Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Education & Skills Senator Maria Byrne has confirmed that €406,520 in funding has been allocated to Limerick IT under the Government’s Regional Technology Clustering Fund.

Twelve successful applicants representing academic institutions from all regions have secured funding for their projects amounting to €46 million in total.

Senator Byrne said: “The Regional Technology Clustering Fund is the first annual competitive fund of its kind.

“It provides a platform for engagement between enterprise and regionally-based academic institutions – the Institutes of Technology (IoT) and Technological Universities (TU) – in order to drive productivity and competitiveness.

“The fund aligns with the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland which prioritises clustering and builds on regional strengths to support the expansion of Irish exporting businesses.

“It is really positive for Limerick that LIT is to be part of this fund.

“The projects will support and activate clustering in several sectors – furniture manufacturing, marine, connected health, Industry 4.0, construction, advanced manufacturing, cyber security, engineering, BioEconomy, MedTech and AgriTech.

“The clustering activity will help LIT to connect and engage with SMEs and multinational corporations in a strategic way on common areas of interest, while providing a means to increase their educational and research remit as knowledge providers in their region.

“This kind of interaction between educational institutions and business helps companies to respond to the skills challenges faced by SMEs and to assist companies to enhance their capability to win business in international markets. This can only be good news for the economic development of Limerick.

Announcing the successful applicants of the fund in Trim, Co Meath, Minister Heather Humphreys TD said: “Strengthening collaboration between industry leaders and Higher Education Institutions is a key priority for Government as we work to ensure we have balanced regional development.

“The funding very much complements the core ambitions of Future Jobs Ireland, which in 2020 will have clustering as a key theme. It includes projects that embrace innovation and technological change, improve SME productivity, help to build our skills base and assist with our transition to a low carbon economy.  It is this kind of innovative funding that will ensure we remain competitive and well-placed to grow and prosper in a rapidly changing global economy.”

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said: “I am extremely keen to see more regional options being opened to school leavers. There is a huge pool of talented, knowledgeable and experienced people in our enterprises and they are willing to bring on the next generation. Funding these clusters is essential to get the partnerships to bed down and create opportunities for students to plot a career path and enterprise and industry to grow.”

ENDS

Photo Caption: Senator Maria Byrne, LIT President Professor Vincent Cunnane, Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD in LIT

Photo Credit: Kieran Ryan Benson Free Repo.

 Contact

Maria Byrne

0868300951

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