Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, together with Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan TD, today announced a joint initiative co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to create a Fraunhofer Project Centre (FPC) for Embedded BioAnalytical Systems in Dublin City University (DCU), in partnership with the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany.
The Fraunhofer Project Centre will focus on contract and collaborative research, as well as technology development projects addressing cost-efficient design, development and manufacture of microfluidic “Lab-on-a-Chip” technologies. Funded through Science Foundation Ireland with €2.5 million to be invested at DCU, an additional €2.5 million will be provided by Fraunhofer in matched funding over a duration of five years.
These systems will enable immediate “point-of-use” testing of samples such as blood or water for a wide range of applications, including personal healthcare, pharmaceutical production, life-science research, quality testing in agrifood and environmental monitoring.
For Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the creation of the FPC will extend its international reach and provide access to DCU’s highly recognised techno-scientific expertise, infrastructure and equipment, as well as its many academic and industrial collaborators within Irish-based life science activities and their close links with the UK and North America.
Combined with the FPC’s capability for scale-up from prototyping to mass manufacture, this approach will provide “fit-for-industry” solutions, which are vital in supporting innovation and driving national economic success.
Announcing the investment, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said, "I am delighted to announce the first Fraunhofer Project Centre to be established in Ireland, which will have a strong focus on developing industry partnerships. By investing in this important initiative and world-class researchers, we are generating new knowledge ready for commercialisation, driving intellectual property development and creating a global competitive advantage for Ireland."