In December 2014, it was announced that the University of Limerick and MSSI were successful in joining the Raw Materials Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), a partnership of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) which is set to deliver over 10,000 jobs to Europe over the next 7 years.
Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue, Prof. Noel O’Dowd and Mr. John Mulcahy have co-ordinated ULs involvement in this partnership from application phase to the establishment of a co-location centre in Sweden and the initiation of the partnership activities.
There are over 100 partners of the Raw Materials KIC, with a budget of over €800 million to invest in new innovations and up to 50 new SMEs in the supply of key materials for the manufacturing and ICT sectors in Europe. Ireland has three core partners among this prestigious partnership including University of Limerick, Aughinish Alumina, Limerick, and Trinity College Dublin.
A KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) is a highly integrated, creative and excellence-driven partnership which brings together the fields of education, technology, research, business and entrepreneurship, in order to produce new innovations and new innovation models that inspire others to emulate it. They are to become key drivers of sustainable economic growth and competitiveness across Europe through world-leading innovation. The KICs will be driving effective “translation” between partners in ideas, technology, culture, and business models, and will create new business for existing industry and for new endeavours.
Professor Noel O’Dowd, Director of the Materials and Surface Science Institute at UL said: “The inclusion of UL and Ireland in this Innovation Community will allow Irish companies and organisations such as RUSAL Aughinish Alumina to link into the partner networks, research, demonstration pilots and training programmes for staff. Irish SMEs also stand to benefit from the KIC by getting involved as task partners in future projects, with increased access the European markets and business matchmaking services”.