Posted: 00:00 IST
An Taoiseach Brian Cowen T.D. will today, (Friday, 18 June, 2010), unveil a unique partnership between NUI Galway and the University of Limerick with the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA to develop a joint Translational Research Institute. This development is one of the first initiatives to come out of the NUI Galway-UL Alliance launched earlier this year.
The Translational Research Institute will focus on the development and synergy of core technologies and expertise within the partner institutions, to provide Irish industries with relevant and world-class research solutions.
Welcoming the Initiative, An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, said: "I would like to commend all involved in establishing this Institute. It is exactly the type of development which the Government is trying to encourage. I believe it can help us achieve our goals for increasing collaboration between higher education institutions, establishing better linkages between higher education and industry, and delivering the economic growth and job creation we need in the years ahead."
The Translational Research Institute has a very significant strategic importance nationally. There is now an increasing emphasis in Ireland on research that can have more immediate industrial and economic benefits, in order to build the 'smart economy' and a knowledge society. The proposed Translational Research Institute, with the backing of the Georgia Institute of Technology's long-standing and extensive track record of industry-focused research and technology development, will play a leadership role in this area.
President of Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr G.P. "Bud" Peterson explained how the new partnership will also make it easier for Georgia Tech to conduct many large-scale applied research programs and will provide additional real-world research opportunities for Georgia Tech students.
"Georgia Tech is building upon a successful working relationship with both universities that has already produced important research in such areas as use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) in medical inventory management and energy management for buildings, and in-home care of aging populations. Georgia Tech remains committed to research efforts in Ireland, and we feel the synergy with our Irish partners will be a pathway to long-term successful operations" he said.
Both NUI Galway and the University of Limerick have strong track records in technology development and commercialisation, in addition to having international reputations for collaborating successfully with industry partners. This strong record of industry collaboration and world-class research in fields such as Biomedicine (the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway), Biomaterials (the Materials and Surface Science Institute at UL), renewable energy (at both Universities), internet technologies (Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway), and software development (the Lero Institute at UL), support the national focus on innovation, and technology commercialisation for economic growth and development. These strengths and experience will benefit significantly from the long-standing track record and reputation for delivery in translational research enjoyed by the Georgia Institute of Technology and its associated applied research arm, the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The Institute will apply technologies developed within its partner institutions in the Healthcare and Sustainable Energy market segments.
President of the University of Limerick, Professor Don Barry, said: "The Translational Research Institute is a very exciting development for the UL-NUI Galway Alliance. In this current environment, it is absolutely vital that we work together to form new partnerships and in turn deliver real results with real projects leading to the delivery of high value jobs. This Institute will champion the application of research to drive scientific and economic progress in our regions."
The new Translational Research Institute will be a national centre of excellence in translational research, technology development and exploitation in key strategic areas of Science, Engineering, and Technology. It will create a unique translational facility in Ireland and will significantly enhance the capacity and expertise available to the broad higher education sector and Irish industry, providing a distinct competitive advantage for indigenous SMEs and Irish-based FDI industries, thus helping to establish Ireland as a global centre of excellence for technology development, innovation and commercialisation.
Speaking at the announcement, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "Our partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology underlines the fact that both universities are working with the strengths and needs of our region, in the interest of the Irish economy and to the highest international standards. Georgia Institute of Technology have a longstanding and successful track record in bringing academic research to bear on problems facing industry and government. They have a record of success in translating academic research into products, processes and services which serve industry and generate economic wealth. We are proud that this new Translational Research Institute, Georgia Tech Ireland will bring this model to Irish Higher Education."