…and Manufacturing Research – Cork, March 13th 2012
Ireland is currently lagging behind in its target to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020. Electricity costs are accounting for the majority of a factory’s utilities bill. These costs are rising and are impacting on our competitiveness, employment and exports.
The opportunities that exist for industry to achieve very significant savings in energy efficiency and to improve productivity were highlighted at a recent seminar held in Cork, attended by many of the leading manufacturing companies in Cork. The seminar entitled Succeed at Innovation in Energy Efficiency and Manufacturing Research was hosted by the Industry Research & Development Group (IRDG), an industry-led representative group for manufacturing and services companies involved in Research, Development and Innovation. This seminar was part of an ongoing series of Enterprise Innovation Network (EIN) events and was supported by Enterprise Ireland.
Guest speaker Dónal Óg Cusack, DePuy Ireland highlighted the positive strides that are being made by DePuy Ireland in reducing their ongoing energy costs through both strategic and operational projects. DePuy are also participating in the Ireland Energy Efficiency Technology Centre (I2E2) which is funded by the member companies and the State through Enterprise Ireland.
I2E2 is a prime example of a new leading-edge approach that is being adopted towards research and innovation. The Centre is industry-led and involves close collaboration between fifteen leading Irish companies and the Higher Education Institutes.
Niall Aughney of Intel, and member of I2E2, outlined examples of the key energy projects that are being undertaken on a collaborative basis with industries in the I2E2 consortium and selected research institutes. Energy management presents great challenges to all manufacturing operations. It is evident that the open, cross-sectoral industry sharing of data and best practice within I2E2 is providing invaluable insight, learning and cost savings without any conflict of interest.
The criticality for Ireland’s future success of business to business collaboration and business to college connectivity was emphasised by Mr. Denis Hayes, Managing Director of IRDG. Mr. Richard Morrison, Enterprise Ireland, gave a comprehensive summary of the State incentives that are available for businesses to collaborate with third level institutes in research and innovation. These include Innovation Vouchers, Innovation Partnerships and the new Technology Centres.