In our ‘Meet the Team’ series, we bring you a range of staff interviews from across the Technology Gateway Network.
Today we introduce Jack Gregan, Senior Designer at Design+ Technology Gateway. Jack talks about his role, how companies can benefit working with the Gateway and what to consider when thinking about embarking on an innovation project.
1. Tell us a bit about Design+ Technology Gateway ?
Design+ is one of 16 national Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways. We are a design team working with industry to support creative solutions, evaluate, and visualise new ideas. Design+ have successfully delivered an offering in design for innovation for over 200 companies over the last 3-year period. In addition, Design+ have the resources for development support in the form of additive manufacturing capabilities, rapid prototyping, 3D printing and electronic prototyping.
2. Describe your role?
As a Senior Designer within Design+, I specialise in early-stage innovation with start-ups and SMEs. I work closely with a multidisciplinary team of designers and have been involved in 100+ industry projects funded directly by individual companies or through Enterprise Ireland.
Using design as a tool for innovation, I help companies communicate their ideas and build a solid foundation to support them in getting to market. I am a strong advocate of co-design and work closely with all my clients to ensure they fully understand the value that design and its process can add to their business.
3. What is unique about the Gateway and its presence in Carlow?
SETU Carlow campus has been actively involved in developing its research capacity and strategy, and has a proven track record in knowledge transfer and delivering innovation solutions to industry. The Design+ Technology Gateway provides interdisciplinary collaboration between all the research COREs (Centre of Research and Enterprise). These encompass engCORE, gameCORE, healthCORE, envrioCORE and designCORE. This means that companies can access a vast range of research expertise from the Design+ Technology Gateway. Its central location in Carlow also enables the Gateway to have a national reach.
4. What type of companies do you work with?
Design+ combines the core strengths of SETU Carlow campus in the sectors of Engineering, ICT and Bioscience to address targeted industry needs. However, given its broad expertise offering through the COREs, Design+ has worked with companies across multiple sectors. Design+ is also part of the EMD Ireland and Irish Food Tech clusters.
5. What are the main benefits for a company collaborating with Design+?
- Excellent facilities – Design+ is based in a state-of-the-art purpose built, multi-million, research building, the Dargan Centre.
- As a research knowledge provider, we can offer Enterprise Ireland funding supports. These can range from supports such as the Innovation Voucher through to larger supports like the Innovation Partnership.
- State of the art equipment including a MJP 5600: MultiJet, a large format multi material 3D printer
- Companies have access to a wide range of research expertise across our 6 centres of research
6. What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a company considering an innovation project?
The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme is a great way for companies to partner with a Technology Gateway to undertake innovation within their business. The scheme can be a stepping stone to larger Innovation projects. I think it’s very important for companies to be clear on their brief from the start of any innovation project so that the project can be allocated the correct resource and reach a successful outcome.
7. What do you love most about your job?
I love the diversity of the projects that I work on, no two projects are the same. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect and seeing someone’s idea being realised. While structuring and developing an idea at the start is challenging, it is also very rewarding. These early stages are where the real potential of an idea is discovered. I believe new ideas and innovation are particularly important now given the current economic situation with the COVID19 pandemic.