TU Dublin Projects Awarded New Foundations Funding

14 May, 2020

The Irish Research Council has awarded two TU Dublin projects funding under the New Foundations scheme which supports researchers to pursue research, networking and dissemination activities within and between all disciplines.

New Foundations provides seed funding for small-scale research actions; the development of networks, consortia and workshops; and creative approaches to the communication of scientific concepts or complex societal challenges for a lay audience. 

TU Dublin, Hue University, Food and Biotechnologies Research and Innovation Centre - Professor Mary McNamara

TU Dublin and Hue University (HU), Vietnam have come together to create the Ireland Vietnam Food and Biotechnologies Research and Innovation Centre (FABRIC).  

FABRIC is the central platform for research at the two universities in three core areas:

  • Food Safety​
  • Functional Foods​
  • Nutraceuticals & Medicinal Products​

FABRIC will provide innovative solutions to global challenges, specifically, the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 3 which are to ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’ and to ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’, are central to our research.  ​

AccessDesign: Towards an inclusive co-design toolkit for the creation of accessible digital applications - Dr Emma Murphy

Participatory design holds great potential for the creation of inclusive technology. Still, existing toolkits and resources to support co-design are not always accessible to designers and co-designers with disabilities. TU Dublin and St John Of God Community Services are currently running an innovative co-design programme where computer science students work with service users to create digital applications together (Bourke, Boland et al., 2018). 

This collaboration, led by Sarah Boland on behalf of St John of Gods and Dr John Gilligan, Paul Bourke and  Damian Bourke in the School of Computer Science and Dr Damon Berry in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, has generated a rich source of tacit knowledge on specific design tasks, methods and approaches that work well for both students and co-designers. 

In this IRC project, we would like to formalise and build on this knowledge by iteratively developing a toolkit for accessible co-design that can be re-used by designers and co-designers in the future. As part of this new project, we plan to co-create an accessible design toolkit with St John Of God Community services users and support staff and TU Dublin students and lecturers that have been involved in previous co-design activities through a series of iterative workshops. As the toolkit evolves, we would like to invite a broader cohort of participants to include people with sensory and physical disabilities, UX practitioners and accessibility experts to develop further and evaluate the materials.

Speaking about the funding announcement, Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, said“I am delighted to announce another round of awards under the New Foundations programme, a unique scheme that fosters the exchange of knowledge within and beyond academia. By supporting this collaboration, the benefits and impact of research are more widely shared, nationally and internationally. The emphasis on engaging with civil society fosters mutual learning between researchers and practitioners, often leading to longer-term collaborations.  

“The ongoing partnership between the Irish Research Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under this programme is very welcome as it will enable researchers to form connections for future research projects that support enhanced cooperation between the global north and global south. We are delighted to continue to work in partnership with the Department.” 

More information about New Foundations is available from the Irish Research Council's website