WIT Collaborative Project Ranked Number 1 In First H2020 Funding Win

The Convergent Technologies Research Group (CRTG) within the School of Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is part of a major research consortium that achieved the highest rank in Ireland’s first Horizon 2020 funding win.

The €350,000 WASTCArD project, which will see a consortium of seven academic and industrial partners working together to develop a wrist-based device for portable heart monitoring, is funded through the prestigious Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) programme.

Philip Walsh, project lead at WIT, said “We are investigating innovative solutions for a wrist-based device for ambulatory ECG monitoring that can be applied without surgical intervention.”

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“Cardiac patients who present at A&E departments with transient symptoms may require observation away from the hospital environment and existing wearable technologies for heart monitoring tend to be cumbersome and challenging, particularly for geriatric and paediatric patients”, Mr Walsh explained. “WASTCArD is developing an alternative technology in the form of a small wrist-based device that would allow continuous off-site data capture without the inconvenience of currently used devices.”

Prof Willie Donnelly, Vice President of Research & Innovation at WIT, said, “This project is testament to the hard work put in by the researchers and their ability to collaborate on a problem that requires input from different disciplines. WIT has a strong history of securing research funding from Europe and this latest project is a great example of the North-South cooperation model encouraged by research programmes like Horizon 2020.”

“To have achieved the highest ranking in this Horizon 2020 competitive funding stream is an incredible achievement by the CTRG team and their partners and highlights the international quality and impact of the transdisciplinary and translational research activities underway within the Department of Engineering Technology,” said Albert Byrne, Head of the Engineering Technology Department at WIT.” My warmest congratulations to Philip and the entire CTRG team.”

The consortium, led at WIT by CRTG co-founders Philip Walsh and Austin Coffey, secured the €350,000 for the three year programme designed to facilitate inter-institutional staff exchange. International research partners include Project Coordinator, Professor Omar Escalona, Director of the Centre for Advanced Cardiovascular Research at the Engineering Research Institute, Ulster University, Dr David McEneaney, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Unit at Craigavon Area Hospital (Northern Ireland), Professor Eric McAdams, Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon (France), Professor Ratko Magjarevic, University of Zagreb (Croatia) and industrial partners Intelesens (Northern Ireland) and S.D. Informatika (Croatia), leading innovators in targeted, non-invasive vital signs monitoring and e-health technologies.

Horizon 2020 is a competitive EU programme for research and innovation that aims to drive economic growth and job creation across member states by strengthening the EU’s global position in research. With a budget of almost €80 billion spread over 6 years (2014-2020), it is the largest EU innovation programme in the organisation’s history; with investment targeted towards research to improve quality of life, safety and environmental welfare. www.wit.ie