Press Release

Funding of €7.5m made available for new Clinical Research Facility in Galway

 

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., visited University Hospital Galway today (Friday 12th February, 2010) where it was announced that €7.5m in capital funding is being provided for the construction of a new Clinical Research Facility.

Minister Harney said: “Life science industries are hugely important for our future economic prosperity. In a very competitive international environment, excellence in health research gives a clear advantage in promoting employment in this sector. At the same time excellence in health service delivery demands innovation and use of the most up to date knowledge. This is why the Government’s Action Plan for Health Research places such importance on enhancing our health research system. Already our clinicians and researchers rank very highly internationally and this new Facility will mean that all of the ingredients for excellence in health research will be in place in Galway.”

The Clinical Research Facility will provide world class facilities for researchers drawn from University Hospital Galway and NUI Galway. It will bring research insights to the very centre of care delivery. It will enable patients to benefit from the latest breakthroughs in areas such as regenerative medicine, cancer, obstetrics and gynaecology, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, primary care and chronic disease management.

It will allow clinicians, the health care industry and other key partners to test innovative therapies, technologies and products and increase the speed at which scientific discoveries and innovations can be translated into better patient care as well as facilitate the recruitment and retention of leading medical researchers and allied staff to Galway.

When fully operational, the Clinical Research Facility will directly employ a staff of 20. Through partnership with industry, it will make a much wider economic contribution in the West and nationally by enhancing research and development capacity in the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors.

The Galway Clinical Research Facility has already received planning permission which will allow construction to get underway in the first half of this year. The capital funding being provided will be made available through the Health Research Board (HRB). The HRB has the lead mandate in supporting and funding health research in Ireland and already funds the operational costs of the research programmes which will be located in the Facility.

Background

The Action Plan for Health Research was launched by the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., in November 2009. It sets out a comprehensive programme of actions across Government Departments and relevant agencies with the objective of positioning Ireland as a leading international location for health research and ensuring that the benefits of innovation and research are secured for patients.

The new Clinical Research Facility in Galway will form part of the network of such facilities in major hospitals including the facilities already established in the Mater, St.Vincent’s and Beaumont; a facility under development at St.James’s Hospital (funded by the HRB and Wellcome Trust) and a further such facility in Cork University Hospital preparations for which are underway.