CÚRAM and Galway Film Centre launch new ‘Science on Screen’ project

Pictured at the launch of the project with President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins are Claire Riordan, Scientific Engagement Associate in CÚRAM, Prof. Rhodri Ceredig, Investigator in CÚRAM and Declan Gibbons, Manager of Galway Film Centre

The SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) and Galway Film Centre have just launched a partnership project called ‘Science on Screen’  funded through Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme, which aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) content in Irish film and TV production.

The Science on Screen project will 100% fund two 26 minute science films with a budget of €35,000 each. These two films will incorporate areas of research currently underway in CÚRAM. Interested producers are invited to register their interest by contacting scienceonscreen@galwayfilmcentre.ie and are invited to attend an information day at CÚRAM on Saturday 27th February between 10am and 1pm. The information day will be an opportunity for producers and filmmakers to hear first-hand from scientists working in CÚRAM, who will give short presentations on key areas of research currently underway in the centre.

Following this initial briefing and introduction to the research areas by CÚRAMs researchers, filmmakers will be invited to apply for the funding by submitting a treatment to Galway Film Centre by March 25th. Treatments will be assessed on a competitive basis and two filmmakers will be selected.

The project aims to provide two experienced filmmakers with funding and access to leading scientists and laboratories within CÚRAM, as well as to patient groups, to explore methods of scientific ‘story telling’ that incorporates aspects of current research being carried out by CÚRAM and its academic partners across Europe. Over 200 renowned experts in biomaterials, drug delivery, cell therapy, glycoscience and device design are working on blue sky research and industry projects associated with the research centre. Galway Film Centre are also in discussion with a broadcaster to air the finished films by November 2016.

Declan Gibbons, Manager of Galway Film Centre, said “we are delighted to be involved in this iniative which offers a very exciting and well funded opportunity to filmmakers. The research that is being done in CÚRAM is at the cutting edge of modern science and we hope that this work will inspire filmmakers to make films that are informative, creative and the start of a whole new wave of film and science projects. It also fits perfectly with our remit as UNESCO City of Film a core aim of which is to promote educational film projects.”

“We hope that the project will encourage greater collaboration between the research and filmmaking communities in Ireland” said Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM “there are a great many stories to tell that originate or are influenced by what happens in the laboratory and we look forward to working with filmmakers to bring them to the fore”.

CÚRAM’s goal is to radically improve the quality of life of patients suffering from chronic illnesses and over 200 renowned researchers are working on projects to find solutions for illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, neural diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and chronic back pain, by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices.

For further information and to register for the Science on Screen Information Day at CÚRAM, please visit www.galwayfilmcentre.ie and www.curamdevices.ie.