UCC gets €8m boost for research equipment and facilities

University College Cork is to receive over €8m in grants for research equipment and facilities, it was confirmed yesterday.

The funding is part of a €28m investment by the Department of Jobs, through Science Foundation Ireland.

One of the UCC projects that will benefit is a study on how the brain grows, develops and repairs itself in young children, following early brain injury.

The Infant Centre’s Early Life Laboratory, which has been granted €1.5m, will assess children at high risk of neuro-developmental issues.

The same centre is also developing a biobank, which has received €355,171. Biobanking is hugely important as a resource for researchers.

Another UCC project — the Process Flow Spectoscopy Facility (ProSpect), which is looking at pharmaceutical reactions — is to receive €1m.

Work carried out at the facility, the first of its kind in the EU, is expected to lead to safer drugs at a reduced cost for both the manufacturer and the patient.

Because it offers researchers and the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland a unique competitive advantage, it is likely to enhance the country’s reputation as a leading location for state-of-the-art pharmaceutical process chemistry.

€2.2m will go to UCCs Marine Centre, where the Open Ocean Emulator can accurately replicate real ocean wave conditions in a laboratory setting.

The emulator, together with the use of advanced instrumentation, will contribute to the growth and sustainability of the offshore renewable energy industry in Ireland.

Another UCC-based facility — the Irish Atmospheric Simulation Chamber (IASC) — is to receive €1m in funding.

The IASC is equipped with cutting-edge instrumentation for studying air pollution and climate change.

Professor Anita Maguire, Vice President for Research and Innovation at UCC said the university were  delighted with the funding as it would provide  the supports needed to take ideas and convert them into reality.

"Increased levels of collaboration between industry and academia have already delivered significant value to the Irish economy and initiatives like this help boost innovation through the transfer of technologies to companies. Today’s announcement will also help make us more competitive when applying for research grants from Horizon2020 and other international sources of funding.”

Welcoming the research funding boost for University College Cork, Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer said it was further evidence of the college’s great work.

Mr Buttimer congratulated the staff and the students on the news.


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