The Water Systems and Services Innovation Centre (WSSIC) is a joint venture between Cork City Council, Cork County Council and the Nimbus Centre at Cork Institute of Technology. WSSIC is a centre for applied research and technological innovation for Irish water sector companies. The Centre helps companies make innovative ‘smart’ water systems, turning ideas for new water-sector products and services into reality, for increased sales, jobs and exports. It 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.
WSSIC is located within the Nimbus Centre, a leader in the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and embedded system design; interconnecting systems of sensors, computers, and controllers with wireless communications. The TEC Gateway is the industry interface of the Nimbus Centre and is one of Enterprise Ireland's 15 Technology Gateways. TEC has a staff of approximately 70 staff with specialists in the fields of Hardware, Firmware, Software, Data Analytics, UX (User Experience) & UI (User Interface), HMI (Human Machine Interface) and Communications- wired and wireless. The TEC Gateway completes 60+ industry projects a year.
WSSIC creates an expert resource in modernising Ireland’s water infrastructure by taking advantage of Nimbus’ technological knowledge and leveraging both Councils’ experience in water resource operation. WSSIC harnesses state-of-the-art ICT/IoT technology concepts for real-time water quality monitoring and metering, leakage reporting and repair, remote monitoring, improving water/wastewater treatment efficiencies, to develop end to end solutions for the water sector. WSSIC is recognised as a leading international hub for innovation in water based technologies. Alongside developing more efficient water services and monitoring processes, WSSIC is becoming a catalyst for the creation of new Irish-based enterprise while furthering Ireland’s clean environment agenda.
Image: James Fogarty, Assistant Manager, West Cork, Cork County Council; event host: Michael Hanley, CEO, West Cork Enterprise Board and Kevin Fitzgibbon, WSSIC speaking at the Future Opportunities in the Water Sector event in Clonakilty Cork.
WSSIC engages with key players in the water industry, providing technical guidance in the development of the Irish strategy on water. WSSIC are proud of their industry engagements and have worked with a lot of Irelands leading companies in the water and wastewater sectors, having developed research collaborations and projects with more than 110 firms since their launch in 2013. Some notable examples are the connections with:
• Hydrolight - an innovative Irish start-up to develop and demonstrate a real-time monitoring technology for the detection and monitoring of pathogens, E-Coli and Enterococci, and nutrients, Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N&P), in drinking and bathing water.
• Dynorod - to design a monitoring system to measure the volume of fats, oils and greases (FOGs) in the installed grease traps of restaurants, cafes etc.
• Accuflow - WSSIC modelled and validated the performance of thier patented ‘Flowsave’ device.
• Water Technology – have developed an innovative sensor technology that is at prototype stage. WSSIC developed a cloud-based data collection system to improve the systems performance.
• Intel - WSSIC developed and deployed a water-quality monitoring instrument platform, incorporating Intel electronic components, which has been independently working on the River Liffey for 9 months from January 2016
Eoin Byrne, Researcher at WSSIC believes that WSSIC is bridging a gap between industry and academia, “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.”
Image: Kevin Fitzgibbon WSSIC and colleagues at the launch of the low-cost monitoring buoy into the river Blackwater, Mallow 26/05/16.
Tangible WSSIC Outputs:
• Job Creation: estimated 35 jobs created / supported to date;
• Economic Benefit: estimated €2.5m – €3m to date
• WSSIC undertook 35 projects in Phase 2 (2013-2016), to a value of over €1.53m
• Industry Involvement: Industry has provided over €91k in cash, and €50k of in-kind contributions to WSSIC projects to date.
• Company Engagement: WSSIC has engaged with c. 110 Irish companies in the broad water sector.
• Recognition: WSSIC now receives Enterprise Ireland referrals; wins repeat business from clients; and sits on Ireland’s national Water Industry Cluster Working Group.
For Further information on WSSIC see http://nimbus.cit.ie/tec/water/