Research undertaken at the University of Ulster has had a global impact
on public health advice about fish consumption during pregnancy. Ulster's
international collaborative research has been used by the Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health
Organization (WHO), and also by industry, to promote greater fish
consumption during pregnancy. The work has also been evaluated by the
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its assessment of the public
health risk of methyl-mercury in food.
Half of the world's bird species cannot be sexed by their physical
appearance. This posed a major
problem for conservation breeding, which is dependent upon identification
of the birds' sex for
mating birds, as well as ensuring an equal sex ratio of birds for
reintroduction into the wild.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow developed a simple DNA test to
determine the sex of
birds. The test has been adopted by commercial companies in the UK and
USA, one of which
includes Avian Biotech (USA), who perform approximately 50,000 tests a
year for commercial,
conservation and private breeders, generating revenues of around £618,000.
The test is available
to a broad range of international groups, including zoos and conservation
organisations, where it
has been fundamental to the management of captive breeding of some of the
world's rarest bird
Communicable diseases are a major health burden in the developing world.
Early detection and
accurate identification of infectious agents is key to their management.
However, the complex
procedures and logistics of current diagnostic tests often make them
unsuitable for use in
developing countries. Two technology platforms have been developed that
have led to a new
generation of simple and inexpensive rapid tests that can be applied in
resource-limited settings. A
spinout company was set up to allow translation of these platforms into
new products. Three tests
(Chlamydia, Hepatitis B and HIV) were launched since 2008, with test kits
patients to receive treatment for infections which would have previously
gone unnoticed and
untreated. The spinout company has raised >$30 million, of which
>$20million is since 2008.
Dr Mark Hampton's research informs tourism policy for the world's 40 small island developing
states (SIDS) and poor coastal communities. He generates data that challenge conventional
wisdom about the value of large scale tourism for these fragile economies. His findings identify
niche tourism as a more sustainable basis for economic growth. The Commonwealth, World Bank
and individual governments, as well as numerous other NGOs and industry associations, are
amongst those who draw upon Hampton's research findings in order to help vulnerable states
formulate effective policies and develop appropriate tourism initiatives.
Research conducted by our International Boundaries Research Unit (IBRU)
since the 1990s has improved the understanding of boundaries and
boundary-making and developed end-user resources in the form of databases
and digital maps. IBRU has developed processes and techniques which
support peaceful dispute avoidance and resolution through an expanded
notion of boundary-making on land, along rivers, and at sea. Our work has
had direct impact on a range of geopolitical conflicts and disputes,
particularly on boundary demarcation and dispute resolution within Africa.
It has also shaped practitioner debate over jurisdictional issues in the
Arctic and improved the representation of river boundaries in
globally-used geospatial data products.
Research by the Centre for Business and Insolvency Law is helping to
confidence and economic stability through influence on laws in Africa and
practice in the UK.
Integrating developing countries into the global economy and encouraging
sound legal infrastructure, with modern insolvency laws that increase
investor confidence over
likely outcomes of financial crisis. Burdette's research has directly
legislation, legislation currently before parliament in Malawi and
insolvency practice in South Africa.
Robust insolvency laws are also important for maintaining a stable
domestic economy. Walters
(with external co-authors) has influenced public debate regarding costs in
Molecular and evolutionary research by Dr Jim Groombridge at the
University of Kent, (2003 onwards, lecturer 2003-2008, Senior Lecturer
2008-2012, Reader 2012-), undertaken in partnership with the Mauritius
Wildlife Foundation, the Seychelles Islands Foundation and Government
Ministries of both states, has identified unexpected evolutionary
distinctiveness and established high conservation priority for rare
populations of birds and frogs on Mauritius and Seychelles. Subsequent
studies have led to the recovery of three critically-endangered species
and to the alleviation of problems with wildlife disease. Groombridge's
research has led to renewed investment of international conservation
resources across the Indian Ocean. His work on island species conservation
is particularly important because islands host a high proportion of global
biodiversity and help define our understanding of evolutionary science;
these `living laboratories' also host many of the World's rarest species
making them a global conservation priority.
University of Manchester (UoM) research considers the role, position and
perception of developing countries in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
It is informed by a deep unease at the way developing and least developed
countries (LDCs) have been consistently unable to participate in the
multilateral trading system on an equitable basis, and are routinely
rendered powerless to realise the meaningful gains that the global trade
regime habitually promises. Impact is achieved through a systematic and
sustained programme of dissemination, consultation and engagement with
high level international policymakers, government officials and civil
society organisations, resulting in measurable and meaningful policy
change. In conjunction with these stakeholders, the research has: informed
the negotiating positions of several states — including South Africa,
Turkey, the Seychelles and Nigeria; shaped thinking around the future of
the global trade architecture; and contributed to a number of training
programmes, most notably at the UN.