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All-Island Research Excellence Network

University College Dublin (UCD), Ulster University (Ulster) and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) have joined forces to connect Research Managers and Administrators across the island of Ireland.

The initiative has the long-term goal of setting up an All-Island Research Excellence Network (AIREN) that will benefit the whole sector.

The AIREN project is being delivered with support from InterTrade Ireland’s Synergy initiative. Through the AIREN project, university research managers and administrators will be proactive and develop new ways to support existing/build new cross-border collaborations between universities and industry in the post Brexit era and COVID-19 pandemic.

The project will run for two years from January 2021-2023, during which research managers and administrators in the three institutions will hold Away Days, Workshops and a Conference to deliver the following 3 objectives.

  • Share Research Management best practice and knowledge
  • Identify and develop research thematic areas and maximise funding opportunities
  • Establish an All-Island Research Excellence Network

Share Research Management best practice and knowledge

University College Dublin (UCD), Ulster University (Ulster) and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) have joined forces to connect Research Managers and Administrators across the island of Ireland.  The initiative has the long-term goal of setting up an All-Island Research Excellence Network (AIREN) that will benefit the whole sector.  The project will run for two years from January 2021-2023, during which research managers and administrators in the three institutions will hold six virtual ‘Away Days’ to identify and share best practice areas in Research, Impact and Innovation/Enterprise with each other, both administrative and academic. Learning from each other will greatly enhance the professional service and support to the academic community, industry and other stakeholders for the benefit of cross-border collaboration.

The AIREN project is being delivered with support from InterTrade Ireland’s Synergy initiative.

Identify and develop research thematic areas and maximise funding opportunities

The project will also compile a calendar of funding programmes to raise university and industry awareness of the pipeline of funding opportunities available to support cross-border collaboration. This will be presented through a series of three workshops that will also facilitate university researchers and industry partners to connect with each other to collaborate and prepare funding applications, and together maximise the all-island funding awarded through competitive funding programmes. Current areas of established collaboration include Life and Health Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing, Environment/Sustainability. The Network will also identify additional, established and emerging, research thematic areas with ‘All-Island’ potential.

Establish an All-Island Research Excellence Network

AIREN will hold an inclusive all-island conference event to formally launch the initiative, open to all universities, research organisations/institutes, industry, enterprise centres and research funding bodies from across Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland – inviting wide participation and attendance from all stakeholders in the research sector.
The AIREN project will have tangible outputs that contribute to industry and the economy. It will seed and develop strategic North-South partnerships and collaborations in order to:

  • Build on shared EU performance post-Brexit
  • Exploit existing and new North-South Pro grammes/Investments
  • Support research areas, such as Covid-19, that would benefit from all-Island research on a geographical basis
  • Enhance Ireland’s all-island research eco-system through: knowledge exchange; developing specialised skills; interacting with other professional research management networks.

Research Managers and Administrators interested in learning more about the AIREN Project and/or wishing to participate in it please email: info@airen.network