Case study I
An ambitious project in Dundalk is showing Europe the way forward in
Coordinated in Ireland by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), Holistic Optimisation Leading to
Integration of Sustainable Technologies In Communities (HOLISTIC )
is being mirrored in the towns of Modling in Austria and Neuchatel in
Communities in Newry, Aachen (Germany) and the Italian Ministry for
Environment, Land and Sea are also involved as observers.
SEI, acting as project coordinator, structured the HOLISTIC proposal with
local and European partners and submitted it to the European Commission. The
proposal was successfully evaluated and ended up as only one of nine
exceptional projects to proceed with funding.
In Dundalk, HOLISTIC focuses on using technologies and behavioural changes
to deliver the most efficient use of energy throughout a designated four-square
kilometre zone in the town.
Ambitious but realistic targets of 20 per cent renewable heat, 20 per cent
renewable electricity and 40 per cent energy efficiency in selected buildings
have been set for the zone.
It’s estimated that once these targets have been reached it will save 10,000
tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Some of the projects in Dundalk included the installation of a biomass
district heating scheme and retrofit of existing residential and public sector
buildings to make them more energy efficient.
New buildings in the zone have been constructed to high energy efficiency
levels and renewable energy street lights are being piloted in the area.
Data from the project is provided to the European Commission so it can used
in helping make energy policy decisions.
The positive experiences and models of good practice from the projects are
being shared between the towns involved and it’s estimated that approximately
5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide has already been saved.
Case study II
In 2008 two Irish scientists at University College Dublin (UCD) helped make
in understanding a deadly fungus that’s a major cause of death in people with
weakened immune systems.
Céline O’Gorman and Hubert Fuller together with Paul Dyer from the
University of Nottingham identified the sexual behaviour of the Aspergillus
fumigatus fungus for the first time.
Scientists can now use the discovery to carry out laboratory experiments to
work out exactly how the fungus causes disease and triggers allergic reactions.
Once the genetic basis of disease is understood researchers can then look to
devising methods to control and overcome the fungus.
Irish research is also helping unlock the potential of stem cell therapy to
treat devastating medical conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases,
spinal cord injury, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid
Case study III
Europe is developing a new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to
provide accurate positioning for sat-nav systems, mobile phones as well as
specialised applications for the maritime, road, rail and air transport
will work with the existing satellite navigation system which relies entirely
on GPS, the American global positioning system.
Developed by European Space
Agency – which Ireland is a member of – in partnership with the EU, Galileo
will provide us with the world’s most accurate and secure satellite positioning
Already researchers are looking into ways to utilise Galileo by developing
innovative projects ranging from
robot lawnmowers to
rescuing people lost overboard at sea.
The Galileo system will be built around 30 satellites occupying three
circular earth orbits to provide excellent coverage of the planet.