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DkIT’s Technology Gateway Signals Major Growth for North East Energy Sector

24 March 2021

New Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway for the North-East will focus on energy efficiency.

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has launched the region’s first ever Enterprise Ireland-funded Technology Gateway which will focus on the area of renewable energy and technologies. The new Technology Gateway was announced today by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D and will include €338,000 funding over two years.

 



The newly titled, CREDIT Technology Gateway is focused on Energy Efficiency and Optimisation and will look at how companies can make both their products and their manufacturing operations as energy efficient as possible. More specifically it will provide a research and skills resource network targeted at companies based both in the North East and nationally.

Speaking today, the Tánaiste said:

“The enterprise sector accounts for 13% of Ireland’s emissions. We have committed to reducing emissions by 7% per year on average, over the next ten years and businesses will have a really important role to play in helping us reach that target. How a business uses and sometimes wastes energy is one of the main things it can change to bring down its emissions.

“This new Gateway, based in DkIT will provide a place for industry and experts to work together to look at how companies can make both the products they produce and their own operations more energy efficient. I hope that the work that they do will find ways of working that can be shared more broadly, with many other businesses across the country.”

Drawing on DkIT’s extensive experience in the area of research and innovation in the renewable energy sector, the CREDIT Gateway will have a particular focus on start-ups and SMEs, enabling companies to explore product innovation, source applied research opportunities and technology solutions for their ‘close-to-market’ needs.

The new technology gateway is jointly spearheaded by DkIT’s Regional Development Centre and the Centre of Renewables and Energy (CREDIT). Together they recognised a growing demand from regional industry to gain access to skills, knowledge and technologies relevant to energy performance assessment and optimisation. The new Technology Gateway will address this market demand by combining CREDIT’s unique research expertise with the RDC’s in-depth understanding of regional business to provide a programme of targeted supports to companies seeking to grow and diversify their businesses.

Targeted supports to SMEs and regional industries include:

  • product and service innovation, energy system design, appraisal and verification
  • optimisation and decarbonisation of energy and other GHG emissions related activities leveraging process innovations
  • bespoke training in the areas of energy control, optimisation and storage.

Speaking today, Head of Innovation & Business Development at DkIT, Aidan Browne said,

“We are delighted to launch the new CREDIT Technology Gateway today which is a valuable new resource for our region that will create significant growth opportunities for our burgeoning energy sector. Being part of Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway Network firmly places the North East on the map in terms of skills and expertise in the area of renewable & energy technologies. 

With this initiative, we hope to encourage greater industry-academia collaboration which is a key driver for regional innovation, ultimately leading to the creation and retention of high-quality sustainable jobs for our region. Access to the Gateway will help inspire the development of new products and services and “close to market solutions” for industry. The new Technological Gateway directly aligns with commitments underpinned within our Strategic Plan 2020-22 which seeks to build up our region, reinforce sectoral clusters and create an environment which entices our future younger generations to stay and work in the region.”

Also speaking today, Dr Paul MacArtain, Director of the Centre of Renewables and Energy at DkIT (CREDIT) and Academic Director of the CREDIT Technology Gateway added,

“This Gateway will build on our ongoing research themes of distributed energy, energy storage, bioenergy and marine energy and bring this expertise to SMEs in the region, with particular attention to rural and agricultural businesses. CREDIT has a wealth of experience in EU and Enterprise Ireland collaborations and we look forward to the opportunity to assist businesses in their decarbonisation journeys whilst availing of the commercial potential in the coming energy revolution.”

Dr Fergal O’Rourke, Senior Researcher at the Centre of Renewables and Energy at DkIT and Academic Director of the CREDIT Technology Gateway concluded,

“The energy focused Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway is an important development for DkIT and builds on the Institute’s strong reputation in this domain. Energy is detailed as a prioritised area in the Government’s plan for research and innovation “Research Prioritised Areas 2018-2023”. Additionally, the requirement from industry for design, evaluation and optimisation of energy products and systems has seen a significant rise over the past decade. The DkIT Technology Gateway will offer industries, regional and national, a focal point for engagement offering expertise on energy systems design, evaluation and optimisation.”

The initial funding of €338,000 is for 2 years and will allow DkIT to set up and staff the Gateway with a view to joining the other 15 Gateways in reapplying for funding for a further 5 years, when a new programme is announced.

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