£16M Boost for University of Ulster Research

The University of Ulster today revealed details of £16m investment for research which will fund three world-class research facilities at its Belfast, Coleraine and Magee campuses including the largest single funding award - £9million - ever made to an Art and Design research project in Northern Ireland.

The three research proposals that received funding under DEL's SPUR II (Support Programme for University Research) are:

* £9m Centre for Research in Art Technologies and Design based at Belfast

* £4m Transitional Justice Institute, housed at Magee and Belfast

* £3m Centre for Media Research, based at Coleraine

Professor Gerry McKenna, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster, welcomed the SPUR II funding:

"I am delighted that the University has received substantial funding under the SPUR II initiative and that our world class research has been recognized in this way. We are grateful to DEL and Atlantic Philanthropies for their generous assistance for these ground-breaking projects. Funding measures of this kind are essential if our Universities are to compete on the global stage and are central to the future growth and prosperity of Northern Ireland. These projects provide exciting opportunities for each of the three campuses."

The £9m Centre for Research in Art, Technologies and Design (CREATED), which will be developed at the University's Belfast campus, builds on the distinctive research strengths in the University's School of Art and Design. Professor McKenna said:

"The funding is part of a development programme that will transform that part of North Belfast which is currently a severely underdeveloped area. It is an extremely exciting opportunity for the University. It is the largest single award ever granted to Art and Design research and it underlines the University's quality in Art and Design as demonstrated by the last national RAE. The creative industries have been identified as a key area of growth in Northern Ireland and the University plays a leading role in this vitally important sector. This funding allows us to develop

innovative research in fusing art and technology."

Professor McKenna said: "The £4m Transitional Justice Institute is concerned with issues such as truth commissions and victims' rights and also legal aspects of new

political institutions, criminal justice institutions and the police. It is timely and highly appropriate that research is carried out at this University as Northern Ireland emerges from conflict.

"The Transitional Justice Institute, which will be housed at our Magee and Belfast campuses, will become a world centre of excellence in the study of the legal aspects of new political institutions , new legal institutions, and with the transformation of criminal justice institutions and the police in societies emerging from periods of conflict. The University already has a global reputation in this field, and this exciting new Institute will build on that renown."

"The £3m Centre for Media Research builds on excellent work to date by the University in media studies in which it has played a pioneering role over the last 20 years. The project will facilitate research into film and photography history and archives, media policy, cultural issues and emerging digital issues. The general public is increasingly media literate and this innovative project will enable researchers to investigate a wide range of local, national and international historical and contemporary issues."