Fund of €83m launched for technological education sector

TU Research and Innovation Supporting Enterprise (TU Rise) fund is co-funded by the Government and the European Union

An €83.68-million project to enhance research and enterprise engagement in the technological university sector has been launched by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris.

The TU Research and Innovation Supporting Enterprise (TU Rise) fund is co-funded by the Government and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund.

The fund will support the research capabilities of higher education institutions in the technological sector at technological universities (TUs) and Institutes of Technology (IoTs). It will place an emphasis on fostering collaboration between these institutions and enterprises in their respective regions.

Mr Harris said the fund would play a crucial role in “cementing” the links between education and enterprise.


“This funding will ensure there is greater and more structured engagement with regional enterprises, in particular small and medium enterprises,” Mr Harris said.

“This new fund builds further on the significant support already being provided by Government for the establishment and continuing development of our new technological universities.

“TU Rise will focus on the research capacity-building element which is so fundamental to the TUs and with a focus on enhancing engagement with regional enterprises.”

Funding proposals will encompass a range of initiatives directed at establishing and strengthening research and innovation offices, as well as increasing the availability of skilled researchers.

Mr Harris said the fund would focus on addressing staff development, recruitment, postgraduate training and supervision, networking, and collaborative knowledge-transfer and mobility schemes.

Ireland’s third-level education sector has expanded in recent years with the establishment of five fully accredited technological universities. The fund will enhance regional entrepreneurship, leveraging these technological universities as “anchors for enterprise” in line with the ambitions of the TU national agenda, Mr Harris said.

“TU Rise is in my view a hugely significant programme that will produce real benefits for the TUs, their staff, students and stakeholders and for our regions more generally,” he said.

The programme will be administered by the Higher Education Authority and funding will be allocated by the fourth quarter of 2023. The closing date for application is September 14th, 2023, with projects expected to commence in 2024.

CEO of the Higher Education Authority Dr Alan Wall welcomed the partnership and said: “The TU Rise scheme underlines the importance of the partnership of the Government and the EU in developing Ireland’s higher education and research system.”

Through the TU Rise scheme, funding of €63.68m is available to Munster Technological University, Technological University of the Shannon, South East Technological University and Technological University Dublin under the Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme. Funding of €20 million is available under the Northern and Western Regional Programme under which the Atlantic Technological University is listed.

Although Dundalk Institute of Technology and the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology are not designated technological universities, they can also avail of the scheme.

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Iriseoir agus Eagarthóir Gaeilge An Irish Times. Éanna Ó Caollaí is The Irish Times' Irish Language Editor, editor of The Irish Times Student Hub, and Education Supplements editor.