Almost €300,000 funding has been announced for the Letterkenny Institute of Technology today under a new plan to drive links between higher education and businesses in the county.
The funding package of €297,314 will be used to establish a Killybegs Marine Cluster and build partnerships between education and business to support regional enterprise.
Minister Joe McHugh joined Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys T.D. to announce the Regional Technology Clustering Fund today.
Minister McHugh said: “The big ambition here is to use the Killybegs cluster as a way to ignite innovation in the region and enhance the capabilities of homegrown businesses to build globally.
“Ultimately it will help boost productivity and harness the opportunities from renewable energy on the North West coast.
“The funding ties in perfectly with the Government’s Future Jobs strategy. The clustering will enable Letterkenny IT to engage with SMEs and multinationals. It’s about finding common areas of interest. It will help promote the educational and research remit in companies. And it will help cement the college’s role in responding to the skills challenges of today and tomorrow.
“Letterkenny IT was one of just 12 institutions to have secured funding, so we should be proud of the forward thinking of the college and well done to everyone involved,” he said.
The funding has been approved through the Regional Technology Clustering Fund which is administered by Enterprise Ireland. It is the first annual competitive fund of its kind.
Minister McHugh added: “I am extremely keen to see more regional options being opened to school leavers.
“There is a huge pool of talented, knowledgeable and experienced people in our enterprises and they are willing to bring on the next generation. Funding clusters like this is essential to get the partnerships between education and business to bed down and create opportunities for students to plot a career path and to support enterprise and industry to grow.”