Building strategic links in education Bric by Bric
Brazil has become a busy spot for Irish research. High growth areas where research links continue to grow include financial, travel and security software, energy, life sciences, veterinary chemicals and, of course, education.
“Dublin City University’s international activities include a significant focus on Brazil,” explains Eileen Colgan of DCU. “Activities are supplemented and supported by the Irish Government’s commitment to Brazil as a strategic partner. The Science without Borders programme offers a wide range of opportunities to both countries’ students and researchers. The focus on Brazil is a countrywide initiative with involvement from the Irish Universities Association (IUA), the Department of Education and Skills, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the Higher Education Authority, Enterprise Ireland, and so on.
“DCU has closely engaged with the Brazilian authorities and the Science without Borders programme and has led to some important developments. A website has been developed within DCU to support this programme and promotional materials are now available in Portuguese.
“DCU developed a highly innovative model which captures and displays detailed information on research projects in the Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) area for prospective research students. This model was well received when shown to the Brazilian bodies CAPES and CNPq in Brasilia earlier this year, and has since been rolled out to include other institutions via the IUA Euraxess portal.”
In addition to the Dublin institution’s cross collaboration, the University of Limerick has just signed its own MOU to forge closer links with the University of Sao Paulo.
While linguistic departments will have had presences in a variety of exotic locations for decades, in terms of innovation sectors, Irish research ties with the likes of India and Brazil would be relatively new. However, there have been Irish trade and research missions to Russia since the 1970s.
“Irish businesses are very visible in the engineering sector, well positioned in data centre, pharmaceuticals, and industrial build projects,” explains Gerard McCarthy from the Enterprise Ireland’s Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States Division.
“The Agri-sector is providing strong business for genetics, and dairy equipment suppliers. The aviation sector is supplying good business for software companies.”
Two institutions in particular have maintained strong links in Russia – Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity.
DIT’s School of Electronic and Communications Engineering and the Photonics Research Centre, have been collaborating with the Moscow Institute for Radiotechnics, Electronics and Automation (MIREA) for seven years. In a recent trade mission, they signed a new agreement with MIREA to increase research links in optical sensing.
Trinity has connections with Russian a variety of areas. “Obviously, we would have a lot of linguistic research links but Trinity would also be involved in cross collaborative research with Russian institutions in areas like nano science, physics, medicine and maths,” explains Dr Sarah Smyth from the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies in Trinity, the only one of its kind in the country.