Minister Coveney announces €16.5m capital investment in equipment for industry research

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48 projects to receive €16.5 million in funding to access cutting-edge equipment to increase R&D collaboration and competitiveness for companies through the Technology Gateways and Technology Centres based in the Third Level Sector nationwide

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney T.D. has announced the successful applicants to the 2023 Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway and Technology Centre Programmes.

48 successful projects from across the third-level sector have secured €16.5m in funding to assist them in purchasing world-leading research equipment that will serve the research,  development and innovation (RD&I) needs of Irish industry. 

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

The Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway and Technology Centre Programmes are responsible for over 1,500 collaborations each year between Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Multinational Companies, on market focused strategic RD&I projects in co-ordination with Ireland’s research institutions at both a national and regional level.

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. 

Since 2019 the Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland has funded over 200 equipment purchases with a total value of €44 million.

Minister Coveney said:

“Driving innovation across Ireland’s enterprise sector is paramount and providing the infrastructure needed to facilitate this innovation is essential. That is why I am pleased to announce this additional €16.5 million worth of equipment across the Technology Centres and Technology Gateways network. This builds on the previous calls of the Fund, bringing the total investment to €44m over the last four years. 

This new state-of the-art equipment across the network will help companies become competitive and resilient and will address important needs within all sectors. It will also strengthen industry collaboration with our third-level sector, benefiting all involved.“

Marina Donohoe, Divisional Manager, Research & Innovation at Enterprise Ireland said:

‘Companies across all sectors have challenges associated with sustainability, digitalisation, and the very recent advances in Artificial Intelligence. The additional equipment funded by this call, coupled with the items already available from the previous funding, will help companies gain and maintain a competitive advantage both at home and abroad through the development of innovative new products, services and manufacturing process technologies. I expect the outcomes of this call to have a strategic impact on Irish Industry for years to come.’ 

About Enterprise Ireland:

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.

About the Technology Gateway Programme

17 Technology Gateways in five Technological Universities and Dundalk IT deliver innovation expertise to industry across Ireland. These Gateways provide companies of all sizes with access to over 350 highly skilled and industrially focused researchers, together with specialist equipment and facilities. The Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Programme is co-financed by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021-27 and the Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-27.

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.

Technology centres:

  • 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 

About the Capital Equipment call

Of 59 eligible applications reviewed, 48 have been approved for funding totaling €16.5m. 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 RD&I 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 RD&I 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. 

Table 1 Applications Recommended for Funding

Gateway / CentreHost InstituteDescription
CRESTTU DublinMechanical Testing Suite
DPTCUCD Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer
MTITeagasc Moorepark Lifetime Carbon Measurement (LCM).
CAPPAMTU Cork Scanning Electron Microscope with Electron Dispersive Microscopy 
CAPPAMTU Cork  Advanced Fluorescence Lifetime imaging system
CAPPAMTU Cork White light interferometer 
NimbusMTU Cork UX4XR Hybrid Design Lab. 
Smarter FactoryTUS Midwest Cobotic & Machine Vision inspection
Smarter FactoryTUS Midwest Smart Factory Data
Smarter FactoryTUS Midwest Hybrid AI Destructive Test Bed
Smarter FactoryTUS Midwest Automated 3d scanning and machining testbed
COMANDTUS Midlands Immersive Extended Reality Suite
MCCITyndall National Institute Semiconductor Device Parameter Analyser
MCCITyndall National Institute Thermo-stream
COMANDTUS Midlands Large Language Model
CRESTTU Dublin Isothermal Calorimeter
MTI / APTTUS Midlands Flexible Packaging suite
PMBRCSETU Waterford Separation Science Suite
APTTUS Midlands Advanced Chromatography suite
APTTUS Midlands Polymer 3d printing suite
PMBRCSETU Waterford Particle Characterisation Suite
SEAMSETU Waterford Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope
SEAMSETU Waterford High Temperature TGA with GC-MS & FTIR-Imaging 
SEAMSETU Waterford Suite of equipment for establishing Sustainability Materials Lab 
Shannon ABCTUS Midwest Biomonitoring suite for circular bioprocessing
CREDITDundalk IT Operational Wind Farm optimisation
ICSSETU Waterford MUSE: Holographic Simulation Test bed
PEMATU Sligo Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy
PEMATU Sligo Wire & Sink Electrical Discharge Machining, and EDM drill
PEMATU Sligo Metallurgical suite, including water jet cutter
WiSARTU Dublin, Tallaght EMC Spectrum Analyser
MICRATU Dublin, Tallaght 3-Color Flow Cytometry
Construct InnovateNUI Galway Test for building envelopes
Construct InnovateNUI Galway Mobile robotic Automation for Construction
MTI / Shannon ABCTUS Midwest Scale up plant for co-products valorisation
Shannon ABCTUS Midwest 2Dimentional LC With Q-TOF-bio detector (2DLC-MS/MS)
CeADARUCD High End Computing Resources
NimbusMTU Cork Cyber physical Systems Networked Testbench. 
WiSARATU Donegal 50Ghz Vector Network Analyser
IMR Irish Manufacturing Research CLG Metal Binder Jetting
Shannon ABCMTU Kerry Upstream Bioprocessing and Analysis Suite
WiSARATU Donegal 50GHz Anechoic Chamber & Antenna Test System
APTTUS Midlands Thermo-mechanical testing suite
IMRIrish Manufacturing Research CLG Robotic Welding Cell
Construct InnovateUCD Automated Structures Innovation Hub
CRESTTU Dublin Coatings Product Prototyping Suite
Smarter FactoryTUS Midwest Smart Decentralised Control Systems
Construct InnovateNUI Galway Heavy structures lab test equipment

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