Massive benefits of technological university to NW outlined in new research

Every euro of expenditure by the new Connacht-Ulster Technological University is likely to result in an overall increase of nearly €4 in output to the Irish economy.

That’s according to new research from the Northern and Western Regional Assembly.

The new research confirms the major contribution that a new Connacht Ulster Technological University would make, not only to the north west but also to Ireland’s overall economy.

The gain would be an estimated €600m boost through productivity from research, innovation and teaching, as well as supporting up to 3,000 jobs.

David Minton, director with the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, says the figures show how critical the new university has become in supporting economic activity in a world where everything is increasingly dependent upon a smart capable workforce and a source of ideas that improve effectiveness, efficiency and competitiveness.

He said the more communities need innovation, the more difficulty they face in investing effectively and becoming a part of the global economy.

He added that this is highly evident in the north and west of Ireland but investing in our higher education system can clearly address this deficit.

In addition, the EU’s 2021 “Regional Innovation Scoreboard” shows that the North West is now the only region in Ireland to be classified as a “Moderate Innovator”.

In contrast, the Southern and Eastern and Midland Regions have been classified as “Strong Innovators”.

Compounding this, earlier this year the Northern and Western Region’s economy was downgraded as a ‘Transition Region’ due to its wider economic underperformance.

David Minton added: “Current figures paint a bleak picture for the west and northern parts of the country.

Compounded by Brexit and Covid-19, there are increasing calls for a sustained response to regional imbalance.

Therefore, he insists, enhanced investment in our higher education system is essential.