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Cutting Edge Training - Cutting Edge Technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EDGE (Cutting Edge Training - Cutting Edge Technology)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2020-07-31

EDGE is a training and development programme of scientific excellence for postdoctoral researchers that offers a unique combination of disciplines and industry engagement to the 71 fellows it will recruit. Leveraging the strengths and assets of three Irish National Research Centres, AMBER, CONNECT and ADAPT, headquartered in TCD, EDGE will form the next generation of thought leaders in ICT. AMBER offers expertise in advanced materials that will play a pivotal role in future systems and devices. CONNECT’s focus is on future networks that will underpin the services the world needs and ADAPT brings cutting-edge expertise in digital content. EDGE researchers will work at the interface between these Centres and will generate highly interdisciplinary projects, adding value to all. Most importantly, industry will have a primary role in defining, running and supporting the projects, and will take an active part in developing the scientists, through secondments, industry events and specialised training.
Applying the principles of the Charter and Code throughout the programme, the EDGE selection process is guided by the principles of Excellence, Transparency, Fairness and Impartiality. Candidates will submit proposals and fellows will be selected following an open, transparent, merit-based, impartial and equitable selection procedure, based on international peer review. EDGE offers the possibility of building skills that will address a clearly identified skills shortage across Ireland and Europe.
EDGE will impact Europe through the development of a unique cohort of excellent, cross-disciplinary fellows who will have the capability of managing multidisciplinary, industrial research problems. On completion of their fellowship they will have the skillset to enter the European workforce to deliver innovation and enhance European Industrial Competitiveness across the entire spectrum from materials to content.
EDGE will impact Europe through the development of a unique cohort of excellent, cross-disciplinary fellows who will have the capability of managing multidisciplinary, industrial research problems. On completion of their fellowship they will have the skillset to enter the European workforce to deliver innovation and enhance European Industrial Competitiveness across the entire spectrum from materials to content.
In line with Annex 1 the EDGE COFUND Programme successfully advertised and recruited 46 of the 71 Fellows over three calls. The details of the evaluation and selection process are clearly outlined in deliverables D2.1 and D2.2.
The programme recruited an experienced senior project manager to which was located in CONNECT (PM). The PM is responsible for the day to day implementation of the programme. Applying the principles of the Charter and Code throughout the programme, the EDGE selection process was guided by the principles of Excellence, Transparency, Fairness and Impartiality. Candidates submitted proposals and fellows were selected following an open, transparent, merit-based, impartial and equitable selection procedure, based on international peer review.
To ensure that the fellows benefit to the maximum extent possible from their research period within the centres, a specific support scheme has been set up – a full research training career and development programme. In line with Annex 1 a learning and development officer was recruited to implement the programmes training and career development activities. EDGE offers the possibility of building skills that will address a clearly identified skills shortage across Ireland and Europe
At its core, the EDGE programme aimed to enhance human resources at regional, national and international level. At regional and national level EDGE has already seen 46 Experienced Researchers of the highest quality join three collaborating national research centres based in 10 locations across Ireland. These 46 Experienced Researchers are focusing on areas deemed of great strategic importance to Ireland and internationally (Advanced Materials, Future Networks and Digital Content). The opportunity to work closely with world leaders in their respective fields, as well as the excellent research environment, combined with attractive remuneration and training packages has ensured we have attracted quality candidates (more than 210 applicants over 3 calls). Aside from the sheer number of fellows and the significant research outputs and outcomes associated with them, the EDGE fellows’ interaction with each other and the non-EDGE researchers is already creating a non-linear impact for the Centres in terms of collaboration, communication, creative interdisciplinarity, and innovation. EDGE Training and Career Development programme is already an exemplar for the Irish Higher Education system on matters relating to researcher careers, training and human resources. The quality of the research outputs, and the impact produced by the EDGE fellows will convince all actors within the Irish system of the benefits of rewarding high quality researchers with excellent conditions, training, and career prospects.