Skip Navigation

Leadership

Workshop in Cork aims to identify 'Big Science' project with EU/US collaboration

Tags: UCC
Workshop in Cork aims to identify 'Big Science' project with EU/US collaboration

Workshop in Cork aims to identify 'Big Science' project with EU/US collaboration

Professor Patrick OShea, vice president and chief research officer at the University of Maryland

Scientists, politicians and policy makers from Europe and the US are coming together in Cork for a workshop focused on the development of co-operative international large-scale scientific facilities in Ireland.

Organised by University College Cork (UCC), Tyndall National Institute and collaborators from MIT and the University of Maryland on June 17-18, the workshop aims to identify, for the first time, a specific grand challenge or Big Science project that could build and focus EU/US and Irish scientific collaboration.

It will discuss the challenges in the context of current scientific or environmental requirements in Ireland, the EU and the US and will present case studies of previously successful large-scale research facilities in the US and Europe.

Large-scale research infrastructures of this kind are powerful drivers of competitiveness and innovation and can stimulate economic growth and sustainable development in the region where they are sited.

“Times of adversity often give rise to paradigm-changing developments. The current crisis has accelerated the emphasis on joint international science programmes and key specialised facilities. Ireland must lay the groundwork now if it is to lead in the cooperative initiatives of the future,” said Professor Stephen Fahy, Department of Physics, UCC and the Tyndall National Institute.

One of the speakers, professor Richard Milner, director of the laboratory for nuclear science at MIT said:  “The question is asked: Ireland, Europe and the world is undergoing an economic crisis. Where would the money come from to fund such an ambitious initiative? The answer is that this is precisely the right time to be working on bold plans. When the economy rebounds, such plans will be welcomed.”

Professor Patrick O’Shea, vice president and chief research officer at the University of Maryland will present a summation at the close of the workshop and outline the next steps.

He commented: “From the astronomical observatories at Newgrange to Birr Castle, Ireland has an ancient tradition of large cooperative scientific enterprises. We anticipate that this workshop will lead to the development of great facilities that will make our ancestors proud.”

Tags: UCC