Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute (MU SSI)

Regional and Spatial Planning

AIRO is based within NIRSA at NUI Maynooth and manages all spatial analysis projects within the institution.

Established in 2015 as part of the University’s ambitious Research Strategy (2012-2017), the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute (MUSSI) brings together, consolidates and scales existing social scientific research expertise and research infrastructure across the campus as part of a single enterprise.  The purpose of MUSSI is to coordinate and direct a collaborative network which includes twelve Faculty of Social Sciences  academic departments (Adult and Community Education; Anthropology; Applied Social Studies; Business; Design Innovation; Economics, Finance and Accounting; Froebel Department of Childhood and Primary Education , Education; Geography; International Development; Law; Sociology), and three existing Faculty of Social Science based research Institutes (National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, National Centre for Geocomputation and the Edward M Kennedy Institute).

Its mission is to lead the development of two of Maynooth University’s six research priority areas: People, Place and Environment and Social and Economic Transformations

MUSSI also manages, supports and develops, a number of critical national data infrastructures including the All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO), the Irish Qualitative Data Archive (IQDA), and Digital Repository Ireland (DRI).  

MUSSI is home to two European Research Council (ERC) fellows, has won Horizon2020 funding, is a founding partner of the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD),  and the Irish Social Sciences Platform (ISSP) and serves as the national contact point for Ireland for both URBACT 3 (2015-2017) and ESPON (2014-2020).

International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD)

All-Island Spatial Planning

The International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) is a North-South-US partnership programme created to explore and expand the contribution that planning and the development of physical, social and economic infrastructures can make to improving the lives of people in both Irish jurisdictions – particularly those in divided and disadvantaged areas – and thus to peace-building and reconciliation on the island. AIRO acts as the primary mapping and data analysis team for all ICLRD projects.

The ICLRD provides independent research, planning analysis and a range of international experience to assist policy makers, practitioners, local officials and community groups in promoting good local and regional planning as part of the process of conflict resolution and in achieving greater social and economic cohesion.

The Centre:

Provides independent, joined-up research, thinking and policy advice on cross-border and all-island spatial planning issues (economic development, transport, housing, environment, service provision, etc);

Offers capacity building programmes for communities, local, regional and national government actors;

Acts as a catalyst and conduit to bring relevant actors, North and South, together to work on common goals; and promotes international co-operation and exchanges

National Centre for GeoComputation (NCG)

Spatial Analysis

The National Centre for Geocomputation (NCG) was founded at the National University of Ireland Maynooth in 2004 through funding provided by Science Foundation Ireland. Since then, the NCG has become firmly established as a leading international research centre in the field of Geocomputation, with over thirty researchers, and is a major intellectual centre committed to extending understanding and utilisation of the capture, analysis and modelling of spatial data.