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2016 News Archive

The European Commission’s Director-General for Research and Innovation Visits University College Dublin

Monday, 29 February, 2016 


Mr Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, recently visited University College Dublin (UCD) and was welcomed to the University by Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President, UCD.

While at UCD senior researchers presented the university’s strategic plans for research and innovation over the next few years in each of the university’s key research themes.

Mr Smits, who was accompanied on his visit by John Bell, Director, Bio-economy, European Commission and Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, also met a number of UCD researchers who have successfully secured European Research Council (ERC) funding.

In addition the delegation visited NIBRT, the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, and NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs, and toured both facilities.

Speaking at NovaUCD, Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “Through our research programmes, centred around six major research themes, we work to develop meaningful responses at scale to global challenges, in partnership with international organisations and industry. We do so in areas where UCD has the expertise, infrastructure and network to lead internationally. The visit of the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation was a perfect opportunity to showcase how UCD can lead in addressing such global challenges.”

She added, “UCD researchers have had nationally-leading success in many of the most prestigious European awards, including the European Research Council and Marie Sk?odowska-Curie schemes, and the visit provided Mr Smits with an opportunity to meet with several UCD awardees and to be briefed on their research activities.”

Mr Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission said, “Today I had the privilege of visiting UCD and meeting many EU funded researchers working across a variety of topics from agri-food to data science to humanities and the social sciences. The people I met and the excellent research and innovation taking place here is really impressive and inspiring and I congratulate UCD and its researchers on their success.”

The following UCD researchers delivered presentations to the visiting delegation;

  • Agrifood: Professor Dolores O’Riordan, UCD Vice-President for Global Engagement and Director, UCD Institute of Food and Health
  • Bio-economy: Professor Kevin O’Connor, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science
  • Data science: Professor Brian Caulfield, Dean of Physiotherapy and Director, Insight Centre for Data Analytics
  • Internet-of-Things and Sharing Economy: Professor Robert Shorten, Professor of Control Engineering and Decision Science, UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Personalised Medicine: Professor Walter Kolch, Director, Systems Biology Ireland and UCD Conway Institute
  • Energy: Professor Eoin Casey, Head UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering
  • Humanities/Social Science: Professor Gerardine Meaney, Professor of Cultural Theory and Director of the UCD Humanities Institute.

While at NovaUCD the delegation met representatives from industry (Glen Dimplex, Intel and IBM), representatives from State Agencies (Science Foundation Ireland, IDA, Irish Research Council, Enterprise Ireland, IUA and Knowledge Transfer Ireland) along with entrepreneurs John Byrne, founder and CEO, Corlytics and Peter Brady, CEO, Equilume.