Weekend Takeaway: 10 stories sampling Ireland’s great sci-tech achievements

30 Nov 2018

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Treat yourself to a taste of what Irish science and technology has had to offer the world this week.

Award-winning research shows crystal-clear view of materials science

bald man with glasses on stage beside two women holding award against purple backdrop for SFI.

Dr Sithara Sreenilayam Pavithran (centre) receiving her SFI Research Image of the Year 2018 award. Image: Jason Clarke Photography

It has been a great week for Irish science research. Six Irish-based researchers secured €12m in a major European Research Council funding round and 33 Irish-based researchers were named among the world’s top 1pc highly cited researchers. Another researcher gaining recent recognition is Dr Sithara Sreenilayam Pavithran, who was awarded the 2018 Research Image of the Year award from Science Foundation Ireland. This winning image represents just one of many beautiful visions that Sreenilayam sees in her work with liquid crystal materials, which she explained to Dr Claire O’Connell.

‘We need to stop producing pollution and not go back to the dark ages’

Marion McAfee smiling against the backdrop of IT Sligo.

Dr Marion McAfee is a lecturer in mechatronic engineering at IT Sligo and a researcher at the SFI advanced manufacturing research centre, I-Form. Image: James Connolly

The subject of our Science Uncovered profile this week, I-Form’s Dr Marion McAfee, originally had no intention of getting into research. Good thing she changed her mind, though, as she is now helping to produce 3D-printed implants that change people’s lives.

ESA and Irish start-up blast space AI chip with intense radiation

Researchers in safety gear placing Myriad 2 chip in the beam of the particle accelerator, surrounded by electronics.

The Intel Myriad 2 AI chip for smart image processing being placed in the beam line of the Super Proton Synchrotron particle accelerator at CERN. Image: CERN/Maximilien Brice

And that’s not it for innovation coming out of Ireland. Colm Gorey looked into a project led by the European Space Agency (ESA) to test Intel’s new Myriad 2 artificial intelligence chip, which was originally developed by Irish start-up Movidius (since acquired by Intel). Working with Ubotica Technologies headquartered in Dublin, ESA put the Myriad 2 chips in the path of an experimental beam line fed by the Super Proton Synchrotron particle accelerator.

We need to start taking work-related stress seriously

A female employee looks exhausted as she pinches her nose due to work-related stress in a dark room in front of a laptop.

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In Careers news this week, a report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found that work-related stress has soared in recent years. Our Careers editor Jenny Darmody had lots to say on this issue, on Siliconrepublic.com as well as in the Recruiters Review podcast.

5 case studies of companies trying to correct the gender gap

Silhouette of businesspeople crowded around a table in a meeting in a room with ceiling-to-floor windows.

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Meanwhile, Careers reporter Eva Short took a look at five companies that have taken effective steps in bridging the gender gap, and how they did it.

Women entrepreneurs: Get out there and share your experiences – and be honest

A woman in a black top and textured trousers stands in the sunshine outside a building.

Image: Sophie Feruch

We also heard from Sophie Feruch, co-founder of AnyGym, about the importance of networking and sharing experiences with other entrepreneurs. Feruch shared her insights with us following her appearance at the Dell EMC Supper Club in partnership with GirlCrew.

Nuritas lands €30m backing from European Investment Bank

woman with dark hair dark and a dress and a man in dark suit with grey hair and green tie hold up papers.

Nuritas founder and chief scientific officer Dr Nora Khaldi with EIB vice-president Andrew McDowell. Image: Kieran Hartnett

One start-up offering lots of lessons in scale-up success is Nuritas, a Dublin-based life sciences company using artificial intelligence to unveil new discoveries. Following news of significant backing from the European Investment Bank, Siliconrepublic.com editor John Kennedy tracks back on the start-up’s string of achievements to date.

Draper Esprit’s Edel Coen: ‘I will hunt for the best start-ups in Ireland and Europe’

Smiling young woman in white jacket standing on a street.

Draper Esprit’s Edel Coen. Image: Draper Esprit

Edel Coen, another woman making waves in the Irish start-up scene, also spoke to Kennedy following her appointment at Draper Esprit. The Irishwoman and former Silicon Valley resident says she is ready to find and invest in the best that European tech has to offer.

HubSpot EMEA head: ‘Customers are less tolerant of bad service than ever’

middle aged man with grey hair wearing dark blue shirt and smiling, standing outside on balcony, with setting sun and city landscape in background.

Christian Kinnear. Image: HubSpot

Kennedy also interviewed HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan, who name-checked the company’s EMEA managing director, Christian Kinnear, on the great job he’s doing here in Dublin. Kinnear gave us an insight into the leadership behind this success in our Leaders’ Insights Q&A.

Eir CEO Carolan Lennon: ‘We will be Ireland’s telecoms champion’

Woman in green dress with pearls smiles at camera with Eir sign in background.

Eir CEO Carolan Lennon. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Finally, one last interview worth checking out before you check out for the weekend is this one with Eir CEO Carolann Lennon where she outlines her mission to transform Ireland’s digital future.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.