THE GOVERNMENT has announced an additional €37 million in funding for university research centres, which it said will facilitate the creation of jobs in Ireland’s so-called “smart economy”.
The €37 million investment, which will be spread over six years, takes the funding of the Government’s competence centres programme to €90 million over that period.
To date, the competence centres programme involves six research units across UCC’s Tyndall Institute, NUI Maynooth, NUI Galway and the University of Limerick. The centres – which focus on areas of possible commercialisation such as nanotechnology, composite materials, bioenergy, IT innovation and microelectronics – will each receive up to €5 million over the next few years.
The Government intends to raise the number of centres in the programme from six to 15 by 2016, according to Minister for Enterprise Batt O’Keeffe. The Minister said collaboration between industry and academic researchers needed to be strengthened.
The programme is a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. It is designed to boost the number of high-tech products developed at university research centres that have a commercial benefit.