A €50 million expansion programme at the Tyndall National Institute will see the creation of the R&D positions and the development of a 170,000sq ft complex including a new laboratory building. Dedicated space for industry researchers and a new incubation facility to provide appropriate accommodation and support to start-up companies in the ICT area are also incorporated.
As a result the Tyndall research income is expected to rise from €25m to €40m.
The building will be complete by January 2009 and all the jobs should be in place within four years.
Tyndall chief executive Professor Roger Whatmore said: “Half of the people being taken will be PhD students who will then go out into the economy and create new jobs. The rest will be postdoctoral people who will work for a few years before also creating new jobs in the economy.”
He said Tyndall’s expansion will act as an attraction to blue-chip companies looking for somewhere to locate their research and development operations.
“As an Englishman what impresses me about the Irish character is the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. That makes the prospects fantastic.
“Ireland’s future is not in low-cost manufacturing, it is research and development. When Apple developed the iPod it was manufactured in China but all the money was made for its developers in America. That is the kind of thing we need to aim for.”
Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin said: “This expansion will confirm Tyndall as a world class research facility. The institute has a current employment level of 330 researchers (including almost 100 PhD students) and is a significant employer in the area. The new investment programme will allow the institute to significantly increase its researcher numbers to 500 within the next four years, at which point Tyndall will be generating over €40m of research income annually.”
Tyndall was established in 2004 as an initiative of University College Cork, the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, and Science Foundation Ireland.
It brings together researchers from University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology and the National Microelectronics Research Centre.
Tyndall undertakes collaborative research and related work for some of the world’s leading ICT firms including Intel, Analog Devices and Hewlett Packard, as well as providing support to Irish hi-tech companies.
Mr Martin said since it was established the Tyndall Institute has moved Ireland up the ICT value chain.
“This expansion will ensure Ireland continues to offer top-class research facilities and graduates to companies which are pushing the boundaries in many areas of science. The institute is playing an important role in ensuring that the goals of the Government’s strategy for science and innovation are met, in particular our aim to double PhD numbers by 2013.”