Waterford News

Waterford and south east businesses to benefit from funding announced for WIT research centres

Enterprise Ireland Capital Call June 2020Capital funding allocated to three Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) research centres is set to further support the national economic recovery and resilience of Waterford businesses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

WIT’s Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC), South East Applied Materials (SEAM) research centre and Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) were among the 37 successful applicants to the €6 million Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway and Technology Centre Programmes.

Waterford-based multinationals, start-ups and local businesses focused on product or process improvement are among those to benefit from the investment.

Kathryn Kiely, Industry Services Manager at WIT in welcoming the announcement, highlighted the vital role that WIT’s Technology Gateway Centres play in supporting companies to innovate, address technical challenges and to develop new product, process or service solutions.

“In the last year researchers at our three technology gateway centres, have collaborated with more than 150 companies in the life sciences, medtech, manufacturing, ICT and services sectors. Investment in research infrastructure is critical for the sustainability and competitiveness of our region. This investment by Enterprise Ireland will better position our research centres to support the technical and research challenges that companies face, enhancing resilience and competitiveness within our SME and industry base.”

A joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland the Technology Gateway Programme allows Irish companies and multinationals to work together on market-focused strategic R&D projects in collaboration with research institutions.

Mark Whelan, Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Programme Manager said: “As part of the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network, WIT is uniquely positioned with three very diverse Gateways that serve companies both regionally and nationally, helping them overcome challenges in terms of  new product development, manufacturing and more recently dealing with the impact of COVID-19. Since the formation of the programme in 2013, the Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC), South East Applied Materials (SEAM) and Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) have provided their expertise to over 500 different companies, completing over 1,300 projects worth in excess of €12 million and the presence of the three Gateways in Waterford has had a significant impact on a local and national level.”

Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, recently made a visit to WIT research centre PMBRC which was awarded funding for a state of the art differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) an instrument that measures how material properties change when exposed to different temperatures. The Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) is an applied research centre which aims to support the sustainable growth of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in the south east of Ireland. 

Under the funding announcement SEAM will upgrade its x-ray computed tomography (XMT) equipment used for product design, validation, and failure analysis in Irish industry. South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre (SEAM) is an industry focussed applied research centre, providing innovative materials engineering solutions for companies from a wide range of sectors, including bio-medical devices, pharmaceuticals, micro-electronics, precision engineering and industrial technologies. SEAM offers direct consultancy, characterisation, failure analysis and strategic research partnership programs (short, medium and long term) to support industries throughout Ireland.

Smart clothing is the focus of the Smart Material and e-Textile Innovation Living Laboratory (eTex) and will allow TSSG to engage with Enterprise Ireland clients, start-ups and existing companies that wish to launch, initiate and investigate potential solutions related to new e-Textile based technology services. Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) has a proven track record in translating world class research into market-ready products and services and has enabled the establishment of an eco-system of mobile service companies in the South East of Ireland and beyond.

 

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