Northeastern University (NU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a formal partnership with University College Dublin (UCD) around a shared focus on key global challenges in healthcare.
The Boston-headquartered university is a Top 10 research institution in the US, with leading global experts in health informatics and the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in health. NU and Ireland’s largest university aim to drive mutual gains in health technologies research and innovation, as well as transatlantic educational cooperation through teaching and learning programmes.
Provost of Northeastern University Professor David Madigan, an Athlone-native who is on the advisory board of Insight, the SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, said, “UCD and Northeastern have a long-standing and highly successful partnership centered on student learning. We are extremely excited to extend the partnership to include an array of high-impact joint research projects. Our research strengths align beautifully and I have no doubt we will solve many important problems together in the coming years.”
UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact Professor Orla Feely said, “I am delighted that Northeastern University and UCD are embarking on this new strategic partnership through the Memorandum of Understanding signed today. This agreement formalises a new and very significant partnership between the two institutions and sets out a shared ambition to jointly address key challenges through complementary research strengths, leveraging shared infrastructure and talent.”
“UCD looks forward to mobilising and maximising our partnership with Northeastern University to jointly develop new solutions for Irish and European healthcare through impactful and excellent research, combined with novel joint initiatives around teaching and training.”
The partnership under the MoU includes several research strands including technologies for rehabilitation, biologics and advanced manufacturing, maternal health and clinical support tools for cardiac patients.
UCD is a national leader in the areas of precision medicine, genomics, bioinformatics, and clinical research. In recent years, the university has also made the application of data science and digital technologies in health an area of strategic focus, with the development of new programmes such as the AI Healthcare Hub interdisciplinary accelerator in the UCD Institute for Discovery.
Director of UCD Institute for Discovery and lead researcher on the AI_PREMie project, Professor Patricia Maguire said, “the formal partnership between UCD and Northeastern University announced today is an exciting development. Collaboration between our two institutions is already generating invaluable research and internationalisation opportunities. Leveraging shared research strengths between the two institutions, we will truly be able to increase the impact and scale of our research on maternal health, and clinical decision support technologies. Collaboration between world leading researchers at Northeastern, and our clinical partners, through the UCD AI Healthcare Hub will open up new research avenues and ambition, providing new technologies for Irish and European patients.”
Professor Jared Auclair is Vice Provost for Research Economic Development and Director of Bioinnovation at NU, as well as academic lead on the biologics and advanced manufacturing research strand. He said, “a research collaboration between UCD and NU is a fabulous opportunity to collaborate on impactful research programmes that will have significant societal impact. The success of this partnership will be built on shared institutional values around use-inspired research that will drive innovation ecosystems that span Dublin and the many cities that are home to Northeastern campuses. Personally, I look forward to the impact this collaboration will have in driving innovation in biotechnology and biomanufacturing, with the potential to positively impact millions of patients’ lives.”
NU’s key initiative for students is its cooperative education program (Co-op), which adds professional experience as part of study programmes. Co-op has made NU one of the most sought-after universities in the USA, and it has been an established study abroad partner for UCD since 2007.
The NU-UCD study abroad partnership developed exponentially with the establishment of the Northeastern Freshman Study Abroad programme (NUin) in 2013. As a testament to the strength of the partnership, UCD was the only overseas partner where NUin continued to send students throughout the pandemic.
UCD Vice President for Global Engagement Professor Dolores O’Riordan said, “this MoU will strengthen links between our researchers, opening up opportunities for academic and research collaboration to transcend to educational and teaching partnerships that can develop the students’ exposure to a more internationalised curriculum and provide them with a global dimension to key learning topics.”