Translational Research Institute launched by university alliance

18 Jun 2010

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), one of the world’s premier research universities, has entered into a partnership with National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and the University of Limerick (UL) to develop a joint Translational Research Institute.

This development is one of the first initiatives to come out of the NUIG–UL Alliance launched earlier this year.

The Translational Research Institute will focus on the development and synergy of core technologies and expertise within the partner institutions to provide Irish industries with relevant and world-class research solutions.

National centre of excellence in translational research

The new institute will be a national centre of excellence in translational research, technology development and exploitation in key strategic areas of science, engineering and technology. It will create a unique translational facility in Ireland and will significantly enhance the capacity and expertise available to the broad higher-education sector and Irish industry, providing a distinct competitive advantage for indigenous SMEs and Irish-based FDI industries, thus helping to establish Ireland as a global centre of excellence for technology development, innovation and commercialisation.

“I would like to commend all involved in establishing this institute. It is exactly the type of development the Government is trying to encourage. I believe it can help us achieve our goals for increasing collaboration between higher-education institutions, establishing better linkages between higher education and industry, and delivering the economic growth and job creation we need in the years ahead,” An Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD said of the announcement.

Georgia Tech’s Irish connections

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Although based in the US, Georgia Tech has an Irish division (Georgia Tech Ireland) with offices in Athlone. The president of Georgia Tech, Dr GP ‘Bud’ Peterson, explained how the new partnership will also make it easier to conduct many large-scale applied research programmes and will provide additional real-world research opportunities for students.

“Georgia Tech is building upon a successful working relationship with both universities that has already produced important research in such areas as use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) in medical inventory management and energy management for buildings, and in-home care of aging populations. Georgia Tech remains committed to research efforts in Ireland, and we feel the synergy with our Irish partners will be a pathway to long-term successful operations,” he said.

Partnership to develop high-value jobs

The new institute has also been welcomed by NUIG and UL. “The Translational Research Institute is a very exciting development for the UL–NUIG Alliance. In this current environment, it is absolutely vital that we work together to form new partnerships and in turn deliver real results with real projects leading to the delivery of high-value jobs. This institute will champion the application of research to drive scientific and economic progress in our regions,” said Prof Don Barry, UL president.