GMIT Letterfrack and Coillte announce new research & innovation collaboration
Date Article Written:
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
GMIT Letterfrack has formed an important new alliance with Coillte, aimed at advancing the objectives and mission of the two organisations through knowledge transfer, technical projects and research.
A collaborative agreement was formally launched at a reception in the Letterfrack campus in September by Mr David Murray, Innovation Manager, Coillte Panel Products, and Mr Dermot O’Donovan, Head of Centre, GMIT Letterfrack, the National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design & Technology.
The new partnership aims to build on the expertise of staff in both organisations, provide opportunities for students and staff to work closely with a major wood industry partner, and develop strategic market opportunities and that will advance learning, research and commercial opportunities for both parties.
The agreement provides for the following:
Undergraduate and postgraduate research projects in areas such as new process and/or product development using innovative Medite MDF and SmartPly OSB panel products;
Product design using a range of Coillte products including panel products, forest products such as forest thinnings, short rotation hardwood species, softwood species;
Sustainability and the implications and opportunities for Coillte wood based products;
New programme development for students and graduates;
Contributing to strategic discussions that influence the furniture and wood products industry both in Ireland and further afield.
David Murray, Innovation Manager at Coillte Panel Products, says: “Coillte are delighted to be working with GMIT. Our strategy is focused on adding value to our wood panel products portfolio. We see our collaboration with GMIT providing the ideal framework for product innovation and development. There is immense value to be gained from access to GMIT’s facilities, the knowledge base of its staff and the fresh thinking of its student body. Our ambition is to harness this diverse knowledge and skills base and turn into real commercial value for sustainable innovative Irish wood based products.”
Dermot O’Donovan, Head of GMIT Letterfrack, says "This collaboration provides a great opportunity for students and staff of GMIT Letterfrack to engage with Coillte in a range of research activities relating to furniture and wood products made from sustainable wood based materials”.
“The expertise and state of the art facilities available on the GMIT Letterfrack campus make this facility the perfect research base for product, process and design development. Both GMIT Letterfrack and Coillte's reputations for quality, excellence and innovation creates the perfect seed ground for collaboration. “
“We look forward to seeing this partnership develop over the coming years and ultimately to see the benefits through increased regional economic activity and employment opportunities."
Coillte, a State-sponsored commercial company operating in forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and panel products, employs approximately 1,000 people and was established in 1988. It owns over 445,000 hectares of land, about 7% of the land cover of Ireland. Coillte manages its forests to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits.
Dermot O’Donovan, Head of Centre, GMIT Letterfrack, Duncan Stewart, architect, environmentalist and media personality, and David Murray, Innovation Manager, Coillte Panel Products, at the recent launch of a collaboration agreement between Coillte and GMIT [Photo: Mike Shaughnessy]