22 Innovative New Projects funded by EXPLORE

22 Innovative New Projects funded by EXPLORE

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22 Innovative new projects funded by EXPLORE

The EXPLORE innovation programme, a joint initiative of NUI Galway Students’ Union and NUI Galway, recently awarded funding to 22 innovative new projects to be piloted in Galway.

Now entering its fifth year of operation, EXPLORE supports NUI Galway students and staff to step out of their traditional roles and work together as equal partners to bring new ideas to life. The new projects receiving EXPLORE funding involve over 145 students, staff and external partners and span areas as diverse as peer-to-peer mediation, history, healthcare, schools outreach, the environment, and technology.

EXPLORE is the first scheme of its kind in Irish higher education and to date has supported over 100 new projects involving more than 600 participants. The wider community benefits from EXPLORE as many projects are specifically developed to address societal needs, and the reach of EXPLORE projects already stretches into the thousands both on and off campus.

Phelim Kelly, NUI Galway Students’ Union President says: “It is very encouraging to see the growing interest in EXPLORE both from staff and students, and also locally and nationally. EXPLORE has proven itself to be a dynamic model for enabling innovation. The ongoing success of former EXPLORE projects in a wide variety of areas is extremely encouraging, and we’re looking forward to watching the progress of the projects that have just been awarded funding.”

Prof. Chris Curtin, VP for Innovation & Performance, NUI Galway adds: “The EXPLORE initiative is an ideal vehicle for students and staff to pilot new ideas and establish a proof of concept in a collaborative, low-risk environment. EXPLORE is part of a wider initiative at NUI Galway to foster an innovative, ideas culture where students and staff are encouraged to come up with ideas and run with them.”

Examples of projects recently awarded EXPLORE funding:

Loss Of the Night in Galway (LONG)aims to run Galway’s first light pollution/sky quality measurement campaign by engaging the student body to conduct a large-scale volunteer survey of the night sky brightness using low-light-capable mobile phone cameras that many students already possess. Loss of nocturnal darkness, through excessive and badly executed artificial lighting, is recognised by the EU as harmful to public health, disruptive to animal behaviour, and a costly waste of energy and public money. Results will be processed into maps and time-series. Prompted by the project results, Galway could set out to become Ireland’s first ‘dark sky city’, with improved lighting ordinances.
Lead student partner: Sam Hickey
Lead staff partner: Dr Ray Butler

CampusCreate – aims to encourage creativity on the NUI Galway campus in a fun and engaging way. During the 12 weeks of Semester Two ‘Creative Challenges‘ will be posted via Twitter, Facebook, and through the website campuscreate.eu using the hashtag #CampusCreate. Each week will have a different theme and ‘Daily Prompts’ will support the themed challenge. Participants can interpret the ‘Creative Challenges’ in whatever way they like and upload their creations of video, drawing, writing, audio, photography, mashups, remixes etc. 

The project has the potential to tie in with the Galway 2020 campaign, and could likely be applied to other campuses/cities. 
Lead student partner: Sally McHugh
Lead staff partner: Dr Tony Hall & Dr Fiona Concannon

Shakespeare in Galway 2016 (SIG2016)   

This project aims to mark the quarter centenary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016 within NUI Galway and Galway City. All around the world, cultural, creative, and educational organisations are preparing a wide variety of activities to commemorate this momentous year, and this marks NUI Galway’s contribution. A connective series of 4-6 public art campaigns will run from January to June of 2016, and will draw on guerrilla art aesthetics and marketing techniques to promote Shakespeare in unanticipated ways and in surprising venues.

Lead student partner: Emer McHugh

Lead staff partner: Dr Lindsay Reid

ENDS

For more information, contact:
– Amber Walsh Olesen, EXPLORE Coordinator, NUI Galway Students’ Union,

amber.walsholesen@nuigalway.ie, 091 494290

– Clodagh Barry, EXPLORE Founder, NUI Galway Research Office,
clodagh.barry@nuigalway.ie, 091 492860

www.su.nuigalway.ie/explore

Pictured: New EXPLORE participants 2015-2016

Artice by
Joanna Brophy