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Tripartite research projects valued at £6.4m

Four joint research projects, including a study into the impacts of climate change, will be carried out by scientists in Northern Ireland, the Republic and the US.

The tripartite research and development projects - valued at £6.4m (€7m) - were unveiled by Employment Minister Sir Reg Empey, the Republic's Labour Affairs Minister Dara Calleary and US Ambassador Dan Rooney.

Scientists at Queen's University Belfast, National University of Ireland in Galway and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will develop a system of greenhouse gas measurement aimed at helping policymakers predict the impacts of climate change.

A second partnership will concentrate on protecting public health by providing authorities with an early warning of contamination in drinking water. It will involve Queen's, Dublin City University, University of Maine and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

The third focuses on economic development opportunities for the telecommuni- cations, medical, security and automotive sectors by developing energy efficient transistor devices. Queen's and DCU, together with the University of Texas and the Tyndall National Institute, are involved.

The final partnership will engage in generic research on complications associated with diabetes and has the potential to target the development of novel treatments. It involves Queen's and the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, University College Dublin and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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