The Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo) is a state-funded third-level educational institution situated in the town of Sligo, Ireland. The Institute has three Schools (the Schools of Learning in Business & Social Sciences; Engineering & Design; and Science) and nine Departments. IT Sligo is responsible for the education of ≈ 6,000 students across the Institute’s full-time, part-time and apprenticeship programmes. Of those, it has over 2300 online learners registered on over 75 online programmes, making it the leader in distance learning provision in Ireland. The institute has a long track record of successful management and on-time delivery of major national and EU research and innovation programmes.
IT Sligo has established a strong profile in applied research projects, particularly those with an underlying evidence-base component with industrial applications, and especially those benefitting the region, and can be shown to provide economic and environmental benefits. Research interests include the practical application of innovative research into industrial development, regional job development, policy and strategic decision-making supports. The institution has been and is currently actively involved in industrial research engagement looking at valorising academic research in industry.
In this light, the circular economy knowledge and benefits accruable by the participation of IT Sligo in the SYMBIOMA project could open new business possibilities for industries and especially SMEs in the region. The SYMBIOMA project aims to kick start a circular transformation and make a measurable contribution to delivering the boost in economic development, environmental services and entrepreneurial innovation in the sparsely populated regions which the institute is located in.
Expertise at IT Sligo will contribute to the realisation of viable multidisciplinary circular economy-related SYMBIOMA Technology Innovation Platform outputs. The Platform service portfolio will include access to laboratory and pilot-scale infrastructures and expertise to evaluate the valuable components from process side and waste streams and develop technology innovations, technology transfer support, knowledge about similar or compatible waste streams in the region in order to increase volume and improve possible profitability via aggregation, and assistance in exploring collaborative dynamics and business models such as clustering and industrial symbiosis.
With the outreach to regional bio-industry stakeholders and the potential project contribution to regional development being one of the main objectives of the SYMBIOMA project, strategies to ensure the effective translation and exploitation of research carried outby the project and in IT Sligo into tangible collaborations with industry and regional partners will be drawn from the involvement of the expertise in IT Sligo Contract Research Unit (CRU) in the project execution.
SYMBIOMA core team:
Dr John Bartlett: Principal Investigator for IT Sligo in the SYMBIOMA project, will be responsible for the overall scientific and technological direction of the institute’s contribution to the project.
Dr Ehiaze Ehimen: Research coordinator of the project, expertise in bioenergy conversion systems, waste treatment and valorisation, Life cycle analysis. Main contact person and responsible for overall project administration.
Paul McNama: Co-project manager, Extensive experience and demonstrated expertise in industrial design and content delivery. Extensive work with SMEs and communities to develop new products, processes and services. Community energy research projects. Responsible for the realization of the principal technical output of the project- The SYMBIOMA TIP.