R&D Centre for €2bn Plastics Industry Opened in Athlone IT – A national research centre for the €2 billion plastics industry was officially opened in Athlone.
The Applied Polymer Technology (APT) Gateway at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) was opened by Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, as part of an international plastics conference attended by over 100 delegates.
APT (Ireland) is part of an Enterprise Ireland-funded nationwide network of technology gateways, designed to deliver technology-based solutions for companies in Ireland.
At the opening, Minister Sherlock said, “I’m delighted to attend today’s conference and to open the Applied Polymer Technology (APT) Gateway. The Government is committed to supporting and nurturing an innovative economy built on sustainable jobs and balanced regional development. This will be achieved by the enterprise agencies working closely with education institutions and industry to provide the right business environment for growth.”
According to APT (Ireland) manager, Dr Seán Lyons, “The research centre will create practical and pragmatic solutions to the problems facing the plastics industry, which includes sectors as diverse as medical devices, pharmaceutical, automotive, packaging, renewable energy, construction and recycling.
“The APT will provide the plastics industry with access to cutting-edge characterisation tools, in addition to pilot scale processing facilities,” said Dr Lyons. “We have a dedicated R&D team with a proven track record of working with industry partners to complete short- and long-term projects ranging from troubleshooting, product and material development and process optimisation.”
The All-Ireland New Technology Forum and Society of Plastics Engineers annual conference is co-hosted by Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), in association with IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Plastics Ireland and IBEC.
The conference, entitled “From Convergence, via Translation, to the Bottom Line – Building Plastics into the Future”, provides regional Irish industry with a unique networking opportunity with global industry leaders to explore new routes to higher profit margins through niche technological advances and new, sustainable, higher value market opportunities.