Aims & Objectives

The application of Nanotechnology to Medicine (Nanohealth) has the potential to deliver major advances in healthcare, and in doing so, will drive innovation and deliver sustainable economic & social development.

National agencies in Wales & Ireland have supported the establishment of world class Research & Development (R&D) infrastructures in Swansea and Dublin:

  • Centre for NanoHealth, Swansea University
  • Centre for BioNano Interactions, University College Dublin
  • Institute for Molecular Medicines & Centre for Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity College Dublin
  • Biomedical Diagnostics Institute and Nanobiophotonics and Imaging Centre, Dublin City University

All four institutes are committed to leveraging these investments through a coordinated cross-border cluster between the Centres to create a world-class alliance of key opinion leaders, internationally distinguished researchers and state-of-the-art infrastructure – the Celtic Alliance for Nanohealth (CAN).

CAN will have the scope, capacity, and flexibility to lead nanohealth internationally from scientific, technological, and economic innovation perspectives. CAN is ideally placed to realise the social and economic dividend for Wales and Ireland that nanohealth (repeatedly identified as a cornerstone of European development and integration) is poised to deliver. 

This emergent business area will undergo rapid growth to deliver future healthcare, and CAN will directly impact on economic prosperity through the transfer of innovations from these leading HEIs to industry, in particular SMEs.

The CAN partnership will realise cross-border innovation in R&D through a series of training and commercialisation programmes. CAN will work closely with Welsh and Irish SMEs to explore and exploit opportunities presented by the effective development and management of the nanohealth platform, and will work to disseminate these advances to the European academic and industry base.

The CAN project will:

  • Set up the Celtic Alliance for NanoHealth cross-border cluster of key opinion leaders, internationally distinguished researchers and state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Identify and engage with business(es) to take forward project outputs to be transferred to commercialisation
  • Establish Wales-Ireland Alliance in Entrepreneurship, aimed at SMEs, who will capitalise on the opportunities disseminating from developments in advanced imaging, and also to ‘pitch’ to a Venture Capital panel, as well as participating in open discussion fora and networking activities
  • Engage with the wider community - publicity and information dissemination at major public events in Ireland and Wales
Partner ERDF (€) Total Project Budget (€)
Swansea University LP 361,309 481,995
University College Dublin 162,954 217,273
Trinity College Dublin 217,268 289,693
Dublin City University 168,204 224,272
Total 909,736 1,213,233

Counties in Ireland where the project is carried out:


Counties in Wales where the project is carried out:



Name Organisation Email Telephone
Jennifer Walker - Project Co-ordinator Swansea University Singleton Park Swansea SA2 8PP 0044 1792 606440
Professor Yuri Volkov - Trinity College Dublin 00353 1 896 3263
Robert Forster - Dublin City University 00353 1 7005943
Prof. Kenneth Dawson - University College Dublin 00353 1 7162459