Waterford Institute of Technology partners with €22 million research centre

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@waterfordlive.ie

Waterford Institute of Technology partners with €22 million research centre

Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra with Minister John Halligan at the I-Form Launch event

The SEAM Research Centre, based in WIT, which is currently seed funded by Enterprise Ireland's Technology Gateway Programme is one of the partners of the I-Form Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing which has been officially launched by Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister John Halligan.

I-Form's mission is to shape the future of manufacturing through high-impact research into the application of digital technologies to materials processing. The centre is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and includes partnerships with seven research institutions, including WIT’s SEAM Research Centre, and 31 companies. 

Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director and I-Form Funded Investigator said: “It is good for SEAM Gateway to be part of the I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre as it provides opportunities to collaborate with wide ranging research teams at six other academic institutions who form part of this centre."

"I look forward to transferring the knowledge gained in shaping the future of Irish manufacturing to our vast client base across different manufacturing sectors in Ireland.”

SEAM is an industry focused applied research centre, providing innovative materials engineering solutions for companies from a wide range of sectors, including bio-medical devices, pharmaceuticals, micro-electronics, precision engineering and industrial technologies.

I-Form will work with companies to advance faster, more reliable, low-cost, low-risk design of new products and the manufacture of high-value components made of materials that perform better than current options. The manufacturing sector is the second largest employer in Ireland, accounting 36.5% of GDP and €122.6bn in exports.

It will be actively engaged across a range of different materials-processing technologies, with a particular focus on additive manufacturing (3D printing). SEAM has vast experience in the area of metal additive manufacturing research, including material development and process optimisation. Within I-Form, SEAM will be researching into embedding of sensors and digitization of additively manufactured parts and hence, integration of these parts into the Internet of Things.

I-Form has already helped commercialise a new plasma-processing technology for the use of polymer powders in additive manufacturing. It has worked with Irish SME Exergyn to explore enhanced efficiency for its innovative clean-energy solution, which uses waste hot water to generate electricity. In conjunction with Croom Precision Medical, it has acted as a beta tester for Renishaw’s new advanced process monitoring and control technology for production scale metal additive printing. The centre has also worked on the Microsoft Ireland ‘HackAbility’ initiative on the development of a prototype mount for holding phones and tablets.