Here at Nimbus we are well on our way to developing our Mixed Reality Lab, even from a distance! One of the main pillars of Nimbus is to engage in education and training across all our technologies and domains by hiring interns from CIT and other institutes across the world. In this spirit we would like to introduce our multimedia interns Garvan and Peter who have been working extensively on the research and development of our MR Lab. They share with us their backgrounds and views on why MR is one of the most important and exciting emerging technologies not just for businesses but for society, especially during this time of uncertainty.
Garvan is currently studying Computer Science in CIT with a primary focus on Virtual Reality and User Interface Design. “My main interests in MR revolve around the benefits it will bring to day to day life, improving both education and entertainment” says Garvan.
“In light of what is happening with the global pandemic Covid-19 there has never been a more urgent time for innovative solutions for the challenges of our modern world. In schools across the globe, students at all levels are facing difficulties in keeping up to date with course work. This pandemic has changed how students are educated and we need to come to the realisation that this may be more long term than originally anticipated. We have already seen the majority of third level institutes conducting online lectures but we need to look at utilising virtual technology and online classes for primary schools. However even though we can see some solutions to continue teaching, the quality of learning is heavily dependent on the level and quality of digital access”
Garvan continues to say that “The future of MR lies in improved methods of training the workforce of tomorrow, with greater efficiency. Simulated training is already impressive as it is, but things will only become more impressive and more realistic over time”. With a lot of people now working from home we need to ensure that businesses are provided with the relevant knowledge and skills that is required to keep their business running as well as ensuring that employees can continue to work remotely and avoid job losses. This is also echoed by Peter, a 3rd Year Creative Digital Media Student in CIT who says that “integrating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality into daily life and also how we can enhance current technology and devices is now more important than ever”.
1. Tell us a bit about the CREST Technology Gateway ?
CREST Technology Gateway is a surface coating innovation centre based in the Focas Research Institute at TU Dublin. We have over sixty years of experience providing a range of consultancy services to over 100 companies per year in areas such as Protective Coatings, Materials Surface Engineering, Metal finishing, Biomedical Devices and Sustainable building technology. We also operate as a ISO 9001:2015 accredited centre guaranteeing consistent and reliable project delivery.
2. Describe your role?:
In my role as CREST Consultancy manager, I’m the first point of contact for industry services. I provide information on our services, liaise with the company regarding their issue and in conjunction with the team develop a suitable work plan. Business Development is also a large part of my remit, where I get to engage with many different types of companies on a wide variety of interesting projects. I also manage the day to day running of the centre resources and financials. Overall my role is pretty diverse and certainly never boring!
3. What’s unique about Gateway?
As the only dedicated surface coatings laboratory on the Island of Ireland, CREST provides a range of coating innovation solutions for industry. Based in the centre of Dublin ensures companies have the opportunity to collaborate with experts not only within TU Dublin but right across the Technology Gateway Network.
4. What type of companies do you work with?
We work with all types of companies from SME’s right through to multinationals, in a range of industries such as engineering, construction, healthcare & biomedical.
5. What are the main benefits for a company collaborating with CREST?
When a company engages with CREST, they not only have access to a team of 10 full time expert researchers and a dedicated Gateway Manager but also the opportunity to avail of a range of specialised equipment all in one place. We work closely with the client to ensure a smooth innovation journey where communication is key. Our participation in the Technology Gateway cluster, EMD Ireland, not only ensures that our companies have direct access to our six sister centres but also provides the opportunity to extend their R&D capability, delivering assistance in near-to-market solutions. Over the years CREST has developed a national and international reputation, ensuring that companies recognise the capabilities in the centre and in time views the centre as an extension of its own R&D capability.
6. What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a company considering an innovation project?
Innovation can be difficult and its often easy to lose sight of the main objective. The one piece of advice I would give is to prioritise your key points and have a clear idea of your requirements. If you keep those in mind and refer back to them throughout the process you can’t go wrong!
7. What do you love most about your job?
My role is challenging but so rewarding. The variety of work and continuous changes and improvement within the sector, means that there is always something new to learn and to pass on to clients. I enjoy meeting new companies and helping them solve their innovation issues, it’s really rewarding to see the end result on the market.
For more information check out the CREST Website or follow them on Twitter where you can find out the latest industry and cluster news.
The Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network has been in operation since 2013, providing a range of innovation solutions and support to over 2500 companies throughout the island of Ireland.
If you’re thinking about embarking on an Innovation project or simply just want to find out a little bit more about the Network, check out our Frequently Asked Questions below.
What is the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network?
Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network is a programme in partnership with 9 Institutes of Technology and 1 Technological University. Our 15 Technology Gateways are located nationwide and provide services and supports, across a range of technologies, to Irish companies in the areas of Research Development and Innovation. Companies can leverage the expertise of over 300 industry-focused researchers and engineers, together with the specialist equipment and facilities available within our Gateways.
How can I work with the Network?
The Network is open to companies of any size so whether you’re a start-up, SME, or multinational, our dedicated Technology Gateway managers and staff are available to assist with all aspects of your R&D or innovation project.
Do I need to be an Enterprise Ireland client?
No, the Technology Gateway Network is open to all Irish companies from SME’s right through to multinationals, you do not need to be a client of Enterprise Ireland to collaborate with the Network.
What supports and funding are available to me?
The Network offers a range of Enterprise Ireland funding options to suit companies of all sizes. Current funding mechanisms available include Innovation Vouchers, Feasibility Studies, Innovation Partnerships and the Agile Innovation Fund. Companies can also fund the research themselves. Some terms and conditions may apply in respect of some funding options but our Gateway teams will explain in detail the requirements and process. Further information on all supports can be found here.
Can I avail of the resources of more than one Gateway at a time?
Yes, our unique selling point is our network structure. Our Gateways frequently work collaboratively on innovation projects. If your project requires the expertise of additional Gateways, it is available to you. This will be organised by your lead Gateway manager.
What is a Technology Gateway cluster?
Our three Technology Gateway Clusters have been developed to enhance the level of collaboration within the Network. Since 2016 these industry focused research & development clusters have specialised in the areas of Internet of Things (Applied IoT), Engineering, Materials & Design (EMD Ireland) and Food & Beverage technologies (Irish Food Tech). The clusters provide a one stop shop for industry by providing access to research and engineering professionals, equipment and expertise through a single point of contact. Companies wishing to collaborate with a cluster should contact us for more information.
My regional Gateway focus on a different specialisation, what should I do?
The Network is designed so that you can discuss the initial investigative stages with your regional Gateway Manager. They will take you through the process, available funding options and arrange an introduction to the Gateway most suited to your project. However, if you have already identified the most suitable Gateway, you can contact the Gateway Manager directly. If you’re unsure where to start or just require additional information, get in touch.
I’ve decided to proceed, what’s my next step?
When you have an idea of what is required, contact us or your regional Gateway Manager. There are no set requirements though, maybe you just want to talk through an idea or have a detailed plan already, either way our Gateway managers are here to help and provide you with information on the next steps.
Ongoing developments of the Nimbus Mixed Reality Innovation Lab
Exciting times ahead over the next few weeks as Nimbus continue to develop a Mixed Reality Innovation Lab. Our Mixed Reality Innovation lab consists of the latest Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to support and grow our innovation capacity to service the needs of Industry 4.0 client requirements. The Mixed Reality Innovation lab is a dedicated, adaptable space and immersive environment optimally suited for Industry 4.0 digital transformation needs which cover a broad range of applications and use cases including: learning, simulation training, measuring operational effectiveness, equipment & facilities maintenance, and safety monitoring, to name just a few.
This initiative was supported through Enterprise Ireland Capital Call Equipment Fund, where Nimbus researchers now look forward to working closely with Industry partners to creatively explore, design, develop and test the latest advancements in AR/MR technologies concentrated upon solving the needs of Industry 4.0. Within industrial and manufacturing domains there is a growing demand for VR/AR/MR applications as to resolve the many challenges faced towards improving operational effectiveness balanced with ensuring high safety regulations and standards are met.
Industry 4.0 and associated Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are making an impact upon making processes more streamlined and so delivering cost effectiveness. There is a growing demand towards exploring and leveraging from CPS, where many new services and business models are emerging. VR/AR technologies have been previously used to good effect across many domains. However, conventional standalone AR/VR applications should be distinguished from Nimbus research objectives where we concentrate upon the challenges of developing applications associated with digital twin technologies, which presents real-time data attained from CPS (smart objects/unmonumental conditions – e.g. temp, motion, strain, humidity) user interactions (gestures, posture/motion capture, eye tracking, touch events) and even physiological information (heart rate, blood pressure, temp etc) which deliver more immersive, contextual and meaningful experiences in which this potential can be untapped and extended further using conventional serious games, training environments and artefacts (manufacturing equipment, control systems) infused with CPS.
The Mixed Reality Innovation Lab consists of:
High performance DELL Alienware Aurora R8 PCs & Laptops
Samsung Flip Mobile Interactive Whiteboards, interactive pen & touch displays
Wacom Cintiq Pro 32 Creative Pen Displays
Cameras, Mics & Tripods (Recording, Live Streaming, Video Encoder)
Virtual Reality Headsets
HTC Vive Pros
HTC Vive Cosmos
HTC Vive Trackers
Hololens 2 Mixed Reality Headsets
360 VR Cameras
Insta360 Pro Cameras
Artec Handheld 3D scanners
Artec Space Spider Scanner
Artec Eva Scanner
Motion Capture Studio
Rokooko motion capture markerless suits and gloves
Trussing System, Green Screen & Lighting Rig
This is a room frame consisting of interconnected structural elements which where motion capture cameras, lighting, microphones, hardware and sensors can be attached to. The trussing system can be reconfigured according to our industry partners needs or depending on each use case. Tracking Systems (Full Motion capture) & Eye Tracking (Integrated within AR/VR Headsets) for the purpose of tracking and recording the 3D movement of people or objects within the VR/AR/MR innovation lab during simulation scenarios.
For further information on training or collaboration please contact Kevin O’Mahony at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian Cahill at email@example.com
The Agile Innovation Fund is part of Enterprise Ireland’s wider Innovation Offering, which includes funding and supports for collaborative research, increasing the innovation capability of companies and funding for large R&D projects. If you’re a company thinking about engaging in an innovation project and are interested in finding out more about the fund, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions below to help you out.
What is the Agile Innovation Fund?
The Agile Innovation Fund is a grant to companies that supports the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes (up to €150,000 with total project cost of less than €300,000). Grant rates are 25% to 50% dependent on company size and any collaboration involved in the project. The process has been streamlined for eligible companies with a short online application and fast-track approval.
Who can apply?
The Agile Innovation Fund is suitable for a range of companies, such as:
Companies new to R&D and planning their first R&D project
Operating in short, product life cycles
Undertaking small or short projects
Is your company eligible?
The Agile Innovation fund is open to clients of Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta as well as all registered companies that are trading with positive EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation).
What type of projects does it fund?
The fund supports activities which fall under the experimental development or industrial research or a combination of both.
Explain Industrial and Experimental Research?
Industrial research is planned research and investigation aimed at discovering brand new knowledge. Which may be useful in developing new products, process or services, or in bringing about a significant improvement.
Experimental research is systemic work, drawing on existing knowledge gained from research and/or practical experience directed towards producing plans or arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products. This work leads to a product which could be commercialised without significant additional development.
Does R&D fall under De-Minimis?
De-Minimis Aid is small amounts of State Aid given to an enterprise that cannot exceed €200,000 over any three fiscal years, irrespective of the company’s size or location. R&D does not fall under De-Minimis as it allows for more generous support aids.
Can multiple projects be included under one application?
No. Each project must have a separate application form and document for the project plan but a number of applications can be made simultaneously.
What is eligible expenditure under the Agile Innovation Fund?
Funding can be provided towards the cost of carrying out approved projects under the following headings:
Salaries – personnel costs for company staff working directly on the project
Additional overheads directly incurred because of the project. This is calculated as a fixed percentage of salaries and is limited to 30% (including employers’ PRSI)
Consultancy – costs to the company of availing of consultancy support directly related to the project
Materials and other operating expenses directly related to the project (including prototype/design costs, travel and subsistence, some certification or clinical trial costs)
Funding is only applicable for expenditure incurred within the approved project period. Project expenditure incurred prior to the receipt of the application by Enterprise Ireland is ineligible for support.
How do I apply and what is required?
A two part application is submitted on the Enterprise Ireland website. The application will ask for a company profile, background, project overview and a technical project plan. A separate offline project plan document will also be required.
What happens after submission?
The application is complete when all required documents have been received into the Enterprise Ireland Grant Applications. It will be submitted for evaluation through a commercial and technical assessment.
If your application is approved you will receive the letter of offer from your relevant Development Agency detailing information on the claims process. Clients of Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Local Enterprise Office should contact their Business Adviser regarding the claims process.
For more information on the application process check out the Agile Innovation webpage, you can also follow on Twitter for all the latest research and innovation news.
As part of the Enterprise Ireland Capital Equipment call CAPPA Technology Gateway recently purchased a new Raman, Witec Alpha R microscope. The new microscope is an advanced version, Raman microscope having excitation wavelengths in the visible (633 nm) and Near Infrared (830 nm). CAPPA currently posses a Horiba Raman microscope with wavelengths of 532 nm and 785 nm, the addition of the new systems adds to the excitation wavelengths and allows CAPPA to preform Raman spectroscopy over a significant portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The new system will provide a modernized offering to CAPPA’s industry partners and allow for the development of additional fundamental research.
Raman spectroscopy is being successfully applied to the analysis of a wide range of materials and systems. Some of the key areas are life sciences, materials science, chemical sciences, earth sciences and analytical sciences. It is a widely used technique applicable in the study of Carbons, Nanomaterials, Forensics, Life Sciences, Minerals, Geology and Gems, Pharmaceuticals and Polymers.
Key features of the new Raman microscopes are:
Confocal Raman Imaging with unprecedented performance in speed, sensitivity, and resolution
Hyperspectral image generation with the information of a complete Raman spectrum at every image pixel
Excellent lateral resolution
Outstanding depth resolution ideally suited for 3D image generation and depth profiles
Ultra – fast Raman imaging option with under one millisecond integration time per spectrum
Ultra – high throughput spectroscopic system for highest sensitivity and best performance in spectral resolution
Non – destructive imaging technique: no staining or fixation of the sample required
The Witec Alpha R correlative microscopy system is a unique integration of Raman with additional modal functionality such as inverted SNOM (Scanning Near – Field Optical Microscopy) sampling mode, ability to add an AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) and more, all on one integrated and correlated imaging microscope. It is often referred to as the “gold standard” in Raman imaging for speed and resolution. The new Raman can be used for applications such as chemical/polymer detection and identification, materials testing and analysis, drug discovery, real – time reaction monitoring, pharmaceutical testing of tablets, powders and liquids, food quality control and safety, cleaning validation and toxicity testing of chemicals.
https://www.technologygateway.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/DSC01445-768x576-1.jpg576768Technology Gatewayshttps://www.technologygateway.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Enterprise-Ireland-Technology-Gateway-logo.jpgTechnology Gateways2020-03-04 15:30:342020-03-04 15:32:57CAPPA Expands Service Offering with Addition of New Confocal Raman Microscope
CREST Technology Gateway, located in TU Dublin Kevin ST is the only dedicated surface coatings laboratory on the Island of Ireland, translating in-house fundamental knowledge from the bench-top to the marketplace. The Centre has over sixty years of commercial surface coating experience and recruits and develops industrial development scientists with a product development background operating within an ISO 9001 Quality Management System which guarantees consistent and reliable project delivery. CREST is led by Prof. Brendan Duffy (Centre Manager) and supported by Dr Annaik Genson (Consultancy Manager).
What is CREST Technology Gateway?
CREST addresses the needs of the Irish engineering, biomedical, construction and healthcare sectors. With expertise in areas such as protective coatings for challenging environments, surface treatment of metal components, coatings for environmental applications and biomedical devices, CREST is a nationally approved laboratory, retained by many Irish government bodies. (e.g. Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, NSAI, OPW, NRA and several city and county council bodies). It is also a member of EMD Ireland, a specialised Technology Gateway cluster. Established in 2016, EMD Ireland is a cluster of six Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways providing knowledge and expertise within the engineering, materials and design sector to Irish industry.
What facilities and technologies are available?
CREST operates as an integral part of the FOCAS Institute in Kevin ST and utilises four shared laboratories, providing essential services as the basis for materials synthesis, preparation and characterisation. In addition, CREST has the dedicated use of the consultancy laboratory within the FOCAS Institute used exclusively for industrial research work.
CREST also has ownership of several high specification instruments including the following facilities such as an Memmert Environmental Chamber, Siemens XRD, Zwick Universal Testing Machine and a Hitachi SU70 Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscope, as well as various Spectroscopy and Microscopy Equipment.
What types of companies do CREST work with?
CREST provides a range of consultancy services to over 100 companies per year, from Irish SMEs to multinationals nationwide.
What supports and funding does CREST have available to help your company?
As a Technology Gateway, CREST has a variety of Enterprise Ireland supports and funding available to suit all types and sizes of project. Such as:
Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers are open to all small and medium-sized limited companies currently registered in Ireland. They provide funding to the value of €5000, to help with the research and innovation of a business opportunity or problem. Innovation vouchers are redeemable from all members of the technology gateways. More information can be found on the Enterprise Ireland website.
Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships are ideal for larger, long term projects which aid with the development or improvement of products, services or processes. Grants of up to 80% towards eligible costs are available from Enterprise Ireland. For further information check out the Enterprise Ireland Website. Innovation Partnerships are open to applications all year round. To ensure eligibility for this scheme get in touch for further information and advice.
Companies can also pay CREST directly from their Research and Development budget. CREST has provided consultancy services to over 300 clients over the last 10 years, ranging from small indigenous companies to multinationals based in Ireland and overseas. For further information please contact Dr. Annaik Genson
What are your next steps?
If you have any further questions, are unsure about funding eligibility or require further advice or support, you can contact CREST directly, get further information on the CREST Website or follow on Twitter where you can find out the latest industry and cluster news.
Offering fast-track approval and a streamlined online application process, the new Agile Innovation Fund allows companies to access up to 50% in support for product, process or service development projects with a total cost of up to €300,000. The funding is ideal for Irish companies that need to rapidly develop solutions or are planning a first R&D project and open to eligible clients of Enterprise Ireland, Údaras na Gaeltachta and the Local Enterprise Office. The process has been streamlined for eligible companies with a short online application and fast-track approval. Clients of Enterprise Ireland, Údaras na Gaeltachta and the Local Enterprise Office should contact their Business Adviser in advance of submitting an application.
The Agile fund is part of Enterprise Ireland’s wider Innovation Offer, which includes funding and supports for collaborative research, increasing the innovation capability of companies and funding for large R&D projects.
Collaboration has been the backbone of the Technology Gateway Network programme since its establishment by Enterprise Ireland in 2013. Developed in partnership with 9 Institutes of Technology and 1 Technological University, the programme assists industry in areas of research and development in an extensive range of specialised areas. In fact since 2013, the Network has collaborated with over 2,500 Irish based companies completing in excess of 4000 innovation based projects.
Our network of 15 Technology Gateways are based throughout the country, each focusing on key technology areas aligned to industry needs. But they are by no means a stand-alone entity, the high level of cross collaboration between Gateways ensures that each centre acts as a portal to the industry focussed capability across the network and beyond to the wider research infrastructure in Ireland. This is the core essence of the Technology Gateway programme.
Our Gateway teams know that regular communication and collaboration within project based work not only enhances the sharing of knowledge and expertise, which adds to the development of innovation and research, but also delivers the best possible outcome for the project.
With this level of collaboration comes many benefits for industry:
Access to 3 industry-based clusters
To further boost the level of collaboration within the network, three Technology Gateway industry-based clusters have been developed in the areas of Internet of Things (Applied IoT), Engineering Materials and Design (EMD Ireland) and Food and Beverage Technologies (Irish Food Tech). Each cluster provides a single point of contact for companies looking to access technical capabilities within these areas. In essence a ‘one-stop-shop’ for innovation projects.
Access to over 300 industry-based researchers and engineers
Companies working within the Technology Gateway network have access to over 300 researchers and engineers. Providing key expertise and advice in areas such as Photonics, IoT, Design, Coatings, Manufacturing, Biosensors, Biotechnology, Precision Engineering, Medical Technologies, Polymers, and Pharmaceutical.
Regional support and advice
Innovation can be daunting, if you’re unsure where to start, get in contact with your regional Technology Gateway Manager who will take you through all your options, explain available funding and supports and refer you to the most appropriate Gateway team.
Shared expertise and experience
Our Gateway teams regularly share their expertise and experience with their colleagues throughout the Network, ensuring that they are best placed to deal with a wide selection of innovative solutions. Companies can be certain that the team working on each stage of the project are highly skilled in their area of expertise. Each project is managed by a Technology Gateway Manager, who ensures that the project is delivered on time and on budget.
Development of island-wide Research and Innovation
Continued collaboration not only ensures a culture of innovation and research within our centres but more importantly supports and furthers the development of research and innovation throughout Ireland.
Are you currently looking for help or guidance with research and innovation? Perhaps your product or service requires some expertise which is currently outside of your existing R&D capacity. The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme could provide you with a pathway to solving these problems. By availing of an Innovation Voucher, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with expert Knowledge Providers on your innovation product or problem.
The Innovation Voucher scheme is now open on a continuous call throughout the year. To help you gain an understanding of the process, we’ve put together answers to the most commonly asked questions.
We hope it helps!
What is the Innovation Voucher scheme?
The Innovation Voucher scheme is run by Enterprise Ireland and was developed to build links between Ireland’s public knowledge providers (i.e. higher education institutes, public research bodies) and small businesses. Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 are available to assist a company to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider.
What are knowledge providers?
Knowledge Providers are publicly funded research organisations such as Universities, Institutes of Technology, (which includes our 15 Technology Gateways), as well as other state research organisations. You can see the full list of participating knowledge providers on the Enterprise Ireland website.
Who is Eligible?
The Innovation Vouchers scheme is open to all small and medium-sized limited companies registered with the CRO in Ireland. You do not have to be a client of Enterprise Ireland to apply.
What types of vouchers are available?
There are two types of voucher available. A fully funded €5,000 standard voucher and the 50-50 co-funded Fast Track voucher (to a maximum value of €10,000). You can get more information on each voucher here.
Can a company have more than one Voucher?
A company can apply for a maximum of three Innovation Vouchers, one of which must be a co-funded Fast Track voucher. But it’s important to remember that a company may only have one ‘active’ voucher at any point in time.
How long are Innovation Vouchers valid for?
Vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
How and when can I apply?
Applications can be made throughout the year via the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System
Are vouchers subject to VAT?
Yes. Innovation Vouchers are subject to VAT. You will be invoiced for the VAT by the knowledge provider and this cost must be settled separately by the company.
What about IP?
IP developed as a result of an Innovation Voucher project belongs to the company unless the company and the knowledge provider have otherwise agreed.
I’ve been successful, what should I do now?
You should contact your chosen knowledge provider who will advise you off the next steps in your innovation journey.
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