Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD announced €84 million to enhance research and innovation opportunities for the Technological University sector.
The programme will establish, equip, and staff regional research and innovation offices within TUs to enable deepened engagement with local and regional business, industry, and enterprise stakeholders.
It is also directed at developing researcher human capital in the technological sector, including staff development, recruitment, postgraduate training and supervision, networking, and collaborative knowledge-transfer and mobility schemes.
Minister Harris said:
“I am very pleased to announce, with the assistance of the European Regional Development Fund, the allocation of almost €84 million in funding to our five TUs as well as to Dundalk Institute of Technology and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.
“The Technological Universities are uniquely placed to link with local and regional enterprises, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises, to support them to turn innovation opportunities into real-world actuality.
“TUs are catalysts of regional development and support the skills and employment agendas regionally and nationally. This significant research-oriented funding will further enhance their capacity in this regard, ensuring that as a nation Ireland will be recognised as a world-leader in Research and Innovation for years to come.”
TU RISE is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the Southern, Eastern & Midland and the Northern & Western Regional Programmes, 2021-27.
This follows the Minister’s announcement in December of funding of €15 million for research equipment across the higher education sector under the Higher Education Research Equipment Grant, some €3.7 million of which was allocated to the technological sector.
That funding will help higher education institutions purchase and upgrade world-leading research equipment that will serve the research, innovation and development needs of Irish researchers and enterprise collaborators over the next two years. It will support vital research activity across the sector while also building future capacity in R&D.
Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority, which will manage the operations of the TU RISE scheme, Dr Alan Wall, said:
“Funding under TU RISE comes at a critical juncture in the development of the technological sector. This funding offers institutions the opportunity to enhance central research functions, which are critical to institutions strategically developing and achieving their research ambitions. Investment in staff and researchers in individual disciplines at Faculty level offers institutions an important opportunity to build expertise in research areas that will facilitate stronger engagement with regional enterprises aligned to Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and the Regional Enterprise Plans.
“The HEA conceived, designed and will manage this investment to support our TUs contribution to a bottom-up, place-based, dynamic process which brings together regional and national actors to link Ireland’s regional needs and potential with innovative policymaking”.
Welcoming the Scheme, the Cathaoirleach of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, Cllr John Naughten said:
“The TU RISE Scheme is another positive instance of European Funding, delivered by the EU co-funded Regional Programmes to assist the technological sector in enhanced engagement with businesses and stakeholders in the regions. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop much needed researcher human capital in the regions, which is one of the most pressing challenges facing the Northern and Western region.”