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A number of projects and initiatives have been launched already, aimed at providing students with unique education and research experiences, growing the economy and positively impacting communities in both Arizona and Ireland.
Three major new initiatives were announced:
• In partnership with Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, DCU and ASU will establish the world’s first International School of Biomedical Diagnostics in 2014. The new school will employ online and face-to-face learning formats and will integrate the two universities through a global classroom model while working closely with industry partners. Admitting its first students in fall 2014, this unique school will offer advanced degrees in Biomedical Diagnostics to meet the growing demands from industry for graduates with specialized training.
• In a major development in health care research, Biodesign Europe will leverage the research infrastructure capacity and expertise of ASU Biodesign Institute’s 11 and DCU’s five health-focused research centers. As a result, a combined team of more than 400 researchers will address some of the most important challenges in 21st-century health care, such as chronic disease management, personalised and stratified medicine, and sustainable health care delivery. The initial focus will be on providing improved treatment for cancer patients by combining advances in earlier diagnosis with more targeted therapeutics.
• Building on a strong culture of student innovation in both institutions, ASU and DCU will develop joint programs in student entrepreneurship. In particular, these new programs will incorporate a global perspective through linkages with international partners and a focus on global grand challenges, especially in the developing world. Both institutions already run successful student accelerator programs and both are designated as Ashoka-U ‘Changemaker Campuses’ in view of their commitment to social entrepreneurship.
The universities also announced a DCU-ASU Catalyst fund, which will be used to support engagement between researchers, with a view to leveraging substantial income from research-funding agencies. In addition, a partnership coordinator has been hired to advance these collaborative projects and to support a planned roll-out of further initiatives between the two institutions.
ASU and DCU faculty already are collaborating across a broad range of areas, including international development, preventative medicine, digital learning, teacher education, sustainability, sensor research, digital media and industry partnerships. The ASU-DCU partnership will make further announcements in the coming months regarding specific initiatives in these areas.
“ASU and DCU are like-minded institutions, with the same spirit and a desire to innovate," said ASU President Michael M. Crow. "DCU is a young university and is entrepreneurial, like us. Lots of universities sign agreements with each other, but our focus is on building a comprehensive, long-term relationship. That relationship involves a global connectivity that benefits students and faculty at both institutions, as well as public and private partners in both countries.”
“I am delighted with the step-change in our relationship that we have announced today," said DCU President Brian MacCraith. "Our enhanced partnership will lead to a better learning experience for our students in both institutions, will create new knowledge of importance to society – especially in key areas of health – and lead to important economic outputs and job creation. With the structures we have put in place, the future looks very bright for this unique, transatlantic partnership.”
DCU and ASU have a history of collaboration and a range of initiatives already are under way that leverage the expertise and entrepreneurial skillset of the two universities. These include:
• DCU School of Communications and the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication have recently joined forced with the New America Foundation to host an international symposium at DCU, tackling questions on the reliability of news in a digital world.
• DCU and ASU are committed to addressing the challenges and opportunities of aging populations and are partners in the "Age-Friendly University" initiative, launched in DCU in 2012. The first of its kind in the world, this initiative includes research in areas such as dementia, technologies for "aging in place," challenges of caregiving, healthy and active aging, and retirement community design.