The SEUPB has announced that funding of €8.5 million from the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme has been offered to Catalyst Inc for the creation of a new cross-border ‘super cluster’ within the Health & Life Sciences business sector.
The project is called the ‘North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing’, and will be led by Catalyst Inc. It will support eight different key Health & Life Sciences companies involved in 15 different research projects based in the North West to develop new products and processes.
The project aims to enhance the level of cross-border research and innovation collaboration within the area of applied advanced manufacturing. It will also significantly increase the number of Health & Life Science businesses engaged in commercially focused research in order to make them more competitive.
The project will bring together a number of partners in the creation of a new ‘super cluster’ including the Engineering Research Institute at Ulster University, the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at Glasgow University, the PEM Centre at Sligo Institute of Technology and the CoLab facility at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
A total of 26 PhD level researchers, along with post-doctoral research assistants will be recruited over the life time of the project, to work with the eight participating companies, and create up to 98.5 years’ worth of PhD full time equivalent research. Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland, the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland and the University of Glasgow.
Announcing the funding award Gina McIntyre CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), which manages the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme said: “This project will make a real impact in terms of providing support for a business sector with strong economic potential. The research produced will be used to strengthen the economic outlook of businesses on a cross-border basis.
“This is one of the core objectives of the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme which has been specifically designed to enhance the levels of Research & Innovation found within businesses across the region.”
A spokesperson for the Department for the Economy said: “Investment in research and development is critical to future economic growth. Strong collaboration between industry and academia will also contribute to success. The creation of this new supercluster is a welcome development for the health and life sciences sector and a boost for the North West border region.”