Maynooth University opens €48m high-tech hub on its 25th anniversary

1 Sep 2022

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD, with Maynooth University president Prof Eeva Leinonen. Image: Maxwell Photography

With living labs, break-out rooms and new theatres, the facility will help Maynooth University meet the needs of its growing student population.

Maynooth University has opened a new academic building to boost its capacity and enhance its work in research and education.

The new Technology, Society and Innovation (TSI) Building is part of a €57m capital development project that includes the expansion of the university’s arts and science buildings. The capital project was supported with €25m from the Higher Education Strategic Infrastructure Fund.

The €48m high-tech hub was officially opened today (1 September) by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD. Celebrating its 25th anniversary as an independent institution, Martin said Maynooth University has “played a pivotal role in Ireland’s education system”, with an influence that has grown nationally and globally.

“This is a fantastic resource and innovation space for future generations to study, explore and contribute to Ireland’s workforce and innovation needs, as we move towards a digitally advanced and sustainability focused society,” Martin added.

The new 10,500 sq m building houses living labs and break-out rooms for interactive research, three large theatres and research spaces for students, academics and collaboration with industry partners.

The new site also includes a spacious outdoor plaza for gatherings, cultural activities, events and performances.

The latest development of Maynooth’s north campus will help it meet the needs of its growing student population. The number of students has reached 15,000 this year, up from 4,000 when Maynooth was established as an independent institution in 1997.

“Since first established as an independent university, Maynooth has been essential in meeting the demands of a growing population across the mid-east, midlands and west Dublin region in particular,” said Dr Mary Canning, chair of the Maynooth University Governing Authority.

“The increased capacity offered by the TSI Building will allow us to continue to do so well into the future.”

In line with Maynooth’s green campus and sustainability approach, the TSI building is heated by air source heat pumps and has green roofs, a solar PV array and rainwater harvesting.

Maynooth president Prof Eeva Leinonen said a key strength of the university is “exploring the interaction between technology and humans”, covering everything from drone tech and data privacy to the climate crisis.

“So, it is incredibly fitting today, as we celebrate a quarter of a century as an independent university, that we open the Technology, Society and Innovation Building, showcasing those strengths and signifying our embrace of the future.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic