Carol Faughnan, Business Development Executive

In our ‘Meet the Team’ series, we bring you a range of staff interviews from across the Technology Gateway Network.

Today we introduce Carol Faughnan, Business Development Executive at TSSG, Waterford Institute of Technology

1. Tell us a bit about the TSSG Technology Gateway

The Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) is Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) ICT research wing. We act as a major driver in the emergence of a telecommunications industry globally. We recently acquired the title of one of the most successful ICT research centres in Ireland securing in excess of €100 million under EU Programmes and as part of our remit, we deal directly with industry partners in Ireland via the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways, known as TSSG Gateway.

2. Describe your role?

As Business Development Executive at the Gateway I facilitate the engagement between industry partners and the researchers at TSSG. I do a lot of networking and engage with potential clients looking to develop ICT and IoT innovations. I also enable clients to access funding to accelerate this engagement via the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher and Innovation Partnership Programmes. In addition, I engage with a lot of global brands on Contract R&D projects which are ongoing at the Technology Gateway here at TSSG.

3. What’s unique about the Gateway and its presence in the South-East?

TSSG is one of three Gateways in the South East, all based out of Waterford Institute of Technology. Two of the research centres TSSG and PMBRC scooped an award at the Technology Ireland Industry Awards, the most coveted awards ceremony within the Irish technology sector, in 2019. The project, titled ‘Digital DNA Storage Infrastructure of the Future’, involves an infrastructure that supports encoding of digital transformation in DNA, which will lead to a new form of data storage for the future and will pave the way for many projects including in the Agricultural sector.

We have our own Datacentre and Mixed Reality lab on our stand-alone campus which is extremely unique in the sense that it is a one-stop-shop for industry to access knowledge and solutions in advanced mobiles services and service enablers such as:

  • Distributed & cloud-based mobile services
  • Next generation IP based voice and video
  • Virtual and augmented reality services
  • Location, context, smart space and social service enablers
  • Data science, AI and mining

4. How can companies get involved with TSSG?

Get in touch with myself or one of our team; Miguel Ponce De Leon, Technology Gateway Manager and Jim Prendergast, Business Development Executive, and we will listen carefully to what you need, help to carve out a product development roadmap and match you with the right teams and funding supports to get you where you need to be.

5. What are the main benefits for a company collaborating with TSSG?

The benefit of working with the Gateway is that we can offer Government funding supports as a research knowledge provider. If a company is looking to do R&D then it is beneficial for them to work with us both in terms of getting the best available expertise from researchers working on a wide array of global projects and also to leverage value that they get when they access funding through the Gateway and Enterprise Ireland.

6. How can you help a company prepare for an innovation project?

At the TSSG Gateway we can offer insights into niche markets and identify the best way for SMEs collaborate with our researchers. We can help to break down a very large and overwhelming project to maximise the funding available and carve out a product development roadmap. We look beyond the profane and use the latest technologies available to help bring the project to a new level of innovation with a view to disrupting existing industries.

7. What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a company considering an innovation project?

Know your niche and do the market viability study to scope whether the project is going to have a viable industry need prior to investing the funds. Market intelligence on the part of the client is the most important thing in preparing for an innovation project. Our researchers are technical experts with a lot of industry experience. When a client comes to us with potentially disruptive industry knowledge this is the key to a very successful collaboration.

8. What do you love most about your job?

I absolutely love my job. Meeting people and helping them bring incredible ideas to reality through academic collaboration is extremely rewarding. There is a certain chemistry where disruptive industry meets cutting edge research and it is a privilege to represent both equally, and offer funding supports to bring new projects to life.

Contact me on LinkedIn or email me at to arrange a meeting or have an informal virtual coffee.

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