WIT success in creating new linkages to enterprises through Irish Research Council funding

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Pictured far right at the Irish Research Council funding announcement is WIT researcher Norah Storey

Pictured far right at the Irish Research Council funding announcement is WIT researcher Norah Storey

Climate change, healthcare-associated infections and child inclusive mediation research at WIT awarded IRC Enterprise Partnership Scheme funding

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, recently announced details of a €4.3m investment in the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

The Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme supports collaborations between researchers and partner organisations. Over the coming months, a total of 53 researchers will take up positions at higher education institutions in collaboration with 48 partner organisations. At WIT the projects covered a range of topics, including climate change, reduction of healthcare-associated infections and child inclusive mediation awarded funding. The researchers will work in close collaboration with partner enterprises throughout the duration of their studies. 

Dr Mark White, VP Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies at Waterford Institute of Technology welcomed this great achievement of three successful Irish Research Council Awards, stating “We value ourselves here in WIT with competing for and delivering high quality, relevant and impactful research projects for our community. Through schemes like the IRC Enterprise Partnership Schemes WIT creates linkages and partnerships with enterprises which are invaluable to embedding our research into the region. Receiving such prestigious awards reminds us and the higher education sector that WIT is ready to start our journey towards becoming the Technological University of the South East.”

An international Comparative Analysis of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the Practice of Child-Inclusive Mediation is the title of Madeline Treacy’s research which will be carried out in partnership The Mediators’ Institute of Ireland.

The Reduction and Elimination of Healthcare-Associated Infections: Functionalised Graphene Oxide Loaded Antimicrobial Nanocomposites for Biofilm and Encrustation Prevention in Medical Applications is the topic of Sarn-II Baru’s project, in collaboration with enterprise partner Teleflex Medical Europe.

An Exploration into the Influences Underpinning the Decision-Making Process of Institutional Investors in the Low Carbon Agenda: Perspectives from Germany, Ireland and the UK is the topic of Norah Storey’s project, which will be completed in collaboration with enterprise partner Allied Irish Bank. 

Speaking at the announcement, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD today said: “The Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme enables researchers to develop innovative research projects at their higher education institutions, whilst engaging with some of Ireland’s leading companies and organisations. Clearly this scheme is a win-win for both the researchers and their partner organisations, who get to tap into some of Ireland’s best research and innovation capacity.”

Waterford Institute of Technology had a 60% success rate with three projects under this scheme being successful with a cumulative value of €120,000. 

AIB collaboration

An Exploration into the Influences Underpinning the Decision-Making Process of Institutional Investors in the Low Carbon Agenda: Perspectives from Germany, Ireland and the UK 

Norah Storey’s project is in collaboration with Enterprise partner Allied Irish Bank.

Climate change is a reality disrupting national economies with much debate over how greenhouse emissions can be reduced to achieve the targets set under the Paris 2015 global climate change agreement. The International Energy Agency estimate that $53tn in investment is needed by 2035 to meet these targets with an increasing need for private sources of funding with institutional investors one key source. This research aims to explore key influences and factors underpinning the decision-making process of institutional investors in the low carbon assets across Germany, Ireland and the UK capturing a diverse mix of jurisdictions. This study will contribute to both academic and policy literature by gaining insights into the drivers, motives and barriers to investing by large investors in low carbon projects. 
Speaking at the launch of this award, supervisors Dr Tom Egan and Dr Sheila O Donohoe stated, “We are delighted to have AIB as our enterprise partner who have the low carbon economy central to their strategy and a dedicated team in place to support investing in this area. We along with our PhD student Norah will gain much from working with AIB are a hugely committed partner and supporter of this research.”

Medical devices

The Reduction and Elimination of Healthcare-Associated Infections: Functionalised Graphene Oxide Loaded Antimicrobial Nanocomposites for Biofilm and Encrustation Prevention in Medical Applications.

Sarn-II Baru’s project is in collaboration with Enterprise Partner Teleflex Medical Europe.

Although significant research has taken place during the last five decades on the selection of biomaterials with antimicrobial coatings, the effects of antimicrobial properties in long term catheters and implantable devices are still not completely developed. This research aims to provide a new and innovative solution to address the unmet need for biofilm prevention for medium and long term implantable devices.

Prof. Austin Coffey, supervisor in Waterford Institute of Technology stated, “Medical devices are routinely used in modern medicine to prevent and treat illness and disease but their use is compromised when “biofilms” attach to the device surface. Each incident of biofilm infection costs the healthcare system €50,000-€90,000 in Ireland. In the US, the total cost is €65 Bn. 75% hospital acquired infections are instigated by urinary catheters during the treatment of 15-25% hospitalised patients. This research, with our leading Industrial Partner seeks to find a ubiquitous solution to this real and present problem. Coupled with the laboratory resources and expertise from Teleflex Medical, Mr. Sarn-ii Baru has demonstrated the aptitude and experience to have significant impact in this research area of Global importance, and achieve a PhD in the process”.

Mr. Morgan Tierney, Engineering Manager of Advanced Global Engineering (Teleflex Europe) added, “We are delighted to partner with Prof. Coffey and WIT. We have seen the research excellence that he and his Group, the CTRG at WIT have and continue to achieve. We are confident that this research project will mark the way for a sustained collaborative partnership into the future”.

Child-inclusive mediation

An international Comparative Analysis of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the Practice of Child-Inclusive Mediation.

Madeline Treacy’s research will be carried out in partnership The Mediators’ Institute of Ireland.

The purpose of the research is to compare the law, policy and practice of child inclusive mediation in Britain and Ireland in order to influence future policy in the area of child-inclusive mediation in Ireland. It will also provide an opportunity to promote child-inclusive mediation in family disputes, in accordance with Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. A further objective of the study is to highlight any effective protocols for hearing the voice of the child that result in positive outcomes for the child and their family, and to identify any shortcomings in the area. It is hoped to identify new protocols and policies on the basis of credible evidence found in the study. The research will make recommendations for best practice in the field in order to best promote children's rights in the field. 

Supervisor Dr. Sinead Conneely stated "This research represents an innovative study of the child in family mediation and offers Irish mediators the opportunity to access best practice in their professional practice, supported by research findings."


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