A collaboration between Sligo-based Tekrasport and Letterkenny IT on a LED strobe light for swimmers marks the 5,000th project for the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network.

To date, the Technology Gateways have collaborated with over 3,560 Irish companies, assisting in 5,000 projects worth €45m, of which over €22.5million is cash from industry.

In operation since 2013, the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network provides a range of innovation solutions and supports to companies throughout the island of Ireland.

“Going forward, we believe that this added value will increase our capacity to grow and penetrate new markets”

Run by Enterprise Ireland, in partnership with Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities, the network has 16 Technology Gateways located nationwide.

These Gateways provide companies of all sizes with access to over 300 highly skilled and industrially focused researchers, together with specialist equipment and facilities.

The network effect

“Reaching the 5,000th project so quickly is a fantastic achievement that all the Technology Gateway staff should be proud of,” said Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy, TD.

“Growing from 200 projects in 2013 to over 850 annually in 2020 is evidence of the huge demand from industry that exists and the willingness of the companies to return on multiple occasions to their local Gateways to carry out R&D

“I am sure that the journey to project 10,000 will be even quicker and that the growth of the Technology Gateways will continue at pace due to the outstanding commitment of the Institutes of Technologies and Technological Universities in supporting their individual Technology Gateways.”

Each Gateway provides services and supports across a range of technologies, to Irish companies in the areas such as food, pharma, ICT and materials amongst others.

Companies from across the country have benefited from the expertise and experience available within the network to assist in the delivery of near-to-market solutions.

The network and funding supports are crucial for research, development and innovation (RDI) by companies who may lack the facilitates, equipment, personnel or expertise to do so otherwise.  

The network offers support and assistance to a wide range of companies such as, High Potential Start-Ups, SMEs, large indigenous and multinational enterprises.

“It plays a vital role in opening up access to research expertise on a regional level through our Institutes of Technology and our Technological Universities,” said Enterprise Ireland’s Gearoid Mooney.

“The commencement of the 5000th project is a great achievement and I want to acknowledge the role that all partners have played in making this a real success story and we look forward to future collaboration in the years to come.”

Tekrasport/WiSAR partnership

The partnership with WiSAR Lab, enabled Tekrasport to increase the functionality and improve the power consumption of their innovative Tekralite, the only 100pc waterproof rechargeable light on the market.

By working with WiSAR researchers, Tekrasport Ltd were able to improve the end-user experience and the battery life of their innovative light, for multi-purpose use in many recreational sporting activities including running, cycling and kayaking.  

These improvements to the Tekralite have increased the devices potential to be a game changer in the recreational sport industry.

 Speaking of the recent collaboration John Hanley, founder of Tekrasport said:

“Through this collaboration with WiSAR researchers, Tekrasport were able to incorporate a number of significant improvements to our swimmers’ light, making the product even more competitive and attractive for the global market,” said John Hanley, founder of Tekrasport.

“Going forward, we believe that this added value will increase our capacity to grow and penetrate new markets.”

“Tekrasport Ltd are a prime example of the extremely high standard of innovative products designed or in production by Irish industry today,” said Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English, TD.

“The Tekrasport story is one of inspiration which no doubt will resonate with many. The growth of the Technology Gateways also highlights the world class talent available in the Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities and the value of local access for industry to this knowledge. I would encourage any companies who haven’t done so already to contact their local Technology Gateway to see what support is available to help them deal with challenges such as BREXIT and the COVID 19 pandemic.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 11 June 2021