IT Carlow opens Design+ Gateway
The Institute of technology Carlow has opened a new centre aimed at helping to develop businesses in the engineering, ICT and software, and biosciences sectors.
Funded by Enterprise Ireland, the Design+ Technology Gateway was launched by the Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD.
Based at IT Carlow’s Dargan Centre, the Gateway aims to give companies based in the southeast, midlands and beyond an opportunity to develop their business through innovative collaborative research and development while networking with industry across the regions.
Design+ forms part of a 15-strong Enterprise Ireland funded Technology Gateway Network across the country. The gateways are located in 11 Institutes of Technology (ITs). The gateway network leverages the industry-focused expertise within ITs, acting as open access points to deliver near-to-market solutions for Irish industry, said IT Carlow. Since their inception in 2013, the Gateways have delivered more than 1,500 projects to industry with a value of over €15million.
“I am delighted to launch the Design+ Gateway at Institute of Technology Carlow,” said Minister Breen. “This is the latest Gateway to join the national network of 15 Technology Gateways supported by Enterprise Ireland. These Technology Gateways offer specialist knowledge and design solutions for industry across a wide range of areas. I know the Gateways have already proven valuable in providing access for companies and entrepreneurs to the expertise of over 300 researchers and to the specialised equipment and facilities available in our Institutes of Technology. The Design+ Gateway will benefit not only companies based in the midlands and southeast, but will provide solutions for companies all over Ireland, increasing their competitiveness and facilitating the further development of new product ranges.
“Good design immediately transforms good technology into valuable products. Design has been the poor relation of the research and innovation agenda in Ireland for too long and we need to do something about it. My Department and Enterprise Ireland is currently looking at the issues that need to be addressed to transform the design agenda in Ireland. In short, we need more companies investing more in design on a more continuous basis. Initiatives like the Carlow Gateway will focus on that objective in a practical way,” said the Minister.
The Design+ Gateway at IT Carlow is led by Ailish Delaney, a business development graduate with more than 10 years’ experience in enterprise support and mentoring. Several industry-focused academic researchers from IT Carlow’s various faculties and Centres for Research and Enterprise (CORE) will work alongside Delaney, including: Colin Deevy and Dr PJ White from designCORE; Dr David Dowling and Dr Thomae Kakouli-Duarte from enviroCORE; Dr Donnacha Lowney and Dr Dean Callaghan from engCORE; Joseph Kehoe and Dr Daire O’Broin from gameCORE.
Design+ will receive around €250,000 over a two-year period from Enterprise Ireland, said IT Carlow, by which time it is anticipated that it will have supported 55 companies. Businesses assisted to date include: Magnetar Medical Devices, providers of an electrical drug delivery patch; Hamstring Solo, a fitness and testing apparatus for professional sports teams; The Wholesome Irish Biltong Company, providers of high protein health snacks.
Dr Patricia Mulcahy, president, IT Carlow, said the new gateway “reflects the Institute’s pedigree and expertise in design and represents a milestone in delivering near-to-market innovative solutions to companies in the engineering, ICT and software and bioscience sectors throughout the southeast and further afield. It will be an engine of growth for the region and provide further job opportunities for graduates”.