An ambitious proposal to set up a centre for science, technology, and innovation in Galway has been announced, along with two others in Cork and Dublin.
The aim of the centre is to make it possible for young people to access information on areas such as engineering and science on a permanent basis.
Promoted by the Galway Science and Technology Festival committee, a draft plan has already been drawn up for an interactive centre which might involve people who had previously worked in the academic area or in industry.
Industry will contribute an additional €14.5m to the projects, bringing the total investment to over €60m. The awards announced today are for three Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSETs ).
They are the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre based at UCC, CRANN (Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices ) at Trinity College Dublin and DERI, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute based at NUI Galway.
SFI distributes funding for research on behalf of the Government.
Chairman Tom Hyland describes it as a “visionary plan” which would make it possible for people – from eight to 80 – to experience an interactive series of displays, and to learn and explore.
“The centre would aim to make young people, and their parents ,more aware of the role of science, technology, and engineering in every day life,” says Mr Hyland.
The plans comes after another successful Science and Technology Festival which aims to make young people aware of the excitement of science and engineering areas, and the part they play in keeping Ireland to the forefront of industrial and economic development.
Mr Hyland was speaking at the presentation to Caroline Healy, senior manager of learning and development with Medtronic, of the Galway Science Person of the Year Award. The award is in recognition of her work in the area of making science more accessible to young people in Galway.
Mr Hyland said Caroline Healy had done a tremendous job in working with the schools, with the people in the Education Centre, and with the Science and Technology Festival.
Caroline Healy said she accepted the award, not on her own behalf, but on behalf of Medtronic and the people with whom she had worked over many years in the festival.