ECME Announce Successful Recipients of COVID-19 Mini Projects Grants

Leading Lisburn toolmaker, Ad-Vance Engineering, will receive more than £300,000 in funding for healthcare projects relating to COVID-19, as the ECME announces the successful applicant companies for its Mini Projects Grants.

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the research and innovation community, both in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and internationally. The Eastern Corridor Engineering Centre (ECME) invited proposals which aligned with the challenge areas identified by the World Health Organisation, including the provision of PPE equipment and the supply of rapid diagnostic kits.

The Eastern Corridor for Medical Engineering Centre (ECME) is a cross border research project with partners in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland. It is a partnership between five leading academic research centres, Ulster University, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, University of the Highlands and Islands, Dundalk Institute of Technology and the Southern Health & Social Care Trust.

The ECME has awarded a total of nine grant awards to industry collaborators, including to Northern Irish toolmakers, Ad-Vance Engineering, to assist with the commercialisation of co-developed products and services which align to the national and international response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All the funded projects have now commenced and will run for a period of twelve weeks.

Professor Jim McLaughlin, Head of the School of Engineering at Ulster University and Programme Director for ECME, said:

“We were very impressed by the response to the ECME COVID-19 Call, both in terms of the number of applications received but also the readiness of the applicant companies to respond swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly believe that the awards will help target the local and national response to the pandemic but also lead to longer-term economic impact across the region, especially in the development of new products, platforms and expertise that will eventually be harnessed for future development beyond COVID-19.”

Speaking about the Programme, Roger Vance, Managing Director of Ad-Vance Engineering, said:

“The ECME lead partner, Ulster University, has a long history of creating value from their knowledge base, so we’re absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to work with them on this ECME Mini Project, which we believe will produce highly commercially beneficial outputs.”

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