One of the key elements managed by the HEA is the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI), which is currently building a world class research infrastructure within Ireland. The core aim of the programme is to provide support for institutional strategies, inter-institutional collaboration, large research programmes and infrastructure (buildings and equipment), ensuring that institutions have the capacity to formulate and implement successful research strategies, which will give them critical mass and world-level capacity in key research areas. To date, €605m has been allocated to third-level institutions under Cycles one through three within the competitive programme.
2007 marks the fourth cycle of PRTLI, as influenced by the government’s Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (SSTI) as well as the National Development Plan (NDP), heralding a truly exciting time for research in the Irish higher education system on a national and international expansionary scale. Cycle 4 will continue this dedicated channel of funding until 2010.
One such programme that has been funded under PRTLI Cycle 3 is the Biosolids Research Programme at Sligo Institute of Technology. The researchers here carry out interdisciplinary research that focus on environmental issues, such as the treatment of waste, the removal of pathogens and the issue of sustainability. Also core to its activities is the treatment and disposal of municipal wastewater sludge’s which represents a microcosm of the overall sustainability issue.
You can find out more about the work of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) at www.hea.ie
Functional food is any fresh or processed food claimed to have a health promoting or disease-preventing property beyond the basic function of supplying nutrients. An EU framework governing such claims is being sought.
This lesson looks at the components of the human nervous system and brain. It takes a closer look at the neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s disease.
Returning the nutrients to the land, in a form that is not easily leached out, restores the fertility of the soil in an environmentally sustainable way.
This lesson outlines the structure and function of the potential divider and shows how it can be modifi ed to act as an environmental sensing element. The operation of a wireless network of low-cost monitoring devices is described.
This lesson deals with the function of spectroscopy. It describes the electromagnetic spectrum and explains the relationship between wavelength and frequency. It also covers the concept of the photon and the spectrum of hydrogen. Some applications of spectroscopy are described.
The function of the Mass Spectrometer is covered in this lesson. The concept of the isotope is described and the physics of the instrument in separating isotopes is described. The process of testing is explained and some practical applications of spectrometry are described.
This lesson explores the potential of crops as sources of sustainable fuels. It analyses the energy efficiency of plants and outlines the methods used to recover plant energy, including combustion, gasification, fermentation and digestion. Additional costs such as planting, fertilisation and harvesting are also considered.