NUI Galway research to develop solutions for challenges facing the Defence Forces

Feb 17 2022 Posted: 05:39 GMT

Two NUI Galway projects have been selected to develop solutions for operational challenges facing the Defence Forces.

The research teams have secured funding as part of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) -Defence Organisation Challenge.

The researchers will collaborate with the Defence Forces to develop disruptive solutions to challenges faced by the Army, Navy and Air Corps while also having a potential to deliver significant societal impact.

The first project, AltFuel4DF, will focus on convert waste to low-carbon fuel.

The second, SafeGuard-Bio, will look at a novel device to detect multiple biological agents.

Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President Research and Innovation at NUI Galway, said: “The successful projects in the SFI-Defence Organisation Challenge have huge potential and are a mark of the value our researchers place on responding to society’s needs. 

“Collaboration is a vital element of research and as a public university it is profoundly important for our excellence to be put to the test in developing solutions for those who serve on the frontline while also creating the potential for societal impact.”

The successful projects were announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. and Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney T.D.

The NUI Galway projects are among just 10 selected as part of the SFI-Defence Organisation Innovation Challenge. 

:: AltFuel4DF

A joint project with Dr Rory Monaghan and the Institute of Technology Carlow will develop technologies to convert waste products like rubbish and residues from forestry and agriculture into sustainable low-carbon fuels. This will help the Defence Forces reduce emissions and improve energy security by cutting reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Part of the project will analyse fuel use to establish greatest need. Within transport in the Defence Forces, there is potential for the low-carbon fuel to be used for ships, planes and vehicles on land.

:: SafeGuard-Bio

Led by Professor Lokesh Joshi and Dr Stephen Cunningham, the project is in part a result of a decade long collaboration with the Defence Forces and Aquila Bioscience. 

The NUI Galway team, in collaboration with the Defence Forces, will develop a rapid and reliable platform for simultaneous detection of several biological threat agents from a single sample. 

The solution has potential far beyond the security field, including aspects of public health and environmental monitoring for better awareness of infectious agents.


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