29 February, 2024
Minister Harris announces €50 million Technological Sector Advancement Fund
By Maura O'Shea
Posted: 21 December, 2023
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. today announced funding of €50 million under the new Technological Sector Advancement Fund (TSAF).
This fund replaces the Technological Sector Transformation Fund, which focused on the establishment of our Technological Universities.
The purpose of the €50 million fund is to move past establishment phase and to embed the five TUs in the regions they serve.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “The Government has been to the fore in providing a range of funding supports – current and capital – to establish and develop our new technological universities and to support all institutions in the wider technological sector. I am delighted to announce further new funding today to ensure the TUs are embedded in their regions.
“We know the weight of expectation is on the shoulders of each TU to deliver for the areas and the people they serve. This funding will provide certainty between now and 2026 and will ensure we move from the establishment phase to a new era of delivery.”
The first year disbursement will see funding of up to €30 million travelling to the institutions for projects commencing in January 2024.
The funding will contribute towards the costs of maintaining and mainstreaming existing activities, or initiating new activities that are an important next strategic step for institutions across a range of categories including:
- student support and success
- people and culture
- data and systems
- change management and integration
- engagement and system coherence
- reform and consolidation
The fund also makes provision for initiatives relating to further landscape reform and for eligible institutions to make combined applications in relation to synergistic sector-wide projects of universal benefit.
Minister Harris stated “Our higher education and research system is successful by virtue of its diversity, within and across regions. Each eligible institution is distinctive by nature of strategy, location, scale, mission and stage of development.
“This new funding stream will ensure that momentum in the technological sector agenda is maintained and marries with other structural supports that we have secured.”
The CEO of the Higher Education Authority, which manages the TSAF, Dr Alan Wall said, “This funding follows significant investment to build the sector under the TUTF and NRRP-funded NTUTORR project and is critical to enhancing the cohesion of institutions and for the next stage of strategic development.
“The allocations announced today will contribute to the implementation of institutions’ new and emerging strategic plans as well as support capacity building in line with the Technological Universities Act 2018.
“The funding will also further institutions’ impact on their regions as well as in the wider higher education landscape”.
Note To Editors
Seven applications for funding were made to the TSAF from institutions in the technological sector. TSAF allocations for projects commencing 1 January 2024 are as follows.
|Atlantic Technological University (ATU)
|Dundalk Institute of Technology
|Munster Technological University (MTU)
|South East Technological University (SETU)
|Technological University Dublin
|Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS)
An allocation to Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology is expected to be announced in early 2024 upon the launch of that institution’s strategic plan and in addition two sectoral applications remain under review by the Higher Education Authority as part of the application process with final decisions on these proposed projects also to be made in 2024.
Under the National Technological University Transformation for Recovery and Resilience (NTUTORR) project funded by Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan the seven institutions in the technological sector are jointly availing of €40 million in funding for education and training reforms encompassing at least 9,600 students and 4,000 staff in the sector including through enhanced digital provision.
The TU Research and Innovation Supporting Enterprise (TU RISE) programme will see almost €84 million in co-funded support being provided through the auspices of the ERDF to establish research and innovation offices in the technological universities and facilitate other research capacity building measures in the period to 2027.