University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast have formally announced the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration between both universities.
Following many decades of close collaboration, the aim of the MoU is to enhance cooperation in research and innovation in areas of mutual strength including arts and humanities; climate and sustainability, and energy; food and agriculture; healthcare and cancer; and manufacturing and digital technologies. Each institution will also explore opportunities for collaboration in emerging areas of expertise, and in academic and postgraduate student mobility.
Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, UCD said: “I am delighted that UCD is deepening its level of partnership with Queen’s University Belfast through the Memorandum of Understanding signed today. This agreement formalises a significant and close partnership between the two institutions and expresses our ambition to jointly contribute our expertise to co-develop solutions to shared global challenges.
“UCD looks forward to participating in future all-island and international funding programmes with Queen’s University Belfast, together with other Higher Education and industry partners, which will have transformative impacts for citizens and support talent for the jobs of the future on the Island of Ireland.”
Queen’s University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Emma Flynn said: “We are pleased to collaborate with UCD and other partners on a range of important and ground breaking projects. Working together to advance cooperation, academic exchanges and research is a positive and important way to blend our expertise for the benefit of society as a whole. The enhanced connectivity delivered to our universities and communities through these projects will ensure that our cutting-edge research continues to make a real difference to our society.
“This is an exciting time for Queen’s as we lead on the delivery of three Belfast Region City Deal Innovation Centres in advanced manufacturing, clinical research and secure, connected digital technologies. Linking at scale into UK and all-Island networks is vital to the success of these centres and we greatly value research partnerships with organisations like UCD to help us create global impact where it truly matters.”
Queen’s and UCD were recently successful in 10 jointly led proposals under the Higher Education Authority’s North-South Research Programme funded through the Irish Government’s Shared Island Fund in areas including the All-island Vaccine Research and Training Alliance and the All-Island Cancer Research Institute, as well as projects in healthcare, social justice, creative arts and the bioeconomy.
All-island Vaccine Research and Training Alliance led by Associate Professor Siobhán McClean from UCD along with Professor Miguel Valvano from Queen’s will draw on shared expertise in infection, immunology, pharmacy and psychology, with a shared goal of designing and developing better vaccines to prevent difficult to treat bacterial infections. The All-Island Cancer Research Institute, led by Professor Mark Lawler from Queen’s and Professor William Gallagher from UCD, is designed to be an unparalleled opportunity for the universities to work together to combat a disease that will affect one in two people on this island during their lifetime.
Both institutions are co-leading other networks along with other HEI partners in Food Integrity (FOOD-I,the All-Island Food Integrity Initiative) and in Climate and Biodiversity (the All-Island Climate and Biodiversity Research Network) involving industry and other key stakeholders across the island.
Following on from the signing of this MoU, both universities plan to enhance their joint international research and innovation funding applications.