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Irish Innovation & Development Q3 2023

Gateways unlocked: how to support Irish businesses advance research and development

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Mark Whelan

Technology Gateway Programme Manager, Enterprise Ireland

Ireland has a robust and dynamic research ecosystem that fosters collaboration between higher education institutes and local industry via its thriving network of 17 Technology Gateways.

Powered by cutting-edge technologies and expert knowledge, the Technology Gateways serve as a vital link between business and academic expertise, providing a platform for companies to access state-of-the-art facilities, research capabilities and specialised knowledge.

Technology gateways offer industry solutions

Run by Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology, the Technology Gateway Network boasts an ability to cater to a wide range of industry sectors. Whether it’s manufacturing, engineering, healthcare, agriculture or renewable energy, the Gateways offer tailored solutions to address specific industry challenges.

Examples of company success

Companies across Ireland are benefiting from the expertise and experience available within this nationwide network to assist in the delivery of near-to-market solutions. For instance, family building company Keenan Timber Frame in Dundalk worked with the CREDIT Technology Gateway in Dundalk Institute of Technology to identify more sustainable materials for use in their timber frame homes. Cotter Agritech has developed an award-winning sheep-handling crate set to revolutionise the way sheep farmers dose, vaccinate and treat sheep. Cotter benefited from engineering expertise at the PEM Technology Gateway in ATU Sligo to make significant product improvements.

Companies across Ireland are benefiting from the expertise and experience available.

Enhancing competency for Irish businesses

The impact of Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateways on Ireland’s economy cannot be overstated. By supporting businesses — particularly small and medium enterprises — in their innovation journey, the Gateways contribute to job creation, act as the research and development arm of small companies and increase economic growth. Moreover, its collaborative nature encourages knowledge transfer, upskilling of the workforce and the development of a highly skilled talent pool that ensures Ireland remains a competitive player in the global technology landscape.

Since it began operating in 2013, more than 4,900 companies have together spent €60.5 million, completing over 7,770 research and innovation projects. They are fundamental to promoting the ongoing development of research, development and innovation (RD&I) within companies that may lack the facilities, equipment, personnel or expertise. They are poised to remain a driving force behind Irish innovation and collaboration for many businesses into the future.

The Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Programme is co-financed by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021–27 and the Northern and Western Regional Programme 2021–27.

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