How to work with industry

1. Join a Research Centre

SFI Research Centres link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions; foster the development of new and existing Irish - based technology companies; attract industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy; and expand educational and career opportunities in Ireland in science and engineering.

There are currently 12 funded SFI Research Centres across a broad spectrum of strategic areas of priority.

The SFI Spokes Programme provides the mechanism to allow new partners to join these 12 centres.

2. Enter a collaborative Partnership

The SFI Partnership Programme provides a flexible mechanism by which SFI can build strategic collaborations with key partners such as industry, funding agencies, charities, philanthropic organisations or higher education institutes (HEIs) with the goal of co-funding outstanding opportunities.

The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Initiative also offers financial support to companies who engage in collaborative research projects with Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology. Enterprise Ireland provides grants of up to 80% towards eligible costs of the research project. 

3. Visiting Fellows

Through its Industry Fellowship Programme, SFI will fund the salary of an academic(s) to spend up to one year full time or two years part in your company either in Ireland or overseas.  The programme also provides funding support for an industry representative to spend time in an SFI lab.

4. Feasibility and Training Support, Research Development and Innovation Grant (RD&I) Support - IDA Ireland

IDA Ireland plays a leading role in RD&I development by providing funding support for suitable projects and by identifying other supports available from partner organisations such as Enterprise Ireland (EI), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI).

In addition to RD&I funding, IDA Ireland has a number of direct support mechanisms, including employment and training grants. Through its property portfolio, IDA also has a suite of property offerings to enable companies to fast track their project start-ups.

5. Licensing Opportunites

Knowledge Transfer Ireland

Knowledge Transfer Ireland takes a national perspective on the knowledge transfer (KTI) system in Ireland. KTI works with business, investors, universities, Institutes of Technology, State research organisations, research funders and government agencies to maximise State funded technology, ideas and expertise getting into the hands of business to drive innovation. KTI is located in Enterprise Ireland (EI) and funded by EI with co-financing from the Irish Universities Association (IUA).  The KTI website provides useful tools for identifying research partners as well as contact points in each of the University and Institute of Technology Tech Transfer Offices.

6. Contract research

Many SFI-funded groups are prepared to undertake contract research. If you wish to identify an SFI-funded research group with appropriate capabilities you may use the SFI Researcher Database,or contact Ciara Cotter, Senior Executive, Enterprise and International Affairs

Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property

Knowledge Transfer Ireland takes a national perspective on the knowledge transfer (KT) system in Ireland. KTI works with business, investors, universities, Institutes of Technology, State research organisations, research funders and government agencies to maximise State funded technology, ideas and expertise getting into the hands of business to drive innovation. KTI is located in Enterprise Ireland (EI) and funded by EI with co-financing from the Irish Universities Association (IUA).

KTI provides details on the Knowledge Transfer framework in Ireland and details on each of the University and Institutes of Technology Tech. Transfer Offices (TTOs). How to work with KTI.

Testbed facilities within Ireland

In 2005, the Commission for Communications Regulation in Ireland (ComReg) launched Ireland's Wireless Test & Trial Licensing Programme - Test & Trial Ireland. Test & Trial Ireland allows the test or trial of wireless communications devices in Ireland and has been designed in conjunction with the industry to support the needs of the wireless research and development community in Ireland. For further information, please contact:

Kevin Kennedy
Spectrum Development Manager
Commission for Communications Regulation
Email    [email protected] 

The CONNECT Centre ( at Trinity College Dublin uses a cognitive radio testbed based on a software-defined radio (SDR) system. This testbed supports experimentation with a mature SDR system running on a virtualized computational platform. The testbed is organized in experimentation units each consisting of three parts: a virtual computational platform, SDR software, and flexible radio frontend hardware.

The SDR system, known as IRIS has been developed in-house over the past fifteen years and allows the construction of a broad range of radio systems. Each experimentation unit is designed to serve a range of needs: Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS) provides a highly configurable computation platform, IRIS provides real-time radio re-configurability, and the radio frontend hardware (based on the National Instruments USRP platform) offers a broad range of wireless interfaces.

Radio hardware is housed on the ceiling of the dedicated indoor testing space to provide users with a clean operating environment. The management infrastructure allows users to deploy experimentation units to compose arbitrary radio systems and network topologies as desired. These facilities enable and facilitate several international research- and education-related projects.

For further information, please contact Dr Johann Marquez-Barja at [email protected]

A living lab is defined as “a user-centred open-innovation ecosystem operating in a territorial context, (e.g., city, agglomeration, region) integrating concurrent research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership”. CASALA has established a living lab for companies, NGO's, and government organizations to design, build, and test products and services for improving the lives of older people. The CASALA Living Lab is an array of environments that provide an opportunity, at every stage of the product or service development cycle, to work with older people, carers, engineers, scientists, and service providers in both realistic test environments and directly in the community.

For further information on CASALA, click here or contact:

Andrew Macfarlane 
Commercialisation & Centre Manager
Email    [email protected]
Telephone  +353 87 051 6705

Pervasive Nation is CONNECT’s national-scale Internet of Things (IoT) research testbed based on a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networking technology. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland having won a Research Infrastructures Award in January 2016.

Pervasive Nation is building an Internet of Things testbed of scale which will become a resource for industry, government and academia and act as a strong catalyst for IoT research and innovation in Ireland. It supports pre-commercial exploration and supports concepts progressing along the technology readiness scale (up to TRL 7).

The Pervasive Nation infrastructure uses the latest off-the-shelf LPWAN technologies, software-defined radio and Application Enablement Platform (AEP) technologies.

Pervasive Nation is particularly suited to the connectivity and networking of small, simple devices in difficult to reach locations or in remote areas.  Although Pervasive Nation has been built initially from LoRa technologies, it is capable of supporting multiple flavours of LPWA networks.

For further details, please contact the Pervasive Nation team at [email protected]


Pervasive Nation is a research programme of CONNECT. CONNECT is the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for Future Networks and Communications, headquartered at Trinity College Dublin.

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) was established as a national High-Performance Computing (HPC) provider in late 2005 under the aegis of NUI, Galway, and funded since that time jointly by the Higher Education Authority (HEA, with mostly capital funding) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI, with recurrent and staffing costs).
Its mission is to provide High-Performance Computing (HPC) resources principally for researchers in third-level institutions. A skilled team of system administrators and computational scientists now engage with these researchers to support the development of internationally competitive computational modelling and world-class research across all the main disciplines and institutions. For further information on access to ICHEC, please contact:

Niall Wilson
Infrastructure Manager, ICHEC
E-mail [email protected]

The NGN Test centre allows technology providers worldwide working on new mobile phone applications to test, trial and validate integrated internet, mobile and television services, along with converged voice and data products, services and functionality on a carrier-grade open access IP test network using industrially accepted and standardised API’s, before bringing them to market! For further information, please contact:

Shane Dempsey
E-mail  [email protected]


Litmus is a testbed suite located at Nimbus, comprising of an Energy Testbed, Water Testbed and Community Testbed. Litmus is a public facility, open to industry and academia to develop, test, trial and demonstrate applications, products and services in real-world environments. Partners have access to a world-class team of experts and state-of-the-art equipment to support innovative projects across a range of fields.

The Energy Test Bed At Nimbus

The Energy Testbed, located at the Nimbus Centre, is a whole-building ‘energy and power management technology demonstrator’, scalable to a district or campus level. It allows access to buildings and infrastructure to trial new control, heating, energy generation and storage technologies.

The Water Testbed At Nimbus

  • The Water Systems and Services Innovation Centre (WSSIC) is a joint venture between Cork City Council, Cork County Council and the Nimbus Centre.
  • It creates an expert resource in modernizing Ireland’s water infrastructure by taking advantage of Nimbus’ technological knowledge and leveraging both Councils’ experience in Water Resource operation.
  • The Water Testbed harnesses state-of-the-art technology in water quality monitoring, leakage reporting & repair, remote monitoring and much more. Current projects encompass embedded system design, wireless technologies, website design, programming, optics, sol-gel and polymer chemistry, electrochemistry, miniaturisation, case studies and workflow design.
  • The resulting innovations are being rolled out across County Cork, with a view to deploying to all city and county councils in Ireland. Alongside more efficient water services and monitoring processes, the Water Testbed is a catalyst for the creation of new Irish-based enterprise and jobs.

The Community Testbed At Nimbus

  • Nimbus has engaged the support of the council, businesses and citizens of Mallow (10,000 population), to use the town as a large-scale Community Testbed for connected networks and innovative products & services, ensuring usability before commercial roll-out.
  • Creating and commercialising new networked systems is a complex process - in many cases the only way to effectively determine the likely success of these systems is to trial them in real-world environments. The Community Testbed provides end-users and the necessary infrastructure (including a 1Gbs fibre connection for research purposes) to develop, test, trial and demonstrate applications, products and services in real-world environments.
  • Current research projects being undertaken in Mallow include, amongst others, energy saving systems, smart heritage tours and smart lighting solutions.
  • The Community Testbed is the first of its type in the country and has secured €1 million of funding for projects that will be deployed live in Mallow.

Benefits of Litmus for Industry

  • Access to diverse expertise at Nimbus from numerous areas, such as energy, electronics, process control, software, multimedia etc.
  • Large facility where experimental new technologies can be tested by private industry and academic institutions
  • Generation of real test data on such technologies
  • Development of more efficient technologies that will help Ireland meet clean targets and demonstrate energy savings
  • Potential for collaboration with other companies through linked projects

Further information can be found here.

The Kemmy Business School (KBS), University of Limerick, has pioneered applied learning techniques in Ireland. Taking this approach to new levels, the KBS has unveiled Europe’s first custom designed campus Trading Floor. For further information on this facility, click here or contact:

Dr. Bernard Murphy
Course Director :  MSc  in Computational Finance
E-mail [email protected]

The Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre (HMRC) at University College Cork was established in 1979. It is a centre of excellence within Ireland for Ocean Renewables and Coastal Engineering providing support to the maritime industry as well as fundamental R&D. The Centre, which is principally a dedicated research facility, also offers a teaching and education function. It houses the only facilities for wave simulation in Ireland with a Wave Flume and an Ocean Wave Basin. For further information on the facility, please contact:

Dr. Raymond Alcorn CEng (UK) MIET 
Research Manager
E-mail  [email protected]

Nimbus is Ireland’s embedded electronic systems research centre. Nimbus’ national and international work has led to acclaimed publications and over 150 projects in conjunction with 75 companies, as well as 40 disclosures/ licences/ patents in the last four years.

The ‘can-do’ ethos and knowledge of the engineers and support staff, combined with a depth of industry experience, have made the industry interface (the Nimbus TEC Gateway) a one-stop shop for SME’s and individuals looking for practical solutions to their creative ideas. Many of the clients, both multinationals and start-ups,  use the TEC Gateway to develop their product prototype to facilitate the next level of funding for their business, support large scale research projects and to demonstrate concepts to potential clients in a form that is tangible and real.

The Centre boasts a range of complementary research and development expertise. The research focus includes wireless sensor and actuator network design and analysis, vehicular and mobile network protocol design and analysis, sensor data fusion, radio localisation systems, embedded hardware design, miniaturisation, reliability analysis, embedded software systems, embedded interaction based user interfaces, cloud based software platforms, and system integration and optimisation tools.

Nimbus is funded under the Higher Education Authority’s Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The TEC Gateway is supported by Enterprise Ireland under the Technology Gateway Initiative.

The Tyndall National Institute was established in 2004 by the Irish Government Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and University College Cork, with the objective of creating a truly National Institute capable of operating at a world-class level. The Institute which initially comprises NMRC along with the Photonics research communities of UCC and CIT aims to be a national focal point for excellence in research in Microelectronics, Photonics and related technologies. Tyndall currently has a substantial research infrastructure, including several fabrication laboratories (e.g. CMOS, Compound Semiconductor & Microsystems) along with an extensive suite of characterisation, analytical and test laboratories. For further information, please contact: 

Julie Donnelly
NAP Programme Manager
National Access Programme
Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland
Tel    021-4904168   
Fax   021-4270271
Email   [email protected]

The Exemplar Test-bed, the first phase of the Exemplar Smart Communications Network is located in Park West Industrial Estate, Dublin. It uses an Irish developed technology, Optical-burst Packet Switching and Transport (OPST), providing energy-efficient, very high speed data and image transfer using photonics (light). The State-owned Test-bed is an advanced optical communications test infrastructure, and is available for use by multinational and indigenous companies and academic researchers to test and develop a wide range of products and services in areas such as data centre services, cloud computing, virtualisation, smart grids, next generation video, high-speed high-bandwidth on demand services, etc. 

For further information on the Exemplar Test-bed go to: or contact Brendan Whelan, Communications Policy Division, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

E-mail:  [email protected]

Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) have developed a Technology Platform Web-Portal to highlight technology platforms and associated expertise that support clinical and translational research available across their partner institutions and collaborators. To access this technology portal and the list of available infrastructure, please click here (

The WiSAR Lab is an Applied Research Enhancement (ARE) Centre, funded by Enterprise Ireland in the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT). The focus of the WiSAR Lab is on Wireless Sensor Networks, particularly Body Area Networks and the application of Wireless Sensor Networks in buildings with an emphasis on evaluating and minimising the power consumption of the devices used. Our goal is to be a centre of excellence in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) and a hub of research and applied solutions for technology companies locally and nationally. For further information on the WiSAR Lab, please contact:

Nick Timmons
Principal Investigator 
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
E-mail [email protected]


Jim Morrison
Principal Investigator 
E-mail [email protected]

MSSI was established in 1998 at the University of Limerick and generates fundamental research on topics of industrial significance in the fields of surface science and materials. The Institute houses a multidisciplinary team of scientists (chemistry, materials science, physics and biochemistry) and engineers (mechanical, aeronautical, biomedical, manufacturing and electronic) who undertake research focused on the design of materials for (i) Health, (ii) Transport,(iii) Energy and (iv) Clean Technology.

MSSI's state-of-the-art characterisation and sample preparation facilities are available for use by other institutions and industry. Several of these facilities are unique in Ireland. MSSI employs a team of highly trained research staff to support industry using these facilities who combine research expertise in chemistry, physics, engineering, materials science and nanotechnology with the technical skills required to perform cutting edge analysis and research. Further details are on