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Posted 12 September 2011

Taoiseach opens first phase of €300 million UCD Science Centre

The first completed phase of the UCD Science Centre has been officially opened by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

When all three phases of the UCD Science Centre are complete, it will be the largest capital investment in science in the history of the Irish State.

The total estimated investment of some €300 million comes from government, matching funds from the university, and philanthropic donations.

“Today represents much more than the opening of a building. It is the start of an exciting journey of discovery,” said An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

“Old Irish explorers used small wooden boats with animal skin hulls to explore the world. Today, Irish explorers wear lab coats and will use microscopes to explore new frontiers.”

“From this Centre pioneers in their field will solve problems we didn’t even know existed only a few short years ago. I am delighted that this Centre of discovery will be based here in University College Dublin. It will add to Ireland’s growing reputation as a new exciting frontier of scientific discovery and activity,” added Taoiseach Kenny.

“This development demonstrates how Government funding can be partnered with other funds in order to build facilities such as this. This is essential in this time of scarce resources as UCD has matched core government funding on a Euro for Euro basis.”

“We need more top quality science and technology graduates to support our economic ambitions. The new Government is keenly aware of the need to make the necessary changes to unlock the scientific potential in our school goers. The Government will do all it can to make science and technology education more effective and attractive,” continued Taoiseach Kenny.

“There is a significant role for the academic and scientist community in highlighting the attractiveness of careers in science. Companies must also play their part by promoting the range of careers available to ICT graduates and by providing work experience.”

“The scientists amongst us today can help by acting as ambassadors of their profession - particularly to primary and second level students in your families and your communities,” he said.

Phase one of the UCD Science Centre (the UCD Centre for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery) opened by An Taoiseach was funded through the Programme for Research in Third Level Institution (PRTLI). It provides 6,300 square metres of scientific research space for 300 researchers working in pharmaceutical sciences, food and health, and nanomedicine.

Phase two of the UCD Science Centre has recently been given government approval and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2012. It will provide a further 32,000 square meters of new and refurbished scientific facilities for 2,500 undergraduate and postgraduate science students, and 2,000 scientific researchers.

The planning for phase three, the final phase of the UCD Science Centre development, is expected to begin during 2012.

“When complete, the UCD Science Centre development will be the largest capital investment in science in the history of the State, and with more than 200 industry partnerships already in place, will contribute towards job creation and national economic recovery,” said UCD President Hugh Brady.

“Investment in research is a necessity, not a luxury,” he said.  “It is the foundation for the discoveries and technology developments that will help build the economy of the future.”

Phase one of the UCD Science Centre - the UCD Centre for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery - houses three areas of scientific research: the UCD Centre for Pharmaceutical Sciences; the UCD Institute of Food and Health; and the UCD Centre for Nanomedicine. It was officially opened on 09 Sept 2011.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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