About us

The function of the Idea Centre is an interactive learning and exhibition space in which SWC students, other post-primary school children, entrepreneurs and companies from a variety of industries will attend to encourage them to participate in a creative process of generating ideas and rapidly creating prototypes to establish proof of concept.

With the economic downturn and vastly reduced public spending, there has been an increased wave of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The Idea Centre aims to widen and deepen this creativity process, involve the wider community and not only design products, but find solutions to problems which will then lead to wealth creation.

Other colleges who have successfully implemented similar models include leading US entrepreneurial colleges Babson, Stanford and MIT.

Idea will be the hub of a community of innovators. Students and staff across all departments will take on problems together. The Idea Centre's collaborative approach involves open thinking ideas generation and the creation of learning experiences through a carefully managed design process. Students will work on real-world problems provided by local industry, entrepreneurs, community groups, sports clubs and charities.

Students will be equipped with a methodology for innovation that combines creative and analytical approaches and requires collaboration across disciplines. Our students will learn this process and apply it to their own challenges.

Classes will be team taught by a mix of teaching and industry facing staff, combining disciplines like computers with sustainability, health and social care with electronics. Different experiences, mind-sets and prejudices will stimulate discussion and a broad view of the possible approaches to any given problem.

With this facility and the underpinning methodology, we will incubate a mind-set of creativity, of problem solving and of innovation. We aim to foster a community contributing to continuous innovation that will improve the wealth of the local economy and compete on a global scale.

Equipment available:
  • 10 iPad’s
  • 4 27” Mac PCs
  • 1 64” touch screen TV
  • 3 Alienware PCs with 24’’ WACOM Cintiq 24”HD interactive pen displays
  • 3D space navigator
  • 60” LG TV

  • Meeting Room (seats 8) with interactive starboard
  • Group Break-out area (seats 15) with 60”LCD TV
  • Group Brainstorming area (seats 10) with 64”interactive touch screen
  • 4 private research booths (2 with sliding glass doors seats 2-4)
  • Prototyping lab (equipment listed below)

Software Available:
  • CAD Software
  • Solidworks
  • Rhino
  • Auto CAD Architecture
  • Auto Desk Inventor
  • Adobe Master Collection CS6, which includes: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Bridge
  • Plus many more

Proto-typing Lab:
  • 3D Printers
  • Object 30 Pro – Polyjet Technology
  • Matrix 300+ - Based on Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)
  • MakerBot Replicator 2 – Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Spectrum Z510 – Full Colour Powder Printing (PP)
  • LaserPro X500II – Laser Cutting machine that cuts a range of materials including: paper, card, light plywood, plastic, fabric etc.
  • Roland MDX-540 Milling machine
  • Vacuum Former
  • Z700 3D laser scanner
  • Thermal Imaging camera

Download Innovate Brochure

Where to find us

idea South West College
Omagh Campus
2 Mountjoy Road, Omagh
Co.Tyrone BT79 7AH
Centre Co-Ordinator – Diarmuid Kelly
E: Diarmuid.kelly@swc.ac.uk
T: 028 8225 0109 EXT: 5228
F: 028 8224 1440