Over 60 companies attended the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways Innovation in Construction conference on 14th September in Dublin.
This half-day event was aimed at companies involved in any aspect of the construction industry who were interested in learning more about R&D resources available in the development of new and innovative construction products and services.
Applied IoT and Engineering, material & design
The conference brought together two unique clusters of Technology Gateways – A-IoT and EMD Ireland, providing specialised presentations and industry case studies from Technology Gateways involved in the engineering, materials and design, and Internet of Things (IoT) space.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Enterprise Ireland’s Stephen Hughes (Manager, Construction, Timber & Consumer Retail; Paper, Print & Packaging) said:
“Construction sector activity in Ireland is strong and according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index by Ulster Bank, August marked the 47th successive month of increased activity. From an export perspective, construction exports by Enterprise Ireland clients are at an all-time high and many construction companies, who diversified during the downturn, are now well positioned to capitalise on global growth in key markets.”
Keynote speaker, Pat Gilroy, MD Designer Group, shared his insights on how to create a culture of innovation within companies, as well as discussing current innovative practices such as BIM and virtual reality.
Anne Lanigan, of Enterprise Ireland (Manager, Brexit Unit) presented on the importance of Irish companies preparing for the effects of Brexit. She urged companies to put in place a plan to deal with challenges which may come their way and outlined strategic responses essential to protecting your company in this pre-brexit era.
Relevant case studies
Company case studies were provided by John Condron of Condron Concrete, who discussed his collaboration with the APT Gateway (Athlone Institute of Technology) in developing a plastic piping and fittings processing capability. Whilst Rob Fox, MD of Site Passport, outlined his company’s innovative journey in creating a bespoke cloud-based site management system for the construction industry in conjunction with the IMaR Gateway (Institute of Technology Tralee).
In the final session, the audience heard an interesting talk from the NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland), Ireland’s official standards and measurement body. Their presenters, Paul Killeen (Standards Business Development, Research & Innovation) and Martin English (Senior Certification & Inspection Officer for the construction sector), discussed how standards and certification can help companies win in international markets.
Conference chair, Paddy Byrne (Technology Gateway Management Team at Enterprise Ireland) said:
“Whilst this is a challenging time for the construction industry, there is also great opportunity and I urge delegates to consider the many options available within innovation and R&D.”
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