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Innovation@DIT – Where Science meets Industry

ResearchSummary Research at DIT addresses key issues of national and global strategic importance. Across the Institute our researchers and graduate students are working hard to develop innovative solutions to next generation problems and translating their research into the development of new products, processes and policies. This short summary provides an overview of the research taking place within our designated research institutes and centres and highlights some of the commercialisation activities and opportunities being managed by Hothouse our award winning technology transfer centre.

DIT has recorded some major successes over the last decade, including a significant rise in the number and level of competitive awards nationally and internationally, strong achievements in citation recognition for the excellence of our research and in commercialisation activity which is more than comparable to the world’s best. In 2011 for example, one in every five commercial licences generated by Ireland’s higher education sector was secured by DIT through commercialising its research. Researchers have already invented a range of new products including new diagnostic tests for cancer; anti-bacterial surface materials; mobile phone applications; and novel financial risk management tools. They have also conducted empirical research to support new policy interventions in for example, early childcare education, health policy and entrepreneurship. Our technology transfer centre Hothouse has sold almost 50 licenses to companies such as Sony, Bausch and Lomb, Monaghan Mushrooms, Airvod, Bord Gais and General Paints and has helped more than 250 knowledge intensive start-up companies through its business start-up programme. Many of these companies leverage DIT research, consultancy and training and employ DIT graduates and students and have contributed more than 1,000 new high paying jobs to the Dublin region. These companies have also been very successful at raising finance and have won prestigious awards such as IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011 (Profitero) and the ICT Excellence Award 2012 for Best Start up Company of the Year (TCAS).

Innovation@DIT – Where Science meets Industry

ResearchThemes Environmental Health Sciences Institute (EHSI Research in DIT is consolidated into four overarching themes and carried out primarily through its Research Institutes and designated R&D centres:

Information and Media Technologies Including digital media, gaming technology, data analytics, and wireless communication

New Materials & Technologies Including nanomaterials, surface coatings, elastomers, photopolymers and photonics

Environment & Health Including food, energy, bio-monitoring, water and social policy

Society, Culture & Enterprise Including creative industries, entrepreneurship, higher education policy, and social sciences

ResearchInstitutes Focas Institute The Focas Research Institute, DIT was established under the Higher Education Authority Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, Cycle 1 (1999-2001), co-funded by the ERDF. The facility addresses the common needs of research activities in Science and Engineering. Focas contributes strongly to the development of self-sustaining research teams in a number of strategic areas, such as bio and nano technologies. The Focas Research Institute is a one-stop-shop for characterisation of materials and processes and operates an open access policy with expert technical and scientific support. Recent notable outputs include novel technologies for cervical cancer screening and antibacterial surface coatings. Focas underpins postgraduate research as well as undergraduate project work and undergraduate and postgraduate course curriculum development. Professor Hugh J. Byrne, Head, Focas Research Institute t: +353 1 402 7900 e:

The Environmental Health Sciences Institute (EHSI) is a dedicated national translational research platform, uniquely based on collaboration between the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Dublin City Council (DCC). It was established under PRTLI Cycle 5, co-funded by the ERDF. EHSI forges new ground in understanding the interactions between environment and health and builds national and regional capacity and capability, developing evidence-based interventions addressing environmental health problems. It is an all-island initiative, involving strategic partnerships with the University of Ulster, Dublin City University (DCU), the Institute of Public Health (IPH) and other stakeholders. EHSI will occupy a new, stateof-the-art dedicated research building (2500m2) at DIT’s Grangegorman campus. Central to the mission is an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach, integrating academic research with the knowledge and expertise of relevant professionals to generate collective responses to public health threats. Ultimately EHSI’s goal is to bridge the science-innovation-policy gap and translate research outputs into new products, policy and/or health interventions. The overarching mission and vision is to achieve Healthier Lives for Children, the Elderly and Vulnerable Populations. Dr Noreen Layden, Head of EHSI t: +353 1 402 7918 e:

Innovation@DIT – Where Science meets Industry

ResearchCentres Antenna and High Frequency Research Centre(AHFRC)

Business Society and Sustainability Research Centre (BSSRC)

The Antenna & High Frequency Research Centre specialises in the analysis, design and measurement of antennas and associated devices for wireless communications and medical applications. With more than 15 years of applied research experience and it has built an international reputation for innovative futuristic concepts and solutions to contemporary industrial challenges. Current research themes include Multiband & Wideband Antennas for Portable Communications, Base-Stations Antennas, Hyperthermia Antennas and Antennas for Sensor Networks. Equipped with a comprehensive range of analysis methods, manufacturing equipment and a measurement laboratory, the team can rapidly expedite ideas to qualified prototypes. Professor Max Ammann, Director t: +353 1 402 4905 e:

The Centre is committed to critical and creative analysis and reflection on the impacts of business on the wider society and the impact of the wider society on business. Central to these impacts is the theme of sustainability understood not only in its ecological sense but also in the sense of the ability of business to maintain ethical and political legitimacy through creating value in the long-term. Born out of research in the College of Business, the Centre welcomes a diversity of analytical perspectives and encourages an iterative dialogue between academics, practitioners and policy-makers Dr. Brendan K.O’Rourke, Director t: +353 1 402 7097 e:

Applied Intelligence Research Centre (AIRC) The Applied Intelligence Research Centre researches the application of computational intelligence technologies to real world problems — turning data into intelligence. The core competencies of the AIRC include data analytics, machine learning, language technologies, intelligent agents, and security. Examples of real world problems the AIRC have addressed involve spam filtering, sentiment analysis, dialogue management, custom search tools for language teachers, human-robot interaction, secure mobile financial transactions, engaging game characters, companion agents for mobile devices and the management and visualisation of large data collections. Dr Brian Mac Namee t: +353 1 402 4966 e:

Centre for Elastomer Research (CER) The research centre was established in 2008 and has the unique capability of producing reliable viscoelastic (timedependent) data for characterising the multi-axial physical properties of rubber. Current research group interests are: Hyperelastic and Viscoelastic Material Behaviour including Elastomer Fatigue, Stress Softening and Stress Relaxation; Biomedical Applications for Advanced Rubbers; Advanced Foams; Swelling Phenomenon; Magnetorhedigical Elastomers (MREs) and Acoustics. Professor Steve Jerrams, Centre Director & Senior Research Fellow t: +353 1 402 2951 e:

Consumption & Leisure Studies (CLS) The CLS brings together together academics researching in the areas of consumption, consumer society, media studies, and sport and leisure-related studies Dr Paddy Dolan t: +353 1 402 7158 e:

Innovation@DIT – Where Science meets Industry

Communications Network Research Institute (CNRI) The centre specialises in developing innovative technologies to support the delivery of real-time service such as VoIP and video streaming on wireless networks, specifically IEEE 802.11 or Wi-Fi networks. Recently, the CNRI has been addressing a number of the challenges for wireless mesh networks where it is investigating resource aware routing techniques, measurements of the characteristics of 802.11 wireless links, interference mitigation, multi-radio hardware platforms, rate selection, output power optimisation, and fragmentation threshold tuning. Dr Mark Davis, Director t: +353 1 402 7950 e:

Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology (CREST) The CREST centre successfully provides the link between research and production. As the only dedicated surface coatings laboratory in Ireland it serves the SMART economy by means of translating in-house fundamental knowledge from the bench-top to the market. The CREST model relies on an expert and professional coatings consultancy service to front-face its activity with over 60 years combined commercial surface coating experience. Capabilities range from technical inspection, specification, fit-for-purpose validation, corrosion control and hygiene control to the development of novel surface coating solutions for diverse industries. In addition to its consultancy service, CREST engages in collaborative projects with industries throughout Europe successfully securing funding from agencies including Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland and the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Companies with a commitment to develop an innovative technology use the Centre’s competencies and experience to provide them with an extended R&D capability. In partnership with these R&D-active companies, CREST has actively demonstrated technology translation by means of licensing to Irish manufacturing companies. In 2011 CREST accounted for 10% of the national total of all third level commercial licences and assignments to industry. CREST is ISO 9001:2008 accredited. Dr. Yvonne Cadogan t: +353 1 402 7945 e:

The Centre for Social and Educational Research (CSER) The Centre is a dynamic and innovative research centre which seeks to improve the quality of life of children, family and society. It aims to impact on social and educational policies and practices through the provision of accurate research data. The CSER has a well-established track record of research in five classified research themes: Juvenile Crime and Youth Justice; Media Literacies; Early Childhood Unit; Higher Education Policy Research (HEPRU); Social Care. Dr Kevin Lalor, Director t: +353 1 402 4176 e:

Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice (CTMP) The CTMP offers a distinctive, interdisciplinary postgraduate and research environment, dedicated to scholarly and public understandings of migration and globalisation, media and civil society activism, post-conflict/border zones and transcultural identity formations in Ireland and beyond. The Centre promotes the use of ethnographic and documentary modes of practice in social research, utilising new and established media technologies. CTMP constitutes a dynamic interface between lens and screen-based scholarship, ethnography and media and public policy/education. Dr Alan Grossman Co-Director t: +353 1 402 3108 e:

Dublin Energy Lab (DEL) DEL is an interdisciplinary applied research group working in the fields of energy and renewable energy research. DEL conducts research across a range of disciplines with key efforts organised into themes of: electrical power; energy policy; solar energy; zero emissions buildings; energy demand analysis and forecasting; life cycle assessment. Other research areas include: transport; behavioural economics; and marketing. The centre involves 50 researchers working with and supporting a range of indigenous and international industries. Dr Aidan Duffy t: +353 1 402 3940 e:

Innovation@DIT – Where Science meets Industry

The Digital Media Centre (DMC) The DMC is a multidisciplinary group which focuses on research and commercial projects in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Its current focus is on projects in the following areas: culture & heritage; language learning; multimedia interaction; spatially aware computing; digital heritage and machine learning. The Centre places itself at the cutting-edge of innovation technologies, and is constantly striving to improve whilst focusing on emerging technologies. DMC research is carried out by a combination of academic staff, research professionals and postgraduate students, and is funded from a variety of sources including the European Union, national agencies such as Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland and DIT. The DMC Studio looks after the commercial aspects of projects. This includes assisting on research projects with specific commercial requirements or identifying suitable businesses that may require support with ICT projects. The Studio boasts a talented pool or resources including designers, developers, project managers and modelers, all with expert knowledge in ICT and its application. James Wogan, Business Development Manager t: +353 1 402 3292 e:

Electrical Power Research Centre (EPRC) The EPRC provides a world class energy interface facility to sustain and advance leading research in power quality conditioning and in integration of wind and solar energy to the network. Dr Michael Conlon t: +353 1 402 2838 e:

Food and Health Research Centre (FHRC) Research in the Food and Health Research Centre (FHRC) is interdisciplinary and applied and is both industry and policy relevant. The cross-disciplinary teams of researchers focus on food safety, quality and nutrition, including nutraceutical research and the development of innovative foods that are health enhancing and novel technologies that ensure safety. Dr Catherine Barry-Ryan t: + 353 1 402 4383 e:

Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCam) GradCAM is a collaborative initiative of national and all-island significance which builds on the expertise of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the National College of Art & Design (NCAD), University of Ulster (UU), and Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire (IADT). GradCam delivers a new paradigm for PhD training and research in the creative arts and media, combining critical intellectual enquiry and creative practice. The domain designation "creative arts and media" refers to a broad spectrum of creative practice including design practice, practice across the arts, creative media content and service development, and the technical, critical, theoretical and historical underpinnings of these disciplines/practices. It was established under PRTLI Cycle 4, co-funded by ERDF. Dr Noel Fitzpatrick e:

Industrial Engineering Optics (IEO) The IEO centre specialises in holographic and interferometric techniques and has developed novel technologies with applications in product authentication, sensing, vibration measurement and optical device fabrication. The Centre has been in existence for nearly fifteen years and research is carried out in well-equipped optical research laboratories in DIT Kevin St. and the FOCAS Institute. Key areas of expertise include high resolution photosensitive materials development (particularly photopolymerizable systems for holography), interferometric systems for surface measurement (particularly speckle interferometry) and holographic devices (beam directing, focusing and sensing). Activities include externally funded research, commercialisation work, PhD and Masters projects, undergraduate teaching/supervision and consulting. Dr Suzanne Martin, Centre Manager t: +353 0 1 402 4613 e:

Inorganic Pharma and Biomimetic Research Centre (IPBRC) The Inorganic Pharma and Biomimetic Research Centre runs a range of postgraduate and undergraduate research projects aimed at novel materials development for applications as diverse as molecular recognition, biomimetic chemistry and supramolecular chemistry. Professor Mary McNamara e:

Innovation@DIT – Where Science meets Industry


Radiation and Environmental Science Centre (RESC)

The Nanolab research centre has unparalleled expertise in state of the art nano material characterisation and the analysis of the interaction of nanomaterials with biological systems, both mammalian and aquatic (fresh and marine water) systems. Its researchers explore standards and methods for the characterisation of nanomaterials with respect to physical, chemical and biological properties including the toxicity and biocompatibility of a variety of nanomaterials such as carbonaceous, polymeric, metallic and composite nano material systems. The centre’s emphasis is on establishing structure activity relationships governing particle uptake, trafficking, fate and organism response. Model systems are employed to improve fundamental understanding, to validate current and develop new biological testing protocols for nanomaterials, while real life exposure scenarios are explored to assess risk. Nanolab is an active contributor to the Integrated NanoScience Platform of Ireland (INSPIRE) funded by PRTLI Cycels 4 & 5, co-funded by the ERDF. Dr Gordon Chambers t: +353 1 402 2856 e:

The centre has four main areas of interest:

Photonics Research Centre (PRC) PRC undertakes research in a number of areas of photonics with a particular emphasis on optical sensing. Its primary research areas are: Fiber Optic Sensors and its Applications; Fiber Optic Systems for Sensing Applications; Smart Fiber Structures; Liquid Crystal Filters for Sensing Applications; Modelling of Optical Waveguides; Photonic Integrated Circuits. The centre has a well established research lab with a range of sophisticated equipment such as tunable lasers, optical spectral analyzers, an FBG interrogation system, fiber fusion splicers, polarization analyzer and controller, polarization microscope, nano-positioning system, motion controllers, SLD sources, humidity chamber, temperature controllers, high speed power measurement and data acquisition systems. The centre is also well equipped with a variety of opto-mechanical components, fiber components and a wide range of optical fibers including different types photonic crystal fibers. A variety of bespoke photonic simulation of software for fibre and other waveguides and LC components has also been developed in the centre. Professor Gerald Farrell, Director t: +353 1 402 4577 e:

Radiation biology where non-targeted (non-DNA) effects of radiation such as bystander effects (effects in cells not hit by a radiation track), genomic instability (effects in the progeny of irradiated cells) and adaptive responses (in cells exposed to a high challenging dose after pre-treatment with a low adapting dose) and translational radiation research are the main focus. • Environmental Toxicology where the toxic effects of contaminants of environmental concern on established cell lines and primary cell culture systems developed in the Centre are investigated. A multi-trophic battery of freshwater and marine test species is employed, comprising the Microtox® test system and several algal, copepod, and amphipod cultures for ecotoxicity tests. • Biospectroscopy where the use of vibrational spectroscopy as a novel diagnostic tool for cancer and for the identification of novel biochemical markers of cellular damage is investigated and is integral to the National BioPhotonics and Imaging Platform, Ireland (NBIPI), founded under PRTLI Cycle 4, co-funded by ERDF. • Nanotoxicology where the toxicity of nanomaterials and the environmental impact of these novel materials which are increasingly being used in industry is explored. This is done in collaboration with Nanolab, and within the Integrated NanoScience Platform for Ireland, (INSPIRE), founded under PRTLI Cycle 4 and cofounded by the ERDF. Professor Fiona Lyng, Centre Manager t: +353 1 402 7972 e:

Innovation@DIT – Where Science meets Industry

ResearchOutcomes Examples of the expertise within the research community in DIT include: •

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The Antenna and High Frequency Research Centre has licensed technology for use in public transport, aircraft entertainment systems and asset tracking technology. DIT has leading expertise in phase-change materials for energy efficiency and colleagues are working with major utilities on smart-grid initiatives. DIT is also commercialising its technology through a spin-out company being led by Dr Mick McKeever called Warmer Wedge, that is developing novel energy storage devices to reduce the cost of heating water in the home. Tunepal is a music recognition app developed by a colleague in the School of Computing to identify traditional music being played live. It was recognised by the Sunday Times in 2012 as one of the top music apps in the world. DIT has had considerable success in research and commercialising diagnostic tools for skin and cervical cancer using advanced mathematical algorithms. Using similar algorithms, Professor Jonathan Blackledge has developed new tools for foreign exchange trading and commercial trials have been very successful to date. CREST has developed and commercialised a range of surface coatings and paints for the control of hospital acquired infectious disease agents. Other materials with a wide range of commercial properties including antibacterial protection and anti-corrosion resistance, improved thermal insulation and better sound proofing have also been developed by DIT researchers. We have developed new European standards for the control of nanomaterials used in food packaging. Advanced audio processing research has led to applications ranging from top selling karaoke games to musical instrument teaching aids. Advanced speech-related language learning is being applied to real-world and virtual learning environments. DIT’s Applied Intelligence Research Centre has developed a range of spam filters and other mail handling tools that are being commercialised. Ireland has enormous potential to increase exports of fresh produce and perishable goods. Research carried out in DIT has enabled Irish producers to prolong the life of goods in the ‘cold chain’. An additional three days of shelf life offers producers the potential of extending their export reach deeper into European markets, and can help to grow profits and reduce waste.

Hothouse DIT's award winning Innovation & Technology Transfer Centre at Dublin Institute of Technology is called Hothouse. It has been established to assist companies and entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses based on DIT research and to assist DIT colleagues and students to commercialise their intellectual property. Hothouse has over 50 technologies available to license across the following sectors: ICT, Industrial Technology, Life Sciences and Clean Technology including:

Music Thumbnail Generator A novel technology that uses a number of unique algorithms to automatically identify the most ‘representative’ part of any song/piece of music and extract it into a thumbnail.

Interactive Digital TouchTable-Projectable The Projectable system is a novel projection technology which instantly transforms a passive surface (such as a table, counter) into an interactive digital interface. Users can interact with a computer display on the surface by tapping it with their fingers.

Interactive HD Media Location Guide-MobiSurround This interactive location based mobile tour guide for public spaces such as zoo, museums and exhibitions, features realtime navigation and high definition media content which updates automatically as the user moves around a given location.

Software for Learning Natural English-Fluent Fluent is a new language learning software and database package which teaches real, natural dialogue to learners of spoken English. The technology is designed as a web-based application that can be implemented for desktops, tablets or smart mobile devices.

Innovation@DIT – Where Science meets Industry

Stegocrypt: e-document authentication and security

Cytopathology-Cell Detection and Analysis

A technology that authenticates image based e-documents (certificates, letters, signatures etc) using both encryption and steganography to hide information, without reference to a host image.

Software that provides complete automation in the detection and segmentation of cells for applications in Cytopathology using optical microscopy. The software analyses and detects a cell and determines its condition according to a prescribed classification.

Mass Produced Individualised Anti-Counterfeit Hologram A groundbreaking individualised hologram that addresses the gap in the market for mass-produced individualised holograms that provide companies with a cost-effective means of combating the production of counterfeit products. This technology provides enhanced security through the ability to add unique text into each hologram. This technology would be of particular interest to pharmacuetical/medical device manufacturers and other companies seeking to protect revenue streams from the sale of counterfeit products.

Cervical Cancer Analyser An automated diagnostic system for screening cervical cancer that has high specificity and high sensitivity.

Light-activated Anti-bacterial Powder This novel indoor anti-bacterial additive effective against harmful bacteria such as E. Coli and MRSA. This patented self-sterilising material is activated by indoor light and reduces the need for repeated cleaning using chemicals such as bleach. This powder can be incorporated into a number of products such as paints, fabrics, furniture etc.

Advanced Surface Treatment against Wear and Corrosion An advanced surface treatment for the protection of surfaces against corrosion and combined wear/corrosion (Tribocorrosion) degradation. It can be used as a pre-treatment for corrosion protection in the aerospace and automotive industries.

Chromate Free Sol-Gel Coating for Aluminium

Production Analyser for Industrial Fermentation

Integrated Switchable Mirrors for Solar Panels

This technology has the potential to deliver significant cost savings and improved efficiency in biomass production through effective environmental control and monitoring of industrial fermentation processes.

Technology that uses switchable mirrors for solar energy concentration to direct solar power to photovoltaic (PV) cells or solar thermal systems.

Anti-Oxidant Rich Food Extract from Sea Weed This novel process for the extraction of antioxidant-rich nutraceutical compounds from seaweed generates a comestible substance with applications in the lucrative health food market. The seaweed extract can be used for the development of a high value nutraceutical drink, targeting the large health-food market and consumers who are interested in healthy living and nutrition.

Chromate Free Sol-Gel Pre-treatment and/or Primer for Aluminium is thinner (<5um) than chromium free primers leading to cost savings in fuel consumption.

To find out more about these and other technologies available to licence: e:

Research Profile  

research summary

Research Profile  

research summary