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What is the BRAINWAVES Project?


Brainwaves takes a circular economy approach to sustainable agriculture. Using a common aquatic plant known as duckweed, Brainwaves’ scientists are trialing innovative technological systems to grow duckweed on agricultural waste streams, which will, if successful, offer farmers the dual benefits of cleaning farm waste while also growing a high-protein crop. In essence, through the up-take of excess nutrients (nitrates and phosphates), duckweed can create value from waste in the form of a high-protein biomass which can be used in animal feed, reducing farmers’ reliance on imported soybean. This research has the potential to bring tangible economic and environmental benefits to farming practices in Ireland, Wales, and beyond.

What's Happening

Brainwaves Team in Aberystwyth University celebrating St Patrick's Day
17 Mar 2023

St Patrick's Day 2023

The Welsh Brainwaves team gathered together in Aberystwyth University to celebrate St Patrick's Day 2023.  Legend has it that, Patrick, or Padrig in Welsh, was born into a wealthy Romano-British family around the year 386 AD. Exactly where is unknown – some say Scotland, others say Wales. He was taken to Ireland after being kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders. Enslaved, Patrick tended sheep on Sliabh Mis (or Slemish Mountain), in Co Antrim, for several years before escaping to Britain. He subsequently trained for the priesthood in France – he came to be known as Pádraig in Ireland and was also sometimes referred to by his family name, Mac Calprainn (or Son of Calpurnius). Around 431 AD, Pádraig returned to Ireland as a missionary; he would go on to play a significant role in converting Ireland to Christianity.
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Celebrating International Women's Day 2023
08 Mar 2023

International Women's Day 2023

We celebrated International Women's Day (IWD) with a wonderful team of women who all share many commonalities but one definite one-the love of the humble duckweed plant!!  The theme of this years IWD was #EmbraceEquity. The campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren't enough.  We spoke about this theme and came across a very apt quote by american author, Jody Picoult, that we wanted to share:  'Equality is treating everyone the same. But equity is taking differences into account so everyone has a chance to succeed' 
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Brainwaves & Ports Past and Present Teams Celebrating St. David's Day 2023
01 Mar 2023

St David's Day 2023

There’s nothing more Welsh than St. David’s Day, the feast and celebration that falls on March 1st and commemorates the patron saint of Wales, Saint David.    In colaboration with the Ports Past and Present Team we celebrated St. David's Day 2023 in style, even with homemade Welsh Cakes!!!! St. David, a famous teacher and the founder of what is today St. David’s Cathedral, was famed for his pious austerity and his ability to perform miracles. Many miracles are ascribed to St. David, including the resurrection of a dead child and the restoration of sight to a blind man. One of the more famous miracles associated with him is the formation of a hill beneath him as he preached to a large crowd, allowing them to see and hear him more clearly. His last words to his followers before his death are thought to have been: "Be joyful, keep the faith and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do." The phrase gwenwch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd which means 'Do the little things in life' is still a well-known phrase in Wales.  
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Duckweed Event Information Poster
22 Feb 2023

Save the Date!! Duckweed Event June 9th, 2023 at UCC.

We are delighted to be involved in organising this FREE event “Duckweed Research and Applications for the Circular Bioeconomy in Ireland” in UCC on June 9th 2023. Save the date and don't forget to register early by emailing (a.jansen@ucc.ie) as places are limited! More details to follow...........  
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Brainwaves is a 3.5-year research project funded by the  European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme. Brainwaves' university partners include:

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Environmental Research Institute in University College Cork in Ireland.  

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences in Aberystwyth University in Wales.  

BRAINWAVES is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme

BRAINWAVES, School of Biological Earth & Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland , T23 TK30