Written answers

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Department of Education and Skills

Technological Universities

Photo of Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireDonnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central, Sinn Fein)
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259. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reasons for the delay of approval to purchase a shareholding (details supplied). [23327/23]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Section 25(3A) of the Technological Universities Act 2018 (Number 3 of 2018) requires a technological university to seek consent from the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to acquire shares in a company formed for purposes other than the manufacture or development of a product, service or process, or the creation and use of intellectual property connected therewith for commercial purposes, arising from the conduct of research or the undertaking of innovation activity by the technological university. This is a newly amended provision inserted by section 95 of the Higher Education Authority Act 2022 (Number 31 of 2022).

My Department is currently assessing the merits of a request from Munster Technological University under this provision and has sought and obtained additional information in this regard from the TU.  Officials in the Department are in contact with their counterparts in the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform on this matter currently.

Subject to conclusion of the necessary examination and considerations of what are inter-related matters of funding, governance and due diligence and ensuring protection of the public finances I shall make a decision when all matters of fact are placed before me in due course and I shall endeavour do so in as expeditious a manner as possible. 


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