TWO INNOVATIVE projects that will save on energy costs and reduce energy demand were recognised at a ceremony during the first day of the Globe Forum event in Dublin.
Dr Antonio Ruzelli’s project will allow monitoring of energy consumption in the home using an ordinary web browser. David Connolly’s research on the integration of more wind power into the national grid was also rewarded.
Speaking at the event in Dublin’s convention centre, Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan defended Ireland’s reputation as a centre of innovation excellence.
Mr Ryan said that “social networking and web-based companies are coming here. Literally, I could throw a stone from outside the building here and hit Google and Facebook and Yahoo and PayPal.”
Speaking after the event, Mr Connolly said that “unfortunately there are cutbacks in the area of funding to try and help the country survive at the moment, which long term isn’t really a good idea.
“The value that you add to a country by developing a new idea, especially a new practical idea, outweighs the cost of actually putting a student or a researcher through the process of doing it,” he said.
“We need to get more Irish companies talking to universities,” added Mr Ruzzelli. “For example, if some companies offer courses to final-year students that would help direct the research towards something that will have an impact on industry.”
The runner-up in the “Ireland’s Innovator” category was GeoGuides, a company which makes mobile phone applications for the tourism industry.
Aimee Byrne, who researches sustainable city planning at Trinity College Dublin was a finalist in the “Ireland’s Researcher” category.