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School Receives Unexpected Technology Learning Bonus As A Result of SFI Research Programme


Cork primary school receives unexpected technology learning bonus as a result of SFI research programme - €85,000 research project to help small firms diversify into health and medical software development

A Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research grant has resulted in an unexpected technology learning bonus for the pupils of north Cork primary school, Rockchapel.

Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre, headquartered at University of Limerick, is one of seven new industry-academia partnerships worth in total €480,000, which was awarded through the SFI Industry Fellowship Programme. Lero’s project valued at almost €85,000 is to work with ADA-Security based in Rockchapel. Co. Cork.  For the duration of the project, Dr Ita Richardson of Lero is researching with ADA-Security management to develop and evaluate a Quality Management System for medical device software.  Ultimately, this quality management system will be available for use within other small companies who are diversifying into health and medical software development.

During her time in ADA, Dr Richardson, who is a Principal Investigator, Lero at the University of Limerick found herself overlooking the local two-teacher primary school. She opened dialogue with the school and visited it once a week for 10 weeks to work with children in 3rd-6th class on two technology related activities.  This included designing an online shop and a construction engineering project developed by Engineers’ Ireland.

“It is rare indeed that a primary school would have a visiting academic from a national research institute to work with pupils, especially one located in a rural setting,” commented Eileen Curtin, Principal, Rockchapel Primary School. “Dr Richardson is giving the children a super insight into technology in a fun, creative way.  They have had the opportunity to try out design for software and for construction.”

“The ADA project has the potential to improve software quality within small companies, but I soon discovered that it was also an opportunity to outreach into the local school,” added Dr Richardson.

Lero (www.lero.ie) is a global leader in software research. It combines the best in Irish software talent by bringing together researchers from Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland as well as by contracts from Irish and international technology corporations.