Overview of the Technologies for Embedded Computing (TEC) Gateway

The Nimbus centre has three branches : Research, Learning and Industry.

The Technologies for Embedded Computing (TEC) Gateway is the industry branch of the Nimbus centre.

TEC provides a link to industry through innovation and knowledge transfer and is supported by Enterprise Ireland under the Technology Gateway Initiative.  We work extensively with small to medium size Irish based companies who have requirements for ICT innovation, particularly in embedded systems. Embedded systems are the hidden computers that unobtrusively monitor and control many aspects of our working and living, operating our mobile phones, running machines in factories, controlling our domestic appliances and keeping our cars running safely.

Many of the clients, both multinationals and start-ups (many with no technical knowledge, but excellent business ideas) use the TEC Gateway to develop their product prototype. This can facilitate the next level of funding for their business, support large scale research projects and to demonstrate to potential clients their concepts in a form that is tangible and real.

 

Collective outputs from the Nimbus Centre include over 150 projects in conjunction with 75 Irish companies and 40 disclosures/licences/patents in the last four years.

The TEC Gateway is focusing on the application of their expertise in 4 main areas, these are Energy, Water, Location Based Services and management of the built environment.

History of the TEC Gateway

In January 2006, CIT was awarded an EI Applied Research Enhancement (ARE) grant to establish Technologies for Embedded Computing (TEC) in order to strengthen applied research on embedded systems technologies. The objectives of TEC were to enhance existing regional industry, to create new start-ups with international potential and to build industry-led programmes to sustain growth in the Irish embedded systems industry. The main objective was to create a one-stop-facility for Industry R&D support in the region. This is was achieved by communicating state-of-the-art in research to industry, creating partnership activities, engaging researchers in industry relevant initiatives and providing effective prototyping facilities.

The TEC Gateway has been focused on building up successful models of operation with SMEs (and MNCs) that bridge the gap between their development requirements (and timeframes) and those that would be typical of Applied R&D projects. Our approach, which employs a multi-strand R&D Work Programme built upon the companies critical development requirements, has been extraordinarily effective. This industry programme frames the partnership around the development of prototypes, at least initially, and grows the scope of the work in phases towards the key innovation targets; these are defined through prioritizing an ongoing dialogue.

The development of valuable intellectual property (IP) is essential to the sustainability of the Centre. We have won funding from numerous agencies, including in particular Enterprise Ireland, to develop IP in areas of energy management, smart facilities management, smart sensors and novel electronic systems. In this context the Centre is also part of a larger institutional picture. CIT has significant knowledge transfer activities.