Shortlist Announced for 2019 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards

The GEMS team: Back Row (L-R): Dr Marcus Keane, Mr Sergio Contreras, Dr Raymond Sterling. Front Row: L-R: Dr Daniel Coakley, Mr. Ronan Coffey, Mr Paul Donhauser, Dr Noel Finnerty.
Mar 29 2019 Posted: 12:11 GMT

NUI Galway-led Global Energy Management System project empowering Boston Scientific to become the first global medical device company to commit to being carbon neutral by 2030

Researchers from NUI Galway with Boston Scientific have been shortlisted in the ‘Irish Higher Education Institution or Research Centre with US corporate links’ category for their GEMS, Global Energy Management System project. They were shortlisted with other organisations for the 2019 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards announced recently at the American Chamber of Commerce Transatlantic Conference in Dublin.

The US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards are a joint initiative of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Irish Academy. Now in their fifth year, the awards recognise excellence in research innovation, creation and invention by an organisation, as a result of US Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland.

NUI Galway with Boston Scientific were shortlisted for GEMS, a Global Energy Management System scientifically developed by Dr Marcus Keane and researchers from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, Boston Scientific and Insight Centre for Data Analytics and Ryan Institute, also based at NUI Galway. GEMS has empowered Boston Scientific to become the first global medical device company to commit to being carbon neutral by 2030.

For multi-national companies, assessment of cost-effective energy efficiency projects across a global site base is a complex problem involving multiple multi-level variables such as climate, economics, building type, technologies, culture and product mix, to name a few. Much of the facility management research and practice to date is ’site’ focused with little practical guidance for the global energy manager.

The GEMS research project proposes a novel methodology for assessing capital energy-efficiency projects at a global level. The project scope will cover the systematic development and implementation of a methodology that supports sustainable decision making within a ’Global Energy Management System’ based on the following four pillars: Site Characterisation; Performance Evaluation; Shared Learning / Dissemination; Corporate Policy:

  • The implementation will commence with a pilot study in a single Irish site (in BSC Galway) to allow development of the initial methodology, further expanding to a number of facilities in the same region (Cork and Clonmel) to allow analysis of variables such as building type, product mix and management structure. With additional sites across the globe, the variance caused by both climate and economics can next be added as part of a truly global ’Design of Experiments’.

Dr Marcus Keane from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “The NUI Galway, Insight, Ryan Institute and Boston Scientific Corporation GEMS project (2013-2018) created a unique academic-industrial partnership that fostered Research and Development innovation underpinned by a high level of commitment of senior personnel from both organisations resulting in publications in high impact journals (Energy & Cleaner Production), Level 8 and level 9 degrees achieved by BSC personnel (Mr Ronan Coffey and Dr Noel Finnerty), and intellectual property and commercial grade Information Technology product development of the GEMS methodology and tool chain.”

Dr Noel Finnerty (Director of Global Real Estate & Facilities at Boston Scientific (BSC), said: “Over the past five years the GEMS methodology has steadily embedded itself into the day-to-day running of our Sustainability program. It is now the corner stone of our approach to energy management both at a site level and corporate level, with the maturity model providing a common language to enable this. The rigour and structured approach to GEMS has led to an unpresented level of investment by BSC on energy efficiency. We are experiencing more and more requests from our key customers and the investment community to disseminate our sustainability program. I can safely say GEMS is now well and truly engrained into the BSC culture and is front and centre to any energy related sustainability discussions within BSC and with our external stakeholders.”

All shortlisted organisations will make a short presentation followed by a Q&A session with the assessors on Tuesday, 16 April. The overall winner of each category will be announced at the American Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner on Friday, 17 May in Dublin.

The awards are sponsored by KPMG and Ulster Bank with media support from The Irish Times.

For more information about the GEMS project, visit:


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