Elan to give €3.7m for UCD research
IRISH-BASED drug developer Elan and University College Dublin have come together to create a research chair in biotechnology. The €3.7 million donation from Elan will also support two post-doctoral scholarships and a lecture series.
Details of the endowment, the goal of which is to build strengths at the interface between the business and science disciplines, were released yesterday.
The donation will create the Elan chair in the business of biotechnology, an appointment made at professorial level and jointly chosen by UCD’s business school and college of science.
The person will be expected to add more science to the business curriculum and increase the business and innovation content in the science curriculum.
The two post-doctoral scholarships also have this strong linkage between biotechnology research, innovation and commercialisation. They are named after two business leaders: Kieran McGowan, former head of IDA Ireland; and Kyran McLaughlin, deputy chairman of Davy Stockbrokers.
The endowment will also pay for an annual Laurence Crowley Business of Biotechnology lecture series, named in honour of the accountant who serves on the boards of a number of companies.
The partnership “is an example of how industry and university can support the national economic agenda, getting our brightest minds to provide vision and leadership for future wealth generation”, said Kelly Martin, the company’s chief executive officer.
Elan chose UCD as “they have an outstanding business school and a new science centre”, he said. It was also “a 40-year-old Irish company”, he added. “Elan is committed to going on being a part of the Irish infrastructure so UCD is important.”
The partnership would help to strengthen the quality of Irish graduates by helping to deliver business graduates who understood technology and science graduates who could become entrepreneurs, said UCD president Hugh Brady.
“Normally donations of this size are for bricks and mortar, but Elan’s investment in brainpower demonstrates the company’s commitment to Ireland,” he said.
The endowment should provide funding for the chair and for scholarship holders for seven years.