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South East Technological University (SETU) is delighted to announce that a funding allocation of €13.6 million has been secured under the Technological University Research and Innovation Supporting Enterprise Scheme (TU RISE).

TU RISE is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the Southern, Eastern & Midland and the Northern & Western Regional Programmes, 2021-27. The scheme is designed to enhance central research functions in higher education institutions in the technological university sector to further institutions’ engagements with their regions. The purpose of the scheme is to establish, strengthen, and systemise research and innovation offices to enable greater and more structured engagement with local and regional enterprises and community stakeholders.

Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority, which will manage the operations of the TU RISE scheme, Dr Alan Wall, said, "This funding offers institutions the opportunity to enhance central research functions, which are critical to institutions strategically developing and achieving their research ambitions. Investment in staff and researchers in individual disciplines at Faculty level offers institutions an important opportunity to build expertise in research areas that will facilitate stronger engagement with regional enterprises aligned to Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and the Regional Enterprise Plans."

Show of confidence

Professor Veronica Campbell, President of SETU enthusiastically welcomed the announcement stating, “The financial support the TU RISE funding brings to the development of our new University demonstrates a significant show of confidence in our achievements to date, enabling us to build on current successes and further engage with our region, providing leadership in research and innovation. Our research and innovation ambitions are clearly outlined in our strategic plan ‘Connecting for Impact’, providing a roadmap for SETU to strengthen key areas of economic importance and thus play a pivotal role in creating a world-class innovation region here in the south east of Ireland.

"This funding will ensure a continuation of the significant progress made to date. My sincere thanks to the HEA for their ongoing support of SETU and to the SETU team involved in preparing our application."

Following an assessment of SETU’s application for funding under the TU RISE scheme, the total funding awarded for the institution’s TU RISE project is €13.6m. This project will see the significant strengthening of this eco-system through facilitating elevated research and innovation performance in areas of key economic importance for the region, as identified in the regional enterprise plan. These are Advanced Manufacturing, ICT, Pharmaceuticals, Agriculture, Eco-Innovation, and Financial Services.

Research ambitions

SETU proposes both to increase research and innovation capacity in these areas and also to attract new research talent to bolster and strengthen the research profile of strategic areas. This will be achieved by the recruitment of key central support positions as well as faculty posts and the establishment of a research sabbatical scheme. The project also aims to create greater regional impact from its research by investing in the further development of regional partnerships comprising enterprise partners and researchers, facilitated by the university’s central supports. The partnerships to be sustained through RISE will focus on the delivery of regional upskilling objectives in relation to climate action, sustainability, and digitalisation. SETU will build on existing entrepreneurship development activities to develop regional entrepreneurs, consistent with regional economic planning, as envisaged in the SETU strategic plan.

Dr Geraldine Canny Head of Research commented, "We welcome this funding which will enable us to further achieve our research ambitions and position SETU at the centre of a regional quadruple helix model of innovation. The project initiatives will also equip SETU staff and industry partners with skills for the digital and green transitions, thereby meeting policy imperatives."