Dublin to get major new tech campus

Dublin is to get a massive new technology campus in its city centre – bringing all staff and students into one location.

The move is part of the multi-million euro Grangegorman project to develop the former St Brendan’s Hospital site in the centre of the city.

The investment, given the green light by the Irish government yesterday, will consolidate the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) from 39 separate sites scattered all over Dublin into one modern campus at Grangegorman.

Irish prime minister Brian Cowen described a decision to create a vibrant new city quarter with a mix of uses – including new mental health facilities and other public amenities – built on the grounds of the former hospital in Dublin 7 as extremely important to the city.

According to the DIT website, Cowen added: “This is a significant project in terms of generating jobs and providing a key piece of infrastructure for education and to develop our knowledge economy. It is by any standards a huge project, and is anticipated to create 4,500 full-time construction jobs alone over the period, and over 1,100 more full-time jobs on completion of construction.”

The project is expected to cost a reported 486 million euros.

The president of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, said he was proud to be leading the college at such a time.

He said: “By consolidating all our activities on a single campus, we can continue to deliver student-centred education, industry-related research and technology transfer to future generations. 

“Already HSE and DIT are cooperating in major research and development projects, such as the new Environmental Health Sciences Institute which will be established at Grangegorman and for which DIT has been awarded €12.9 million in PRTLI (Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions) funding.”

DIT has been a vital part of Dublin’s educational and cultural landscape for 120 years, recognised as a pioneer in tech higher education.

Meanwhile, the DIT announcement has a special place in the heart of one TechEye hack – Dubliner Dean Wilson.

Dean said the project was great news for his native city, and essential to Ireland’s economic recovery.

He said: “DIT has been split over a wide area for too long now, forcing students and faculty members to travel between campuses and simply creating an unappealing environment for college life. This development will pay off in multiple ways, both by providing a superior college for Ireland’s essential IT industry and by giving hundreds of construction jobs to the many unemployed here. 

“It’s exactly the kind of investment that the Irish government needs to do more of.”

Residents will be able to view and comment on the Grangegorman project from next Monday.