New Research Centre Focused on Socio-Economic and Environmental Dynamics Launched at University College Dublin

A new inter-disciplinary research centre focused on the dynamics of socio-economic and environmental processes, at various spatial scales, was announced today at University College Dublin (UCD).

The objective of the newly established UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab, within the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, is to provide advancements in the analysis of innovation processes, environmental impact, evolutionary patterns and structural change at a city and regional scale.

The Centre has been established by Dr Dieter F. Kogler and Dr Francesco Pilla who are respectively leading two large-scale European Commission funded projects.

UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab 1
Pictured at UCD are Dr Dieter F. Kogler, co-founder, UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab; Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact and Dr Francesco Pilla, co-founder, UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab

Dr Kogler is a European Research Council (ERC) Starter Grant Holder, whose 5-year, €1.5 million funded research project is entitled Technology Evolution in Regional Economies (TechEvo).

The objective of TechEvo is to produce a series of economic indicators, models and tools which will enable firms and policy makers, across Europe, to make more informed and better location-based investment decisions to boost innovation and drive regional prosperity.

Dr Pilla is the coordinator and principal investigator of a 3-year, €5.8 million Horizon 2020 funded research project entitled Improving the Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe (iSCAPE).

The overall objective of iSCAPE is to develop an integrated strategy for air pollution control in European cities, grounded on evidence-based analysis, by leveraging passive control systems (i.e. the introduction in urban spaces of trees, hedges, green walls to assist with air pollution dispersion), policy interventions and behavioural changes of citizens’ lifestyles.

UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab 2
Pictured (l-r) at UCD are Dr Dieter F. Kogler, co-founder, UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab; Professor Peter Clinch, Head, UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy; guest speaker, Emeritus Professor John Goddard OBE, Newcastle University; Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact and Dr Francesco Pilla, co-founder, UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab.

Dr Dieter F. Kogler said, “The cross-fertilisation of ideas derived from different, but complementary scientific backgrounds, holds the potential for ‘real’ break-through discoveries and entirely new research avenues. In this regard the long-term goal of the UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab is to establish itself as an international renowned hub of scientific expertise specialising in the visualisation and analysis of socio-economic and environmental spatial data.”

Dr Francesco Pilla said, “The UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab aims to serve as a showcase for expertise that will assist researchers, practitioners, industry partners and policy makers in building and maintaining strong strategic partnerships.”

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “I would like to congratulate Dr Kogler and Dr Pilla on the establishment of the UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab.”

“Global challenges require ideas and expertise from a range of disciplines, and the areas in which we at UCD seek to deliver impact are not arranged exclusively within traditional disciplinary boundaries. The work of the inter-disciplinary team at the UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab on socio-economic, environmental and sustainable development issues has the potential to deliver economic and social impact both within Ireland and globally.”

Emeritus Professor John Goddard OBE, Newcastle University, who founded and led the University’s Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) from 1977 to 1998 was the guest speaker at the launch event.

ENDS

1 November 2017

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Public Affairs Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, University College Dublin, t: + 353 1 716 4003 or e: miceal.whelan@ucd.ie.

Editors Notes

The UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab is organised in a number of specialised themes, including:

●        Evolutionary Economics, Technological Change, and Regional Development

●        Environmental Risk and Policy

●        Urban and Regional Economies and Planning

●        The Built Environment and Smart Cities

●        Technical and Scientific Knowledge Spaces

●        The Place/Space Nexus, and Public/Private Strategies for Sustainable Growth.

For further information visit http://www.ucd.ie/sdl/

Dr Dieter Kogler, who is originally from Austria, is the Director of the UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab and an Associate Professor in economic geography within the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy. His research focus is on the geography of innovation and evolutionary economic geography, with particular emphasis on knowledge production and diffusion, and processes related to technological change, innovation, and economic growth. Dr Kogler received his PhD from the University of Toronto and joined UCD in 2010. His career path combines personal, education and research experience acquired in Europe, the United States, and Canada within a variety of areas pertaining to the spatial analysis of socio-economic phenomena. 

Dr Francesco Pilla, who is originally from Italy, is the Co-Director of the UCD Spatial Dynamics Lab and an Assistant Professor in environmental and geospatial analysis within the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy.  His research focus is on the analysis and modelling of environmental dynamics, which involves the development of environmental pollution models (air, noise, water) and decision support tools using a GIS platform, in order to facilitate the interoperability of input data and research outcomes between the client/final user and the research team.

Established in 1854, University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland’s largest university with over 30,000 students from some 120 countries worldwide and is ranked number 1 globally for citations at scale for research in agricultural science and in food science and technology. Founded on the educational principles of its first Rector, John Henry Newman, the university seeks to contribute to the economy and society through the excellence and impact of its research, innovation and scholarship, the quality of its graduates and through its engagement nationally and internationally. www.ucd.ie/

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