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Science board features business, research experts (Anita Jones)

From Irish Times
December 14, 2001

The new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) chairman and board, expertise and public service experience.

The selection was announced by the Tanaiste, Ms Harney, and the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Commerce, Mr Noel Treacy. The board's chair is Mr Brian Sweeney, chairman of Siemens Ltd, and his deputy is Prof Patrick Fottrell, former professor of biochemistry and president of UCG.

The establishment of the board follows the creation of the SFI, which will oversee research spending worth more than (pounds) 500 million over five years. The money will support world-class research in information technology and biotechnology in third-level institutions here.

The board, in conjunction with SFI's director general, Dr William Harris, will develop a strategy for this funding to further the goals of the foundation and the Government. A key objective is to help the State develop knowledge-based industries with a strong research element. The selection of chair and deputy chair reflects the dual nature of what SFI hopes to do, given the inclusion of an experienced businessman and a former academic researcher of exceptional standing.

Washington Advisory Group and former director of the US National Science Foundation; Prof Tom Cotter, professor of biochemistry at UCC; Prof Patrick Johnston, professor of oncology at Queen's University Belfast; Dr Anita Jones, chairwoman of the Department of Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia and a member of the US National Science Board; Dr Ira Levin, deputy director, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the US National Institute of Health; Dr Frank McCabe, former managing director of Intel Ireland; Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, managing director, Biocon India Ltd in Bangalore, India;

Mr Eoin O'Driscoll, managing director and vice president international operations, Lucent Technologies Ireland; Dr Ena Prosser, director, corporate office of technology, Elan Corporation Plc; Dr Don Thornhill, chairman of the Higher Education Authority; Mr John Travers, chief executive officer of Forfas; Dr Edward Walsh, president emeritus, University of Limerick Foundation and chairman of the Irish Council for Science, Technology and Innovation; and Prof Denis Weaire, professor of natural and experimental philosophy at TCD.

Note: The article misidentifies Anita Jones as the chair of the Department of Computer Science. Professor Jones was chair of the Computer Science Department from 1988 - 1993. The current chair of the department is Jack Stankovic.


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