A new cross-border research centre was opened today in Co Louth to help improve the way social and economic disadvantage is tackled north and south.
The Regional Research Observatory at Dundalk Institute of Technology was set up after experts identified a series of problems with data collection.
A spokesman for the centre said the problems were particularly prominent in the border counties.
It is hoped the new observatory will enhance understanding of the development needs of the border region while bringing a more coherent approach to research for the benefit of future planning and development of the island as a whole.
Research will also be used to assess environmental challenges facing the country. The centre will be run in conjunction with research at NUI Maynooth and Queen’s University Belfast.