Massive research funding boost for NUI Galway

NUI Galway is in line for a major slice of the €300 million in funding for research announced this week. The university will participate in three of the seven new Science Foundation Ireland research centres being set up with this funding.

The funding, which comprises €200 million in Exchequer funds and a €100m co-investment by more than 150 industry partners, is targeted at scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities, and societal goals. It is the largest ever State/industry co-funded research investment in Ireland.

The funding will be provided over the next six years, with a mid-term review.

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. Big data represents a sector that is currently growing at up to 40 per cent 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.

Another 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 Ó Brádaigh will lead teams of researchers investigating tidal energy and the development of novel materials for use in the marine renewable energy industry.

NUI Galway will also be part of a synthesis and solid state pharmaceutical technologies cluster along with its alliance partner, the University of Limerick.

“NUI Galway is a leading international, research-intensive university, ranked among the top 250 universities in the world,” Dr Jim Browne, president of NUI Galway, said this week. “The level of investment announced 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.”

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.

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