World Famous Astrophysicist Launches Institute of Technology Carlow Research and Innovation IMPACT Strategy 2020-2025

05/03/2020 17:20:00

Institute of Technology Carlow today launched its strategy for connected interdisciplinary research and innovation over the next five years.

The choices and challenges that our country and regions face are the focus of a broad range of research objectives proposed today by Institute of Technology Carlow. Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell launched Research and Innovation IMPACT on behalf of Institute of Technology Carlow. The renowned astrophysicist and researcher from Northern Ireland co-discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967 as a postgraduate student and is credited with "one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th century".  Professor Bell Burnell has spent her career working to enhance women and minorities in science and has become a role model for young scientists throughout the world.  “Research and Innovation strategies are very important. They give an overall sense of direction,” said Professor Bell Burnell, “but research and real life will always insert something unexpected; so always challenge and question.”

Research and Innovation IMPACT sets out “an ambitious and pragmatic cross-institutional roadmap to increase productivity and innovation in connected and collaborative research, scholarship and creative activities for societal, economic and environmental development, supporting the realisation of the Institute of Technology Carlow vision to be a leading European Technological University”, according to Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, President of Institute of Technology Carlow.

The strategy sets out four key goals; strategic direction, strengthening capacity, actively engaging and creating change.  These goals are enhancing the work of over 100 researchers on PhD pathways and an academic research community who are delivering their research at major conferences and seminars in 2020 in more than 25 countries across the globe.  Delivering impact and change are a range of objectives building on the success of current initiatives across the globe;  from research spin out company Microgen Biotech developing organic solutions to significantly increase crop yields in China; to designCORE researchers collaborating with McMaster University addressing societal issues impacting  rapidly aging populations in Ireland and Canada; and EU funded project, Catalyst, driving innovation within more than 100 Irish and Welsh businesses.   

The impact of the Institutes research and innovation was highlighted by three current and former members of the Institute research community.  Dr Richard Lally completed his PhD at the Institute and his work on plant growth promotion won him first place at the 2016 Alltech Young Scientist programme.  He is currently a research scientist with Alltech at its European Bioscience Headquarters in Co. Meath.  Dr Clare Lodge is a director of the Institute’s Health research centre. HealthCORE has been key to national and international policy on a range of issues including obesity, mens cancer, and suicide prevention, as well as projects of national importance with the GAA and the FAI on injury and wellness monitoring.  Australian Dean Klatt was directed to IT Carlow by Enterprise Ireland and has worked with our innovation support units to build a company now exporting globally but that continues to use the expertise and the infrastructure of the Institute.

The Technological Universities Research Network (TURN) was established in 2019 by the Department of Education and Skills to report on how emerging technological universities could achieve their national strategic objectives.  The launch of the Institute of Technology Carlow Research and Innovation IMPACT strategy is informed by, and supports the key findings of the TURN report.   The IMPACT strategy strongly signals how intensive collaboration with industry and close engagement with international researchers can act as major catalysts for further regional, national and international investment, research, innovation and employment growth.

“Research and innovation is at the heart of all that we do” said Dr. Mulcahy, “it informs our teaching and learning, it stimulates debate, it creates impact for our stakeholders. We prioritise research and innovation that is both collaborative and connected in order to maximise the benefits to our learners, our faculty and our global community”.