DIT celebrates official opening of the FOCAS Institute

Dublin, Thursday 11th November , 2004: The Chief Science Advisor to the Government, Dr. Barry McSweeney, officially opened Dublin Institute of Technology's new state-of-the-art FOCAS Institute today. The FOCAS Institute is located on Camden Row, adjacent to DIT Kevin Street, Dublin 8.

Chief Science Advisor to the Government, Dr. Barry McSweeney and  Dr. Hugh J. Byrne, Facility Manager, FOCAS Institute

Representing an investment of over €10 million, The FOCAS Institute was established under the Irish Government Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, and primarily provides a one-stop-shop support facility for research activities in the DIT. In particular, it addresses common needs amongst researchers in the diverse disciplines of Science and Engineering.

These wide ranging fields have a universal need for the facilities provided by the advanced FOCAS Institute, such as microscopy, steady state spectroscopy and transient spectroscopy.

Mr Tom Bolan of the HEA

By employing the facilities available at the FOCAS Institute, research teams will be able to make considerable leaps in areas such as Cancer Research, Solar Energy and Environmental Science, Nanotechnology, Sensors and Biotechnology, and Materials Science for a range of applications as well as Surface Engineering and Communications Networks.The core of the FOCAS Institute consists of four common, shared laboratories, which provide essential services for a range of interdisciplinary research activities. The philosophy is one of a "one-stop-shop" for complete materials and sample preparation and characterisation. The Institute, in addition, will be able to support the rapidly changing demands of advanced research while also creating opportunities for synergy between researchers, scientists and engineers.The move consolidates work previously conducted on seven separate sites at DIT.  The new facility will provide a centralised location for advanced research across DIT, promoting better communication between researchers and enabling an environment for breakthroughs in technology. According to Professor Brian Norton, President DIT, "In addition to facilitating cutting-edge research amongst DIT's academic community, as well as providing expanded opportunities for students, the FOCAS Institute will provide an invaluable support service for national industry".

Ms Catherine Tynan, AIB Corporate Banking; Professor Brian Norton, DIT; Ms Marie Quigley, AIB Corporate Banking; Dr. Barry McSweeney, Chief Science Adviser; Dr. Hugh Byrne, Focas Institute; Mr. Frank Lynch, Manager AIB Baggot Street.

"This facility is intended to be a national resource for the entire research community -- a place where DIT engineers, scientists, and our industry and academic partners can come together and share ideas," said Dr. Hugh J. Byrne, Facility Manager, FOCAS Institute. "As DIT moves forward to support the development of a knowledge based society, the FOCAS Institute will provide a platform for the development of research in key strategic areas as well as the education of the next generation of advanced technological personnel," continued Byrne.

A three storey over basement building of 2400m2 in area, the FOCAS Institute houses approximately 100 scientists; engineers; technical support and postgraduate students.  Its contemporary design, by Cullen Payne and Associates, reflects not only its surrounding environment but also the unique, evolving needs of DIT's Research Community.

 For more information about the new FOCAS Institute visit: http://www.focas.dit.ie/

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