Boost for Cork’s pharma and health tech future as major educational funding announced

School of Pharmacy

€8.7 million of funding has been awarded to University College Cork (UCC), CIT and nine industry partners to develop the next generation of graduates for the Health & Life Sciences industry sector. 

Pharmaceutical and medical goods account for 31% of Ireland’s total exports and the Cork region is Ireland’s largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cluster in this sector. All of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies have operations in Ireland, with over 30,000 people directly employed in this sector. 

UCC, CIT and industry partners came together to develop the ‘iEd Hub’ which will produce a new generation of graduates, in line with the European Commission’s Skills for Industry Strategy 2030. The iEd Hub will also result in deepening of relationships with local enterprise partners in education, R&D and new company formation, benefiting the local economy. Funding was awarded to the iED Hub initiative under the Irish Government’s Human Captial Initiative 3 (HCI 3) Pillar funding. The iED Hub project is being led by Professor Helen Whelton (pictured), Head of the College of Medicine and Health at UCC and Dr Mark Tangney a senior researcher in the College.

“This is a clear example of two educational partners in Cork working together with industry to secure our future” commented Professor John O’Halloran, Interim President, UCC. “Our economy faces significant challenges but at UCC we are working to ensure it is supported across all sectors.” 

In total UCC was awarded €14.4 million in HCI 3 funding, which is funding that is designed to meet priority skills needs across Ireland’s economy. The transition towards sustainable and net-zero carbon enterprises is one of the biggest opportunities for companies in the coming years. Building on UCC’s recognised strength in this area, €3.9 million funding was also awarded for the Sustainable Futures project which will provide students with the skills needed to delivering a low carbon future. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the online learning experience, funding was also awarded to UCC to develop a Virtual Laboratories project where courses will be developed in in which a virtual laboratory experience is complemented with a real laboratory experience. 

 “UCC is Ireland’s leading university for industry engagement and our success in this funding is recognition of our knowledge of the type of graduate and skills that are required across industry sectors” commented Professor O’Halloran. 

WCP Staff

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