The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany, is providing €2.5 million (about $2.7 million) over five years to support the operation and to back up €2.5 million investment in DCU being made by the Science Foundation Ireland.
The unit, known as the Fraunhofer Project center, is the first such in Ireland and is due to open in May 2017. It will focus on microfluidic "lab-on-a-chip" projects as both contract and collaborative research. These systems will enable "point-of-use" testing of samples such as blood or water for a wide range of applications, including personal healthcare, pharmaceutical production, life-science research, quality testing in agrifood and environmental monitoring.
"The partnership will provide access for Irish academia and industry to the Fraunhofer network of institutes, as well as directly supporting twelve research positions at DCU," said Professor Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland and chief scientific adviser to the Irish government, in a statement.
The FPC will be run by Professor Jens Ducrée.
Fraunhofer IPT’s capability to scale-up designs from prototyping to mass production means that the partnership will provide designs that can be picked up directly by industry.
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