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Liam Brown: Vincent, we are delighted that you have taken up the role as President of Limerick Institute of Technology and I would like to get your views on Research, Development and Innovation at LIT. Let’s start with the name change. As you are aware, following extensive consultation we have changed the name of the division from ‘Research, Enterprise & Development (RED)’ to ‘Research, Development & Innovation (RDI)’. What is your opinion? Vincent Cunnane: That makes perfect sense given that working with Enterprise spans the entire continuum of Research, Development and Innovation.

LB: In your opinion how important is Research within LIT? VC: I have spent most of my life as a researcher and in research management. I have a very strong affiliation for research, researchers and how the organisation can support, develop and grow researchers and research output. LB: What about researchers and the research community? VC: My biggest disappointment is not still being actively involved in driving my own research students as a supervisor. There is no greater feeling than discovering something new or interpreting new results. Continued on page 2







RESEARCH Continued From Page 1 LB: What about the management of research? VC: Making the transition from research to research administration and management allows one to take joy in others’ outcomes. Facilitating researchers and seeing them reach their potential is different but extremely rewarding, another great feeling. LB: What is your view on basic vs applied research and LIT’s opportunities? VC: To me it’s not really a question of basic vs. applied. It’s more good vs. bad research. There is value in all forms of research and a need for both basic and applied research. New products and services will emerge from potentially very basic research. In LIT, we want to see more research. Of course in LIT, given our engagement with industry and business it is more likely to be applied and near to market. More problem solving and this is as valuable as less applied research. The country as a whole needs a balance and in LIT there is more potential for research to be more applied. We could be described as “agnostic research advocates”. We are not a research institute but our research must inform our teaching and our teaching must be informed by research. LB: What about Development and Innovation? VC: I see it as a continuum and we are here

to help research and researchers along that continuum for the benefit of the researchers, the Institute, the Region, the Country and society as a whole. LB: What about Research Development and Innovation (RDI) in the wider IoT sector? VC: It is very important that RDI is grown and developed in the IOT sector and it is critical that the HEA provide proper funding for our RDI efforts. It must be recognised that the research endeavour is as important as the teaching endeavour and is a valid aspect of academic pursuits. In fact all academics should be doing research. Teaching itself is a valid research pursuit – all forms of teaching – delivery and assessment. Our academics are highly skilled in their practice and they should be reflective of that practice and publish that practice in appropriate teaching orientated journals. LB: Are you referring to “active Learning”? VC: Yes, we are a leading exponent of “Active Learning”. That knowledge and expertise needs to be written up, published and disseminated to a wider audience. LB: What about active leadership in Enterprise and Engagement? VC: Our work with stakeholders is well renowned. The recognition of enterprise – start-up and established and our role as a driver and facilitator is to be commended.

Our depth and breadth and co-location with enterprise is one of our greatest strengths. LB: What is your view on research income and research output? VC: Research income is important, it is really a means to an end. I am specifically interested in the translation of the opportunity into outputs, where we have visible downstream benefits. We can make a huge difference to this region. We are well experienced in regional development and we can take an active part of it in so many different ways. We have a strong engagement with all stakeholders - public and private and our new strategic plan will place Research, Development and Innovation at the centre of LIT’s activities. LB: Thank you Vincent and perhaps we will focus on the strategic plan for a future edition of this newsletter? VC: Certainly Liam. That makes sense. Thank you for the interview. Dr Liam Brown Vice President Research, Development & Innovation at LIT

LIAM BROWN JOINS LIMERICK CHAMBER BOARD Dr Liam Brown, LIT’s Vice President Research, Development and Innovation, Limerick Institute of Technology, has been voted onto the board of Limerick Chamber. LIT’s commitment to the mid-west region and beyond is unrivalled. Dr Brown’s representation on the chamber board will deliver for LIT, Limerick chamber and the wider mid-west region through world leading impactful education, R&D and enterprise engagement. The other new additions to the board of Limerick Chamber include Donnacha Hurley, General Manger Absolute Hotel; James Ryan, Owner of Centra O’Connell St. and William St., Limerick and Matthew Thomas, CEO, Shannon Group.

From left to right: Liam Brown, VP RDI, LIT, Matthew Thomas, CEO, Shannon Group; Donnacha Hurley, General Manger Absolute Hotel; James Ryan, Owner of Centra O’Connell St. and William St., Limerick



Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (ABC) recently hosted its Industry Open Day at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) on Tuesday the 1st of December. Each event is tailored to showcase a key technology offering, specialised equipment or expertise at Shannon ABC which is available to industry. The Industry Open Day was attended by a range of industry sectors including food, feed, cosmetic, nutraceutical and biopharmaceutical. The theme of the Open Day was ‘People, Technologies and Industry’, and the first technology presentation, by Dr Niamh Stephens (Postdoctoral Scientist), showcased Shannon ABC’s Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrophotometry (LC-MS) expertise while also demonstrating how Shannon ABC has delivered solutions for industrial queries/ processes using the LC-MS. Shannon ABC also used the event to showcase the very unique Super Critical Fluid Extraction (SCFE) capability available for industry collaborative projects. Dr Patrick Murray (Head of Research and Technology Transfer) highlighted the numerous benefits to using SCFE as opposed to solvent based extraction systems for applications across a variety of sectors including food, feed, cosmetic and nutraceutical. Finally, Dr Catherine Collins (Postdoctoral Scientist)

outlined the microbial capabilities at Shannon ABC, including anti-microbial testing and fungal enzymology. During the industry portion of the Open Day one of Shannon ABC’s researchers, Mr Paul Hogan, described the benefit of SCFE extraction techniques to Mungo Murphy’s, a cosmetic company from Galway, who were interested in the effect of variations in growth paradigms on final biomass production at laboratory scale to help grow their product range. Mr Hogan described how the company have increased their product offerings recently while also upscaling production in Europe following this collaborative project at Shannon ABC. Mr Dean Meagher from Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd gave attendees an insight into a recently completed Innovation Partnership with Shannon ABC, describing the close collaborative relationship between the researchers and the industrial partner which resulted in the transfer of methods developed at Shannon ABC to Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd. Finally, Lubdub Foods, who were part of LIT’s New Frontiers Program, gave a summary of their collaboration with Shannon ABC and Food@LIT, and how that had benefitted their company in terms of product testing and new product development.

The next Shannon ABC Industry Open Day will take place in Autumn 2017, please see to add your contact details to our e-mail list.

Shannon ABC Industry Open Day attendees left to right: Dorothy Timmons (Enterprise Ireland), Dean Meagher (Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd), Tim Yeomans (Shannon ABC Centre Manager), Liam Brown (VP Research, Enterprise and Development), Sean Daly (CeBec Group) and Cal Flynn (Kerry Ingredients Ltd).

INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS FOR PRODUCTION AND RESOURCE OPTIMISATION IN INDUSTRY Industry 4.0 aims at creating agile and flexible manufacturing systems that are dynamically reconfigurable thanks to: vertical integration stemming from cyber-physical systems (CPS), horizontal integration in the value-chain, and end-toend engineering across the full life cycle of products and services. The approach has widespread acceptance across multinational manufacturing operations however the deployment in Manufacturing SME is lagging greatly behind and evolving business models and new business opportunities are being missed. The technologies for smart factories are developing quickly, however, manufacturers, particularly SMEs, still need to choose and prioritize these technology adoptions. Barriers to the deployment of new and innovative systems are due to a primary focus on current production, a lack of specific expertise and difficulty in justifying the return on investment within the business norms. Led by Limerick Institute of Technology in partnership with regional and national stakeholders, IS4PROD: (Intelligent Systems for Production and Resource Optimisation in Industry) was established in 2016 to assess the need for a Regional Digital Manufacturing

Innovation (RDMI) Hub in the Mid-West Region. Funded by the European Commission under the I4MS platform, IS4PROD is one of a network of 60 RDMI hubs throughout Europe working to address the barriers faced by SME’s and provide them with access to expertise on digital transformation and raise awareness of the technology advancements in Manufacturing. The work of the hub is to pilot implementations of Industry 4.0 technologies in existing manufacturing facilities, encourage the growth of new business in the regions incubation centres and the competence development and mentoring of start-up companies addressing the use of advanced ICT in industry. The Hub initially focused on the development, integration and implementation of cyber-physical systems (CPS) in local manufacturing SMEs, developing Case Studies with a focus on the integration of production data and energy efficiency on legacy machines and integration of production data and machine performance data to provide operator feedback. These case studies introduced novel and innovative solutions to these manufacturing operations

and have been submitted for both European and National funding. The Digital Innovation Hub is based in the ACORN Research centre in LIT. If you wish to learn more contact the Project Manager Laura Foley or

IS4PROD Team: Samuel Carvalho - Research Engineer Laura Foley - Project Manager Julio Rezendes - Research Engineer






Cosmetic applications explored Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre at Limerick Institute of Technology recently undertook an Innovation partnership project with TanOrganic Company on the “Production of natural sunscreen molecules”. TanOrganic is an SME based in Kildare, specialising in a natural, odour free self-tanning products. TanOrganic has developed a range of products including a self-tan product, moisturising oil, self-tan oil, bronzer and application products, none of their products include a sunscreen product. Mostly this is due to the fact that they have not found a sunscreen product that fits with their brand of organic and natural origin. There is a growing demand for the replacement of chemical sunscreens with bio-sunscreens. Production of bio-sunscreen alone requires an alternative source of ultraviolet-screening compounds than the existing source from harvesting wild marine seaweeds. TanOrganic realized the growing demand for bio-sunscreen based cosmetic products to replace the chemical sunscreen products, hence they approached

Shannon ABC to support in the development of natural sunscreen products for TanOrganic. Shannon ABC’s Microalgal Biotechnologist Dr. Sushanta Kumar Saha (Principal Researcher of this project) has been researching on Irish marine cyanobacteria and microalgae and identified a cocktail of natural bioactive molecules that can be used as natural sunscreen compounds. Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic and microalgae are eukaryotic organisms that perform photosynthesis to produce their own food similar to higher plants. These organisms are the “Survival of the fittest” in most of the World’s stressful environments including high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiations. Cyanobacteria and microalgae are naturally exposed to copious amounts of UV radiation from the sun, which is their primary source of energy as well. The ozone layer in the stratosphere shields the Earth from penetration of UV radiation (UV-A, 315-400 nm; UV-B, 280-315 nm; UV-C, 100280 nm) and thus prevents from the harmful


Innovation Partnership Project led by Dr Daragh Naughton & Olena Madden

Ard Ri Marble is a family run enterprise that has been producing and retailing stoves for domestic use across Ireland and UK. For the growth and the expansion of the successful enterprise further into the UK market the company is required to CE mark their appliances under The Construction Products Regulation Act No 305/2011 (EU). As such every stove model they produce and distribute must pass a series of tests underlined in a standard EN13240:2001/ A2:2004/AC: 2007. Over the course of this project a newly-built facility was produced, validated and used for implementation of improvements to the ‘Henley’ equipment. After the initial literature review a number of innovative steps were undertaken by the researchers of Limerick IT to provide ‘The Company’ with the following: • A novel design for the solid fuel burning


equipment was suggested.

• The testing laboratory was set up to determine the safety and the efficiency for the testing and improvement of existing solid fuel burning stoves and forthcoming models. • The testing facilities were provided with the quality system with the view to set up a standardisation laboratory. • At the time of installation all equipment calibrated and validated by suppliers’ engineers. • A bespoke data storage and quality control system was designed for laboratory. • Assigned personnel of Ard Ri Marble were trained to operate the test equipment, and maintain all necessary documentation in a view of the certification of the test laboratory and potential ability to conduct independent CE mark certification of new equipment. This will provide for the Ard Ri Marble a significant competitive advantage on both domestic and international markets as well as will drive the expansion of the company and preparedness to future eco-standard

effects of UV radiation on cellular damaging. However, ozone layer is continuously depleting because of increasing use of anthropogenically released environmental hazards such as chlorofluorocarbons, chlorocarbons and organobromides. This is leading to an increase in UV-A and UV-B exposure on the Earth. UV-A is the most commonly penetrating type of UV light, while UV-B’s penetration is increasing due to reduction of ozone layers. UV-C usually cannot reach the Earth’s surface as it is absorbed completely in the atmosphere. Of the types of UV radiations, UV-B is the most detrimental because it has enough energy to cause photochemical damage to cellular nucleic acids and proteins. Cyanobacteria and microalgae have the inherent capacity to produce various UV-screening compounds to survive the stressful environments. You can contact Dr. Sushanta Saha at sushanta.saha@ or

ACADEMY is the LIT centre for research into Art, Curatorial Studies, Applied Design and Art and Design Education, founded in 2013 and based in the new campus of Merriman House, Limerick. It is the research wing of the famous Limerick School of Art and Design, nominated in 2013 as one of the top fifty fashion schools in the world. ACADEMY currently has 30 registered researchers including 9 PhD/tracking PhD students, a Research Scholar, Dr. Maria Beville, and a dedicated programme leader for postgraduate researchers, Dr. Nigel Oxley. The Centre conducts research into diverse areas of fine art including printmaking and painting, sound art and phenomenology, to residential curatorial studies, to design research in fashion, ceramics, visual communication and textiles, and also art and design education including curriculum innovation, a/r/tography, and accessibility. In 2016, LSAD Clonmel have formally joined ACADEMY with a sub-group of expertise, the Digital Arts Lab. Over the last year, research centre ACADEMY has been working on a variety of in-house, national and European projects,

with its members disseminating research through exhibitions, socially engaged projects, curatorial outputs, publishing and conference participation.

Upcoming Events: In 2017 ACADEMY hosted an international conference on Supernatural Cities: Gothic Cities II on 6 and 7 April. Full details about the event are found at http:// A day long symposium, In Sickness and In Health, will be held on May 9th. Currently ACADEMY is working on a series of projects and bids, an INTERREG project with the Digital Arts Lab sector of ACADEMY, and a Wellcome Trust bid with the University of Hertfordshire and Bishop Grossteste University, Lincoln. With UL, ACADEMY will co-host the Design Research Conference in 2018. For further information about ACADEMY you can contact Dr. Tracy Fahey, LSAD

Photo: Jennifer Brown who completed a project residency at The Space, Dundee at the opening of SYMBOLS 2016


1. Research Collaboration challenges to be set up by the European commission. For further information contact or Daragh.naughton@

A report from lsad research centre academy

The department has increased collaboration with local companies to build level 9 Masters by research programmes that are embedded in industry. The first programme has been running with General Motors since early 2016 and has brought the first candidate through an recognition of prior learning (RPL) process and onto LIT’s postgraduate register. The candidate’s research project has been scoped around leading edge development work that is being carried out by General Motors in Ireland and represents an exceptional opportunity to build applied research collaboration between the department and industry. Additional candidates are expected to follow in 2017.

2. HCI Research Group The Department of IT launched a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research group in 2016. The principal aim of the proposed research group is to promote HCI research in LIT and the region with a view to developing research excellence and collaboration with industry and academia. The core staff involved Denise McEvoy, Dr. Séamus Ó Ciardhuáin, and Dr. Ken Oakley. There are currently 5 registered Masters students with a dedicated office space and computing resources. Ms McEvoy is currently undertaking a PhD in HCI through the Creative Technology Network, a new collaboration between University College

Dublin and the National College of Art and Design. Ms McEvoy is a committee member of the Irish HCI Group and a mentor and member of the Interaction Design Foundation (worldwide online learning community for HCI), a member of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and is active in the Limerick IxDA group in the University of Limerick. External contributions include: Dr. Trevor Hogan (CIT) and Dr. Benjamin Cowan (UCD) are currently mentors for 5 LIT postgraduates in the HCI field. Ms. McEvoy and Dr. Ó Ciardhuáin are members of the ACM SIGHCI (special interest group).

3. From Social Curse to Social Cure: Evaluation of Destigmatising of Leprosy programme in Rural Nepal This is a one year collaborative research project between Professor Orla Muldoon (UL), Dr Sarah Jay (UL) Psychology department and Mike Winterburn (LIT). The aim of the research is to gauge the success of community based projects developed and implemented by the Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT) to eliminate the stigma of Leprosy in four rural areas of Nepal. The research aims to develop a mixed methods approach and pilot qualitative and quantitative tools for the programme evaluation. As well as being an important applied piece of work, this programme of research fits with the ongoing

interest of the UL Psychology department in social identity as a social cure. NLT is a Christian Charity, founded in 1972 which offers diagnosis and treatment of those affected by Leprosy as well as the alleviation of poverty. More recently it has been working towards reduction of stigma associated with Leprosy through community initiatives entitled ‘Village Alive Project’ (VAP). VAP seeks to alter health literacy and focus on social inclusion and destigmatisation. VAP also aims to increase skills in economics, agriculture and other culturally salient and valuable skills. Funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme 2016, €25,000.

Photo of village children at the beginning of a VAP village meeting in Chepkat, Mahottari, Nepal, June 2016.




SOCIAL SCIENCE CONNEXIONS Expansion of Research Groups in the Department of Applied Social Sciences.

There are now five research groups within the Department - all operating under the banner of Social Science ConneXions. The Engage Research Group was launched at the Thurles campus last December. This new research group aims to engage with the policy-practice domain of: education, youth-work and community development. The group’s first book publication on Teacher Professionalism was also launched at this event by Professor Tom Collins. A further research group; Ascend will be launched shortly at the Moylish campus.

Applied Social Science Faculty members in Thurles campus at the launch of Engage and the launch of the book; The Teaching Triangle: Pedagogy, Professionalism and Vocationalism by Dr. Michael Ryan.

Online Computer Games & Development Education – Doctoral Research by Paul Keating. This Action Research project is currently at the final data collection phase and is looking at the potential of online computer games as a mechanism for undertaking development education. The research is in collaboration with Trocaire and a number of other International NGOs with an interest in innovative ways of addressing Global Justice and Solidarity. Virtual Environments and Youth Work. We are in the process of recruiting a GRO bursary student for the ERASMUS+ project researching the use of Virtual Environments in youth Work. The project brings together participants form Greece, Ireland and the UK. Conference Papers – The following conference papers were presented by Paul Keating as part of his doctoral research process: “Participatory Learning and Action, A methodology in Search of an Epistemology” (Development Studies Association Conference; Dublin, December 2016) and “Games in Development Education” (Conference of the Irish Games Based Learning Network in TCD November 2016).

A Discourse Analysis of The Evolution of Youth Work Policy in Ireland. This doctoral study is currently being undertaken by Sinead McMahon. It is the first study of its kind in Ireland and will identify and analyse the discourses that have shaped Youth Work Policy in contemporary Ireland. Loss and Research Group Michelle Ryan – is completing post-graduate research with asylum seekers and refugees. Michelle recently applied to Milford Hospice - Compassionate Community fund for a seed grant to run a play-scheme for children in direct provision. The play-scheme will be offered for a week in July with the help of LIT students and other volunteers. Nancy Rochford-Flynn is currently pursuing post-graduate studies as part of the Loss & Grief group. This research is funded by ISAX (Irish Smart Ageing Exchange) and examines older peoples’ understanding and experiences of emotional resilience and wellbeing in a Limerick community setting. Nancy recently organised the annual Flowers for Magdalene Commemoration in New Ross. (her native town). The ceremony remembers women incarcerated in Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries. The memorial was held on Sunday March 5th marking International women’s day. Coming up soon: The Annual LIT Social Sciences Undergraduate Conference 2017 Plans for this year’s conference ‘Research In Practice’ on April 28th are well under way. Over a hundred final year students will present their research process and findings to their peers, faculty members and future employers. The conference is being coordinated by Lisa O’ Rourke Scott and keynote speaker is Fr Peter McVerry to open this day of celebration of our undergraduate’s journey in research.

We are pleased to invite you to join us at the 7th meeting of the Irish Fungal Society on June 15th & 16th 2017, to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues working on fungi in medical, industrial biotechnology and horticultural/ agricultural settings. Venue: Limerick Institute of Technology, Moylish Park, Limerick Confirmed Speakers: Andy Bailey (UK); Marilyn G. Wiebe (Finland); Ted White (USA); Jerry Reen (Ireland); Nuala O’Connell (Ireland); Andre Canelas (Ireland); Elaine Bignell (UK); Helen Grogan, (Ireland); and Magdalena Martin-Uridoz (UK). Registration: Registration is now open at: Closing date is 26th May. The cost is €70 which includes refreshments and the Annual dinner at the Strand Hotel. Proudly sponsored by:


BUILDING COMMUNITY BASED RESEARCH COLLABORATION Youth Work Ireland Tipperary works directly with over 3,000 young people. Our activities are as diverse as the issues facing the young people we work with, Rural Isolation, Youth Justice, Addiction, Family Support, LGBT issues, Mental Health, Cultural Diversity, and Youth Employment. With seven youth centres and over 30 employees YWIT partners with the Department of youth and Children, Justice, TUSLA and Education and Training Board as well as numerous private and public funding bodies. Over the past ten years YWIT has developed a strong and mutually beneficial research and development relationship with LIT. In 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding was agreed to address three areas of mutual interest, Research and Development, New Course Development and Youth Engagement in 3rd level. The links were made through the office of Vice president of Research and Development as well as the Engage Research Group in Thurles and the Digital Arts Lab in Clonmel. This integrated multidisciplinary relationship has proved enormously creative and productive. YWIT now leads on one of the largest ERASMUS+ project in the EU with LIT delivering a Masters in Global Youth Work

with Games and Digital Media to students from 3 countries. LIT is recruiting a research student to be attached to the project which will host an international conference in November. The games groups established in youth centres across Tipperary bring together young people from very diverse backgrounds to cooperate, learn, socialise and develop their confidence through the use of games. Students from the Games Art and Design Course in Clonmel are actively collaborating in developing social impact games and supporting young people in using the arts

to articulate their vision and ambition for the future. In Youth Work Ireland Tipperary we encourage young people to be self-aware, to be proud, to be ambitious, to stand together to promote diversity and to challenge the causes of exclusion. These are the values which will drive this collaboration forward. You can find out more about YWIT at and LIT’s collaboration contact Carmel O Neill, Acting CEO Youth Work Ireland Tipperary

Using Digital Games in a Youth Work Setting


LAUNCH OF ENTERPRISE IRELAND NEW FRONTIERS PROGRAMME AT LIT CEMENTS INSTITUTE’S ROLE AS HOME OF ENTERPRISE IN THE MID-WEST Speaking to participants at their induction onto the programme at the Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre in LIT, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor said, “Supports such as the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme are all the more crucial now in the current trading environment where companies need to be all the more competitive. I would urge anyone with a business idea to consider applying to this important entrepreneur development programme”. Vice President for Research Development & Innovation at LIT, Dr. Liam Brown, said “New Frontiers is the national entrepreneurship programme for early stage high-potential start-up companies. It is a tremendously important programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship in the MidWest, and we in LIT are particularly proud of our role in the programme.”

New Frontiers is a three phase programme designed to help early stage emerging high potential startups (HPSUs). The 2016 cohort of 12 Entrepreneurs in LIT were chosen via a very competitive process from across industry sectors. The Entrepreneurs will have access to key industry experts, consultants, focussed training and mentoring. They also receive a €15k stipend from Enterprise Ireland (EI) and assigned a personal Development Advisor with opportunities for funding from EI or Local Enterprise Offices, business angel and VC networks, and LIT’s own Enterprise Ladder Fund (ELF) or Ryan Entrepreneurship Fund for Tipperary managed by LIT. The Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme is run nationally and is now one of the largest employment generators in the country. Companies on the LIT New Frontiers programme alone in 2015/2016 have helped create almost 200 jobs to date and raised more than €5m while on New Frontiers.

Entrepreneurs listed on the programme include; BJ Broderick, Christopher Ryan, Kelly O’Brien, Dylan Commons, Mark Corchrane, John Bond, Leonie Lynch, Mark Boda, Claire Bannon, Kirsty O’Kelly, Edmond Burke, Shane Ryan and Alan Dormer.






These brief descriptions of some of the current participants, who will reach the end of New Frontiers Phase 2 shortly, will help to profile the sort of people and ideas that New Frontiers wants to attract. If you know of anyone that you believe can turn an idea into a new business that will trade internationally and create employment revenue in your locality, act now and get them to apply for a place on New Frontiers. New Frontiers is Enterprise Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme for innovative, early-stage start-ups. It is Ireland’s largest entrepreneur development programme and is delivered from 14 campus incubation centres across the country. Here in Limerick, that centre is LIT’s Hartnett Centre where Gillian Barry, Mary Casey and Simon O’Keeffe deliver the New Frontiers programme on behalf of Enterprise Ireland. Each year, New Frontiers funds 150 companies, 15 of them at Hartnett Centre. BJ Broderick of Wellnice Pops (www. has developed Wellnice Pops, a range of healthy ice pops made from 100% cold pressed vegetable & fruit juice and is working on opening export markets in Europe.

Christopher Ryan and Kelly O’Brien of CDK Technologies ( are tackling the Intrusion Detection market, helping organizations like Shannon Airport to prevent intruders getting onto runways and other critical infrastructure. Its monitoring system detects footsteps through ground vibrations which its artificial intelligence analyses to detect threats, which are then communicated to the customer for further action. Kirsti O Kelly of Silver Darlings Seafood Ltd ( on popularizing under-utilized fish species and has started with herring. She wants to grow her business in the food service markets of Europe, selling to high-end restaurants and specialty food stores looking for a new and versatile pantry product; she now has four different pickled herring products on the market. Leonie Lynch ( is working establishing a new brand in a huge market, which is specialty foods for women at different life stages. Her first product, which she is developing with help from Moorepark is a high protein drink specially formulated for mothers in the postnatal period. Mark Cochrane of TrackPlan Software Ltd ( has a business

that has shown strong growth. Its product is a cloud-based Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software system called TrackPlan. It helps facilities, estates and property professionals manage their sites, assets, contractors and maintenance. It has attracted the attention of a major research organization that sees TrackPlan as an important potential Disruptive Innovator in its space. Shane Ryan of FEED ( has created a range of delicious vegan meal pots aimed at the “everyday athlete” who want to enjoy a nutritious meal on the go. He has got his products listed with SuperValu and is now bringing his new contract manufacturer up to the boil. For more information contact us at

ADRIAN FLEMING AND ACCUVIO WIN IBYE REGIONAL FINAL Hartnett Centre alumnus Adrian Fleming, who co-founded Accuvio Sustainability Software, has won the Established Business Category in the regional final of the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition held in Bunratty, Co Clare. Adrian (33) founded Accuvio Sustainable Software in 2009 after he was made redundant by DELL when they ceased manufacturing at their plant in Raheen. Accuvio provides large multi-national companies in 44 countries with a software platform to report their global energy and sustainability performance for regulatory and voluntary purposes. “…we provide software that enables organisations to respond quickly to Investors, Governments, and Customers with reliable information on its Sustainability and ESG performance”. Other alumni competing in the final were Evan Talty, Managing Director of Wild Irish Seaweed, who completed the New Frontiers programme at the Hartnett Centre in 2016 and Kelly O’Brien of CDK Technology, who with cofounder Chris Ryan is a currently participating in the New Frontiers programme 2017.


Aimed at 18 to 35-year-olds, the IBYE initiative is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) nationwide, and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. The investment awards will be used by the young entrepreneurs to help fund business start-ups, create new jobs locally and help develop new products for international markets. Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Limerick, congratulated Adrian on his achievement, saying: “We started the search to find and support Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs in September last year, and after a very successful boot camp, County Final and now Regional Final, Limerick will be proudly represented by Adrian and Accuvio in the ultimate stage of the competition – the IBYE National Final.” Speaking at the event, Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen, said: “What we have witnessed here is the proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in this region. We need more of this energy and commitment to create and sustain more jobs across the regions. It takes courage and commitment to start up a business.”

Lavida Foods’ new brand, Liberto has received a great response in the market. Liberto has been listed by Dunne’s Store and Supervalu in Ireland and by Holland & Barrett, Ocado, Amazon UK, Whole Foods Market

and all the major health food wholesalers in the UK. Hartnett Centre-based Lavida Food Ltd ( has launched its innovative, healthy and organic lifestyle food brand, Liberto ( The concept – foods that treat your body like it is someone you love – was created, nurtured and developed by Lavida founders Máiréad and Marek, two passionate foodies who feel strongly that delicious, high quality, wholesome gluten free food should be something everyone can enjoy without compromise.

THERADEP LIMITED CHOOSES QUESTUM ACCELERATION CENTRE AS ITS BASE TheraDep Limited is an exciting new Plasma Technology company recently set up in LIT’s Clonmel based Questum Enterprise & Research Centre. Founders are Liam O’Neill and John O’Donoghue, with CEO Claire McInerney Brown running the day to day operations. The TheraDep process, BioDep™, is the result of five years of research and validation by a team of leading cold plasma scientists. The technology transforms plasma medicine by combining the benefits of plasma therapy with the unique ability to simultaneously deposit a wide array of bonded therapeutic biopolymers, drugs, singularly or in combinations, a broad spectrum of proteins, enzymes, polysaccharides, or antibodies and

other materials or combinations. The cold plasma energy activates the surfaces as well as the biomolecules while coagulating the bonded coatings on the surfaces. BioDep™ deposits pure biopolymers, cells, pharmaceuticals, proteins, enzymes, antibodies, polysaccharides, and other active species. These coatings include anticoagulant, pro-healing, osteogenic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antithrombotic or anti-inflammatory agents. BioDep™ is a low cost and rapid process, performed in a single, simple step under ambient temperature and pressure. The coatings are functional, biocompatible materials, or combinations of materials applied conformally onto any Medical Device

Currently, Liberto includes a range of very unusual pastas made purely from beans (edamame or black beans) and a range of pâtés and sauces suitable for a vegan diet. Lavida has are plans to develop the range further in 2017. All the pastas are high in protein and fibre and contain substantially less carbohydrates than regular wheat pasta. Lavida is grateful to the Limerick Enterprise Office for the funding support it has received towards the launch of the Liberto brand and to the Hartnett Centre, LIT and AIB for their continuing support.

surface or onto Labware. Because it is a gas phase process, large or small surfaces of nearly any geometry can be coated in a single step. TheraDeps BioDep™ process provides major Medical Device and Labware advancements. The TheraDep team are working closely with Labware and Medical Device companies in Ireland and the US from their base in Questum and anticipate significant progress now that they are established as an EI HPSU client company, having been awarded an Innovation Partnership Grant in conjunction with the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute and a Feasibility Study Grant with Dublin Institute of Technology. For more information about Theradep Ltd see You can find out more about Questum Acceleration Centre and its programmes at http://www.

NEW FRONTIERS-Phase 2 New frontiers is the enterprise ireland national entrepreneur development programme for innovative early stage startups. LIT are currently accepting applications for phase 2. The closing date is 9am, 20th august 2017. If you have an innovative business idea and would like to discuss getting support, visit www.hartnettcentre.Ie/newfrontiers STARTS: OCTOBER 2017 VENUE: HARTNETT CENTRE, LIT Adrian Fleming Co-Founder of Accuvio Sustainability Software




ENHANCING CO-OPERATION AMONGST FARMING ENTREPRENEURS The CO-FARM (Enhancing Co-operation amongst Farming Entrepreneurs) project commenced in November 2016, with LIT being the lead partner. This ERASMUS+ funded project aims to develop a flexible training system based on case study research, whereby rural entrepreneurs, landowners and farmers will acquire the required skillsets, knowledge and competencies to implement co-operative and collaborative initiatives. This will be achieved by developing and implementing a training programme which will provide farmers with the necessary knowledge and skills to work in a cooperative environment. This programme will be very practical in nature and will aim at enhancing the capacity and willingness of the target groups to co-operate at a farm level. The knowledge and skills gained will be

applied in a number of different environments and the learning from the experience of such application will be used to amend the teaching programme. Examples of cooperation include: reduction of production costs/ unit; optimisation of energy/ resources input in agricultural production; increase of share of added value for farmers in marketing of products; sharing of farm work-loads and purchasing. This work would build on the discussion group model which has proven to be very effective for the provision of advice and sharing of information. The main project product will be a web-based Training App compatible both with desktop and mobile devices. The project commenced with a kickoff meeting in LIT (Thurles Campus), with 8 partners in attendance. The kick-off meeting also incorporated a workshop on identifying

and analysing the mechanisms by which ‘co-operation’ exists amongst farmers. For further information, please contact Dr. Shane O’Sullivan

The BUSI Build Up Skills QualiBuild project finished in July 2016 and was a huge success. Lis O’Brien from the LIT Development Unit in Thurles presented the QualiBuild project at various EU conferences which was highly acclaimed by the EU and perceived as one

of the best examples of the BUSI Build Up projects. The final presentation of QualiBuild will be held at the EU exchange conference in Rotterdam in May and QualiBuild has also been entered for an award at the EUSEW in June. Let’s cross our fingers! LIT also showcased the QualiBuild communications in the best practice communications webinar for Horizon 2020 applicants. The Foundation Energy Skills Training Course (FES) has been recognised as one of the best examples of

construction trainings in Europe. The training course is to continue with the 3 day course being rolled out in Galway, Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Helping to upskill construction workers and contribute to the nZEB construction which is now formally recognised in Ireland. Read more at

PHI and PHA) are the leads in the training, procurement and overseeing the setting up of these BKHs to a high standard. The four BKHs have been officially opened in Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and the Czech Republic and 1 pilot in Ukraine. LIT are to assist with their development and monitoring, having already prepared the business plans, MoUs and procurement process for each country consortium. LIT are assisting with new curricula for the training of building professionals; training and certification for a total of 90 trainers, 2,400 construction workers, 480 designers and 720 non-specialists. The train the trainer courses have already been completed with Lis

O’Brien from LIT Development Unit Thurles presenting the pedagogical approaches at each of the train the trainer workshops. The training programmes for the other cohorts are currently being organised. It should be noted that the QualiBuild FES course has also been adopted and translated by some of the countries to be used for training the construction workers.

in social enterprise. The project aims to develop a set of blended learning tools that can be used by social entrepreneurs in order to assess their capacity development needs; and by educators / trainers in higher and further education in order to deliver formal and informal courses of education and training. The initial kick-off meeting was held in November 2016 in LIT. All partners recently participated in a teaching, training and learning workshop hosted by Glyndwr University, Wales and Pathways Inspirational Development, Bishop’s Castle, Wales. This workshop focused on analysing the data collected from a series of semi-structured interviews with successful social enterprises

across Europe, planning the development of an e-tool for dissemination of research findings; and developing an innovative / creative educational framework. For further information or contact Dr Shane O’Sullivan (


The 3 year funded EU H2020 Train-toNZEB project started in June 2015 with the aim to provide world-class training on energy efficiency and RES in buildings, based on new training programmes, business plans and up-to-date training equipment for a set of training and consultation centres (BKHs) around Europe. The goal is to improve the knowledge and skills in the construction sector and to provide practical trainings, demonstrations and consultations for the design and construction of Nearly ZeroEnergy Buildings (NZEB). LIT (along with

LIT commenced a new ERASMUS+ project called SEDETT - Social Enterprise Development, Education and Training Tools in November 2016. The lead partner is Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Wales. This strategic partnership aims to support the development of innovative practices in the education and training of individuals engaged 10

COFARM Partners at LIT in November 2016

SEDETT Partners at initial meeting in LIT © Changing Ireland

The SESBA (Social Enterprise Skills for Business Advisors) project hosted a seminar on the 25 October 2016 in the Thurles Chamber Enterprise Centre, LIT campus. SESBA is an EU funded project under Erasmus+ strategic partnerships, aimed at: • Enhancing the profile of business advisors in order to better respond to the field of social entrepreneurship. • Developing new training practices and consulting techniques. • Cultivating new practical advisory skills by business advisors in order to be able to encourage attributes of social entrepreneurship. The seminar commenced with presentations by LIT, which outlined key research findings arising from two SESBA research reports. These included the ‘Status

of Social Entrepreneurship in Europe’ and ‘Training Needs of Social Business Advisors and Best Practices in Social Entrepreneurship’. Both of these reports can be downloaded from: The guest speakers provided excellent and engaging presentations on social entrepreneurship. Donal Traynor (Community Finance Ireland) outlined key needs and challenges of social entrepreneurs; Kathleen Prendergast (Economic Development Officer, Tipperary County Council) discussed policies for promoting social entrepreneurship; Eamon Ryan (BNest) provided tips and techniques for the successful operation of a social enterprise; and Mary Fogarty (Loughmore Co-operative Shop & Tea Rooms) shared her personal experiences of establishing a social enterprise in a rural area in Co. Tipperary. The seminar concluded with a group discussion on the policies and support structures required to promote social entrepreneurship; and the ways in which business advisors can better serve the needs of social entrepreneurs AcrossLimits (project partner in Malta) hosted the third transnational project meeting

at Suncrest, Qawra, Malta on the 15 and 16 February 2017. This meeting discussed the development of techniques (toolkit); and training modules with an accompanying learning portal for business advisors who operate in the field of social entrepreneurship. We are seeking business advisors and social entrepreneurs to participate in the piloting of the techniques and modules please contact Dr. Shane O’Sullivan at or 0504 28476 for further information. Project website is

SESBA project partners at 3rd Transnational Project Meeting in Malta

SUPERHOMES Superhomes 1.0, a concept developed by the Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA) combines a range of deep retrofit measures with Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP), Wood Stoves and Photovoltaic (PV) technologies. Superhomes also integrates ESBs Connected Home Solution, a home energy management system, which allows homeowners to track and engage with their electricity consumption via on-line tools and applications. 32 homes have completed Superhomes compliant upgrades to date achieving 60% reduction in energy consumption and achieving a minimum of A3 energy rating. The TEA, working with ESB and ESB Networks have identified opportunities to optimise the Superhomes package, the potential to include smart metering and also the need for additional monitoring and analysis. Significant modelling, optimisation and system integration is required to ensure the constitute parts can be packaged into a market ready solution. Research is also required to determine the impact of large scale deployment of Superhomes on the electricity network. Finally, robust financial strategies are required to enable investment in Superhomes retrofits.

LIT, led by Principle Investigator Seamus Hoyne, will head a research team with TEA, ESB and ESB Networks to evolve the concept to Superhomes 2.0. Data from extensive metering and monitoring of the 32 existing Superhomes will be utilised by the LIT research team to address the following critical issues: • Optimisation of the ASHP operation to achieve a predicted 10-15% improvement in Coefficient of Performance (COP) and Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF), while still maintaining homeowner comfort. • Integration of decentralised electricity supply (via PV panels) with ASHP operation for cost and system efficiency. • Evolution of the ESB Pay As You Go (PAYG) Meter to include a specific Heat Pump Time of Use Tarriff (ToU) Tariff and to test the impact of this on the market. • Analysis of the impacts of ASHP on the electricity network to support network management and deployment • Identification of appropriate business and commercialisation models emerging from the research outputs This two year research project is funded by the IERC. IERC is supported by both the Dept. of Jobs. Enterprise & Innovation and the Dept. of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.





APPOINTED AS DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT MANAGER WITHIN LIT Seamus Hoyne is a Mechanical Engineer with Master of Engineering in Renewable Energy (University of Limerick) and Masters of Science Energy Management (University of Ulster). He has been involved in R&D in the energy sector since 1993. In February 2017 he was appointed as Development and Public Engagement Manager within LIT. He will lead the Development Unit in LIT, based in Thurles, which has expertise in project management, sustainable energy, social enterprise, rural development and currently is leading or partners in 7 EU Funding projects. The Development Team will continue to support and work with those engaged or interested in R&D to network and access National and European funds in strategic areas of interest. From 1998 to 2012 Seamus was the Managing Director of the Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA) and grew the organisation

from initial concept to where it is one of the leading Energy Agencies in Ireland and Europe. He is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the TEA. He has been involved in over 25 EU funded R&D Projects including acting as coordinator EU CONCERTO Project SERVE (2007 to 2012) which oversaw an investment of €10.4m in sustainable energy in North Tipperary. From 2012 to 2017 he was Head of Department within LIT managing Departments in ICT, Creative Multi-media and Science. In 2013 he was appointed Head of Department for Flexible Learning and managed a suite of part-time, evening and on-line/blended learning programmes across all LIT campuses. He is the Principle Investigator for the Centre for Rural and Sustainable Development which is focused on supporting communities, enterprises, and industry to develop and engage in sustainable practices and processes. The Centre is particularly focused on R&D related to sustainable energy and social enterprise.

Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers €5,000 FREE -Research & Development for Small, Medium Businesses LIT is very active in the field of Enterprise & Research and has expertise in a wide range of business and technology fields including : • Food Development Service – product testing/ shelf life testing/packaging/allergen information /sensory analysis etc • Biotechnology - Microalgae cultivation and extraction, Biomass biotransformation, Nanoparticle synthesis, Cosmetic product testing • Engineering – Mechanical & Automobile • IT – solutions Architecture, Embedded Network Devices, Energy Management Systems, Database System Design, Online Collaboration tools, prototyping etc NEXT CALL OPENS 26 APRIL – 10 MAY 2017 For assistance with your application? Contact or 0504 282 66



VP Research Development & Innovation Office

Michelle Moloney

061 293 186

Research Department

Graduate Studies Office

061 293 526

Development Department

Yvonne Doyle

0504 28 266

Foundation & Alumni Office

Katrina Healy

0504 28 057

Questum Enterprise & Research Centre and Thurles Chamber Enterprise Centre

Derek Blackweir

0504 28 027

Hartnett Enterprise Centre & New Frontiers Programme

Mary Casey

061 293 830

LIT RDI Spring/Summer Newsletter 2017  

A bi-annual newsletter from the Research, Development & Innovation Department in LIT

LIT RDI Spring/Summer Newsletter 2017  

A bi-annual newsletter from the Research, Development & Innovation Department in LIT