Waterford Institute of Technology secured €16.6 million as part of the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has ranked number one among Institutes of Technology in Ireland for attracting funding from the EU in the area of ICT.

WIT ranks second to Dublin in attracting ICT funding under the Europe-wide Horizon 2020 research funding programme.

To date, the college has secured more than €16.6 million during the course of the H2020 funding programme, with €14.8 million competitively won by the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) research centre.

“The focus of WIT has always been on using research to create sustainable economic development in the city and the region”

Since the beginning of the H2020 programme in 2014, WIT have secured funding for 32 projects in the areas of biotechnology, smart agriculture, social sciences and ICT all with the overarching goal of improving our society of the future as directed by the EU Commission.

“The focus of WIT has always been on using research to create sustainable economic development in the city and the region,” said Professor Willie Donnelly, president of WIT and founder of the TSSG.

“When the TSSG was founded over 20 years ago, there was no ICT industry in the region to speak of. Now it is one of the largest employers. This is down in no small part to the TSSG and its record in attracting research funding totalling €40m to WIT since 1996.

“The institutes strategic focus on leveraging the European funding to drive research, innovation and postgraduate training has resulted in the emergence of an ICT industry of critical mass in the South East.”

WIT’s achievement, which includes success in older European funding programmes, set the foundation for a diverse and increasingly vibrant ICT industry in the region.

“When the TSSG was founded over 20 years ago, there was no ICT industry in the region to speak of. Now it is one of the largest employers”

The ICT industry employs over 3,000 people in Waterford and the South East region, making it one of the largest employers in the area.   

Echoing Professor Donnelly’s thoughts, Brendan McDonald, regional business development manager at IDA Ireland for the South East region, said; “This is a significant achievement for WIT and the team in TSSG. The combination of cutting-edge research, talented and driven entrepreneurs, supportive state agencies and a pool of well-educated graduates has created in Waterford the perfect environment for new technology companies to set up in the region and makes Waterford Ireland’s ICT innovation capital.”

Of the 28 projects secured by TSSG, having a total project value of €168m, 12 of these were co-ordinated by TSSG. Of this total value, €14.8million goes directly to TSSG and the remainder is allocated to each partner on the project positioned throughout Europe.

Pictured (l-r) Dr. Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Kevin Doolin, Dr. Mark White, Philomena Treacy

Published: 3 July, 2020

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