New energy tech initiative seeks to boost innovation in the north-east

24 Mar 2021

DkIT’s Aidan Browne, Dr Fergal O’Rourke, Raymond Byrne and Dr Paul MacArtain. Image: DkIT

The tech gateway at DkIT is receiving €338,000 in funding to help businesses in the north-east become more energy efficient.

A new industry initiative at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) is aiming to help businesses in the region explore renewable energy and other technologies.

Building on DkIT’s experience in renewables and energy research, the new CREDIT Technology Gateway will be focused on energy efficiency and optimisation and will look at how companies can make products and manufacturing operations as energy efficient as possible.

It will provide a research and skills resource network targeted at businesses in the north-east and nationally.

‘We hope to encourage greater industry-academia collaboration, which is a key driver for regional innovation’

CREDIT will be the region’s first Enterprise Ireland-funded Technology Gateway, and it will receive €338,000 in funding over two years.

“How a business uses and sometimes wastes energy is one of the main things it can change to bring down its emissions,” said Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, who announced the funding for the project today (24 March).

“This new gateway, based in DkIT will provide a place for industry and experts to work together to look at how companies can make both the products they produce and their own operations more energy efficient.”

Industry-academia collaboration

CREDIT will have a particular focus on helping start-ups and SMEs explore product innovation, source applied research opportunities and leverage tech solutions for their needs.

Aidan Browne, head of innovation and business development at DkIT, said it will be a “valuable new resource” for the north-east region that will create opportunities in the energy sector.

“We hope to encourage greater industry-academia collaboration, which is a key driver for regional innovation, ultimately leading to the creation and retention of high-quality sustainable jobs for our region,” Browne added. “Access to the gateway will help inspire the development of new products and services and close-to-market solutions for industry.”

Dr Paul MacArtain, director of the Centre of Renewables and Energy at DkIT and academic director of the CREDIT gateway, said the initiative will build on ongoing research into distributed energy, energy storage, bioenergy and marine energy.

“We look forward to the opportunity to assist businesses in their decarbonisation journeys whilst availing of the commercial potential in the coming energy revolution.”

Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway programme has created a network of specialist R&D centres around the country in partnership with Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities.

The €338,000 funding announced today will allow DkIT to set up and staff the new CREDIT gateway, with a view to joining the other 15 gateways in reapplying for funding for a further five years when a new programme is announced.

The new energy initiative comes in the wake of the Irish Government approving a revised Climate Action Bill, which includes binding targets on reducing carbon emissions in the country.

More than 60 companies in different industries across Ireland have also pledged today to set science-based carbon emission reduction targets in the coming years.

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic