CAPPA Researchers Receive Over €1 Million in SFI IRC Pathway Funding

The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) is delighted to announce two of their researchers, Dr Maria Kotlyar and Dr Anton Walsh, have received funding as part of the highly competitive Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Irish Research Council (IRC) Pathway Programme. Dr Walsh’s project InfraRed Laser Sensing for Irish Agricultural Emissions (IRLS – AGRE) received €540,000 in funding. Dr Kotlyar’s project APTIMON, received over €550,000 in funding. This brings to over €14 million the total amount of funding secured by the CAPPA research centre in the past 6 years.

On August 29, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris announced an investment of €28.5 million across 53 research projects to support Ireland’s emerging research talent. The projects are funded through the SFI-IRC Pathway programme, a new collaborative initiative between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Irish Research Council (IRC) to support early career research across all disciplines and to encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Of the 53 projects supported under the first round of this new partnership programme, 36 projects will be supported in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and 17 will be supported in arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS). The awards will enable postdoctoral researchers to conduct independent research for a four–year period and will provide funding for a postgraduate student who will be primarily supervised by the awardee. MTU was the only Technological University to receive funding during this round.

Dr. Niall Smith, Head of Research welcomed the news: “These two awards address globally important challenges in environmental sustainability, nutrition and food security. The outcomes of the research will significantly improve capabilities to monitor emissions in near-realtime thereby improving our understanding of the sources of the emissions whilst also enabling us to interrogate the efficacy of any mitigations with greater precision than was previously possible.  Critically, the awards underscore the efforts of MTU to boost our pipeline of talented researchers. This is crucial to the university’s success in making our region an exemplar of healthy, sustainable and responsible living. The awards are also a recognition of the sustained impact of photonics research in our CAPPA Research Centre.”

The InfraRed Laser Sensing for Irish Agricultural Emissions (IRLS – AGRE) project will be conducted with three collaborators from University College Cork (UCC), Teagasc and University of Bari. Agricultural emissions include greenhouse gases, which cause climate change, and air pollutants, which cause illness. To reduce emissions effectively, you first need to be able to measure them with high accuracy. This is difficult for agricultural emissions, as there are many hot spots on farmland which need to be monitored and the settings are harsh on the sensor technology. The project will develop new types of sensors specifically for agricultural settings, targeting the three most important gases, methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia. The sensors will be benchmarked against commercial sensors and trialled in the field, on a farmland setting.

Dr Maria Kotlyar received funding for her project APTIMON which received funding for 4 years. The continuous monitoring of bacterial growth is an essential process undertaken in academic research and clinical environments to provide valuable information on the nutritional and energy requirements of microbes, as well as to identify conditions that impact their survival and have an antimicrobial effect. The project will develop a new trace gas sensor that will monitor the metabolic activity of bacteria via the carbon dioxide expired. The sensor is based on photo-thermal spectroscopy and will use a robust silicon based Fabry-Perot cavity to enhance light absorption and a photonic integrated circuit to read out the induced change in refractive index monitor.

You can learn more about the currently active research projects at CAPPA here and more about the work CAPPA has conducted in the agriculture sector here.

This article was first published by CAPPA.

MET to host Breakfast Briefing at Medical Technology Ireland conference

The Atlantic Technological University and the MET Technology Gateway will host a free Breakfast Briefing at the Medical Technology Ireland conference, focused on the applied biomedical research capabilities at ATU.

Attendees will gain insights on MET’s capabilities and how our technology offerings can support Research, Development and Innovation activities in the MedTech industry, including:

  • Welcome address and overview of ATU, by Dr Orla Flynn, President, Atlantic Technological University
  • ATU Research and Innovation – a MedTech focus, by Dr Rick Officer, VP of Research and Innovation, ATU Galway
  • An overview of our Medical Imaging Suite, and its role in supporting pre-clinical testing, by Dr Florian Stefanov, Senior Medical Imaging Specialist, MET Technology Gateway
  • An outline of our Anatomical Modelling and Physiological Replication capabilities, and how they can help you understand the performance of your device, by Dr Joaquin Penide, Principal Investigator, MET Technology Gateway.
  • Reflections on the advantages for industry in engaging in collaborative research with MET, with Dr. Ronan McLoughlin, Associate Director R&D, Science and Emerging Technologies, Aerogen.

The Enterprise Ireland Medical and Engineering Technologies (MET) Gateway is an applied research centre, dedicated to supporting Research, Development and Innovation activities in the MedTech, LifeSciences and Engineering Sectors. Located at the ATU Galway campus, the MET Technology Gateway provides open access for industry to the academic expertise within ATU, generating solutions for the close-to-market needs to companies. Learn more about what MET do and how they can help you at www.metcentre.ie.

Breakfast will be provided – come and enjoy a coffee and learn more about how MET and ATU can help accelerate the device development cycle.

Please register your attendance here.

CAPPA Exhibiting at Northern Ireland Chamber Annual Conference

The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) is delighted to be exhibiting at this years’ Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference the Festival of Business, which is taking place in St George’s Market Belfast on Wednesday September 14 from 08:30 – 13:00.

Northern Ireland Chamber’s Festival of Business is the largest conference of its kind in Northern Ireland, attracting approximately 1000 attendees from business. Over 100 companies will be participating in the business showcase, exhibiting their products and services as part of a buzzing marketplace in the spectacular, authentic surroundings of St. George’s Market, Belfast.

A key aspect of the conference is the keynote stage and the various speeches, which take place throughout the day with a focus on celebrating business and future success of business. Previous speakers at the conference have included senior representatives from Google, Facebook, Hostelworld Group, Twitter and ITV to name a few – the 2022 conference will feature speakers of equal calibre. The conference has grown year on year and is now cemented as one of the top business events in Northern Ireland. The headline sponsor is Dublin Airport and Belfast City Council are supporting sponsor. Headline speakers on the day include Fiona Simpson from Amazon Web Services, Colin Hughes from Four Star Pizza and Gerard Whelan from Jordan Wolf Associates.

CAPPA are delighted to be exhibiting on the day and will be available for a range of 1 – 1 meetings after the event. To arrange a meeting please contact CAPPA directly on 0214335339 or email cappa@mtu.ie. You can find out more information and register for this event here.

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Learn the basics of virtual & augmented reality technologies at ‘Introduction to AR/VR’ workshop

Irish companies can now learn the basics of virtual and augmented reality technologies and how they can be practically applied to their organisation. On Wednesday 28th September, the TSSG Technology Gateway at Walton Institute will host an informative and interactive introduction to mixed reality technologies at their 1-day workshop in their Mixed Reality Lab based in the SETU Waterford West Campus.  

Funded by Enterprise Ireland, the lab boasts state-of-the-art mixed and interactive technologies allowing practical demonstrations to companies interested in applying these practices to their own products and services.  

On the day, participants will receive an overview of the Metaverse, an introduction to VR hardware, learn more about the use of object photogrammetry in digital twin and industry 4.0 practices all with a focus on use cases and gaining hands on experience. 

The Workshop 

9:30 – 10:00 Arrival and Orientation. 

10:00 – 11:00 Introduction to AR/VR 

11:00 – 11:15 Break* 

11:15 – 12:15 Introduction to Mobile AR and MR technology 

12:15 – 13:15 Lunch* 

13:15 – 14:00 Object Photogrammetry and VR focus 

14:00 – 14:10 Tour of Digital Photogrammetry Lab 

14:10 – 15:10 Introduction to VR 

15:10 – 15:20 Break* 

15:20 – 15:50 Discussion of attendee identified business cases & Plenary 

*Refreshments included 

Mixed Reality Lab 

Companies and individuals who need to run simulations or test prototypes now have access to a state-of-the-art, mixed reality testbed lab and research team at SETU Waterford West Campus. 

The new facility allows clients see how mixed reality can transform education, training and awareness and monitor movement, immersion and interaction through a variety of technologies, including wireless headsets, a VR treadmill, 360-degree video capture, live performance and acoustic capture, physiological sensing and eye tracking equipment and so much more. 

The Trainer 

Stephen Barnes is an experienced software researcher at Walton Institute. Since joining Walton in 2016, Stephen has specialized in Augmented and Virtual Reality applications. He has completed projects for a variety of industry verticals including: AEC, virtual heritage, retail logistics, sports rehabilitation as well as education and training. 

His background includes degrees in Electronic Engineering as well as Applied Social Studies, a Higher Diploma in Science in Computing and a postgraduate certificate in Education. Stephen was an ICT and Media Studies Teacher at Tendring Technology College in the UK as well as a registered tutor with DCU and YWCA in Vancouver, Canada. In addition to his teaching experience, Stephen has also created training materials for Social Care practitioners. 

TSSG Technology Gateway 

The TSSG (Telecommunications Software & Systems Group) Technology Gateway, based in the Walton Institute at SETU Waterford, is a research and innovation centre for industry to access cutting-edge knowledge and solutions in advanced mobiles services and software service enablers.  

TSSG Gateway develops technology to bring a business idea to reality. As part of the Technology Gateway Network funded by Enterprise Ireland, it is the commercial interface of Walton Institute. As an advanced software R&D Centre with particular expertise in all aspects of mobile networks and communications platforms and services, their role is to deliver software technology solutions through collaboration on projects which are close to the market needs of the Irish industry. 

For more information on this workshop, and other tailored training courses in mixed reality, contact tssgtechgateway@waltoninstitute.ie 

To avail of a group discount email tssgtechgateway@waltoninstitute.ie 

Date: 28th September 

Time: 9.30am – 16.30pm 

Tickets 

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‘Trends in Polymer Processing and Investigations’ – APT Webinar

APT Technology Gateway have announced their third webinar in their current online series ‘Trends in Polymer Processing and Investigations’.  The series aims to bring together a range of relevant and exciting industry topics highlighting current, new and emerging trends in Polymer processing.  

The next webinar in the series takes place on 6th July at 1pm and will focus on the latest developments in plastic sustainability with the Sustainability Research team in the Polymer Recycling Industrial Sustainability and Manufacturing Research Institute at TUS. 

Presenters 

Dr Margaret Brennan Fournet – Assistant Director @ PRISM TUS 
Title: Sustainable Plastics for your Enterprise 
This webinar details radically new technology developments which can accommodate circularity for an increasingly wide source of plastics and polymers, including those that are not recycled/recyclable today. Innovation in for how plastics are made, unmade and remade can deliver highly economically feasible routes to transition from the linear to the circular plastics economy.
 

Dr Marija Mojicevic – Postdoctoral Researcher @ PRISM TUS 
From waste to biopolymers: closing the circle for plastics economy 
In the midst of a global health pandemic, we are ignoring another pandemic that has been going on for decades and is rarely in the public spotlight: the plastic waste pandemic. This webinar will focus on alternatives for plastic materials. It will provide insights into the challenges of biopolymers production and discuss their importance and overall use. Recent findings in biopolymer science will be summed up with a special highlight on using plastic-related materials as a feedstock for biomaterial synthesis. 

APT Technology Gateway 

The APT Technology Gateway is hosted within the Materials Research Institute (MRI) at TUS: Midlands, which is an interdisciplinary material science and technology research centre. APT is the leading hub for industrial polymer research and development in Ireland, with TUS playing a key role in supporting the Irish polymer and plastics industry for more than 30 years. APT acts as an industry-led research hub supporting Irish-based plastics and polymer companies in creating solutions to overcome the current challenges faced by the industry. APT is a dedicated resource for the Irish polymer manufacturing industry and regularly provides training and information dissemination, as well as production demonstration days for companies. 

Event details:
Date: Thursday 6th July
Time: 1-2pm
Registration 

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Technology Forum – where industry and innovators connect

Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway Network and Technology Centres are joining together for a Networking Morning on the 16th of June 2022 at Croke Park, Dublin.  

The theme of the event is sustainability. As companies strive towards a low carbon future, many are thinking about developing, and investing in sustainable products, processes or services. Technology Gateways and Centres can assist in creating an environment of Research, Development and innovation for companies and projects of all shapes and sizes. 

On the day participants will hear from a number of companies who have collaborated with the Technology Gateways and Centres to utilise their expertise available within our host Universities, Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology. As well as network, meet other companies and provide an opportunity to engage with the Gateway and Centre staff. The networking expo will provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss outsourcing their R&D projects with the Gateway and Centre Managers and their research teams, as well as learning about the various funding mechanisms available from Enterprise Ireland, including the Innovation Voucher, Innovation Partnership and Agile Innovation Funding Programmes. 

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

The agenda is as follows:  

  • 9.30 Registration, coffee and networking 
  • 10.15 Introductions 
  • 10.20 Yonael Bernard – Lambay Whiskey & CREDIT Gateway 
  • 10.35 Kevin Cronin – Freefoam & Irish Manufacturing Research 
  • 10.50 Coffee and Networking 
  • 11.20 Kieran Coffey – MyGug & WiSAR Gateway 
  • 11.35 Michael Mulloy and Derek Aherne – SSE Airtricity & CeADAR 
  • 11.50 Q&A and Closing Remarks 
  • 12.00 Lunch and Networking 

Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways, provides Irish companies with a means to develop new or enhanced products or services by providing access to over 300 industry focused researchers and engineers, specialist equipment and facilities, through their 16 Gateways situated in  Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology.  

Enterprise Ireland Technology Centre’s are a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.  It allows Irish companies and multinationals to work together on market focused strategic R&D projects in collaboration with research institutions. The 8 Technology Centres in the programme are resourced by highly-qualified researchers who provide a unique ecosystem for collaboration in areas identified, by industry, as being strategically important. 

Technology Gateway / Technology Centre participants: 

APT Gateway, CAPPA Gateway, CeADAR – Ireland’s Centre for Applied AI, COMAND Gateway, CREDIT Gateway, CREST Gateway, Dairy Processing Technology Centre, Design+ Gateway, Food for Health Ireland, IMaR Gateway, Irish Manufacturing Research, Learnovate – Future of Work & Learning, Meat Technology Ireland, MET Gateway, MiCRA Gateway, Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland, Nimbus Gateway, PEM Gateway, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre, PMBRC Gateway, SEAM Gateway, Shannon ABC Gateway, TSSG Gateway, WiSAR Gateway. 

Date: 16th June 2022 

Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm.  

Location: Croke Park, Dublin 

Registration 

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MyGug: From WiSAR to Harvard Innovation Labs

WiSAR Client Company, MyGug, has today been announced as one of 28 global startups selected for the prestigious Harvard Climate Entrepreneur’s Circle programme, an incubation program for high-potential ventures working to address climate change.

The Harvard Climate Circle aims to cultivate the next generation of climate entrepreneurs who are actively uncovering new, unexpected ways to take on climate change. Climate Circle participants have access to world-class 1:1 coaching, pro bono legal counsel, warm connections to industry leaders, negotiations advising, and a peer group of ventures that are all working on innovative solutions to tackle climate change. The program is spearheaded by the Harvard Innovation Labs, HBS’s Business and Environment Initiative (BEI) and Harvard Alumni for Climate and the Environment.

Cork based startup MyGug, offer a complete food waste treatment system that operates in all weather and climate conditions, to turn food waste into biogas and liquid fertiliser.

MyGug founder, Kieran Coffey, approached WiSAR Lab to develop and refine the MyGug prototype, an innovative micro-scale anaerobic digester that improves food waste management in domestic and small business settings, by turning organic matter into renewable fuel. Prior to engagement with WiSAR, an initial MyGug prototype had been operational for 18 months however the controls of the initial MyGug prototype utilised a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) which was prohibitively expensive for the target sector.

Working with the company through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher programme, WiSAR researchers redefined the hardware and firmware of the MyGug anaerobic digester prototype, and developed a database and web interface through an open source IOT platform to generate performance data. The system is fully automated and insulated, providing a convenient and efficient food waste disposal solution, which is environmentally friendly, produces no odour and has no vermin issues. The work carried out by WiSAR provided MyGug with a more cost-efficient PCB prototype, better meeting the needs of the target end user.

“The Harvard Climate Circle is helping ventures with fantastic climate innovations get to scale faster,” says Rebekah Emanuel, director of social entrepreneurship at the Harvard Innovation Labs, and Chair of the Climate Circle. “We are redoubling our commitment to accelerating ventures that are addressing climate head on, and look forward to seeing the incredibly important work that the second annual Climate Circle cohort accomplishes.

About Harvard Innovation Labs

The Harvard Innovation Labs is a vibrant, cross-disciplinary ecosystem for the Harvard community to explore innovation and entrepreneurship while building deeper connections.

This article was first published on the WiSAR website.

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Innovation Voucher Clinics now available across the West/NorthWest

Companies across the West and North West can avail of a range of Innovation Voucher clinics in March run by our regional Technology Gateways. PEM (IT Sligo), WiSAR (LyIT) and MET (GMIT) provides Irish Industry with a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience in areas such as MedTech, Precision Engineering, Manufacturing, Hardware, software and IoT, among many others. Each Gateway works in conjunction with industry to aid the research and development of innovative products and services.

The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher Programme is an ideal opportunity for companies currently looking for help or guidance with research and innovation. By availing of an Innovation Voucher, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with expert regional Knowledge Providers on your innovation product or problem.

Technology Gateways can assist in creating an environment of Research, Development and innovation for companies and projects of all shapes and sizes.

Free one-to-one consultations are now available to take you through the Innovation Voucher process from start to finish. Further information and registration details of March Innovation Voucher clinics are below:

PEM & WiSAR Technology Gateways (InPerson clinics)
28th – 31st March

PEM Technology Gateway, IT Sligo and WiSAR Technology Gateway, LYIT are registered knowledge providers and have completed numerous projects for SMEs in the region. 

The Contract Research Unit (CRU), Precision Engineering and Manufacturing Technology Gateway (PEM) & Wireless Sensor and Applied Research Gateway (WiSAR) are here to help companies carry out R&D activities and aid in the development of new products or services. 

The Innovation Clinics are for companies to avail of a one-to-one review with the CRU, PEM and WiSAR. Follow up appointments can also be arranged where appropriate, to assist you with an Innovation Voucher application.

For more information on individual CRU/PEM/WiSAR clinics see below:

MET Technology Gateway (Online)  
29th – 30th March  

Located in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology’s Galway campus, the Enterprise Ireland Medical and Engineering Technologies (MET) Gateway is an interdisciplinary applied research centre, dedicated to supporting Research, Development and Innovation activities in the MedTech, LifeSciences and Engineering sectors across five technology themes:  

  • Medical Imaging Technologies 
  • Anatomical Modelling & Physiological Replication 
  • Data Analytics & Visualisation 
  • Design Engineering & Verification 
  • Medicinal Nutrition & Sport Technologies 

Offering cutting-edge, industry focused solutions for Start-Up’s, SMEs and larger organisations across the MedTech, Engineering and Lifesciences sectors.  MET has expertise in a range of applied technologies relevant to companies in the product engineering and design application phase. 

See below to learn more about MET’s capabilities and book a slot: 

MET Online Clinics (29th – 30th March)
Registration

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Pioneering supercomputer at WiSAR will facilitate fundamental research for industry

Following a successful submission to a recent Enterprise Ireland, Capital Equipment Fund, LYIT & WiSAR Technology Gateway secured €250,000 for a pioneering supercomputer. The funding will be used to secure a new state-of-the-art high-performance computer (HPC) Data Ingestion and Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform.

Dr Michael McCann, of LYIT Department of Computing, explains that “Supercomputing allows for the concurrent processing of enormous volumes of data at exceptionally high speeds and is a key resource for scientists, engineers and technologists in the digital age, in solving a wide array of highly complex problems.”

“Data-driven business solutions present substantial opportunity for industry, driving next generation product innovation, reducing production costs, streamlining processes, increasing profits, and accelerating speed to market. However, there are many challenges inhibiting businesses, particularly SME’s, from fully capitalising on the data economy, including a lack of in-house competence and high infrastructure costs. These barriers have led to a growing demand for high performance computing services among our industry clients.”

“This data ingestion and AI HPC platform will facilitate fundamental research and a wide range of collaborative industry projects at LYIT, as data analysis and AI continues to underpin and inform decision-making across many sectors including healthcare, Fintech and industry 4.0.”

“This test bed will also be a critical resource under the impending Atlantic Technological University, being the first such supercomputing facility within the three partner institutions.”

Dr Gertie Taggart, Head of Faculty of Engineering and Technology at LYIT, welcomed the announcement. “We are delighted that the delivery of this state-of-the-art supercomputing system will enable our scientific community, student base, and industry partners to pursue cutting-edge research on a broad range of topics.”

“High performance computing is at the core of advancement in the digital age, having transformed many sectors. This high-spec facility will allow us to perform cutting-edge simulations and become a pioneer in data-intensive critical applications using AI, data analytics and machine learning. “

“The investment aligns not only with the strategic vision of the new Atlantic Technological University in becoming a leading research institution, but also with the policy objectives set out in the Governments new national AI strategy.”

“Ireland boasts a vibrant and globally recognised AI ecosystem. A recent report found that we had the highest share of businesses using AI applications among EU member states. The next generation of AI applications demand highly sophisticated computational ability and investment in supercomputing infrastructure like this, will be an important enabler in sustaining Ireland’s competitive advantage.”

“This investment in research-intensive, world-class equipment will not only bolster our capacity to deliver industry responsive research at LYIT but will also be an important resource in building an agile knowledge economy in the North West region.”

Dr Stephen Seawright, the WiSAR Technology Gateway manager in LYIT, outlined that “This state-of-the-art computing architecture will complement the existing capital investments made by Enterprise Ireland recently.”

“We will be working with our academic colleagues in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology to launch a flagship technical training programme for industry in utilising the new facility.”

“As more and more businesses seek to leverage the commercial value of data in the digital age, continued investment in transformative technologies is pivotal in ensuring indigenous businesses can compete on the global stage. We are looking forward to showcasing our HPC platform which will enrich our research offering at LYIT and position us at the forefront of technical innovation.”

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600kN Universal Tensile Tester unveiled at PEM Technology Gateway

PEM Technology Gateway has recently commissioned an up to 600kN Universal Tensile Tester following a successful capital call submission to Enterprise Ireland. The installation of this capability was driven by the very limited commercial testing available in Ireland in the 400-600kN range and industry’s need to have easier access to such equipment.

The high-capacity universal tensile testing machine can perform tensile and compression testing, as well as shear, flexure, peel, tear, cyclic and bend tests. The addition of this equipment provides a unique service to Ireland’s industry in areas such as:

  • Construction equipment and machinery
  • Heavy equipment and machinery
  • Agricultural equipment and machinery
  • Marine engineering
  • Fishing
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Toolmaking

Dr Russell Macpherson, PEM Technology Gateway Manager highlighted the importance of this equipment to industry in the North-West and nationwide saying “we actively encourage businesses to use our specialised equipment and the addition of this state-of-the-art instrument enhances what we offer. We can help with one-off test pieces and for prototyping purposes, but we’re not limited to that, we are always looking for new ways to help businesses. Just give us a call.”

PEM can also help with technical, engineering and manufacturing questions and issues. For example:

  • Develop an initial design concept by taking your idea and bringing it to life using visuals such as CAD models and working drawings, or even a physical 3D print of the product
  • Advising and supporting with design for manufacture (DFM) considerations to help you get to the manufacturing phase of your product development which will save you time and money
  • Executing the physical machining or fabrication of your product resulting in either a prototype or the finished article
  • Improving or optimising existing products, utilising our onsite testing and simulation capabilities

Crucially, PEM are also available to assist companies navigate the various funding agencies and models that may be available to help fund any work they undertake for businesses.

Should you have any questions about testing capabilities or if you would like any further information contact the team at PEM.