NUI Galway Announces the Establishment of the Whitaker Institute

Thursday, 18 October 2012

NUI Galway announced today the establishment of the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change. At the announcement were Dr T.K. Whitaker, NUI Galway President Jim Browne.
NUI Galway announced today the establishment of the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change. At the announcement were Dr T.K. Whitaker, NUI Galway President Jim Browne.

The eminent economist and former Secretary of the Department of Finance, Dr T.K. Whitaker, was warmly received at NUI Galway today as the University announced the establishment of the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change.

Dr Whitaker played an instrumental role in devising the economic plan, which set Ireland on the road to regeneration in the early 1960s. Drawing inspiration from his unparalleled service to Ireland, the newly formed Whitaker Institute serves as the country’s largest research body focused on contemporary and relevant business, social and policy issues.

Over 200 members make up the faculty with expertise spanning across the College of Business, Public Policy and Law and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Subsuming the University’s Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC), the Whitaker Institute builds on a decade of research-excellence and policy-focused contributions supported by over €11 million in competitive national and international research funding.

The Whitaker Institute applies a multi-perspective research approach to business and social issues, with an impact-led focus at the core of its endeavours. One of its key values is the promotion of a sustainable and inclusive society, influenced by the broad dissemination of rigorous and relevant research. Furthermore, the Whitaker Institute seeks to continue the tradition at NUI Galway of critically pursuing knowledge discovery that stimulates academic debates and opens public conversation to advance the greater good.

Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute, expressed the great honour he shared with Institute members at the endorsement of Dr Whitaker. “The Whitaker Institute brings together our talented research communities in business and social sciences that are committed to research excellence and to sharing their knowledge and expertise with wider communities nationally and internationally,” he stated. “It is a great honour for our research community to name the Institute after Dr Whitaker as his achievements, influence and contributions to this nation are in keeping with what we are seeking to achieve as Ireland rebuilds its economy and reimages its society.”

Dr Whitaker is regarded as a pivotal figure in the economic and social development of modern Ireland. During his long and illustrious career, he was Secretary of the Department of Finance, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, and founder of the Economic and Social Research Institute. He was also a member of Seanad Éireann from 1977 to 1982 and Chancellor of the National University of Ireland from 1976 to 1996.

The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, inspired by the legacy of this pioneering statesperson, aims to adopt a similarly innovative approach to the challenges currently facing society, both in Ireland and internationally.

Welcoming the establishment of the Whitaker Institute, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Dr T.K. Whitaker’s strategy for Ireland’s expansion in the 1960s transformed Irish society at the time. Today, we face similar social and economic challenges. Much like the figure after which it is named, the Whitaker Institute will lead academic research into innovation and change. We believe that the knowledge and insights which will emerge from the Institute have the potential to change Irish society and in so doing honour the achievements of Dr Whitaker.”

The Whitaker Institute was officially signed into being this morning, and there are plans for an official public launch in 2013. For more information, visit www.nuigalway.ie/whitakerinstitute

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Institiúid Whitaker bunaithe ag OÉ Gaillimh

Déardaoin, 18 Deireadh Fómhair 2012: Cuireadh fáilte chroíúil roimh an eacnamaí aitheanta agus iar-Rúnaí na Roinne Airgeadais an Dr T.K. Whitaker in OÉ Gaillimh inniu nuair a d’fhógair an Ollscoil bunú Institiúid Whitaker don Nuálaíocht agus don Athrú Sóisialta.   

Bhí ról tábhachtach ag an Dr Whitaker i gcur le chéile plean eacnamaíoch a thug an tír seo slán as an ngéarchéim ina raibh sí i dtús na 1960idí Spreagtha ag a sheirbhís den scoth d’Éirinn, is é Institiúid nuabhunaithe Whitaker an comhlacht is mó taighde sa tír atá dírithe ar cheisteanna comhaimseartha cuí gnó, sóisialta agus polasaí.

Tá breis is 200 comhalta sa dámh agus tá tobar an tsaineolais aici ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Tiocfaidh an tIonad um Nuálaíocht agus um Athrú Struchtúrtha (CISC) faoi cheannas Institiúid Whitaker agus úsáidfidh an Institiúid an feabhas taighde a rinneadh san Ionad sin le deich mbliana anuas mar aon leis an obair dírithe ar bheartas a fuair maoiniú taighde náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta os cionn €11 milliún.

Cur chuige taighde ilpheirspictíoch atá ag Institiúid Whitaker maidir le ceisteanna gnó agus sóisialta, agus beidh béim ar thionchar mar chroílár a saothair Ceann de phríomhluachanna na hInstitiúide sochaí inmharthana agus chuimsitheach a chur chun cinn, de thoradh ar thaighde cuí domhain a scaipeadh go forleathan. Sa bhreis air sin, tá sé mar aidhm ag Institiúid Whitaker cur leis an traidisiún in OÉ Gaillimh trí fhionnachtain eolais a lorg chun díospóireachtaí acadúla a spreagadh agus comhráite poiblí a thosú ar son leasa na sochaí.

Léirigh an Dr James Cunningham, Stiúrthóir Institiúid Whitaker, an onóir a bhraith sé i measc chomhaltaí na hInstitiúide agus iad ag tacú leis an Dr Whitaker. “Tugann Institiúid Whitaker le chéile tallann na bpobal taighde i ngnó agus in eolaíochtaí sóisialta, tallann atá tugtha d’fheabhas taighde agus d’eolas agus saineolas a roinnt leis an bpobal náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta,” a deir sé. Is mór an onóir don phobal taighde an Institiúid a ainmniú i ndiaidh an Dr Whitaker, mar go bhfuil a chuid éachtaí, a thionchar agus a chuid oibre ar son na tíre seo ag teacht leis an méid atáimid ag iarraidh a bhaint amach le hathbheochan a dhéanamh ar gheilleagar na tíre agus an tsochaí a fheabhsú.”

Feictear an Dr Whitaker mar dhuine mór le rá i bhforbairt eacnamaíoch agus shóisialta na hÉireann sa lá atá inniu ann.  Bhí gairm fhada cháiliúil aige - bhí sé ina Rúnaí ar an Roinn Airgeadais, ina Ghobharnóir ar Bhanc Ceannais na hÉireann, agus ba é a bhunaigh an Institiúid Taighde Eacnamaíochta agus Sóisialta (ESRI). Bhí sé ina chomhalta de Sheanad Éireann chomh maith ó 1977 go 1982 agus ina Sheansailéir ar Ollscoil na hÉireann ó 1976 go 1996.

Tá sé mar aidhm le hInstitiúid Whitaker don Nuálaíocht agus don Athrú Sóisialta, spreagtha ag oidhreacht an cheannródaí féin, cur chuige nuálach den chineál céanna a ghlacadh chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin atá os ár gcomhair faoi láthair, anseo in Éirinn agus thar lear.

Ag fáiltiú roimh bhunú Institiúid Whitaker, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Rinne straitéis an Dr T.K. Whitaker d’fhorleathnú na hÉireann sna 1960idí athrú ó bhun ar shochaí na hÉireann ag an am. Sa lá atá inniu ann, tá orainn aghaidh a thabhairt ar dhúshláin shóisialta agus eacnamaíochta den chineál céanna. Cosúil le Whitaker féin, beidh Institiúid Whitaker chun cinn sa taighde acadúil ar nuálaíocht agus ar athrú. Creidimid go bhféadfadh an t-eolas agus an léargas a thiocfaidh ón Institiúid sochaí na hÉireann a athrú agus is iontach an onóir a bheadh ansin d’éachtaí an Dr Whitaker.”

Bunaíodh Institiúid Whitaker go hoifigiúil ar maidin, agus tá sé i gceist í a sheoladh go poiblí in 2013. Tá tuilleadh eolais le fáil ag www.nuigalway.ie/whitakerinstitute

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Keywords: Press.

Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway
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