Date Uploaded: 20/04/2016
Trinity College Dublin is drawing up plans to expand its campus into the heart of the “silicon docks” area of Dublin populated by Google, Facebook and other large technology firms.
The 400-year-old university owns land facing Boland’s Mills which it hopes will be the location for a technology campus or an engineering, energy and environment institute.
TCD acquired the site from the IDA in the late 1990s. It is currently used to incubate spin-out companies from university research. It is also the home of Lir, an academy of dramatic art.
The university, which recently issued tender documents to construction consultants, is understood to have been in talks with State bodies over the possibility of securing funds to expand its presence in the area.
TCD provost Patrick Prendergast said the plans offered an exciting possibility for the university to expand its output of skilled graduates in sectors where many firms are complaining of skills shortages. “So much of the tech industry is going on here. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb – and it’s all right beside where we have our technology and enterprise centre.
“We have a big opportunity to expand there, as well as on the main campus, and expand the provision of places in engineering, computers and natural sciences.”
Mr Prendergast said a major challenge facing new graduates in these areas will be the need to work with scarce resources.
He did not comment on the likely cost of such an expansion, but it is likely that the scale of the development would hinge on State support.
Tender documents indicate the size of the new campus would be in the region of 30,000sq m, double the current size of facilities.
The tender documents indicate the location for the building or buildings is not yet decided.
Journalist: Carl O'Brien