World-class research centre opens at University of Limerick
Investment of €86 million attracts leading scientists into UL’s Bernal Institute
Prof Don Barry: Bernal Institute at UL is academia, government and industry all working together to create a “gamechanger”. Photograph: Sean Curtin Press 22
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was on hand on Monday to formally open the Bernal Institute, a huge multipurpose research space that will bring a number of existing institutes into a single location.
The Bernal Institute will provide the space but it will also have the personnel to advance Ireland’s research efforts.
The institute will house more than 260 researchers, including six world experts who already hold Bernal research chairs and who lead teams making discoveries in crystal engineering, fluid mechanics and microscopy among other disciplines.
These chairs between them have already attracted an additional €25 million in research funding and 70 companies have already formed partnerships with scientists who will be based at the institute.
Pharmaceuticals and materials
“The institute will ensure that Ireland stays at the cutting edge of research and innovation,” the Taoiseach said at the formal opening. Advances in pharmaceuticals, medicines and materials will help tackle great world challenges facing society, he said.
The Bernal Institute was a great example of academia, government and industry all working together to create a “gamechanger”, said UL president Prof Don Barry.
It is named for John Desmond Bernal, an influential scientist who was born in Nenagh, Co Tipperary. He was a pioneer in the use of X-ray crystallography to study structures in molecular biology.