Friday 20 September 2019

Family to give €25m to Trinity College in largest philanthropic donation in history of state

Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College Dublin
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

One of Ireland’s wealthiest families is giving €25m to Trinity College Dublin in what is the single largest donation from Irish philanthropists in the history of the State.

Leading industrialist, Dr Martin Naughton and his wife Carmel, are providing the funding towards the new E3 Institute in Engineering, Energy and Environment to be built on the Trinity campus.

The donation by the Naughton Foundation is meeting almost half the €60m cost, with a further €15m committed by the Department of Education, while other private funding is also forthcoming.

The new institute will have the capacity for 1,800 additional places for students of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), amounting to a 50pc increase in places in these disciplines in Trinity over 10 years.

Work on E3 - which will be located at the eastern end of the TCD campus, close to the Science Gallery - is starting this year and is expected to be completed by 2022.

Central to the vision of the E3 Institute is the construction of what is being called the Learning Foundry, to be shared by the  schools of engineering, computer science and statistics, and natural sciences.

New interdisciplinary programmes will be developed in areas such as technology for change, smart cities, data science, sustainable energy, climate change and sustainable development and  spatial data.

Speaking at the announcement, Dr Naughton, founder of the Glen Dimplex Group, said E3 represented a real step change in education, which would benefit future generations for years to come.

He said it was the first global centre of its kind integrating engineering, technology and scientific expertise at scale in addressing some of the major challenges facing Ireland and the world.

Trinity provost Dr Patrick Prendergast said E3 would introduce a new STEM curriculum, involving a seamless integration of teaching, project work and research in new innovative ways for students, graduates and researchers.

He said it would produce  of scientists and engineers, who, during their studies will learn from each other and who will be  equipped to change the  way society solves its challenges.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said if Ireland was to be at the forefront of global  technological revolution, it must be a leader in nurturing, developing and deploying STEM talent and  the €60m investment inE3 “will make an important contribution towards achieving our goal.”

The Naughton Foundation is a private family foundation established by Martin and Carmel Naughton in 1994, to support worthwhile causes in the arts and education. 

The foundation is well known for its scholarship programme  for Leaving Certificate student studying engineering, mathematics, science and technology at third level in Ireland.

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