NUI Galway and GMIT are to partner with University of Ulster and University of Limerick on a new research project looking at regional development.
The Atlantic Innovation Corridor project will focus on themes such as rural entrepreneurial ecosystems, mental health and female entrepreneurship
It will create a research team organised in hubs in Derry and Limerick and administered in the third hub in Galway.
The €4 million project, part of the Shared Island North South Research Programme, will involve research programmes on sustainable regional development for the north-west, the west and mid-west of Ireland.
Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President Research and Innovation at NUI Galway and Principal Investigator for the project, said this investment in large-scale social science research will create a resource for the region and the country.
“Our collaboration will produce engaged research that will help guide us through the transitions, digital, green and energy, that are before us,” said Professor Livesey.
“It will also 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.”
Professor Liam Maguire, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at Ulster University, said that 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.”
He said that from their campus in Derry, they 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.”
University of Limerick Vice President Research Professor Norelee Kennedy added: “UL is delighted to partner with our colleagues in NUI Galway, Ulster University and GMIT on the Atlantic Innovation Corridor exploring social capital and collective action capacity of the region.
“Through exploring entrepreneurship ecosystems in rural regions, business scaling in the Atlantic Corridor and the challenges and opportunities for smaller regional innovation systems UL will support the consortium in this ambitious programme of impactful, policy informing research.”