UCD projects secure €1.1m IRC funding for enterprise-focused research

Posted 17 August, 2020

Thirteen research projects at University College Dublin have received €1.1 million in funding under the Irish Research Council's Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

The investment was secured as part of €4.3m in research awards given to 50 enterprise-focused projects across Ireland.

Announcing the funding, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said it would provide a “valuable opportunity for enterprise and employers to access research talent and expertise within Ireland’s higher education system.”

“[This] research will cover a broad range of areas, including sexual violence, the delivery of healthcare, how we produce better dairy products, the impact of jellyfish blooms on salmon aquaculture in Ireland, and how we improve bone health in jockeys."

He added: “We must continue to promote Irish research and offer our researchers every opportunity and every support. We must continue to support this type of engagement to attract foreign direct investment into our knowledge economy, to assist indigenous SMEs and NGOs to innovate.”

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said: “I would like to congratulate the 13 UCD postdocs and postgraduate students who have been successful in securing research awards, under the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme. This is a key scheme helping to forge collaborative links between early-career researchers and enterprise and such collaborations are vitally important in driving an innovation economy. I wish the awardees every success with their research projects.”

The IRC Enterprise Partnership Scheme (EPS) has been operating for 15 years, and is designed to connect enterprise, early-career researchers and higher education institutions; helping to supported research and innovation while allowing companies access to research talent for their future development needs.

A long-standing partner in the scheme is Analog Devices, which this year is supporting three researchers, including UCD’s Mohamed Shehata, who is receiving an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘A Rotary Travelling-Wave Oscillator (RTWO) Based Frequency Multiplier for Millimetre-Wave Radar Systems’.

“This programme enables us to collaborate with excellent researchers and integrate their expertise into our processes and innovations. We also aim to provide the researchers with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of working in industry, promoting it as a high potential career path,” said Shane Geary, Vice-President Internal operations and technology and General Manager Ireland site, Analog Devices.

The other successful UCD awardees are as follows:

Deirdre Cullen, who has received an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘The Long Gallery at Castletown: a rare example of the neoclassical taste for painted rooms all' antica and an expression of the intellectual and cultural worlds of Ireland's eighteenth-century elite’ with enterprise partner, The Office of Public Works.

Dr Husvinee Sundaramurthi, UCD School of Medicine, who has received an EPS Postdoctoral Award for a project entitled ‘Evaluating anti-neoplastic activity of HDAC6 inhibitors in uveal melanoma cells and in zebrafish patient-derived uveal melanoma xenograft models’ with enterprise partner, Breakthrough Cancer Research.

Ioanna Bampouri, who has received an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘Application of High-Resolution Ultrasonic Spectroscopy for Real-Time, Non-Destructive Monitoring of the State of Wafer Surfaces. Assessment of the Effects of Composition of Cleaning Liquids Utilised in Semiconductor Manufacturing’ with enterprise partner, Intel Ireland Ltd.

Joseph Young, who has received an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘Killruddery: Listening to the Archive. Exploring the Anglo-Irish heritage experience with immersive 3D audio soundscapes’ with enterprise partner, Killruddery Arts, Culture, Ecology and Heritage.

Justine O'Brien, who has received an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘Uncovering novel drugs that restore vision by combining biological and computational drug discovery processes’ with enterprise partner, Cresset Biomolecular Discovery Ltd.

Dr Karen Fox, UCD School of Chemistry, who has received an EPS Postdoctoral Award for a project entitled ‘Breakthroughs in Phosphorus Chemistry applied to the Wittig Reaction: Dramatic Scope Improvement and Long-Term Sustainability’ with enterprise partner, Kelada Pharmachem Ltd.

Kate Barones de Smeth, who has received an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘Remembering hydromorphology: sensitivity of past and future flooding to changes in channel capacity, land use and river disturbances’ with enterprise partner, The Office of Public Works.

Dr Mark Coughlan, UCD School of Civil Engineering, who has received an EPS Postdoctoral Award for a project entitled ‘Mapping the Shallow Geology of the Irish Sea for Marine Spatial Planning of Offshore Renewable Energy (Map-MORE)’ with enterprise partner, Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions Ltd.

Dr Mary Mishler, UCD School of English, Drama and Film, who has received an EPS Postdoctoral Award for a project entitled ‘Mapping Gothic Dublin: Historical and Literary Hauntings, 1820-1900’ with enterprise partner, Museum of Literature Ireland.

Marzia Pendino, who has received an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘Evaluation of the Therapeutic and Adverse Potential of Cannabinoids in Vision’ with enterprise partner, Breakthrough Cancer Research.

Melissa Johnson, who has received an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘Diabetic Wound Healing through an Injectable and Tuneable Extracellular Matrix Derived Hydrogel as a Stem Cell Delivery Niche’ with enterprise partner Blafar Ltd which is headquartered at NovaUCD.

Thomas Divilly, who has received an EPS Postgraduate Award for a project entitled ‘Tackling the evidence-based medicine manifesto for better healthcare in sports and exercise medicine and sports physiotherapy’ with enterprise partner, BMJ Publishing Group Limited.

By: Staff Writers (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)