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Cork Independent

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Cork projects secure millions from disruptive tech fund

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 4:57pm

One of the biggest beneficiaries of a major new funding initiative is the Tyndall National Institute at UCC.

Four projects at the Tyndall have earned €20.3m in funding under the first tranche of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Funding.

Overall 27 innovative projects are to share over €75 million in funding out to 2021 it was announced recently. Every project involves at least one SME and many are led by an SME. Over the next ten years some €500 million will be allocated through the fund, which was announced as part of Project Ireland 2040.

Other Cork projects also secured funding including Fourtheorerem, Allihies Seafood and Stryker, worth €5.3m in total.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who announced the successful projects said: “The creation of this fund is particularly timely when we consider the vast and rapid technological advancements that are taking place. We must adapt to a future of greater digitalisation and automation. Today’s school children will be employed in jobs and industries that don’t exist yet. Technology will eliminate or transform existing occupations.

“We are currently developing a new plan, the Future Jobs Initiative, to meet these challenges and ensure we assist industry to create and sustain good jobs for our people in light of future challenges and opportunities. The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is central to the Future Jobs Programme. It’s our way of stimulating private investment in new technologies and ways of doing business, and building stronger links between higher education, multinationals and Irish SMEs.”

The Tyndall teams, in collaboration with industry partners, will be working in the areas of connected health, smart wearables, blockchain-based energy trading and photonics manufacturing.

“As project lead in three major multi-million euro projects and partner on a fourth project, Tyndall’s track record for ground breaking innovations and disruptive technologies is clearly recognised. This funding also acknowledges our strong relationships and relevance for industry, with whom we are working closely on these disruptive projects,” said Tyndall CEO Prof. William Scanlon.

An Tánaiste Simon Coveney said: “We recognise the valuable role that Tyndall is playing in developing game changing technology that improves our lives and also ensures that Ireland is highly competitive and securing jobs for the future.”

The Holistics project will create, for the first time in Ireland, a disruptive smart wearables industry value chain to deliver end-to-end healthtech solutions based on emerging human-centric intelligent sensors and their wireless communication of medically validated data sets to support new products and services in the areas of health and wellness.

More than €7.4 million will be invested in the project, which is led by Tyndall and includes nine industry partners as well as UCC Insight, HRB CRF-C and UCC Lero.

Also led by Tyndall, and with an investment of €4.1 million, the Photonics Manufacturing Pilot Line project will establish an open-access, dedicated and sustainable pilot line addressing key technological and manufacturing challenges to the second digital revolution, where photonics and microelectronics will be integrated into miniaturised low-energy smart systems.

The National Photonics Manufacturing Pilot Line will be built on a collaboration between world-class researchers, leading industrial equipment providers, manufacturing experts and product designers, all located in a single state-of-the-art facility. The project will develop technologies that will reduce the cost of photonic packaging by 10-20 times, using highly innovative micro-optic technologies and ultra-fast fibre-optic packaging processes.

The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) at Tyndall was awarded €2.9 million for the Cooperative Energy Trading System (CENTS) project which enables both individual consumers and their broader communities generating their own electricity to provide a blockchain-based platform to trade electricity based on a cooperative model. This would significantly disrupt the Irish electricity market but could co-exist with the current market.

Partnered with industry, the Aurigen project will see €5.9 million being invested in a solution for persistent atrial fibrillation of the heart. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance in the US and Europe, significantly affecting the lives of the afflicted, causing symptoms that range from palpitations to fatigue, weakness and activity intolerance, and substantially increasing the risks of stroke, congestive heart failure, dementia and death.

The consortium of AuriGen Medical, the TMD lab and Tyndall have great experience, expertise and proprietary technologies, which place this group in an unprecedented position to deliver an extremely effective therapy capable of addressing both the stroke and arrhythmia risk associated with AF.

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