Minister Harris launches €83.68m TU RISE scheme

Launch of TU Rise Scheme
Logos for the Government of Ireland, European Union, Northern and Western Regional Assembly, Southern Regional Assembly, and Higher Education Authority

Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD today launched TU Research and Innovation Supporting Enterprise (TU RISE), an €83.68 million scheme co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund. The TU RISE scheme will support research capacity building in higher education institutions in the technological sector, with a focus on institutions enhancing engagement with enterprises in their regions. TU RISE will make funding available over four years (2023-2027) via two regional programmes, the Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021-27, and the Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-27.

The purpose of the TU RISE scheme is to establish, strengthen, and systemise research and innovation offices in technological universities (TUs) and institutes of technology (IoTs) to enable greater and more structured engagement with regional enterprises, in particular, small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The benefits of research and innovation offices will be accelerated and cascaded across disciplines and campuses of institutions through staff development at faculty and school level.

The key outcomes of the scheme include:

  1. Establishment and/or development of central research functions in institutions to support research capacity building and further engagement with regions.
  2. Enhancement of institutional research capacity through increasing researcher human capital in research areas that have potential to facilitate stronger engagement with regional enterprises aligned to Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and the Regional Enterprise Plans.

Launching the TU RISE scheme at the Research Futures event hosted by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Minister Harris said: “TU RISE is directed at developing researcher human capital in the TUs, including staff development, recruitment, postgraduate training and supervision, networking, and collaborative knowledge-transfer and mobility schemes.

It will bolster regional entrepreneurship through investment in the TUs, leveraging the role of these higher education institutions as anchors for enterprise and for regional growth in line with the tenets of the 2019 TURN report and the ambitions of the TU national agenda.

TU RISE is in my view a hugely significant programme that will produce real benefits for the TUs, their staff, students and stakeholders and for our regions more generally”.

CEO of the Higher Education Authority Dr Alan Wall welcomed the partnership of the Government of Ireland and the European Union to support the development of the technological sector: “The TU RISE scheme underlines the importance of the partnership of the Government and the EU in developing Ireland’s higher education and research system. The co-funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund for TU RISE complements investment in landscape reform through the Technological University Transformation Fund (TUTF) and N-TUTORR programme, funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

The HEA is committed to the development and enhancement of research across higher education institutions. Through TU RISE, institutions in the technological sector have the opportunity to develop the structures to enable increased engagement with enterprise and accelerate research and innovation capability. Research fields will be extended and greater capacity will be developed within institutions to serve national and regional strategic objectives.”

Through the TU RISE scheme, funding of €63.68m is available under the Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme, and funding of €20m is available under the Northern and Western Regional Programme. Institutional eligibility to apply for these programmes is as follows:

Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme (€63.68m):

  • Munster Technological University (Southern Region)
  • Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (Eastern and Midland Region, Southern Region)
  • South East Technological University (Southern Region)
  • Technological University Dublin (Eastern and Midland Region)
  • Dundalk Institute of Technology (Eastern and Midland Region)
  • Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Eastern and Midland Region)

Northern and Western Regional Programme (€20m):

  • Atlantic Technological University

Commenting on the investment, David Kelly, Director of the Southern Regional Assembly, said: “TUs are key drivers for balanced regional growth and as Managing Authority we are delighted to see the launch of TU RISE. Development in research and innovation will be supported through this co-funding investment by enabling TUs to further engage within their regions with local and regional enterprises and community stakeholders. TU RISE will result in a deepening of research-led teaching and learning excellence, extension of research fields, and greater capacity within TUs to serve national and regional strategic objectives in line with Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3).

Denis Kelly, Director, Northern and Western Regional Assembly said: “The availability of higher education and research is known to be a key factor in the attractiveness of a region for workers, firms and investors. This TU RISE scheme will be of great benefit to the development of the Atlantic Technological University (ATU) and it will support the ATU in furthering its research capacity and in building relationships and partnerships with enterprise to bolster the Northern and Western region’s attractiveness, capacity building and innovation.”

Proposals for funding under TU RISE will encompasses initiatives to establish and strengthen research and innovation offices and increase researcher human capital. The closing date for application is 14 September 2023, with projects expected to commence in 2024.

For more information on each programme: