Ministers Troy and English announce landmark 5,000th project – Sligo based company, Tekrasport and their collaboration with the WiSAR Gateway in LYIT on Tekralite, a 100% waterproof, wireless, rechargeable, LED strobe light for swimming in low light conditions.
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy and Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English today announced Tekrasport and their collaboration with the WiSAR Technology Gateway in Letterkenny IT as the 5,000th industry project completed by the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network.
Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway
In operation since 2013, the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network provides a range of innovation solutions and supports to companies throughout the island of Ireland. Run by Enterprise Ireland, in partnership with Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities, the network has 16 Technology Gateways located nationwide. Each providing services and supports, across a range of technologies, to Irish companies in the areas such as Food, Pharma, ICT and Materials amongst others.
Companies from across the country have benefited from the expertise and experience available within the network to assist in the delivery of near-to-market solutions. The Technology Gateway Network and the funding supports offered by Enterprise Ireland are fundamental in promoting the ongoing development of research, development and innovation (RD&I) within companies who may lack the facilitates, equipment, personnel or expertise to do so otherwise.
The network offers support and assistance to a wide range of companies such as, High Potential Start-Ups, Small and Medium Enterprises, Large Indigenous and Multinationals. To date, the Gateways has collaborated with over 3,560 Irish companies, assisting in 5,000 projects worth €45million, of which over €22.5million is cash from industry.
Speaking of the achievement, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy said “Reaching the 5,000th project so quickly is a fantastic achievement that all the Technology Gateway staff should be proud of. Growing from 200 projects in 2013 to over 850 annually in 2020 is evidence of the huge demand from industry that exists and the willingness of the companies to return on multiple occasions to their local Gateways to carry out R&D. I am sure that the journey to project 10,000 will be even quicker and that the growth of the Technology Gateways will continue at pace due to the outstanding commitment of the Institutes of Technologies and Technological Universities in supporting their individual Technology Gateways.”
Speaking about the announcement Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD said “Tekrasport Ltd are a prime example of the extremely high standard of innovative products designed or in production by Irish industry today. The Tekrasport story is one of inspiration which no doubt will resonate with many. The growth of the Technology Gateways also highlights the world class talent available in the Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities and the value of local access for industry to this knowledge. I would encourage any companies who haven’t done so already to contact their local Technology Gateway to see what support is available to help them deal with challenges such as BREXIT and the COVID 19 pandemic.”
Enterprise Ireland’s Gearoid Mooney said,“Enterprise Ireland is proud to support the Technology Gateway network across Ireland. It plays a vital role in opening up access to research expertise on a regional level through our Institutes of Technology and our Technological Universities. The commencement of the 5000th project is a great achievement and I want to acknowledge the role that all partners have played in making this a real success story and we look forward to future collaboration in the years to come.”
Tekrasport / WiSAR Partnership
The partnership with WiSAR Lab, enabled Tekrasport to increase the functionality and improve the power consumption of their innovative Tekralite, the only 100% waterproof rechargeable, open water swimming safety light on the market. By working with WiSAR researchers, Tekrasport Ltd were able to improve the end-user experience and the battery life of their innovative light, for multi-purpose use in many recreational sporting activities including running, cycling and kayaking.
These improvements to the Tekralite have increased the devices potential to be a game changer in the recreational sport industry.
Speaking of the recent collaboration John Hanley, founder of Tekrasport said:
“We were delighted to team up with WiSAR, through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher Programme, to develop the functionality of our innovative Tekralite. Through this collaboration with WiSAR researchers, Tekrasport were able to incorporate a number of significant improvements to our swimmers’ light, making the product even more competitive and attractive for the global market. Going forward, we believe that this added value will increase our capacity to grow and penetrate new markets.”
Dr Stephen Seawright, Gateway Manager at LYIT, concluded by highlighting the importance of the Technology Gateway Network in assisting Irish companies to realise their potential.
“The Technology Gateway Network has been an invaluable resource for so many indigenous companies in Ireland, and we are absolutely delighted for a WiSAR Lab project to be the one to hit the landmark 5,000 milestone, with the innovative Tekralite.”
About the Technology Gateway Programme
16 Technology Gateways in Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities deliver innovation expertise to industry across Ireland. These Gateways provide companies of all sizes with access to over 300 highly skilled and industrially focused researchers, together with specialist equipment and facilities.
Each Technology Gateway focuses on key technology areas aligned to industry needs. Companies all over Ireland are using Technology Gateways to develop new or better products, processes and services.
Tekrasport founder, John Hanley, an engineer with over 30 years’ experience, is a 3-time Ironman triathlete and active open water swimmer.
As a competitor, race organiser and parent, John realised that swim safety devices were limiting people’s performance in the open water and used his engineering background to design a new type of device, one that would help first timers overcome anxiety and push experienced swimmers to improve. Wanting to improve upon the standard tow floats seen in various open water swimming locations, Tekrapod, the first open-water safety device, designed specifically for open- water swimmers was developed.
From this, John extended his range, with one of his most recent innovations being the unique Tekralite, a 100% waterproof, wireless, rechargeable, LED strobe light for maximum visibility when swimming in low light conditions. With a strong focus on safety matched with a passion for personal achievement and pushing boundaries, TekraSport has become a serious industry competitor.
About Wisar Lab & Technology Gateway
WiSAR Technology Gateway, based in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, provides solutions to Irish industry for the Internet of Things (IoT) using expertise in wireless, embedded systems and power electronics. WiSAR is home to an extensive team of researchers and engineers working on a wide range of collaborative RD&I industry projects and is equipped with a state-of-the-art test bench, connectivity devices, industrial sensors, antennae and digital controllers, for the design of prototypes and the optimisation of industrial processes. This expertise enables WiSAR to work with many product design companies to produce advanced near-to-market prototypes.