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NCSR receives 2.4m award from Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources
Friday 18 September 2007
The National Centre for Sensor Research at DCU was today awarded a research grant of €2.4 million from the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources. The announcement was made today by Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and Mary Coughlan, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
This was part of an overall award of nearly €20 euro named after Irish hydrographer Francis Beaufort. It will fund new marine research projects in Ireland carried out by over 141 researchers and students working in five research consortia across five institutions.
Under the Marine Institute Beaufort initiative, the NCSR will develop new approaches for monitoring water quality based on microanalytical instruments that can be deployed in remote locations. The research programme will focus on the rapid identification of contamination of water supplies using sophisticated microfluidic devices with integrated wireless communications. The award is for a 7-year period and will fund the recruitment of a principal investigator, a research fellow and 5 postgraduate students. The project supervisors are drawn from 5 schools and 2 faculties, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of team-based research. They are are Brian MacCraith & Colette McDonagh, Brett Paull & Mirek Macka, Fiona Regan, Alan Smeaton & Noel O'Connor, and Richard O'Kennedy. The project will be led by Dermot Diamond and managed by NCSR research support staff.
Presenting the awards Minister Ryan stressed the importance of discovery and continued Governmental backing of scientific endeavour as we face new problems, such as climate change, that will affect the marine environment and associated industries.
Minister Ryan, “We know that the way we manage our fishstocks has to change, that climate change is affecting the abundance and distribution of our salmon, among others. We know that we have to comply with the EU Water Framework Directive and other marine environment legislation. We believe there are novel chemical compounds in the marine environment that we could use in developing new drugs. And we know we don’t accurately know the economic, social and environmental value of our marine resources.
We may know the general challenges that face us but the award winners here today will be tasked with providing us with the evidence to act. Science is pivotal to our future progress in the marine as in other sectors. I am pleased that the Government is backing such ground-breaking research that will allow us to utilise our marine resources in an ecologically sound and innovative ways.”