Ibec Medtech and Engineering press release
For immediate release: Wednesday 6 September
Athlone event hears how Technology Gateways supported €23m in innovation - Ibec Medtech and Engineering
Nearly 100 business leaders attended a joint innovation forum in Athlone today, hosted by Ibec's Medtech and Engineering sectors and EMD Ireland*- a consortium of six Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways- where the importance of collaboration between business and research institutions in delivering key innovation projects was highlighted. Since 2013, €23 million worth of innovation projects have been completed between 900+ Irish based companies engaging with a total of 15 Technology Gateways, funded by Enterprise Ireland. During todays innovation forum, the six EMD Ireland Gateways shared their insights on the latest technology trends; from 3D printing to industrial design, and how to apply them for commercialisation.
Speaking at the event, Ibec's Medtech and Engineering Director Sinead Keogh stated: "Last year, manufacturing exports saw growth of 5.6%, and the sector now employs 220,000 across the country. Thanks to our dynamic talent pool, supportive business environment and collaborative ecosystem, manufacturing has become exemplary of why Ireland is recognised as a model of business substance. The world-class ecosystem here includes key sectors such as polymer technology, which has 230 companies in Ireland collaborating with industries such as agribusiness, automotive, construction, medtech, and pharmaceuticals. The APT Gateway, here in Athlone, is a great example of how collaboration with Institutes of Technology and Enterprise Ireland can make businesses more competitive and help them to scale-up through innovation.
"There is now an established community in Ireland developing world-class R&D in manufacturing, but we've yet to reach our full potential. In medtech, for example, our latest business sentiment survey revealed that nearly half of respondents intend to invest further in R&D in the next six months. This underscores the trend in innovation growth with FDI multinational companies such as Boston Scientific in Galway, Stryker in Cork, Medtronic in Galway, DePuy Synthes in Cork, and Cook Medical in Limerick, all having dedicated innovation centres here in Ireland. With home-grown companies and SMEs making-up a large part of Ireland's diverse manufacturing ecosystem, the Technology Gateways provide unrivalled access to research expertise, in addition to an excellent range of business supports."
Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Manager Paddy Byrne said: "The immediate gains for working with Technology Gateways are obvious, with nearly two thirds reporting the development of new products, and more than a third accessing funds to develop their business. Long term, the fact that seven out of ten said that working with these Gateways has helped them foster a culture of innovation, will help these companies scale and grow. Enterprise Ireland has already seen 2,000 projects over four years and we expect this to grow even further, with manufacturing companies showing great ambition to do so. Todays innovation forum with Ibec's Medtech and Engineering sectors is a great opportunity to showcase the expertise and resources available to companies."
*EMD Ireland is a cluster group of six gateways within the engineering, materials and design sector, namely:
- APT Gateway is based in Athlone IT and provides polymer and technology solutions for industry in the medical, composite, recycling and pharmaceutical sectors.
- CREST Gateway is based in DIT and provides coating innovation solutions for industry in the engineering, construction, healthcare and biomedical industries.
- Design+ Gateway is based in IT Carlow and provides a wide range of industrial design expertise in the areas of engineering, ICT & Software, and Bio Lifesciences.
- MET Gateway is based in GMIT and is an interdisciplinary technology centre providing worldclass solutions for the medtech and general manufacturing sectors.
- PEM Gateway is based in IT Sligo and provides a unique single industry support offering in precision engineering, manufacturing and materials.
- SEAM Gateway is based in WIT and provides innovative materials engineering solutions for companies from a wide range of sectors, including bio-medical devices, pharmaceuticals, micro-electronics, precision engineering and industrial technologies.