SEAM, MERG and TSSG, Nominated for Prestigious Lab Awards

Dr Brendan Jennings, TSSG’s principal investigator on FAME Project

Dr Brendan Jennings, TSSG’s principal investigator on FAME Project

Three research centres at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) were nominated for the prestigious Irish Laboratory Awards which took place in Dublin on Wednesday, 3 December.

The South East Applied Materials Group (SEAM), which is one of the Institute’s three Technology Research gateways, has been nominated in the ‘Collaboration Achievement’ category. This category was open to collaboration partners either between labs working in academia or industry, or cross collaborations between commercial and academic labs.

SEAM facilitates the development of materials engineering and technology solutions through collaboration and access to expertise in the Irish research infrastructure and according to Ramesh Raghavendra, Centre Manager, “SEAM has a proven track record of delivering for industry, having executed over 800 direct funded industry projects spanning across over 90 Irish based companies since the research centre’s launch in 2009.”

The Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) was also nominated in the ‘Collaboration Achievement’ category, for a two-year collaborative project they coordinated in the context of the SFI funded FAME strategic research cluster, involving researchers in TSSG, the Hamilton Institute in Maynooth University, the Performance Engineering Laboratory in University College Dublin and IBM Dublin’s Software Laboratory. The project involved extending and applying results from the scientific literature on Quality-of-Experience for voice and video communications within an industrial/enterprise setting.

According to Dr Brendan Jennings, TSSG’s principal investigator for the project, the collaboration was “among the most successful collaborations our centre has ever undertaken, with outputs of the research resulting in peer-reviewed publications, 10+ patent filings, improvements to IBM’s products. Moreover, we hope to create a spin-out company within the next year that will leverage these outputs in its product offering.”

The Molecular Ecology Research Group (MERG) was also nominated for an award, this time in the ultra-competitive ‘Research Laboratory of the Year’ category.

The MERG develops novel DNA tests to monitor a range of mammals around the world. Most recently, this work has also been incorporated in to community-based mammal surveys through collaborative projects such as Mammals in a Sustainable Environment (MISE, www.miseproject.ie).

According to Dr Catherine O’Reilly, Principal Investigator of MERG, “We have successfully engaged with thousands of people by working with schools, community groups and the general public. Through science, action and influence, we are achieving our aim of increasing awareness towards biodiversity conservation and sustainable environmental development”.

The Irish Laboratory Awards recognise and celebrate the best the industry has to offer, which includes both the people and the laboratories who deliver these projects. The Awards aim to acknowledge and encourage the skills and development within this sector for today and years to come.

The full shortlist is available to view on www.irishlabawards.ie.