TCD secures €81.9 million in Research Funding that will Grow Graduate Education and Smart Economy for Ireland

Posted on: 16 July 2010

The Provost of Trinity College Dublin,  Dr John Hegarty today (July 16th, 2010) welcomed the announcement by the  Taoiseach,  Brian Cowen,  of  Government investment in research and innovation under the HEA  Programme for Research in Third-level Institutions (PRTLI).  Seventeen of Trinity’s submitted proposals were successful, securing funding of €81.9 million.  Trinity will be providing an additional €20.6 million in matched funding.

“This is a significant investment in the future of this country.  It involves very many of our best academic staff and students, working closely with partners in other institutions and in industry. I am delighted to see that our key capital project, the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Development, is to receive significant funding as this will not only enhance education but will also create long term high quality jobs and highly trained enterprising researchers.  I am also delighted that our Innovation Alliance with UCD has received a major boost in preparing the creative and entrepreneurial graduates for the future.  Finally, it is  highly appropriate that the strength of our arts and humanities is recognised.    All in all, the investment will have long term consequences for the livelihood and the spirit of the nation. There are still major funding deficits, but this is a timely recognition that our institutional strategy and our vision for job creation are correct,” stated Dr Hegarty.

Major projects for which Trinity has received funding include:

The Trinity Biomedical Sciences Flagship Institute on Pearse Street – €55.4 million

The Trinity Biomedical Sciences Development is the most ambitious construction project in Trinity’s history. It will redefine the scientific research landscape in Trinity College and will allow Ireland to take an international lead on the delivery of quality research benefiting human health and society. The Trinity Biomedical Sciences Development will consolidate and co-locate pre-clinical bioscience research across five different schools, interlinking leading research in immunology, cancer and medical devices in a single facility. It will increase the ability for long term high quality job creation through new Intellectual Property (IP) and highly trained enterprising researchers.

The TCD-UCD Innovation Academy for Graduate Entrepreneurship Training – €861, 000

The TCD-UCD Innovation Alliance is a radical new partnership between Ireland’s leading universities to develop an innovation ecosystem for Ireland with higher education, enterprise and government driving economic recovery and the knowledge society.  The TCD-UCD Innovation Academy is the educational centre piece of this alliance. The Innovation Academy will transform fourth level education and training across two institutions which together account for over 50% of the PhD students in Ireland. The Academy fundamentally changes doctoral education by establishing innovation alongside research and education as a key outcome thereby developing a new breed of graduate with the creativity and entrepreneurial skill to apply their knowledge for commercial, economic and social benefit. The Innovation Academy will provide innovation and entrepreneurship training, industry mentored interdisciplinary projects, culminating in a joint TCD-UCD Graduate Diploma in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Ten Graduate Research Programmes  ?  €19.6 million

Ten Graduate Research programmes received €19.6 million. These structured PhD programmes will create 100 research positions and research platforms, partnerships and innovation models across a range of disciplines, including science and engineering, social sciences, and arts and humanities.  Through these programmes, fourth-level researchers can engage with a wide range of stakeholders in order to contribute to economic development on the island of Ireland and provide new professional opportunities for graduates.  The flagship Digital Arts and Humanities Structured PhD Programme is an excellent example of this type of programme.

The Digital Arts and Humanities Structured PhD Programme is a four year programme that will provide world-class training in innovative models of arts practice and theory, and humanities research, archiving and pedagogy.  The programme will promote advanced practical and academic research in the application of new media and computer technologies in the arts and humanities. It will be multi-disciplinary and inter-institutional and will provide coherent exposure to transferable skills in digital content creation that will be enabling, academically rigorous and commercially viable.

Comments from industry:

“This research funding offers real opportunities for universities and industry to work together to bring about the ‘smart economy’, facilitating entrepreneurial skills within the context of a structured PhD programme in arts and humanities, while promoting job creation in areas as diverse as digital archiving and data-mining,” says Marie Wallace, Worldwide Content Analytics Solution Architect, IBM Ireland.

“We welcome this funding in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Development, which is unique worldwide in bringing together the broadest range of scientific disciplines, combining researching and teaching, and which will result in world class advanced research. With such a breadth of research excellence, there is a huge opportunity for developing convergent technology, which is becoming a massive driver of innovation and job creation,” says John Lynch, CEO, Merrion Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.

Innovation Alliance Response

The Provost of Trinity, Dr John Hegarty and the President of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady, have jointly welcomed the PRTLI announcement, please see the Innovation Alliance website.