On June 18, 2010, President Peterson spoke at the Irish Royal Academy, Dublin, Ireland, as part of an event to announce a three-way joint venture between Georgia Tech, the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway and the University of Limerick to develop a translational research institute, Georgia Tech Ireland. Ireland's Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, participated in the event.
June 18, 2010—Thank you President Barry [Dr. Don Barry, president of the University of Limerick]. I am honored to join you and President Browne [Dr. James Browne, president of NUI Galway] today, along with our honored guest An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen for this special event. I would also like to extend greetings to Mr. Barry O'Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland. Georgia Tech is very grateful for the continuing support from IDA Ireland, who encouraged us to come to your fair country several years ago. We owe a debt of gratitude to many educational, business, and government leaders here in Ireland who helped make our shared vision a reality.
And while he could not join us today, I would like to also extend my thanks to Krish Ahuja, who took a leave from GTRI and his position on Georgia Tech's aerospace engineering faculty to serve as the Georgia Tech Ireland general manager from 2007 to 2009, working closely with colleagues at NUI Galway and the University of Limerick on the agreement we are celebrating today.
On behalf of the people of Georgia Tech and Georgia Tech Ireland, we celebrate today's partnership announcement and the potential it represents for our institutes, business, and industry; the individuals whose lives will be enriched by our research; and our respective countries.
Georgia Tech remains committed to our research efforts in Ireland and we feel that our partnership with these noted universities will be a pathway to long-term successful operations.
Georgia Tech Ireland is already making important research contributions in Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, inventory management by partnering with global medical technology firms in Ireland and the Galway Clinic through the CLASS project; in-home care of aging populations through the NUI Galway, Limerick, and GT SAAL initiative; and energy management for buildings through HotHouse Technologies and the Framework 7 SmartHeat project.
We believe the GTRI model of translational research is proven and can result in economic development for Ireland. The new business and funding model of GT Ireland will build upon the industry-focused atmosphere for even greater success.
The agreement has tremendous potential. Georgia Tech Ireland will continue to operate as an Irish commercial limited-by-guarantee company, but will have the ability to submit grant proposals jointly with any or all of the three partners. We will have opportunities for joint research, selected services, and direct interaction with faculty at each institute.
The institutes have enjoyed strong working relationships for a number of years. Georgia Tech has worked with NUI Galway in biomedical engineering, and we're talking about ways to partner in the important field of applied optics. We have collaborative relationships between the faculty at the University of Limerick and at Georgia Tech. In addition to research, there could be expanded educational opportunities at Georgia Tech Ireland in response to faculty interest. There is little doubt that collectively, we can do significantly more than the three of us could do individually.
At Georgia Tech we are committed to fostering international alliances to build research collaborations, enhance learning experiences, and promote economic development.
Earlier this week, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Georgia Tech Lorraine in France. Georgia Tech Lorraine was our first international campus, and we have had more than 2500 students study there in the first 20 years. Using this as a model, we have added other programs throughout the world.
When we talk about international partnerships, it is interesting to note the significant Irish heritage not only in the United States, but specifically in the state of Georgia. In addition, many large companies headquartered in Georgia are committed to working in Ireland, including Coca-Cola—whose headquarters are right across the street from our Atlanta campus—GE Energy, and UPS, among others.
Forty-seven years ago this month, our Irish American President, John F. Kennedy, spoke in Dublin to a joint session of the Seanad and the Dail in Leinster House. Most know that all of JFK's eight great grandparents immigrated to Boston during the dark days of the 1840s potato famine, where they and their descendents were able to take advantage of the economic opportunities offered in America.
In that speech Kennedy declared Ireland an extraordinary country and reminded his audience that George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life this way in a line from his play Back to Methuselah: "Other people see things and say: why—but I dream things that never were and say: why not."
Today Ireland remains an extraordinary and strong nation. Many descendents of those who left long ago for economic opportunities have returned home.
Ireland's scholars and scientists are among the best in the world, and Georgia Tech Ireland is proud to be part of collaboration with the Universities of Galway and Limerick.
The researchers of Georgia Tech Ireland will ask "why not?" Because of this, I am positive that in the decades to come, their research results will contribute significantly to enriching life in our countries, and in the world. And, because it is translational research, I am confident that the work of Georgia Tech Ireland will contribute to economic recovery and renewal of our respective regions, countries, and the world.
At Georgia Tech, we believe that the most pressing challenges in business, industry, and society cross national boundaries, and that by working together we can address and resolve these problems much more quickly. Together through this partnership, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
Thank you for all of your support and for inviting me here today to participate in this celebration.
RELATED MEDIA ARTICLES
University alliance launches Translational Research Institute
SiliconRepublic.com, June 21, 2010
Partnership with U.S. Institute Aims to Boost Enterprise and Job Creation
Irish Times, June 19, 2010
Cross Atlantic Research Institute Unveiled
Inside Ireland, June 18, 2010