Ireland's Minister for Research and Innovation Séan Sherlock opened the Applied Polymer Technology (APT) Gateway at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) during an international plastics conference attended by more than 100 delegates.
APT, located in Athlone in central Ireland, is part of an Enterprise Ireland-funded nationwide network of technology gateways, designed to deliver technology-based solutions for companies in Ireland.
"I'm delighted to attend today's conference and to open the Applied Polymer Technology Gateway," Sherlock said. "The Government is committed to supporting and nurturing an innovative economy built on sustainable jobs and balanced regional development.
"This will be achieved by the enterprise agencies working closely with education institutions and industry to provide the right business environment for growth."
APT will provide the plstics industry with access to cutting edge tools and pilot scale processing facilities, said Manager Seán Lyons.
"The research centre will create practical and pragmatic solutions to the problems facing the plastics industry, which includes sectors as diverse as medical devices, pharmaceutical, automotive, packaging, renewable energy, construction and recycling."