INFANT is Ireland’s first dedicated perinatal research centre. The centre’s mission is to make pregnancy safer and to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies worldwide. Their multi-disciplinary collaborative research and an array of industry partnerships make INFANT an international leader of discovery and innovation in perinatal healthcare.
INFANT is committed to innovative, life-changing research and technology that will reduce the impact of perinatal disease worldwide. Across pregnancy, birth and infancy, INFANT is solving challenges and measuring impacts on maternal and child health. INFANT is industry facing and explores commercial opportunities with industry partners.
INFANT’s key areas of exploration are:
- Biomedical Engineering
- Health Nutrition
With active project grants worth €30 million, INFANT has over 100 staff and investigators across a range of clinical, scientific and engineering disciplines working to address unmet worldwide clinical needs for pregnant women and newborn babies. They are working to develop screening tests and treatments for pre-eclampsia, preterm birth and fetal growth restrictions; conducting research on maternal and infant nutrition and developing monitoring solutions for hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) and asphyxia at birth.
Industry and Commercialisation
INFANT works with start-ups, small and medium enterprises and multinational corporations across range of sectors, both Irish and International. Some of these partners include:
- Alere Crème
- Global Danone
- Inspiration Healthcare
- Johnson & Johnson
- Laya Healthcare
- Metabolomic Diagnostics
- Nihon Kohden
- Waters Corporation
- Uniquely located within Cork University Maternity Hospital, Europe’s second busiest maternity unit, with state-of-the-art infrastructure and over 8,000 births annually
- Biobank: INFANT is home to a world-class pregnancy/infant biobank with almost 2 million aliquots of blood, serum, DNA and other tissue samples.
- Extensive physiological and IT databases managed and curated to international standards
- Extensive IT platforms for large scale data storage and processing
- Laboratories and analytical platforms for pre-clinical and basic science
- Dedicated assessment rooms for neurodevelopmental and physical follow-up studies
Education and Public Engagement
INFANT’s education and public engagement programme actively encourages positive attitudes towards science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM); promotes STEM careers; and works towards increasing science capital across our community and society. In collaboration with Science Foundation Ireland, INFANT researchers engage with schools, community groups and the general public through a wide range of activities such as Science Week, FameLab, INFANT Mental Health Week and Engineers Week. INFANT researchers deliver a wide-ranging programme throughout the year, including hands-on workshops, demonstrations, student placements, public forums, training days and panels.