Female researcher wearing a white lab coat stands at a bench with computer equipment

Funding will support 32 equipment purchases in Technology Gateways and Technology Centres

Brings to more than €12m the amount invested this year in equipment

‘Leading-edge’ technologies included in successful projects in this funding round

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, has announced the successful applicants of the Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway and Technology Centre Capital programme.

32 successful projects from across the third-level sector have secured €6.4m in funding to assist them in purchasing world-leading research equipment that will serve the research and development (R&D) needs of Irish industry.

The funding will provide companies with access to both established and leading-edge equipment hosted by the research expertise available in the Technology Gateways and Technology Centres across Ireland.

The awardees 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.

This was the second Capital Equipment Call awarded in 2021. The previous call, the outcome of which was announced in July 2021, focused on equipment that has a well-establishing industrial need and is commonly used for specific applications.

This latest call was expanded to include new or leading-edge equipment, enabling our third-level institutions to engage with industry on new and emerging technologies that have a future inherent industrial need.

An example of the type of ‘leading-edge’ equipment funded in this call is the Quantum Security Test Bed at the Telecommunications and Software Systems Group (TSSG) Gateway in Waterford Institute of Technology. This platform will prepare companies for the arrival of quantum security technologies and upskill their teams. This testbed will unlock new commercial opportunities for industry in this dynamic sector.

Since 2019 the Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland has funded 157 equipment purchases with a total value of €27.6million.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said:

“This funding invests in some really exciting new technologies, which have the potential to solve some of industry’s, and indeed society’s, biggest challenges. This is the second round of the Scheme this year, we will invest in 61 projects in total over the course of 2021.

“There’s a big focus on sustainability, with research into new, more easily recyclable plastics for example and using biomass for the creation of new products by the brewing industry. We must back industry and our research teams to take chances and try out different things. There are immense challenges ahead, which require new approaches and fresh thinking. The very best of luck to all those who have been successful in this round.”

Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research & Innovation at Enterprise Ireland said:

“Research and development is vital to the continued success of Irish enterprise and this funding will make another important contribution to our research infrastructure available through Technology Gateways and Technology Centres. The fund will provide industry with access to established research equipment along with more cutting-edge tools. This capital investment, blended with the expertise available in Gateways and Centres, will ensure that Irish industry can explore and seize opportunities in rapidly evolving sectors, where innovation is key.”

About the Capital Equipment call

Of 46 eligible applications reviewed, 32 have been approved for funding totaling €6.4m. Funding was based on an extensive review process which looked at the number of companies that will benefit and the criticality of the equipment to servicing their R&D needs, how access to the equipment can be shared across the technology gateway and technology centres network and current capability gaps within the collaborative research system that can be alleviated by making this equipment available.

The R&D activities supported by this funding include pilot manufacturing capability for new products and process development, enhanced technology validation and testing capabilities, test bed generation and enhanced training for key industry staff on emerging technologies in collaboration.

Successful applicants

Gateway / Centre / Description

  • PMBRC Waterford IT – Dynamic Vapor Sorption System
  • PMBRC Waterford IT – Sputter Coater
  • PMTC UL – Multimodal Hybrid Raman System
  • MiCRA TU Dublin Tallaght – Automated Diagnostic Strip Unit for Prototyping
  • Shannon ABC MTU Tralee – Bioethanol Suite
  • MiCRA TU Dublin Tallaght – Benchtop Scanning Electron Microscope
  • MiCRA TU Dublin Tallaght – Fourier Transfer InfraRed Spectroscopy Instrumentation Suite
  • Shannon ABC TUS- Limerick – Benchtop Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer
  • MET GMIT – Endovascular Simulator / Pulsatile Replicator & Live Broadcast system
  • DESIGN+ IT Carlow – RSPLAS PR 450 Stereolithography 3D printer
  • IMaR MTU Tralee – Dual Arm Robotic Test Bed
  • COMAND TUS- Athlone – Autonomous Mobile Robots -Test before Invest Lab
  • CeADAR UCD – High Performance Computer extension
  • TSSG Waterford IT – Portable RF Spectrum Monitor
  • COMAND TUS- Athlone – Industry 4.0 Lab
  • DESIGN+ IT Carlow – FEG Scanning Electron Microscope
  • MET GMIT – Bio- fabrication System
  • PMBRC Waterford IT – Inverted Fluorescence Microscope
  • SEAM Waterford IT – Powder Morphology Analysis System
  • Irish Manufacturing Research – Robotic Cell
  • Irish Manufacturing Research – Abrasive Flow Machining Suite
  • Irish Manufacturing Research – Multi robot intralogistics demonstrator
  • CREDIT Dundalk IT – Mobile Thermal Energy Storage Trialling unit
  • TSSG Waterford IT – Quantum Security Test Bed
  • WiSAR Letterkenny IT – Data Ingestion Accelerated Artificial Intelligence Computer
  • CAPPA MTU Cork – InfraRed thermography camera
  • APT TUS- Athlone – Scanning Electron Microscope with Katana Microtome
  • CREST TU Dublin – Surface Energy Characterisation Suite
  • MCCI IT Carlow – Electronic R&D Testbench Suite
  • MCCI Tyndall – High End Vector Signal Generator
  • APT TUS- Athlone – Circular Plastics Suite
  • APT TUS- Athlone -Crystallography suite

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