Technology Gateways in the South East. What’s available in your region?
The success of new and established Irish industry is essential for the growth and economic development of any region. For industry, in particular, trading in an island with a forward-thinking and outward looking economy, sustained development throughout the entire island is necessary. One of the many contributors to this is a vibrant innovation ecosystem. In other words, the continuous experimentation or development of a new or improved product, process or service. By embracing this process, companies not only enhance their own development but also that of their collective region. Innovation should, therefore, become an essential part of a company’s growth strategy.
But don’t despair, you don’t need to navigate this on your own. Specialised assistance in this area is available for companies that may not have a dedicated R&D team, suitable facilities, technologies, or indeed the time or resources to allocate to such a task.
Reaching out to those who can help is often the first step, but knowing what’s available can sometimes be a bit of a minefield. Distilling information in terms of what’s suitable and appropriate for your company can take time and effort, a luxury some simply do not have. This blog aims to ease that process and outline what’s available in terms of innovation supports, funding, expertise and advice in the South East. This is by no means an exhaustive list but aims to brings together some information regarding the innovation funding space such as those available through the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network.
Funding, supports, and expertise
Often essential to a business in the start-up or SME phase is a strong support network, an abundance of knowledge and expertise, as well as funding and supports that encapsulate forward movement. A wide range of innovation funding is currently available for the majority of Irish companies – from start-ups, HPSUs, SMEs, and indigenous companies right through to multinationals. In particular, those available through the Technology Gateway Network are the Innovation Voucher, Innovation Feasibility Study, Innovation Partnership and Agile Innovation fund.
For most Irish companies thinking about availing of innovation funding, the first port of call is often the Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland regional office, or equivalent. With a wide array of advice to offer as well as funding and supports, the mix of experience and expertise is second to none. Agencies such as Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices, and Intertrade Ireland work with companies to develop, enhance, and maintain collaborative partnerships with established knowledge providers such as universities, Institutes of Technologies, or third level colleges in the region and beyond.
Technology Gateway Knowledge Providers in your area
The Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway programme provides four such knowledge providers in the South East, each operating within its own unique speciality, providing expertise and advice to companies and aiding them in developing new or enhanced products, processes or services. The network as a whole provides access to over 300 industry focused researchers and engineers, specialist equipment, and facilities.
The Design+ Technology Gateway, based at SETU Carlow campus, is a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in design, engineering, ICT and bioscience. The centre champions the application of the design thinking process within the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network, with a focus on the engineering, ICT, and bioscience sectors. Design+ was established in 2016 to support innovation for industry utilising a design approach. The technology offerings to industry include:
- Design: design strategy, visual communication and product design capabilities
- Prototyping: 3D printing, machining and modelling
- Engineering: smart energy systems, embedded circuits and systems technologies, and surface and coating engineering
The Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) is an applied research centre which aims to support the sustainable growth of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in the south-east of Ireland. Situated in the heart of the region on the SETU Waterford campus, the centre seeks to stimulate research and innovation, allowing companies to embed R&D into their activities. PMBRC delivers industry solutions for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors in areas such as drug delivery, process technology, biotechnology, biomedical, and separation science. It offers expertise in:
- Physico-chemical characterisation of materials
- Advanced analytical capability
- Formulation, process development and drug delivery
SEAM Technology Gateway, based in SETU Waterford, 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 sectors. SEAM supports research activities for industries throughout Ireland.
SEAM provides engineering material solutions for industry in sectors such as biomedical devices, pharmaceuticals, microelectronics, precision engineering, and construction with expertise in:
- X-Ray Micro-tomography (XMT): 3D non-destructive characterisation
- Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics: 3D software modelling
- 3D metal Additive Manufacturing (AM)
- Materials and precision engineering: engineering design and characterisation
- Biomedical engineering: medical device design optimisation and new material assessment
The TSSG Technology Gateway based in SETU Waterford collaborates with companies involved in delivering mobile services primarily for smartphones and tablets. TSSG is an advanced software R&D centre with particular expertise in all aspects of mobile networks and communications platforms and services.
TSSG’s technology offer is based upon expertise in:
- Distributed and cloud-based mobile services
- Next-generation IP based voice and video
- Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) services
- Location, context, smart space, and social service enablers
- Data science and mining
- Data analytics
- Machine learning and trialling
For more information on any of the above funding supports or Technology Gateways contact the support office, download our Gateway booklet, sign up for our quarterly Technology Gateways newsletter and follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest network and cluster news!
This article was edited on the 3rd May 2022.