Research Institutes

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The agri-food and agri-business sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry. Employing more than 150,000 people, it is critical to Ireland’s economy and is the foundation of our culture and society.

UCD is working with the sector to ensure sustainability and global competitiveness.  We are partnering with industry to create safe, novel foods that promote human health. We are also working with State agencies to imagine the ‘farm of the future’, one that protects our environment while optimising food production. And with our expertise in veterinary medicine, we are helping the community to fight disease in livestock and to promote animal welfare.

UCD is renowned for its work in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  Many of UCD’s leading scholars have shaped modern Ireland and our place in the world, and through their research and scholarship they have made sense of our history and culture. Our research theme Culture, Economy and Society draws upon theoretical, conceptual and methodological expertise in places, spaces, communities, governance, businesses and innovation.

Energy is one of the most precious resources on earth and its use and misuse has global consequences. The need to make smart use of fossil fuels and to harness more sustainable sources of energy is a pressing global issue.

As UCD we are working to find solutions to the energy challenges of the 21st century, in particular Smart Grids, Smart Cities, Integration of Renewable Energy Sources, and the interface between energy and ICT as well as the traditional energy sources of oil and gas. Through our research programme in energy, we partner extensively with the energy industry in developing the national grid, we look at the ability to integrate sustainable forms of energy from Ireland and our neighbours, we analyse the economics of renewable energy, we seek to enable the policy framework to promote efficient energy use, and we support the incubation of emerging enterprises.

Ireland’s unique environment is under threat from climate change, industrialisation and intensive farming. Our ability to sustain our environment, to use our natural resources wisely and to manage waste is central to our society and economy, to our national strategy for sustainable energy and to our major industries, including agri-food, ICT, pharmaceutics and tourism.

Environmental research at UCD spans a range of Schools and Colleges, and is at the core of the UCD Earth Institute. The overarching mission of the UCD Earth Institute is to provide solutions to some of Ireland’s most urgent problems in the areas of sustainable living, natural resources, climate change, natural hazards, the built environment and nature conservation.

ICT research at UCD brings together key ideas from emerging fields such as Data Analytics, the Internet of Things, Smart Systems and connects them with our other research priorities. This integrated approach provides new research and education opportunities with UCD's breadth of disciplines while also generating thousands of future jobs addressing the massive global market for data science products and services.

Healthcare is evolving rapidly, driven by changes in population demographics, by discoveries in biomedical research and by emerging technologies. Healthcare research in connected health, diagnostics, drug development and medical devices is central to the competitiveness of Ireland’s life science industries.

At UCD, we are re-imagining the future of healthcare, one where new therapies, web-enabled technologies and home-deployed devices emerge from the the symbiosis of technology and biology. Our health research at UCD spans systems biology, drug development, translational medicine and population health. Ultimately what we do aims to improve patient care, and our research is supported by the health science campus (in Belfield) and the clinical research centres of the University hospital network, the Dublin Academic Medical Centre.

In therapeutics, UCD’s strategy is to drive drug discovery and testing from a systems level, where we advance our knowledge through computation modelling. This work is coupled to comprehensive facilities for synthetic drug and biopharmaceutics development, and clinical research facilities for translational medicine.

Our programmes partner with industry, government and the voluntary sector. Together we are looking to tackle major challenges in healthcare, including infectious diseases, metabolic and cardiovascular disease, cancer and healthcare in the elderly.