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Ecologically engineered solutions to rehabilitate mining waste and mine sites

Researchers Involved:

Summary of the impact:

More than 30 million jobs in the EU and many key economic sectors are dependent on a sustainable supply of Raw Materials, such as aluminium and zinc. However, the extractive operations to process and refine such raw materials generate approximately 300 million tonnes of waste per annum, representing one of the largest waste streams in the EU. This waste can be hazardous to the environment if it is not managed effectively.

Helping voters to make an informed choice

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Summary of the impact:

To make an informed decision in a democratic election, voters must critically assess the policies and the track record of both the political parties and candidates competing for their vote. However, the lack of accessible, objective information in the public domain makes this a challenging task and risks many voters making a decision on more superficial grounds such as campaign slogans and posters. Research at the University of Limerick is actively exploring and tackling this problem.

'A nation of couch potatoes?' Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health in Ireland

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Summary of the impact:

Researchers at the University of Limerick are working to address the epidemic of sedentary behaviour in Ireland. Effective national level health guidelines and policy must be based on accurate information about how physical activity and sedentary behaviour contribute to health. Professor Alan Donnelly explains: “Low levels of physical activity are attributed to 6-10% of coronary heart disease, type 2  diabetes, breast and colon cancer and over 20% risk of Alzheimer’s disease in Europe.”

Building Resilience - Revolutionising the way we treat back pain

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Summary of the impact:

Researchers at the University of Limerick are revolutionising the way we understand and treat back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions through a holistic approach which ranges from diagnosis and treatment to impacting public health policy. Dr Kieran O’Sullivan explains: “It’s all about treating the person, not just the bones or the muscles. Globally there are vast levels of misinformation around conditions like back pain, such as the idea that structures such as bones and discs can go out of place. Not only is this inaccurate, the fear it creates actually adds to disability.

Scaling Agile Methods: improved software development methods

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Summary of the impact:

The software industry in Ireland is well established both in terms of indigenous and FDI firms with 9 of the top 10 global software companies located in the country. Research undertaken by Lero – the Irish Software Research Centre has been found to support competitiveness and job retention in the industry through the development of faster and more effective methods of software development, coined R-Scrum which stands for Regulated-Scrum, a software method tailored specifically to the needs of regulated environments.

Building R&D excellence in one of Ireland’s largest industries

Summary of the impact:

Ireland is the second-largest pharmaceutical exporter in the world. The industry employs over 49,000 and accounts for 50% of all exports. The role this industry plays in the Irish economy cannot be understated and the importance of maintaining competitiveness and excellence in R&D is crucial to its continued success.

The untold story - understanding the Multinational Sector in Ireland

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Summary of the impact:

A team of researchers from the University of Limerick are working to better understand the landscape of Multinational Companies (MNCs) in Ireland. Professor Patrick Gunnigle, Professor of Business, Leader of the Work, Knowledge and Employment Research Theme, Kemmy Business School, explains: “Ireland is arguably one of the most dependent on multinational companies in the world. It is vital that we understand the landscape of multinational companies here to better inform policy debate on this sector.”

Using psychology and the power of collective identities to combat adversity

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Summary of the impact:

Psychology has traditionally focused on biological, genetic or personality factors to explain why some people cope better or worse than others in adverse situations. However such a focus can lead to a therapeutic dead end as it is very difficult to change a person’s temperament or genetic predispositions. Researchers at the Centre for Social Issues Research at University of Limerick have addressed this problem by conducting highly regarded research on the benefits and burdens of so-called ‘collective identities’, such as nationality, socio-economic groups, and ethnicity.