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UCC maps research to UN SDGs

UCC is the first university in Ireland to undertake such a comprehensive mapping of its research to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Throughout 2022, the university undertook a project to analyse how its research aligned to the SDGs, with more than 490 researchers engaging in 40 workshops. The findings are published in today’s report entitled ‘Mapping UCC Research onto the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’

Professor John O'Halloran speaking at a podium

Professor John O’ Halloran, UCC President, said: “By mapping UCC research to the UN SDGs through this framework, we can see the impact of our research on delivering on sustainable development goals. Now, more than ever, it is essential that universities continue to contribute to making the world a more sustainable place for all. As the government launches its new National Implementation Plan for the Sustainable Development Goals 2022-2024, UCC will continue increase Ireland’s ambition and commitment to achieve the SDGs. UCC will continue to prioritise our research and curriculum to enable our graduates and staff to deliver on these important global grand challenges.”

Professor John Cryan, Vice President for Research & Innovation, outlined how UCC researchers are at forefront of pioneering research and innovation: “UCC researchers are addressing the most concerning sustainable development issues facing the world. This report demonstrates the huge commitment to the SDGs among researchers across all 27 schools and research centres in UCC. Through our UCC Futures programme, our researchers will build on this success to accelerate research and innovation to respond to the world’s greatest challenges, securing a more just and inclusive future.”

Research to protect the environment, to tackle poverty, and promote good health for all are among the research projects highlighted in the report from UCC.  The report acknowledges the pivotal role university research plays in tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges.

The report also offers insights on research and initiatives, developed by UCC researchers together with partners, to map research within each SDG area. It aims to better understand the UCC research community’s global sustainable development efforts and assess the progress made.

Promoting awareness and behavioural change around air quality in Cork

Dr Marica Cassarino, School of Applied Psychology, shared as a case study her involvement in the Cork Air Quality Partnership, a collaboration between the School of Applied Psychology UCC, the ERI Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry, Cork City Council and Cork Healthy Cities. The partnership aims to develop strategies to enhance the public's awareness about the risk associated with air pollution and promote behavioural change for the improvement of air quality in Cork city.

The research developed will help to advance and enrich the Cork Clean Air Strategy, which is the first in Ireland, with potential for implementation at regional and national level.

Dr Marica Cassarino said: “Taking part in the SDG mapping exercise was for myself and colleagues an opportunity to reflect on the value of the engaged research we do in our community and on how our work can have a positive impact for the challenges that we face at a local and global level. The Cork Air Quality Partnership I am involved in is just one example of the numerous forms of community engaged and interdisciplinary activities led by researchers in UCC who are guided by a commitment to work together with relevant stakeholders for the promotion of a sustainable future.”

View the SDGs in UCC Research website.

Download the report.