Up to 300 delegates and speakers from some of the world’s most innovative companies, as well as researchers and scientists at the cutting edge of new technologies attended Tyndall Technology Days 2017, Tyndall National Institute’s annual international conference for industry, in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork city, on Wednesday, October 25th.
An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, opened the conference commenting on Ireland’s increasingly prominent role in the information and communications technology: “Today’s conference shows that no sector of the economy is immune from the changes that automation, robotics and smart manufacturing (Industry 4.0) will bring about. Tyndall is leading the way in preparing not only Irish businesses, but global businesses to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Furthermore, my Department recognises the fundamental role innovation and research play in developing Ireland’s economy and therefore supports Tyndall with a grant of €4.5 million per annum. Through research excellence and deep industry engagement, institutes like Tyndall are advancing Ireland as a world-leading centre of innovation and research.”
Under the banner of Innovation for Industry, the keynote address was delivered by Ann Kelleher, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Technology and Manufacturing Group at Intel. Delegates also heard from renowned scientists and researchers and from global industry leaders at companies including BT, Analog Devices, Philips, AbbVie, Bell Labs, United Technologies Research Centre and West Pharmaceutical Services. All shared their insight on how industry is evolving and how businesses can rise to the challenges and opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution.
This year’s conference also debuted two new research centres with Tyndall leadership involvement, marking the institute’s continued expansion into new research domains. Conor McCarthy (University of Limerick), introduced the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre, CONFIRM, which positions Irish industry as a global leader in Smart Manufacturing. McCarthy is CONFIRM’s Director, and the centre’s Deputy Director is Tyndall’s Head of Specialty Products and Services, Graeme Maxwell.
Head of Food Programme at Teagasc, Dr. Mark Fenelon, introduced Tyndall’s second SFI centre award (this year). In partnership with Tyndall, Teagasc will lead the new SFI FutureMilk research centre, funded in Budget 2018. Research to be undertaken in FutureMilk aims to enable greater quantities of consistently higher-value dairy products to be produced in a sustainable manner through the exploitation of tech solutions throughout the food production chain. Key to the new centre will be Tyndall’s established agri-food research programme, which develops next generation sensors systems to provide food producers and processors with real time-data, which allows them to reduce production losses and maximize yield in a sustainable manner.
Already recognised as a world-leading research institute in photonics and micro/nanoelectronics, Tyndall Tech Days showcased up to 30 demonstrations of new and emerging technologies across smart manufacturing, future communications, medtech and energy management. These included Tyndall’s ‘smart glove’ for Human Computer Interfacing (HCI); a new portable chemical analysis system that detects nerve agents, in real-time, during chemical, biological, radiological and/or nuclear (CBRN) incidents; pain-free smart microneedles and smart bandages for optimal healing; and the latest in micro LED display technology.