Sligo Regional Technical College (RTC) was established in 1970. Over time it evolved to become IT Sligo and it's growth was characterised by dynamic innovation. In the early days, it's population base was the least populous of any Institute yet it grew to rank highly in student numbers since the 1980's. In the 70's the College enrolled the first PhD student in the entire RTC system in a partnership with the school of Science and Trinity College Dublin. It developed the first Environmental Science programme in the State and there are many other "firsts" that the College introduced over the years.
The School of Engineering was equally dynamic and innovative in its development. The School focused on identifying industrial needs and creating specialised programmes aimed at target employment opportunities. The Mechanical and Electronic Department developed innovative programmes aimed at increasing productivity and technological competence in Irish Industry. The School also developed the first Quality Management Diploma and Tool Design Diploma which were historical milestones that enabled the education of many of today's Quality, Moulding and Tooling industry leaders.
Over the years, the Institute has responded to the needs of industry, initially through the set up of a registered company, the Consultancy, Research , Enterprise and Development Centre (CREDCO) which fostered links between Industry and the RTC. Under the CREDCO umbrella, the Toolmaking Industry Research and Advisory Centre (TIRAC) started in 1992, servicing needs in the automotive, mouldmaking and communications sector as well as partnering with Rover, Renault, French Telecom, British Telecom and Siemens on significant projects
IT Sligo has a long history of excellence in Precision Engineering and Manufacturing. When Sligo RTC opened in 1970 it was designated as the National Training Centre (NTC) for tool making in Ireland. The designation was fitting, as Co Sligo is regarded as the birth place of tool making in Ireland, borne of the technical excellence of many of the local companies in the industry.
Today, in IT Sligo we have a great sense of pride in our heritage of being engineering educational leaders, we started with a strong linkage to industry and have continued to develop these ties regionally and nationally through our educational programmes and through the Precision Engineering and Manufacturing (PEM) Centre which helps to solve industry problems through delivering industry projects.