Cross-border research project aims to reduce costs of energy consumption

A €1.69m research project aimed at reducing costs for the manufacturing sector and creating jobs was launched yesterday by cabinet ministers Pat Rabbitte and Richard Bruton.

The cross-border collaboration between the Limerick Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster is funded through the International Energy Research Centre at the Tyndall National Institute, Cork.

The Total Energy Management for Production Operations will look at energy consumption patterns during the production process and analyse ways of reducing overall costs. The aim is to enable domestic and international firms understand where excess energy is being used.

“This research project, with its strong focus on reducing energy costs for industry, is exactly the type of initiative we want to see coming from Ireland’s research community,” said Energy Minister Mr Rabbitte.

“It clearly demonstrates the benefits that come from linking our research capability with industry needs, and from developing integrated energy projects that can deliver measurable cost-effective solutions. Energy efficiencies are strategically highly important both to industry and to the national economy, and this research initiative underpins the Government’s objectives in this important area.”

John Cosgrove, director of the Acorn Research Group at LIT; Martin McGinnity, director of the Intelligent Systems Research Centre at the University of Ulster; and Neil Hewitt, director of the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, University of Ulster; will spearhead the project.

“A key part of the Government’s plan for economic growth and job creation is to turn good ideas into good jobs by supporting and investing in Irish research capability and the commercialisation of this research,” said Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.

“We are committed to supporting hi-tech research in our universities and institutes and to driving increased research-industry collaboration.

“Today’s announcement is an excellent example of what we are trying to achieve — concrete ideas which can be used to solve problems and create jobs.”

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