Dublin City University is creating an environment where research equipment and state-of-the-art facilities are available for open use
Access to top quality and state of the art research equipment and facilities is essential to enable scientists to perform unique research at the forefront of knowledge. Research facilities, equipment and instrumentation must also be supported by experienced technical support staff that ensures proper operation, provides user training and guarantees the maintenance of high functioning standards.
Dublin City University has gone a step further by creating a management scaffold around the research facilities that enables campus-wide, straightforward access to research equipment and instrumentation, not only by internal users but also by other academic colleagues outside the university, as well as by industry customers and collaborators. This facility ensures that public investment in this regard is maximised, supporting the university in achieving a sustainable financial model for its infrastructure and promoting national and international academic, as well as industry engagement and collaborations.
A comprehensive database currently encompassing more than 80 instruments and steadily growing is currently available via the DCU website. The equipment is distributed mainly across the Glasnevin campus, with high density located in the Nano Research Facility (NRF) and the National Institute of Cellular Biotechnology (NICB). The NRF is a purpose-built 3000m2 advanced core facility, which allows DCU to integrate and connect current technical capability and equipment within DCU with scientific expertise to offer advanced capabilities in Nanosynthesis, Nanometrology, Micro and Nanofabrication, NanoBioPhotonics, as well as Analytical Characterisation.
Equally, the facilities available at the NICB offer advanced capabilities in proteomics, bioinformatics and mass spectrometry for biological and biopharmaceutical applications.
The NRF comprises modern custom-designed laboratories, a range of specialist support units and equipment, and dedicated technical and administrative staff enabling DCU researchers, visiting research teams and industry to collaborate, enhancing the process of bringing research from concept through to final prototyping and ultimately commercialisation. This facility is key to supporting many long-established DCU research centres, such as the National Centre for Sensor Research and the National Centre for Plasma Science and Technology.
This facility is also key for the success of newly emerging centres such as the Fraunhofer Project Centre, the first of its kind in Ireland, which will focus on the development and manufacture of microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” technologies to enable immediate point of use testing of liquid samples for a wide range of applications, including healthcare and environmental monitoring among many others.
Also, I-Form, another Science Foundation Ireland funded research Centre, will also draw on this infrastructure. The centre will focus on the production of highly advanced and customised 3D printed components for a wide variety of users, from devices for medical applications to the aerospace sector.
The facilities have been consolidated into four large core competencies and include several enhanced specification laboratories:
- Microscopy and Spectroscopy Core Facility;
- Materials and Surfaces Analysis Core Facility;
- Material Processing Core Facility and;
- Biological Research Core Facility.
The university also hosts a fully accredited bioresource unit, including SPF capabilities that enable the use of animals for research in a highly controlled and properly regulated environment. We are also in the process of obtaining accreditation from the relevant Irish authority (HPRA) for a good manufacturing practice (GMP) laboratory, to produce small batches of GMP standard therapeutics. The latest additions to the DCU infrastructure network include 5 state-of-the-art pieces of equipment, which have been acquired with funding from Science Foundation Ireland.
DCU mechanisms for access to the research equipment and infrastructure are transparent and straightforward. For external users, there are several engagement modalities including service provision, collaboration or direct access prior authorised training. Many companies have already availed of our facilities, some of them located in the DCU Alpha Campus. Co-located with Dublin City University, DCU ALPHA is a commercial innovation campus that promotes the growth of research-intensive businesses that are creating the technologies and services of tomorrow.
For enquiries or further information please contact Robbie Sinnott, Manager of DCU Research Infrastructure Unit. Phone: 01 700 6320. Email: email@example.com
Please note: this is a commercial profile
Dr Ana M Terres
Director of Research Support
Dublin City University
Tel: +353 700 7011
Editor's Recommended Articles
Must Read >> A growth strategy for Finnish health research