Athlone Institute of Technology has become the first institute of technology and the eighth higher education institute to accede to the prestigious Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER ) SFI Research Centre headquartered at Trinity College Dublin.
This new partnership will foster research and education initiatives among the institute and existing AMBER members (TCD, RSCI, UCC, DCU, NUIG, UL, and Tyndall Institute ) promoting academic exchange and the development of research and innovation, particularly in the field of bio-materials for health and the circular economy, an economic system aimed at minimizing waste.
Dr Declan Devine, director of the materials research institute at Athlone Institute of Technology, said; “We have a long established reputation for excellent science with translational potential. Partnering with the AMBER SFI Research Centre will further enable us to grow research in our areas of expertise, through the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT ) Gateway, Ireland’s National Centre for polymer materials and processing research, which is hosted in our Materials Research Institute, and our development of materials for biomedical applications, such as bone regeneration and biodegradable polymer stents, and structural thermoplastic composites.”
Professor Mick Morris, director of AMBER, added: “As part of AMBER’s second phase, the centre will demonstrate significant impacts which will benefit individuals, communities, organisations and society both in Ireland and around the world. We are delighted to welcome Athlone Institute of Technology into the centre to deliver world-class materials science research and form strategic alliances with industry.
The quality of our scientific research is critical for AMBER in attracting and sustaining long term engagements with industry, providing a skilled workforce competing for non-exchequer funding and tackling global challenges. Athlone Institute of Technology will play a significant role in delivering these ambitious goals as part of the centre.”
Athlone Institute of Technology’s engagement will grow AMBER’s world leading academic and industry-orientated materials science research in critical and emerging sectors of the economy related to polymers for applications in the life sciences, sustainable materials and industrial manufacturing. The institute’s accession to AMBER and its established research clusters will enable the centre to address current gaps in knowledge, drive advances in materials science and engineering, and translate research excellence into new products and technologies for society and solutions for industry.
Alongside researchers from Athlone Institute of Technology, AMBER partners in UCC and TCD will help develop new sustainable polymer strategies, such as polymer recycling and emerging biopolymers, as alternatives to the reliance on the traditional fossil fuel-driven polymer sector. This will allow the centre to work with companies across multiple sectors in the area of waste reduction and efficient resource utilization. Crucially, Athlone Institute of Technology will enhance AMBER through its extensive polymer processing expertise so that the span of materials discovery through to application can be studied.