Naughton and wife give €25m to Trinity in record donation
One of Ireland's wealthiest families is giving €25m to Trinity College Dublin - in 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 for the new E3 Institute in Engineering, Energy and Environment.
The donation, by the Naughton Foundation, is meeting almost half the €60m cost, with a further €15m committed by the Department of Education.
Other private funding is also forthcoming.
The institute will cater for 1,800 additional students of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) - 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 Trinity campus - is expected to be completed by 2022.
The schools of engineering, computer science and statistics, and natural sciences will share the building.
Dr Naughton described it as 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.
New interdisciplinary programmes will be developed in areas such as smart cities, data science, sustainable energy, climate change, sustainable development and spatial data.
Dr Naughton, founder of the Glen Dimplex Group, said E3 represented a real step change in education, which would benefit future generations.
Trinity provost Dr Patrick Prendergast said it would introduce a new Stem curriculum, involving a seamless integration of teaching, project work and research.
He said it would produce scientists and engineers who, during their studies, would learn from each other and who would be equipped to change the way society solves its challenges.
Education Minister Richard Bruton said that if Ireland was to be at the forefront of the global technological revolution, it must be a leader in nurturing, developing and deploying Stem talent, and the €60m investment in E3 "will make an important contribution towards achieving our goal".
The Naughton Foundation is a private family foundation established in 1994 to support worthwhile causes in the arts and education.