IN what will be the largest investment in research in the state’s history, the Government is to spend up to €300 million on infrastructure and research projects.
The initiative will create almost 2,500 jobs, 2,000 of which will be in the construction phase of the project and about 400 of which will be long-term.
A further €62.6m will be pumped into the initiative from private sector sources.
The money will be spent on constructing more than 64,000 square metres of research space in new and refurbished buildings in the higher education campuses.
According to Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who announced the investment, the construction phase alone will create 2,000 jobs and, once complete, the research projects will create 379 direct jobs and a “significant number” of research studentships. The biggest investment, €204m, will be in bioscience, translational research and biomedical research.
However, on a negative note, Bank of Ireland has confirmed that following European Commission approval for a restructuring plan, it is to cut its workforce by 750 over the next two years. By the end of the purge it will have got rid of almost 3,000 positions in four years.
On Wednesday, Tesco announced 750 new positions as part of a €113m nationwide expansion. A day later, the Government announced 140 new positions with the expansion of its Exemplar network, an Irish-patented high-speed fibre network which enables companies to transfer data and images faster, more securely and in higher quality. And the same day, US health insurer UnitedHealth Group confirmed it is to expand its operation in Letterkenny with the creation of 200 jobs.
However, on a less positive note Vodafone announced it was to get rid of 130 positions after a review of its Irish operations.
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