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Cork, Ireland

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: REGIONS-2012-2013-1 | Award Amount: 3.31M | Year: 2013

Be Wiser examines organisation and technical research challenges in some of Europes best known RTD regions. The technology focus is on wireless internet security; while the organisational challenge is to more effectively utilise Triple Helix clusters in regional innovation processes. This approach will strengthen Europes position in wireless rollout and address the challenges set out in the Digital Agenda. With the rapid expansion in wireless based devices, many undertaking complex and often highly confidential transactions, the security of data transmission is increasingly important as trillions of objects are connected via the Internet of Things. The need for fully secure systems cannot be overstated in retaining the confidence of all users and to balance the requirements of Citizens, Government and Enterprises in terms of their privacy and security needs. The clusters involved in this project are both central and peripheral and have strong technological complementary skills and experience they have varying levels of organisational sophistication in terms of how they manage their innovation processes and recognise the potential to mentor each other while working collaboratively on RTD challenges. Be Wiser will: Analyse the regions involved and the sector addressed via triple helix clusters bringing Policy Makers, Researchers and Enterprises together to focus on innovation processes and RTD; Develop a JAP and develop smart specialisation strategies and identify further research and product opportunities as part of broader economic development strategies ; Deliver tangible outputs that will enhance the competitiveness of the clusters, Seek new market opportunities for regional enterprises, especially SMEs; Mentor all partner regions on technology, business and clustering themes; Develop a sustainable business and resourcing plan.

O'Donovan J.V.,University College Dublin | O'Farrell K.J.,Greenhill | O'Mahony P.,Cork County Council | Buckley J.F.,Cork County Council
Veterinary Journal

The concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, furans and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in pooled bovine milk samples collected between 1991 and 2005 in County Cork, Ireland. The pooled samples were of bulk-tank milk collected from farms adjacent to industrial, chemical and pharmaceutical installations (target milk) or from rural farms distant from industrial activity (control milk).Comparing data between the first and last 3-year periods of the study revealed a 62% decrease in the mean total dioxin concentration in target milk from 1.58 to 0.60. pg toxic equivalents (TEQ)/g fat. On the same basis the dioxin-like PCB concentration in target milk decreased by 80% over the study period (from 0.95. pg to 0.19. pg TEQ/g fat). The mean 'marker' PCB concentration in target milk from 1991 to 1993 inclusive was 3359. pg/g fat. This value decreased by 75% to a mean of 849. pg/g fat for the years 2003-2005 inclusive. The results of this study are consistent with low background dietary/environmental PCB contamination in both target and control herds. The total dioxin concentrations in all samples were well below the maximum tolerable limits permitted for marketable milk. The decrease in the total dioxin concentration in target and control milk samples over the study period was chiefly due to decreases in the concentration of dioxin-like PCBs, consistent with significant reductions in the concentration of PCBs in the dairy cow diet over the 15. year study period. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: REGIONS-2012-2013-1 | Award Amount: 2.07M | Year: 2012

The global maritime market is on a strong growth trajectory, and this project aims to harness that growth to create economic and employment benefits for Europe. On the one hand, growth is driven by commercial megatrends such as demand for marine/offshore renewable energy, fish products and emerging potential for blue biotech products; on the other hand, there is high demand for efficient use and management of the ocean resource, as described in the EU Integrated Maritime Strategy. Increasing Europes innovation capacity in maritime resource efficiency will underpin successful exploitation of these growth opportunities. Traditionally, the maritime industries have been slow to explore how demands for resource efficiency would impact on them. Fish stock depletion and rising fuel costs have, of course, risen quickly up the political and commercial agendas, and shipping companies as well as builders and engine manufacturers have invested in improving fuel efficiency. However, the wider needs for maritime resource efficiency are posing challenges which in many cases lack viable solutions. Emerging marine activities (for example in exploiting marine renewable energy) are presenting new opportunities for innovation, but are also highlighting areas where further improvements in resource efficiency need to be achieved. European member states contain a number of Regional Research Driven Clusters (RRDCs) which are active in the fields of maritime development and marine & coastal resource management. This project will add significant value to this existing cluster infrastructure, via three main approaches that will support their long-term development and sustainability: Facilitating interaction and knowledge exchange between RRDCs each focused on its world-class strengths (Smart Specialisation); Raising the effectiveness of RRDCs by strengthening shared approaches to innovation support Using RRDC activities to stimulate involvement of supply chain companies

Garvey P.,Health Protection Surveillance Center | McKeown P.,Health Protection Surveillance Center | Kelly P.,Food and the Marine | Cormican M.,National University of Ireland | And 18 more authors.

Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 was a very rare cause of human illness in Ireland between 2000 and 2008, with only four human isolates from three patients being identified. Over a 19-month period between August 2009 and February 2011, 34 confirmed cases and one probable case of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 were detected, all of which had an MLVA pattern 2-10-NA-12-212 or a closely related pattern. The epidemiological investigations strongly supported a link between illness and exposure to duck eggs. Moreover, S. Typhimurium with an MLVA pattern indistinguishable (or closely related) to the isolates from human cases, was identified in 22 commercial and backyard duck flocks, twelve of which were linked with known human cases. A range of control measures were taken at farm level, and advice was provided to consumers on the hygienic handling and cooking of duck eggs. Although no definitive link was established with a concurrent duck egg-related outbreak of S. Typhimurium DT8 in the United Kingdom, it seems likely that the two events were related. It may be appropriate for other countries with a tradition of consuming duck eggs to consider the need for measures to reduce the risk of similar outbreaks. Source

Douarre P.E.,Cork Institute of Technology | Cashman W.,Cork County Council | Buckley J.,Cork County Council | Coffey A.,Cork Institute of Technology | O'Mahony J.M.,Cork Institute of Technology
Gut Pathogens

Background: Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) causes a chronic gastroenteritis affecting many species. Johne's disease is one of the most widespread and economically important disease of ruminants. Since 1992 and the opening of the European market, the exposure and the transmission of MAP in cattle herds considerably increased. Improvements in diagnostic strategies for Ireland and elsewhere are urgently required. In total, 290 cattle from seven Irish herds with either a history or a strong likelihood of paratuberculosis infection were selected by a veterinary team over 2 years. Faecal samples (290) were collected and screened for MAP by a conventional culture method and two PCR assays. In order to further evaluate the usefulness of molecular testing, a nested PCR was also assessed. Results: M. paratuberculosis was isolated and cultured from 23 faecal samples (7.9%) on solid medium. From a molecular perspective, 105 faecal samples (36%) were PCR positive for MAP specific DNA. A complete correlation (100%) was observed between the results of both molecular targets (IS900 and ISMAP02). Sensitivity was increased by ∼10% with the inclusion of a nested PCR for ISMAP02 (29 further samples were positive). When culturing and PCR were retrospectively compared, every culture positive faecal sample also yielded a PCR positive result for both targets. Alternatively, however not every PCR positive sample (n = 105, 36%) produced a corresponding culture isolate. Interestingly though when analysed collectively at the herd level, the correlation between culture and PCR results was 100% (ie every herd which recorded at least 1 early PCR +ve result later yielded culture positive samples within that herd). Conclusion: PCR on bovine faecal samples is a fast reliable test and should be applied routinely when screening for MAP within herds suspected of paratuberculosis. Nested PCR increases the threshold limit of detection for MAP DNA by approximately 10% but proved to be problematic in this study. Although slow and impractical, culturing is still regarded as one of the most reliable methods for detecting MAP among infected cattle. © 2010 Douarre et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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