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Walls Construction and DkIT announce strategic partnership to boost engineering opportunities across the region

20 February 2020

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) and leading Irish building contractor, Walls Construction have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further develop the relationship between both organisations.

The new corporate partnership reflects the institute’s on-going commitment to industry engagement for the purposes of research, innovation, graduate employment and education.

The agreement with the Dublin headquartered company will focus on four principal areas:

  1. Workforce Training and Education including bespoke course development and delivery in areas such as engineering and construction management, BIM (Building Information Modelling), Lean Construction and management skills. The agreement will also enable closer collaboration through participation on academic-industry programme boards and focus groups.
  2. Access to DkIT Graduates & Student Talent through student project work, participation at on-campus careers events and the joint development of graduate programmes.
  3. Access to Research & Innovation Collaboration through applied research opportunities, leveraged funding for R&D and developing a Centre of Excellence for Walls Construction at the Regional Development Centre at DkIT.
  4. Sponsorship opportunities in the areas of academic prizes and local corporate social responsibility initiatives.

The official announcement took place in DkIT on Thursday 20th February 2020 and was attended by members of the senior leadership from Walls including Adrian Corcoran, Construction Director and Niamh Barry, Training & Development Manager, along with DkIT President, Michael Mulvey, PhD, Head of Business Development & Innovation at DKT, Aidan Browne and Head of School of Engineering at DkIT, Dr Tom Dooley.

Speaking today, Michael Mulvey, said:

"In today’s uncertain economic environment, collaboration between academic institutions and industry can provide businesses with a vital competitive advantage to help them to grow, diversify and navigate changing market needs. 

We are delighted to welcome Walls Construction as our first official corporate partner from within the Built Environment sector. Our School of Engineering is deeply committed to the sustained growth and professionalism of this construction sector and we are confident that closer collaboration will enable us to provide more focused upskilling opportunities to Walls Construction staff, as well as assisting the organisation to embrace new technologies and to unlock new business opportunities in the future."

The partnership will also signal exciting new possibilities for our Engineering & Built Environment students and graduates with increased access to one of Ireland’s leading employers in the construction sector”.

Adrian Corcoran, Construction Director at Walls Construction is a graduate of Civil Engineering at DkIT. Speaking at the MOU signing today he added:

“Emerging technologies such as BIM, artificial intelligence and off-site construction are impacting on a sector that has grown significantly in the last five years. Aided by industry engagement, the education sector can make a major contribution, including research and development, incubation space and the design and delivery of programmes, that will benefit productivity, affordability, quality and health and safety in construction. This agreement fuses student, graduate and experienced professional talent in a way that benefits all parties, not least by providing career opportunities for the Engineering and Built Environment graduates of DkIT.”

The partnership with Walls is an important component within DkIT’s wider Corporate Partnership Programme with industry and the community, which is led by the Regional Development Centre at DkIT and will roll out over the next five years.

Aidan Browne, Head of Innovation & Business Development at DKIT who spearheads the institute’s Corporate Partnership Programme, said:

“We hope that our partnership with Walls Construction will enable us to develop a Centre of Excellence for the construction industry in North Leinster South Ulster by providing greater access to the graduate talent pool and fostering deeper collaboration with the academic and research community. We also look forward to exploring an emerging global trend among forward-thinking corporates such as Walls which seek to foster greater innovation in their businesses by having presence in on-campus incubation centres.”

DkIT has a growing portfolio of corporate partnerships with organisations located across the North Leinster South Ulster region including manufacturing multinational, Cargotec, sports technology firm, STATSports, Dundalk’s Creative Spark and one of Europe’s leading food processors, ABP Food Group.

For more information on DkIT’s Corporate Partnership Programme, please contact: Aidan Browne, Head of Innovation and Business Development at DkIT, E. T. +353 (0)42 9370455.

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