Irish Government pumping €6m into Centre for Learning Innovation

21 Jun 2012

The Irish Government is injecting €6m over six years in the Centre for Learning Innovation which will benefit Irish businesses across the technology and education sectors, Ministers Richard Bruton, TD, and Seán Sherlock, TD, have announced today.

Today’s announcement represents the delivery of a key commitment in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2012.

This is the tenth technology centre to be funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland in partnership with IDA Ireland.

 “A central part of the Government’s plan for jobs and growth is ensuring that we extract more commercial and employment benefits from the strong base of scientific research we have built up over the past decade,” said Bruton, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

“The network of new technology centres, which bring industry and researchers together to work together on creating products and services from scientific research, is a key part of that plan.

“Today’s announcement that the Government will invest over €6m over six years to create a Centre for Learning Innovation represents the delivery of a major addition to this network.

“E-learning is a key growth sector, and I am determined that, with the establishment of this centre and through continued implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs, we can develop this sector in Ireland and make a major contribution to the growth and jobs we need.”

Purpose of the Centre for Learning Innovation

Sherlock, the Minister for Research and Innovation, added that Ireland’s first technology centre for learning innovation will be hosted by Trinity College Dublin.

“This centre will help companies in Ireland’s e-learning and digital media sectors to harness the opportunities presented by digital learning,” said Sherlock.

“With support from Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, the research teams will deliver innovative learning solutions for Irish companies, providing them with a competitive edge by changing the way learning is delivered in the future in school, college and the workplace”.

The Centre for Learning Innovation has key research themes selected for their common interest to the Irish e-learning industry. They include social and informal learning, mobile collaboration and learning, immersive learning (gaming, simulation, virtual worlds), and metrics and assessment.

Jonny Parkes, the chairman of the Centre for Learning Innovation, said “through this centre, Irish e-learning companies are collaborating with research teams in Irish higher education institutes to produce ‘next practice’ learning technologies.

“Our initial aim is to deliver competitive advantage for the companies involved at this stage: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Intel, MindLeaders, Interactive Services, Enovation Solutions, Cisco, Intuition Publishing, WBT Systems and PulseLearning.

“A key goal for the next phase of development for the centre will be to bring in more partner companies both from Ireland and from the multinational community that is based here. In particular, we are looking to bring in companies from the other digital media sectors that overlap with our work, including social, mobile and gaming technologies.”

Gearóid Mooney, director of ICT Commercialisation at Enterprise Ireland, said the global e-learning sector is estimated to be worth €107bn by 2015.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic