As Ireland’s research infrastructure adopts new technological advances and moves towards the Internet of things (IoT) model, it is becoming increasingly clear that much of the water-related research and monitoring facilities around Ireland are operated on the stand-alone model, neither connected to other pieces of infrastructure, nor available to other research activity.
The Water Systems and Services Innovation Centre (WSSIC) based in Nimbus Centre at Cork Institute of Technology has commenced a project to address this problem, which is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Programme 2014-2020. The project aims to identify, and map, the location of all relevant water-research and monitoring infrastructure in Ireland, which will be made available to the public through an online interactive map of the database. The €70k project will run for 12 months.
Dr Eoin Byrne, of WSSIC, said “as well as the current research infrastructure, innovative water technologies require trialling and process proving in demonstration sites to validate their technological, economic, and environmental performance, and to support further technology development and commercialisation. An online interactive database will provide a central place for researchers and the public to explore and search Ireland’s available research infrastructure.”
The project aims to build on the successful EPA DROPLET website which is an easy-to-use interactive web application for exploring information about projects which have been funded in Ireland on water research.
“Looking forward, the project will develop a strategic roadmap including recommendations on how best to advance the water research infrastructure in Ireland,” says Kevin Fitzgibbon, co-ordinator of WSSIC.
Ireland has a range of top-level water research and monitoring facilities such as UCC’s Lir National Ocean Test Facility and the Coastal & Marine Research Centre Beaufort Laboratory, NUIG’s Coastal Observing Radar System (CODAR), SEAI’s Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS), SmartBay Ireland’s Galway Bay Sub Sea Cable Observatory, Marine Institute’s research vessels fleet and remotely operated vehicles (ROV) , NUIG/EPA’s Water Research Facility at Tuam WWTP, Queen’s University Belfast’s (QUB) Wave test sites , and real-time water level data from the Office of Public Works (OPW).”
For further information on the project or if you would like to include your research infrastructure in the database, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org