€25m grant to fund opening of new Maynooth University campus

30 Aug 2019

Architect's drawing of the new campus once completed. Image: Maynooth University

A Government capital grant worth €25m will contribute almost half the funding for a new Maynooth University academic building due to open next year.

Maynooth University is expected to add to its wider campus with the announcement of a €25m contribution from the Higher Education Strategic Infrastructure Fund. Announced by the Government this morning (30 August), the capital grant will be combined with €32m in university and European Investment Bank funding to deliver a new €57m campus project.

The planned 10,554 sq metre academic building is expected to open towards the end of 2020. This forms part of a wider plan to modernise and expand a further 5,670 sq metre of the existing arts and sciences buildings, set for completion by 2021.

Welcoming the announcement, Prof Philip Nolan, president of Maynooth University, said: “This is [a] landmark development project designed to keep pace with rapidly growing student numbers in the country’s fastest growing region, and to support the research and innovation skills needed to face fundamental societal challenges.”

He continued: “This infrastructural project will further support Maynooth University’s research and innovation in areas vital to economic, social and environmental challenges, including climate science, environmental science, artificial intelligence, regional and urban planning, smart cities, the future of work, as well as services innovation, public policy and social change.”

Last May, the university announced the opening of its €1.5m 5G test centre, with the aim of bolstering Ireland’s capabilities in the internet of things (IoT) space.

The site consists of a specially constructed anechoic chamber that provides total isolation for radio signals, meaning no signals will be able to enter or leave the facility – as is key for this type of research. Maynooth University hopes that the centre will help address the full range of challenges that come with developing new technologies, particularly in 4G mobile networks, IoT-enabled products and future 5G mmWave devices.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic