The South East Research Sparks event is a celebration of research activity in Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow
The first South East Research Sparks, a joint initiative between Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow, took place at Institute of Technology Carlow on Tuesday March 12th 2019.
Funded under the cross-institutional collaborative projects fund, South East Research Sparks provided an opportunity for research-active staff across both institutes to present to colleagues on research they have conducted to date, as well as outlining future directions they intend to pursue in line with their organisation’s research strategy. The aim of South East Research Sparks is to build research centred collaborative networks between Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow by highlighting the research personnel, techniques, skill sets and technologies present within both Institutes. The initiative succeeded in providing a wonderful opportunity across both institutes to share work and ignite collaboration potential as well as building regional research capacity and excellence.
South East Research Sparks was spear-headed by Dr Aisling O’Neill and Dr David Scanlon from Waterford Institute of Technology and Sarah O’Brien from Institute of Technology Carlow.
“South East Research Sparks provided opportunities for networking, the exchange of ideas and future collaborations between researchers, research centres and institutes, driving the research culture forward to enhance and achieve researcher goals, and creating a platform to drive sustainable local and regional economic development”, commented Sarah O’Brien, Institute of Technology Carlow.
Dr Aisling O’Neill, Waterford Institute of Technology, echoed Sarah O’Brien’s sentiments asserting that “South East Research Sparks is a brilliant initiative to foster collaboration between researchers in the two Institutes of Technology which will form the Technological University of the South East. By embracing our collective capacity, we have the potential to exponentially increase the impact of our research and innovation capability, which is key to driving the economic development of our region.”
The morning session saw the researchers present their work in brief five-minute presentations so brevity was key.
The presentations offered an insight into the range of expertise and research being undertaken across both institutes, including biotechnology, smart agriculture, user centred design, education and much more. The afternoon featured an interactive workshop focusing on addressing the gender dimension in research and research funding applications. Attendees also had plenty of time for discussion and networking over coffee and lunch.
A second South East Research Sparks event will take place at Waterford Institute of Technology at a future date.