Kenny launches €52m plan in University of Limerick

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with UL president Professor Don Barry, launching the new research and teaching initiative at the University of Limerick, 'The Bernal Project'.  Picture: Alan Place
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has today launched a €52 million science and engineering initiative at the University of Limerick.

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has today launched a €52 million science and engineering initiative at the University of Limerick.

The Bernal Project, designed to stimulate the economy, will create a total of 225 jobs - 150 in construction jobs on the new building, currently underway, while a further 75 long-term, sustainable research and teaching positions will be created through the research initiative.

The project involves the recruitment of 10 world leading professors, a start-up seed fund to support their teaching and research activity and the construction of the new advanced research building.

The University said the Bernal project would “make a significant contribution to Ireland’s national research initiatives in the strategically important areas of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Energy Research and Development”.

The University of Limerick Foundation has committed to providing €36m in philanthropic funding for the project, primarily from Atlantic Philanthropies, the project’s main sponsor to date with a commitment of €26.3m.

The balance will come from state funding and University funds.

Mr Kenny said he was “delighted to be here to announce this project which not only creates jobs in the construction phase but is exactly the kind of development Ireland needs as we continue to enhance our attractiveness as a location for inward investment and jobs in Research and Development”.

Speaking at the launch, UL president Professor Don Barry said: “The imperative in growing the University and contributing to the economic development of Ireland is premised on developing a deep knowledge infrastructure and human capital base that will attract investment and stimulate the development of high-end industry and services at the core of a revitalised ‘smart’ economy.”

For more on this, see our print edition on Monday