Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Transatlantic link-up to predict climate change impact

Joint research on predicting the impacts of climate change is to be carried out by scientists in both parts of Ireland and in the the US it was announced today.

It is one of four tri-partite US-Ireland research and development partnerships valued at £6.4 million (7m euro) that are to be undertaken.

They were announced at an function hosted in Dublin by US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney, Stormont Employment and Learning Minister Sir Reg Empey and Dublin Labour Affairs Minister Dara Calleary.

Sir Reg said: "The US-Ireland R&D Partnership is a ground-breaking agreement that will help to stimulate higher levels of innovation in Northern Ireland and accelerate both economic development and leading edge medical research.

"By collaborating, we are pooling our respective research expertise and leveraging additional investment to support projects that will benefit each of our jurisdictions and make a significant contribution to the wellbeing of all our people."

Dara Calleary said: "We see the US-Ireland R&D Partnership as an important mechanism for achieving high growth and helping bring about the economic regeneration of the island."

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

Another partnership will concentrate on protecting public health by aiding authorities to provide an early warning of contamination of things such as drinking water and enabling preventative measures to be implemented.

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 telecommunications, medical, security and automotive sectors by investigating the development of energy efficient transistor devices. Again it will involve Queen's and DCU together with the University of Texas and the Tyndall National Institute.

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

Ambassador Rooney said the successful projects had come through a US review process which was the international gold standard for research excellence.

"This clearly demonstrates the high quality of advanced research across the island of Ireland and adds greatly to its reputation as a centre of innovation that can compete on an international stage."

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