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DCU gets green light for new Nano-Bioanalytical Research Facility

19 July 2010

DCU has been awarded €23.8m in Cycle V PRTLI, following an announcement earlier today by An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen.  All three DCU-led projects were successful in their bid for funding, with a further two, in which DCU are partners, also successful.  “The award of this funding through a highly competitive process in challenging economic circumstances is a key endorsement of the quality and strategic relevance of DCU research”, according to new DCU President, Professor Brian MacCraith.  “These programmes underpin our commitment to the successful translation of research results into real societal benefits with a priority on issues of societal concern including health and the environment. It also builds on the track record of DCU research teams and further strengthens our proposed Translational Alliance with RCSI and NUIM”.

The successful projects were:

  1. Nano-Bioanalytical Research Facility

    The main element of the DCU bid is the construction of a 3000m² Nano-Bioanalytical Research Facility with a primary focus on Translational Nano-medicine, which leverages key areas of established research excellence at DCU and will simultaneously address our need for additional space and integration of key existing and new facilities, to underpin future achievements within our research priorities. The location of the new building adjacent to and linked directly into the PRTLI III-funded National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology facility, will realize full integration of all major Life Sciences and Health-related facilities on campus.  The new facility will also be located in close proximity to Invent DCU to ensure a seamless connection between research and exploitation, through IP identification and management, licensing and more importantly with links through to potential spin-ins and spin-outs. Coordination between DCU, RCSI and NUIM of commercialization activities will further enhance the potential for innovation and commercialization.

  2. Bioanalysis and Therapeutics Structured PhD Programm (BioAT)

    The BioAT Structured Graduate programme, which will fund an initial 32 joint PhD projects, will address the need for skilled graduates, trained in research and technologies associated with the biopharmaceutical and biomedical industries, critical to Ireland’s economy . It builds on three HRB Scholars’ and three PRTLI-funded PhD programmes and exploits the complementary research expertise and infrastructure of the partner institutions (DCU - RCSI - NUIM- ITTD) in Bioanalysis, Therapeutics and Diagnostics.

  3. SmartBay

    SmartBay is a unique infrastructure within Europe for marine research, a test and demonstration platform, consisting of a sensing and communications infrastructure deployed in Galway Bay. SmartBay will link in-situ surface buoys and submarine cabled systems, satellite-based sensing and shore deployed units. The critical role of SmartBay will be to pilot emerging technologies and develop sustainable industries of the future through rapid validation of emerging science and technologies in real deployment scenarios.  It will contribute to the national objectives for higher education and research as set out in ‘Building Ireland’s Smart Economy (2008). SmartBay will build on the successful SmartBay Pilot Project to establish Ireland as an international hub for the emergence of next-generation marine and environmental sensing technologies. The SmartBay proposal builds on ~€100m of existing state investment (since 2003) and the collective efforts of over 300 researchers.  The project consortium comprises four universities, DCU, NUIG, NUIM, UCD, the Marine Institute, and key multinationals, including IBM and Intel.

    DCU is also a partner in the successful Nanotechnology INSPIRE programme led by UCC/Tyndall National Institute and the Telecommunications Graduate Initiative led by TCD.