Professor Marcel Jansen has been awarded a prestigious SFI Investigator award for work on UV‑emitting LEDs.
At a ceremony in Dublin, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), formally announced the awards in the presence of Minister John Halligan T.D., Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development. The Minister expressed his strong support for Science and Ireland, and in his speech emphasised the importance of teaching the STEM topics across the entire curriculum from primary school on wards.
The project led by Professor Jansen is entitled “Exploiting narrow‑band UV‑LEDs for Sustainable, Innovative, Technology‑Enabled Cropping (UV‑SINTEC)”. UV‑SINTEC is a joint project between Professor Marcel Jansen (School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences -BEES) and Dr Alan Morrison (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering -EEE). UV‑SINTEC will exploit novel ultraviolet (UV)‑emitting LEDs to pioneer a new form of precision agriculture. UV light can improve crop quality in terms of nutritional quality, plant architecture and resistance to pests. This has positive impacts on the sustainability of food production, and human health and well‑being. The SFI‑funded study will develop state‑of‑the‑art LED technology that will enable manipulation of UV doses and spectra, and advance our understanding of how plants respond positively to UV wavelengths. This has not been possible until now due to the limitations of current UV technologies. The pioneering combination of electronic engineering and plant biology will generate innovative technology enabling the horticultural industry to sustainably grow crops with enhanced quality.
The project which will start 1/12/2017 will initially employ 6 new researchers (post graduate, post doctoral, or research assistant) but further spin‑offs, both commercial and academic, are expected.