Minister Breen Launches Design+ Gateway at Institute of Technology Carlow

14th October 2016

IT Carlow
L-R: Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, President, IT Carlow, Pat Breen, Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Ailish Delaney, Design+ Gateway Manager, Michael Hughes, Enterprise Ireland

An exciting new opportunity for developing businesses in the engineering, ICT & software and biosciences sectors was officially opened on Friday at the Institute of Technology, Carlow with the formal opening of the new Design+ Gateway. Funded by Enterprise Ireland, the Design+ Technology Gateway was launched by the Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen T.D. 

Business leaders, government agencies, politicians and academics gathered at Institute of Technology Carlow’s Haughton Building for the launch of Design+, an interdisciplinary Technology Gateway which will apply industrial design capabilities to developing companies in the engineering, ICT & software and bioscience sectors. 

Based at Institute of Technology 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 (IoTs) with a proven record in working with Irish industry. The gateway network leverages the industry focused expertise within IoTs, acting as open access points to deliver near-to-market solutions for Irish industry. Since their inception in 2013, the Gateways have delivered more than 1,500 projects to industry with a value of over €15million. 

Speaking at Friday’s official launch at Institute of Technology Carlow, Minister Breen said: “I am delighted to launch the Design+ Gateway at Institute of Technology Carlow. 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." 

The Design+ Gateway at Institute of Technology Carlow is led by Ailish Delaney, a business development graduate with over ten years’ experience in enterprise support and mentoring. Several industry-focused academic researchers from Institute of Technology Carlow’s various faculties and Centres for Research and Enterprise (CORE) will work alongside Ailish Delaney, including: Mr 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; Mr Joseph Kehoe and Dr. Daire O’Broin from gameCORE. 

Design+ is receiving almost €250,000 over a two-year period from Enterprise Ireland, by which time it anticipates 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. 

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, President of Institute of Technology 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”. 

Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager Research & Innovation, Enterprise Ireland said: “Since its formation, the Enterprise Ireland Gateway Network has linked 15 industry-focused programmes, located in 11 Institutes of Technology with Irish based industry. The Design+ Gateway, now established at Institute of Technology Carlow, is a significant addition to this Network, delivering access to critical industrial design capabilities in engineering, bio life sciences and the ICT and software sector. The Gateways have a proven track record of successfully working with companies of all sizes, particularly start-ups and SME’s. In particular, the Design+ Gateway will facilitate businesses to access key skills that can help them turn their potential for growth into performance, fuelled by design.” 

Today’s launch event was also attended by the other Technology Gateways, including: Applied Polymer Technologies (APT, Athlone); Engineering Material Technologies (SEAM, Waterford); Coating Innovations (CREST, Waterford) and Precision Engineering & Manufacturing (PEM, Sligo). 

ENDS

For reference

Alma Feeley

Communications Office 

Institute of Technology Carlow

Alma Feeley

+353 59 9175098

+353 87 8204934