The new Atlantic TU will stimulate investment

LAUNCHTánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, TD and Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Business Regulation, Robert Troy, TD launching the plan to Regional Enterprise West last Friday on the GMIT campus in Castlebar, left to right: Stephen Creaner, Enterprise Ireland; Meabh Conaghan, Enterprise Ireland; Ricky Conneely, IDA; Minister of State, Robert Troy, TD; President Evelyn O’Toole; Tanner Leo Varadker, TD; Ray O’Connor, IDA; Louise Ward, Roscommon LEO and Helena Deane, WDC.Photo: Alison Laredo

Tánaiste launches Western Regional Business Plan

Anton McNulty

The new president of the new Atlantic Technological University (ATU) says she wants the new university to play a major role in attracting investment to the West.
Dr. Orla Flynn, the current president of GMIT, has been announced as the first president of the new Atlantic Technological University which will be officially established on April 1 next month. The new technology university will comprise the three existing institutes of technology in the region – Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology, Letterkenny IT and IT Sligo.
Speaking at GMIT’s Castlebar campus at the launch of the government’s Western regional business plan last Friday, Dr Flynn said the Mayo campus will be at the heart of what the regional business plan has to offer in the west.
“We will work hard to support businesses throughout the West and North West region and aim to be your higher institute of choice. All our doors will be open to you and this campus located in the heart of the region will be a gateway to all the strength that an Atlantic university can offer. My colleagues and I look forward to working with all of you to translate this plan into reality,” she said.
Tánaiste and Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, TD and Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Business Regulation, Robert Troy TD, visited the GMIT campus on Friday to launch the Western Regional Business Plan for Galway, Mayo and Roscommon as part of a €180 million investment in regional development.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Varadkar said his priority as minister was to create employment opportunities across the country and that 85% of new jobs are now created outside of Dublin.

‘Encouraging’
“Recent employment data shows that in all three counties, Mayo, Roscommon and Galway, there is a year-on-year increase in employment which is really encouraging,” he said.
He added that he believed the new Atlantic TU would be key to attracting investment to the west of Ireland.
“We need to prepare now for the jobs of the future and the jobs that don’t yet exist but will and we need to be ready for them. This campus is exactly the type of place that can make that transformation happen. On April 1, GMIT, along with IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT, will become the fourth technology university in Ireland to be known as Atlantic TU.
“The new TU will provide a multi-campus university presence across eight sites, including here at Castlebar, and I believe this will be a real benefit to the region, ensuring that more students from local areas can access third tier and attract more students. from other parts of Ireland and overseas.
“We know that local universities can attract investment to the locality and we have seen the success of UL [University of Limerick] and DCU in North Dublin when people were skeptical. No one now doubts the decision to give these institutions university status,” he said.
Central
Referring to the regional business plan, Minister Varadkar said he believed the West could become a powerhouse of renewable energy.
“This plan, which has been developed by the local community, will look at how we can strengthen and grow existing industries, such as life sciences, AgTech and food and of course the cultural and creative sector, and achieve the potential of new developing industries. , such as renewable energies. I believe the West has the potential to become a powerhouse of renewable energy, supplying the electricity needs of Ireland and also some of Europe. This plan aims to achieve that and other opportunities,” he said.
Welcoming the launch of the Western Regional Plan, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Business Regulation Robert Troy TD congratulated Evelyn O’Toole, Chair of the Steering Committee of the West, along with Helena Deane, West Program Manager and committee members to deliver an exciting and ambitious plan for the region.
“This plan is a direct result of the ambition and collaboration of industry leaders, corporate agencies, local authorities and many others across the region to address the unique challenges and opportunities of the Where is.
“I had the pleasure of working with Evelyn and the committee throughout 2021 as they developed the new plan and I’m excited to see the final product. I was determined to ensure that funds were made available to pilot the regional business plans and I am very pleased that we have secured up to €180 million in funding over the next few years. This will enable the business community in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon to pursue this ambitious plan and I look forward to working with Evelyn and the Steering Committee as they begin implementation,” he said.

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