Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD launched a new €50 million fund to advance the strategic development of the technological sector.

The Technological Sector Advancement Fund (TSAF) is the successor to previous funds such as the HE Landscape Fund and the TU Fund (TUTF) which had particular emphasis on assisting former Institutes of Technology in becoming new Technological Universities (TUs).

Government launches €50million Technological Sector Advancement Fund to embed TUs in our regions 1
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Minister Harris said:

This new fund builds on significant investment in the technological sector. However, it is important to move past establishment phase to embedding the TUs in our regions.

This fund will ensure there is no cliff edge in terms of support but critically, it will take these new Technological Universities to a different stage of their development.

This fund will be about supporting TUs to fulfil their mission – to support the needs of individuals, business, and local communities. That is the next stage of our TU agenda and it is absolutely essential this funding is used to deliver for the regions they serve.

The new fund, which will be managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), will make a contribution towards the costs of maintaining or initiating new activities that are central to an institution delivering on its mission and strategic plan.

Minister Harris said:

I am pleased to announce that the HEA is now formally inviting applications for funding, with a closing date of 19 October 2023

A key objective of TSAF is to support institutions to mainstream activities commenced under previous funding streams dedicated to the transformation of the technological sector. TSAF will also make provision for initiatives relating to further landscape reform.

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Dr Alan Wall, CEO of the Higher Education Authority, welcomed the launch of the TSAF:

The TSAF follows significant national and EU investment in the technological sector. This funding will nurture the growth and success of our Technological Universities and enable institutions to achieve their strategic ambitions.

The fund will also enhance the capabilities of the technological sector as a whole, demonstrating its economic, social and education impact in regions across Ireland.

Government launches €50million Technological Sector Advancement Fund to embed TUs in our regions 3
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The HEA will conduct appraisal and notification processes in Q4 2023 with a view to grants being made in December with a formal commencement date of 1 January 2024. The TSAF will run until the end of June 2026.

Eligible Higher Education Institutions comprise the five Technological Universities and Dundalk Institute of Technology and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology that may apply for a grant contribution towards the costs of maintaining and mainstreaming existing activities or to initiate new activities that are of strategic importance to the success of the institution.

The fund will also make provision for initiatives relating to further landscape reform.

Finally these higher education institutions may also make a combined application in relation to funding at a sectoral level and such applications are being actively encouraged.

Participation in a sectoral application for funding does not preclude an institution for applying for institutional-level funding across a number of categories including:

  • Change management and integration,
  • People and culture,
  • Data and systems,
  • Engagement,
  • Students,
  • System coherence, reform and consolidation.
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