Research Areas & Centres

ATU Donegal’s Research Strategy 2015/16 - 2019/20 confirms its significant national profile for excellence in higher education through the pursuit of an ambitious research development agenda informed by public policy, strong regional engagement, and a fundamental commitment to a student-centred ethos. 

The core of the ATU Donegal Research Strategy is to contribute to this mission by creating a research and development environment that brings researchers and students together with start-ups, regional industries and local communities. 

Our Research Strategy responds to four key drivers: 

  • The desire to (re)commit to educational excellence at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 
  • The imperative to deliver knowledge based benefits to the North West Region of Ireland. 
  • The need to support ongoing academic enterprise and business incubation initiatives. 
  • The desire to disseminate research findings at international conferences and in peer reviewed journals. 

Current Research Projects


  1. WiSAR (Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway)
    The WiSAR Lab is a wireless and embedded systems group that provides electrical and electronic solutions for established companies and technology start-ups throughout Ireland.
  2. NW Centre for Advanced Manufacturing (Interreg V)
    The North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing (NW CAM) is a new trans-regional centre for the research and development of innovative solutions. 
  3. Bryden Centre, Renewable Energy (Interreg V)
    The Bryden Centre creates a ‘virtual centre of competence’ that will support cross-border research into biomass and marine-based renewable energy sources. 
  4. Centre for Personalised Medicine (Interreg V)
    The Centre for Personalised Medicine brings together a total of 14 partners from academia, health services and industry to create the environment needed for personalised medicine  
  5. SMARTrenew
    SMARTrenew is a project which spans across 6 areas within the Northern Periphery and Arctic region, wherein there is varying levels of renewable maturity and diverse climatic environments. There are 8 organisations involved in this project including academic, research, local authority, SME and National Energy Organisations, with complementary experience, knowledge and competence in renewable energy sources and storage solutions.
  6. Enter to Transform (Interreg VB NWE)
    Enter to transform brings together a total of 12 partners from across North West Europe (NWE). The project objective is to raise the number of Recognised Refugees (RR) in re-starting enterprises to sustain growth and innovation in NWE. To achieve this goal, Enter to Transform looks to develop a supportive environment of hubs, which function through mentoring as “door opener” for RR re-starters to enter existing entrepreneurial infrastructure.
  7. Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 
    1. Design, Innovation, Creativity, Entrepreneurship (DICE) Innovation Academy
      DICE is the School of Business at LYIT’s Research Centre that aims to spark a discussion on the value of creativity and design to both business and society.
    2. RESTART Communities (Erasmus+)
      Restart Communities will work with community leaders to provide them with the knowledge, tools and collective learning spaces required to catalyse community investment and regeneration.
    3. TAOIDE, Ocean Energy (Horizon 2020)
      The TAOIDE project is developing a fully-integrated generator to grid energy delivery system with high reliability and availability, suitable for use in multiple architectures of marine renewable energy systems.
    4. AcHoplntAcademic hospitality for international students in higher education: building guidelines for academic and non-academic staff
      AcHopInt is an Erasmus Plus funded project whose main aim is to transnationally identify the conditions of the Academic Hospitality Model and establish good practices to develop a common methodology for academic hospitality for international students in higher education institutions.
    5. SECure - SME Early Crisis Toolkit
      SECure is an Erasmus Plus funded project, which is led by LYIT, involves 6 partners from across 5 countries. One of the main aims of the project is to enable SMEs to identify and analyse Early-Warning-Indicators for business crisis and to develop individual suitable measures to prevent / overcome the crisis.
    6. Generation Data 
      Generation Data is an Erasmus Plus funded project which aims to improve the ability of HEI education providers to understand and teach smart data skills, thus providing Students, early stage entrepreneurs and businesses with more relevant, effective training.
    7. Digital Wellbeing Educators  
      Digital Wellbeing Educators is funded by Erasmus Plus and aims to increase the capacity of lecturers and teachers to integrate digital education in a way that promotes the digital wellbeing of students.
    8. VET Wind II
      VET Wind II is a relatively small research project funded by Erasmus Plus.  The project is examining if there is a need by the offshore wind energy sector for harmonisation of education around offshore wind energy technicians. 

Minding Media – Media Literacy for All (Erasmus+)

The COVID19 pandemic has resulted in increased usage of digital media for all age cohorts in society. This has highlighted the need for children to acquire multiple media literacies. This project has been carefully designed to meet the needs of primary school educators and their pupils to increase the advertising literacy of children and wider society. This partnership will build upon the experiences of media literacy and combine a number of specialist expertise in digital pedagogy and gamification to develop a unique set of Minding Media resources. The partnership combines knowledge and expertise from Atlantic Technological University - Ireland; European E-Learning Institute - Denmark; Atermon B.V. - Netherlands; Metka Centre for Media Education - Finland; Novi Sad School of Journalism - Serbia; and Ballyraine National School - Ireland.
Project Outputs include:

SMART Youth | Strategic Management, Agility and Right Technologies for Youth (Erasmus+)

SMART Youth Project is supported by the European Commission within the scope of the Erasmus + Program in order to develop the entrepreneurial skills of young people, to prepare them for the real and digital world market and to establish an agile business that can adapt to possible crisis situations for entrepreneurs. The target audience of the project is “Young people and students between the ages of 18-29 who are interested in entrepreneurship”, “Higher education institutions” and “Organizations operating in the field of Youth Education and Business Development”. The partnership constitutes academic and government financial institute partners from Ireland, Turkey Bulgaria and Romania.

Outputs Include: