The link issue 6


Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The link issue 6

  1. 1. Where research & InnovatIon Meets enterprIse CASALA: Regional Development CentRe & ReseaRCh offiCe exploring the link the future of ageing Statsports joins premier league Boost for border business Hattrick of options for student enterprise issue six summeR 2010
  2. 2. Contents Foreword 3 The importance of linking Where research & InnovatIon Meets enterprIse Student enterprise research and enterprise boost cannot be overstated. The Government’s latest Innovation Taskforce report, 4 Game is on for Statsports published in March, places a strong emphasis on enterprises and entrepreneurs and states firmly that State 5 support for research will be Helping border contingent on there being CASALA: exploring Regional Development CentRe & ReseaRCh offiCe business the future of ageing the link Statsports joins premier league positive economic outcomes for the country. In other Boost for border business Hattrick of options for student enterprise issue six summeR 2010 words, whatever supports the 6 Acclaim for ACE State gives to research will eventually have to be repaid through exports, employment and tax receipts generated by the businesses that have stemmed from the supports. 7 CASALA launch As this issue of The Link shows, not only is the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well at DkIT but many of the companies based here are actively looking to boost the quality of their offerings by tapping into relevant research. A good example 8 is Statsports, the sports performance measurement startup, Innovation Vouchers: which is hoping to create an alliance with two research units 40 not out in order to further enhance the quality of its products (see page 4). 9 Biochemist makes mark Recent months have also seen the establishment of a major new applied research centre at DkIT whose objective, again, is to bring a strong entrepreneurial input to research. This, of course, is the Centre for Affective Solutions for Ambient Living 10 Researching Research (CASALA) and you can read more about it on page 7. water The strength of the RDC is that it brings together exciting young enterprises with DkIT’s growing research base. It is a 11 place where creative entrepreneurs can tap into the technical Netwell has knowledge of the various research programmes under finger on pulse way here in order to create innovative new products and services. Equally, it is a place where researchers who may lack commercial experience can find a wealth of financial and non- 12 Extra funding for electrochemists financial supports to help them commercialise their ideas. As we anticipate a well-earned break over the summer, we can look back with satisfaction on the work that’s been done since the beginning year while looking forward with enthusiasm to The Regional Development Centre (RDC) is a centre to promote innovation, technology transfer and enterprise in the wider region and is the remainder of the year and the great opportunities that based on the DkIT Campus. will surely present themselves for innovation and enterprise. We hope you enjoy this edition of The Link. If you have any comments about the content, have suggestions for stories, or would like to be put on the mailing list please email anne. Irene McCausland, External Services Manager, RDC Tim McCormac, Head of Research, DkIT Issue 6 Regional Development Centre Dublin Road Dundalk Co Louth T | +353 42 9331161 F | +353 42 9331163 W | E | Telephone numbers are changing Our contact numbers at the RDC are changing as we move LINK Great care has been taken to ensure that this information is accurate, to a new telephony system. but the Regional Development Centre, including its subsidiaries does not accept responsibility or liability for errors or information which is found Note that numbers from mid-July will be: to be misleading. t 042 9370400 f 042 9370499 Written & edited by Brian Skelly, The Write Business, + 353 86 857-5829 2
  3. 3. Enterprise 3 LINK Dundalk Credit Union scores Issue 6 a hattrick for Student Enterprise Strike two Student interest in the fund is growing rapidly and to consolidate this, the Regional Development Centre developed an enterprise development programme specifically for students to run over four weeks during the holiday period. ‘Bright Ideas’, as the programme is known, will focus on determining commercial feasibility for each of the student projects and will cater for final-year students and recent graduates who are interested in setting up a new venture following graduation. Demand for places on the programme from students at earlier stages of their courses has been high and may necessitate running another programme later in the year. The programme is being fully funded by Dundalk Credit Union. Strike three Dundalk Credit Union is also sponsoring a co-working venue in the RDC Incubation Centre, entitled the “Ideas Lab”, to allow students grow and develop their business together and share each other’s experiences. Asked why Dundalk Credit Union has become so involved in the promotion and support of enterprise to DkIT students, Billy Doyle, General Manager, responded, “Dundalk Credit Union and DkIT are two of the great success stories in Dundalk and share a  DkIT Student Entrepreneurs with Billy Doyle, Tom Darcy and Pat Muckian, Dundalk common commitment to the Credit Union, Cathal Kearney Head of School of Business Studies and Humanities, and strength of the self-help ethos in Garrett Duffy, DkIT making a real difference to the people, the community and the local economy The promotion of an enterprise Strike one of Dundalk at this challenging time. culture amongst DkIT students has The Board of Dundalk Credit Union In 2009, Dundalk Credit Union been at the forefront of DkIT policy is delighted to provide this enhanced established a Student Innovation Fund since 2007. Since then three Student level of financial support to the of €15,000 for DkIT students which has Enterprise Interns were recruited to student enterprise initiative been used to provide seed capital to promote enterprise to DkIT students at DkIT.” real student-led enterprises. Amounts using a peer-to-peer approach. awarded have varied between €400 However, promotion and offering The invaluable support of Dundalk and €1,000 and 12 projects have been encouragement is one thing, providing Credit Union combined with the supported so far. The fund has allowed practical assistance in the form of ongoing enterprise development students to determine technical funding is quite another so, together efforts of the RDC team makes DkIT or market feasibility and for some with Dundalk Credit Union, DkIT has the campus of choice for students students, who are already trading, to devised a three-strike programme to wishing to get their first business up assist with marketing costs. get enterprise moving on campus! and running.
  4. 4. Enterprise Big-name contract wins promote Statsports to premier league Like many successful businesses, RDC-based Statsports came into being after a gap was spotted in the market for a new service. “The initial concept was that we would GAA, that provided the first client provide Irish teams and associations for Statsports. “Leinster Rugby was with sports science back-up and wearing our system when they won facilities that professional teams in the Heineken Cup last year and when the UK would have. We saw a gap they won the Cup it boosted our where people didn’t have the facilities profile as well. On the back of that, we or equipment they would have in clinched a three-year deal with Irish the UK,” says Sean O’Connor, who rugby. We’ve also signed a deal with founded the company in mid-2009 the Rugby Football Union which means with his business partner Alan Clarke. the English team is now using our system as well,” says O’Connor. Statsports' flagship product is a GPS analysis system called SpiPro made The system has crossed over to by leading Australian fitness product Premiership football as well, with firm GP Sports. Statsports has exclusive both Arsenal and Manchester Utd  Sean O'Connor, Statsports, and Peter Stringer, Munster and Ireland rugby distribution rights for the product signing up recently to use the system. professional in the UK and Ireland. Worn on the O’Connor emphasises that it not just player’s back via a discreet harness, the hardware that these teams are move from the RDC. “We have been SpiPro is a mini-computer that logs a getting from Statsports but the full here since August last year. It’s been player’s physical performance during management and analysis of data. great for us because it’s given us the training. Every possible statistic is headquarters we need. It’s also enabled logged and measured, from the “Manchester Utd bought some units us to network with people who are amount of ground covered by the in the past but there was nobody in similar positions and may be facing player to their speed or heart-rate. appointed to manage them – to get similar problems as a start-up company.” The machine can also flag when a feedback and analyse the results, player is getting tired (via the length whereas we make sure players wear Statsports is hoping to cement further of his running stride) which is a key the device and analyse the data live as its ties with Dundalk IT by establishing a metric given the fact that players are the session is happening. Then, once partnership with the Exercise Physiology most likely to get injured when they it’s finished, we get the units back and lab within the Nursing building, are fatigued. upload all the information onto the whereby Statsports will offer its services computer to generate reports for the to athletes and teams. After extensive trials last year with coaches,” says O’Connor. “What our more than a dozen county teams, clients say is that the technology is It is also establishing a link with Statsports has got the approval from great but what they really value is our Ronán McRuairí within the software the GAA for players to wear the device reliable feedback and experience using engineering unit, with a view to during competitive fixtures. So far, a the system.” having some purpose-designed number of teams have agreed to wear software written for its performance it including the Galway footballers and The company has had visits at the RDC measurement systems. This is to be Tipperary hurlers. from both the Manchester United funded by an innovation voucher for and Arsenal fitness and conditioning R&D which the company has received The founders made it a priority to get coaches. Statsports will start providing from Enterprise Ireland. some experienced sportspeople into the service when pre-season training the company in the early stages in begins in early July. O’Connor puts Statsports' success order that they could act as a sounding to date down to “hard work” and board for new technologies and target The company is currently recruiting getting strong references from clients. potential users. Joe Kernan, the former new staff to support the expansion of “Everyone at elite level in sport knows Armagh GAA football boss and now business and hopes to have four new what’s going on in different sports Issue 6 Galway supremo, was one of those interns in place by the end of June and if you have a good relationship approached. Kernan liked what he saw – sports science graduates who are established with one team or sports and he has since become an advocate looking for somewhere to deploy their association the word tends to for the product and director of the knowledge and expertise. get around. We have established company. LINK a relationship as a very reliable, While the company may be expanding trustworthy and efficient company and But it was the sport of rugby, not O’Connor says there are no plans to it’s gone from there.” 4
  5. 5. Enterprise 5 LINK Helping border businesses Issue 6 family businesses to work through entrepreneurial firms as an option their own succession issues. The need for future ownership where to engage in change, innovate and use family business owners have creative input to develop management failed to identify a successor e.g. practices can provide these businesses management buy outs, social with the opportunity to enter a new enterprises or family business growth phase. In most family owned investment groups; SMEs, there are complexities in dealing with emotional beliefs and value • Address skills deficits and provide systems mixed with the challenges SME owner/managers and their faced by SMEs. On top of all that, the teams with the knowledge characteristics of the entrepreneur and skills to effectively address will also be taken into account, for succession challenges; example resistance to change. These complexities lead to a potentially • Increase capacity to absorb external volatile ‘cocktail’ that should be knowledge within participant addressed because succession happens organisations; whether one plans for it or not. • Increase uptake in knowledge This programme is therefore more transfer activities e.g. via research than a management development centres and third level higher  Programme Manager Dr Cecilia Hegarty programme. Throughout the duration education institutions. of the 12-month programme, the programme team will work with The STS programme was so popular Whilst succession issues may not be at the various family members to work that it was doubly over-subscribed. the forefront of daily operations in out their own individual needs and The programme was launched in family businesses, it is thought it is the how this impacts upon the family Ireland at DkIT on 11 March 2010. single biggest threat to sustainability business and the family unit in order The event gave attendees an of family businesses in Ireland. to gain an understanding of the overview of the programme and process of succession planning. The showcased an Irish family business SMEs make-up approximately 94% of STS Programme is also fully supported that has successfully undertaken all business. Within this, family owned by a dedicated team of experts, best succession planning – Sammy Leslie firms account for a minimum of 69% practice visits, networking events and of Castle Leslie. Sammy Leslie gave a of all SMEs, yet only 30% survive to an online toolkit which will be made humorous and honest account of how the second generation and only 10% available to the companies selected the family home and heritage was survive into the third generation. onto the programme. nearly lost on a few occasions due to While families are traditionally highly the lack of succession planning. effective at developing internationally It is anticipated the programme will competitive businesses they tend to help: Two cohorts of companies will be be less adept in knowledge capture recruited onto the STS programme and transferring knowledge between • Establish regional succession in June 2010 and February 2011. generations in order to pass the baton planning hubs providing cross The STS project is being developed onto the next generation. The 'Success border expertise training and in- over a three-year period. The total through Succession' (STS) Programme house mentoring to support newly project funding is €1.74m from the is a unique programme offered to formed governance structures for European Union’s INTERREG IVA family businesses in the border region the family and the business; Programme, managed by the Special of Ireland. The project, part-funded by EU Programmes Body with matched the European Union’s INTERREG IVA • Contribute to a dynamic economy funding contribution provided by the Programme, will specifically focus on through the development of accountable departments in Northern managing the challenges of innovative approaches to ownership/ Ireland and Ireland as well as Co- succession therefore improving management in family owned SMEs; operative Development Scotland. the growth, sustainability and competitiveness of these SMEs using • Build capacity within the regional For further information please a series of interventions. SME sector to increase, enhance contact Dr Cecilia Hegarty, and sustain regional economic Programme Manager, at Free to participating companies, the development; programme adopts a unique business tel: +353 42 9331161. psychology approach aimed at leading • Create a wide range of additional
  6. 6. Enterprise ACE endorsement from HEA that stimulating entrepreneurship is essential to make third-level education relevant to the needs of today's graduates. The report can be downloaded at: Share your comments on the report by emailing us at: Roll-out of student programmes Two new student programmes in entrepreneurship, developed through ACE, are to be made available to students in the new academic year. These new programmes offer science, engineering and technology graduates the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills required to either develop their own business idea or to further benefit ’ their future employers.  Academic Staff and Technology Transfer Officers prepare for the rollout of the new ACE is an impressive entrepreneurship programmes in DkIT. project that appears The ACE initiative recently received employment or benefit their to be well regarded in the ’ high acclaim from the Higher employers, be they multinational private sector Education Authority (HEA) in its mid- companies, small enterprise, public term evaluation report of Strategic sector or voluntary organisations. MSc in Technology Innovation Fund (SIF II) projects. The report noted that ACE was "an Entrepreneurship Accelerating Campus Entrepreneurship impressive project that appears to be Through this unique master’s (ACE) is a partnership between IT well regarded in the private sector" programme, the student will Blanchardstown, Cork IT, IT Sligo, and "all of higher education should network with successful role-model NUI Galway and Dundalk Institute be engaged in this work". The ACE entrepreneurs and enterprise of Technology which is developing initiative was singled out as one of two development experts, develop an a range of educational programmes projects of excellence. investor-ready business plan and also to create entrepreneurial graduates obtain a post-graduate qualification who can then create indigenous In the HEA report, it is recognised (PG Diploma or MSc) based on the Business Idea? Take the Plunge The Novation Enterprise Platform Programme has been helping technology start-ups for over 10 years with great results. Offers • Comprehensive business training and advice To Apply Contact Garrett Duffy, Enterprise • Business Coaching & Mentoring Development Manager • Co-Working facilities e • Access to investment funding t 042 9331161 Starting Autumn 2010
  7. 7. Research 7 LINK Ageing population experiential learning process of commercialising their business idea. Issue 6 BSc in Engineering Entrepreneurship The programme will be driven by innovative pedagogy which an opportunity for the smart economy will include individual and team- based project-focused learning opportunities for students at Level 8. The inter-disciplinary programme will be delivered in collaboration with staff from the Schools of Engineering and Business and the campus incubation centre. Summer school Six academic staff members from the ACE partner institutions have been accepted onto the 2010 Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators. Through this summer programme, the participants will improve their understanding of teaching entrepreneurship through Babson College in the US, which is a recognised world leader in entrepreneurship education.  Launch of CASALA in DkiT A new centre at the Dundalk Institute of CASALA aims to work with industry in Technology is helping to drive the creation helping to develop, trial and commercialise of new and better products and services to new products and services to the benefit help older people live independently longer. of the older people and the economic development of Irish based industry. The Centre for Affective Solutions for Ongoing developments are delivering key Ambient Living Awareness (CASALA) is an frameworks and platforms, empowering applied research centre based on campus, entrepreneurs, SMEs and multinationals to established with seed funding of €1.8 bring new services and innovative products million under Enterprise Ireland's Applied to the market. Research Enhancement programme. A team of researchers and experienced The research centre has been instrumental entrepreneurs will work with industry in a new collaboration between a major to achieve product innovation, business multinational (Bosch) and an Irish company competitiveness, and market leadership (McElwaine Smart) that has seen the in the emerging ambient assisted living introduction of a trial telehealth service (AAL) sector. that has already had impact for older people and created new jobs here in Population ageing offers many Ireland (see story on page 11). opportunities – by 2020, 25% of the EU's population will be over 65, with spending CASALA also acts as the commercial on pensions, health and long-term care arm of the Netwell Centre, which is also expected to triple by 2050. Extending the based within DkIT. The Netwell Centre is opportunity for older people to age in a developing new ideas that enhance the place of their choosing is a major policy quality of life and well-being of older alternative to long-term care. There is a people and those who care for them, huge economic potential related to this the through more integrated community- “Silver Market”. Older people are important oriented services, more sustainable home consumers with a combined wealth in and neighbourhood design, and more Europe alone of over €3,000 billion and age-friendly technologies. the forthcoming generation of older people will be increasing demands for For more information log on to high quality services.
  8. 8. Case Study Fortieth EI Precise advice Innovation for Bellugan Voucher How one client used its innovation voucher completed The Regional Development Centre recently completed its fortieth Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher with Louth based Bellurgan Precision (see case study on this page) The objective of the Innovation Voucher initiative is to build links between Ireland's public knowledge providers and small businesses and create a cultural shift in the small business community's approach to innovation.  Production floor in Bellurgan Precision Bellurgan Precision is an SME making Also, since multiple raw material stores high precision parts for the aerospace had grown organically from the start, and medical device sectors. The company the consolidation of these raw material had a number of concerns in the area stores into one area was recommended.  Sean MacEntee, Incubation Centre of production control and inventory Bellurgan has already started to clear Manager, RDC management. An Enterprise Ireland the space necessary for this newly Innovation Voucher was raised to provide consolidated raw-material store. Other Over the past few years the voucher consultancy from an academic member of advice was given based on world-class scheme has become a popular the DkIT staff. best practice including the adoption of means of undertaking technical or Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED). market feasibility for new products With 12 years’ industrial experience in the or services. The initiative matches a multinational sector, and having delivered Bellurgan has now completed the first company’s innovation needs with a six different modules in supply chain phase of the project and started to third-level institute that can solve its management, Tony Lennon was able to examine the suitability of the ERP options ‘knowledge question’. bring impartial advice to Bellurgan and to that are available. It is expected that a take a broad view of the situation. A gap follow-on voucher will be requested and Voucher projects completed by analysis was conducted through interviews that Bellurgan will seek Tony Lennon’s DkIT Researchers have covered with all the management team and many continued assistance and advice on this multiple sectors including software shop-floor personnel. This process has innovative project. development, renewable energy, built a consensus as to the problems faced environmental, seniors technology by Bellurgan and its possible solutions. Asked about the process Gabriel Murtagh, and life sciences . This consensus will be important when the Quality Manager, Bellurgan Precision recommended changes are implemented. Ltd, said, "We see the Voucher/DKIT Issue 6 Visit for contribution to be a very worthwhile full details of the standard scheme The purchase of an enterprise resource project that has independently identified valued at €5,000, or the recently planning (ERP) system was recommended and endorsed the company's need for launched matched voucher scheme. and the necessity of the ERP system improvements in inventory and production is now recognised by the company. A management to meet the challenges of LINK For further details contact: Sean short-list of suppliers and the criteria that the growing aerospace and medical MacEntee on 042 9331161 or email the software must meet was agreed. device sectors." 8
  9. 9. Research 9 LINK Making ends meet at DkIT Issue 6 If enthusiasm and passion are essential characteristics for a researcher, then Dr Ronan Bree need never worry about having chosen the wrong career. Since the energetic, fast-talking NUI Galway-educated biochemist joined DkIT last September, it’s been a case of so far, so fantastic. As well as lecturing in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Upstream Processing and Biotherapeutics within the Department of Applied Sciences, Ronan is starting to ramp up his research activities, which are centred on the groundbreaking area of DNA damage and repair. “DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are one of the most dangerous forms of DNA damage that can occur within a cell and their presence can lead to genomic instability, cancer and even cell death. When a DSB occurs to a DNA strand in the cell, the primary goal of the cell is to use repair processes to bring the two ends back  Dr Ronan Bree: likes the “push towards research” at DkIT together, ie, make the ends ‘meet’, with as little disruption to the genetic which is ‘Ronan’ backwards. That Clinical Research in Sandyford. From information as possible,” he explains. led to follow-on projects in the lab, this he gained a deeper understanding which was great because they’re of the role of teamwork in Ronan first got into the whole area of still working on Nanor to find out commercialising research ideas. He DNA research at NUI Galway where, what it is responsible for and why it’s describes ICON as a “really great after completing his biochemistry important in embryo development,” company” and one he wouldn’t have degree in 1999, he stayed to complete he says. left were it not for the fact that the his PhD. There, he was invited to join “perfect job” came up for him. a developmental biology research lab As a postdoc, Ronan was planning run by researchers Drs Lucy Byrnes to pursue further research in the “I think in Dundalk there’s a real push and Maura Grealy, which focused zebrafish area but instead was drawn towards research; there’s big energy on the genetics of zebrafish embryo towards joining a newly established and drive and I wanted to become part development. As part of this, he was cancer research cluster at NUI Galway, of that club,” he says simply. awarded a scholarship to travel to which had recently been set up by San Francisco to pursue research in Professor Noel Lowndes. It was here Although Ronan comes across as the area of gene expression during that Ronan began to investigate the fanatical about research, he also knows embryo development at the lab of role of various proteins in the cell’s how to switch off. He used to play a lot internationally renowned geneticist response to DNA damage. of soccer but a knee injury put paid to Professor Didier Stainier at UCSF. that so he has switched his attention Now, in his new position at DKIT, to photography – with considerable “It was central to my PhD but it also he plans to maintain his links with success. He was recently awarded a helped us to build links between Professor Lowndes by forging a cross- licentiateship – a sort of quality mark labs internationally,” he recalls. “The institutional research alliance focusing – by the Irish Photographic Federation whole idea of my project was to on how cells respond to DNA damage. and has already had one book of identify novel genes involved in the landscape photography published and development of zebrafish embryos, a What appeals to him about this area has another in the pipeline. As if that black-and-white striped fish which is of research? “It has huge long-term wasn’t enough excitement for one used as a model system,” he explains. potential for developing strategies or year, he is due to get married to his targets for therapeutic approaches,” fiancée, Deirdre, this summer. It was while doing this research he points out. on zebrafish that Ronan made a So, never a dull moment then, but breakthrough that most researchers As well as the third-level research that’s just the way this all-action could only dream about: he found sector, Ronan has experience of scientist likes it, one imagines. a brand new gene. And as the working in the biopharmaceutical discoverer, he was given the honour industry. Between 2007 and 2009 he Check out Ronan’s photography at of naming it. “I named it ‘Nanor’ worked in various roles with ICON
  10. 10. Research Bringing a fresh perspective to water There are not many jobs out there that allow you to look back in time and also forward into the future, but Dr Eleanor Jennings can claim to have one of them. As lecturer in environmental biology (soil and water management) in the Department of Applied Sciences much of her research explores what lakes looked like in the past and how they might look in the future. “We’ve looked back in time and we’re fish survival, and included modelling of from the surrounding peat land has on looking forward in time as well – so it’s in-stream temperatures, dissolved oxygen the lake and drinking-water quality. She is like being in a time machine,” says Dr and dissolved organic carbon. also investigating how carbon is processed Jennings, who has worked on a succession through the lake and gets lost into the of projects that have had climate change She has also worked on two projects that atmosphere and starts a feedback loop as their theme. These include the EPA- have been funded by the EU. The first with creates yet more carbon by heating funded Illuminate project, which involved of these, ‘Reflect’, looked at long-term up the surrounding peat land. modelling catchment export of sediment, climate change in Europe and its effect on nutrients and dissolved organic carbon lakes and freshwater systems. The other Dr Jennings has a Burrishoole-based under historical conditions, and the Marine project, ‘Clime’, involved her doing field research student, Liz Ryder, who Institute-funded ‘Re-scale’ project which research at two sites in Ireland – Lough is investigating this carbon-cycle focused on the impacts of current and Leane in Co Kerry and Lough Feeagh in phenomenon further. Jennings and projected climate on factors important for the Burrishoole catchment in Mayo – to try Ryder recently attended an international to get a deeper understanding of the role conference in Brazil where Liz Ryder and impact of climate change on carbon. presented her findings from Burrishoole. In Lough Feeagh, there is a monitoring Dr Jennings has a second student, Vicky buoy operated by the Marine Institute, Veercamp, working on Milltown Lake Issue 6 which takes very frequent readings from in Co Monaghan. Her project, Dynamo, the lake of characteristics such as dissolved is looking at the value of computer oxygen levels, temperature and pH level. modelling to the management of a Dr Jennings uses these measurements to freshwater resource. Dr Jennings is also inform her research. What she is trying to LINK co-supervising two other students: Tesfaye find out, among other things, is exactly Bekele who is working on an Enterprise what impact the dissolved organic carbon Ireland project, in collaboration with Bord 10
  11. 11. 11 LINK Netwell has finger Issue 6 on the pulse The Netwell Centre at DkIT is partner on a project that aims to assess how patients with chronic conditions may benefit from using a remote patient-monitoring – or telehealth – system from Robert Bosch Healthcare (BOSCH). Netwell serves as a centre of excellence and is developing new ideas that enhance the quality of life and well- being of older people and those who care for them, through more integrated community-oriented services, more sustainable home and neighbourhood design, and more age- monitoring services and clinical triage friendly technologies. staff to monitor the data received from the patients. The data from The Netwell project will demonstrate the sessions is sent over a telephone how a telehealth system may help line to a secure data centre where it patients better understand their is accessed by a clinical triage nurse, chronic illness and motivate them to who is alerted to early warning signs change their behaviour to improve if a patient’s health is deteriorating. self-management of their condition. The triage nurse alerts specialist The project marks the first involvement clinical staff within the Louth County of Robert Bosch Healthcare’s Hospital if a patient appears to need na Móna, designing on-site waste water telehealth system in Ireland. urgent attention. treatment plants, and Sam Kagwisagye, a student on Water is Life: Amazzi Bulamu', Forty older patients who have either By quickly risk-stratifying patients an Irish Aid project investigating water congestive heart failure (CHF) or based on the daily interactive resources in Uganda. Dr Jennings will diabetes are participating in the trial, sessions, the Bosch Telehealth System travel to Uganda in June for fieldwork with and a quarter of them will serve as a enables healthcare providers to Sam. control group. The main group will intervene before medical issues use the Bosch patient interface in their escalate. The goal is to improve The Centre for Freshwater Studies is one home for a period of 90 days. The quality of life, enable older people of the most active research units within project has been enabled by the close to remain independent longer, and DKIT. It has 13 postgrad students, and two cooperation of specialist clinical teams lower costs of care by reducing visits postdocs – Siobhan Jordan and Valerie based in the Louth County Hospital. to the emergency department and McCarthy – involved in a range of research hospital. projects. The patient interface is a compact device with a display and simple four- During the trial, researchers from the According to Dr Jennings, who previously buttons that allows patients to answer Netwell Centre will evaluate how worked at TCD, it was DKIT’s growing a series of questions about their health patients respond to the telehealth reputation in freshwater studies that and symptoms each day. Through these technology and determine its ability attracted her to the Institute, which she “dialogues” they learn about ways to to impact their well-being and joined in September 2008. “Dundalk has better manage their conditions, and quality of life. been building up a strong reputation in they receive health tips and reminders freshwater sciences and I have a strong to take their medication. In the Researchers plan to publish results interest in that,” she says. As for the Netwell Centre trial, the participants from the project in September 2010, Institute itself, she is finding it “very will also report their blood pressure but even at this stage participants dynamic – there’s always something and weight or blood glucose levels, in the project have demonstrated happening. I’m really enjoying it.” depending on their condition, through significant positive impacts. the session. For more information on the work of the For more information check out National Centre for Freshwater Studies go In the Netwell project, McElwaine and sign up to SMART, an Irish SME and commercial for the Netwell newsletter to receive ncfs partner of Bosch, is providing future updates on the project.
  12. 12. Research DkIT researchers secure €370k EU funding The Electrochemistry Research Group, located within the Department of Applied Sciences in the Institute, has recently secured over €370,000 in research funding under the EU Framework 7 (FP7) ‘Benefit for SMEs’ scheme. The commercial partners on this project entitled "Mobile refrigeration system refrigerant leakage monitoring" include Primalec, Maidstone, UK; AARTS Plastic BV, Netherlands; Data Optics Balkans Ltd, Sofia, Bulgaria; Sensor technology Ltd, Banbury, UK; Brain Bees, Parma, Italy and Hubbard Products, Ipswich, UK. The two research performers are Dundalk Institute of Technology and the UK based Intelligent Systems Research Institute Limited. The total funding secured [e] for the two-year period by the consortium is €1.29 million. More information on the project can be found on the Cordis website at http://  Front (L - R) Naris Anwar, Rashdar Naseer, Mostansara Yaqub. Back (L-R) The research activities of the Electrochemistry Research Shahzad Imar, Dr Tim McCormac, Head of Research, DkIT. Group can be broadly classified as the development of nanostructured materials for environmental based sensors, researchers employ electrochemical techniques and state-of-the-art molecular electronics and bioscience applications. More [t] 042 9327943 surface-based techniques, in conjunction with their collaborators, to specifically the group of researchers utilises the unique redox carry out translational research from the bench to industry. properties of both conducting polymers and large inorganic cage like molecules, known as polyoxometallates, for these If you would like more information about the group’s activities please purposes. The ability to surface-manipulate these molecular visit their website at element design systems onto both metallic and semiconducting surfaces is electrochemistry or you can contact Dr Tim McCormac at of particular interest to a wide variety of technologies. The, tel +353 42 9331161. Open Invitation The RDC hosts its monthly Enterprise & Innovation Zone Starting Out or Need a Base for your on the last Friday of the month R&D activities from 2pm to 4:30pm Incubation The Regional Development Centre has top class Facilities and Business Supports both on-campus in DkIT and Off-Campus in Millmount, Drogheda. Please visit for details on upcoming topics and how to reserve your For further details contact: Sean MacEntee on [t] 042 9331161 [e] [w] place. Admission is free but spaces limited.