Latest success from the cross border Fusion project

Latest success from the cross border Fusion project
13
November, 2013
The South West College are pleased to announce the completion of a cross border Fusion project, with Agri-Spread in Co. Mayo, as part of the InterTradeIreland funded programme. FUSION is InterTradeIreland's all-island technology transfer programme, which aims to assist companies bolster their bottom line and get ahead of the competition by partnering their company with a third-level institution with the specialist expertise they need and a high calibre science, engineering or technology graduate.
The South West College InnoTech Centre supported Agri-Spread, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, by mentoring a graduate to implement a structured product design and development process.  During the 12 month project the college assisted Agri-Spread and the graduate to research and develop new agricultural products, offering 3D design assistance, advice on parts numbering systems and spare parts manuals and providing technical mentoring on CE marking. Upon completion of the project, InnoTech Centre Manager, Fergal Tuffy said "We are delighted with how the project progressed and the position Agri-Spread are now in, ready to expand their product range and venture into the global market. “ He continued “Agri-Spread saw an opportunity to enhance innovation in the company by recruiting a highly-skilled graduate through the Fusion programme and it has paid dividends."

Agri-Spread realised how important it was to develop new products specially developed for export markets and used this as a stimulus for this project.  Alan Rattigan, General Manager of Agri-Spread said "It was imperative for the future of our company that we continued to invest in research and development and product improvement. As a company we are looking to maintain our position in the Irish market and increase our export market with innovative new products in response to market needs. As part of the work we have completed over the past 12 months, with South West College, we have developed several new products, all of which have export potential. The Fusion really has put us in a position to grow the company and we have recruited the graduate into a full-time engineering design role, specialising in new product development."

Since the completion of this project, the college has successfully supported a further 3 companies to apply for FUSION funding, and the College will support and mentor these companies with new product development and process improvements. Fergal said “the programme is very attractive for companies with support packages worth up to £44,250/€52,800 for an 18 month project typically in the area of new product/service development or a 12 month project worth £31,000/€37,000 typically in the area of process improvement. It involves 50% funding of the graduate’s employment costs while linking the company to the research knowledge that exists within the College.” The College are now working with companies in Co. Cavan, Co. Leitrim, Co. Sligo and Dublin. For further information on the InnoTech Centre or Fusion programme contact the InnoTech Centre on 048 82 255223 or innotechcentre@swc.ac.uk.