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The Government has approved funding of over €300,000 to launch the region's first technology gateway at Dundalk Institute of Technology.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar announced funding of €338,000 to establish the new Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway for the North-East in DkIT.
The new Technology Gateway will bring together industry and academia in collaboration to work on projects within a certain area of specialisation.
The new Centre for Renewable Energy at Dundalk IT (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.
Local Fine Gael TD, Fergus O’Dowd, welcomed the Government’s approval of the €338,000 fundingto establish the new technology gateway.
O’Dowd said: “This is really positive news for the North East, Gateways have proven to be very effective in other areas where they are already established such as the medical and engineering sectors.
“This new Gateway for the North East will focus on EEO (Energy Efficiency and Optimisation), this will essentially study the current manufacturing and operating processes of companies in order to identify and implement more energy efficient processes.
“This announcement will also help Ireland achieve its targeted reductions in overall emissions in the years ahead.
“This funding will allow DKIT to get the project up and running for an initial two-year timeline with a view to making further funding applications in the years ahead once established.”
Dundalk senator John McGahon also welcomed the announcement saying: “This is great news for DkIT and will bring together both the academia and industry in a collaborative manner to work on projects with a certain area of specialisation.
“It is hoped that the knowledge that is gained from this collaboration in DkIT can then be shared with many other businesses across the country in a positive manner”.
The initial funding of €338,000 for two years will allow DkIT to establish and staff the Gateway and with a view to joining the other 15 Gateways in reapplying for funding for a further five years, when a new programme is announced.
Senator McGahon said that “this announcement will have a very positive impact on companies in Louth.
“As a result of the funding there will be more collaboration and interaction between the Gateway Network and companies.
“It is great to see DkIT receiving this funding given their successful history of engagement and I am delighted to see DkiT join the Gateway Network”.
Leo Varadkar, announcing the funding, said “This new Gateway, based in Dundalk IT 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.”