CAPPA Coordinating New €3.8 million EU Doctoral Training Network

The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) at Cork Institute of Technology has today launched their new EU-funded OPTAPHI project worth over €3.8 million. OPTAPHI is a European Double Doctorate Programme on “Optical sensing using advanced photo–induced effects”, and involves five partner institutions across Europe. The network was official launched by CIT President, Dr. Barry O’Connor, at the project’s kick-off meeting held in CIT on 21st January. The project is coordinated by  Dr. Liam O’Faolain (William Whelan-Curtin) and brings over €1M funding to CIT; this is the largest amount in a single EU H2020 project to be awarded to the institute to date, and brings to over €10 million the total amount of funding secured by the CAPPA research centre in the past 5 years.

The OPTAPHI project is a European joint doctorate programme funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme, as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. The consortium includes Cork Institute of Technology as coordinator, Politecnico di Bari (Italy), University of Bari Aldo Moro (Italy), Vienna University of Technology (Austria) and University of Montpellier (France). Through the project, 14 early stage researchers will undertake an innovative doctoral programme, which includes studying at two of the partner institutes, and will be awarded double Ph.D. degrees from both their co-hosts. The training from leading research groups will be complemented by secondment opportunities offered by ten associated Partner Organisations, together with network-wide training events such as workshops and a summer school.

A total of eight Ph.D. students will be registered at CIT, and the project represents four new partnerships for formal double degree awards with European academic institutions. In Horizon 2020 to date, OPTAPHI is one of only four EJD networks coordinated by an Irish institute, within a funding scheme which is one of the most highly competitive in the Framework Programme.

The photonics sector underpins all aspects of modern society, including optical telecommunications, biophotonics, medical devices and materials processing. In Europe, sensing is the largest photonics-based application. The OPTAPHI students will develop advanced optical sensors focusing on applications in the areas of Environmental Sensing, Agri-Food Analysis and Industrial Process Monitoring. OPTAPHI will demonstrate compact sensors that can be used in unmanned aerial vehicles for environment sensing, as low cost sensors for food monitoring and in industrial Process Analytical Technology.

“We are delighted to have received funding for the OPTAPHI project which will enable us to work with eight new students and develop advanced optical sensors focusing on applications in a variety of areas” says Dr Liam O’ Faolain, OPTAPHI project coordinator. Speaking at the official launch of the OPTAPHI project on Tuesday 21 of January, CIT President Dr Barry O’ Connor said: “ The OPTAPHI project offers a great platform for the five partners institutions- two from Bari in Italy, one each from Vienna, Austria, Montpellier, France and CIT as the coordinating partner – to work together on advancing photonics research in the EU. There will be great potential within this consortium to form the nucleus of a European University, a project strongly supported by the EU Commission and by many governments across Europe aimed at enhancing European cohesion in Higher Education and Research”

Applications for the OPTAPHI Ph.D. positions will open shortly. You can find more information on the OPTAPHI website:

This post was originally published on the CAPPA website

To find out more about CAPPA, check out their page and follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest news and events!

THEA’s STEM Supplement – Irish Independent 28th Nov 2019

A gateway to the future

Enterprise Ireland has committed €26 million to invest in the Future Technology Gateway Programme between 2018 and 2022. They have had over 500 companies involved in over 700 projects through the Technology Gateway network.

“The link between enterprise and the third level sector is incredibly important,” says Mark Christal. “Building this link has been a key focus for Enterprise Ireland for a number of years. The objective is to support companies that have the potential to grow and scale. To do that, we need to be proactively working and making sure those links between indigenous enterprises, and the third level sector, are strong.” Mark Christal, Enterprise Ireland Manager Regions & Entrepreneurship

Read about some of the exciting, ground breaking, innovative research and development projects that the Technology Gateway Network have been involved with recently. These will give you a flavour of the possibilities that are available to you, if you have an idea, product design or other project that you wish to bring to the next level.

Click on links below:-–/–one-pill-3d-printing-/—comand/



Minister Humphreys announces €6 Million for the Capital Equipment Fund for Third Level Institutes through the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Programme

25 July 2019 — Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD today announced the successful applicants of the Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway Network Programme. 43 successful applicants from the Institutes of Technology (IoT) and TU Dublin have secured over €6million in funding.

The Technology Gateway Network Programme funds interactions between local and national industry and the Institutes of Technology and aims to increase the levels of interaction between the IoTs and industry in Ireland. The intended outcomes of the Programme include; more companies engaging in R&D, pilot manufacturing capability for new product/process development, enhanced technology validation and testing capabilities, testbed generation and enhanced training potential for key industry staff on emerging technologies. The €6million fund will assist in buying capital that relates to new technologies such as augmented and virtual reality.

The winners were selected through a rigorous evaluation process based on eligibility criteria for the call which included, but was not limited to, a strong track record of industry engagement, a significant industrial need for the new equipment, and space to service and maintain the equipment according to international standards.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD said: “Our aim is to build on our strong enterprise ecosystem from across the wide spectrum of academia, research and business communities. This fund directly supports projects that are emerging from the ground up. The successful applicants announced today are housing research projects and initiatives that are at the cutting edge of innovation and I am confident that they have the potential to make a real and lasting impact on enterprise development at both a regional and national level.”

She added, “Through Future Jobs Ireland, our whole-of-Government framework to prepare for the future economy, we want Ireland to become a leader in technology adoption. This Capital Equipment Fund will support Institutes of Technology and TU Dublin in buying equipment relating to new technologies and is another step towards realising this ambition.”

Speaking about the announcement Mark Whelan, Technology Gateway Programme Manager at Enterprise Ireland said “This funding allows our Technology Gateway the opportunity to purchase new technologies in areas such as augmented and virtual reality, mobile robotics and moulding. Successful applicants have a proven track record in industry engagement and the new equipment will assist in increasing their interaction with industry and add value to the SME sector in Ireland.”


For further information, contact:                

Nicola Corboy, Press & Media Relations, Enterprise Ireland

01 727 2149 / 086 021 0114


Note to the editor

Future Jobs Ireland 2019, is the first in a series of annual reports as part of a multi-annual framework. Future Jobs Ireland outlines longer-term ambitions for the future of the economy out until 2025 taking account of the challenges ahead. Each year, Future Jobs Ireland will set out the steps to deliver on the ambitions with the ultimate goal of increasing the resilience of our economy and future-proofing it.


Each of the Five Pillars of Future Jobs Ireland has high level targets for 2025. Future Jobs Ireland includes 26 ambitions which contain 127 deliverables (actions) for completion in 2019. Each deliverable has a quantifiable output, a lead Department and timeframe.


In terms of implementation, Future Jobs Ireland will be a standing agenda item overseen by Cabinet Committee A. Progress on deliverables will be reported quarterly to the Senior Official Group. Biannually, more detailed progress reports will be made to Government and subsequently published.


Key deliverables for 2019 under each pillar include:


Pillar 1: Embracing Innovation and Technological Change

  • Deliver important policy initiatives including an Industry 4.0 Strategy, a National Digital Strategy, and a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy
  • Form Top Teams to progress areas of opportunity for Ireland beginning with Artificial Intelligence, GovTech and Offshore Renewables
  • Develop Ireland as a centre for developing and testing new technologies by, for example:
    • extending the EI/IDA Irish Manufacturing Research Additive Manufacturing technology centre to include cobotics and AR/VR,
    • progressing the Advanced Manufacturing Centre,
    • expanding the Tyndall National Institute,
    • commencing the development of a National Centre of Excellence on High Performance and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings
    • commencing the development of a National Design Centre
  • With NESC, develop a strategy for Transition Teams to help the transition of vulnerable enterprises and workers


Pillar 2: Improving SME Productivity

  • Deliver a new female entrepreneurship strategy
  • Develop a new investment funding facility to assist indigenous Irish companies in scaling their businesses
  • Encourage the growth of clusters where enterprises can grow and help each other and deepen linkages between foreign and Irish owned businesses
  • Increase the impact of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and increase SME take-up of Enterprise Ireland (EI) and LEO productivity supports
  • Drive productivity growth in the construction and retail sectors


Pillar 3: Enhancing Skills and Developing and Attracting Talent

  • Offer career advice to workers through the Public Employment Service
  • Engrain lifelong learning and offer career enhancing opportunities to workers
  • Ensure our economic migration system is responsive to our labour market needs
  • Promote flexible training options
  • Provide training in emerging technologies


Pillar 4: Increasing Participation in the Labour Force

  • Conduct a national consultation on extending flexible working options
  • Develop guidelines for employers on flexible working options
  • Develop a return to work service (e.g. for women returning to the workplace) as part of the Public Employment Service
  • Improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities
  • Provide incentives for people who wish to work longer


Pillar 5: Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy

  • Position Ireland as a centre in research, development and innovation, for smart grids, buildings and renewable technologies
  • Review the regional dimension of the economic and employment implications of the transition to a low carbon economy
  • Promote electric vehicles and achieve over 10,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of the year
  • Deliver a national deep retrofit programme for existing housing stock.




Design for Business Advantage networking morning

Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway Network and USER-FACTOR Design for SMEs group announce their ‘Design for Business Advantage’ networking morning

Design and design thinking has an important role to play in the creation of new products and services, as well as an integral role in enabling innovation within companies. The benefits of a design approach at the initial stage of product innovation is often key to a successful outcome. Providing companies with an opportunity to increase productivity and create value in products and services in both traditional and emerging sectors.

Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway Network aims to highlight the importance and value of design within the innovation process, the benefits of engaging with a design process and the role that design implemented innovation can play in the success of Irish businesses. Many of our Gateways, in a variety of specialisations and industries, offer a design-led approach when collaborating with Irish companies.

With this in mind, the Technology Gateway Network and USER-FACTOR Design for SMEs group are co-hosting a networking morning on 30th April 2019 at the Carlton Dublin Airport Hotel (9 am – 12 pm).

The theme of the event will be Design for Business Advantage and participants will hear from a number of companies who have worked with the Technology Gateway Network to use the expertise available within the host Institutes of Technology.

The keynote address will be given by Lorna Ross, who has had a stellar design career which has also been an interesting journey spanning more than 25 years, with stops in the world of fashion, wearable technology and, most recently, health care. She is a futurist at heart, recognised for her ability to anticipate shifts in the social, cultural and economic context for design. She was one of the pioneering researchers to focus on wearable technologies and built a reputation for research activity in this arena. She founded and led the Human Wellbeing Group at the MIT Media Lab, where her vision was to employ human-centred design principles to address the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry in delivering population health outcomes.

Representatives from our Technology Gateways, including the managers and their research staff, will also be available for informal meetings on the day. If you wish to avail of this option, please contact Grainne Foley ( or

This event is suitable for all types of Irish Business such as Start-Ups, SMEs, large indigenous companies and multinationals.

A networking lunch will be provided from 12 pm.

Registration for this free event is available here.

SEAM Technology Gateway celebrates 10 years of providing support to Irish industry   

l-r: Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director and Technology Gateway Manager; Michael Kelly, Centre Manager of 3DWIT; Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys; and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan with 3D printed crests of their counties presented on the day

So far, 2019 has been a big year for SEAM Technology Gateway, based in Waterford Institute of Technology, as it celebrates 10 years providing support and expertise to Irish industry. In recognition of this achievement, an industry-focused celebration was hosted on Friday 22nd March in Waterford Institute of Technology. The event focused on highlighting the many existing and new capabilities that SEAM can offer as well as showcasing the special relationship which exists between the Gateway and industry. The event also included the launch of the new Additive Manufacturing Training Centre (3DWIT) based in WIT.

Attended by over 100 industry delegates from around the country, representatives were also present from Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, Government departments and various academic institutes.

SEAM Technology Gateway is currently funded under the Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway Programme, which delivers innovation expertise to industry across Ireland. The programme is run by Enterprise Ireland in partnership with 9 Institutes of Technology and 1 Technological University across the country. SEAM is one of 15 such Gateways and provides engineering material solutions for industry in sectors such as biomedical devices, pharmaceuticals, microelectronics, precision engineering and construction. The Gateway has been providing assistance to industries in the South and SE region of Ireland and beyond since its launch in 2009.

The event agenda included a range of relevant and interesting discussions, audience interactions and presentations. The morning session opened with a welcome address by Dr Mark White, Vice President for Research & Innovation, WIT, followed by a presentation by Dr Ramesh Raghavendra (SEAM Centre Director & CEO of 3DWIT), who outlined SEAM’s 10-year contribution to industry. Closing the morning session was an insightful presentation from Michael Kelly, Centre Manager of 3DWIT, who introduced the new Additive Manufacturing skills available through 3DWIT.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan, viewing WIRE EDM-3D printing post processing equipment

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan, viewing WIRE EDM-3D printing post processing equipment

Session 2 saw company presentations by:

  • Dan Buck, Head of Device Engineering Group, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  • Jonathan Downey, Applications Engineering Manager, Schivo Medicals
  • Triona Kennedy, Manager, Advanced Operations, Stryker
  • Noel Lynch, Managing Director, EDPAC (Cork)

These not only allowed attendees an insight into the many different types of collaboration between SEAM and Irish industry, but the many different types of R&D development and innovation currently ongoing within Irish industry.

Session 3 focused on the areas of Technology, Research & Development, and Innovation with insightful presentations by:

  • Marc Sanders, Director of AM Applications, Renishaw (United Kingdom) entitled Be specific! Custom implants focus on the individual patient
  • Frank Devitt, Senior Lecturer-Design Innovation & Innovation strategy, Maynooth University on Design Thinking and its approach to prototyping and experimentation
  • Gearoid Mooney, Research & Innovation Division Manager, Enterprise Ireland on The importance of R&D and innovation to Businesses and Technology Gateway centre supports

This was then followed by an informative Question and Answers session with all panel members.

Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director and Technology Gateway Manager presenting at the event

Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director and Technology Gateway Manager, presenting at the event

The afternoon session saw the official launch of the Additive Manufacturing Training Centre (3DWIT) with speeches from Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan.

Panel audience interaction session

Panel audience interaction session

Reflecting on the day and on the previous 10 years, Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director and Technology Gateway Manager said: 

“It has been a pleasure to lead SEAM since its formal launch in 2009 and today after crossing the milestone of 10th Anniversary I am proud to say that SEAM has become a good and effective vehicle of transferring the benefits of various government funded research programmes to industries through partnering and collaborating with them. Oscar Wilde cites “Success is a science, if you have the conditions, you will get the result.” We in SEAM constantly strive for success to build a good Engineering Research Infrastructure with latest technologies in the South East that delivers the results not only for industries in the South East, but beyond for the whole of Island of Ireland.”

Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Programme Manager, Mark Whelan, commented on the success of SEAM and said:

“SEAM’s success over the past 10 years has been down to the hard work and dedication of the staff in SEAM and the wider WIT community. The benefit of SEAM to industry in Ireland has been invaluable and I look forward to its continued growth and success over the next 10 years.”

To find out more about SEAM Technology Gateway check out their page and follow them on Twitter for all the latest news and events!

CAPPA Gateway announces Innovation Through Light Seminar  

The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) is hosting an Innovation Through Light Seminar as part of Cork Institute of Technology innovation week. This seminar will take place on Monday, 4th of March from 1 pm to 2 pm in the Nimbus Seminar room at Cork Institute of Technology.

This is a free event open to all companies and individuals across all sectors. The seminar will focus on the benefits of innovation and showcase what state funding is available to begin your innovation journey, as well as the impact innovation through light, is having on future technologies.

The Innovation Through Light Seminar will focus on:

  • Insights into the world of photonics
  • How innovation can transform your business
  • Understanding state funding incentives
  • Integrating collaboration and innovation into your business

Twitter competition

As part of this event, CAPPA will also be holding an Innovation Through Light competition which will run from 4th to 8th March. To enter this competition all you need to do is tweet CAPPA (@cappa_cit) how you see innovation through light in your everyday life or the best current, future or potential uses of innovation through light that you have come across.

You must be following @cappa_cit on Twitter and use #InnovationThroughLight in your tweet in order to enter. There is one €100 and one €50 One4All voucher for the winner and runner up of this competition. Winners will be announced on Friday, 8th March.

Register for the seminar

Registration for this free event can be found here. For any queries or more information on the upcoming event, please call CAPPA on 021 433 5338 or email

To find out more about CAPPA, check out their page and follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest news and events!


Enterprise Ireland announces a new Capital Equipment Fund for Institutes of Technology

Enterprise Ireland is pleased to announce a call for applications from the Institutes of Technology (including TU Dublin) for a new Capital Equipment Fund. The purpose of the funding is to increase the levels of interaction between the IoTs and industry in Ireland, so the intended outcomes should include but not be limited to:

  • More companies engaging in R&D
  • Pilot manufacturing capability for new product/process development
  • Enhanced technology validation and testing capabilities
  • Testbed generation
  • Enhanced training potential for key industry staff on emerging technologies

The closing date for applications is 3 pm on Friday, 22nd March 2019.

More information, eligibility criteria and the downloadable application form can be found here.

The Enterprise Ireland Agile Innovation Fund Roadshow returns

Enterprise Ireland’s R&D Core Unit is hosting a number of regional roadshow events throughout the country on their new Agile Innovation, Research and Development funding programmes.

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 Enterprise Ireland client companies. The process has been streamlined for eligible companies with a short online application and fast-track approval. Please contact your Development Adviser before applying.

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.

Upcoming roadshow events

Venue: DUNDALK – Crowne Plaza Dundalk, Co. Louth
Date: 6 February 2019
Time: 8.30 am to 12 noon
More information

Venue: TULLAMORE – Tullamore Court Hotel, Co. Offaly
Date: 27th February 2019
Time: 8.30 am to 12 noon
More information

Venue: ATHLONE – Sheraton Athlone Hotel, Gleeson Street, Co. Westmeath
Date: 20th March 2019
Time: 8.30 am to 12 noon
More information

Venue: LONGFORD – Longford Arms Hotel, Main Street, Longford Town
Date: 10th April 2019
Time: 8.30 am to 12 noon
More information

Venue: PORTLAOISE – The Killeshin Hotel, Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Date: 1st May 2019
Time: 8.30 am to 12 noon
More information

Venue: SLIGO – Sligo Park Hotel, Pearse Road, Sligo
Date: 29th May 2019
Time: 8.30 am to 12 noon
More information

You can find more information on the Agile Innovation Fund plus registration details here.  You can also follow them on Twitter for all the latest news and events.

SEAM to lead disruptive project on 3D printing of biomedical implants

The SEAM Gateway is leading a Disruptive Technology Innovation-funded project called E-BAMBI, which will research the 3D printing of biomedical implants.

The SEAM Gateway led a consortium comprising two SMEs – Schivo Medical and  Graph Engineering – multinational company, Stryker Ireland, and its sister Technology Gateway, CREST, to receive over € 1.9 million in funding for its project E-Bambi (Enhanced Biocompatibility of Additively Manufactured Biomedical implants for Improved clinical outcomes) from the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF) administered by Project Ireland 2040.

SEAM, based in Waterford Institute of Technology, is an industry focused applied research centre, providing materials engineering solutions to companies from wide-ranging sectors such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals, microelectronics, precision engineering and energy. SEAM supports research activities for industries throughout Ireland.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadker TD, and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphries, announced the details of the 27 projects funded under the DTIF on 10th December 2018. There were over 300 applications submitted for this call, making the process highly competitive.

This work has major implications for the medical device industry and ultimately for improving patient care with the proposed implants coated for drug elution, reducing the risk of infection for patients receiving the implants.

The Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said:

“With the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, the Irish Government is supporting exactly the kind of fund that Ireland needs right now as we embrace the opportunities and challenges that disruptive technologies innovation bring to our workplaces and homes. These projects represent exciting collaborations happening between Ireland’s cutting-edge research base and our vibrant, dynamic enterprise and start-up community, reflecting the excellent skills we have here. I am delighted to support projects that will help to position Ireland as a Global Innovation Leader and lead the way in driving disruptive technologies innovation.”

Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, Director of SEAM and lead partner of the DTIF E-BAMBI project said:

“We are thrilled to be funded under the highly competitive DTIF call – the E-BAMBI consortium has the capacity to disruptively innovate the medical device market. Our project has wide-reaching impact for patient care and critically, for the commercialisation of the technology we will create for global impact. Furthermore, this E-BAMBI project would meet the growing need for engineering and scientific competence for building an additive ecosystem in Ireland.”

COMAND researchers developing cyber security solutions to enhance threat awareness

Cybersecurity attacks present one of the biggest threats to society today. Governments and industry alike exert great effort to frustrate these attacks them, frequently at an international level.

Researchers at the COMAND Technology Gateway – Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) – have been working on Protective (Proactive Risk Management through Improved Cyber Situational Awareness), a European Union Horizon 2020 collaborative project that aims to combat the growth of cybercrime. The project began in September 2016 and runs until August 2019.

The main objective of the project is to improve the awareness of the risk posed by cybersecurity attacks by creating a system for data and security information collection and processing, as well as by sharing information between security teams in different organisations. In addition to coordinating the project consortium, Athlone Institute of Technology is developing tools to link an organisation’s business goals to its computing infrastructure to enable the security teams to quickly focus on the most significant cyber threats.

The project, now its final year, will pilot Protective next year with several European National Research and Education Networks as well as several Managed Security Service providers in Ireland and the UK. Sharing of Information on attacks with other network monitoring organisations will enable enhanced threat awareness and decision-making capabilities.