Trinity College Dublin’s President and Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast was joined by the Irish Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, at a showcase of some of the university’s world class research at a special event in Boston, ‘Fusion,’ which took place in District Hall this week [May 28th, 2015]. Trinity’s collaborators in research, industry, education and Irish and American alumni from Boston and Massachusetts were in attendance.
“We are a university of global consequence, delivering a distinctive educational opportunity for our students and making research discoveries and scholarly advances that have a global impact. Trinity is building on Ireland’s reputation as a country committed to education to advance all our futures. As a leader in higher education, it is delivering for Ireland,” said Dr Prendergast, on the occasion of the event. “Trinity’s Strategic Plan 2014-19 is fully aligned with the Irish Government’s national economic policy and Foreign Direct Investment strategy that ‘Ireland will be renowned for developing and nurturing talent.’ The high quality education that Trinity offers students, and the excellence in research and innovation it generates, is critical in creating high quality jobs and contributing to Ireland’s economic recovery.”
In keeping with Trinity College’s culture of continuous innovation, the ‘Fusion’ event drew on leading research in Irish History, Immunology, Ageing, Creative Technologies, Nanoscience and Social Sciences presented by some of Trinity’s top academics, who presented their research in an engaging TEDx style. It showcased the global, societal and economic impact of this research in a distinctive US setting.
“Trinity also plays a strong role in helping to catalyse the creative and cultural arts in Ireland’s capital city, Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin city as the University of Dublin, Trinity is a natural ‘creative incubator’ where the city’s tech, cultural and scientific ecosystems merge. We strategically connect research and education to creative practice in the city, and linking them to European and global networks. We aim to make best advantage of this for Ireland, helping Dublin to position itself among the world’s most innovation-intensive cities,” said Dr Prendergast. “Trinity is at the heart of the national push to attract talent to Ireland, nurture existing talent, and turn good ideas into sustainable jobs.”
Trinity collaborates with eight of the World’s largest ICT companies in Ireland, and 11 of the World’s largest Pharma companies. Last year, we entered almost 80 research agreements with industry. The university now accounts for one-fifth of all spin-out companies from Irish higher education institutions.
“Trinity’s new Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy will further embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship right across the University and its mission to deliver economic, cultural and social value founded on research and scholarship, as well as the education of future generations of entrepreneurially minded graduates,” said Dr. Prendergast. “Every great advance that Trinity has made has been in partnership with others including global universities, collaborators in research, both government, industry and philanthropy; it is partnerships that enable Trinity to enhance its standing as a place of learning, and Ireland’s reputation as a civilized society giving equality of opportunity to all with the talent and ambition to succeed.”
Researchers who showcased their academic work at the Fusion event included:
Luke O’Neill, Professor of Biochemistry
Luke O’Neill has spent almost 30 years investigating the intricacies of the inflammatory response and is a pioneering investigator in the area of innate immunity. In 2014, he was named by Thomson Reuters as one of the world’s most influential scientists, in the top 1% in both Immunology and Pharmacology/Toxicology. He is co-founder and director of Opsona Therapeutics, a Trinity spin out drug development company working in the area of inflammatory disease. It has raised a total of €45m in finance to develop new anti-inflammatories. There are clinical trials – one in kidney transplant, both in Europe and the US, another is a type of leukemia called MDS, which is being done in Houston at the M.D. Anderson cancer center.
Carol O’Sullivan, Professor of Visual Computing
Carol O’Sullivan’s research includes perception, animation, virtual humans, and crowds. She is now one of the world’s leading experts in the interdisciplinary area of visual computing. Since August 2013 she has been a Senior Research Scientist with Disney Research Los Angeles.
Ciarán Brady, Professor of Early Modern History and Historiography
Ciarán Brady’s work focuses on Irish and English history in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. He devised Trinity College’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Irish Lives in War and Revolution, 1912 -23 to which more than 17,000 users signed up to, largely drawn from the Irish diaspora living worldwide.
Richard Layte, Professor of Sociology
As an economic sociologist, Richard Layte’s focuses on social inequality, as well as the fundamental processes which influence the distribution of health and well-being in societies and how these are shaped by political economy and social stratification. His presentation will refer to two major longitudinal studies led by Trinity College Dublin on children, ‘Growing Up in Ireland’ and on ageing ‘The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing’.
Valeria Nicolosi, European Research Council Professor
Valeria Nicolosi is internationally regarded as a leading expert in the field of processing of low-dimensional nanostructures and high-end electron microscopy. In 2011 she was awarded a European Research Council (ERC) starting grant to expand her work in nanomaterials and energy storage. She is ERC Research Professor at the Schools of Chemistry, Physics and principal investigator in the Science Foundation Ireland, Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research Centre (AMBER) at Trinity College.
About innovation at Trinity College Dublin:
- Since 2009, Trinity College Dublin has averaged six new spin-out companies annually and continues to spin-out more companies than any other Irish university.
- Trinity collaborates with eight of the World’s largest ICT company in Ireland, and 11 of the World’s largest Pharma companies; overall, Trinity engages with more than 400 industry partners and collaborators.
- Trinity’s technologies are available for licensing in growth areas such as aviation, connected health, gaming and telecoms, new materials, and medical devices and therapies.
- According to Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators, in terms of research impact as measured by citations, Trinity ranks in the world’s top 1% of research institutions in 18 STEM fields, including immunology, materials science, and molecular biology and genetics.