Waterford News

WIT Claire KearyDr Claire Keary, a researcher in the School of Science and Computing at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), has been awarded funding for research into radiation monitoring under the EPA's Research programme 2014 - 2020. This research programme provides funding under three pillars - Sustainability, Climate and Water; WIT was awarded this funding under the Research Sustainability Call.

Funding of €198,000 was secured for a three year project entitled ‘Radioactivity in the Irish Coastal Environment (RICE)’, which will be carried out in collaboration with UCD, NUIG and the EPA’s Radiation Monitoring Laboratory.

Physics staff and students at WIT have been collaborating with the EPA’s Office of Radiation Protection and Environmental Monitoring (ORM) for a number of years in the area of environmental radiation monitoring. WIT recently signed a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the EPA to provide a framework for enhanced cooperation in areas of mutual interest in environmental radiation monitoring.

The EPA-funded project will involve measurement of radioactivity levels in the Irish coastal environment and identifying sample locations subject to, or potentially subject to, the accumulation of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), such as ports and harbours.

 Dr Claire Keary, Principal Investigator of the RICE project said “the project will seek to develop robust and accurate methods for the determination of natural radionuclides by the technique of high-resolution gamma spectrometry. By applying these methods to the analysis of selected dredge material samples, the project will consider the application of international guidelines to assess the suitability, from a radiological perspective, of the disposal of these materials at sea in relation to NORM.”

Dr Chris Burbidge, a collaborator from the EPA’s Office of Radiation Protection and Environmental Monitoring (ORM) said “the RICE project will support and enhance the EPA’s current analytical capability in the area of high-resolution gamma spectrometry. The project will also inform the development of policies in terms of NORM and the impact of practices involving NORM materials on the Irish coastal environment, which are of particular importance in relation to new radiation protection legislation.”

Dr Burbidge added “the results obtained will contribute to the EPA’s environmental radioactivity monitoring programme, which is carried out in order to comply with its statutory and international obligations to assess doses to individuals and the population, and to ensure that any increase in radiation levels are detected and assessed rapidly.”

WIT Research Support UnitWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) currently holds the position of lead institute of technology in Ireland with regard to EU Horizon 2020 (H2020) funding.

This is according to Enterprise Ireland’s Eleventh Interim Report of Irish Involvement in Horizon 2020, released in December 2019, on the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation; the biggest in the EU.

Through Horizon 2020 €80bn of funding has been made available over seven years (2014 to 2020) to stimulate excellent science, build industrial leadership, and provide solutions to the challenges that our society faces. WIT’s success in H2020 up to the time the report was published is just over €15m which comprises 23 successful projects. WIT has a very ambitious target of €20m in H2020 funding and is well on the way to achieving this by the end of the programme with numerous more proposals in the pipeline for 2020. Ireland has secured €861.4m worth of funding in Horizon 2020 to date.

The objective of H2020 funded projects is to create a digital Europe that will benefit the society of the future. This funding framework is designed to further develop research and industry engagement opportunities throughout the EU whilst creating a future society that all users can benefit from.

WIT’s successful projects involve researchers from a number of academic schools in the Institute, covering a wide variety of research such as smart agriculture, data analytics, 5G networks, ocular research, transport, future health, monitoring cardiac arrhythmias, artificial intelligence, disruptive technologies supporting the labour market and many more.

In addition, WIT has been successful with a further €1m for other projects indirectly funded under H2020 bringing the institute’s total funding figure as of 31 January 2020 to €16.1m. WIT researchers are leading 11 of these projects and have partnered with over 500 organisations across Europe. These projects have a total project value of just under €160m.

Dr Mark White, Vice President Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies in WIT stated “We have implemented many support structures which provides the WIT research community the opportunity to apply for internal funding to enhance their research activity, to increase the value of competitively won research funding and to increase the number of quality peer-reviewed publications. These support structures can ultimately build on our success in H2020 and position ourselves for participation in Horizon Europe”.

Dr White went on to say, “WIT’s success in European funding has a huge impact on the South East region. The majority of this project funding translates into high-end, highly skilled research professionals who live in the South east region, bring their families to the South East region and contribute to the South East economy. WIT is a catalyst for raising awareness of European funding across the region and the knowledge development as a result of their success builds WIT’s capacity to support better engagement in the region. WIT collaborations also link us into international best practices which allows companies we interact with access to this best practice and cutting edge research.”

Philomena Treacy, European Research Programme Officer in WIT explained, “The objective of the Research Support Unit is to make each researcher in WIT aware of the funding opportunities available within each of their areas. The team deliver information sessions on the various funding programmes, facilitates training opportunities on every aspect of proposal development and project management and works with the researchers through each of these stages in an effort to improve quality of proposals and encourage new researchers to engage in funded projects.”

TSSG Jim ClarkeTelecommunications Systems Software Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has been awarded funding of €3.5 million under Horizon 2020 for a Research and Innovation Action project entitled “A Collaborative platform for Bridging EU-US Next Generation Internet (NGI) Experiments (NGIAtlantic.eu)”.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme with almost €80bn of funding made available over seven years (2014 to 2020). The objectives of the H2020 programme is to: stimulate excellent science, build industrial leadership, and provide solutions to the challenges that our society faces.

This 3 year project has 3 European partners, TSSG/WIT (Coordinator - Ireland), Trust-IT (Italy) EURESCOM (Germany), and 2 American partners, Rutgers University and the University of Utah.

Over its lifetime, NGIAtlantic.eu will launch 5 open calls for proposals, with a total of €2.8 million available for European organisations, with US-based counterpart organisations being funded by US funding agencies, willing to carry out high-quality research & innovation activities on NGI experimental platforms. The purpose is to develop collaborations between EU and US research teams around the technical challenges posed by the vision of developing a more human-centric Next Generation Internet.

The NGI initiative, launched by the European Commission in the autumn of 2016, aims to do things very differently from the research and development activities of past programmes. The NGI initiative aims to shape the future internet as an interoperable platform ecosystem that embodies the values that Europe holds dear, including openness, inclusivity, transparency, accountability, privacy, cooperation, protection of data and information, and freedom. Since its launch, the NGI initiative has been developed to drive this technological revolution by attracting smaller scale project teams, with an expressed emphasis on high impact innovators, to bid for regular open calls on a number of relevant NGI topics.  These topics are spanning the domains of privacy and trust enhancing technologies, decentralised data governance, new forms of search and discovery, interactive technologies, and many more, while contributing to making the future internet more value-centric, human and inclusive for all citizens.

The project is led by James Clarke at TSSG who has dedicated over six years to building this research area of NGI as a project coordinator within the Future Internet Research Experimentation (FIRE) initiative and he was directly involved in the initial setting up and building of the EU’s NGI Initiative as coordinator of the SpeakNGI.eu project, one of the three “pathfinder” projects helping to define and build the NGI initiative with the European Commission. In addition, Clarke has a proven track record of coordinating international cooperation projects at TSSG for over a decade, including dedicated projects with the USA, making the awarding of NGIAtlantic.eu a natural fit for this multi-million-euro project.

Commenting on the funding success, Clarke said “the consortium of partners from both EU and US has been selected carefully to bring the necessary competences together all the crucial areas required ranging from technical knowledge, direct experience in EU - US collaborations, to NGI policy understanding. This project is the culmination of years of effort and I am looking forward to seeing the results taking place over the next three years and beyond the lifetime of the NGIAtlantic.eu project”.

Stephen O’Reilly, the ICT H2020 National Contact Point for Ireland at Enterprise Ireland noted that “this is considered a landmark project since it represents the largest budget share to a single participant coming into the Republic of Ireland in ICT under Horizon 2020. This accomplishment is reflective of the success of Irish researchers in the area of ICT and contributes to underpinning the competitiveness of Ireland’s research eco-system. Researchers across the Institutes of Technology and the Universities and companies should be looking at the remaining opportunities under Horizon 2020 and preparing for Horizon Europe”

“TSSG and WIT have had great success in the Horizon 2020 programme across a number of domains and this is a significant boost to Jim and the team as we edge closer to the beginning of the Horizon Europe programme in 2021” explains Kevin Doolin, Director of Innovation at TSSG.

Additional information on the NGIatlantic.eu project can be found here.

Waterford SEP Awards 2020Rooted Solution from St. Augustine’s College in Dungarvan has qualified for the National Student Enterprise Final.

Rooted Solution, winner of the Senior award created a business selling affordable tree saplings with biodegradable packaging to help sustain the environment. The west waterford students took part in the Local Enterprise Office’s Student Enterprise Programme Awards last Tuesday at the Tower Hotel.

The Waterford Student Enterprise Programme started in September with 1,000 students from 15 schools in Waterford City and County. They created their businesses, developed, branded, promoted and sold. But most importantly they learned what it felt like to run their own business.

Finally, 120 students represented 12 schools in Waterford county and competed in the Waterford Student Enterprise Final on Tuesday March 3rd at the Tower hotel. 43 businesses in total, shortlisted from a total of 350 who commenced the competition in September, presented their business plans and challenged for the top prize in the Waterford Student Enterprise Programme.

The National Finals take place on May 1st in Croke Park where the Waterford students will be taking on 34 other businesses, the best of the rest of the country.

Co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, the competition is the most successful programme of its kind in the country. 27,000 budding entrepreneurs from 380 secondary schools across the country have been running their own enterprises, with help from their teachers and Local Enterprise Offices.

Finalists from all over the country will set-up enterprise exhibition displays before taking part in a series of judging interviews.  The judging panels take numerous factors into account, such as business reporting, innovation, market research, risk management and finances.

Further information about May’s National Finals is available through www.studententerprise.ie, which also has free resources and video tutorials for students and teachers for the programme.

For more information, please contact your Local Enterprise Office at 35 the Mall in Waterford City or Civic Offices in Dungarvan. Alternatively, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese NEAKnockanore Farmhouse Cheese, a west Waterford company producing a variety of hard-pressed mature farmhouse cheeses has been named as Waterford’s Enterprise Award winner and will go on to represent Waterford at the National Enterprise Awards in Dublin on May 28th.

Eamonn Lonergan, whose parents started farming with just four Kerry cows, now boasts a 150-strong top-class pedigree Friesian milking herd.

Producing farmhouse cheese made in the cheddar style using raw milk, along with red and white cheddars, flavoured with garlic, herbs, black pepper and chives, as well as the famous Oakwood smoked cheddar, Eamonn’s USP is a top-quality cheese, made from raw milk from a single herd.  

Investments in state-of-the art equipment to extend and modernise the cheese making facility, along with plans to roll out a new packaging system for all Knockanore’s pre-packed cheeses, signal Eamonn’s intent to future proof his business.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford, congratulated Eamonn and his team on enhancing and introducing a traditional product to a new cohort of customers.

“Eamonn has shown great innovation in taking the time-honoured cheddar cheese and creating a range of exciting flavours and fusions. Not content to rest on his laurels, he has been proactive in advancing the business through making improvements to increase productivity and profitability, exploring new export markets, continuing to develop new ranges and educating the public and chefs about the different flavours and textures of artisan cheese.”

Eamonn Lonergan acknowledged the support he received from Local Enterprise Office Waterford. “Over the last thirty years the level of support has been phenomenal. The people we have dealt with have offered us nothing but great support in the form of mentoring and financial assistance. It’s heartening to work with an agency that not only understands your business but wants it to flourish as well.”

Richie Walsh added “The National Enterprise Awards highlight the pioneering work of entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the country. In Waterford we are lucky to have a large collection of inspiring, creative and hard-working individuals who have a vision and make it happen.”

As well as representing Waterford in the National Finals, Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese was presented with a specially commissioned trophy from Copper Coast Woodcrafts. Made from locally sourced Irish Oak with a hand-crafted copper Oak leaf inset, the Oak in the award is symbolic of its strength and durability.

Presenting the award to Eamonn and his wife, Patricia, Mayor of Waterford, Cllr. John Pratt said that Eamonn epitomised the entrepreneurial spirit in Waterford and beyond. “By investing and continuously innovating, Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese has firmly established itself as a market leader and is a great example of how entrepreneurs can turn ideas into great products.”

Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese is among one of the 7,000 companies maintaining 36,000 jobs, supported by the network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices, and will represent Waterford in the National Enterprise Awards Final which was established in 1998 to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector.

Date: Thursday 12th March

Time: 12.30 – 2pm

Location: Lawlors Hotel, Dungarvan

Cost to attend: Free

The Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber invites members to meet with Mark Foley, CEO, EirGrid Group over lunch to discuss:

  • Who EirGrid are
  • What is happening in your County
  • Introduce the EirGrid Strategy
  • EirGrid’s role in the Climate Action Plan
  • Drafting a Plan to 2030
  • How EirGrid and businesses can work together

EirGrid have recently published their Company Strategy – ‘Transforming the power system for future generations ‘- for 2020 to 2025 where they have set out the key components which are necessary to deliver on their responsibilities as the national electricity transmission grid operator. These components will help to ensure that Ireland meets its climate change obligations as set out in the Climate Action Plan published last summer. It will also ensure that the country will have the electrical capacity to facilitate economic growth across all regions. Businesses across Ireland have a key role to play in the fight against climate change. EirGrid wish to partner with all stakeholders in order to deliver a meaningful and effective response to the climate challenge.

As a business in our locality, EirGrid we would like to engage directly with you to address these shared challenges together.

This is a lunch time event, lunch will be provided to attendees. To book phone 058 45054 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tidy Towns Granville Tidy Towns Altitude

Tidy Towns Waterford City has announced the winners of their first annual ‘Festive Window Dressing’ competition. Designed around the Christmas Gift Tag ‘Do your #BITT for #Winterval’ and supported by Tidy Towns, Waterford Council, Waterford Chamber and Waterford Business Group.

The winning windows were Altitude, in Ballybricken and The Granville Hotel, on Meagher’s Quay. With the judging panel unable to split the two businesses, each will received €250 of Waterford Shopping Vouchers.

“It’s never too early to mention Santa Claus and with around 300 days to next Christmas,” said a tongue in cheek Michael Garland, Chair of Tidy Towns, “We are delighted that both Altitude and The Granville Hotel have been recognised for their wonderful festive effort last year.

The City must put is best foot forward during important anchor festivals such as Winterval. And we are delighted that for future years we will once again be tying in with Tommie and the Winterval team, to expand this event right across the whole City. It is hoped that as Tidy Towns organically gathers momentum, more and more businesses will come on board to support our efforts.

It is hoped that in the very near future we will be launching our Tidy Town plans to the wider public and groups, such as Resident Associations. We need people and groups to come on board, if they are interested, and be part of a future winning team.

Keep an eye out in ALL the local media for future adverts and announcements about the Tidy Towns official launch meeting.”

In the meantime the Tidy Towns team are asking businesses and members of the public to look after and enjoy the City, as we all need to live, work and play here. The next window competition is scheduled for the Summer and is sponsored by Morris’s DIY.

“Everyone can and should do their #BITT. We must #KeepDiscovering OUR City” said Michael Garland.

WIT Golisano InstituteThe Golisano Institute of Developmental Disability Nursing at St John Fisher College in the US and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together in the field of intellectual disability nursing. This is the second MoU between WIT and Fisher.

The signing took place on 20 February at a symposium on Intellectual Disability Nursing held at WIT. This partnership will include an exchange with faculty members from WIT’s honour’s degree in intellectual disability nursing programme. Those faculty members will be embedded at Fisher’s Wegmans School of Nursing, home of the Golisano Institute, and WIT faculty advisors will also make short-term visits to New York to offer guidance in curriculum development and implementation, and share best practices in creating models of inclusive nursing care.

“We are so proud and happy to continue our important relationship with Waterford Institute of Technology in the interest of advancing nursing education and practice in the field of intellectual and developmental disability nursing. We are very happy to be joined by Special Olympics International in this work made possible by the generosity of Mr Thomas Golisano and the Golisano Foundation,” said Dr Dianne Cooney Miner, dean of the Wegmans School of Nursing and executive director of the Golisano Institute of Developmental Disability Nursing.

Ann Costello, Executive Director of the Golisano Foundation, said, “Our global mission to advance inclusive health for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can only happen when we forge partnerships such as the one being celebrated today with St. John Fisher College Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing and Waterford Institute of Technology. We have shown that there are no boundaries when it comes to sharing and leveraging expertise when you have the will to improve the health and access to care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Dr Sara Kennedy, Head of the Department of Nursing and Healthcare at WIT, welcomed the continued partnership with St. John Fisher College and the opportunity to collaborate further with Special Olympics through the involvement of the Golisano Foundation.

“This MOU marks a hugely significant collaboration between WIT and St John Fisher College. Intellectual disability is a multi-pronged and complex issue and through collaboration between the three organizations, we hope to further the treatment and understand the unique needs of people with an intellectual disability. We are honoured to play a part in the transformation of the nursing domain of training, care and support for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the United States.”

Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis shared her support for this continued collaboration noting, “It’s fantastic to see this cooperative effort continue between WIT and St John Fisher College. This intellectual disability nursing programme will give nursing students the opportunity to better understand how to identify and treat all patients’ needs. We must all concentrate on the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and bring a message of inclusion to every community around the world. We can achieve so much more when we engage in partnerships such as these that truly change the way we approach inclusion.”

In October 2018, St. John Fisher College, Tom Golisano, and the Golisano Foundation announced the creation of the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing thanks to a $5.8 million gift, $5 million from Tom Golisano and $800,000 from the Golisano Foundation. The Institute is designed to transform the health care and support of individuals with developmental disabilities.

DSI Golf Challenge

Down Syndrome branch (Waterford and South Kilkenny) has been chosen as this years main beneficiary of the All Ireland GAA Golf Challenge.

The Challenge is a national two-day golf event run on a voluntary basis where over 50 GAA clubs across Ireland, England and the US pit themselves against each other to bring home All-Ireland glory. This Charity event will be held in Waterford Castle on the 11th & 12th September 2020.

Proceeds from this event will help fund Speech & Language Services for our branch members. The aim of the service is to improve outcomes for our members and to help them fulfil their maximum potential in education, independence and employment.

Waterford Chamber members are invited to this year’s launch in Waterford Castle on Tuesday, 3rd March at 8.30am. The launch this year takes the shape of a business breakfast morning centring around a questions and answers session with GAA personalities. RSVP to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In order to ensure maximum exposure and revenue for our branch, we are hoping to get as many businesses and individuals involved in the fundraising aspect.
We would be delighted if you/your employer/company was in a position to support us by sponsoring a tee box, a raffle prize or indeed making a donation to the event.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can help.

 

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