NUI Galway and Ulster University will be lead partners on a €4 million regional development project.
The Atlantic Innovation Corridor is a cross-border collaboration focused on entrepreneurship in rural areas, female entrepreneurship, digitalisation and mental health among others.
“This investment in large-scale social science research will create a resource for the region and the country,” said Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President Research and Innovation at NUI Galway.
“[The project] will form a base from which we can share our insights and experience with other regions of Europe and the world which have difficult histories and borders but seek to make progress together.
“We see this investment as a foundation from which we will build partnerships and engagement key across all these projects, our NUI Galway research community playing a great role.”
Professor Livesey said the Atlantic Innovation Corridor provides “an opportunity to deeply explore and understand our region with the express intent to leverage this to further sustainable development.
“We are delighted to work with colleagues in Ulster University and multiple other institutions across our island,” he finished.
“Alongside the well-documented environmental factors of sustainable development, this unique partnership aims to explore and address human considerations including the responsiveness of communities and sectors to mobilise for collective action and innovation,” said Professor Liam Maguire, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Ulster University.
“From our progressive campus in Derry/Londonderry, we are uniquely placed to contribute to this three-city regional collaboration, incorporating research that can contribute insights, inform policy and drive forward practical solutions for the benefit of individuals, organisations and communities.”
Furthering sustainable development of the north-west, west and mid-west of the island of Ireland is at the heart of the Atlantic Innovation Corridor’s aims.
This will include mentoring schemes for woman entrepreneurs and identifying the impact of Brexit and Covid on opportunities for woman entrepreneurs.
Projects will also look to promote mental health and develop digital skills and literacy in rural and peripheral areas.
The project comes as part of the Government’s North-South Research Programme and also includes GMIT and the University of Limerick.
Three hubs will be set up including one in Galway alongside research teams based in Derry and Limerick.
The four-year initiative was jointly announced by Taoiseach Micháel Martin and Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris.
It is funded through the Government’s Shared Island Fund and administered by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.