Many Northern Ireland companies are losing out financially by not utilising the knowledge and expertise on offer in local third-level education institutions. That’s according to Dr Paul Beaney of Dungannon-based Cherry Drainage Pipes, whose turnover has trebled to £9million since first beginning work with Queen’s University.
Dr Beaney said: “Many local firms could increase their profits by an average of £270,000 and create another three jobs, through engaging with the third-level sector here in various projects.”
Cherry Pipes and Queen’s, have been engaged in various Knowledge Transfer Partnerships since 2006, and are the current holders of the UK’s Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership title, awarded by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Dr Beaney was speaking ahead of a visit to County Tyrone today by Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson to meet with business leaders, politicians and school principals.
As part of his visit, Professor Gregson will visit leading company Greiner Packaging Ltd. in Dungannon, accompanied by Dr Tony McNally, Director of Queen’s Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC). Along with Queen’s PPRC, Greiner Packaging (formerly Wilsanco) was the winner of the first national award for the Best KTP Programme in Engineering in 1997. Since then the company has continued to work alongside researchers in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, donating equipment in excess of £100k to Queen’s, engaging in several collaborative projects and helping fund four PhD students. The company is also a member of the Founders’ Club at Queen’s Postgraduate and Executive Education Centre at Riddel Hall.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Professor Sir Peter Gregson, said: “Queen’s has a proud heritage of working with local industry, and has seen the value of working with our indigenous companies to make innovation happen. Local industry should know that it has a powerful ally in Queen’s. And likewise, we value the support given to us from industry, such as our partnership in the area of advanced materials with Greiner Packaging. By working together they are now at the forefront of their business sector and we have established Queen’s as a leading centre for thermoforming research.
“On my visit to County Tyrone today I am also looking forward to hearing from local politicians and school principals on how we can continue to best serve their community. Ensuring all our brightest students continue to have access to the world-class education on offer at Queen’s is a key commitment from the University, and key for Northern Ireland.”
Dr McNally added: “Many firms in Northern Ireland could grow their business, but don’t know how to access the appropriate knowledge, technology and expertise. Many others fear an additional cost burden in doing so. I want to urge local businesses, big and small, to contact us and other third-level colleges and see how they can work alongside us, as we are more than willing to share our knowledge and research capabilities with local industry.”
Firms wishing to enquire about accessing the expertise on offer within Queen’s should contact Mary Flynn in the University’s KTP & Business Networks Centre. Tel: 028 90 97 5444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen’s is currently the lead University in the United Kingdom in terms of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) with 30 partnerships currently active. Those who engage in KTPs experience increased profits, new job creation, additional training for members of staff, and further investment in plant and machinery.
Media inquiries to Lisa McElroy, Senior Communications Officer. Tel: +44 (0)28 90 97 5384 or m0781 44 22 572 email email@example.com
Queen’s University is celebrating the success of a £20 million investment in world-class sports facilities to benefit both its students and the wider Northern Ireland community.
New outdoor facilities at Upper Malone playing fields will be officially opened on Thursday March 29. The development will make Queen’s one of the premier sporting universities in Ireland.
The opening ceremony will be attended by major figures from the world of sport, including the Northern Ireland football manager, Michael O’Neill, the Down GAA manager James McCartan, and the former Ulster and Ireland rugby cap David Humphreys.
Commenting on the new facilities, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson said: “Today Queen’s University is celebrating a commitment to sport and building a foundation for the future. It is a new era in Northern Ireland sport. When it comes to success we are a country which consistently punches above its weight. We produce winners; sporting heroes who have become known throughout the world.
“Here at Queen’s, with the world-class facilities we are providing, there’s every chance that we might help to produce many more of them. But as well as encouraging high performance sport, we want to see an increase in people taking part in community sport initiatives and we want to see more of our students taking up coaching, volunteering and leadership opportunities.”
Charged with looking after the new development, Liz McLaughlin, Head of Sport at Queen’s said: “We want to enrich the student experience. We want to nurture a new generation of sportsmen and women who will make their mark. We want to help them develop their natural abilities with facilities which are second to none. We firmly believe that with the facilities now available at Queen’s we are best positioned to do just that.”
The centrepiece of the development is the unique Arena Pitch. It can host football, rugby and GAA and is the only pitch in the UK and Ireland with the capability to accommodate all three sports on one single site.
The opening of Upper Malone marks the final stages of an ambitious plan launched almost ten years ago. The first phase was a £7m investment for indoor sport. The facilities at the University’s Physical Education Centre (PEC) at Botanic were expanded and upgraded and have been fully operational since 2006.
A further £13 million investment has seen the transformation of the facilities at Upper Malone.
There are 14 further pitches right across the grounds. A spectator stand adjoins the new clubhouse which has been designed to blend with its surroundings. There are 22 changing rooms, plus extra changing facilities at the southern end of the site. There is a strength and conditioning suite, as well as conference and hospitality facilities. And there is a 3km recreational trim trail, funded by Ulster Garden Villages.
In the run-up to the Olympics, Queen’s will be hosting the Australian boxing team who will be using the PEC as their warm-up site. And two members of the Queen’s staff, Liz McLaughlin, Head of Sport and Dr Yu Xiong from the Queen’s Management School, will be carrying the Olympic flame part of the way through Belfast on June 6. Yu Xiong is the only Chinese academic in the UK who has been invited to do so.
Queen’s will also play a major part during the 2013 World Police and Fire Games being held in Belfast and expected to attract around 70,000 visitors. The basketball and handball events will be staged at the PEC and Upper Malone will have Gaelic football, soccer, rugby and softball.
Media inquiries to Kevin Mulhern, Head of Communications and External Affairs, on 028 9097 3259/07813 015 431 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To ensure that you are ready for your adventures during the summer months, Queen’s new Spring Open Learning Programme is offering an exciting and varied selection of short courses designed to get you fully prepared for the activities and adventures that the summer months could bring.
With over 100 courses on offer; from computing to creative writing, law to leisure courses, finance to first aid; there is something for everyone looking to develop a new skill or brush up on an old one.
Programme Coordinator Cathal McManus from Queen’s University said: “We always feel a sense of renewed optimism as the Spring rolls out into Summer and our programme very much reflects that. Celebration is very much part of this year’s offerings. Be it celebrating the past through one of our new and exciting walking tours, like John Gray’s Radical and Labour Belfast, or our celebrating and attempting to emulate the achievements of Rory McIlroy under the supervision of our accredited PGA golf coach Wesley Ramsey.
“We are keen to exploit the warmer weather the season offers and Ben Simon’s walking tour Exploring the Heritage of the Lagan Valley near Belfast certainly gives us a fascinating way of doing so. In a different way this is also the aim of Chris Dearden’s Painting Landscapes for Beginners. Here are courses which are designed to give you a whole new appreciation of the local environment and to encourage you to portray it through your creativity.”
The programme will also mark other important celebrations this year with Rosie Pelan marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens with her Dickens: Humour and Characters course, whilst Robert Whan takes students through a history of Monarchy in Modern Britain to mark the Diamond Jubilee. Courses also offer participants the important opportunity to brush up on those holiday phrases with its selection of short language courses that are designed specifically to help you make your way and get the most out of your holiday adventure, wherever in Europe you might like to go.
For further information on courses or to register online visit www.qub.ac.uk/edu/ol
With more children and people under the age of 40 dying of a brain tumour than any other cancer in the United Kingdom, a leading researcher at Queen’s University Belfast is calling for an increase in spending on vital research.
Currently 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year in the UK. In Northern Ireland alone, approximately 200 – 250 brain tumour cases are operated on annually.
The call comes ahead of an event being organised by charity Brainwaves NI, as part of Brain Tumour Awareness month. The charity and the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s are hosting an information evening to raise awareness about the prevalence of brain tumours and the need for vital research.
Taking place at 7pm on Wednesday, 28 March, the event is an opportunity for those affected by a brain tumour to find out about pioneering local research and to meet some of the leading researchers. Participants will also have an opportunity to take a tour of the laboratories and to meet with the researchers and clinicians involved in this research.
Dr Tom Flannery, lead brain tumour researcher at CCRCB at Queen’s, said: “The fact that brain tumours are the cause of more deaths of people under the age of 40 than any other cancer shows how much we need to address this issue. A greater awareness of, and a commitment for more funding into research on brain tumours, is essential in order to lower the number of people dying from the disease.
“The focus of our local research programme is on malignant gliomas – the most common adult primary malignant brain tumour. These tumours are characterised by their ability to invade the normal brain and by their relative resistance to current treatments. The incidence of these tumours is increasing worldwide making the need to find better treatments paramount to clinicians and scientists.”
Sandra McKillop from Brainwaves NI said: “There is a real need to accelerate progress and improve treatments and outcomes for those affected by a brain tumour in Northern Ireland. Research into brain tumours receives less than 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research and we, along with the researchers at Queen’s, are calling for this to be increased. By hosting this event we hope to increase awareness of brain tumours and encourage further funding for research.“With the fundraising support of the local community, Brainwaves NI are making a difference. The Charity has helped fund Glioma Tissue collection and a post-doctoral research fellow that is supporting Dr Flannery’s research. We are pleased to be working in partnership with the CCRCB and have further ambitious plans to support local brain tumour research.”
For more information on the event and to find out more about the support available from Brainwaves NI or how you can get involved in raising vital funds for local research, go to www.brainwaves-ni.org or call 028 9335 3995.
For media enquiries please contact Claire O’Callaghan on +44 (0) 289 097 5391 / (0) 781 441 5451 or at email@example.com
The Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has launched a new course at Queen’s which could help attract investors to Northern Ireland by producing a new generation of software developers.
The MSc in Software Development at the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offers 60 places and is open to all graduates including those from non-IT disciplines.
The one-year course aims to address the shortage of software developers currently existing in Northern Ireland.
Minister Arlene Foster said: “The launch of the MSc in Software Development at Queen’s is great news for Northern Ireland and the economy, as it is addressing the current shortage of software developers here. We know that an increase in the number of software developers available is an attractive prospect for companies considering investing here.”
Course Director, Dr Darryl Stewart from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said: “The MSc in Software Development at Queen’s is available to those who haven’t had a previous background in information technology. The conversion course is designed to develop the technical, analytical and professional skills required to take on software development roles.
“News that US Company CVS Caremark is coming to Northern Ireland and hopes to create up to 50 software developer jobs is an example of how valuable this new course is.”
John Healy, Director and Head of Technology Citi, said: “It is vital to international companies like Citi that we have a world-class University on our doorstep providing quality graduates equipped with the skills we need. The launch of the MSc in Software Development demonstrates Queen’s is listening to employers, and by doing this is ensuring global companies such as ours will continue to invest in Northern Ireland.”
The new Software Development Masters course starts in September 2012 and applications are being accepted online now at https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal. Applicants are encouraged to apply by April 20th to ensure entry to the first phase of aptitude testing.
For media enquiries please contact Claire O’Callaghan on +44 (0) 28 9097 5391 / 07814 415 451 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen’s University is marking the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic with a public event exploring the history of the city in which the ship was built.
The event, The Titanic and its City, organised by the School of History and Anthropology at Queen’s, will consist of a series of talks and visual presentations, as well as a round-table discussion with contributions from Professor John Wilson Foster and Professor Liam Kennedy, both from Queen’s, William Blair, Head of Human History at National Museums Northern Ireland; Alf McCreary, award-winning journalist and author of Titanic Port; and Dr John Lynch, author of An unlikely success story: shipbuilding in Belfast.
Explaining the significance of RMS Titanic, Dr Olwen Purdue, Lecturer in Modern Irish History at Queen’s, said: "Although greatly overshadowed by the tragic events of 14-15 April 1912, the building of RMS Titanic was an extraordinary achievement: when she was launched, she was the largest man-made object that ever moved. In some ways this marked the high point of the city that built her, a testimony to the remarkable success of Belfast as a world-leading manufacturing centre."
The event will take place on Saturday 24 March from 9.15am – 1.00pm at Queen's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), NI Science Park, Queen's Rd, Belfast.
One of the world’s leading Internet security experts, Eugene Kaspersky, has described the World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit at Queen’s University Belfast as key in preventing a Cyber World War.
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of the largest antivirus company in Europe, Kaspersky Lab, will be giving a keynote address at the second annual Cyber Security Technology Research Summit on Friday 16 March.
The cyber security guru is joining some of the world’s leading cyber security experts and government policy makers from around the world for a two-day meeting of minds to combat future threats to global cyber security.
The annual Summit, held at the Centre for Secure Information Technology (CSIT), Queen’s University - the UK’s lead university centre for cyber security research, made headlines across the world when it was launched last year, and has attracted even more leading international experts in cyber security to this year’s Summit in Belfast.
Speaking ahead of the event, Eugene Kaspersky said: “For almost a decade I’ve been doing my best to attract the attention of governments and officials around the world to the imminent threat of cyber-war and cyber-terrorism and the need to prevent it - but with limited effect. The World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit at Queen’s is an excellent platform for getting the message across to those that count. This event is internationally important and significant as it addresses one of the most pressing issues of global security - cyber defence.
“We have entered a new age, the Age of Cyber-Warfare, and decisive international action needs to be taken immediately if we don't want to see our technology-permeated world – where everything is managed by IT systems – crumble around us. A crucial part of that action is technology research, and the Cyber Summit at Queen’s University in Belfast is a big step in the right direction, bringing researchers, experts and policy-makers together and creating an exceptional platform for productive dialogue and cooperation.”
Queen’s University Professor John McCanny, CSIT Principal Investigator, said: “The success of the inaugural World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit last year is reflected by the fact that even more of the biggest names in global cyber security are attending this year’s summit at Queen’s. This event is unique in that it is a meeting of minds of cyber security experts, researchers and government policy makers from around the world.
“We at CSIT recognise there are two aspects of cyber security; defence and opportunity. A safe and secure Internet acts as a platform for economic growth and societal development. We have seen the democratising effects of the Internet in countries around the world; we have also seen how health, business and the wider development of mankind are supported by the information age that we all live in. Together at Belfast 2012 we aim to identify, map out and ultimately combat the biggest threats to our online security so that we can help make the Internet of Tomorrow a safe and secure platform for the next phase of the human journey.
“Cyber security affects us all. Be it via smartphones and their apps, online banking or through the most intricate of government defence systems, we are all at risk of cyber security attacks. This Summit at Queen’s University is of huge international importance and we welcome the very best global cyber security experts to Belfast for this highly significant event.”
Guests at the Summit include speakers from Kaspersky Lab, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the UK’s Home Office, the European Commission, McAfee, the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, Cisco, SRI International, Georgia Tech, IBM and CyLabs.
For media enquiries please contact Claire O’Callaghan on +44 (0) 289 097 5391 / (0) 781 441 5451 or at email@example.com
A Queen’s University scientist has been chosen to lead an international €2.3million hunt to discover how the first chemical elements were created in the Universe.
Professor Stephen Smartt, Director of the Astrophysics Research Centre in the School of Maths and Physics at Queen's will begin a five year research project in April to examine how chemical elements were created in the Universe and try to find the first ever supernovae, or exploding stars, in the Universe.
The grant, awarded by the European Research Council, is regarded as the most prestigious research grant in Europe for funding Science and Social Sciences.
Professor Stephen Smartt, who has beaten off competition from around Europe to scoop the grant said: “I’m absolutely honoured to be awarded such a prestigious grant. This is great news for Queen’s but also for Northern Ireland as this money will be invested in the local economy. The research will involve a team of about a dozen international scientists, who will come to Queen’s to work on this project. Being awarded such a prestigious grant is testimony to the fact that Queen’s is recognised globally as a leader of research.
“With this research we hope to understand how chemical elements were first created in the Universe - we think that they were created by the explosions of the most massive stars. The project has an ambitious goal to find the first supernovae that exploded in the Universe. Just recently we have made new discoveries of the brightest supernovae ever found and this grant will build on that success.”
Professor James McElnay, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Postgraduates at Queen's said: “This year, the Nobel prize in Physics was awarded jointly to two teams who used exploding stars to map the shape and expansion of the Universe. These pioneering studies of exploding stars, or supernovae, has led astronomers and physicists to develop new technologies for mapping the skies. Professor Smartt’s award will make the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s a major hub for European research and we are delighted to see Queen’s recognised at this level of competition.”
The European Research Council have targeted these awards “toward exceptional established research leaders of any nationality and any age to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects that open new directions in their respective research fields or other domains”. The typical success rate for applicants is around 10 per cent.
For more information on ERC grants visit http://erc.europa.eu/
For media inquiries please contact Claire O’Callaghan on 00 44 (0) 28 9097 5391 / 07814 415 451 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Local businesses have been given another boost by Queen’s University and Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) with the launch of EngageNI. The new online service (www.engageni.ac.uk) offers SME firms trading in the areas of advanced materials, automotive engineering, cyber security and sustainability, advice on accessing a range of consultancy services, research initiatives, intellectual property, technical services and other facilities offered by both institutions.
Launched at an event in Riddel Hall, Queen’s, the service builds upon Queen’s and BMC’s strong track records in the provision of business and community engagement services. Support was provided by JISC, the UK body that champions the use of digital technology to drive innovation in UK education and research.
Dr Paul Donachy, Head of Commercial Development at Queen’s, said: “Queen’s and BMC are always looking at ways to engage with SMEs, and this online service is a facility that will support us in doing just that. We have a long standing relationship with JISC in the successful delivery of projects, and I have no doubt that this website will prove to be a valuable tool for businesses in Northern Ireland.”
Damian Duffy, Director of Business Generation & Learner Services at Belfast Met, said: “We are delighted to have been involved with this project. It highlights the collaboration between the two educational sectors in Northern Ireland and also provides a unique platform for businesses to make use of the existing facilities and expertise that both institutions provide.”
The initial sectors chosen for assistance were identified by MATRIX (The Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel) as key to the development of Northern Ireland’s future knowledge based economy. It is intended that the service will grow to include additional sectors.
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A new research network which hopes to deliver better health benefits in Northern Ireland is being launched by Queen’s University and the Public Health Agency (PHA) tomorrow.
The Northern Ireland Public Health Research Network aims to tackle significant public health challenges such as rising levels of obesity, sedentary living, alcohol and substance abuse.
The new network will see scientists and public health researchers engaging more closely than ever before to improve policy and practice and contribute to better public health outcomes.
The launch of the network, which has been established by the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health at Queen’s University, in conjunction with the PHA and the University of Ulster, will be attended by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride and representatives from the Public Health Intervention Research Network in Wales.
Professor Frank Kee, Director of the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health at Queen’s University said: “At present there is no single forum in Northern Ireland to support research in public health. This Network is well placed to support new partnerships to address Northern Ireland’s priorities for public health research.
“We hope by bringing together academics involved in public health research from both universities, and interested public health professionals/practitioners across the HSC and beyond, that we will improve health outcomes in Northern Ireland through improved research, policy and practice.”
Dr Carolyn Harper, Director of Public Health, PHA, said: “The Public Health Agency is working with a wide range of professionals, universities and other interested parties to form a new Public Health Research Network in Northern Ireland. This new network will increase the quantity and quality of public health research in Northern Ireland, improve policy and practice and contribute to better public health outcomes.
“The workshop, organised by the UKCRC Northern Ireland Centre of Excellence for Public Health, based at Queen’s University, provides the opportunity to learn from similar research networks in other parts of the UK and to get people talking and working together to forge a local research network that can start to deliver benefits for all of us.”
The launch of the Northern Ireland Public Health Research Network takes place tomorrow (Wed, 7 March) at Mossley Hill in Newtonabbey.
For media inquiries please contact Claire O’Callaghan on 00 44 (0) 28 9097 5391 / 07814 415 451 or firstname.lastname@example.org
26 of Queen’s University young sporting stars, representing 12 different sports, have been awarded sports bursaries from the University.
The Bursary programme, which is sponsored by the Ulster Bank, aims to provide cutting edge support services for high achieving sportsmen and women students. It complements ongoing support for high performers through the already established GAA, Rugby, Rowing and Soccer Academies. More than 100 Queen’s students already benefit from these programmes.
The Bursary Awards are available to current students who have achieved a high standard in their particular sport. The scheme offers recipients a comprehensive package, including sports science support, specialist sports medical care, free use of facilities, free gear and financial assistance for the costs of training at such a high level. The awards are designed to give top sporting individuals the best opportunity to develop their talent during their time at the University.
World-leading scientists, local entrepreneurs and high-ranking public servants are among those to be honoured by Queen’s University this year.
Honorary degrees are to be conferred on Nobel prizewinning chemist Professor Jean Marie Lehn, President of East China University of Science and Technology Professor Xuhong Qian, and eminent computer scientist Professor Dame Wendy Hall.
They will receive their awards alongside PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie, broadcaster Dr William Crawley, Reverend Norman Hamilton, who has played a leading community role in Northern Ireland, and adventure athlete Mark Pollock from Holywood, the first blind person to reach the South Pole.
Cancer researcher Professor Bruce Chabner of Harvard Medical School, planet-hunter Professor Didier Queloz, American philosopher Professor Martha Nussbaum and Professor Teresa Rees, Advisor to the European Commission on Women in Science, will also be honoured.
The list includes Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of the British Council; Stephen Kingon, Chairman of Invest NI; former Chairman of the Strategic Investment Board in Northern Ireland Tony Watson and former Group Chief Executive of the Ulster Bank Ronnie Kells.
The roll of honour also features the founder of First Derivatives, Brian Conlon; Vice-President of the Europe South America Operations Division of Caterpillar Dr Mark Sweeney, American food diagnostics entrepreneur Jim Herbert and Joanne Stuart, former Chair of the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland.
Queen's awards honorary degrees to individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one or more fields of public or professional life, and who serve as ambassadors for the University and Northern Ireland around the world.
The degrees will be awarded as follows:
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