UL Launches €86m Science & Engineering Institute
UL collaborators, partners and staff members were recently joined by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny for the official launch of the Bernal Institute. An €86 million science and engineering research institute, Bernal is based in 20,000m2 of high quality, multi-purpose research space in the new Science and Engineering Zone at UL.
The Institute incorporates UL’s Materials and Surface Sciences Institute, the Stokes Research Institute and the Bernal Project into one unified flagship research Institute to showcase and build on the University’s significant strengths in research in Science and Engineering. A key aspect of the Institute is the recruitment of world leading researchers as Bernal Professors, with seven of a total of ten new professorial chairs now filled. In addition, the Institute houses over 260 researchers who work in and across research themes in advanced materials, manufacturing and processing engineering, and fluid dynamics.
Speaking from the launch event An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD said: “Ireland has a proud history of scientific achievement that has helped shape the modern world we live in. The opening of the Bernal Institute at UL will ensure that Ireland stays at the cutting edge of research and innovation. Advances in pharmaceuticals, medicines and materials at the Bernal Institute will help tackle the great challenges facing society today. The Government is proud to support scientific endeavour, and the development of the Bernal Institute is an excellent example of collaboration between Government, higher education, philanthropy, and industry. Through our Action Plan for Jobs we will continue to support and promote science as a way to improve the lives of people in Ireland and around the world.”
UL has partnered with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Enterprise Ireland (EI) in relation to the establishment of numerous technology centres as well as centres of excellence hosted at the Bernal Institute. Four major national centres - the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre supported by SFI, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre and the Irish Centre for Composites Research grant-aided by EI and more recently the Dairy Processing Technology Centre are hosted by the Institute. Currently the Institute has research partnerships with over 70 companies. The recruitment of two of the Bernal Chairs, Mike Zaworotko, Professor of Crystal Engineering, and Paul Weaver, Professor of Composite Materials, has been supported by SFI through their Research Professors Programme with each receiving awards of €5 million.
The Institute has been awarded substantial infrastructural funding by the Higher Education Authority’s Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (cycles 1, 4 and 5).