Institutes of tech reveal ‘Innovation Island’ progress

15 Mar 2011

The umbrella body for Ireland’s 13 institutes of technology (IoTs) have unveiled details of 19 thriving industry-led collaborations between their researchers and industry partners.

Each collaboration provides diverse examples of Ireland’s increasing progress towards a smart economy.

Key projects include: Creation of a Virtual World for Driver Simulation, Putting Bacteria to Work and Improvement of New Product Development.

The collaborations critically highlight the role and commitment played by the IoTs in supporting a thriving industry base across key thematic areas, consistent with the major technological, social and economic challenges currently facing Ireland. 

Between the years 2004 to 2009, more than €273m has been invested in research and innovation within the 13 IoTs through the Government’s strategy to boost economic recovery and to develop a smart economy that will support future enterprise development.

The IoT sector has targeted this investment towards industry-led research and innovation in order to support Ireland’s progress in the smart economy, delivering significant results for economic recovery – a recovery which is essential for the sustainable growth of Ireland’s economy in the future.

“The institutes of technology are committed to conducting internationally recognised research and innovation and to converting the outcomes of this research into innovation that will impact on and benefit regional economies. Since 2004, the IoT sector has significantly increased its research capacity, quality and output,” said Dr Orna Duggan, senior executive for the Research Support Office at IoTI.

“This significant growth took place as a result of the IoTs’ ongoing commitment to research, relevant and responsive to industry and is highly consistent with policy objectives set down in key Government documents.

“The institutes of technology have made remarkable strides within research and innovation in a relatively short number of years, and are fully committed to an ongoing programme to ensure the effective translation of knowledge and technology into jobs for Ireland’s future,” Duggan said.

Case studies

The case studies are the first in a series of publications designed to communicate the value of innovation for Irish IoTs.

The 19 successful projects unveiled include:

Industry training:

·         IP and Networking Training Programmes

·         IT Certification Training Programmes

·         Tourism Learning Networks

Collaborative research, development and innovation:

·         Integration of RFID Networks with Public Mobile Platforms

·         Artificial Skin for Injection Technique Training

·         Development of Novel Optical Lenses

·         Re-Design and Prototyping of Key Products

·         Automated Inspection of Optical Surfaces

·         Smart Space Guidance System

·         Energy Recovery from Farm Waste

·         A Simulator for Testing of Medical Devices

·         Improvement of New Product Development 

Student/graduate placement:

·         Heat Treatment of Gears

·         Creation of a Virtual World for Driver Simulation 

·         Contract research, Consultancy, Feasibility Studies

·         Identification of Impurities Within an Anti-Cancer Drug

·         Improving the Sanitation Process within a Dairy Farm

·         Whey and Sewage Processing on Organic Cheese Farm 

·         Access to Facilities and Equipment

·         Pressure Sore Prevention

·         Putting Bacteria to Work

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years