The Link Summer 2013


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News and updates from the Regional Development Centre, DkIT.

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The Link Summer 2013

  1. 1. Issue Twelve summer 2013Where Research & Innovation Meets Enterprisethe linkRegional Development Centre & Research OfficeIonad Forbartha Réigiúnach & Oifig Taighde
  2. 2. RESEARCHLINK Issue 122The publication of the socio economic impact studyon DkIT carried out by Biggar Economics highlightedthe positive impact DkIT and the RDC are having onthe region (see page 3 for full report). The head linethat for every €1 invested in the Institute €7.54 isreturned is in itself a very impressive figure. Drillingdown, even more positive impacts are uncovered,highlighting the important contribution the activitiesof the Institute makes through its Research,Innovation and Enterprise initiatives and programmes.For this edition of the Link it is therefore appropriateto highlight some of the activities that havesupported these social and economic impacts. Wefeature the Institute’s research career developmentprogramme and meet some of the researcherscurrently supported and learn of their areas ofresearch interest.We meet some of the clients of the incubation centreand gain an understanding of their business sector.We also provide an update on the Innovation forCompetitive Enterprises (ICE) programme and alsothe New Frontiers Programme which has just beenextended for a further three years (2013 – 2015).With a number of exciting new initiatives comingon stream we look forward to an equally rewardinglatter half of the year to come.We hope you enjoy this edition of The Link. If youhave any comment or suggestions regarding content,or would like to be included on the mailing list,please e-mail anne.tinnelly@dkit.ieIrene McCausland, External Service Manager, RDCDr Tim McCormac, Head of Research, DkITChuir foilsiú an staidéir ar thionchar socheacnamaíochDkIT, déanta ag Biggar Economics, béim ar thionchardearfach DkIT agus RDC ar an réigiún (féachleathanach 3 i gcomhair an tuarascáil iomlán). Isfigiúir an-shuntasach ann féin é go mbíonn toradh€7.54 ar gach €1 infheistithe san Institiúid. Aginiúchadh níos géire, feictear mórán tionchairdearfa eile, a léiríonn tábhacht gníomhaíochtaí nahInstitiúide trína tionscnaimh agus cláir Taighde,Nuálaíochta agus Fiontraíochta.I gcomhair eagrán seo Link, is cuí mar sin béim a churar roinnt de na gníomhaíochtaí a thacaíonn le nationchair sóisialta agus eacnamaíochta seo. Léirimidclár forbairt gairme na hInstitiúide agus cuirimidaithne ar roinnt taighdeoirí atá á dtacú faoi láthairagus ar réimsí a gcuid spéise taighde.Buailimid freisin le roinnt de chliaint na gorlainne aguscuirimid tuiscint ar a n-earnáil gnó. Tugaimid uasdátúfreisin ar chlár Nuálaíocht do Fhiontair Iomaíocha (ICE)agus freisin ar an gClár Teorainneacha Nua a síneadhle déanaí i gcomhair trí bhliain eile (2013 – 2105).Le tionscnaimh nua spreagúla eile ag teacht chuncinn, táimid ag tnúth le dara leath na bliana a bheithchomh rathúil céanna.Tá súil againn go mbainfidh tú taitneamh as eagránseo The Link. Má tá tuairimí nó moltaí agat maidir lehábhar, nó más mian leat bheith ar an liosta póstála,cuir rphost led thoil chuig anne.tinnelly@dkit.ieIrene McCausland, Bainisteoir SeirbhísíSeachtracha,IFRDr Tim McCormac, Ceannasaí Taighde, ITDDRéamhrá / ForewordFront Photo: Client Company EVB Sports Launches at the RDC.The Regional Development Centre (RDC) is a centre to promote innovation, technology transfer and enterprise in the wider region and is based on the DkIT Campus.Regional Development Centre Dublin Road Dundalk Co LouthT +353 42 9370400 F +353 42 9370499W E info@rdc.ieGreat care has been taken to ensure that this information is accurate, but the Regional Development Centre, including its subsidiaries does not acceptresponsibility or liability for errors or information which is found to be misleading.Edited by Garrett Duffye
  3. 3. 3LINKIssue12Unveiling DkIT’s Multiplier EffectThe results of a socio-economic impactstudy of Dundalk Institute of Technology(DkIT) undertaken by BiGGAR Economicsreveals an economic return of €7.54 forevery €1 received in state fundingThe study was commissioned by DkIT toprovide a better understanding of theInstitute’s economic and socialcontributions and impact to the region.It set out to• measure the economic impact of DkIT;• quantify, as much as can bepracticable, the social impact of DkIT;• provide a report that will give verifiableevidence of the impact of DkIT in thedevelopment of its region; and• consider the economic and socialimpact of the Regional DevelopmentCentre.Based on figures for 2011/12 period theauthors of the report found that DkITreceived €37.3 million in state fundingand generated €281.5 million in GrossValue Added (GVA) for the nationaleconomy. This represents a return of over€7.54 for every euro invested.DkIT also supports 2,110 jobs of which1,290 were in Louth with the remainderspread across the north east and borderregions. The scale of this impact iscomparable to organisations such as BusEireann, employing 2,600, or Fyffes whoemploy 1,890.The 4,734 students enrolled during2011/12 included approx. 500international students, and they spent atotal of €24.1 million during the year.The impacts generated by the activitiesof the Regional Development Centre(RDC) accounted for €37.9 million GVAper annum supporting 616 jobs. Sinceit was founded the RDC has supportedmore than 800 entrepreneurs, incubated87 knowledge based start-up enterprisesand conducted 169 applied researchprojects for industry.Overall research activities at DkIT hasincreased significantly since 2001 withresearch income topping €6.6 million in2012 and citations increasing 30 fold sinceits 2001 level.While the numbers are certainly impressivethey tell only one side of the story. Thewider benefits generated include:• improving competitiveness of theregional economy by providing relevantskills to local industry,• improving the image and reputation ofthe area• promoting the development of theDublin Belfast Corridor• increasing entrepreneurialism bypromoting entrepreneurial attitudesamongst students and staff and• enhancing social inclusion in the localarea by raising awareness of careerand education options amongst localyoung people and enabling peoplefrom communities with traditionallylow participation in higher education togain third level qualifications.President of Dundalk Institute ofTechnology, Denis Cummins noted“the North East is a prime locationfor enterprise and the findings in thereport illustrates that there is a directlink between the significant presence ofDundalk Institute of Technology and theincrease of major industry employers in theregion.” L-R Paul Short, Castlecool, Andrew Griffith, Chairman DkIT Governing Body, Dr Edel Healy, DkIT, Minister Fergus O’Dowd TD,Mr Denis Cummins, President DkIT and Mr Graeme Blackett, BiGGAR EconomicsMinisterFergusO’Dowd,TD,MrTKWhitakerand MrDenisCummins,PresidentDkIT
  4. 4. LINK Issue 124ENTERPRISENews fromthe Frontier As easy as EVBWhen New Frontiers participantYvonne Brady applied for the NewFrontiers programme in February2012 she had the nucleus of anidea for a new product to providetargeted support for women’spelvic floor muscles. Duringan intensive first phase of theprogramme, Yvonne’s researchconfirmed that 1 in 3 womensuffer from weak pelvic floormuscles especially following childbirth. Almost 1 female in 4 givesup sport due to this problem.Over the last 12 months Yvonnedeveloped and tested multipleprototypes for a sports short thatwould provide support in the rightareas during sport. The 6 monthsphase 2 programme helped herdevelop an investor ready businessplan which culminated in herappearance on the Late Late Showwith other high potential start-upson January 4th this year. Later inJanuary EVB Sport was successful insecuring competitive start fundingfrom Enterprise Ireland in returnfor an equity stake in the business.With the foundations well andtruly laid, EVB Sport has nowgone into production of their firstproduct, completed company andproduct branding, secured their IP,launched their website and havesecured their first sales, includingsales from Participants on the 2012 New Frontiers Programme receive their certificatesat the end of programme event in March 2013.New Frontier’s Programmecollaborators DkIT (through theRegional Development Centre)and DCU (through Invent DCU) gotconfirmation earlier this year fromEnterprise Ireland that their proposalto deliver the New FrontiersProgramme for a further three years(2013 – 2015) was successful. Theapplication was built on results fromthe 2012 programme which saw12 promoters advance the start-upand growth of their businesses withsupport and guidance through theprogramme.New Frontiers EntrepreneurDevelopment Programme is anational programme funded byEnterprise Ireland that provides asuite of supports for start-up andearly stage businesses and aims toequip them with the skills necessaryto start and grow a technologybusiness.Delivered over 12 months in threeseparate phases the programmeaims to:• Determine the business case forthe new venture (Phase 1)• Develop a comprehensive suiteof plans to start and grow thebusiness and become investorready (Phase 2)• Execute on these plans bysecuring first customers,investment or enter internationalmarkets (Phase 3)Even though the 2012programme was only completedrecently we are pleased toannounce that 10 of the 12participants have finishedproduct development, 9 haveentered the marketplace (2internationally) and 4 havereceived significant investment.To build on these early resultsa further 30 participants wererecruited and selected for twoPhase 1 programmes which weredelivered over 6 weeks each inMarch – April (RDC) and April –May (Invent, DCU). Participantsthen apply for phase two of theprogramme which will start atthe beginning of July with aminimum of 12 promoters.Further Phase 1 programmes willrun in September 2013 and againin February/March 2014.For further details or for Phase1 applications please contacte garrett.duffy@dkit.iet 042 9370400
  5. 5. LINKIssue11ENTERPRISETime for TechnologyTransferThe first 6 months of 2013 has been a very active time on the Technology Transferfront. The role of Technology Transfer is in essence to match industry with academia.This works both ways – industry can have a problem that needs research or thecollege has research that can be of benefit to industry. The focus for the first half of2013 has been matching industry needs to academia and this has been mainly inthe form of supporting Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers and InterTrade IrelandFusion projects.Since the beginning of the year 7 innovation Vouchers have been successfully completed, 4 are in progress and a further 7 are atthe application stage. Regarding Fusion Projects, 8 are in progress, 2 received final approval and 5 are currently in the approvalphase. Innovation vouchers are open to all companies in the republic and Fusion projects (with DkIT) are open to all companiesin N. Ireland. In addition to these activities we have also been working with DkIT’s Research Centres to identify opportunities forcommercialisation, reviewing collaboration contracts and pursuing Innovation Partnership programmes. Looking to the latter halfof 2013 the focus will be on exploring possible licensing opportunities of the college’s research and forging deeper links withindustry. We will also host an information seminar on Industry / Academic collaboration programmes and another on ResearchCommercialisation.The technology transfer office welcomes any and all interaction with industry. We strive to offer to industry the opportunity toutilise the college competencies to enhance, or to kick-start, their research or product development activities. Collaboration with theInstitute can help reduce the technical risk of developing a new product and, subject to suitable funding, help to reduce the financialrisk. In the current economic climate Product/Services development is critical to the future of businesses and collaboration with DkITcan greatly enhance the development activity and potentially reduce the inherent risk.For further support please contact, Neil McLoughlin, Technology TransferManager, at or 087 2481011Students turn adviceinto actionThe Student Enterprise programme atDundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT)has expanded significantly since itsestablishment in 2007 and there are nowfive student enterprise interns, two crosscampus and one each in the Schools ofEngineering, Health and Science andInformatics and Creative Arts.The interns are tasked with building aculture of entrepreneurship amongst thestudent population by encouraging themto be entrepreneurial, to explore self-employment options and by providingaccess to business development resourcesand networks. Student Enterprise internsengage undergraduates in a range ofactivities that includes lecture shouts,competitions, guest speaker events andidea generation workshops.Since the start of the year a number ofhigh profile entrepreneurs visited DkIT toshare their entrepreneurial journeys andoffer advice to the student population.Many of these guest speaking eventstook place during Enterprise Week andincluded Feargal Quinn, the former ownerof Superquinn, who provided a highlymotivational and enjoyable talk to a packedaudience, Paul McCoy of Castleross NursingHome, Carrickmacross and J.J. Fay ofBluebird Care, a leading provider of homecare in Ireland who addressed studentsin the School of Health and Science.Enterprise weeks final speaker was Dr JohnTeeling a world leading entrepreneur andformer owner of Cooley Distillery.While each of these speakers comes fromdifferent backgrounds and operate indifferent fields a common theme emergedfrom their talks – that of taking action. Tobe bold and take that first step. Advicethat was taken up by many students inthe Institute during the annual Rookiecompetition where teams of studentscomplete a number of business orientatedtasks over a few days. This year’s winnerswere team ‘Axiom’, Jessica Moneley,James Gogarty and Kimberley King, whoproduced a sherbet ‘shot’ to take first prize.Another competition that saw studentstake action was the inaugural ‘ProjectProvidence’ social enterprise competitionwhich aimed to help the pupils ofProvidence School in Shillong, north-east India which include some ofthe most underprivileged children inIndia. The winner was Cathal Byrnewith his innovative idea to get celebrityendorsement for the school in the form ofVicky Ratnani, an Indian celebrity chef. Thefinal competition of the semester was theEnterprise Ireland sponsored ‘Think Outsidethe Box’ Awards. It was won by NualaMarkey with her Pit Master invention whichis a covering system for silage pits that wonher a cash prize of €500. Nuala has securedsupport for the idea from her local countyenterprise board and aims to commercialisethe device in the near future.The students were also treated to a talk byrecent DkIT graduate, Niall McEntegart anemployee of Facebook, who spoke abouthis experiences of working with the socialmedia giant to the students of the School ofInformatics and Creative Arts.As the academic year approaches its endStudent Enterprise @ DkIT are lookingforward to next year when they will continueto encourage students to take action andfind their enterprising talents, with thecontinued support of local businesses,entrepreneurs and lecturers. Niall McCabe, Student Intern with ’ThinkOutside The Box’ Winner Nuala Markey5LINKIssue12ENTERPRISE
  6. 6. ENTERPRISEDid you know that the recoveryrate for stolen cars is 66% yet forstolen Plant & Equipment is as lowas 5%? Or that plant and equipmenttheft is conservatively estimatedto be £1 million/week in the UK?Factor in all the indirect costsassociated: downtime, delay claimsand replacement hire costs andthe total cost spirals upwards to astaggering £800m to £1 Billion to theUK economy. This is a problem thatEamonn Brennan, CEO of RDC basedThe Plantfiles, aims to solve.On the face of it the solution issimple enough. 60% of all plant andequipment reported to the Policein UK and logged onto the PoliceNational Computer (PNC), have beendescribed as ‘Poor’, ‘Misleading’,‘Inaccurate’ and ‘Useless’. So improvethe information available to policeand the recovery rates will increase.As Brennan puts it “insurers don’tknow what equipment they areinsuring because they do not askthe client for detailed equipmentschedules. There is an underlyingThe Plant FilesProton Labs recently joined thegrowing list of incubates in theRDC. The company offer softwareprototyping as a service creatingprofessional prototypes for theirclients for use in demonstrations,feature analysis, investor pitches or tosecure business partners.Prototyping as a Service fast-tracksbusiness requirements throughiterative design and agile technologydevelopment thus reducing start-upcosts for entrepreneurs, commercialfeasibility costs for R&D organisationsand trial costs for Multinationals.Prototype as a Service reflectsthe quick validation approachtaken directly from the conceptsof Lean Startup ® and CustomerDevelopment. The model embracesthe idea of Minimum Viable Product(MVP), rapid prototyping, A/B testing,and usability testing — closelyintegrating business, design andtechnology into one multi-facetedprocess.prototyping as aservice brings ideas tomarket in a phased andcontinuous approachthus controlling risksand costs for clientswhilst maximizing valuepropositionsProton Labs primary target marketis SMEs that need to fast-tracktheir technology developments andacademic labs in need of convertingapplied R&D outputs into marketdemonstrators. Demand for theirservices has grown rapidly since thecompany was founded twelve monthsago and they’ve recently hired their4th full time employee.www.proton.ieMaking GreatIdeas Come toLife““LINK Issue 126 Proton Labs L-R Cezary Otowski, Bartek Czerwinski and Frédéric Herrera Eamonn Brennan CEO The Plant Files
  7. 7. Winning Formula Rubs OffHanley Energy have been clients of Millmount Development Centre since thefoundation of the company three years ago. During those short but excitingyears Hanley Energy has grown their customer base and employee headcount.Hanley provides energy management solutions for their clients, specifically inthe areas of critical power supply and energy optimisation.Each client has specific requirements, so Hanley Energy designs and suppliesa customised end-to-end solution that integrates technology and energymanagement expertise to provide bespoke uninterruptible electricalpower supply (UPS) solutions for businesses as diverse as data centres andpharmaceutical plants. While their energy management solutions reduce theirclient’s overall energy demand by up to 20%, while facilitating compliancewith a structured energy management system such as ISO 50001:2011.Having won a number of awards themselves, such as the Rotary BusinessExcellence Award, Hanley Energy shared their winning formula when theysponsored DkIT student Sarah McCrave. Sarah went on to win the Louth Roseof Tralee competition recently.Drogheda’s Shining LightLightbox Lab, based in Millmount, Drogheda celebrated its first year inexistence recently. The makerspace club joins a growing community of Irishand international maker and hackerspaces created to support the combinedinterests of electronics and ICT at a local level.  The club was formed early in2012 and membership consists of students, IT and electronics professionals andpeople who have a passion for exploring creative uses of technology.Interest and membership in the club has grown with the on-going supportof the RDC and Millmount Development Centre, which provide a workspacefor regular meetups, workshops and tutorials.  The club engages with localindustry by providing technology enthusiasts with support and advice and linksup with the RDC to help members monetize their own ideas.2013 has already been an exciting year for Lightbox Lab. Recently the grouphas worked on the development of a 3D printer and represented Irishhackerspace at the global Coder Dojo conference which was held in SlaneCastle displaying a number of interactive projects developed by the group.The group holds monthly workshops covering a wide range of subjectsincluding programming tutorials, network security, game and webdevelopment as well as various electronics and open source hardware basedtutorials. Workshops are free for members and are open to non-members for asmall fee.Lightbox Labs hold weekly group nights (Tuesday 7:15pm to 9:30pm) formembers and guests with interests in any area of technology, who want toknow more or would like to discuss and implement their own project ideas.    For further info contact: info@lightboxlab.iefear that by asking too manyimportant questions, the insurerrisks losing the business to acompetitor who doesn’t demandsuch detail”.The Plantfiles tackles thisfundamental problem by engagingwith plant owners on behalf oftheir insurance company clientsonce a policy is in place. “We auditthe files and engage with theclient on the insurance company’sbehalf. Our unique system helpsplant owners to create andmaintain forensic data files whichmay include elevation photos,serial numbers, unique markings,video records, ownership history,safety checks, insurance & financedetails”.The forensic file is then ‘Starrated’, and the greater the numberof stars achieved the greaterwill be the discount in premiumand excess charges providing anincentive to the plant owner. Ofcourse the real value accrues inthe event of a theft as the forensicfile is made available to policeinvestigators.The Plantfiles system is currentlybeing used by a number ofinsurance companies in Ireland,and so far the feedback has beenvery favourable indeed. Rolling theplatform out across Ireland andthe UK and the company suggeststhat the recovery rate for stolenplant could be taken from a feeble5%, to 50% and more within a 3year period, saving millions for theInsurance industry and reducingpremiums for the plant owners.For further info visitwww.plantfiles.comLINKIssue127AWinningTeam–MillmountbasedHanleyEnergy.
  8. 8. ENTERPRISELINK Issue 128ICE is on course to increase its participantcompany turnover by over €56 million,generate 300 new jobs and take nearly40 companies into new export saleswhen it is completed.This evidence has emerged from anindependent evaluation of the unique‘learning by doing’ ICE Programme modelof how to build innovation capabilityand capacity in small to medium sizedbusinesses in this region.The Innovation for CompetitiveEnterprises (ICE) Programme wasdeveloped and is being led by DundalkInstitute of Technology (DkIT) inpartnership with the University ofUlster, the University of Glasgowand Glasgow Caledonian University.The Programme is funded by the EUInterreg IVA Programme for Ireland,Northern Ireland and Western Scotland,which is administered by the SpecialEU Programmes Body (SEUPB). TeamBDS, a company who specialise inproviding strategic Innovation support tocompanies in Ireland and the UK werechosen as the delivery partner.ICE Programme Manager Kieran Fegancommented ‘ICE has easily beaten thetargets set for it by the funder SEUPB. Forexample, the targets for the number ofnew products and processes introduced,the number of companies increasingturnover and the number increasing exportsales have all been exceeded by a factorof 4 or more already prior to programmecompletion’Kieran continues ‘ICE has been good valuefor money too with a direct cost per jobcreated or safeguarded of just €4500.If the reduction in state benefits arisingfrom the increase in employment from theProgramme was taken into account, thenet cost to the state would be negative’.Kieran was also keen to acknowledgethe support of the regional developmentagencies such as Enterprise Ireland,IntertradeIreland and Invest NorthernIreland.Ardee based company Pro StainlessDesigns participated on the ICEProgramme. The company identifiedthat it needed to reduce its dependencyon the construction sector and achievestrategic growth through the identificationand development of new product rangestargeting higher margin sectors.Through ICE, following an initial brain-storming session and ideas assessmentsession the company developed a newrange of clean room products for thePharmaceutical and Medical Devicessectors. The company achieved €0.5M salesin this new “specials” sector in the latterhalf of 2012. Pro Stainless Sales & MarketingDirector David Monaghan stated ‘Weapplied for ICE at a time when the economicdownturn was having a significant impacton our business. We needed new ideas andhelp with how to assess which idea shouldbe developed. ICE gave us the white spacewe needed and helped shaped the journeywhich has now hopefully given us a platformto grow.’DKIT estimates - based on the company’sown views but adjusted for the growthwhich would have been likely to happen inany case, and for company optimism - thatthe increase in turnover attributable to theProgramme is likely to be in excess of €56million. For the average company this is anincrease in turnover of €625,000 due totheir participation in the ICE Programme.If these estimates are realised in full whenthe Programme is completed, the threeparticipating regions will have gained over€56 million additional economic activity foran investment by the EU and by the state ofjust €2.5 million.Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissionerfor Research, Innovation and Science hashad an opportunity to review some of theoutputs from the ICE programme. Followingthe completion of the independentevaluation, she commented “SMEs in manyMember States are severely hit by the crisis.Creating new SMEs or helping them to growhas become ever more important becausewe need thriving and innovative enterprisesto get the European economy back on track,to provide growth and jobs”However, the current ICE Programmecomes to an end later this year. This raisesthe question as to how the lessons of theProgramme can be incorporated into supportfor SMEs to ensure that the economicbenefits continue to be realised. One option,under consideration by DKIT, is to seek torun the Programme again in the new 2014 –2020 Interreg Programme. Other possibilitiesare to widen the number of regionsparticipating in the Programme, perhapsto the EU-designated Atlantic Arc regionsor the wider North West Europe region,both of which include Ireland and NorthernIreland or to build the ICE approach intothe mainstream activities of developmentagencies such as Enterprise Ireland, InvestNIand Scottish Enterprise.Irene McCausland, External ServicesManager in the Regional DevelopmentCentre at DkIT highlighted that “thisprogramme is demonstrating an exemplarmodel for economically generating andprotecting jobs and increasing export salesthrough innovation and genuine partnership.The challenge now is how we ensure thatthe benefits of the ICE model continue to berealised by SMEs and by the wider economy”ICE Breaking New InnovationGround for Louth CompanyPro Stainless Designs
  9. 9. LINKIssue129Research is a core high value activityacross the Institute and is centralto the three pillars on which theInstitute’s strategic plan is based,namely, knowledge asset, communitydevelopment and organisation. TheInstitute is committed to realising itspotential in terms of the stated goalswithin the strategic plan and researchstrategy, in that, emerging academicresearchers will be encouraged andsupported in further developing theirresearch careers. The strength of theInstitute’s research and innovation,in conjunction with its researchinformed teaching and learningagenda, will play a key role in thefuture direction of the Institute.Supporting the Institute’s staffwho wish to support the researchand innovation agenda is vital andthe recent implementation of the“Research Career DevelopmentProgramme” represents a significantstep in this direction. This scheme istargeted at “early stage” academicresearchers within the four academicschools.This is defined as follows• Staff whom have not securedsubstantial external researchfunding• Staff whom exhibit an evidencebased interest in research• Staff whom have not supervisedmore than one level 9 or 10research student to completionKey features of the programmeinclude:• Two year programme• Three hours weekly undergraduateteaching remission to concentrateon fourth levelDr Niamh Dreeling has lectured in theDepartment of Applied Sciences in DkIT for 14years and recently has had the opportunity torefocus her research activities in the area offood science. Dreeling graduated with a BSc(Hons) in Food Science and Food Technologyfrom DIT, Kevin St (awarded by Trinity CollegeDublin) and later completed her PhD inAgriculture (awarded by UCD). Research hasalways been a major component of Dreeling’scareer and she was involved in a numberof projects in the Netherlands and Belgiumincluding researching cheese flavours in KIHOcollege in Ghent.Having completed her degree, Dreeling optedto pursue a PhD at Teagasc Ashtown FoodResearch Centre, in Castleknock. This involvedprocess optimisation of low-fat beef burgerswith particular emphasis on sensory andinstrumental texture assessment.She also worked as a Research Officer atAshtown Food Research Centre, followingher PhD, on two projects. The first projectinvolved feeding systems and processingcomponents of beef and the second projectwas on novel extruded beef products. She hasalso supervised numerous final year researchprojects in food product development withparticular emphasis on added-value foods.Her current area of research is in the areaof pulsed electric field processing, aninnovative technology, and the use of naturalantimicrobials in meat products whichshe hopes to extend to other innovativetechnologies and other food products in thefuture.Dr Niamh DreelingDepartment of Applied SciencesLaunch of Researcher CareerDevelopment Programme• Guidance and advice onresearch career development• Financial support fromresearch office for researchdissemination• Attendance at internalresearch career training events• Generation of annual researchoutputs• Biannual progress reports fromapplicantIt is expected that each candidatewould deliver on a selection of thefollowing research outputs on anannual basis.• Research training workshopattendance• Research proposal submissionto external funding body• Summer undergraduateresearch project supervision• Research orientatedundergraduate projects• Contract research andconsultancy• Internal research presentations• International and nationalconference presentations (oraland poster)• Peer reviewed publications• Non peer reviewed publications• Media & publicity• Research administration• Discipline specific relatedoutputs• Postgraduate researchsupervisionThe first programme commencedin September 2012 with 5successful candidates from acrossfour three academic schools.
  10. 10. Research10 LINK Issue 12JJ Quinlan is a lecturer and researcherin Creative Media in DkIT’s School ofInformatics. Before joining DkIT, JJworked as a Creative director in ‘bespoketraining software’ aimed at sales staff ofmultinational pharmaceutical companies.His role was in the development of highend animation, interactive exercises,video simulations and 3d environmentproducts. He was also a seniormultimedia designer for many successfule-learning projects for large multinational‘blue chip’ companies.Since joining DkIT JJ has focused oninvestigating the issues involved in designaesthetics for the elderly, specificallythose issues affecting game developers.Key to this is a detailed investigationinto the need for games for the elderlyfor Quinlan believes that this is anunderdeveloped market. Research willfocus on understanding and evaluatingthis target market. Similar marketsand brands will be investigated to findcommon themes or insight. Using thisinformation, various design aesthetics willbe investigated.This investigation will then be used as afoundation for future research regardinggame design for the elderly.JJ QuinlanSchool of InformaticsHilary Mullaney, originally from Kiltimagh,Co. Mayo, is a composer whose workhas been performed and publishedworldwide, highlights including NewMusic Festival Cal State Fullerton,Peninsula Arts Contemporary MusicFestival, Liverpool Biennial, QuebecBiennial and Futuresonic UK.Nearing completion of her PhD underthe supervision of Dr. John Matthias(PRS Foundation New Music AwardWinner, Fragmented Orchestra) atPlymouth University titled ‘The ComposerIsn’t There: a personal exploration ofplace in fixed media composition’, shehas been working on this while alsolecturing full-time in Music at DundalkIT. Her research explores her practice asa composer of fixed media, electronicmusic. Recent practice and writing haveexamined how place is experiencedfrom a psychogeographical perspective,exploring how place evolves in its ownway for each person and how recollectedmemory impacts on the compositionalprocess. She sees her work as arepresentation of the creator’s personalexperience; a series of art works thatrepresent a particular time or place.This research interest stemmed fromvarious experiences, but two highlights inher career have contributed significantly.Firstly, attending a residency at theCentre for the Composition of MusicIannis Xenakis (CCMIX) in Paris in 2005;an opportunity to immerse herself incomposition and also in the music ofIannis Xenakis. Through guidance fromXenakis’ peers and people who wereclose to him such as musicologist SharonKanach and composer Gerard Pape, thiswas a life changing experience whichgerminated this idea of ‘place’ due toher sensing of Xenakis’ presence at theCCMIX and the legacy he left behindafter his death a number of years earlierin 2001. This experience also resultedin shaking off the restraints of heracademic, classical music training; CCMIXwas the first place she felt comfortable‘breaking the rules’ which caused asignificant change in her compositionalstyle. The second highlight was visitingthe Mamori Lake in the Amazonrainforest, Brazil in 2008 to participatein a field recording residency withrenowned experimental music composerFrancisco López. It was here that shedeepened her interest in field recordingand place, writing Dawn which capturednot only a physical place, but also apersonal one.Her most recent composition Áitleku isan 8 channel work using field recordingscaptured from 2010-2012 from herhome life, which in the last number ofyears has been divided between Irelandand the Basque Country ‘Euskadi’,northern Spain. The work tells stories ofplaces and people. An extensive amountof materials were recorded during thistime to create a work which is a verypersonal exploration of place. ‘My placesin this work are my dreams, people closeto me, sounds I long for, memories of thepast … exploring where I am in relationto where I have come from; a journeywhich helped me to discover what isat the core of my practice’. This workconsists of three sections; a personalnarration recorded on waking after avivid dream, the local soundmarks on abusy street in Amorebieta, Euskadi andstories from the past recounted by herfather accompanied by the awakeningof the countryside at dawn in the villageof Pollronahan in Mayo, exploring thetraces of this place and the people wholived there.Future plans include participating in theFourth International Symposium on Musicand Sonic Art: Practices and Theories inKarlsruhe, Germany at the end of May2013 and attending a field recordingworkshop with musician and soundrecordist Chris Watson later this year.Hillary MullaneySchool of Informatics
  11. 11. LINKIssue1211Raurí McCool graduated in 2003 witha degree in Mechanical Engineeringfrom Queen’s University Belfast (QUB)which was followed up with a Masters inPolymer Engineering in 2004. Raurí thencompleted a PhD in the department ofMechanical Engineering at QUB focusingon the development of computer basedsimulations of the thermoformingprocess used to manufacture foodpackaging applications. Since 2009Raurí has held the position of lecturer inQueen’s University Belfast, Cork Instituteof Technology and Dundalk Institute ofTechnology (DkIT), during which time,he has continued to develop a strongresearch profile in polymer processingtechnologies with collaborating industrialpartners.The current research focus of Raurí,involves a collaborative approachbetween the School of Engineeringat DkIT and the Department ofMechanical Engineering at QUB. Theaim is to develop a technical knowledgebase in addition to experimentaltesting capability to further improvethe operational efficiency of themanufacturing sector and improvethe environmental credentials of thepackaging industry.Through detailed experimental analysisof the thermoforming process, the aim isto assess the energy footprint of materialand manufacturing choices early withina product design and developmentprocess. The core research focus isshifting from conventional commoditythermoplastic applications such asfood containers towards high valuemedical and pharmaceutical packagingapplications. Current developments inlaboratory equipment capabilities arebeing carried out at DkIT and will focuson the instrumentation of thermoformingequipment to facilitate the generation ofrealistic process data that can be fed tocomputer based simulations.Dr. Sinéad Loughran was apostdoctoral researcher and part-time lecturer at DCU before comingto DkIT in 2012 on a full-time basis.While there she worked extensivelyon several viruses including cancer-causing viruses, the whooping coughvirus and the flu virus.Her research interest is primarily inthe area of viral oncology whichis the study of cancers causedby viruses. She has built on thisresearch here at DkIT having recentlydirected three undergraduateresearch projects on the BSc (hons) inBiopharmaceutical Science in the areaof viral oncology.“Kate Lynch and Miki Sweeneywere the first scientists in Ireland toexamine the prevalence of a novelpolyomavirus linked to Merkel CellCarcinoma, an aggressive form ofskin cancer while Sadia Akande wasinvolved in cloning a viral proteinfrom the Human Papillomavirusin order to address an emerginghypothesis that this virus has a role inlung cancer” she explains.These research projects were DCUcollaborative projects and broughtDr. Loughran back to her alma materwhere she has recently workedclosely with colleagues in the ViralImmunology group, headed up by Dr.Patricia Johnson, to finalise a studywhich has unravelled the immunebasis for why pneumonia oftensupersedes flu infection.“Most people have heard of the SpanishFlu pandemic which is thought to haveclaimed of up to 50 million lives in1918/1919 but what most people don’tknow is that most of the deaths associatedwith flu were caused by a superinfectionwith bacteria, usually pneumonia and notthe influenza virus, which alone is rarelyfatal. In the Viral Immunology lab at DCU,we discovered how the flu virus preventsthe immune system from recognising andfighting the pneumonia bacteria in thenormal way”, she admits. Dr. Loughranwas strongly involved in postgraduateeducation at DCU and hopes to becomea postgraduate supervisor here atDkIT having now completed the DkITStructured Supervisor Training programmewhich has covered all aspects of researchstudent management during thepostgraduate supervision lifecycle.In November last, Dr. Loughran was partof a contingent of researchers from the14 Irish Institutes of Technology to visitBrussels to learn more about EU fundingpossibilities for Irish researchers. Duringthe visit, the group met with the EuropeanCommissioner for Research, Innovationand Science - Máire Geoghegan-Quinnand were briefed on the various fundingmechanisms available to researchersincluding those under the future Horizon2020 – the EU Framework Programmefor Research and Innovation which willrun from 2014 to 2020. “It is clear thatmuch of the research funding from Europein the future will involve SMEs and seeresearchers participate with SMEs incollaborative R&D or innovation projects,to develop high potential innovations andbring them closer to market” she explains.Dr. Loughran stresses that an importantaspect of her research is in enterpriseengagement, she is keen to interact withindustry and transfer knowledge. Tothis end she has secured funding underthe Summer Undergraduate Researchprogramme to study the effect of noveldrug formulations on colorectal cancercells in collaboration with the Irish-owned pharmaceutical company, SigmoidPharma, winner of the overall ‘Innovationof the Year’ award at the inaugural IrishTimes All-Island Innovation Awards, inassociation with InterTradeIreland.Dr Sinéad LoughranSchool of ScienceRaurí McCoolSchool of Engineering
  12. 12. 12RESEARCHLINK Issue 12Recently the Research Office launchedthis year’s Summer UndergraduateResearch Programme (SURP) throughwhich 30 of the Institute’s 3rdand 4thyear undergraduate students are beingsupported. The primary aim of thisscheme is to embed a research culturewithin the Institute’s undergraduatepopulation. For the first time sincethe scheme was launched back in2009, some students will now havethe opportunity to be placed directlyin a company setting during their 6week project as the Research Officeis supporting 8 projects aligned withexternal industrial partners and theInstitute’s incubated companies withinthe Regional Development Centre.The remaining 22 projects are basedwithin the Institutes research centresor groups who carry out translationalresearch across the ICT, Health, Ageing,Environmental, Engineering, Food,Creative Arts, Enterprise and Innovationresearch domains. Each student is directlysupervised by a team of experiencedresearchers and during their 6 weekprojects each student is offered bothdiscipline and generic skills training in suchareas as Intellectual Property, Undertakinga PhD and Research Ethics. This year’sscheme brings to over 85 the number ofundergraduate students who have beensupported through this programme sincesummer 2009. The full list of academicprojects for 2013 are detailed below.ICT, Health and Ageing1 New Technologies and theirrelationship with the elderly.2 Seed iPad ApplicationDevelopment.3 Seed Android ApplicationDevelopment.4 Intergenerational iPad application.5 Great Northern Haven – 3 years on.6 Wirelessly mapping Great NorthernHaven – Apt 1.7 The effect of addition of Rosemaryon microbiological, proximate andsensory assessment of beef burgers8 The effect of addition of Nisin onmicrobiological, proximate andsensory assessment of beef burgers9 Effect of novel Celecoxibformulations on cell proliferation,membrane fluidity and metastaticpotential of colorectal cancer cellsCreative Arts1 Gender and the Creative Industriesnight-time economy2 ‘Fine Gall go hinse Gall’ Music inFingal.3 Music Editions Project:Contemporary Music Centre4 Music Editions Project: Farrell5 Music Editions Project: Fleischmann6 Irish Traditional Music DigitisationProject7 Have technological advancementsdramatized the traditional narrativeof football broadcasting in relationto highlights and live match-dayprograms.8 New Technologies and theirrelationship with the elderly.Enterprise andInnovation1 To analyse the Success of theDevelopment Centre’s Enterpriseand Innovation Programmes.2 To support the research to beundertaken in the EU INTERREG IVAfunded Creative. Futures Project.Engineering1 Design & development of manualpressing device for morningreplacement rubber hand pumpseals from discarded rubber for thedeveloping world.2 Design & development of anInstrumented Tool for useon a Single Shot ExperimentThermoforming Machine.2013 SummerUndergraduate ResearchProgramme Launched