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Limerick gets jobs boost as river turbine tech powers ahead

10 Jul 2017

Fresh from significant EU funding earlier this year, Limerick-based DesignPro is now on a recruitment drive.

DesignPro, a company looking to get its turbine technology out into the wild, has had a busy couple of years.

In early 2016, for example, it was one of a select few Irish businesses to land €50,000 in EU funding to develop its energy product.

Meeting energy demands

It was, at the time, aiming to commercialise its hydrokinetic turbine, which harnesses the energy of the world’s rivers, canals and estuaries.

That hasn’t changed, with a further €2.7m secured earlier this year as the EU followed through with its plans to back new ways of generating energy.

The project got the funding to commercialise small-scale river turbines up to 100kW utilising technology from local company GKinetic. The support has been such that it is now on the lookout for talent.

The duo partnered up earlier this year, creating 15 positions through the project development stage, basically planning for how to get the turbines to market. At the time, a further 35 jobs were suggested as a follow-on, but reports over the weekend upped that figure to 50.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Paul Collins, DesignPro’s MD, said the technology can help future energy demands.

“It’s a very simple mechanism. What we do is we take the flow of water and we move it around on a rounded surface. When you do that, it increases in velocity, twofold.”

EU acknowledges success

The €2.7m EU funding, which was secured in March, matched the average weekly return Irish companies and researchers are winning, in general, since the Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme began.

DesignPro’s success to date was celebrated two weeks ago, with Dr Imelda Lambkin, national director for H2020, awarding State certification to a series of funding winners.

Collins, for his role with DesignPro, was one such recipient.

Limerick growth

Last month, Limerick was the home of even greater jobs news, with Northern Trust bulking up its presence there, targeting a total staff count of 1,400 across its two sites.

With Limerick representing a fund administration centre of excellence for the company, Clive Bellows, country head of Northern Trust in Ireland, claimed that the news confirms a fresh commitment to the nation.

“We have seen growth in the scale and operation of our Irish business over the years and the continued expansion of our office in Limerick reflect[s] this,” he said, acknowledging IDA’s assistance in the process.

University of Limerick and Limerick IT were also name-checked by Bellows, noting his company’s “strong relationships” with the educational institutions.

Meanwhile, last week, Irish IT support firm BITS revealed plans to grow its staff numbers after agreeing to partner with digital forensics group CipherTechs.

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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