Over €1.1m funding for specialied equipment at AIT


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ATHLONE Institute of Technology has been awarded almost €1.14 million in Enterprise funding to purchase specialist equipment for its two technology gateways - Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) and Connected Media Application Design and Delivery (COMAND). APT, which provides polymer technology solutions for companies in the medical, composite, recycling and pharmaceutical sectors and is housed within the institute's Materials Research Institute, has been awarded the bulk of the funding, €973,189, for seven pieces of highly specialised equipment, among them a 3D scanner, micro moulder and a free former machine the first Of its kind in the Republic of Ireland. The equipment approved for funding will enable AIT to better serve the needs of Ireland’s billion plastics industry, particularly in regard to upskilling, research and development techniques, and providing world-class consultancy to companies and helping them execute their techno- logical road maps.

"Receiving this funding is a huge endorsement of the work that we're doing and will enable us to support companies interested in trying out new technologies and techniques, all of which will enable their own innovation agendas," said Dr Noel Gately, APT Technology Gateway Manager. "Our fully trained staff have decades of experience in R&D for the polymer industry and are there to help companies promote their research agendas. On top of that, this positions Athlone Institute of Technology to help upskill companies whether that be through short term training courses, master's degrees or PhD level where they feel there is a need or a gap in their knowledge. " COMAND, which is located in AIT's Software Research Institute and works as an open access point for industry and a portal to develop and deliver engineering in the connected media space, will receive €164,751 in capital funding to facilitate the purchase of a distributed machine learning and analytics tool. Welcoming the news, Anthony Cunningham, COMAND Technology Gateway Manager, said: "This specialist equipment will enable our industry partners to develop and verify artificial inteIligence and data analytics solutions across the edge and cloud."

Athlone Institute of Techology is one often higher education institutes to have secured capital funding under the €6 million Technology Gateway Network fund which aims to increase interactions between the technological higher education Sector and industry. 'The goal of the programme is to encourage more companies to engage in R&D, pilot manufacturing capability for new product development, technology validation and testing capabilities, test bed generation and enhanced training potential for key industry staff on emerging technologies.

Source: Westmeath Independent