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Business Case Study runner-up in 2020 UCD Impact Competition

  • Date: Mon, Mar 8, 2021

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Professor Cal Muckley from UCD College of Business and UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy and collaborators Dr Gaurav Kumar, Linh Pham and Darragh Ryan have been named runners-up in the 2020 UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition.

Their case study ‘Protecting older adults against financial exploitation’ details the impact of the research which generated a new ‘alert model’, showing how global financial institutions can use Artificial Intelligence to detect, predict and prevent cases of elder financial abuse.

“The impact of the research is that it is now recognized that artificial intelligence, together with standard bank data, can better protect the older clients of even a top financial institution,” said Professor Muckley.

Between three and seven per cent of persons over 70 have been victims of financial abuse.

The team collaborated with one of the largest global financial institutions, accessing over five million older clients worldwide, and identified various risk factors of elder financial abuse such as volatility of payment amounts and if the client has granted someone power of attorney.

From this data they were able to create an alert model that uses AI to remove much of the distraction created by false alarms - reducing false alarms by 57% - enabling skilled analysts to focus on the real problem cases. Additionally, the alert model also identifies new cases of elder financial abuse that are overlooked by analysts.

The model is now helping to protect millions of older people against financial crime.

The annual UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition encourages researchers, of all disciplines, to write a case study that tells the story of how their work has made a positive difference.

Despite the challenges of the year, UCD Research received more entries than ever before in 2020.

Commenting on the results, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact Professor Orla Feely said, “The volume of entries we received last year is a testament to the high-impact work going on across the university and to our researchers’ dedication to making meaningful contributions to the world. Research at UCD continues to improve health and wellbeing, protect the environment, influence policy, stimulate economic growth, enrich people’s lives, and inspire the next generation.”

The winner of the UCD 2020 Research Impact Case Study Competition is Associate Professor Catherine Cox. Her case study, entitled ‘Out of sight, out of mind: changing public perceptions of the mental health crisis in Irish prisons,’ details the significant impact of her project exploring the history of prisoner health.

There eight other runners-up in the 2020 competition are:

• Diabetes Complications Research Centre (UCD DCRC)
  Addressing the stigma faced by people living with obesity

• Associate Professor Ainhoa González
  Planning for sustainability through Environmental Sensitivity Mapping

• Assistant Professor Jennifer Keenahan
  Protecting the built environment from the effects of wind

• Associate Professor Marie Keenan
  Reimagining justice and healing after sexual violence

• Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe
  Right technology, right time: how the PEARs app is improving pregnancy outcomes

• Dr Kevin Nolan
  Reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in hospitals

• Associate Professor Francesco Pilla
  iSCAPE: improving the smart control of air pollution in Europe

• Dr Heidi Riley
  Promoting women in peace mediation across the island of Ireland

Professor Feely added, “I would like to personally congratulate our finalists and to thank them, not only for their hard work on these case studies, but for their commitment to ensuring people benefit from their research.

“I encourage all researchers to consider entering this year’s competition when it launches this spring.”

To help researchers think more deeply about their impact and write a compelling impact case study, UCD has developed a new Impact Toolkit website which will also be launched this spring, funded by the Higher Education Authority and produced by UCD Research Analytics and Impact team.


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