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Limerick as a STEM city - Limerick has been putting more emphasis on making itself a leading STEM city. Picture: Ivan O’Riordan Limerick as a STEM city - Limerick has been putting more emphasis on making itself a leading STEM city. Picture: Ivan O’Riordan

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Developing Limerick as a STEM City

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Limerick as a STEM city – Limerick has been putting more emphasis on making itself a leading STEM city. Picture: Ivan O’Riordan

Developing Limerick as a STEM City

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Ann Mc Donald 

limerick as a stem city Researchers outside the Bernal Institute. Picture: True Media

Researchers outside the Bernal Institute. Picture: True Media

Limerick is without a doubt a place that focuses on and nurtures STEM-related opportunities and projects. This allows it to be the birthplace of new ideas and innovations that will make our world a better and more advanced place to live. 

Limerick has 63 indigenous tech companies, out of which 12 have women founders. The region is particularly active in enterprise, green energy, internet of things, and medtech with global companies such as Arralis, Teckro, BHSL Hydro, and Altra Tech. The city is the location of choice for a range of global tech companies, including Dell, Analog Devices, Intel, and Kemp Technologies. 

As well as that, Engine, a hub and co-working space that gives start-ups access to resources and encourages cross-collabarotion, creativity, and innovation. 

In 2018, Limerick city was not only named European City of the Future in its population category, but also ranked first for Business Friendliness and FDI Strategy in its population category by fDi Intelligence.

In the same year, Limerick secured funding of €6.5m as part of the Horizon +CityxChange project for the development of smart cities. With the funding, Limerick will see the Georgian Neighbourhood become the test site for data collection and the host to a range of new technologies that will transform it into a positive energy city centre that creates more electricity than it uses.  

Aiding Limerick in becoming a STEM city is its extremely impressive education sector, with institutes such as the University of Limerick, LIT (now part of the Technical University of the Shannon), Mary Immaculate College. 

As part of the Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D Awards Programme 2021, sixteen students from the University of Limerick were awarded scholarships at a virtual awards ceremony. The WISTEM2D Awards Programme 2021 underlines J&J’s commitment to developing and implementing high-impact strategies to support female students undertaking STEM2D degree courses.

The University of Limerick is also home to the Bernal Institute, whose researchers and work are constantly making headlines in publications such as the Silicon Republic. 

Limerick is also the home of Explore Engineering, which is an industry-led initiative that has the support of the education and training providers in the Mid West region that aims to increase the quality and quantity of engineering talent in the region. This is done by working with the education and training providers to ensure that pathways are available for everyone to enter the engineering sector. 

There is also a focus on promoting STEM subjects to the younger people in Limerick, such as The Science Hub, which is part of the Learning Hub in Limerick city. The Science Hub aims to promote STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and maths) to primarily primary school children by working with teachers and parents. They also run Public Engagement Projects, geared towards people of all ages.

The Science Hub is supported by Science Foundation Ireland and Regeneron, as well as the UL, TUS, and Mary Immaculate College. 

Castletroy-based company BD Research Centre runs an annual STEM Stars competition open to secondary schools in Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary with the opportunity to win a prize fund of €20,000 for STEM education and innovation. 

While the students work on their projects, they will have the opportunity to participate in STEM Star Clinics where BD RCI mentors will respond to their questions and provide guidance on their project. 

Needless to say, there is a huge emphasis on developing Limerick as a STEM city, with a particular focus on getting young people and women involved in the ever-changing world of science, technology, engineering, and maths. These developments will lead to more opportunities in the city and make it all the more attractive for people to live in. 

For more about STEM in Limerick go HERE 

For more STEM stories go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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