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Tánaiste announces €6.4m capital investment in equipment for industry research

  • Funding will support 32 equipment purchases in Technology Gateways and Technology Centres

  • Brings to more than €12m the amount invested this year in equipment

  • ‘Leading-edge’ technologies included in successful projects in this funding round

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, has announced the successful applicants of the Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway and Technology Centre Capital programme.

32 successful projects from across the third-level sector have secured €6.4m in funding to assist them in purchasing world-leading research equipment that will serve the research and development (R&D) needs of Irish industry.

The funding will provide companies with access to both established and leading-edge equipment hosted by the research expertise available in the Technology Gateways and Technology Centres across Ireland. 

The awardees were selected through a rigorous evaluation process based on eligibility criteria for the call which included, but was not limited to, a strong track record of industry engagement, a significant industrial need for the new equipment, and space to service and maintain the equipment according to international standards.

This was the second Capital Equipment Call awarded in 2021.  The previous call, the outcome of which was announced in July 2021, focused on equipment that has a well-establishing industrial need and is commonly used for specific applications.

This latest call was expanded to include new or leading-edge equipment, enabling our third-level institutions to engage with industry on new and emerging technologies that have a future inherent industrial need.

An example of the type of ‘leading-edge’ equipment funded in this call is the Quantum Security Test Bed at the Telecommunications and Software Systems Group (TSSG) Gateway in Waterford Institute of Technology.  This platform will prepare companies for the arrival of quantum security technologies and upskill their teams. This testbed will unlock new commercial opportunities for industry in this dynamic sector.

Since 2019 the Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland has funded 157 equipment purchases with a total value of €27.6million. 

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said:

“This funding invests in some really exciting new technologies, which have the potential to solve some of industry’s, and indeed society’s, biggest challenges. This is the second round of the Scheme this year, we will invest in 61 projects in total over the course of 2021.   “There’s a big focus on sustainability, with research into new, more easily recyclable plastics for example and using biomass for the creation of new products by the brewing industry. We must back industry and our research teams to take chances and try out different things. There are immense challenges ahead, which require new approaches and fresh thinking. The very best of luck to all those who have been successful in this round.”

Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research & Innovation at Enterprise Ireland said:

“Research and development is vital to the continued success of Irish enterprise and this funding will make another important contribution to our research infrastructure available through Technology Gateways and Technology Centres.  The fund will provide industry with access to established research equipment along with more cutting-edge tools.  This capital investment, blended with the expertise available in Gateways and Centres, will ensure that Irish industry can explore and seize opportunities in rapidly evolving sectors, where innovation is key.”

Note to the Editor:

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.

About the Technology Gateway Programme

16 Technology Gateways in 9 Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities deliver innovation expertise to industry across Ireland. These gateways provide companies of all sizes with access to over 300 highly skilled and industrially focused researchers, together with specialist equipment and facilities.

Each technology gateway focuses on key technology areas aligned to industry needs. Companies all over Ireland are using technology gateways to develop new or better products and services and smarter ways of doing things.

About the Technology Centre Programme

The Technology Centre Programme is a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. It allows Irish companies and multinationals to work together on market-focused strategic R&D projects in collaboration with research institutions.

The technology centres in the programme are resourced by highly qualified researchers who provide a unique ecosystem for collaboration in areas identified, by industry, as being strategically important.

Over 300 member companies collaborate with the centres in the areas of analytics, dairy processing, food for health, learning technologies, manufacturing, materials, meat technology, microelectronics and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Technology centres:

  • Promote growth and competitiveness through industry-led research collaboration
  • Address technology opportunities and threats in the key industry sectors
  • Increase the levels of industry investment in R&D
  • Leverage investment in existing academic research capabilities and build critical mass in key sectors
  • Facilitate and encourage collaboration between Iindigenous and Foreign Direct Investment companies

About the Capital Equipment call

Of 46 eligible applications reviewed, 32 have been approved for funding totaling €6.4m. Funding was based on an extensive review process which looked at the number of companies that will benefit and the criticality of the equipment to servicing their R&D needs, how access to the equipment can be shared across the technology gateway and technology centres network and current capability gaps within the collaborative research system that can be alleviated by making this equipment available.

The R&D activities supported by this funding include pilot manufacturing capability for new products and process development, enhanced technology validation and testing capabilities, test bed generation and enhanced training for key industry staff on emerging technologies in collaboration.

Successful applicants

Gateway / Centre


PMBRC Waterford IT

Dynamic Vapor Sorption System

PMBRC Waterford IT

Sputter Coater


Multimodal Hybrid Raman System

MiCRA TU Dublin Tallaght

Automated Diagnostic Strip Unit for Prototyping

Shannon ABC MTU Tralee

Bioethanol Suite

MiCRA TU Dublin Tallaght

Benchtop Scanning Electron Microscope

MiCRA TU Dublin Tallaght

Fourier Transfer InfraRed Spectroscopy Instrumentation Suite

Shannon ABC TUS- Limerick

Benchtop Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer


Endovascular Simulator / Pulsatile Replicator & Live Broadcast system


RSPLAS PR 450 Stereolithography 3D printer

IMaR MTU Tralee

Dual Arm Robotic Test Bed


Autonomous Mobile Robots -Test before Invest Lab


High Performance Computer extension

TSSG Waterford IT

Portable RF Spectrum Monitor


Industry 4.0 Lab


FEG Scanning Electron Microscope


Bio- fabrication System

PMBRC Waterford IT

Inverted Fluorescence Microscope

SEAM Waterford IT

Powder Morphology Analysis System

Irish Manufacturing Research

Robotic Cell

Irish Manufacturing Research

Abrasive Flow Machining Suite

Irish Manufacturing Research

Multi robot intralogistics demonstrator


Mobile Thermal Energy Storage Trialling unit

TSSG Waterford IT

Quantum Security Test Bed

WiSAR Letterkenny IT

Data Ingestion Accelerated Artificial Intelligence Computer


InfraRed thermography camera

APT TUS- Athlone

Scanning Electron Microscope with Katana Microtome


Surface Energy Characterisation Suite

MCCI IT Carlow

Electronic R&D Testbench Suite

MCCI Tyndall

High End Vector Signal Generator

APT TUS- Athlone

Circular Plastics Suite

APT TUS- Athlone

Crystallography suite