Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD has announced funding for CO/SMID - a Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) and University College Cork (UCC) project, which will track COVID-19 clusters based on geo-referenced data to more accurately predict future outbreaks and influence future interventions. The funding was awarded as part of a rapid research response funding call published jointly by Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA (SFI-EI-IDA).
Led by Dr Paul Hynds, a Senior Research Fellow in the Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute (ESHI) at TU Dublin and Dr Jean O’Dwyer, an Investigator in iCRAG and Lecturer at University College Cork Schoo of Biological, Earth and Evironmental Sciences, CO/SMID will investigate retrospective COVID-19 infection data to model potential future outbreaks in the Republic of Ireland.
Describing the CO/SMID methodology, Dr O’Dwyer said, “the current COVID crisis calls for a multidisciplinary research response which blends traditional epidemiology with advanced modelling and geospatial analysis. One of the aims is to further understand how the disease will respond to the easing of restrictions and prompt real-time recommendations for ongoing emergency management and communication”.
CO/SMID, which is due to commence imminently, is a multi-agency project led by TU Dublin and University College Cork, with expertise from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, the Health Informatics Unit, the Health Service Executive, the National Virus Reference Laboratory and the University of Southampton.