NUI Galway was named in the top three big winners, securing over € 60 million in research funding under PRTLI Cycle 5 - the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, announced last weekend by An Taoiseach, Mr Brian Cowen T.D.
The NUI Galway projects funded include three new world-class research facilities, an Arts Humanities Social Sciences Research Building and two buildings dedicated to biomedical science research, with a combined cost of €50m.
The Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences Research Building will provide a unique research environment to transform Galway’s rich cultural resources into social and economic opportunity. The new facility will be a national and international resource that integrates research and training in the humanities, digital cultures, creative industries, cusiness, social sciences, rights, advocacy, and public policy.
Funded under the theme of ‘Advancing Medicine through Discovery’, two new buildings for medical science research will enable NUI Galway to build on its existing strength in the biomedical sciences area, established through its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES ). The proposed infrastructure consists of two new facilities, a biosciences research building on the main campus, and a Translational Research Facility, which will house basic, translational and clinical research teams on the site of Galway University Hospital.
This announcement is of both regional and national significance as it enhances the infrastructure of the biomedical sciences research hub at NUI Galway, which is located at the centre of the medical device and healthcare industries in Ireland. The new facility will enhance the national capacity and international standing of Ireland in the biomedical sciences arena.
In a major boost to graduate education, NUI Galway also received funding to lead two new structured PhD programmes, with a combined cost of €7m. A new Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine graduate education programme, which includes international and Medical Devices industry partners, will train graduates to be R&D and product development leaders in industry.
A second PhD programme in clinical and translational biomedical research will focus on patient and disease oriented research and aims to produce scientists trained to translate discoveries into clinical and commercial application.
NUI Galway is also a partner in several other funded projects including a Digital Arts and Humanities structured PhD programme which is linked to the new Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences Research Building.
Welcoming the announcement, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "I am delighted to welcome this very substantial investment, which is a strong endorsement of NUI Galway’s research activities. It is also a recognition of the work of the University’s Foundation and its donors, who have provided very significant match funding for the major projects funded today. It is particularly gratifying to note the broad spread of the funding across projects in the Medical Sciences and in the Humanities and Social Sciences.”
“This is great news for NUI Galway, as well as for the broader higher education sector and for Irish industry. Today’s announcement is a clear signal of the Government’s commitment to delivering the knowledge economy. The investment in research infrastructure right across the country will have an immediate benefit in bringing much-needed jobs to the construction industry.
Concentrating resources on biomedical science and arts, humanities and social sciences research at NUI Galway will have a major impact on the medical technologies and the creative arts industries in the West of Ireland. We have the opportunity now to provide two distinct Irish industry sectors with relevant, world-class research solutions, transforming national leadership into global competitiveness.”