Letterkenny IT gets €250,000 equipment investment from Enterprise Ireland

21 Sep 2021

The anechoic chamber. Image: Letterkenny Institute of Technology

The grant will fund new research facilities with a focus on electronics, communications and the internet of things.

Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) has been awarded €250,000 of investment from Enterprise Ireland’s Capital Equipment Call.

The investment will go towards the Wireless Sensor Applied Research Laboratory (WISAR) Gateway, which is based in Letterkenny and focuses on internet of things (IoT) research, and LYIT’s department of electronics and mechanical engineering.

The funding will see labs at the institute acquire a range of new equipment including a 90GHz anechoic chamber. Such chambers block outside radio waves and facilitate research in communications and electronics.

Dr Nick Timmons, principal investigator at WISAR, says the chamber will “serve as an important resource not only for academic research projects, but also for commercial testing purposes, for businesses who are engaging in R&D activities, to improve a process or develop a prototype.

“In particular, with the ongoing nationwide broadband rollout and IoT, together with the development of advanced manufacturing systems in industry, this chamber will provide a resource for researching and developing the emerging higher frequency 5G services and beyond.”

The WISAR gateway is one of Enterprise Ireland’s 16 such gateways at institutes of technology and technological universities around the country. The project is intended to allow industry to connect with academia in the areas of electronics and software.

Dr Timmons continued: “Recent data indicates that companies who collaborate with third-level institutes on research, development and innovation, have double the turnover of those that do not, and these companies are also likely to have significantly greater sales and export revenues.

“Exemplary research, innovation and the commercialisation ecosystem are at the core of our ethos here at LYIT and this funding will further underpin our responsiveness to proactively solve a wide spectrum of industry challenges.”

He also said that this investment would be vital as LYIT, Institute of Technology Sligo, and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology move towards creating a new technology university in Connacht and Ulster.

The Capital Equipment Call, which opened in February, has now invested €6m into 29 separate projects in various third level institutions, with a focus on the potential for industry cooperation.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin