisteanna sa dialann féachana a bhaineann le sceideal TG4 don tseachtain atá thart (Luan go Domhnach). Ní thógfaidh sé ach roinnt bheag nóiméad an dialann féachana a líonadh gach seachtain.  Is beag scríobh atá i gceist, ticeanna i mboscaí ar cheisteanna ilroghnacha den chuid is mó.  Beidh tú in ann do shástacht maidir le cláir ar fhéach tú orthu i gcaitheamh na seachtaine a thuairisciú sa dialann.  Beidh spás sa dialann freisin le tuairimí a thabhairt i bhfoirm scríofa, más mian leat é sin a dhéanamh. Beidh an chéad Dhialann Féachana le líonadh an tseachtain dar tús 16 Nollaig 2013. Beidh sé riachtanach an Dialann Féachana a bheith seolta ar ais roimh 5pm gach Máirt. Níl aon tréimhse ar leith a gcaithfidh ball fanacht ar an bPainéal Féachana Scéim Dílseachta Mar chomhartha aitheantais do bhaill an Phainéil beidh tarraingt oscailte ag deireadh gach míosa ina mbeidh ainmneacha bhaill uile an Phainéil a mbeidh ceithre dhialann seolta ar ais acu i gcaitheamh na míosa sin.  Bronnfar duais €500 ar an gcéad duine a dtiocfaidh a (h)ainm as an tarraingt agus bronnfar €100 an duine ar an gcéad chúigear eile a dtiocfaidh a n-ainmneacha amach. Cosaint Sonraí Ní roinnfear sonraí pearsanta bhaill an phainéil le haon tríú páirtí.  Ní bheidh do shonraí pearsanta le feiceáil ach an oiread ar aon tuairiscí a eascróidh ón eolas a bheidh sna dialanna féachana a sheolfar ar ais.  Eolas staitistiúil agus tuairiscí gan ainm a bheidh i gceist.  Stórálfar do chuid sonraí go sábháilte. An bhfuil spéis agat clárú don Phainéal? Má tá, téigh go dtí: le do thoil. Tuilleadh eolais: nó glaoigh ar 091 505060     ‘Fios Físe’ Launched by NUI Galway and TG4 Do you watch TG4? Would you like to let us know what you think about TG4?    NUI Galway and TG4 have launched Fios Físe,a joint research project which will establish a Viewer Panel for TG4. The Panel will seek to capture the TG4 viewing habits and preferences of Irish Speakers. Panel membership, aimed at Irish speakers inside and outside An Ghaeltacht, in the Republic and in the North of Ireland, will ask panel members to fill in an online ‘Viewing Diary’ once a week.  If you are a fluent Irish speaker, over 15 years of age, and you would like to share your thoughts and experiences of TG4, contact us on  What is expected of viewers who sign up?  Panel members will be sent an email every Monday with a link to a Viewing Diary which can be filled in online. The Diary will ask questions about the TG4 schedule of the previous week (Monday to Sunday) A short multiple-choice questionnaire will assess your views on any programme you watched in the previous week, and will allow you to add comments if you so wish. The first Viewing Diary will be available on the 16 December 2013. The Viewing Diary must be filled in by 5pm on the Tuesday of each week surveyed. Panel members can opt out at any stage they wish to do so. Loyalty Scheme TG4, to show their appreciation to participating viewers, will have a draw at the end of each month for all viewers that return four completed weekly Viewing Diaries. There will be one prize of €500 and five prizes of €100 each month for the winning  respondents.   Data Protection Viewers’ personal information will be securely stored and will not be shared with any third party. No information which could identify any individual will be published in any report arising from the viewing diairies and viewers opinions. Information published arising from the viewers’ panel will be anonymous and based on analysis of all viewers’ viewing patterns.   Would you like to register for Fios Físe? If you would, please register at: -ends-  

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Triumph for Westway Health and Element Software

Triumph for Westway Health and Element Software -image

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Galway companies Westway Health and Element Software were named as Best Early Stage company and New Start company respectively at InterTradeIreland’s 11th annual all-island Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition. The winners were announced at the grand final of the competition at Clontarf Castle in Dublin last night. Westway Health as Best Early Stage company will take away a cash prize of €100,000 and Element Software wins €50,000 as the Best New Start company. Two Northern Ireland companies were also recognised at the Awards.  Belfast-based Blow Moulding Technologies and See.Sense from Newtownards each won €20,000 as the Northern Ireland regional winners in the Best New Start and Best Early-stage categories respectively.Their recognition at the Awards brings the total prize money secured by Northern Ireland companies in the Competition to date to €645,000. Seedcorn is the island’s largest business competition for new start and early stage companies in any sector, from any part of the island.  The competition, aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement, has an overall total cash prize fund of €280,000.  To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 1,950 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process with previous finalists going on to secure more than €174 million worth of equity. Bizimply from Dublin was also awarded for the best venture stemming from a University spinout / support programme, walking away with a cash prize fund of €10,000 on the night.  Speaking at the final, Thomas Hunter McGowan, CEO, InterTradeIreland said:“To be truly investor ready, it’s not all about the pitch and having a perfect presentation; the proposition, the substance behind it and the team are all key for potential investors.  Seedcorn provides young companies, who are at a critical stage of their development, the opportunity to really put their proposition to the test.  This year we opened our master classes to all the 24 companies that were taking part in the regional finals, which was a valuable opportunity for them.  Not only does this give companies an opportunity to test their proposition robustly but it also starts them off on the journey to learn from the experience of those that have already ‘been there, done that’.  “Both Westway Health and Element Software have overcome extremely tough competition throughout the Seedcorn process and their success highlights that they are the bright stars for the future.  The team at InterTradeIreland and I sincerely congratulate them both and we look forward to working with them and watching them grow.” Westway Health has developed a technology designed to tackle major problems in human and animal medicine and to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, like MRSA.  Westway Health has specifically focused on the treatment and prevention of bovine mastitis (infection of the udder) which is a major health and economic issue, costing the dairy industry in the EU and US over €3 billion a year.  Conventional antibiotics are currently used to treat mastitis. However, this solution has poor treatment outcomes, leading to culling of cows and lost milk revenues, as milk from cows treated with antibiotics must be withdrawn from sale for a period of time during and after treatment.  Westway Health’s product, PanaMast, is the first non-antibiotic solution meaning farmers can continue to sell milk during and following treatment.  As up to 80% of dairy cows exhibit some signs of infections at some stage each year, this will have a major impact on the bottom line of farmers and milk producers. Prof. Vincent O’Flaherty, Chairman, Westway Health and Head of NUI Galway's School of Natural Sciences said; “The Seedcorn competition process was a great learning curve and we received invaluable feedback from investors, entrepreneurs and advisors regarding our pitch and business plan.  The potential market for PanaMast is €1.5 billion per annum from the major markets in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We are absolutely thrilled to have received this recognition from the Seedcorn judges, especially when we were up against such tough competition.  The prize money will help us to fund formal clinical trials next year and to advance towards our target of PanaMast hitting the shelves by 2017.” Founded in 2011 by Dorothy Creaven (CEO) and James Harkin (CTO), Element Software developed Element Wave, a real-time analytics and mobile messaging platform for app publishers who want to address the issues of customer retention and user conversion.  One of the biggest issues with the mobile app market is low user retention with more than 70% of mobile app users drop off within the first three months. Real-time analytics and mobile messaging platform, Element Wave, tackles this problem for app publishers by keeping people interested in using their apps. Dorothy Creaven, CEO, Element Software said: “We are absolutely delighted to be InterTradeIreland's Seedcorn winner in the New Start category for 2013. With the high standard of competition, it has been great validation for our new product, Element Wave, and an important milestone for our mobile technology company. Element Wave is the next generation in mobile marketing for B2C companies as it helping to solve the major problem of low user retention in the mobile app industry. The Seedcorn competition has meant a lot to us in terms of attracting marketing and investment opportunities, and the prize money will mainly be used to assist us in closing sales with our growing customer base outside of Ireland. Seedcorn is much more than a standard competition; the feedback on our business plan that we have received along the way has really helped to push our business ahead and we look forward to announcing more exciting news in 2014.” The Seedcorn competition imitates the real-life investment process and gives companies a valuable opportunity to put their business idea to the test and ensure that it is investor- ready and stands up to external scrutiny.  Business plans received were initially assessed and short listed companies were subjected to a rigorous investment pitch process by a panel of judges made up of entrepreneurs, investors and business experts in competing for the Best New Start and Best Early Stage Company titles on a regional basis in Connacht & Leinster, Munster, Dublin and Northern Ireland. The regional winners in each category secured an initial €20,000 share of the prize fund for their company. Finalist companies also benefit from being part of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Network – an extensive business and investment community that helps boost their profile, contacts and future potential investment opportunities. Further details are available on  Follow the Seedcorn Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn #Seedcorn) or on LinkedIn (Seedcorn Network).

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How Does Research at NUI Galway Affect You, Your Family, Your Community?

How Does Research at NUI Galway Affect You, Your Family, Your Community?-image

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

NUI Galway’s researchers will have the answers at the final of Threesis; Three Slides, Three Minutes Ever wondered how research at NUI Galway affects you, your family, and your community? The public are invited to a competition which might just answer that question on Thursday December 12th, at 7.30 pm in An Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway City Centre. The THREESIS competition will see NUI Galway staff and students present their research to the audience and a panel of judges in accessible language a non-expert can understand, in three minutes or less. Each of the 8 finalists will have only three slides and three minutes to communicate their research area and relevancy. Competitors are judged on how well they convey their subject and their ability to communicate to a general audience. Each of NUI Galway’s five priority research areas will be represented, with topics ranging from the brain structure of people with Bipolar Disorder to the transport of pollutants in groundwater. The winner will receive a prize and award, based on the decision of the judges who will include: Eithne Verling, Director of the Galway City Museum; Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway; and Johnny Holden, Irish Times Journalist and Editor of the NUI Galway Research Matters Publication. Professor Lokesh Joshi said: “This event will provide a snapshot of the diversity of research going on at NUI Galway.  The talks will be sharp and to-the-point, with plenty of time while the judges deliberate for NUI Galway researchers and members of the community to share ideas over a glass of mulled wine.”  He added “The audience will also be treated to a short talk from last year’s THREESIS competition winner, Dr. Ronán Hennessy.  His talk “Making Time for Old Lines” is based on his work in developing an animated Google Earth based application for visualizing the evolution of the Irish rail network.” The event is free and refreshments will be served on the night.  Please RSVP to . -Ends-

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