The IUA welcomes the announcement of €358m funding for research through the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). Speaking today Ned Costello (CEO) stated that “in the midst of a major recession this is an investment to maintain the future competitiveness of Ireland. It will build on the €866m already invested over the past 10 years that has already transformed the research landscape in Ireland”. This public investment was only possible through the leveraging of national and international finance from a variety of sources, and given the recent series of cutbacks in R&D investment, is a critical first step in the government’s renewed drive to support and promote the knowledge economy.
In the short term the investment will have clear practical benefits to the economy through the creation of new jobs and will stimulate activity in the construction sector with over €259m for research infrastructure. The funded programmes will result in direct collaborations between academia and high tech industry across a wide range of sectors.
The funding will support new research in areas of national priority including how renewable energy sources can be better integrated into the national electricity grid and eco-innovation research that brings together a wide range of research bodies and companies. There are national shared facilities bringing together expertise across the country in, for example, marine & environmental technologies. Also funded is a national audio visual repository that will use state of the art technology to preserve our cultural heritage through storing film and folklore.
This investment will support the national Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation as a major boost to graduate education. The EU and US recognise the need for highly skilled and creative graduates to drive the knowledge economy. The structured PhD programmes funded under PRTLI 5 will focus on areas of national importance including innovation, economics, nanoscience, nanotechnology, medicine and telecommunications.
For more information contact: Dr Conor O’Carroll, IUA Director of Research, 01 6764948