Colleges and companies to partner on courses for ‘future economy’
Six new research centres to receive €100m to train students in digital, data science and ICT
Ninety companies will partner with Irish third-level institutions to create places for 700 students. Photograph: iStock
Some 90 companies are going to partner with Irish third-level colleges in running postgraduate courses and research programmes to train students in key skills needed in the digital science, data, and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors.
The plan will see €100 million invested in six new Irish research centres to provide training for 700 postgraduate students.
The centres will develop and deliver research and training programmes for postgraduate students on disciplines identified as critical to meeting future skills needs for the economy.
The SFI Centres for Research Training will be run by Science Foundation Ireland and based in third-level colleges around the country.
“In Project 2040, the Government has set objectives that will ensure a strong economic future for Ireland. Delivering on these will require continued investment in skills and talent in research and development, equipping the champions of this future economy with the tools and expertise necessary to build it,” she said.
The initiative will bring together the higher education sector and some 90 industry partners to develop and deliver innovative programmes of research and training for postgraduate students in Ireland, Ms Humphreys said.
“This is all part of our wider effort to ensure that we are preparing now for tomorrow’s economy.”
SFI director general Prof Mark Ferguson, who is also chief scientific adviser to the Government, said the level of investment demonstrated the State’s commitment to ensuring future generations of Irish PhD students were well trained in data analytics and its application to areas such as business, health and agriculture.
He added: “Teams of excellent researchers in Irish higher-education institutions have teamed up with industrial collaborators and international partners to develop outstanding national programmes of research and training in digital, data and ICT skills – the future of both the economy and society.”
Minister of State John Halligan said it was a Government priority to ensure there was enough highly-trained, well-networked research talent in areas of strategic importance for Ireland.
The new centres would ensure better integration and collaboration across disciplines, he said.
He said this “cohort approach” would expose students to the wider scientific relevance of their research, “encourage peer-to-peer learning and facilitate the establishment of networks, empowering them to take on positions of leadership”.
The new centres , which have begun recruitment, are in machine learning; digitally enhanced reality, advanced networks for sustainable societies, foundations of data science, artificial intelligence and genomics data science.
They will involve partnerships across the following institutions: University College Dublin; Technological University of Dublin; Dublin City University; Trinity College Dublin; Cork Institute of Technology; University College Cork; Maynooth University; University of Limerick; NUI Galway; Tyndall National Institute; and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.