A RESEARCH centre in UL is to share in a €245m funding programme announced this week.
Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre which is based in UL, is one of five ‘world-class’ research centres included in the Government and industry backed funding, announced by Minister Richard Bruton.
Lero, which brings together leading software teams from third level with an industry focus at its heart, is regarded as one of a key software research centres and will share in funding of €155 million from the Department of Jobs and €90 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners.
“Software has now become an essential component of virtually all businesses and across all industries and sectors,” said Professor Mike Hinchey, Lero director and Professor of Software Engineering in UL.
“Lero brings together internationally recognised research capabilities in software research along with 29 industry partners.
“This funding awarded to Lero will allow us to conduct research on the latest industry software challenges, enabling multinationals and SMEs in Ireland to thrive and maintain a competitive advantage, and establish Lero as a world class centre of software research excellence.”
The funding is the second tranche awarded under the under the SFI Research Centres programme and comes in the wake of UL’s own investment in science and engineering initiative through the €52 million Bernal Project.
UL president Professor Don Barry said the latest funding investment would continue to help “support Ireland’s ability to retain and attract top researchers and is another important step in building our smart economy.
“UL is home to two SFI research centres covering the fields of Software (Lero), Pharmaceuticals (SSPC) and together with our investment in the Bernal Project, we are furthering our commitment to excellence in science and engineering research and assisting Ireland’s economic recovery,” he added.
Education minister Jan O’Sullivan, who last week allocated €10m for the library project at UL, welcomed the announcement, saying that Limerick’s reputation would be enhanced by the inclusion of Lero in the funding plan, which runs to 2020.
“I am delighted that Lero will benefit from this funding,” she said. “The investment will ensure that Lero can continue its cutting edge research in software development. This is good news for UL and good news for Limerick.
“Having a strong third level sector in Limerick is crucial to our economic recovery and jobs growth.
“For more than a year now we have seen falling levels of unemployment in Limerick. It is vital that we maintain that momentum and this investment will help in that regard.”