The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD yesterday (Wednesday ) announced the successful applicants of the Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway and Technology Centre Programmes.
29 successful projects from across the third level sector have secured over €6million in funding to assist them in buying world-leading research equipment that will serve the Research and Development (R&D ) needs of Irish industry.
The €6m fund will provide companies with access to critical, leading-edge equipment that will allow them to engage in R&D activities, pilot manufacturing capability for new products and process development, enhance technology validation and testing capabilities, test bed generation and enhanced training potential for key industry staff on emerging technologies in collaboration with the technology gateways and technology centres across Ireland.
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.
Mr Varadkar said that this €6m Capital Equipment Fund will give 29 projects across the country access to world-class research equipment, helping them test new products and ways of doing things.
"We hope to see some exciting new ideas and breakthroughs as a result. Great things happen when companies collaborate with third level institutions. Recent data show that companies which collaborate with our universities have double the turnover of those that don’t.
"Third level institutions benefit too, by getting to work with creative,business-minded entrepreneurs, working on solutions to real life problems. Congratulations to all the successful applicants, I look forward to seeing the fruits of this collaborative effort," he added.
Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research & Innovation at Enterprise Ireland said this important investment coupled with the support and expertise of our technology gateways and centres will enable Irish industry to pursue their own innovation agendas particularly on challenges where they don’t have all of the resources “in house”.
The successful projects announced today will provide equipment that is essential to serving the R&D needs of Irish industry and may give them an opportunity to try important assets before they invest in them.”
Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland. www.enterprise-ireland.com About the Technology Gateway Programme
16 technology gateways in ten institutes of technology and technological universities deliver innovation expertise to industry across Ireland. These gateways provide companies of all sizes with access to over 300 highly skilled and industrially focused researchers, together with specialist equipment and facilities.
Each technology gateway focuses on key technology areas aligned to industry needs. Companies all over Ireland are using technology gateways to develop new or better products and services and smarter ways of doing things.
About the Technology Centre Programme
The Technology Centre Programme is 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 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.
Over 300 member companies collaborate with the centres in the areas of analytics, dairy processing, food for health, learning technologies, manufacturing, materials, meat technology, microelectronics and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Promote growth and competitiveness through industry-led research collaboration
Address technology opportunities and threats in the key industry sectors
Increase the levels of industry investment in R&D
Leverage investment in existing academic research capabilities and build critical mass in key sectors
Facilitate and encourage collaboration between Iindigenous and Foreign Direct Investment companies