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News Archive 2014

UCD to lead major national research institute in applied geosciences

Monday, 20 October, 2014 


Pictured [l-r] are Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.

Pictured [l-r] are Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD today announced Government and industry funding of €245 million for the establishment of five new world-class SFI Research Centres in Ireland. The new Research Centres will be involved in over 165 industry collaborations with partners ranging from multinationals to SMEs and including Intel, Google, Microsoft and many more.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said: “The five new world-class research centres are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This builds on the announcement of seven similar centres last year. With twelve world-class SFI Research Centres, Ireland is now well placed to take the lead developing cutting-edge research and new technologies, ultimately delivering more commercial ideas and jobs.”

Addressing research in critical and emerging areas of the economy, University College Dublin will lead the new Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG).  Geoscience underpins the discovery of raw materials, water and energy resources that are critical to the world’s economy. With increasing demand and diminishing supply, focused innovations in geoscience are of paramount importance globally. Ireland is home to Europe’s largest zinc mine, untapped hydrocarbon resources and important untapped seabed and groundwater resources.

Pictured are members of the newly launched iCRAG centre which is led by UCD. Included are Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD, Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President UCD, and Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, UCD.

Lead by Professor John Walsh of the UCD School of Geological Sciences, iCRAG will carry out research to find and harness these resources whilst protecting the environment. Other UCD researchers involved in the centre are professors Chris Bean, Peter Haughton, Frank McDermott and Pat Shannon.  Funding of over €17.8 million has been committed by SFI to this centre and is matched by over €7.8m in industry cost share.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact, said “I am delighted to see UCD researchers leading in SFI Centres, and I congratulate them all.  With SFI support, they will be addressing global challenges in the areas of energy, Internet of Things, software and medical devices, areas of key strategic opportunity for Ireland.  I also welcome the strong industry partnerships that will be at the core of these centres.”

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, added, “These SFI Research Centres will also strongly position Irish based scientists to win funding through the EU Horizon 2020 funding programme, and will enable us to attract further investment from international companies in the future.“

UCD will also partner in three of the other research centres: CÚRAM - the Centre for Research in Medical Devices; LERO – the Irish Software Research Centre and CONNECT - the Centre for Future Networks & Communications.

 

CONNECT Centre for Future Networks & Communications - The key challenges that face society all drive the need for new and varied forms of networked services. These include mobile Internet, connected health, smart agriculture, smart grids and metering, and environmental monitoring services. The CONNECT Centre focuses on future broadband, cellular and Internet-of-Things networks on which all of these services will be enabled; thereby growing the economy and supporting society at large. UCD’s focus in the centre is on enabling technologies for the Internet of Things, which is predicted to have a multi-trillion dollar global impact in areas such as health, energy, transport, education and manufacturing. The Centre is led by Prof Linda Doyle in TCD and involves UCD’s Prof Tom Brazil of the UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering.

CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices - As the global population ages, one in three people are expected to be over 65 by 2050, with the potential financial burden for healthcare expected to rise. CÚRAM is engaged in research to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable ‘smart’ medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs. This research will position Ireland as the leader in developing medical device technologies which will provide affordable transformative solutions for chronic diseases. UCD’s involvement in the Centre is led by Professor David Brayden of the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine.  Prof Brayden led the Irish Drug Delivery Network which was previously funded by SFI and which will now fold its activities into the new CÚRAM Centre.  Prof Brayden’s industry partners which include Arch Therapeutics and Aerogen will also contribution to this new initiative.

LERO The Irish Software Research Centre - Software is everywhere and key Irish industry sectors such as manufacturing, medical devices, financial services, cloud computing, analytics, and smart cities depend on it. LERO’s research mission is to replicate the success of traditional software engineering in the context of large-scale, pervasive, physically-integrated, highly interconnected, evolving, and continuously-available systems, in which the boundary between design-time and runtime is disappearing. UCD’s involvement will be led by Professors John Murphy and Joao Marques Silva of the UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics.