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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Deep-tech research at heart of a successful Europe

Posted on: 22 Jan 2021

Deep-tech research at heart of a successful Europe

The work being done at Tyndall now will have a huge impact in creating solutions in the areas of health and wellbeing, the energy crisis, a greener sustainable society, smart agriculture, and transport

Tyndall is one of Europe’s leading research centres in integrated ICT hardware and systems, and the largest facility of its type in Ireland.

With a network of industry partners and customers worldwide, Tyndall as a partnership between UCC, the Science Foundation of Ireland, and the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, generates 85% of its income each year from competitively won contracts.

Tyndall CEO Prof. William Scanlon

CEO Professor William Scanlon says 2020 was an excellent year for Tyndall overall.

“We continued to win prestigious funding awards for excellence in research, becoming one of the most successful institutes in Ireland and Europe for H2020 funding,” he says.

“Tyndall’s exciting progress into the future of surgery and new memory technologies for more efficient data storage were also recently recognised with a €2m ERC consolidator grant and a prestigious Royal Society SFI university research fellowship awarded. 

"We increased our collaboration with industry partners who are looking to avail of our deep-tech research expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.”

Tyndall currently engages with more than 200 companies from across Ireland and internationally and facilitated the launch of a number of high potential spin-out companies during the year, Prof Scanlon says.

In addition, Tyndall continued to grow its talent and increase support of PhD and Masters students, and was recently joined by 40 new staff and students, despite the challenges that Covid-19 presented to recruitment.

There were also several key new appointments to its senior leadership team, including one of Europe’s biggest stars in the area of Advanced RF Technologies, Professor Dimitria Psychogiou, an inspirational female leader in STEM.

“While 2020 was strong overall, we are conscious that the pandemic has presented challenges for businesses and there are indications that company R&D budgets may come under some pressure, depending on how the economic climate develops,” he cautions. 

"It is important, therefore, that leading institutes like Tyndall re-double our efforts to communicate the enhanced value of investment in public-private R&D."

In 2019, 17 new projects were funded by H2020 to the value of €10m, a success rate three times higher than the European average. 

It has been assessed that for every €1 of EU funding channelled through the research framework programme, approximately €11 is generated in direct and indirect economic effects through innovations, new technologies, and products.

Tyndall has secured over €57m to date in direct funding from EU Programmes such as Horizon 2020 and European Regional Development Funds. 

Irish-based partners in Tyndall projects have also secured an additional €51m direct funding.

Tyndall’s own drawdown and of its linked Irish partners accounts for 10% of the €1.039bn to Ireland to date, and consistently ranks in the top performers in the EU for Information Communication Technology research funding.

The 2019 annual report showed income of €42m, up 17% on 2018, including €32m from competitive research projects. This also included €10m in European funding and an industry commitment to new research programmes of almost €6m.

Industry-academia collaboration

“Industry-academia collaboration is the driver for the successful translation of research from the laboratory into innovative new products and services in the marketplace, ultimately leading to the creation and retention of high-quality sustainable jobs,” Prof Scanlon says. 

“The ground-breaking work delivered by the institute will transform our hi-tech economy and secure Ireland’s future as a worldwide technology leader, while supporting key Irish technology companies and SMEs.”

That the institute’s €56m secured EU funding is three times higher than the European average is an achievement Prof Scanlon credits to the extraordinary research talent available in Ireland, coupled with the state-of-the-art infrastructure available at Tyndall.

“There has also been a huge investment in time and effort over the years by our European Programmes Office, who have been actively engaging and working with partners and officials across Europe to understand and help shape the various technology roadmaps and other research and innovation and thought-leadership initiatives," he says.

Advanced research

Deep-tech research is at the heart of a successful Europe, and the team at Tyndall is behind some of its most advanced research, particularly in nanotechnology, microelectronics, and photonics.

“The deep-tech being developed at Tyndall and in similar international research institutes will have a huge impact in creating solutions in the areas of health and wellbeing, the energy crisis, a greener sustainable society, smart agriculture and transport,” Prof Scanlon explains. 

Read the full story here on the Irish Examiner.