An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD this week opened NUI Galway’s €30 million Biomedical Science Building that will bring together 300 scientists and researchers. This collaborative approach aims to build on the university’s role at the heart of Galway’s vibrant medtech sector; one of five global hubs in a market worth €95 billion annually in the EU.
The Biomedical Science Building, funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI ) and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund, will create a platform for discovery, development and delivery. It will build on the output of NUI Galway’s cluster of world-leading biomedical research groups in areas such as regenerative medicine and stem cell research, cancer biology (particularly breast and prostate cancer ) biomechanics and biomaterials.
Speaking at the opening, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, “I'm delighted to be here for the opening of this new Biomedical Science Building at NUIG. This development will help build on Ireland's reputation as a location for the medtech sector. Already 250 medical technology companies based in Ireland export €7.9bn worth of product annually and employ 25,000 people, and the Government sees this sector as a key driver of economic growth.
“The Action Plan for Jobs has delivered on the aim of establishing a Health Innovation Hub and will continue to work with industry to turn more good ideas into good jobs and commercial returns. By bringing the best and brightest together in such an innovative setting there is also real potential here for ground-breaking research to the benefit of humanity" he added.
NUI Galway president, Dr Jim Browne said “This building will see innovation in action. Located in Galway, close to nine of the world’s 10 leading medtech companies, researchers at the Biomedical Science building will work on the science which will address some of today’s most pressing biomedical challenges. It is a tangible expression of this University’s commitment to providing the human and intellectual capital needed by the medtech sector here in Ireland.”
Dr Browne noted the generous support of Bank of Ireland for the project. A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland said “We are pleased to have played a key role in bringing this very important project to fruition given its importance to the ongoing development of NUI Galway’s faculties and capabilities. We are confident that this will in turn play a role in supporting the development of key related sectors in the West.”
NUI Galway vice-president for Research, Professor Lokesh Joshi said "This new development is the result of excellence and success in biomedical research in NUI Galway for the past decade. It marks the beginning of a new era to find synergies among different groups and will enable us to continue to compete successfully for funding from European and other sources. It will also help researchers focus on translating their research into products for societal benefit."
Since the early 2000s the University has developed a complementary range of interdisciplinary research centres and initiatives including:
• National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES ) www.ncbes.ie • Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI ) www.remedi.ie • Network of Excellence in Functional Biomaterials (NFB ) www.nfb.ie • Applied Glycosciences Research Cluster (AGRC ) /www.agrc.ie/
• Centre for Chromosome Biology (CCB ) www.chromosome.ie/ • Apoptosis Research Centre (ARC ) www.apoptosis.ie/ • BioInnovate Ireland www.bioinnovate.ie • MeTRIC www.metricireland.ie/ These initiatives have resulted in a world-class clinical, research and people infrastructure at NUI Galway. For example, in the last 10 years the University has made over 60 permanent appointments - strategically focussed in the area of biomedical engineering science – across the colleges of Medicine, Science, Engineering and Business. In addition many hundreds of research students and post-doctoral researchers continue to be attracted to Galway, representing very significant human capital for Ireland and the medtech sector.
Through a spirit of discovery and delivery NUI Galway seeks to advance the boundaries of biomedical research and contribute to the international scientific community's quest for knowledge. In so doing, the research outputs will advance clinical trials to improve the quality of life of patients and stimulate enterprise creation, generate high-end sustainable employment and add value to the national economy.
Dr Sarah Gundy, Professor Abhay Pandit and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the official opening of the €30 million NUI Galway Biomedical Science Building which will host over 300 scientists. Photograph by Aengus McMahon