NUI Galway has unveiled a €5 million investment under the university’s Global Challenges Programme – a targeted research initiative to tackle six of the world’s most pressing issues.

The commitment was announced recently as part of the launch of the NUI Galway Research and Innovation Strategy 2021-2026.

The overall strategy sets out to maximise research impact, nurture a thriving research community and put in place robust research partnerships locally and globally.

The Global Challenges Programme – an early output of the strategy – will offer support to multi-disciplinary teams as they begin to pursue genuinely novel research and innovation.

The initiative is also designed to enable the University’s research community to engage with colleagues in other institutions in Ireland and around the world on some of the most significant issues affecting humanity.

Six areas in Global Challenges Programme

  • Antimicrobial resistance – tackling the silent pandemic
  • Decarbonisation – pathways for a just transition
  • Democracy – a world in question
  • Food security – Transitions toward just, inclusive and resilient societies
  • Human centred data – digital transformations and the public realm
  • Ocean and coastal health – marine resilience

President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, launched the Research and Innovation Strategy 2021-2026 at a special online event hosted by the University, with special guest Professor Helga Nowotny, former president of the European Research Council and one of its founding members.

“Our Research and Innovation Strategy 2021-26 is grounded in the values of our university – our commitment to respect, sustainability, excellence, and openness,” said Prof Ó hÓgartaigh.

"The strategy supports ambition. It is challenging and forward thinking, but most of all, the philosophy and culture of NUI Galway, that we are here for the public good, is embedded throughout.”

Professor Jim Livesey, vice-president for research and innovation at NUI Galway, said: “As a public university, we have a special responsibility to direct our research toward the most pressing questions and the most difficult issues.

'Work together'

“As we look into the future, we face uncertainty about the number and nature of challenges we will face, but we know that we will rely on our research capacity as we work together to overcome them. Our university embraces this responsibility and aspires to build distinction for itself by exemplifying this public research mission.”

NUI Galway’s Research and Innovation Strategy 2021-26 includes 16 actions under the four pillars of the university’s values – Excellence; Sustainability; Openness; and Respect.

The plan focuses on creating the conditions to intensify the quality, scale, and scope of research in the university in five areas – identify areas with genuine transformative potential to achieve truly international recognition; a supportive environment to enable excellence; increased diversity in our research community; specific targets for research impact; and integrated planning and budgeting.

Read the full NUI Galway Research and Innovation Strategy 2021-2026, here: