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

Monday, 25 February 2013

Pictured at the announcement of SFI’s €300m Investment in Seven Research Centres were (l-r): Mike Turley, Professor Stefan Decker, both of DERI, NUI Galway; Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland;  Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne; Sean Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation; Professor Pat Fottrell, SFI Chairperson; Dr Ann Ryan, NUI Galway; Professor Michael Hartnett, NUI Galway; and Dr Conchur O'Brádaigh, NUI Galway
Pictured at the announcement of SFI’s €300m Investment in Seven Research Centres were (l-r): Mike Turley, Professor Stefan Decker, both of DERI, NUI Galway; Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland; Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne; Sean Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation; Professor Pat Fottrell, SFI Chairperson; Dr Ann Ryan, NUI Galway; Professor Michael Hartnett, NUI Galway; and Dr Conchur O'Brádaigh, NUI Galway

  •       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-

 
 

 

Keywords: Press

Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway
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