Research funding at Waterford Institute of Technology increased by more than 50% in one year.
That’s according to the annual report for 2018/2019 from the Office of Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies released this week.
Research funding jumped from €13.6m in the previous year to €21.6m during the 2018/2019 academic year.
WIT was also the best performing IT in Ireland in Horizon 2020 European research funding for Q4.
Dr Mark White is the Vice President of Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies at WIT.
“It gives me great pleasure to present the 2018/2019 annual report. It demonstrates our continued commitment to the highest standards of research and enabling research activities in the Institute,” Dr White says.
“The report highlights the achievements of our researchers and Technology Transfer Office and outlines the impact our team has on research both on a national and an international scale,” he continues.
The 2018/2019 academic year was one of the best for competitively won research funding having been awarded €21.6m from various funding bodies and partners, positioning WIT as one of the top performers in the sector.
The breakdown of funding sources is as follows: National 40.41%, European/International 52.03, and Industry 7.56%. The largest single funding institution is the European Commission (52%) followed by Enterprise Ireland (16%) and Science Foundation Ireland (13%).
€12.2m was brought in by Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG), with €7m accounted for by the academic schools.
Susie Cullinane, Project Manager of the Research Support Unit praises the tenacity of researchers across the Institute. “This is a superb achievement for our growing team of researchers. The level of work that goes into preparing and writing a funding proposal is incredible and we are delighted to see this work being recognised nationally and internationally,” she says.
Regarded as a trailblazer in Ireland, WIT was the first in the institute of technology sector to introduce a range of research support schemes and funding to its academic Schools and Departments in an effort to enable researchers achieve their personal and academic research goals.
WIT is also one of the first institutes in the sector to introduce a Research Integrity Policy and to appoint a Research Integrity Officer in 2019 further validating the value of research in the institute.
In tangent with the many research projects, the Technology Transfer Office has again delivered on the challenging performance metrics from Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) as the team maintain some of the best targets for patents, industry engagements and spinout companies in the IOT sector.
According to the KTI metrics (which are based on a calendar year rather than academic year) 2019 was the strongest year in the last five years for Licenses/Options/Assignments – 10 were reported; two spin-out companies were formed and four patents were filed; there were 89 research agreements with industry, up from the previous year.
In no small part of this success was the opening of the Enterprise Ireland funded Arclabs extension in WIT’s West Campus in Carriganore, Waterford. This has doubled the innovation and incubation space in the campus positioning WIT at the centre of the region’s innovation ecosystem.
Kathryn Kiely, Industry Services Manager in WIT comments “This was a very proud moment for WIT, Arclabs and the innovation sector in the South-East. The West Campus has quickly become a knowledge and innovation hub for companies to nourish and grow with the support of the co-located research centres Arclabs, TSSG and the NRCI.”