The prestigious Tyndall Institute in Cork is home to a non-stop array of technology breakthroughs, including the world’s first junctionless transistor, which will help electronics continue to get smaller and smaller.

Named after one of Ireland’s most successful scientists, John Tyndall, the Tyndall National Institute has more than 460 researchers, scientists and engineers pushing the boundaries of science and electronics. Achievements include five patents in 2014 alone, 10 spinouts and a turnover of over €30m.

Its CEO, Dr Kieran Drain, has a strong entrepreneurial and industry background that includes leadership positions with Nanogram, Rambus, Catacel, Sirrus and EU research association EARTO. Key internet of things projects include an €82m alliance with TSSG to generate 10 internet of things start-ups.

“At Tyndall we have a phrase ‘atoms to systems’, so we have people in the building who are thinking about electronic theory at a very fundamental level. Tyndall is a very vertically integrated organisation so some of the breakthroughs at a very fundamental level are grasped by colleagues who are closer to the market and problem[s] that our industry partners have. So we are able to extract those things and move forward.

“For the man on the street the first junctionless transistor might not mean a lot, but what it really does mean is that you are pushing Moore’s Law to higher functionality of lower-end electronics and the ability to deploy electronics everywhere, from connecting humans through cellphones to connecting machines and the internet of things through sensors.”

Words by John Kennedy