Dublin’s Trinity College and University College Cork (UCC) have announced they intend to work together to research neuroscience, food science and nanotechnology.
The heads of the universities said on Friday that they have identified a number of research areas in which they have complimentary strengths and that they wish to develop these areas in tandem to ensure the maximum intellectual and educational benefits for the two universities.
Trinity Provost Dr John Hegarty and UCC president Prof Gerry Wrixon said that at a time of unprecedented investment by the State in science and technology research, the institutions should work together to deliver greater efficiencies at fourth level.
In addition to the research themes of nanotechnology, food, health and neuroscience, UCC and Trinity College will also collaborate in the implementation of institutional research strategies, management-information systems, benchmarking, institutional repositories, technology transfer initiatives and in the procurement of equipment and materials for research.
The universities will also exploit opportunities for the introduction of joint postgraduate programmes at masters and PhD levels and will work to develop a system of credit recognition that facilitates the transfer of students between the institutions.
“We see this as the first step on the road to increased collaboration between all universities on the island, moving from competition to collaboration through multiple partnerships across the entire academic spectrum, from the humanities to the sciences,” said Dr Hegarty.
“It doesn’t make sense for us to do exactly the same things,” said Prof Wrixon. “We are a small country competing in an increasingly competitive global market for research.”
Citing their successful collaboration in nanotechnology over the past five years, Prof Wrixon noted that UCC and Trinity College have worked extremely effectively together, making significant but complementary investments in infrastructure at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork and CRANN (Centre for Research in Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices) in Dublin.
“In some fields, such as nanotechnology, we are both strong,” added Dr Hegarty. “In others, one of us will take the lead and the other will work in partnership. For example, UCC is an international leader in food and health, Trinity College in neuroscience.”
By John Kennedy