Waterford IT gets hi-tech research centre

19 Feb 2009

The doors were officially opened today on the new SEAM centre: the South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre at Waterford Institute of Technology.

This new materials research centre, which was opened by the Minister for Science, Technology & Innovation, Dr Jimmy Devins TD, will focus on X-ray microtomography, microwave processing and magnetically-targeted nano-particles in biomedicine.

X-ray microtomography is used to create virtual models of real life 3D objects by X-raying slices or cross-sections without harming the actual object.

This sort of method is commonly used on food and biomedical samples, as well as small animals.

The researchers working at SEAM will use these technologies to work with a wide range of companies, from the pharmaceutical, biomedical and medical space to electronics, aerospace and precision engineering.

The SEAM research centre has received over €1.2m in funding from Enterprise Ireland’s applied research enhancement centre programme.

At the official opening, Minister Devlin stressed the importance of the vital role which institutes of technology were playing, not just in the country’s R&D, but also for regional development.

“Ireland’s institutes of technology are vital drivers of regional economic development, and the quality and range of research undertaken here at WIT is underlined by the fact that in the 2007-2008 academic year alone, over €22.6m in research funding was secured by the institute  from Irish and EU sources.”

“I know the institute has further ambitions in this regard, and I am pleased that the research and knowledge-transfer strategy being pursued here has a particular focus on how research can be applied in a ‘real-world’ context.”

By Marie Boran