>@Ian Mac Innes/EIB

Agreement signals confidence in Ireland as a leader in medical and health sciences education and research

The European Investment Bank and RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) have signed a major loan agreement for a significant investment towards RCSI’s new 10-storey academic education building, on York Street in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, at a special event in the College this morning.

Speaking at the signing of the agreement Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/Registrar RCSI, said: “This significant investment by the European Investment Bank will enhance Ireland’s and RCSI’s capacity to deliver outstanding medical and health sciences education and training and will further strengthen our global reputation as a leader in this field.”

“The new academic education building on York Street, Dublin, will be a student-centred, state-of-the-art facility and a world leader in the latest medical and surgical training technologies. It has been designed to be energy efficient and environmentally responsible.”

“This investment by the European Investment Bank is a sign of confidence in Ireland as a leader in medical education and research with this new development forming the focus of RCSI training facilities in Dublin as part of Ireland’s only specialist health sciences higher education institution.” concluded Professor Kelly.

Speaking in Dublin at the signing of the formal loan agreement with RCSI, the President of the European Investment Bank, Dr Werner Hoyer, said “Continued investment in training and education is crucial to make certain that Europe remains at the forefront of global research and development, and is even more essential in the health sector to ensure that our health professionals possess world class skills. The European Investment Bank is therefore pleased to support new investment by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland at sites in and around Dublin as part of our ongoing engagement with Irish universities.”

Speaking at RCSI, Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD said "I welcome this ambitious and worthwhile venture between RCSI and the European Investment Bank. This project is an excellent example of a cooperative venture which will contribute to the wider economy. Furthermore, it signals confidence in Ireland as a leader in medical and health sciences education and research and will play a vital role in ensuring that we stay in a position of leadership for the future."

The loan agreement also includes a significant investment in the expansion of RCSI’s Education and Research Centre on the grounds of Beaumont Hospital. The project will extend the Centre by an additional 2,112m2 to the current facility, and will include research laboratories, tutorial rooms, write-up spaces and operational space.

The new academic education building on York Street, which is currently under construction, has provided in excess of 400 construction-related jobs over the past two years. It will allow early clinical education to be delivered away from the patient’s bedside, enabling medical students and surgical trainees to learn in a simulated environment. The 120,000 sq.ft building comprises a state-of-the-art surgical and clinical training suite containing a flexible wet laboratory, a mock operating theatre, clinical training wards, standardised patient rooms and task training rooms.

It also includes a 540-seat auditorium, a library spanning three floors with 500 study spaces, a sports hall and fitness suite. The project commenced in October 2014 and will open to students and staff at the start of the 2017/2018 academic year.

There will also be an upgrade to the main Dublin campus including expanded education, laboratory and research facilities, and enhanced ICT facilities.

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide and joint 1st place in the Republic of Ireland in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.