In a letter to UCD students today, President of the University Dr Hugh Brady, announced a major new research initiative between University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. A formal announcement of the initiative will come from Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Minister for Education Batt O'Keefe later this afternoon.
- Quote :
- Creating the futureAlliance between UCD and Trinity
Dear UCD Student,
Building on our track record of research collaboration, UCD has entered an innovation alliance with Trinity College to enhance graduate education and to generate a critical mass of innovation that will create job opportunities for our students into the future. The initiative will initially concentrate on science, engineering and technology but will, over the coming months, expand to explore opportunities for the arts and social sciences.
Later today, An Taoiseach, Mr Brian Cowen, TD will attend a special event to outline his support for this initiative. He will be accompanied by An Tánaiste, Ms Mary Coughlan, TD, and the Minister for Education, Mr Batt OKeeffe, TD, demonstrating Government commitment to the higher education sector and Government recognition of the central role the universities must play in the development of the Smart Economy.
Although the impetus for this alliance arose as a natural progression of existing co-operation between the two universities, its urgency is prompted by the need to safeguard the future of our students by feeding directly into the national recovery initiative built around the concept of the Smart Economy.
We are in a time of national crisis. We must do everything in our power to avoid a return to the 1980s when we effectively educated our students for export. The world has changed and we have to equip our graduates with the skills to operate and thrive in the new highly competitive global market place. The Governments Smart Economy framework pinpointed the ingenuity of our people as the way forward for the country. Since its inception, UCD has always embraced its national responsibility and, through this initiative, we believe we can advance the nurturing of that ingenuity.
The UCD / TCD Innovation Alliance is a partnership that will work with the education sector, the State and its agencies and the business and venture capital communities to develop a world-class ecosystem for innovation that will drive enterprise development and the creation of sustainable, high-value jobs.
The Innovation Alliance has two major components:
The UCD / TCD Joint Venture in Enterprise Development will build on the universities existing technology transfer operations and enterprise facilities.
The new UCD / TCD Innovation Academy will begin the process of defining and mainstreaming innovation as the 3rd arm of the university mission alongside education and research. While the Academy will focus on 4th level PhD programmes initially, it will be important that, over time, we include innovation components in our masters and bachelors programmes. The UCD Horizons modular curriculum and graduate schools with their structured PhD programmes provide us with an established enabling framework for this work.
Ireland needs world-class 4th level graduates who are not only expert in their specific fields of endeavour but who also are familiar with techniques in innovation and entrepreneurship. These will enable them, where appropriate, to convert rapidly knowledge, ideas and inventions into commercial use. We will strive to boost the university contribution to enterprise development by equipping more of our graduates with the skills and ambition to be job creators rather than job seekers. Our Alliance not only builds on the tradition of collaboration and achievement of our two institutions but marks a sea-change in how education and research will be set up to create jobs.
The international experience of success in co-operation between education, research and enterprise for job creation as demonstrated in the examples of Silicon Valley and MIT in the US and in Finland and Sweden in Europe in the 1990s was an important driver for the Innovation Alliance.
Both UCD and TCD have established world-standing and are national leaders in Ireland in respect of science and engineering undergraduate numbers, PhD numbers, research funding, publications, patents and campus companies. I hope you will agree that we have an obligation to take the lead and to work together as a matter of urgency to contribute to the national recovery process.
The purpose of the Alliance is to use the combined resources of our two institutions efficiently and effectively to boost innovation and job creation. It will include mechanisms for inclusion of students and staff from other institutions beyond UCD and TCD and we will continue to build strategic collaborations with such institutions and to nurture the valuable links built up over the past years with them.
Neither should this initiative affect the balance between the humanities and the sciences at UCD nor should it see any diminution in our commitment to blue skies discovery research programmes. Indeed international experience clearly shows that one cannot develop a world-class innovation ecosystem without a strong foundation of discovery research.
You will be kept informed of developments and the opportunities that will arise from this Alliance.
With Best Wishes