State-of-the-art €47.8-million Tyndall Institute to drive the nano economy

2 Nov 2009

A new state-of-the-art €47.8-million research building at the Government-funded Tyndall Institute will drive Ireland’s ambitions in the area of nanoscale semiconductor research.

The Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Mary Coughlan TD also announced that Tyndall will host the Enterprise Ireland-funded Competence Centre for Applied Nanotechnology, an industry-led research initiative involving some of the world’s leading companies, such as multinationals Intel, Seagate, Medtronic and Analog Devices, and Irish companies Aerogen, Audit Diagnostics, Creganna and Proxy Biomedical, which is also supported by IDA Ireland.

Common research interests

The Competence Centre for Applied Nanotechnology was established by the companies coming together to define their common research interests, which will have a strategic impact on their business area in the coming years.

The centre will be hosted in Tyndall National Institute’s new state-of-the-art research building which accommodates, under one roof, research into advanced materials, device fabrication, packaging and integration and their translation into practical, industrially-relevant systems.

“It is vital for the development of the Smart Economy that Irish companies have access to state-of-the-art R&D facilities that are competitive on a global scale,” Coughlan said.

“Through various strategic investments from Science Foundation Ireland and other sources in recent years, Tyndall has established itself as a centre of research excellence. With Government support of €47.8 million, this new research facility enables Tyndall and collaborating Irish companies to move to the forefront of new nanotechnology research.

“This combination of a world-class facility with one of the most advanced, industry-led research initiatives in this country will lead to the development of new, green, life sciences and ICT technologies and high-value products, giving Irish companies in these and related sectors a competitive advantage.

“This new facility demonstrates the Government’s commitment to investment in research and underlines Tyndall’s position as a key enabler in the development of the smart economy,” she said.

Leading European research centre

Tyndall National Institute, UCC, is one of Europe’s leading research centres, specialising in ICT hardware research, commercialisation of technology and the education of next-generation researchers. Tyndall has a critical mass of more than 370 researchers, engineers, students and support staff focused on quality research and the commercialisation of technology through industry collaboration.

“Ireland needs facilities of the calibre of Tyndall to be at the forefront of new technology research,” said Intel Ireland general manager Jim O’Hara.

“This new facility will allow Tyndall to work on new concepts that are directly relevant to Intel and other Irish technology companies. We congratulate Tyndall CEO, Prof Roger Whatmore, and all the staff at Tyndall on the outstanding contribution Tyndall makes to Irish industry through research and education.”

Welcome move

Welcoming the opening of Tyndall’s new facility, director-general of Science Foundation Ireland, Prof Frank Gannon, said: “Tyndall has, over the past five years, further enhanced its reputation as a beacon of enterprise, research ingenuity and pioneering thought.

“The opening today of a new research facility is further evidence of Tyndall’s continued progress and upward trajectory in enhancing Ireland’s research infrastructure and international reputation.

Highlighting the benefits of the Competence Centre to the nanotechnology sector in Ireland, Martin Lyes, manager at Enterprise Ireland, said Tyndall now has the physical infrastructure and intellectual resources to deliver real impact for companies in Ireland.

“Today marks the beginning of a new phase in Tyndall’s mission as a key enabler of the smart economy,” said Whatmore.

“A phase that will see the excellent research developed over the last 10 years translated into real-world solutions by our Irish-based industry partners, both indigenous and multi-national. This translation of research solutions and knowledge into industry has been one of the hallmarks of Tyndall’s success and we look forward to continuing to deliver real economic value to the Irish economy.”

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