So far, 2019 has been a big year for SEAM Technology Gateway, based in Waterford Institute of Technology, as it celebrates 10 years providing support and expertise to Irish industry. In recognition of this achievement, an industry-focused celebration was hosted on Friday 22nd March in Waterford Institute of Technology. The event focused on highlighting the many existing and new capabilities that SEAM can offer as well as showcasing the special relationship which exists between the Gateway and industry. The event also included the launch of the new Additive Manufacturing Training Centre (3DWIT) based in WIT.
Attended by over 100 industry delegates from around the country, representatives were also present from Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, Government departments and various academic institutes.
SEAM Technology Gateway is currently funded under the Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway Programme, which delivers innovation expertise to industry across Ireland. The programme is run by Enterprise Ireland in partnership with 9 Institutes of Technology and 1 Technological University across the country. SEAM is one of 15 such Gateways and provides engineering material solutions for industry in sectors such as biomedical devices, pharmaceuticals, microelectronics, precision engineering and construction. The Gateway has been providing assistance to industries in the South and SE region of Ireland and beyond since its launch in 2009.
The event agenda included a range of relevant and interesting discussions, audience interactions and presentations. The morning session opened with a welcome address by Dr Mark White, Vice President for Research & Innovation, WIT, followed by a presentation by Dr Ramesh Raghavendra (SEAM Centre Director & CEO of 3DWIT), who outlined SEAM’s 10-year contribution to industry. Closing the morning session was an insightful presentation from Michael Kelly, Centre Manager of 3DWIT, who introduced the new Additive Manufacturing skills available through 3DWIT.
Session 2 saw company presentations by:
- Dan Buck, Head of Device Engineering Group, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd
- Jonathan Downey, Applications Engineering Manager, Schivo Medicals
- Triona Kennedy, Manager, Advanced Operations, Stryker
- Noel Lynch, Managing Director, EDPAC (Cork)
These not only allowed attendees an insight into the many different types of collaboration between SEAM and Irish industry, but the many different types of R&D development and innovation currently ongoing within Irish industry.
Session 3 focused on the areas of Technology, Research & Development, and Innovation with insightful presentations by:
- Marc Sanders, Director of AM Applications, Renishaw (United Kingdom) entitled Be specific! Custom implants focus on the individual patient
- Frank Devitt, Senior Lecturer-Design Innovation & Innovation strategy, Maynooth University on Design Thinking and its approach to prototyping and experimentation
- Gearoid Mooney, Research & Innovation Division Manager, Enterprise Ireland on The importance of R&D and innovation to Businesses and Technology Gateway centre supports
This was then followed by an informative Question and Answers session with all panel members.
The afternoon session saw the official launch of the Additive Manufacturing Training Centre (3DWIT) with speeches from Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan.
Reflecting on the day and on the previous 10 years, Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director and Technology Gateway Manager said:
“It has been a pleasure to lead SEAM since its formal launch in 2009 and today after crossing the milestone of 10th Anniversary I am proud to say that SEAM has become a good and effective vehicle of transferring the benefits of various government funded research programmes to industries through partnering and collaborating with them. Oscar Wilde cites “Success is a science, if you have the conditions, you will get the result.” We in SEAM constantly strive for success to build a good Engineering Research Infrastructure with latest technologies in the South East that delivers the results not only for industries in the South East, but beyond for the whole of Island of Ireland.”
Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Programme Manager, Mark Whelan, commented on the success of SEAM and said:
“SEAM’s success over the past 10 years has been down to the hard work and dedication of the staff in SEAM and the wider WIT community. The benefit of SEAM to industry in Ireland has been invaluable and I look forward to its continued growth and success over the next 10 years.”