Prof Mark Ferguson Science Summit 2018 presentation

Dublin, Friday 9th November 2018 – The Science Foundation Ireland Science Summit will take place this coming Monday 12th of November at the Ballsbridge Hotel. The annual event brings together Ireland's top scientific researchers to discuss and debate key research areas and their social and economic impact in Ireland.  The Summit takes place during National Science Week (11th-18th November) which includes the #StopAndAsk campaign. 

Speakers at this year’s Summit include:

Shane Kimbrough, a NASA Astronaut who has logged a total of 189 days in space, will give a special address at the start of the event. His insights into his journey so far will highlight the importance of Ireland’s National Space Strategy.

Mr Robert-Jan Smits former Director-General of DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission, who was one of the main architects and negotiators of Horizon 2020, the 80 billion EU programme for science and innovation. As newly-appointed President of TU Eindhoven, Smits will deliver the first keynote address of the day.

Professor Tim Minshall is Head of the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University Engineering Department. His research interests include open/collaborative approaches to innovation, the commercialisation of new production technologies, and the development of engineering and manufacturing skills. He is a recipient of a University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence and a Royal Academy of Engineering/ExxonMobil Excellence in Teaching Award.

The conference will also be addressed by this year’s prestigious SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal winner, Professor Margaret Murnane who is a native of Limerick and a world-leading physicist.

Speaking in advance of the event, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said “Ireland’s international reputation for research excellence and impact continues to go from strength to strength,  thanks to the efforts of many researchers in Irish academia and industry.  Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to bring the research community together to share knowledge about the cutting-edge research and innovative discoveries that help Ireland address national and global challenges. It is important that we nurture openness and collaboration amongst the research community and industry so as to futureproof our economic and societal future. I look forward in particular to announcing the Science Foundation Ireland Awards 2018, which will recognise the significant achievements of some outstanding individuals and teams across the country.

The theme for this year’s Summit is Disruptive Innovation Transforming Society, which is reflective of recent transformations in the Irish research landscape to facilitate impactful research arising from challenge-based funding initiatives, such as the Science Foundation Ireland Future Innovators Prize.

During National Science Week (11th-18th November) Science Foundation Ireland are inviting the public to participate in the #StopAndAsk campaign, by asking the scientific questions they have always wondered about.  Through social media, Science Foundation Ireland’s research community will answer questions and engage in conversations that will encourage people to be curious and feel more confident exploring scientific information.  To join in just add the hashtag #StopAndAsk to your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts.

The Science Foundation Ireland Science Summit is also a celebration of Irish research. The event will see the announcement of winners of prestigious awards such as the SFI Researcher of the Year, Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communications, Industry Partnership Award and the Entrepreneurship Award.