Tánaiste Announces New Construction Technology Centre

21 July 2022

New Technology Centre will be hosted by NUI Galway

Broad-based consortium will leverage research talent and expertise to support vital sector

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, TD, today announced funding of €5 million, over 5 years, for the establishment of a Construction Technology Centre to accelerate research and innovation within the construction and built environment sector.  

The Construction Technology Centre will be hosted by NUI Galway and the consortium includes Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and University College Cork working with the Irish Green Building Council.

Enterprise Ireland worked with Ernst & Young to develop the specification for the Construction Technology Centre by identifying the construction sector’s current, emerging, and future innovation and technology needs through detailed engagement with firms, stakeholders, and national and international experts. In line with the Government’s Housing for All strategy, the new Centre will have a particular focus on advancing innovation and productivity in residential construction.

A team of researchers from across the Construction Technology Centre consortium, with expertise in the main areas of digital adoption, modern methods of construction and sustainability will be organised under five pillars to address the urgent areas of Productivity, Affordability & Cost; Quality and Safety; Sustainability; Skills and Training; and Collaboration.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said,

“The Government is investing billions – substantially above the EU average - in the future, building new homes, roads, public transport, schools, hospitals and other vital infrastructure. This new Construction Technology Centre will make sure we are at the cutting edge of new developments in the sector, making sure Irish companies and the taxpayer are getting the best value for money, while building this important infrastructure in the most modern and efficient way possible.

“We’re making sure that a diverse range of academics, skilled craft workers, industry experts and thought leaders feed into the work of the Centre, so that when businesses come for advice, they get accurate, up to date information that is informed by a broad range of expertise across the sector.”

Enterprise Ireland’s CEO, Leo Clancy said,

“The Construction Technology Centre will leverage the best combination of skills, equipment and know-how in the Irish research system.  Through innovation, the Centre will help to increase the productivity, sustainability and export potential of the construction sector, while enabling reduced costs and build times for Ireland’s housing and infrastructural requirements.”

President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said,

“NUI Galway has made significant strides in terms of sustainability, one of our core values. It is a testament to our dedication in this area that we will host the country’s Construction Technology Centre and bring all of our talent, knowledge and expertise, and that of the higher education sector, to the fore in driving sustainability, innovation and technology transformation in the built environment sector.”

Prof. Jamie Goggins and Dr. Magdalena Hajdukiewicz, NUI Galway leads, explained,

“Our consortium proposed a Centre that will deliver on its vision to make Ireland a global research and innovation leader for sustainable construction and built environment technology. The Centre will bring together the whole value chain to accelerate people-centric innovation in construction and the built environment that allows industry increase their capacity and competitiveness, while creating a sustainable society and economy”.

Andrew Brownlee, Chief Executive Officer at SOLAS, said,

"The Construction Technology Centre is a welcome and necessary addition to the ecosystem to futureproof the Irish construction and housing sectors.  SOLAS is working in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and our own parent department to increase the level of collaboration, capability and capacity building. We are looking forward to integrating the activities of the newly announced Housing for All Demonstration Park, which is being established at Laois & Offaly Education and Training Board’s Mount Lucas Facility, with the industry-led research programme of the Construction Technology Centre and the digitalisation of the sector through the Build Digital Project.”

Tom Parlon, Director General CIF said:

“We welcome the establishment of the Construction Technology Centre, which heralds the beginning of a new collaborative relationship between the industry, the innovation agency of Enterprise Ireland and advanced research capabilities in the third level sector. We look forward to working with the CTC in identifying solutions to address the key productivity challenges the sector has been facing.”

Under Housing for All, the Government has expanded the remit of Enterprise Ireland to work with the domestic housebuilding sector for the first time. As part of its Built to Innovate programme the Agency is focused on driving productivity and innovation in housebuilding, including increased use of Modern Methods of Construction, through lean and digital grants and funding for research and innovation projects. EI also works closely with the Construction Sector Group on innovation and digital adoption in the industry.

The Construction Technology Centre, together with other Government initiatives such as the Build Digital Project, the recently announced Demonstration Park which will be developed at Mount Lucas, Co. Offaly, and Enterprise Ireland’s Built to Innovate programme, will ensure a more competitive, sustainable and digitally enhanced construction sector.

Further information about the Construction Technology Centre can be found at www.constructinnovate.ie