IT Tralee has been awarded over €580,000 for two projects under the Regional Technology Clustering Fund. In total twelve successful applicants, representing Academic Institutions from across all regions, shared €4.6 million in funding for their projects as announced on Friday by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD.
The two projects funded for IT Tralee include the AgriTech Cluster and Circular BioEconomy Cluster South West.
‘‘We are delighted with the level of success we have achieved in this funding call from Enterprise Ireland. IT Tralee has a nationally recognised track record of collaborating successfully with industry to produce new and innovative solutions that enable Irish enterprises to enhance their capability to win business in international markets”, said Vice President for Research, Development & External Engagement at the Institute Brid McElligott.
The AgriTech cluster is led by Professor Joseph Walsh, Head of School of STEM at IT Tralee and Dr Fiona Boyle, Centre Manager for the AgriTech Centre of Excellence (ACE). ACE strives to deliver excellence in terms of learning and development for the AgriTech Sector and offers a new approach to AgriTech sectoral learning and development by using eLearning, virtual, and augmented reality technologies. The newly funded AgriTech Cluster will build, develop and maintain a cluster of AgriTech companies from across Ireland to drive AgriTech SME productivity, competiveness and internationalisation. The establishment of a National AgriTech cluster will give key benefits for AgriTech SMEs including dedicated business development supports, a tailored events programme, representation through one influential unified voice, access to specialist insight and knowledge, and brand exposure in relevant markets.
Commenting on the funding announcement Professor Joseph Walsh said, “IT Tralee has a long tradition of providing education in the agricultural disciplines and is the national centre for Agricultural Engineering. This funding of over €290,000 will help us to achieve our vision of creating a national cluster of AgriTech SMEs that in conjunction with its partners will position Ireland at the forefront of the international AgriTech industry.”
The second funding announcement came for the Circular Bioeconomy Cluster South West, led by External Services Manager Dr Helena McMahon and James Gaffey, Principal Investigator of the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group at IT Tralee. This Circular Bioeconomy Cluster will focus on strengthening collaboration between researchers, technology providers, and industry - from SMEs to Multinationals - to develop, scale and internationalise next generation bio-based products, services and value chains, whilst in tandem driving forward to transition to a low carbon economy.
Dr Helena McMahon speaking on the project said, “The Circular Bioeconomy Cluster will provide companies with access to key enabling technologies and disruptive business models. This will enable new inter-firm partnerships and scale a new wave of bio-based innovation, products, services and value chains start-up and talent development. The key targeted impacts from this investment from Enterprise Ireland is a collaborative ecosystem (industry, academic, RDI, NGO, policy) market diversification, internationalisation, high value jobs, increased GDP, FDI and spend within the South West.”
The Regional Technology Clustering Fund provides a platform for engagement between enterprise and regionally-based academic institutions in order to drive productivity and competitiveness in and across the regions. The fund aligns with the Future Jobs Ireland framework and the Regional Enterprise Plans by building on regional strengths and supporting the expansion of Irish exporting businesses.
Jerry Moloney, Regional Director, Enterprise Ireland, who administer the Fund for the Department, said: “When Enterprise Ireland published its ‘Powering the Regions’ strategy earlier this year, we placed a major emphasis on attracting high quality, collaborative projects that had the potential to form successful clusters.
“This has been a competitive process that attracted many interesting project proposals from Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities nationwide. Our nine Regional Response Teams are confident that the twelve successful projects announced today will go on to ignite innovation in their regions and enhance the capabilities of indigenous businesses to win business in global markets and drive the creation of cluster entities in these key sectors.”
For media queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (066) 7191895.