The Atlantic Academic Hub Project Draíocht: Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland

An Academic Hub is “A designated region intended to attract foreign investment, retain local students, build a regional reputation by providing access to high-quality education and training for both international and domestic student, and create a knowledge-based economy. An education hub can include different combinations of domestic/international institutions, branch campuses, and foreign partnerships, within the designated region”.
Sectors of Activity:
Other Sector of Activity:
Education and Research
Funding other:
At this stage of the development of Project Draíocht, it is envisaged that it will be sustained by a combination of income from courses being offered to students, both from students studying abroad (from SHU and other universities) and a contribution fee on Irish students who may wish to pursue particular courses on offer, complemented by State employment grants that are generally available for projects in the Gaeltacht.
The Atlantic Academic Hub could become a centre for applied marine research and activities, not only in marine biology and ecology but also in other areas of related technology that the partner institutions can provide expertise and knowledge. The Atlantic Academic Hub may also have an expertise in other areas such as electronics, web development, marketing, tourism and new product development, as related to the marine. This Atlantic Academic Hub model could also be internationalised and supported by using EU Regional Funds.
Local Community, Projects partners, international and local students
Main activities:
  1. Establish centres of excellence in:
    • Marine/Biology/Ecology/Botany
    • Geology
    • Music and Traditional Music
    • Business and Tourism
    • Irish/Celtic Studies
    • Astronomy/Archaeology
    • Creative Art
  2. An Academic Conference based around the Centres of Excellence could be held once the facilities have been established, as method of  showcasing to a wider audience what the Atlantic Academic Hub has to offer.
  3. The establishment of a Marine Station in Dingle could be a very important element in the establishment of the Atlantic Academic Hub
Main deliverables:
  • The Action Plan encourages Member States to work together in areas where they were previously working individually. They will now be able to share information, costs, results and best practices, as well as generate ideas for further areas of cooperation of maritime activities. This includes both traditional activities, such as fisheries, aquaculture, tourism and shipping, as well as emerging ones such as offshore renewables and marine biotech.
  • The Atlantic Academic Hub could, in effect, also become the Dingle-based, Coastal Marine Innovation Hub, that is referred to in the Government’s Strategy for Entrepreneurship in Ireland.
Partners needed:

Possible partners for the Academic Hub would be European coastal communities with third level institutions.


Phase 1: (January 2015 to June 2015) Planning
Phase 2: (July 2015 to June 2016) Establishment
Phase 3: (July 2016 to June 2018) Course Development

Geographical target area:
Dingle, South West Ireland. Potential to expand this model to the Atlantic region.
Budget: Operating costs for the year, before Capital Expenditure: €200,000 Note: This figure is for illustrative purposes only.
Name of Organisation: Project Draíocht steering Committee
Country: Ireland
Contact person: 
Steve Conlon