Open Labs by TU Dublin is a market-focused initiative, which aims to remove the perceived barriers facing industry engaging with universities, making world leading facilities and expertise more accessible. With 850 researchers, TU Dublin has an extensive range of research knowledge and expertise that can be harnessed as a powerful support to industry. 

Partnerships and innovation are central to the mission of TU Dublin. Industry, large and small, can benefit from the expertise and skills of its staff as well the University’s state-of-the-art research facilities. 

Open Labs has supported more than 150 startups and SMEs to develop new products and services, and has generated over €1.5m in research income since 2018. The development of innovative ideas requires the support of people who can pinpoint the available funding options and provide real-world solutions.  

Support for companies of all sizes

Company size is not an issue for TU Dublin’s experts, who have helped some of the biggest companies in Ireland as well as those starting out. For small companies, this might involve a four-to–eight-week innovation project funded through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme, or a desk-based assessment of market need and competitor analysis. For the biggest companies, it might involve multiple collaborations with significant funding, combining to develop new disruptive technology.

The development of innovative ideas requires funding and the support of people who can pinpoint the available funding options and provide real-world solutions.

The university thrives in helping companies to translate our research into an innovative, impactful product that can be sold commercially. They help staff members and students that have pioneering ideas but are unsure how to bring them to the marketplace.

Industry is always on the look-out for new products, processes or services that can disrupt whole industries and TU Dublin expertise can help them to achieve that. Their experts can also recommend what funding options may be available to leverage their costs. Their ability to help industry is testified through the fact that almost a third of industry clients are repeat customers.

Successful partnerships

Several success stories that have emerged out of these partnerships have made a big impact in their respective industries and societally.

  • Kastus developed an antimicrobial coating to protect smartphones and self-service kiosks. The coating was developed against bacteria but is effective against Covid-19.
  • Micron Agritech developed a rapid, onsite test for parasites in cattle, which helps reduce antibiotic use by cattle farmers.
  • Ocumetra developed an eye-monitoring tool to predict when a person is becoming short-sighted and needs to see an optician. Their advances in myopia research are aiming to make treatment more accessible for all.
  • Ocumetra were a winner at the 2021 Knowledge Transfer Awards, while Micron Agritech was the best early stage start up in the 2020 National Startup Awards.

Entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes need industry partnerships to help develop and bring their idea to reality and TU Dublin’s research community is well positioned to assist.

This article featuring Dr. Paul Maguire; Head of Innovation and Enterprise, TU Dublin and Lead Partner, Dublin Region Innovation Consortium (DRIC) first appeared as part of the Entrepreneur Report