€3.5million investment creates 30 jobs in 3 spin-out companies in Government-led technology research centre – Minister Bruton

Ireland’s Flagship Technology Centre for Advanced Manufacturing – Turning Good ideas into vital jobs

Dublin, 12 November 2012: €3.5million capital investment from the State and the private sector will lead to an initial 30 jobs being created by three companies created out of a Government-led technology centre in advanced manufacturing aimed at turning good ideas into good jobs, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced today.

The pioneering efforts of an innovative collaboration between Researchers from Ireland’s leading Universities and a number of the island’s largest Advanced Manufacturing Companies and Small-Medium Enterprises  have resulted in the spin-out of three new and exciting businesses which are on-target to create 30 high-tech’ jobs over the coming three years.

The Irish Centre for Manufacturing Research (ICMR) and its partner entity, The Innovation for Ireland’s Energy Efficiency (i2e2) Research Centre, are part of an all-island, Irish government-sponsored Technology Centre initiative that officially launched the three spin-out enterprises at a unique Innovation Expo’ that took place today in Enterprise Ireland Headquarters, Dublin.  

The event, attended by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. and supported by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, showcased the pioneering work that is being undertaken by a research team comprising of Senior Manufacturing Engineers and Academics from across Ireland, whose efforts have been focused on the application of innovation and delivery of increased productivity and cost-saving breakthroughs across common areas of research.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said:

“Manufacturing is a central part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and we recently established an industry-led group to drive the creation of 20,000 jobs in this sector by 2016. A key means of supporting job-creation in this sector is ensuring that we derive the greatest possible benefit from the major State investment in scientific research over the past decade. That is why we have established this technology centre in advanced manufacturing to bring industry and academia together to focus on creating viable businesses and jobs out of scientific research - alongside the range of centres in other key high growth sectors.

“Today’s announcement that €3.5million capital investment will lead to an initial 30 jobs in spin-out companies from this Government-supported technology centre is a clear demonstration of what is possible in this area, and of the major progress being made. I commend all involved in this announcement – Agencies under my Department, researchers, private companies – and look forward to hearing more good news from this centre in the coming years”.

The successful launch of the three new companies – GreenMode Methods™; ivVer™; and HVAC – comes on foot of a €3.5 million investment from ICMR, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA,  less than two years after the establishment of the new Technology Centre.

Academic research in the US has shown that the average time required to commercialise a patent-protected technology, taking it from University incubation to full market presence, is between 4.17 years and 4.27 years1.

By enabling the launch of three innovative, spin-out entities inside of 18 months, ICMR and i2e2 have created the template for a new model of research centre that is aimed at augmenting and supporting, rather than replacing, traditional research models.

It is hoped that this new and facilitative approach will not only assist the Centre outputs to reach market in a more efficient and expedient manner but form the basis of an exciting new support structure that will complement and enhance University spin-outs around the world, bridging the gap between academic research and the market place, and leading to more viable and market-focused ranges of products and services.

Speaking at the Event, Barry Kennedy of Intel Ireland, who is Chief Executive of ICMR and i2e2, told the assembled audience of the outstanding advancements that the Research Centres have made since their establishment in May 2011. He said, “Since their inception, ICMR and i2e2 have been committed to high-tech’ job creation across the island whilst driving efforts, simultaneously, to secure Ireland’s future as the location-of-choice for world-leading, Advanced Manufacturing industries.

“In order to retain, nurture and grow Advanced Manufacturing as a stronghold in Ireland, and in response to the requirements of Member Companies, both large and small, ICMR and i2e2 have remained wholly-focused on advancing their capabilities in Manufacturing Science, Advanced Modelling, Knowledge Management and Skills Development.” 

Mr. Kennedy went on to say: “We are proud to announce the launch of these three, exciting spin-out businesses which are on-track to create 30 new, high-tech’ jobs over the coming months. It is collaborative, pan-industry projects, such as this, that are set to drive Ireland’s recovery through the development of exciting and cost-effective, breakthrough solutions and provide further incentives for high-end technology companies to invest - and re-invest - in Ireland as it strives to retain its position as one of the world’s leading locations for Advanced Manufacturing.”

Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland which funds the technology centres programme added:

“The generation of know-how and products that take place in these Technology Centres is critical to the internationalisation of Irish SMEs.  It ensures that Irish SMEs and multinationals based in Ireland can work together to access the collective expertise of Ireland’s top universities.”

World-renowned Investor, Philanthropist and Climate Change Expert, George Polk, also spoke at the Expo’ Event that provided 14 of Ireland’s most innovative manufacturing companies, across  ICT; Pharmaceutical; Bio-Medical; Food; and Heavy Industry, with the opportunity to showcase the advancements made through their involvement with ICMR and i2e2.

Representatives from the three, new spin-out businesses were present on the day and exhibited their proprietary ranges of innovative solutions that are set to deliver significant savings to businesses, amounting to several million Euros, as further applications are developed and licensed in the years ahead.  

Three spin out companies:

GreenMode MethodsTMspun-out from the i2e2 Technology Centre following the development of a methodology that can deliver up to 40 percent reduction in production equipment energy consumption. This is delivered through enhanced visibility into energy consumption and fingerprinting of production performance to identify energy saving opportunities on targeted equipment. 

As the energy utilised by a typical Production Line accounts for up to 50 percent of a factory’s energy bill, GreenMode MethodsTM technology is set to make a big impact upon the Advanced Manufacturing sector. The methodology and delivery solution are currently being implemented in a commercial product offering, with additional plans for a licensing opportunity.

HVAC: i2e2 has also partnered with University College Cork and NUI Galway to develop an integrated diagnostic toolkit and IT platform which delivers automatic Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) fault detection and diagnosis capability to target inefficiencies in a commercial building’s energy consumption.

Prior to this latest innovation, such faults could only be addressed through physical re-commissioning – a costly and time-consuming undertaking – however, this original HVAC technology arising from the i2e2 collaboration allows performance, behaviour and inefficient components to be rapidly identified, leading to increased productivity and average energy savings of up to 30 percent.

ivVerTM Advanced Analytics is set to be the commercial vehicle for the delivery of an exciting and innovative advanced analytical technique that will assist Manufacturing firms in their efforts to derive insight and make decisions in a more efficient and cost-effective manner – an area of key importance for the competitiveness of Irish Manufacturing.

This cloud-based offering within the emerging global market of Analytics-as-a-Service places ICMR’s research and development work at the forefront of understanding how techniques such as simulation, optimisation and prediction can be embedded to Advanced Manufacturing processes.

“The successful commercialisation of discoveries made by ICMR and i2e2, such as GreenMode MethodsTM, ivVerTM, and HVAC, will deliver significant cost savings for some of the world’s leading Manufacturers”, said CEO Barry Kennedy.

“In these straitened times, cost reduction is the primary driving force behind industry’s search for efficiencies and the development of ideas and solutions that will allow Manufacturing Companies to spend less but achieve more, has been one of ICMR and i2e2’s greatest successes to-date.”

The Irish Centre for Manufacturing Research (ICMR) and The Innovation for Ireland’s Energy Efficiency Research Centre (i2e2) are supported by ICMR and i2e2 consortium companies, Academic partners, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA.

ENDS

Media Contact: Valerie O’Reilly, Unicorn PR. 087-2388641

Editors’ Notes:

About the Government-Funded Technology Centre Programme: 

Technology Centres are public-private research centres of excellence that connect industry to the Higher Education sector to increase the generation and availability of new, industrially relevant knowledge. The research agenda is driven by the companies that are involved and leverages the strength of other previous academic research funding provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation. The strength of this model is its flexibility and capacity to focus on commercially significant technologies of future relevance.  The industry/academia duality of this approach allows for institutions’ research agendas to be mapped precisely to industry needs, thus increasing the possibility of the generation, and successful exploitations of new knowledge.

Irish Centre for Manufacturing Research (ICMR):

ICMR is a consortium of leading Irish Manufacturers collaborating to conduct embedded research and innovation. The Centre’s industry-led research agenda is designed to deliver the breakthrough solutions required to maintain the competitive edge of its partners.

By addressing these needs, ICMR aims to encourage continued investment across the island of Ireland, ensuring that it remains the location-of-choice for Advanced Manufacturing in Europe.  

The Innovation for Ireland’s Energy Efficiency (i2e2):

i2e2 is a government-sponsored Technology Centre, established to facilitate research which will have a direct impact on industry.

As per the ICMR, i2e2 facilitates a collaborative community of like-minded peers who are committed to researching, advancing and disseminating the solutions, frameworks, tools and best practices associated with improving energy efficiency within manufacturing facilities and through embedded research and innovation.

To this end, the Centre has succeeded in achieving a collaborative culture where Senior Engineers and Researchers from Industry and Academia can work in partnership under a common framework to drive energy research and innovation.

The focus of this research is on the creation, development and delivery of energy-efficient improvements to factories, plant, equipment and buildings; to address the need for a common energy framework that will enable the Irish Manufacturing industry to improve its international competitiveness via breakthroughs in energy efficiency and cost-reduction; and inresponse to the requirements of its membership, i2e2, under a number of core themes, is advancing the knowledge of areas such as Appropriate Working Environments, Compressed Air Systems, Dynamic Power Management and Skills Development.

Member Companies of ICMR and i2e2 are: Intel; Johnson and Johnson; Seagate; Crowley Carbon; Pfizer; Boston Scientific; EMC; Carbery; Aughinish; GSK; Bombardier; Amgen; Cylon; GE Healthcare; Merck; Analog Devices.

Strong academic partnerships exist with: University of Limerick; Dublin City University; University College Cork; NUI Maynooth; Trinity College Dublin; NUI Galway; Limerick Institute of Technology, and University of Ulster.


1Innovation speed: Transferring university technology to market Original Research Article, Research Policy, Volume 34, Issue 7, September 2005, Pages 1058-1075.  Gideon D. Markman, Peter T. Gianiodis, Phillip H. Phan, David B. Balkin