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July 03, 2012

NUI Maynooth Scientists Receive €2.4m Awards

Science Foundation Ireland Awards The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, has announced funding for two flagship scientific research projects based at NUI Maynooth.  Administered via Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) ‘Principal Investigator’ (PI) Programme the projects, run by Prof Doug Hamilton, Prof Rob Shorten and Dr Sean Doyle, will be supported through to 2015.

Prof Douglas Leith and Prof Robert Shorten of the Hamilton Institute at NUI Maynooth have received €1.8mn to fund their research Green Transport and Communications Networks in partnership with Intel and Bell Labs Ireland. The research programme focuses on the development of algorithms to regulate the aggregate effect of vehicles, enabling vehicles to cooperate with each other to avoid pollution peaks, for example, to manage traffic flow more efficiently while respecting an emissions budget, and to regulate electric vehicle load on the energy network. This combines priority areas Future Networks and Communications with Smart Grid and Smart Cities with the goal of acting as a catalyst for the development of networked transport systems to tackle the Green City research agenda and position Ireland at the forefront of this emerging area which is potentially of considerable economic importance.

Dr Sean Doyle, Dept of Biology at NUI Maynooth has been awarded €600k for his study of the global effects of gliotoxin on A. fumigatus using state-of-the-art protein mass spectrometry and molecular biology expertise and equipment, available at NUI Maynooth. Dr Doyle plans that the Institute’s novel experimental strategies, and concomitant results, will significantly advance the understanding of A. fumigatus as a human pathogen, with a view to future drug target identification.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said “that the Government is investing a further €39million in 30 new research projects in areas which the Government has identified as having particular potential for jobs and growth, including ICT, health/life sciences and energy. What is particularly heartening is that much of this research is being done in collaboration with companies who are seeking to find new products and services, including Intel and Analog Devices. I congratulate SFI on their achievements; we must now build on this to ensure that even more of this work is translated into commercial products and services and ultimately the jobs we need”.