The benefits of good design practice was highlighted to manufacturing companies across the south east at a conference held at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) today (Friday, 3 March).
The ‘Design for Manufacture’ conference was organised by the South Eastern Applied Materials (SEAM) Technology Gateway based within WIT. SEAM is part of the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network which consists of 15 Gateways in 11 Institutes of Technology delivering near to market solutions for Irish industry.
This industry-focused event was sponsored by eDigiRegion (an FP7 project initiative to increase regional competitiveness via research-driven clusters in the technology domain). The day-long event was aimed at enhancing the awareness and skills needed in the rapidly changing advanced manufacturing industrial climate. The highlight of the event was the Town Hall type meeting session where in the senior management from both indigenous and multinational companies discussed the training and skills requirements for the manufacturing sector in the region.
Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan was the keynote speaker. In his address to delegates, he said: “The SEAM Gateway is a great success story for the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network and for Waterford Institute of Technology. It has provided a fantastic resource not only for companies based here in the South-East Region, but also for companies all around the country. Global competition is stronger than ever and, as a small, export-oriented economy, Ireland must respond to this challenge. Research, development, innovation and a highly educated workforce will be the key points of differentiation for Ireland and the key drivers of our future economic success.”
Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director, who takes pride in organising similar industrial events every year said: “Our prime focus in SEAM has always been to advance the cutting edge of innovation by bringing in latest technologies that are useful to manufacturing sector with a view to transferring the knowledge acquired to Irish based industries. I am particularly thankful to Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway programme whose seed fund helps us strengthen our human resources and expand the services we continuously provide to manufacturing industries.”
Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland outlined the importance of Enterprise Ireland Gateways such as SEAM to regional development. “The 15 Gateways in the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network are a critical innovation support for Irish industry delivering near to market solutions for partner companies located both regionally and nationally. They have a proven track record of performance having completed in excess of 1,800 industry projects since 2013 at a value of €18million, and almost half of which (47%) has come directly from industry contributions. This activity is critical in supporting Irish companies develop new products, processes and services, enabling them to increase their competitiveness and exploit new markets with export potential,” he said.
Martin Corkery, Regional Director South & South East Regions, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Technology Gateways are open access points for regional based companies, particularly for SMEs and Start-Ups. They provide easy access to sectoral expertise locally but also to the research capabilities in the wider Technology Gateway Network. This is an invaluable resource for small companies with global ambition to fulfil their growth potential.”