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Ireland: Two universities get €14m in non-State funding

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway separately have won non-exchequer funding worth a combined €14 million, money that will support the creation of almost 60 research jobs.

Trinity College Dublin announced €8 million in non-State funding had been acquired so far this year, about 35 per cent from European industry and 65 per cent from the EU. This is more than double the non-exchequer support achieved last year, the university said.

NUI Galway announced yesterday it was to lead a €6 million EU-funded project to examine the ability of stem cells to reduce the damage caused by complications of diabetes.

Together these two blocks of funding will led to 59 research positions for PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows. In both cases the funding also has a strong industrial component, with direct industrial partner involvement and funding support.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton was on hand for the Trinity announcement yesterday, made at a one-day “industry showcase” event organised by its Crann nanotechnology research institute.

Ireland’s future depended on creating employment in strong enterprises built on the back of research, said Mr Bruton. “We need to turn good ideas into good jobs. That is our challenge,” he added.

Crann has about 120 industrial partners. Having an international profile for research was a strong “attractant” for foreign direct investment, said Prof John Boland, director of Crann.

Prof Timothy O’Brien will coordinate the stem cell research project in Galway. He directs the Regenerative Medicine Institute (Remedi) and is a consultant endocrinologist at Galway University Hospital. Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd, an NUI Galway spinout company, is the lead industrial partner.

The research will include clinical trials using stem cells. The ultimate goal is to counter the diabetic complications that arise due to poor control of blood sugar levels. These conditions include kidney and retinal damage, impaired bone repair and wound ulceration among others.

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