21st August 2019
13 regional festivals and 13 individual events supported by Science Foundation Ireland with funding to improve public understanding of science and technology
Monaghan, Wednesday 21st August, 2019 – Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, today announced an investment of €476,000 through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), to support 13 festivals and 13 events across the country as part of national Science Week. The festival takes place from the 10th –17th of November this year, with a theme of climate action - seeking to help people understand it, how science and technology can help us create a positive climate future and the impact we as individuals can have on climate change.
SFI, the national foundation for investment in research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), coordinates Science Week annually through its SFI Discover Programme and provides funding for projects and events to improve public understanding of science and technology. Businesses, communities and institutions are invited to take part in Science Week 2019, which is expected to reach over 1,000 events nationwide.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister Humphreys, said: “I am delighted to announce this important investment of €476,000 in Science Week festivals and events through SFI, which will help a diversity of citizens to access science at a local level across the country. Scientific literacy and understanding are an important facet of a modern and progressive society. We are in a time of disruptive change which can greatly impact society, be it in areas of health, climate, or in artificial intelligence and big data impacting the workplace. As outlined in the whole-of-Government plan, Future Jobs Ireland, we are answering the future needs of our businesses and workers by ensuring a steady pipeline of people with STEM skills, in preparation for tomorrow’s world.”
The 13 Science Week regional festivals will offer a range of opportunities for the public to engage in Science Week. They feature family open days, school events and public talks across the regions.
Minister Halligan said, “Ireland has a world-class reputation for research and development. It is important that we work together to create a culture that embraces science and technology to give all members of our society equal access to learning and experiencing STEM. Science Week is a great opportunity for us to do this, and to demonstrate the clear benefits that STEM offers to society. I am delighted to see so many key stakeholders working to deliver this fantastic festival, which helps us to build greater public engagement and trust in the scientific research we fund. I would encourage everyone to get involved.”
Throughout Science Week there will be a variety of ways for the public to get involved and find out more about our amazing planet through events, interviews, social media and much more. The public can get involved by finding an event to attend on www.scienceweek.ie or following #BelieveInScience online.
The climate theme will be weaved into the programme, with events such as ‘Alchemy and Innovation’ at Cool Planet Experience in Wicklow. This is a chemistry workshop where adults look at alternatives to plastic. There will also be climate themed shows and workshops for both adults and children taking place across the country (e.g. Dr Ken Farquhar’s How to Save the Planet in 45 minutes, Dr Naomi Lavelle’s Eccentric Energy show, 60 Minute Science - Carbon Hoofprint, a solar powered toy inventor workshop).
Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society at Science Foundation Ireland said, “Science Week is an exciting opportunity for people in all kinds of communities in Ireland to connect with science and to consider its value and relevance in their everyday lives. It broadens our horizons and gives everyone the opportunity to get involved in conversations about the critical role of science, especially when it comes to important global issues like climate change. The funding of Science Week provides essential support to many fantastic events across the country that will inspire the next generation of scientists. I invite all members of the research community, businesses, libraries, arts and youth groups, and institutions to actively engage with their local community and to consider organising events.”
The festivals that have been approved for funding in 2019 are:
- Cavan Monaghan Science Festival
- Cork Science Festival
- EUREKA Science and Technology Festival
- Festival of Farming and Food
- Galway Science and Technology Festival
- Kerry Science Festival
- Limerick Science Festival
- Mayo Science and Technology Festival
- Midlands Science Festival
- Sligo Science Festival
- Southeast Science Festival
- Tipperary Science Festival
- WexSci - Wexford Science Festival
In addition to the 13 festivals, 13 other events have received funding under the SFI Discover Programme Science Week Call, which include events for both adults and children. They span topics such as climate change, health, baking in space, future fashion and much more. The full programme will be available in the coming months on www.scienceweek.ie.
Further information: Claire Rowley, Drury Porter Novelli, Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org / 087 269 5014
Notes to Editor:
About the SFI Discover Programme – Science Week call
The purpose of this SFI Discover Programme Science Week Call is to support festivals, events and a Dublin family day that encourage people of all ages and from all walks of life to be informed, inspired and involved in STEAM during Science Week 2018 and beyond.
About Science Foundation Ireland
About Science Foundation Ireland Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is the national foundation for investment in research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), which assists in the development and competitiveness of industry, enterprise and employment in Ireland. It also promotes and supports STEM education and engagement to improve awareness and understanding of the value of STEM to society and to support the STEM careers pipeline. We believe that scientific knowledge and understanding benefit the whole of society and the economy – join the conversation online at #BelieveInScience @scienceirel. See www.sfi.ie for more information.
The list of festivals receiving funding through the 2019 call are:
Cavan Monaghan Science Festival
Monaghan County Council
Collaboration between Monaghan County Council, Cavan County Council and Cavan Monaghan Education & Training Board, this two-week festival includes an open day and a programme of events for families, teenagers and adults. Events include ‘Science of Climate Change’, Science of Irish Weather’ and ‘Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy’.
Cork Science Festival
Includes open days and many events for families, adults, teenagers and an extensive schools’ programme.
EUREKA Science & Technology Festival
Institute of Technology Carlow
Events include active learning workshops, interactive seminars, talks, exhibitions, demonstrations of science principles, apparatus and equipment, a STEM themed cake competition, STEM debates and movie viewing of a STEM topic. Aiming to reach audiences in Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Tipperary and Wicklow
The Festival of Farming and Food
This festival aims to educate on a wide variety of topics, including sustainability of animal and plant production, healthy soils and biodiversity, the development of rural areas, food for health, food production development and improvement and food safety. Activities will target counties Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Meath, Monaghan, Waterford, Westmeath and Wexford.
Galway Science & Technology Festival
Galway Science & Technology Forum
This festival involves science and technology-based shows and workshops for primary and secondary school students throughout Galway City and County over a two-week period. It culminates in an open day in NUI Galway.
Kerry Science Festival
Institute of Technology, Tralee
The festival will include exhibitions, talks, films, artworks and activities that will explore the shape and nature of a sustainable, low carbon society. Events include a Farm Bioeconomy Day, visit to a local Wind Farm and climate smart careers day.
Limerick Science Festival
University of Limerick
A wide range of STEM events for adults, community groups, families and schools across Limerick. Includes ‘Biodiversity Challenges’ and ‘Carbon Sequestration’ workshops, and ‘One World - Our World’ Lunchtime Seminar Series.
Mayo Science and Technology Festival
Mayo County Council
An open day, events for families, events for adult audiences without children, pre-schools, and primary and post-primary schools.
Midlands Science Festival
Targeting Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Longford, Roscommon and Westmeath, the festival includes two open days and full programme of school, family and evening events aimed at adults.
Sligo Science Festival
Institute of Technology Sligo
Targeting Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Mayo and Roscommon, this festival will offer a range of events for schools, families, community groups, and also adults attending without children. The open day event will take place in the Institute of Technology Sligo on the first day of Science Week.
Southeast Science Festival
Waterford Institute of Technology
The festival consists of three open days in Lismore Heritage Centre, Copper Coast Geopark and The Theatre Royal & City Hall in Waterford, and a large programme of events/shows/workshops for families and schools.
Tipperary Festival of Science
Mary Immaculate College (Limerick and Thurles)
Now in its third year, the festival includes school-based events and evening events for parents and adults. Events include design and engineering STEM & STEAM challenges, Irish weather and climate change public talk and ‘Toy Inventor’ workshop will allow participants to create solar powered toys.
WexSci - Wexford Science Festival
Wexford County Council
Wexford County Council has partnered with Waterford/ Wexford ETB, Local Link Wexford, the EPA and IT Carlow (Wexford campus). 83 events for families and general public, including sustainability science show, Meet the Environmental Scientist career talks, EPA Rivers and Lakes talk and Cool planet Climate Change Workshops.
Science Week Events
This is a category for smaller scale programme of events, which present engaging STEM related activities to the public. This could include interactive workshops, shows, debates, discussions, exhibitions, museum outreach, outdoor activities, theatres, comedy, music and film.
The list of events receiving funding through the 2019 call are:
Ballyhoura Science Day
A range of STEM based activities during a family friendly Science Day at Croom Civic Centre, Croom, Co Limerick. Busses will be offered to transport audiences from Kilmallock and Hospital.
Curiosity Accelerator at Science Week (Dublin)
Festival of Curiosity
Three events from the Curiosity Accelerator project:
- Curious Ariel dancing using sensor technology to peak curiosity in the human body
- Making future fashion – exploring modern technologies and basic engineering to design future fashion
- A Menu of Mixology – adult workshops to explore fermentation, fluid seasoning and gut friendly bacteria.
Dr Osity Body Science Show (Dublin)
Imaginosity, Dublin Children's Museum
Hands on workshops for DEIS primary schools where students learn about the body parts through music/song movement and science
Let’s Talk Science Festival 2019 (Dublin)
The Rediscovery Centre
Targeted at Ballymun area. Open Day for families and evening event for adult audiences using the Climate Action theme
Junior Alphas (Dublin)
Trinity College Dublin
Walton Club “Alpha 3” secondary students delivering workshops to DEIS primary school students and their parents.
Kildare Libraries Science Week 2019
21 events across 7 County Kildare libraries with a range of content for children/teenagers, adults only and family. The current STEM offering is linked to schools only and this funding will enable them to broaden their audiences.
Louth Science Festival
Louth County Council
35 events across all the libraries in county Louth targeting non-users of the library.
Science Week at The Ark 2019 (Dublin)
A Range of events for children and adults including Hatch aerial dance which illustrates the lifecycle of a caterpillar, for school and family audiences, plus evening events.
Medieval Maladies & Medicine (Dublin)
Re-enactments of barber surgeon and herbalist/healer in medieval society alongside an osteoarchaeologist and medical historian from Royal College of Surgeons to help understand the science available to treat illness in medieval times while looking at how it has changed in 500 years.
Medicine Maker Workshop (Limerick)
University of Limerick
Educational initiative to inform senior audiences about modern medicine and the important role of regulation within the pharma industry to protect our health and wellbeing.
Baking in Space 2019
(Dublin, Cork and Galway)
Baking will be used to explain:
-how can a retro dessert explain how astronauts safely return to Earth? -What connects molten sugar and micro-meteorite protection? -How would you even bake bread in space? Significant cash contribution from industry.
Cool Planet Experience for Science Week
Cool Planet Experience
Mix of school, family and adult events, underpinned by the Climate action theme.
Retina Public Engagement Day
A public engagement day targeting those living with sight loss which will include:
- Collaborative discussion on new knowledge across different areas of research
- Interactive debates on emerging technologies
Co-created and co-produced with families and individuals living with sight loss.
Future Jobs Ireland 2019
Future Jobs Ireland 2019 is the first in a series of annual reports as part of a multi-annual framework. Future Jobs Ireland outlines longer-term ambitions for the future of the economy out until 2025 taking account of the challenges ahead. Each year, Future Jobs Ireland will set out the steps to deliver on the ambitions with the goal of increasing the resilience of our economy and futureproofing it.
Each of the Five Pillars of Future Jobs Ireland has high level targets for 2025. Future Jobs Ireland includes 26 ambitions which contain 127 deliverables (actions) for completion in 2019. Each deliverable has a quantifiable output, a lead Department and timeframe.
In terms of implementation, Future Jobs Ireland will be a standing agenda item overseen by Cabinet Committee A. Progress on deliverables will be reported quarterly to the Senior Official Group. Biannually, more detailed progress reports will be made to Government and subsequently published. Key deliverables for 2019 under each pillar include:
Pillar 1: Embracing Innovation and Technological Change
- Deliver important policy initiatives including an Industry 4.0 Strategy, a National Digital Strategy, and a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy
- Form Top Teams to progress areas of opportunity for Ireland beginning with Artificial Intelligence, GovTech and Offshore Renewables
- Develop Ireland as a centre for developing and testing new technologies by, for example:
- extending the EI/IDA Irish Manufacturing Research Additive Manufacturing technology centre to include cobotics and AR/VR,
- progressing the Advanced Manufacturing Centre,
- expanding the Tyndall National Institute,
- commencing the development of a National Centre of Excellence on High Performance and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings
- commencing the development of a National Design Centre
- With NESC, develop a strategy for Transition Teams to help the transition of vulnerable enterprises and workers
Pillar 2: Improving SME Productivity
- Deliver a new female entrepreneurship strategy
- Develop a new investment funding facility to assist indigenous Irish companies in scaling their businesses
- Encourage the growth of clusters where enterprises can grow and help each other and deepen linkages between foreign and Irish owned businesses
- Increase the impact of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and increase SME take-up of Enterprise Ireland (EI) and LEO productivity supports
- Drive productivity growth in the construction and retail sectors
Pillar 3: Enhancing Skills and Developing and Attracting Talent
- Offer career advice to workers through the Public Employment Service
- Engrain lifelong learning and offer career enhancing opportunities to workers
- Ensure our economic migration system is responsive to our labour market needs
- Promote flexible training options
- Provide training in emerging technologies
Pillar 4: Increasing Participation in the Labour Force
- Conduct a national consultation on extending flexible working options
- Develop guidelines for employers on flexible working options
- Develop a return to work service (e.g. for women returning to the workplace) as part of the Public Employment Service
- Improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities
- Provide incentives for people who wish to work longer
Pillar 5: Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy
- Position Ireland as a centre in research, development and innovation, for smart grids, buildings and renewable technologies
- Review the regional dimension of the economic and employment implications of the transition to a low carbon economy
- Promote electric vehicles and achieve over 10,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of the year
- Deliver a national deep retrofit programme for existing housing stock.
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