NFB Announces the Launch of Industry Day at the Forthcoming European Conference

NFB Announces the Launch of Industry Day at the Forthcoming European Conference -image

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway has announced the launch of its Industry Day at the forthcoming 24th European Conference on Biomaterials. Hosted by NFB, the Conference is the annual meeting of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) and is taking place in the Dublin Convention Centre from 4 to 9 September, 2011. The ESB is a non-profit organisation whose key objective is to encourage, foster, promote and develop research and provide information concerning the science of biomaterials in Europe. Industry Day, 5 September, 2011 will focus on Translating Biomaterials and Combination Products. The event is specifically designed to bring together the leading organisations in the medical device sector, multi-national corporations, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurial academics who will share their experiences in taking innovative biomaterials concepts to both the clinic and to market. Presentations on the day will see opinions offered from experts in the field of biomaterials and will examine the current market and the regulatory and funding opportunities and issues facing new biomaterial and combination products. Industry Day speakers will focus on the benefits and limitations of combining biomaterials with active components for applications in the medical technology sector. The day will also see perspectives given from key industry players, academics, those involved in regulatory affairs, and venture capital stakeholders, amongst others. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB and Chair of the event, commented, “Industry Day at the ESB Conference represents an unequalled opportunity to demonstrate the innovative work that is being done in translating biomaterials and combination products. As economies decline, future growth will be driven by the emergence of these new technologies in the medical devices market as they aim to better the quality of human life. The day will showcase the strength of research being carried out in the industry and will also present a valuable forum for academics and industry figures to network and gain valuable contacts.” Co-sponsored and co-organised by Covidien, Industry Day and the European Conference on Biomaterials is one of Ireland’s most prestigious conferences in 2011 as it is the first time in the Conference’s 24 year history that it is taking place in Ireland. A vast range sponsorship and exhibitor packages of are available for those wishing to support the event. For further information please contact Vidoja Kovaèeviæ at 091 494146 or email vidoja.kovacevic@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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Last Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme

Last Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme -image

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The deadline for students interested in taking part in NUI Galway’s Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2011/12 is Sunday, 31 July, 2011. NUI Galway has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services. The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme, more than 50 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Cycling, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Outstanding sportspeople from all sports are considered. Applicants for Sports Scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway, Gary Ryan says, “The Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway is aimed at helping our athletes improve at their sport while they are succeeding academically at University, it is not just a reward for what you have achieved in the past, it is an award to help you succeed in the future.” A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarships, “Our efforts in developing a high performance sports environment in NUI Galway have already shown significant success with a large number of our Sports Scholarship students representing national teams and the success of our Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby teams amongst others in the past year. All of these achievements have been secured by students who are also receiving a world class education, and being supported by the scheme to meet the challenges of these dual goals.” For the Scholarships, students who meet the University’s entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the Scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html or by calling the Sport and Recreation Unit at NUI Galway on 091 493482. All applications must be submitted online at http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html. -Ends-

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Computer Science Expert from Stanford University to present NUI Galway Lecture

Computer Science Expert from Stanford University to present NUI Galway Lecture -image

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Computer Science Expert from Stanford University to present’The value of software and where in the world the value is realized’ The effect of Ireland’s corporation tax in a worldwide setting will be among the topics discussed in an exclusive public lecture at NUI Galway on Thursday by a leading computer science expert from Stanford University. Professor Gio Wiederhold will deliver a talk on How to Value Software in a Business and Where might the Value Go? The presentation is intended to provide an understanding of how software products are valued in the marketplace and will provide insights into many areas of high-tech product design, resource acquisition, production, marketing, selection of business structures, outsourcing, and the impact of taxation policies in various countries. Speaking ahead of Thursday’s lecture, the Stanford academic, who is currently writing a book entitled How Multinationals Avoid Taxes, said: “Ireland is facing dilemmas surrounding its corporate tax rate, but just lowering taxes does not necessarily equate to more jobs in the long term. The intellectual property, which generates taxes, can be allocated anywhere, using countries that are willing to provide financial intermediate services, so that the profits, and future investments, occur in places that provide even better incentives.” Professor Gio Wiederhold suggests that few computer professionals are aware of the economic value and exploitation of their products, as the topic is rarely addressed in computer science education. Instead, the assessment of the value of their work is left to business experts, economists, lawyers, and promoters. The lack of understanding hinders rational decision-making for tradeoffs in software design and implementation, market timing, and choosing business models, and allows financial wizards to move the benefits of intellectual work across the globe. The event is being hosted by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and the Centre for Innovation & Structural Change (CISC), both of which are based at NUI Galway, along with the University’s Discipline of IT. The lecture takes place at 11am on Thursday, 23 June in room CA 118 of the Cairnes Building. Gio Wiederhold is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Medicine at Stanford University, still teaching part-time on software economics and consulting for government entities. On Friday, 24 June, he will receive an honorary Degree of Doctor of Science at NUI Galway. -Ends-

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SFI Investment Programme Showcases Research by Five NUI Galway Researchers

SFI Investment Programme Showcases Research by Five NUI Galway Researchers-image

Monday, 20 June 2011

Research by five NUI Galway Researchers, who are part of the Governments € 44 million SFI ’Principal Investigator’ (PI) programme announced last month, was highlighted at a showcase last week attended by Mr Seán Sherlock T.D., Minister for Research and Innovation. The PI showcase follows on from the announcement in early May by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D., of a range of measures to support innovation in Ireland, chief among them a € 44 million investment for 44 PI research teams, directly supporting close to 300 high-quality jobs over the next five years. The five NUI Galway Researchers are Professor Robert Lahue, Dr David Finn, Professor Malini Olivo, Dr Wexnin Wang and Dr Ciaran Morrison. Professor Robert Lahue’s research centres investigating the genetic mutation that underlies Huntington’s disease and 14 other inherited neurological diseases on DNA triplet repeat expansions and neurological disease. The aim of the research is to understand the basic science behind the relentless nature of the HD mutation, and to identify possible drug targets to slow or minimise the impact of the disease. Dr David Finn’s research will investigate whether the body’s own marijuana-like chemicals, so-called endocannabinoids, play a critical role in two levels of stress-induced regulation of pain. Professor Malini Olivo’s research centres on cancer of the oral cavity. This type of cancer is among the most common malignancies worldwide with a growing incidence among smokers. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment is critical for patient survival. Over-expression of a specific protein in oral cancer cells called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) makes it a suitable target to detect and monitor in oral cancer. Prof Malini Olivo proposes two novel antibody targeted nanogold photosensitizers (nanosensitizers) as specific oral cancer optical probes. Dr Wexnin Wang’s research centres on In situ formed Stem Cell Biological Dressing for Wound Healing. Hard-to-heal chronic wounds affect millions of patients each year. The goal of the proposed research is to develop an advanced biomimetic dressing system based on a unique smart dendrtic polymer system combining stem cells and therapeutic biomolecules to address challenging wound healing and regenerative clinical targets. Dr Ciaran Morrison’s research centres on Centrosomes, the structure which controls the division of cells. Dividing cells have two centrosomes that act as anchors to the fibres that pull chromosomes apart when cells divide. Cancer cells have multiple centrosomes, causing uneven cell division. Centrosomal problems also play roles in developmental disorders. The research aims to disrupt the genes that code for key elements of the individual parts of the centrosomes and then examine how cells divide, form centrosomes, manage their chromosomes and carry out activities that maintain genome stability. These experiments will give new insights into how the different parts of the centrosome combine to ensure normal centrosomal functioning. The 2011 PI Awards will directly support close to 300 top-class researcher positions in a broad range of scientific areas such as cancer, early diagnosis of the childhood cancer Neuroblastoma, lung disease, investigation of therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, improved crop and plant cell productivity, graphics for gaming, resource management in data centres, advanced telecoms networks, autonomic management of smart cities, wave energy, and energy conversion and storage devices. Thus far over 20 industry partners are connected to the successful projects in some shape or form, amongst them Inercept Pharma Ltd., Pevion Biotech Ltd, Sigmoid Pharma (Ireland), Nestle, Kerry Group, Alimentary Health, Intel Labs Europe, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent/BLI, Aquamarine Power (Edinburgh), Infineon, Disney Research, ESBI, France Telecom, Howard Science (UK), and a host of others. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Awarded € 3 Million to Lead EU Community Engaged Research Project

NUI Galway Awarded € 3 Million to Lead EU Community Engaged Research Project -image

Monday, 20 June 2011

Dr. Anne MacFarlane, lecturer in Primary Care in the Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, has been awarded an EU-FP7 grant worth € 3 million to lead a large collaborative research project known as RESTORE (REsearch into implementation STrategies to support patients of different ORigins and language background in a variety of European primary care settings). Dr. MacFarlane explains why this research is so important, “In Ireland and other parts of Europe, service users from migrant communities who have limited English and their general practitioners face significant challenges on a daily basis in their consultations together because they do not have a shared language or cultural background. This results in frequent misunderstandings and communication breakdowns which is distressing and frustrating for all concerned. RESTORE focuses on implementing evidence-based solutions to this problem in primary care consultations.” RESTORE is being funded under the EU-FP7 Health -2010 Theme which focuses on better understanding of dissemination and implementation strategies and aims to address ’gaps’ in the translation of research evidence into day-to-day clinical settings. The RESTORE consortium includes partners from Scotland, England, the Netherlands, Austria and Greece, countries which have different patterns of migration and a range of experiences of intercultural health policy and service development. This means that the scope for transnational learning and development is very significant. For RESTORE, each partner will develop academic-community partnerships and will use Participatory Learning & Action (PLA) research methods, making RESTORE a very innovative primary care research project nationally and internationally. Mary O’Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún, co-founders and directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Galway, were instrumental in the co-design and development of the proposal and are now involved as Senior Researchers in the Discipline of General Practice for the RESTORE project. “As cultural anthropologists, who specialise in PLA approaches and techniques for academic-community based research, we are excited by the prospect of exploring, with our European partners, the application of PLA across culturally-diverse research settings; a participatory approach is capable of giving service users from migrant communities a genuine voice alongside other key stakeholders in the assessment of implementation strategies to support communication in cross-cultural consultations.” Vice President for Research at NUI Galway Terry Smith said, “NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by the EU for research to be led by Dr. Anne MacFarlane. It is an affirmation of the quality of community engaged research conducted at NUI Galway and promises to further our commitment to academic-community partnerships for research and development projects.” Welcoming this funding success, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said, "This is a very significant funding development for NUI Galway and it highlights the quality of research being conducted at the University in the areas of general practice, clinical care, health policy and promotion. I congratulate Dr MacFarlane and her team on their success to date and look forward to the outcomes of this project." For further information please contact Dr. MacFarlane on 091 495194 -Ends-

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NUI Galway Alumni Association Launch European Alumni Club

NUI Galway Alumni Association Launch European Alumni Club-image

Monday, 20 June 2011

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will officially launch NUI Galway’s European Alumni Club in Brussels tomorrow, Tuesday, 21 June, 2011. This is the first NUI Galway Alumni Club established in Europe by the University’s Alumni Association and NUI Galway alumni based in Brussels and throughout Europe will be given an opportunity to reconnect with fellow graduates and their alma mater. Future alumni events are planned for other cities across Europe. The launch reception will be hosted by Irish Ambassador Tom Hanney at The Embassy of Ireland, Chaussee d’Etterbeek/Etterbeeksesteenweg 180, Brussels 1040 from 6:00pm on Tuesday June 21st. Speaking ahead of the launch, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, “NUI Galway is proud of its more that 90,000 alumni worldwide. The establishment of a European Alumni Chapter is an opportunity for these alumni to network together, while maintaining a vibrant link with their alma mater. I look forward to the development of an active group, based in Brussels, and to working with this group in their activities to support NUI Galway.” EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “It is with pleasure and pride that I will launch the NUI Galway European Alumni Club, and I very much look forward to seeing it flourish and grow in the coming years. Irish graduates have a well deserved reputation for excellence at all levels within the European institutions and in academia and industry worldwide, and this club will offer its members the opportunity to create synergies through the NUI Galway network. Graduates will make new connections and reignite old ones. They will benefit from each others experiences and expertise, welcome new Galway graduates to this part of Europe and help them build networks with other young Europeans. Irish graduates, whether at home or abroad will be key to our economic recovery, and I very much welcome this positive move to bring together the brightest and best from my home county and beyond, right here at the heart of Europe.” Host for the evening Irish Ambassador Tom Hanney said: "I m delighted to host the launch of the Belgium Chapter of NUI Galway. Ireland s graduates are known as innovators in their fields and leaders in their communities. Alumni Associations provide the opportunity not merely to revisit fond memories with fellow graduates, but importantly, are sources of support and exchange of knowledge and experience, forums for engagement with one another to build and strengthen professional and social futures while showcasing Ireland and NUI Galway in particular as a leader in education.” Graduates who are interested in becoming involved in the European Alumni Club or who would like to attend the launch can contact the Alumni Office via their website: www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends. -Ends-

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Minister of Health opens Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway

Minister of Health opens Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway -image

Monday, 20 June 2011

Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health, will open the 15th Annual Health Promotion conference on Mainstreaming Health Promotion: Promoting Health Across Sectors at NUI Galway. The conference, which commences at 9.30am on Thursday, 30 June, takes place in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. This year’s conference addresses strategies for placing health promotion at the centre of public health policy and strengthening work across sectors to promote the health and wellbeing of all population groups in society. Dr Reilly will deliver his talk on the Government’s commitment to place the health of the population high on its agenda. The Minister said, “The Government is making health an essential component of a programme for recovery for a vibrant and dynamic society.” Dr Tony Holohan, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the Department of Health and Children, will address this meeting on the development of a new National Public Health Policy Framework 2010-2020. Speaking ahead of the meeting Dr Holohan said, “At a time of major health reform, this framework recognises the importance of ensuring that the public health function is supported, maintained and strengthened. The framework will set out how the public health function will operate over the coming years in order to achieve this vision.” The conference delegates will be engaged in a consultation on the development of the national public health policy during this meeting and will hear from health promotion specialists in statutory and voluntary agencies on their experience and successes in building capacity for health promotion across different sectors. The meeting will be addressed by leading international speakers including; Dr Gauden Galea, Director, Non-communicable Diseases and Health Promotion, WHO Regional Office for Europe and Clive Needle, Director, EuroHealthNet who will address the WHO and European policy perspectives on responding to health promotion and disease prevention challenges in Europe. Professor Margaret Barry of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway commented, “This year’s meeting brings an important focus on how health can be promoted across all sectors in society and builds on the growing evidence that supports a population approach to improving health, and the economic and social benefits that accrue from effective health promotion strategies.” -Ends-

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Judge McGuinness to Chair NUI Galway/UL Equality Through The Ages Event

Judge McGuinness to Chair NUI Galway/UL Equality Through The Ages Event -image

Monday, 20 June 2011

Ms. Justice Catherine McGuinness will chair a seminar entitled Equality Through the Ages which examines key gender equality issues from birth to old age. The seminar is part of the NUI Galway - University of Limerick Strategic Alliance and will take place on Friday, 24 June at 10.00am in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. “Looking at gender equality from birth to old age makes a lot of sense from a legal perspective”, said Ms. Justice McGuinness. “Women have particular experiences at certain life stages. The legal framework must ensure that women can enjoy full and equal rights throughout their lives,” Ms. Justice McGuinness added. The seminar, an initiative of women academics at the two Universities and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway, is expected to draw a large number of academics and practitioners. Lead convenors of the event, Dr. Lucy-Ann Buckley, Law School, NUI Galway, and Dr. Patricia Conlan, UL, stress the continuing significance of gender equality issues for women, young and old, and also for men. “Despite the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, young girls, mothers of young children and older women are still particularly vulnerable to direct and indirect discrimination,” remarked Dr. Buckley. Drawing on the holistic approaches to policy planning and legal reform identified by the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the day begins with issues affecting the girl child. Legal protection of young girls from cultural practices such as circumcision and the particular educational experiences of children of working class mothers are identified as key gender equality issues in early life. “Legal and practical protection of the girl-child from practices of cultural circumcision in Ireland and abroad must be robust if Irish law is to meet international standards,” remarked speaker Anne Marlborough, Law School, NUI Galway, who will be evaluating current attempts to legislate in this area. Experts on the impact of family life and work in Ireland highlight gender equality issues for men, particularly the issue of fathers’ rights in the family law courts. Dr. Anne Egan, Law School, NUI Galway is joined by Dr. Patricia Conlan, UL and renowned anti-discrimination legal practitioner and academic, Professor Klaus Michael Alenfelder to discuss gender discrimination in work and family life. Professor Alenfelder shares his extensive knowledge of both European and German law, providing a practitioner’s insight on gender discrimination in mid-life. UK barrister and former Fulbright scholar Yvette Budé leads the programme on the third age. Law and policy can have particular implications for women in later life, as explained by Dr. Gemma Carney, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, who will also speak at the event. “When it comes to old age, many women have accumulated disadvantage over the life course. As populations age, a life course perspective will become central to policy planning, otherwise, a combination of gender and age discrimination could lead to compounded inequalities for older women,” the policy specialist added. The event will be closed by eminent activist, Ms. Sylvia Meehan, whose vision of women’s equality has led to her being awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick in 1997 and the prestigious ’Person of the Year Award’ in 2009, also the year of her 80th birthday. “If we have achieved legal rights it is essential that we insist on their being delivered. The younger generation of women, who have many of the same pressures of work and family life as I had, are taking up the baton for future generations. I fully support the efforts of the strategic alliance and the Gender ARC now and in the future,” Ms. Meehan concluded. For more information on this free event, contact Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley, School of Law, NUI Galway on 087-2245761 or email lucy-ann.buckley@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway Announce Details of Summer Schools

Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway Announce Details of Summer Schools -image

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has announced details of their annual summer schools. The first of these is the summer school on Minority Rights and Indigenous Peoples and will take place from 13 to 17 June. During the following week, 19 to 23 June, the Centre will run a summer school on the International Criminal Court. Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “We held our first summer school in 2000, and the popularity and international reputation of both the International Criminal Court and Minority Rights programmes continues to grow.” The 2011 Minority Rights and Indigenous Peoples Summer School will provide participants with an overview of the legal, political and philosophical issues pertaining to international human rights law and its relationship to minority rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. The theme of this year’s school highlights religion in contemporary minority rights discourse, focussing on issues such as: religious minorities, religion and international institutions, and Islam in Europe. The summer school on the International Criminal Court at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, which begins on 19 June, is widely acknowledged to be the premier programme of its kind. The programme will consist of intensive lectures, delivered by leading specialists in the field. Students are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and its operations. Lectures also speak about related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victim. The International Criminal Court is arguably the most important new international institution since the establishment of the United Nations. The aim of the International Criminal Court is in combating impunity for atrocities and it is at the forefront of a broader movement for achieving accountability. During the summer school on the International Criminal Court, NUI Galway’s Professor William Schabas will deliver a lecture entitled The First Decade of the International Criminal Court. The lecture will take place on Monday, 20 June and will be open to the public. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Signs Research and Education Alliance with (ICRISAT)

NUI Galway Signs Research and Education Alliance with (ICRISAT) -image

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

NUI Galway has entered into a Research & Education Alliance with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). ICRISAT is headquartered in India with a range of research stations in Africa. This Research Alliance will combine efforts, expertise and capacity in order to advance Plant and AgriBiosciences research for poverty reduction in developing countries in the semi-arid tropics (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa). The Alliance will strengthen collaborations between research groups within the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Cluster and scientists in ICRISAT. The Alliance will conduct research on staple crops of the poor to improve smallholder productivity and food security. The Director General of ICRISAT, Dr. William Dar recently met with NUI Galway President Dr. James Browne to co-sign the inter-institutional Memorandum of Understanding between NUI Galway and ICRISAT. Dr. Dar has a PhD in Horticulture (Crop Physiology) and has served as Presidential Adviser for Rural Development and Minister of Agriculture in the Philippines prior to joining ICRISAT. Before this, he was Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), and Director of the Philippines’ Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under the Department of Agriculture (DA). Dr. Dar has been Director General of ICRISAT since 2000. Welcoming the inter-institutional agreement, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, “This significant partnership between NUI Galway and ICRISAT will, I believe, further advance the existing strong research links between our two organisations. Our researchers will collaborate with ICRISAT staff to help some of the world’s poorest countries to improve their agricultural output, ultimately helping to reduce hunger and poverty in developing countries in the semi-arid tropics, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.” Dr. Dar further stated that “NUI Galway has a range of research expertise in the fields of Plant and AgriBiosciences which are highly synergistic with ICRISAT’s scientific programmes and humanitarian mandate. This MoU builds on the existing research links between NUI Galway and ICRISAT in order to forge a more powerful research alliance to advance food security and sustainability goals in the dryland tropics.” He emphasised that the Research Alliance will also help advance the goals of Irish Aid in relation to the Hunger Task Force recommendations to improve smallholder productivity and reduce malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. For further information contact Professor Charles Spillane, Head of Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Cluster, NUI Galway 091 494148. Email: charles.spillane@nuigalway.ie Web links: www.icrisat.org www.nuigalway.ie/botany/ www.plantagbiosciences.org -Ends-

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