The investment of a €24 million new ‘STEM’ building for GMIT is a great boost for Galway, the Connacht Ulster AllianceTechnological University and the Atlantic Economic Corridor.
Part of a €200 million Public-Private Partnership investment package for the Institutes of Technology announced by Minister for Education, Richard Bruton this week, GMIT will receive capital investment for the construction of a new 5,500 square metre ‘STEM’ – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – building on its Dublin Road campus in the City.
Last week I visited GMIT to meet with the President, Dr Fergal Barry, staff, students and researchers and saw first hand some of the exciting work underway in facilities including the Energy Lab, the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre and the GMIT Innovation Centre or iHub.
During my visit I learnt of some of the diverse and valuable work underway particularly in the areas of renewable technologies, marine and ocean research as well as digital technologies. I was very encouraged to see the creation and development of products and services at GMIT that are being availed of across the world.
Given that 47% of the almost 5,600 full-time undergraduates at GMIT are undertaking STEM area course the new STEM building will clearly benefit students and staff and also the Galway and West of Ireland economy.
Along with the development of a new library, IT and teaching building at Letterkenny IT, also part of the capital investment announced this week, the GMIT STEM building greatly supports the plans for the new Connacht Ulster Alliance Technological University.
An alliance of GMIT – including its four campuses in Galway City, Castlebar, Letterfrack and Mountbellew – IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT, the Connacht Ulster Alliance Technological University is vital for educational and economic development in the West and North West and forms part of the Atlantic Economic Corridor which my Department is leading.