Law Reform Commission to Hold Public Consultation in Galway on Programme of Law Reform

Law Reform Commission to Hold Public Consultation in Galway on Programme of Law Reform -image

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Law Reform Commission will hold a public consultation on its Fourth Programme of Law Reform in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 27 February. The event will be chaired by the Commission President, Mr Justice John Quirke, and there will be two contributions from invited speakers: Judge Tom O'Donnell of the Circuit Court and Damien McCallig, an Irish Research Council-funded PhD candidate in the School of Law, NUI Galway. The purpose of the evening is to hear the views of members of the public on what should be contained in the Fourth Programme of Law Reform. Members of the Law Reform Commission, including Tom O'Malley and Donncha O'Connell from the School of Law, NUIG, will be in attendance in a listening capacity. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. The Law Reform Commission is a statutory body, established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975, with a mandate to keep the law under review, to undertake examinations and conduct research with a view to reforming the law, and to formulate proposals for law reform. Having completed the majority of the projects set out in its Third Programme of Law Reform, the Law Reform Commission is now in the process of preparing a new Programme of Law Reform which will form the principal basis of the Commission’s work over the coming years, subject to approval by the Government. Further information is available on our website and any enquiries may be sent to

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Biomnis Ireland and Full Health Medical to roll out Full Health innovation offering to Irish businesses

Biomnis Ireland and Full Health Medical to roll out Full Health innovation offering to Irish businesses-image

Friday, 22 February 2013

“Full Health puts employees in the driving seat on preventative health”  – Taoiseach A major personal health initiative which promises to revolutionise the way medical test results are reported, was unveiled by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. in Dublin yesterday.  The new initiative, ‘Full Health’, which is being introduced into Biomnis Ireland’s workplace health screening programme, has the potential to significantly enhance preventative health planning for employees. Developed by a team of doctors at Full Health Medical, a company based in the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre, ‘Full Health’ converts medical test results into a personalised report, outlining what the medical test results mean in a simple and easy-to-understand way.  The report, which combines medical, family history and lifestyle information with the test results, provides the individual with a personalised set of recommendations and preventative health measures. The ‘Full Health’ technology is now being introduced by Biomnis Ireland – the leading provider of medical laboratory testing services – as part of its workplace health screening programme, HealthWatch, which will benefit both employees and their employers. HealthWatch is Ireland's largest independent provider of workplace health and lifestyle screening programmes. Speaking at the launch event at the Biomnis Ireland Laboratories in Sandyford, Mr Kenny described Full Health as an empowering solution which puts employees firmly in control of their own personal health.  “As Ireland moves towards economic recovery, we need to secure the health and wellbeing of our workforce. Companies are increasingly aware that employee health can have a significant impact on the bottom line. This is a wonderful example of an innovative start-up company, Full Health, responding to a market opportunity and then commercialising its offering in conjunction with Biomnis Ireland. It is especially gratifying to see this level of collaboration happening in an Irish business setting and I wish the venture every success.” Full Health Medical is a Galway–based company that has developed new health technology which decodes complex medical data and creates simple medical reports that can empower people to improve their health. Dr Ann Shortt of Full Health Medical predicted Full Health would be a valuable tool in detecting and offsetting chronic illnesses and disease in the workplace. “The cost of just one chronic illness can be huge to a national economy, for example, type 2 diabetes which affects 5% of the Irish population.  Extrapolating from UK figures, type 2 diabetes leads to  approximately 515,000 absentee days per year in Ireland, costing €72.5 million while diabetes presenteeism (productivity loss among people still in work but suffering from this disease) costs a further €247 million.1 When the largest cost to business is wages and salaries, it makes sound business sense to invest in understanding employee health. Full Health can really help employers in a practical and meaningful way to anticipate and mitigate against future financial loss.” John O’Sullivan, CEO Biomnis Ireland said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Full Health on this partnership which we see as a unique medical reporting solution, which will form a key part of our growing HealthWatch brand. The HealthWatch screening service delivers health checks to approximately 10,000 employees every year. The Full Health initiative will provide employees with the important information in an easy-to-understand format as well as recommendations on how to stay healthy.  We also see it as having a wider application across the Biomnis group for our laboratory testing service as a premium content offering for clinicians and their patients.” Fiona Neary of NUI Galway’s Technology Transfer Office and Business Innovation Centre, said: “The NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre is buzzing with so much technology expertise, and Full Health Medical Ltd being no exception. We are here to support pioneering and ground-breaking companies that offer business solutions through the use of technology as can be demonstrated by the launch of ‘Full Health’, a preventative health innovation developed by our client company Full Health Medical Ltd. NUI Galway is a great place to do business, because of the workspace suitability for start-ups, the technical infrastructure, the atmosphere of innovation, as well as having research and industry located together is definitely a winning combination.” ENDS

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NUI Galway Secures Significant Funding in Government’s €300 million Investment in World-Class Research Centres

NUI Galway Secures Significant Funding in Government’s €300 million Investment in World-Class Research Centres -image

Monday, 25 February 2013

      Largest ever state/industry co-funded research investment in Ireland       €200m of new Exchequer funds for 7 World Class Research Centres over 6 years      €100m co-investment by over 150 industry partners      NUI Galway represented in 3 of the 7 Centres      Supports key growth areas targeted in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013     Targets research into major social challenges, including Health and Energy     Directly supporting 800 top-class researcher positions NUI Galway features prominently in Government plans for science and technology research over the next six years, as part of a €300 million investment announcement today. The University will participate in three of the seven new Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres as announced by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard BrutonTD and Sean Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation, in Dublin today. In a landmark investment by the Government in scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals, €200 million of Irish exchequer funding will be invested in seven world class research centres of scale. The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over €100 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners, making it the largest ever combined state/industry co-funding announcement of its kind in the research field in Ireland. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review. Big Data and Analytics - INSIGHT NUI Galway’s web science research centre, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), along with colleagues from the discipline of IT, will play a leading role in a new ‘big data’ and analytics centre, INSIGHT. For the last decade DERI has been at the vanguard of web science research and now has 140 researchers based in NUI Galway. With the explosion of internet based information, ‘Big Data’ represents a sector that is currently growing at up to 40% per annum. With 32 industry partners, including CISCO, Avaya and HP in Galway,INSIGHT will lead the development of breakthrough data analytics technologies to make Ireland a global leader in this rapidly expanding area. The goal of INSIGHT is explained by Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI: “In our digital age, the amount of data is growing exponentially. We want to harness that information and make it work for individuals, for business and for society. With significant support from SFI we are taking our research to the next phase, which is world-class and will have world-wide influence. This will have huge impact on the ICT sector in Ireland, in terms of supporting existing industry, attracting foreign direct investment and propelling Ireland onto the world stage in this area.” Marine Renewable Energy - MaREI Another new initiative, the Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), will carry out world-leading research on all aspects required for the success of the marine renewable energy sector while also educating and training the next generation of engineers and scientists for the marine renewable energy industry. Ireland is one of the best locations in the world in terms of marine renewable energy resources. This centre will look to generate energy technologies for industry from wave, tidal and floating wind devices. NUI Galway’s Professor Michael Hartnett, who will be Deputy Director of MaREI, along with Dr Conchur O'Bradaigh will lead teams of researchers investigating tidal energy and the development of novel materials for use in the marine renewable energy industry.   Synthesis and solid State Pharmaceutical Technologies Cluster (SSPC) NUI Galway will also be part of Synthesis and solid State Pharmaceutical TechnologiesCluster along with its Alliance Partner, the University of Limerick. Speaking about the selection of the seven world-class centres, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said: “These seven funded research centres were selected from 35 proposals following a highly competitive and rigorous international peer review process. This 20% success rate is comparable to international funding success rates.  Each centre proposal was examined for scientific excellence through international scientific review by eminent scientists from the world’s leading universities and for potential economic impact through an international impact review by distinguished industrial R&D leaders, high technology investors, translational institute directors and tech transfer directors from world leading universities.  Over 100 esteemed international reviewers have joined with Industry and agency experts to ensure that the centres supported have excellent science with the potential to deliver societal and economic impact. ” At today’s announcement in Dublin, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is a leading international, research-intensive university, ranked amongst the top 250 universities in the world. The level of investment announced today by SFI in NUI Galway is very significant.  It is an endorsement not only of our research excellence, but also of our collaboration with academic partners and industry. “We have an ambitious research agenda, which is having a direct effect on job creation, through industry partnerships, spin-outs and innovation. Today’s investment is a welcome validation of our research agenda, past and future.” Commenting on the benefits for job-creation, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research.” “The €300million investment announced today, and the seven new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This will support more than 800 talented scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help to create the jobs we need.” The new centres will link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, and foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies. The aim is also to attract industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy, and expand educational and career opportunities in Ireland in science and engineering. “We are pushing the frontiers of science and discovery at NUI Galway. Whether it’s securing Ireland’s energy independence through marine renewables or revolutionising the World Wide Web, our research shapes and influences all of our futures. Our research, carried out in conjunction with collaborators and our industry partners, also has huge potential in terms of job creation and growth”, said Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway. -ENDS-   Faigheann OÉ Gaillimh Maoiniú Suntasach  in Infheistíócht €300 milliún ón Rialtais in Ionaid Thaighde den Chéad Scoth    ·         An infheistíocht taighde is mó riamh in Éirinn atá cómhaoinithe ag stát/tionsclaíocht ·         €200m maoiniú nua ón Státchiste d’Ionaid Taighde den Chéad Scoth thar thréimhse 6 bliana ·         €100m comhaoinithe ag breis is 150 comhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta ·         Ionadaíocht ag OÉ Gaillimh i dtrí cinn de na seacht nIonad Taighde ·         Tacaíocht á tabhairt do phríomhréimsí fáis atá mar spriocanna i bPlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist 2013 ·         Dírithe ar thaighde ar mhórdhúshláin shóisialta, Sláinte agus Fuinneamh san áireamh ·         Tacaíocht á tabhairt go díreach do 800 post den chéad scoth do thaighdeoirí Tá páirt suntasach ag OÉ Gaillimh i bpleananna an Rialtais don taighde eolaíochta agus teicneolaíochta as seo go ceann sé bliana, mar chuid de mhaoiniú €300 milliún don taighde a fógraíodh inniu. Glacfaidh an Ollscoil páirt i dtrí cinn de na seacht nIonad Taighde nua de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann mar a d’fhógair an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta,  Risteárd  De Briotún TD agus Seán Sherlock, TD, An tAire Taighde agus Nuála,  i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu. De bharr infheistíocht shuntasach an Rialtais i dtaighde eolaíoch a bhfuil dlúthbhaint aige le riachtanais tionsclaíochta agus fiontraíochta, deiseanna oibre agus spriocanna sochaíocha, déanfar €200 milliún maoiniú ó státchiste na hÉireann a infheistiú i seacht n-ionad taighde scála den scoth. Déanfar an maoiniú nua a sheachadadh trí Chlár Ionad Taighde Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI), mar aon le breis is €100 milliún in airgead tirim nó mar ranníocaíochtaí comhchineálacha ó chomhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta, rud a dhéanann é seo ar an infheistíocht taighde is mó atá comhaoinithe ag stát/tionsclaíochta a fógraíodh riamh sa réimse taighde in Éirinn. Cuirfear an maoiniú ar fáil as seo go ceann sé bliana agus déanfar athbhreithniú meántéarma air. Olltiomsú Sonraí agus Anailísíocht - INSIGHT Beidh ról ceannasach ag ionad taighde eolaíochta gréasáin OÉ Gaillimh, an Institiúid um Thaighde ar an bhFiontraíocht Dhigiteach (DERI), mar aon le comhghleacaithe ó dhisciplín na Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise, in ionad nua ‘olltiomsaithe’ agus anailísíochta, INSIGHT. Le deich mbliana anuas tá DERI ar thús cadhnaíochta i dtaighde eolaíochta gréasáin agus anois tá 140 taighdeoir dá chuid lonnaithe in OÉ Gaillimh. Leis an bhfás ollmhór atá tagtha ar fhaisnéis bunaithe ar an idirlíon, seasann ‘Olltiomsú Sonraí’ d’earnáil a bhfuil fás de suas go 40% in aghaidh na bliana ag teacht uirthi. Le 32 comhpháirtí tionsclaíochta, lena n-áirítear CASCO, Avaya agus HP i nGaillimh, beidh INSIGHT i gceannas ar fhorbairt teicneolaíochtaí ceannródaíocha anailísíochta sonraí chun Éire a chur chun tosaigh ar domhan sa réimse seo atá ag teacht chun cinn go sciobtha. Tá  míniú tugtha ag an Ollamh Stefan Decker, Stiúrthóir  DERI, ar chuspóir an ionaid taighde, INSIGHT: “San aois dhigiteach atá againn anois, tá fás easpónantúil ag teacht ar líon sonraí. Teastaíonn uainn leas a bhaint as an bhfaisnéis sin agus agus úsáid a bhaint aisti ar mhaithe le daoine aonair, le gnó agus leis an tsochaí. Agus tacaíocht shuntasach á fáil againn ó SFI táimid ag tabhairt ár gcuid taighde go dtí an chéad chéim eile, taighde den chéad scoth agus a mbeidh tionchar aige ar fud an domhain. Beidh tionchar an-mhór aige seo ar earnáil na Teicneolaíochta Eolais agus Cumarsáide in Éirinn,ó thaobh tacú leis an tionsclaíocht atá ann cheana féin, infheistíocht dhíreach a mhealladh ó thíortha thar lear agus Éire a chur ar stáitse an domhain sa réimse seo.” Fuinneamh Mara In-athnuaite - MaREI Beidh taighde den scoth ar siúl freisin ag tionscnamh nua eile, Fuinneamh Mara In-athnuaite na hÉireann (MaREI), ar na gnéithe uile atá de dhíth chun go n-éireoidh le hearnáil an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite agus ag an am céanna oideachas á thabhairt don chéad ghlúin eile innealtóirí agus eolaithe do thionsclaíocht an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite agus oiliúint á cur orthu. Tá Éire ar cheann de na háiteanna is fearr ar domhan ó thaobh acmhainní fuinnimh mara in-athnuaite. Cinnteoidh an t-ionad seo chuige go nginfear teicneolaiochtaí fuinnimh don tionsclaíocht ó ghléasanna toinne, taoide agus gaoithe. Beidh an  tOllamh Michael Hartnett ó OÉ Gaillimh, a bheidh ina Leas-Stiúrthóir ar MaREI, mar aon leis an Dr Conchur O’Bradaigh, i gceannas ar fhoirne taighdeoirí a bheidh ag déanamh imscrúdú ar fhuinneamh taoide agus ar fhorbairt ábhar núíosach lena n-úsáid i dtionsclaíocht an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite.     Braisle na Cógaisíochta Staide Soladaí (SSPC) Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ina chuid de Bhraisle na Cógaisíochta Staide Soladaí (SSPC) freisin, mar aon lena Comhpháirtí Comhghuaillíochta, Ollscoil Luimnigh. Ag labhairt faoi roghnú na seacht n-ionad den chéad scoth, dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir SFI: “Roghnaíodh na seacht n-ionad taighde maoinithe ó 35 togra tar éis próiseas athbhreithnithe piaraí idirnáisiúnta a raibh iomaíocht ghéar agus doichte ag baint leis. Tá an ráta ratha 20% seo inchomparáide leis na rátaí ratha a bhaineann le maoiniú idirnáisiúnta.  Rinneadh cíoradh ar gach togra le haghaidh ionaid chun a fháil amach an raibh feabhas eolaíochta i gceist leis trí athbhreithniú idirnáisiúnta eolaíoch a rinne eolaithe oirirce ó na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan agus chun a fháil amach an raibh tionchar ionchasach eacnamaíoch i gceist leis trí athbhreithniú idirnáisiúnta tionchair a rinne ceannairí céimiúla tionsclaíocha T&F, infheisteoirí ardteicneolaíochta, stiúrthóirí institiúidí aistritheacha agus stiúrthóirí ar aistriú teicneolaíochta ó na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan.  Bhí níos mó ná 100 athbhreithneoirí idirnáisiúnta measúla ag obair le saineolaithe tionsclaíochta agus gníomhaireachta le cinntiú go bhfuil eolaíocht den scoth ag na hionaid a dtugtar tacaíocht dóibh agus an acmhainneacht iontu tionchar sochaíoch agus eacnamaíoch a imirt.” Ag an bhfógairt i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is Ollscoil dlúth-thaighde idirnáisiúnta,ar thús cadhnaíochta í OÉ Gaillimh, agus áit bainte amach aici i measc an 250 ollscoil is fearr sa domhan. Tá leibhéal na hinfheistíochta in OÉ Gaillimh a d’fhógair SFI inniu fíorshuntasach.  Is formheas é ní hamháin ar fheabhas ár gcuid taighde, ach ar an gcomhoibriú atá á dhéanamh againn freisin le comhpháirtithe acadúla agus le tionsclaíocht. Tá clár uaillmhianach taighde againn, a bhfuil iarmhairt díreach aige ar chruthú post, trí  chomhpháirtíochtaí, mac-chuideachtaí agus nuálaíocht tionsclaíochta. Déanann infheistíocht an lae inniu bailmheas a gcuirimid fáilte roimhe ar ár gclár taighde, san am atá thart agus sa todhchaí.” Ag labhairt faoi na tairbhí atá ann do chruthú post, dúirt an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Risteárd De Briotún TD: “Is príomhchuid de Phlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist an Rialtais cur leis na móréachtaí i dtaighde eolaíoch atá déanta againn le deich mbliana anuas agus poist mhaithe a dhéanamh as smaointe maithe eile. Mar thoradh ar fhógairt an lae inniu, bunófar in Éirinn ionaid bharr feabhais taighde agus scála den chéad scoth a athróidh go suntasach an taighde eolaíoch in Éirinn as seo amach.” “Tá an infheistíocht €300 milliún a fógraíodh inniu, agus na seacht n-ionad nua mórscála taighde  den chéad scoth a gheobhaidh tacaíocht ón infheistíocht sin, dírithe ar athrú suntasach a bhaint amach i gclú agus i bhfeidhmíocht an chórais taighde in Éirinn. Déanfaidh sé seo tacaíocht a thabhairt do bhreis is 800 eolaí tallannach, taighde ceannródaíoch agus teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt, comhpháirtíochtaí dinimiciúla le tionsclaíocht a mhealladh agus ar deireadh thiar thall cabhrú leis na poist atá uainn a chruthú.” Déanfaidh na hionaid nua eolaithe agus innealtóirí a nascadh i gcomhpháirtíochtaí sa saol acadúil agus sa saol tionsclaíochta chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar cheisteanna fíorthábhachtacha taighde, agus chun forbairt cuideachtaí teicneolaíochta atá bunaithe in Éirinn, idir chuideachtaí nua agus chuideachtaí atá ann cheana féin, a chothú. Is í an aidhm freisin tionsclaíocht a mhealladh a d’fhéadfadh cúnamh tábhachtach a thabhairt d’Éirinn agus do gheilleagar na hÉireann, agus níos mó deiseanna oideachais agus gairme san eolaíocht agus san innealtóireacht a chur ar fáil in Éirinn. “Tá teorainneacha na heolaíochta agus na fionnachtana á leathnú againn in OÉ Gaillimh. Cibé acu an bhfuil neamhspleáchas fuinnimh na hÉireann á bhaint amach trí athnuaiteáin mhara nó tríd an Gréasán Domhanda a athrú ó bhonn, déanann ár dtaighde ár saol sa todhchaí a mhúnlú agus imríonn sé tionchar air.  Tá acmhainneacht mhór chun poist a chruthú agus ardacmhainneacht fáis inár gcuid taighde, a dhéantar i gcomhar lenár gcomhoibrithe agus lenár bpáirtithe tionsclaíochta”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lokesh Joshi, Leas-Uachtarán don Taighde in OÉ Gaillimh. -CRÍOCH-     

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Banbridge Academy Win Debating Science Issues Competition

Banbridge Academy Win Debating Science Issues Competition-image

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Secondary schools students from across Ireland participated in the sixth All-Ireland Final of the Debating Science Issues (DSI) competition on Friday, 22 February, in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin. After closely contested debates, Banbridge Academy, Co. Down came out victorious to become the 2013 Debating Science Issues winners, with Pobal Scoil Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal awarded second place. Other finalists included Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Co. Cork and St. Andrew’s College, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. DSI is a dynamic debating competition inviting young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Open to students in the senior cycle of secondary school, the competition provides a great opportunity for students to expand their communication and scientific skills. Funded by Discover Science and Engineering, Abbott Ireland, Boston Scientific and Pfizer, this All-Ireland project is coordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in conjunction with eight science research and discovery centres throughout Ireland - Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, UCC; Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU; CRANN in Trinity College Dublin; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), W5 in Belfast, Clarity at UCD, Cork Institute of Technology and the Centre for Cross Border Studies. Danielle Nicholson, DSI Coordinator and Outreach Officer with REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: “DSI provides young people with an insight into science as an institution and the processes by which scientific knowledge is produced.  Incorporating the values and limits in science as well as its tactics for decision-making, DSI employs a discussion-based teaching model. The pre-competition workshops involve both science and non-science students. It is important that students do not judge their understanding of scientific knowledge to be insufficient to allow them to engage with socio-scientific issues of concern.  Argumentation is one of the cornerstones of the scientific process.  DSI increases student engagement with science content and promotes reasoning and justification skills that help prepare an informed citizenry.” Judges for the DSI Final included: Terry McWade, Deputy CEO of RCSI; Louise Mylotte, Lecturer at St. Angela’s College, Sligo; Katharine Jensen, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Abbott Ireland; Oonagh Ward, Programme Manager at Health Research Board; Eimear Holohan and Dara Dunican, both Scientific Programme Managers at Science Foundation Ireland; Maria Daly, Science Calling; Joan Flanagan, Education Liaison at European Commission Representation in Ireland; and Hannah McGee, Dean of Faculty of Medicine RCSI. Full information on the DSI competition is available at -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Host Lecture on Teaching Children

NUI Galway Host Lecture on Teaching Children-image

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Psychology is hosting a public lecture delivered by Professor Carol McGuinness, Queens University Belfast, on Teaching Thinking: Learning How to Think. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 6 March from 5-7.30pm in IT250, Information Technology Building, NUI Galway. Drawing on research, this presentation will outline the key concepts for successfully teaching children to think and implications for teachers and curriculum designers will be emphasised. The session will be conducted in seminar style and will include demonstrations of useful techniques for classroom teachers.  Professor Carol McGuinness, a consultant on several national curriculum projects in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, is an expert in the application of psychology to learning and teaching in classrooms. Professor McGuinness is Director of the Activating Children’s Thinking Skills (ACTS) project in Northern Ireland and has helped launch similar projects across the UK.  She has also devised professional programmes for teachers embarking on thinking developments in their classroom. She is author of From Thinking Skills to Thinking Classrooms and a forthcoming book entitled Thinking Lessons for Thinking Classrooms.  According to Dr AnnMarie Groarke, Head of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway: “This topic is of immense interest as equipping children with skills on how to think will provide them with a valuable resource to help manage the increasingly complex social and educational challenges they will face. ”   Sponsored by Brainworx, this is the third in a series of jointly organised free public lectures from the Psychological Society of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society. To book a place, visit -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Students Win Prestigious National Logistics and Transport Awards

NUI Galway Students Win Prestigious National Logistics and Transport Awards-image

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NUI Galway’s Commerce students scooped first, second and joint third prize in the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland ‘Student Idea of the Year’ Awards at a special ceremony in Dublin recently. The awards are presented to the originators of the most innovative ideas which could make the most significant contribution to some aspect of the logistics industry in Ireland. NUI Galway student Seán Ó Muircheartaigh from Rahoon, Galway City, was announced winner with his project ‘Easy Smart Travel Ireland’. Seán wrote a paper which focused on the feasibility and the design of a system which integrated public transport services using seamless smart mobile ticketing technologies. Second place was awarded to NUI Galway student Alex Hannon-Cross from Barna, Co. Galway. His project, ‘An Intelligent Public Transport System’, aimed to assess the viability of big data application orientated solutions for the public transport system, with the purpose of increasing efficiency and maximising resource usage. Third place was presented to NUI Galway international student, Kerry Creehan from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA. Her project ‘Exploring Out of Bounds’ designed a mobile application which uses offline capabilities for navigation and points of interest. The prototypes uses technology efficiently employing vector based maps rather than raster so that data is not stored as pixels. Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway said: “The positive indicators of economic growth are fuelled by the knowledge economy. I believe our graduates are well positioned to aid in the continued recovery of our country. Our students have an important role to play in creating the technologies of the future and engineering a path to a better future for all citizens. NUI Galway has established a learning platform for student innovations to be nurtured. I am encouraged that professionals in the industry who judge this national competition continue to reward our students for their innovations.” -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Host British Labour Party and 20th Century Ireland Conference

NUI Galway Host British Labour Party and 20th Century Ireland Conference-image

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Public invited to a keynote lecture by Dr Kevin McNamara, former Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland NUI Galway’s Moore Institute will host a two-day international conference on 8-9 March on the theme of ‘The British Labour Party and Twentieth-Century Ireland’. The conference will take place in the Moore Institute at the University, with the keynote address scheduled for the Harbour Hotel, Galway, on Friday, 8 March at 6.30pm. Keynote speaker for the event is Dr Kevin McNamara, Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1987-1994. He will deliver an address entitled, ‘The Cause of Labour is the Cause of Ireland, the Cause of Ireland is the Cause of Labour’. Dr McNamara, who was succeeded by Dr Mo Mowlam as Labour spokesperson on Northern Ireland under Tony Blair’s first government, is a seasoned commentator on Anglo-Irish affairs. He has researched and written on the MacBride Principles and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University. The aim of the conference is to explore the relationship between the British Labour Party and Ireland over the course of the last century. At its foundation in 1900, the Labour Party was broadly supportive of Irish nationalist demands for self-determination in the form of ‘home rule’. Yet Labour’s responses to the Irish question would become more complicated over successive decades, particularly after the first Labour government came to power in Britain in 1924. Dr Laurence Marley, conference convenor and historian at NUI Galway, said: “The theme of the event provides an opportunity to examine a largely neglected aspect of Anglo-Irish relations in the twentieth century. By drawing on the expertise of a broad range of scholars from Ireland and Britain, the conference will bring a fresh perspective to the historical and commemorative focus on relations in ‘these islands’ and at a cross-border and regional level.” The conference is free and open to the public, and the keynote event, chaired by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Emeritus Professor at NUI Galway, will feature a questions and answers session. ‘The British Labour Party and Twentieth-Century Ireland’ is supported by the Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway, and by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund. -ENDS-

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New Child and Family Support Agency Must Be More Than A Logo Switch

New Child and Family Support Agency Must Be More Than A Logo Switch-image

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A symposium entitled ‘Embedding a Children’s Rights Approach into the new Child and Family Support Agency’ is being held today (27 February 2013) in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. The establishment of a Child and Family Support Agency is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionise the delivery of child protection, family support and other children’s services. This is a radical and important change, involving far more than simply switching logos at the top of payslips and headed paper. The design of the new agency will have a profound impact on services delivered to children and families for decades to come and will be one of the biggest tasks of the current government. Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said:“Today is about kick-starting discussion on the new agency. There is no doubt that the agency has the potential to be a powerful vehicle for reform. There must be a transparent approach from the outset to ensure future accountability and buy-in from all stakeholders, including children and families themselves. Key to this is a commitment from Government to consult comprehensively on the draft legislation establishing the new agency. We have just passed a referendum on children but it will be an empty referendum if the new agency is not properly resourced to protect children and support families. A child-centred approach must be the starting point for the agency. This means treating all children equally, making decisions in their best interests and taking account of their views when making decisions about them.” “The potential for the Child and Family Support Agency’s success is indisputable, helping to draw a line under past failings such as those so tragically outlined in the 2012 Report of the Independent Child Death Review Group. It is also vital that the agency starts life without the burden of the existing HSE budgetary deficit, and that it is given adequate resources to fulfil its statutory duties to children.” Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, said: “The failings of the child protection and welfare system in the past have consistently focused on a lack of collaboration between professionals in the interests of children and children’s voices not being heard. People are tired of hearing about the failings of the system. In the future we should be hearing about its success. A system whereby workers at the frontline commit to upholding children’s rights, through the introduction of a children’s rights charter to be adhered to in practice, coupled with all children’s services coming under the umbrella of one transparent and accountable agency, will be the true test of positive change.” Noel Kelly, Chair of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network, said: “The Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN) welcomes the establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency. This is an agency for all the children of Ireland and universalism must be its hallmark. Ensuring a prevention and early intervention approach within the design of the new agency will generate benefits for all children and families as well as reducing the numbers of families requiring intensive or specialist interventions. The new Prevention and Early Intervention Network website is also being launched today. It showcases the network's research, service and advocacy work, as well as being a valuable source of information about prevention and early intervention in Ireland.” This symposium, which has been heavily over-subscribed, is the first opportunity to publicly discuss the new agency. It is jointly organised by the Children’s Rights Alliance, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway and the Prevention and Early Intervention Network. Speakers and Chairs include: Paul Gilligan, Chair of the Children’s Rights Alliance Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD Gordon Jeyes, CEO Designate, Child and Family Support Agency Young People from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ Voice of Children in Care Implementation Group Dr. Geoffrey Shannon, Child Law Expert Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway Jim Breslin, Secretary General, Department of Children and Youth Affairs Jennifer Gargan, Director, Empowering People in Care (EPIC) Catherine Ghent, Gallagher Shatter Solicitors Toby Wolfe, Start Strong and Prevention and Early Intervention Network  Today’s event aims to explore how children’s rights, including a prevention and early intervention approach, must be translated into the structures, governance, design and service delivery of the agency. ENDS

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January 2013

Interest Grows in New Hip Implant Technology from NUI Galway

Interest Grows in New Hip Implant Technology from NUI Galway-image

Friday, 4 January 2013

A new type of orthopaedic implant developed at NUI Galway, which could improve the lifespan of hip and knee replacements, is generating growing interest from the biomedical industry.  OsteoAnchor aims to overcome a problem of implants coming loose over time by using a revolutionary surface of hundreds of tiny gripping claws. The implant is designed to not only grip bone securely, but also to encourage new hard bone tissue to grow into the implant, though a specially engineered lattice of tiny struts and pores. Successful pre-clinical study A recent successful pre-clinical study of an OsteoAnchor hip replacement showed the technology immediately grips the bone effectively, leading to a quicker recovery after surgery. No other surface coating on the market provides such a secure initial fixation with such potential for quicker recovery after surgery. In addition, the hip replacement remained very secure over time due to extensive growth of the bone into the implant. The team is now moving towards clinical trials, with plans for a first-in-man trial in 2014. $8.7 billion market With the combined US and European markets for hip and knee replacements estimated to be worth $8.7 billion, the team behind OsteoAnchor will initially target a particular segment - the revision hip market - which is estimated at $800 million. “We are keen to engage with potential investors and business partners interested in commercialising this high potential technology”, explains Dr Pat Mc Donnell who has been developing OsteoAnchor over the last four years with Dr Noel Harrison, of the Biomechanics Research Centre at NUI Galway’s National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science. As people are living longer and undergoing hip implants later in life, the potential for reduced recovery times associated with OsteoAnchor is a key attraction. “We have put together a team of orthopaedic surgeons to work with us to design a hip implant with OsteoAnchor,” adds Dr Mc Donnell. “They will participate in the clinical testing of the implant, providing the initial path to market. The initial target application is for patients having their second or third hip replacement in the same leg - that is one of the most challenging kinds of orthopaedic surgery, and it’s where OsteoAnchor can make a huge impact. In the future we hope to have OsteoAnchor knee and shoulder implants, but for now we are concentrating on hips.” 3D printing OsteoAnchor is made from a standard titanium alloy using a process similar to 3D printing. A preclinical study showed the technology immediately grips the bone effectively, that recovery after surgery is quicker and the hip replacements remain secure due to extensive bone in growth. The product is also cheaper to manufacture due to one step manufacturing process, where the surface architecture is integral to the implant core. The commercialisation project was funded by Enterprise Ireland and showcased at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas event at the Aviva in November. NUI Galway has a strong reputation for technology transfer, in recent years spinning out 25 High Potential Start Ups, 76 license agreements and over 100 patent applications, providing a significant basis for job retention and creation in Ireland. To view Dr Pat Mc Donnell and Dr Noel Harrison on the Late Late Show (46.55 minutes) click on the below image ‌ -ends-

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NUI Galway Celebrates 40 Years of MBA Success

NUI Galway Celebrates 40 Years of MBA Success-image

Monday, 7 January 2013

NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics is organising a conference and gala dinner to mark the 40th anniversary of the first intake to its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Celebrating this milestone, the events will take place Friday, 25 January in Galway and all MBA alumni, as well as past and current teaching faculty, are invited to attend. Focusing on a number of contemporary business, management and leadership issues and challenges, the conference, 40 Years A-Growing in Business & Management: Learning from the Past, Leading the Future, will draw together a panel of high-profile contributors from business and academia, many of whom are NUI Galway MBA alumni. These will include: Dr Alan Ahearne, Economist and Lecturer at NUI Galway; Mike Higgins, Managing Director and Head of CIBC World Markets Corporation and Chair of NUI Galway’s US Foundation Board; Seamus Kavanagh, Vice-President of Hollister in Chicago; Paschal McCarthy, Vice-President of GE Healthcare; Professor John McHale, Chair of the National Fiscal Council and Chair of Economics at NUI Galway; and Helen Ryan, CEO, Creganna Tactx Medical. Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director, NUI Galway, said: “We very much look forward to welcoming back our very successful MBA alumni.  This is a great opportunity for them to return to the University, see the new Cairnes Business School, reconnect with their MBA classmates and network with other NUI Galway MBA graduates and potential business partners.” A number of alumni who are located oversees have registered to attend the event and the conference has received funding from The Gathering.  “The NUI Galway MBA programme is the second oldest MBA programme in the Island of Ireland and is the flagship programme in the School.  The quality of our graduates is reflected in multiple successes in national MBA competitions with many of our alumni holding senior management positions in a variety of organisations nationally and internationally”, said Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway. For further information about the conference and gala dinner, please contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750. ENDS

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