Dublin City University (DCU) project Next Generation Analytical Platforms for Environmental Sensing (NAPES) has secured €3.3m for research in water monitoring over the next four years.
The project will create up to seven jobs in Ireland and brings together a European consortium from Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands and the UK.
NAPES will be lead by Prof Dermot Diamond and aims to develop next generation systems using smart materials for biological and chemical sensing.
The project will target water for human consumption, monitoring levels of chemical contaminants and bacterial pathogens, such as e-coli, which contribute to public health problems such as the cryptosporidium outbreak in Galway in 2007.
NAPES aims to tackle these issues with fully automated devices that will be deployed for long periods of time with increased sampling compared to current monitoring practices.
The resulting data can then be placed on cloud databases that can be remotely accessed by specialists and the community, as will increasingly become the norm under the emerging EU ‘Citizen Scientist’ philosophy.
Additionally, NAPES intends to reduce the high costs of implementing environmental monitoring leading to large-scale, multiple location deployments and the creation of sensor networks of key water quality parameters over wide geographical areas.