Cork Institute of Technology hosted representatives from the ecoRIS3 Interreg Europe consortium for a two day good practice sharing event in Cork on the 28th – 29th November 2017. Project partners from seven countries across Europe were in attendance to collectively learn about key success factors involved in driving innovation between industry and research and technology organisations (RTOs) or higher education.

A formal workshop where stakeholders exchanged good practice examples from their regions was hosted at CIT. WSSIC (Water Services and Systems Innovation Centre) was chosen as a good practice example for the Cork region, and was further recognised as one of the three best practice examples from across the European partner countries.

Kevin Fitzgibbon, WSSIC Co-ordinator, presented on WSSICs role in enabling industry innovation; helping companies make innovative ‘smart’ water systems, turning ideas for new water-sector products and services into reality, and increasing sales, jobs and exports. WSSIC acts as the research and development arm of small and medium sized enterprises that do not have the skills or capacity to develop their innovative water ideas. It is a joint venture between Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Nimbus Centre. WSSIC creates an expert resource in modernising Ireland’s water infrastructure by taking advantage of Nimbus Centre’s technological knowledge and leveraging both Councils’ experience in water resource operation.

Kevin Fitzgibbon shared some learnings from managing the centre: “It can be difficult to engage with industry, as they are rightly focused on the core elements of their business. They may also be constrained by a lack of resources for research, development and innovation. Through collaboration, we can help firms to reach their goals, by marrying our research expertise with their innovative solutions. Through collaboration we can address challenges for the sector, together, aided by national funding programmes such Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Vouchers (€5k) and Innovation Partnerships (€200k).”

If you are interested in learning more about how WSSIC can help your company innovate and available funding, please contact: Kevin.Fitzgibbon@cit.ie