TU Dublin Hosts Second Technological Universities Symposium

13 Feb, 2020

On Tuesday, 11 February, Irish and European Higher Education experts, policy-makers, and a range of industry and community stakeholders gathered in Dublin to discuss the role of Technological Universities in developing digital competencies.

Hosted by Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) and the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the theme of second Technological Universities Symposia Series was developing digital competencies through effective university-employer partnerships, a key aspect of Ireland’s first Technological University, TU Dublin, Strategic Plan to 2030.

Welcoming attendees, Professor David FitzPatrick, President of TU Dublin, said it was the role of educational institutions to provide opportunities to nurture minds and create responsible global citizens.

In her keynote address, Dr Sybille Reichert (European University Association) spoke about the role of Universities in Regional Innovation Ecosystems. “Universities have a great influence on bringing major grants to the regions; they provide talent and act as facilitators. If we understand this, then University-City-Citizens-Government can become a sustainable ecosystem.”

Dr Sybille Reichert (European University Association)

Dr Caroline O’Sullivan, Head of Creative Media at TU Dublin, hosted the next segment of the day, which included a series of short presentations and chaired an engaging panel discussion about the future of University partnerships. Contributors included:

  • Ellen Ward (Concern and Tech4Good) - Tech for Good: Why Purpose is More Important than Profit.
  • Marte Andresen (PricewaterhouseCoopers AS. Oslo) - European Models for University-Employer Skills Cooperation.
  • Alan Fahey (SAP) - Vocational training Models at SAP: STARS Programme.
  • Adam Weatherly (ISME) - SMEs and the Digital Competencies agenda.
  • Dr Paul Doyle HubLinked Knowledge Alliance University-Industry Innovations Report

Marte Andresen (PWC Oslo) speaking about University-Employer Skills Co-operation

Hublinked Team: Ioannis Stavrakakis, Dr Paul Doyle, Anna Becevel (TU Dublin) and Adam Weatherley (ISME)

During a section chaired by Dr Deirdre Lillis (TU Dublin and HEA), panellists discussed how to best deliver ‘Digital Competencies’ in the face of the growing challenges to our climate and environment. Contributors included:

  • Professor David FitzPatrick (President, TU Dublin)
  • Michael Horgan (Chairperson of the Higher Education Authority)
  • Izabela Milewska (Digital Skills Global Leader at Amazon Web Services and Chair of Digital Europe)
  • Dr Susan McKeever (Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, TU Dublin)
  • Claire Cunningham (Immersive Interaction Designer & Prototyper)
  • Dr Victoria Galan-Muros (Innovative Futures Institute and the University-Industry Innovation Network)

Dr Victoria Galan-Muros


During her intervention, University-Industry Innovation for Skills Development: An International Approach, Dr Victoria Galan-Muros said, “Using examples of successful industry-university collaborations creates a win-win scenario not just in terms of efficiency but also in digital skills development.”

Dave Feenan (Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet) chaired the final panel with industry and community stakeholders, offering their perspectives about how stakeholders can foster an Inclusive Talent Pipeline. Contributors included:

  • Gareth Lee (Screen Skills Ireland) - Inclusive Talent Pipeline and the Screen Sector.
  • Suzi Jarvis (Founding Director of the Innovation Academy and Professor of Biophysics at University College Dublin) - The Innovation Academy.
  • Stephen Howell (Academic Lead)
  • Riana Roche (Manager of Software Development Engineering: Cyber & Intelligence Solutions (C&I), Mastercard)
  • Ann Sylvester (WITS Ireland)

Riana Roche, Manager of Software Development Engineering at Mastercard