All Year 2010

Second Annual Irish-American Human Rights Seminar at NUI Galway

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host the second annual Irish-American Exchange on Human Rights seminar, which will take place from 17 to 18 October. This annual event will bring together faculty and students from two distinguished human rights institutions, the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School and the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway. The seminar will open on Sunday, 17 October, at 11am in the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, with introductory comments from Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, and Professor Doug Cassel, Director of The Centre for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law. This seminar is an opportunity for colleagues to present their research, share ideas and engage in discussion. On Monday, 18 October, activities will be held at Kenny's Bookshop in the Liosbaun Industrial Estate, where presentations will combine or relate human rights issues with various literary themes. The seminar will conclude with a reception and the inaugural launch of the Irish Centre for Human Rights photo exhibition entitled 'Human Rights Through the Lens'. Speaking about the upcoming event Professor William Schabas said: "These annual gatherings bring together human rights specialists from the US and Ireland, where we can compare the differences in our perspectives and learn from each other. Our starting point is the same, of course. It is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The two Human Rights Centres, at Notre Dame University and at NUI Galway, play important roles in their own countries. Each has a very international outlook, something that enhances a common vision." The event is free to attend and is open to the public. For further information contact Alexis Bushnell in the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, at 091 49 3798. -Ends-

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€1.1 Million Contribution to NUI Galway Enterprise Agility Group

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Dublin-headquartered market-leader for post-trade automation solutions to the global securities services industry will contribute in excess of €1 million over a five-year period to research at NUI Galway. The contribution by Information Mosaic will be geared towards the management of agile and lean systems development in the Enterprise Agility group at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway. A primary objective of the Enterprise Agility group is to build and maintain an international network of excellence around the management of agile and lean development, with NUI Galway firmly at the hub of this network. According to Dr Kieran Conboy, Leader of the Enterprise Agility group: "It is significant, close-knit engagement and collaboration with industry partners such as Information Mosaic that can make this goal a reality." The partnership will involve a very close working relationship between Information Mosaic and the Enterprise Agility group, including hosting of researchers, joint delivery of seminars, co-authoring of papers, and placement of NUI Galway students to work with the eight Information Mosaic staff dedicated to the project. Declan Costello, the CTO of Information Mosaic, adds: "To stay competitive and grow our business, our collaboration with NUI Galway will help us better implement agile and lean methods in our own company and provide the opportunity for us to both be thought-leaders in this space." Dr Kieran Conboy also referred to the key role that Dr Meghann Drury has played in creating this collaboration. "Since joining our group in February, Meghann has developed strategic links with a number of companies such as Information Mosaic, and it is great to see that her early research has led to such a large scale industry investment." Meghann is a PRTLI funded postdoctoral researcher, and her work with Dr Conboy, Dr Tom Acton and Professor Willie Golden focuses on decision processes, data presentation methods, and decision quality in agile and lean environments. The Enterprise Agility group includes a team of 20 academic staff in NUI Galway, along with five postdoctoral researchers and 12 existing doctoral students across the School of Business & Economics (Business Information Systems, Accountancy & Finance, Management and Marketing), the School of Law, the School of Psychology, Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress (CROLS), and Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), and is supported by existing funding of over €4.2 million. Through CISC and building upon NUI Galway and the University of Limerick's (UL) collaborative alliance, the group is becoming a formal member of the Lero Software Engineering Research Centre, a Science Foundation Ireland funded CSET, and will be applying its existing research skills and multidisciplinary knowledge to the software engineering domain. -Ends-

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Thirteenth Galway Science and Technology Festival Launched at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Galway Science and Technology Festival, now in its thirteenth year, was formally launched today (October 12) at a function at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The launch at the Aula Maxima, was performed by Mr. William A Hawkins, the Chairman and CEO of Medtronic Inc. One of the Festival's proudest boasts is of its ongoing engagement with the community – the grand finale involves 20,000 young people visiting the Festival Exhibition in a day-long event which has become one of the most popular on Galway's annual diary. The Festival – which was founded to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people – runs from November 8 to 21 and will culminate with the Festival Exhibition, which will be held at the new location in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI, Galway on November 21. This year's Exhibition will be formally opened by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. There is a great programme of events this year to choose from including Robert Hill s Cosmic Explorers using the latest 3D stereo technology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. Mr Bug returns with his snakes, cockroaches and Tarantulas while Sue McGrath turns science into magic with her show based around negatively charged particles and magnets with the help of Sponge Bog Square Pants pet Gary . James Soper features with his show Galileo s Greatest Mistake and Galway's very own Mad Scientist Craig Steven's will conjure up foggy ice storms and make giant smoke rings. In the two-week run of the Festival, Galway's two third level colleges, NUI, Galway and GMIT, will open their doors to all the primary and second level students in the City and County. At NUI Galway there are many very interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including the 'True Physics Rocket Workshop' which is very popular for secondary school students. There are Museums to explore including Ireland s only Computer & Communications Museum! showcasing the development of technology and where original computer games like Space Invaders are available. Guided tours of the NUIG Research Institutes, etc and also a series of informal talks Open Your Mind Seminar Series each Wednesday at lunchtime from November 10th. GMIT have various workshops to choose from including Medicines and how they work and Engineering and Energy Technologies . The regional finals of the ISTA PharmaChem Ireland Science Quiz for Leaving Certificate students will take place in GMIT on November 11th. There is also on offer the popular tour of Galway Bay FM and Dr Thompson s Laboratory will be available in the Galway Civic Museum. The Exhibition will also feature many of the shows included in the Programme, there will be up to 60 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment. The 20,000 tickets for the event will be distributed to schools throughout Galway City and County in the weeks prior to November 21. The event would not be possible without an enormous commitment by education, by industry and by our sponsors, Festival Chairman Tom Hyland said today. "On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I am deeply grateful to Mr. William Hawkins, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Medtronic, for giving us his time to launch the Festival today here at NUI, Galway. I want to assure him that his personal interest, and the commitment of Medtronic, are deeply valued by all of us in the Galway Festival," said Mr. Hyland. Minister for Enterprise Trade and Innovation Mr. Batt O'Keeffe TD has praised the Festival as an important awareness-building exercise aimed at encouraging more young people into science, technology, engineering and maths courses. The 2010 Programme of events is available at and the exhibition will open at 11am on Sunday 21st November, 2010. -Ends-

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Award for NUI Galway Web Researcher at International Conference

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

An NUI Galway Web researcher has been awarded the 'Best Paper Award' at a Web conference in Italy. Dr Axel Polleres of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, (DERI) at NUI Galway, recently won the award at the Web Rules and Reasoning Conference in Bressanone, Italy. Dr Polleres' work surrounds a standard query language for the Web entitled SPARQL1.1. This language allows users to ask complex multi-faceted questions when searching the Web. The awarded paper "Redundancy Elimination on RDF Graphs in the Presence of Rules, Constraints, and Queries", emerged from a collaboration with an Austrian University, TU Vienna. It is co-authored by Professor Reinhard Pichler, Sebastian Skritek, and Dr Stefan Woltran. The work describes theoretical foundations of compressing structured information on the Web for more efficient processing and exchange. This work aims to provide a basis for optimisations within future Web databases. Dr Axel Polleres, Leader of the Research Unit for Reasoning and Querying and Senior Research Fellow at DERI says, "A goal of my work is to build bridges from theory to practice in the application of Semantic Web technologies which is why I am so delighted that our work is so well-received on both ends of academic research." Dr Polleres' Research Unit previously received another prize on practical applications of Semantic Web technologies in Content Management Systems in last year's International Semantic Web Conference. "My research focuses on both foundations of Web search and real world applications of Semantic Web technologies. Eventually, our goal is to make the Web usable like one huge database, which can answer complex questions, beyond the common keyword search of current Web search engines," Dr Polleres added. Dr Stefan Decker, Director of DERI says, "This prize does not only confirm our academic leadership internationally, but also provides a sound basis for our industrial partners. They know the place to go to find the knowledge they need is Ireland and especially DERI." -Ends-

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Covidien Announces R&D Investment with NUI Galway

Monday, 11 October 2010

Covidien, a leading global supplier of healthcare products, today announced that it is investing €900,000 in medical technologies research and development projects with NUI Galway, during the next two years. This is the first phase of a multi-part investment of €1.8 million with Irish academic institutions which Covidien announced in July. Covidien has engaged in discussions with IDA Ireland, Ireland s investment promotion agency, to establish three collaborative programmes to support active technology development projects. Today's announcement details two of the highly innovative projects, in Editor's Notes below, with information about the third project to follow in the coming months. The announcement was made today in Dublin and was attended by the Minister for Health and Children, Ms Mary Harney T.D. Speaking at the announcement, Minister Harney said: "University-based facilities enabled by this collaboration with Covidien will help to ensure that Ireland continues to produce high-quality researchers who can innovate new technologies and design robust scientific research. This ultimately produces the valuable data that furthers patient health and safety." Speaking about Covidien's investment, Scott Flora, President, Surgical Devices, Covidien, said, "The medical devices sector in Ireland has a legacy of innovative products and is of critical importance to the country's economic recovery. We are dedicated to R&D in partnership with IDA Ireland. We believe the medical devices and health sectors will be a thriving part of Ireland's business growth and high-technology job creation in the future." Through these collaborative programs, Covidien hopes to incentivise students to choose science as a career and promote the continued growth and prosperity of the medical devices sector in Ireland. Barry O'Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland, added, "Ireland is recognised as a key global hub for medical technologies, employing the highest medical technologies personnel per capita in Europe. Nearly 60% of the sector's companies are now carrying out R&D functions here and today's announcement is another great example of how the unique collaboration between Government, industry and academia in Ireland can assist global companies such as Covidien to meet their R&D needs." The project involves a number of research groups based in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway including the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) and the Centre for Pain Research (CPR). Speaking at the event, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway Professor Terry Smith said "NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by Covidien for research to be led by Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials and Dr David Finn, Lecturer in Pharmacology and Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research. It is yet another tangible benefit arising from the Government investment in R&D in Ireland and acknowledges the part which Irish research plays in translating research from the bench to the clinic." Earlier this year, Covidien announced an investment of €11 million in a state-of-the-art European Services Centre in Cherrywood Dublin. The centre employs 200 people who manage sales and marketing, customer services, credit control, contracts and pricing, and import and export functions for 16 European countries. Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines in three segments: Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies. With 2009 revenue of $10.3 billion, Covidien has 42,000 employees worldwide in more than 60 countries, and its products are sold in over 140 countries. Please visit to learn more about our business. -Ends-

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