iHubs Newsletter March 2022

Until we are ATU

From April 2022, GMIT will become part of Atlantic Technological University (ATU). The new Technological University (TU) for the West and North-West of Ireland will be one of the largest multi-campus universities on the island, bringing together students, enterprise and communities spanning a unique geographical region in transition. The region offers a high level of cultural, artistic and outdoor activities providing an excellent quality of life for its inhabitants.

As one entity, the new distinctive TU will act in a coherent manner supporting the needs of enterprises, especially SMEs, across the region through collaborative research and enabling technology transfer to support economic and social prosperity.  It will provide research-informed teaching and access to emerging technologies for all learners.

The TU will have the critical mass and academic depth to attract, educate, nurture and retain talent in the West, North-West and cross-border region and will strengthen and benefit our region socially, economically and culturally.  As a TU of scale, quality and impact we will have greater capacity for collaboration with international partners and our graduates will have excellent employment potential nationally and internationally.

The Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) of GMIT, LYIT and IT Sligo formally submitted its application to become a TU in May 2021. Following an international evaluation process the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, formally approved the CUA for designation as a TU in October 2021. The three Presidents welcome the Minister’s announcement and look forward to operating as a multi-campus university in early 2022.



Tr3Dent Announces Closing A Private Placement For Senior Secured Convertible Debentures

Galway, Ireland – February. 24, 2022 – Tr3Dent Limited. (the “Company” or “Tr3dent”), a leading global provider of an intuitive, end-to-end strategic planning and structured collaboration platform announced that it has successfully closed a private placement of senior secured convertible debentures (the “Debentures”) of CAD $942,500 on December 13, 2021 (the “Offering”) led by Canadian institutional and individual investors. The closing of the Offering follows prior investments into the Company including the initial investment round led by Enterprise Ireland 2017 and brings the Company’s total capital raised to date to just over CAD $2.5M. The Debentures will automatically convert to ordinary shares of the Company upon the closing of a subsequent financing associated with the company seeking a listing on a Canadian stock exchange (the “Go Public”).

With a Go Public event targeted for later this year, this Offering was a critical milestone in executing Tr3Dent’s public listing roadmap. Facilitated by Toronto-based investment and merchant bank Foundation Markets, net proceeds from the Offering will be utilized to expand the company’s sales and business development teams and strengthen its footprint in the North American markets. The closing of the Offering also is expected to allow Tr3Dent to significantly increase its product development team, accelerating the continued growth, innovation and adoption of Tr3Dent’s flagship platform, “Transformation Accelerator,” globally.

Founded and headquartered in Galway, Ireland, Tr3Dent has been an integral part of GMIT (Galway Mayo Institute of Technology) Innovation Hubs (iHubs) since 2015.

“Over the years, Tr3Dent has experienced rapid growth and became a standout innovator in our incubation units,” said George McCourt, head of innovation and enterprise at GMIT Innovation Hubs. “Though laser-focused on the company’s future, Kevin and the Tr3Dent team also became very active in GMIT community. This would be the first GMIT iHubs’ client to raise funding in connection with an anticipated Canadian stock exchange listing, and we are delighted to have supported Kevin and Tr3Dent on this journey.”

With Gartner projecting IT spending to reach 4.5 trillion in 2022 alone, up 5 percent since 2021, newly adopted technologies will pose full-scale disruptions to organizations’ traditional business models, operations and ecosystems. As companies work to fast-track digital transformation projects and better support remote workforces, Tr3Dent’s Transformation Accelerator is well-positioned to empower organizations of all sizes to quickly, easily and confidently navigate digital transformation challenges.

About Tr3Dent:

Tr3Dent is a leading global provider of an intuitive, end-to-end strategic planning and structured collaboration platform that empowers organizations of all sizes to navigate their digital transformation journeys quickly, easily and confidently. Leveraging its expertise in visualization technology, Tr3Dent’s flagship platform, Transformation Accelerator, helps improve cross-organizational productivity and structured collaboration while simplifying the organization, design and management of the complex information required to enable successful digital transformations. Founded in 2014, Tr3Dent serves more than 500 organizations and partners around the world across a variety of industries, including management and IT consulting, technology, education, telecommunications, insurance, healthcare, supply chain and retail. Headquartered in Galway, Ireland, Tr3Dent also maintains operations in Toronto, Canada. For more information, visit

British Ambassador H.E. Paul Johnston (pictured right of GMIT President Orla Flynn) recently visited GMIT iHubs where he took a tour of our facility meeting a number of our client company promoters. He also received a demonstration on our Medical Imaging Facility run by GMIT and EI Technology Gateway Network's  MET Centre.

International “Invent For The Planet” Event Hosted By GMIT Puts Focus On Solving Global Challenges

Over the weekend of 18 to 20 February, GMIT’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in collaboration with the GMIT iHub hosted the international “Invent for the Planet” event involving 29 universities from 15 countries across five continents participating in a 48-hour Intensive Design Experience (IDE) to solve eleven global challenges.

The students, from diverse disciplines and institutions, focused on solving three of the challenges, namely: Small-scale Renewable Energy Resources; Disaster Resilience Food-Energy-Water infrastructure; and the Digitalization of Seafood Production. The latter was proposed by the Irish sponsors and was the most selected challenge with 21 of the 97 international teams choosing it.

GMIT is the first Irish third-level college to host the event which took place in multiple global locations simultaneously. In 48 hours, the students had to form a team, develop a solution, create a prototype, produce a 90-second video and a 10-minute presentation to pitch their idea to a judging panel. The winning team, “FoodErgy”, proposed to use the exothermic heat of the accelerated composting process to contribute to home heating. The team are Sean Andreassen (from Lahinch, Co Clare ), Year 3, Energy Engineering student, GMIT; Piotr Kirche (Łódź, Poland, currently living in Galway), Year 3, Biomedical Engineering student, GMIT; Jonathan Orpen (from Killybegs, Co Donegal), Year 1, Mechanical Engineering student, GMIT; James Britton (from Mountcharles, Co Donegal), PhD student, Bioprocess Development, UCD; and Manuel Bruch (from Dublin , originally Tönisvorst, Germany), PhD student, Biotechnology, UCD. Speaking about their win, the team said: “’Our aim is to change the public mindset on food waste, utilizing it for renewable energy through a new technology that can be shared globally in the fight against climate change.”

This year’s national leg of the event was sponsored by a number of national agencies, Government departments, research centres and technology investment firms including: BiOrbic, Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre; Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) – Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; Irish Bioeconomy Foundation; Marine Institute; Nua na Mara, and Hatch.

Team mentors were Damien Toner, Development and Innovation Executive, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM); Frank Kane, Aquaculture Section, Marine Institute; Dr Majbritt Bolton Warberg, Blue Bioeconomy Programme Manager, Marine Institute; Niall O’Rahelly, Ireland Aquaculture Community Manager, HATCH; Dr Joanne Casserly, Scientific and technical officer, Marine Institute.

Judges were Dr Jamie Downes, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Marine Institute; Cliodhna Ni Ghriofa, Business Development Manager, Nua na Mara; Niall O’Rahelly, Aquaculture community Manager, HATCH; Dr Carine Gachon, Transcend Project Manager, GMIT; and Dr Oliver Mulryan, Head of Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, GMIT.

Dr Jack Saad, lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, GMIT, and event organiser says: “The event gives the student a chance to demonstrate their cognitive abilities. Over the two days it was amazing to see the metamorphosis of the teams, from people who didn’t know each other to a collaborative team of friends who pushed each other to the limit of their abilities. Their imaginative solutions to global problems were inspirational.”

“The most picked up challenge was ‘Digitalization in Seafood Production’ which was submitted by our Irish sponsors; 21 teams out of 97 have globally worked on providing solutions. Great appreciation goes to our sponsors for their efforts to attract the global attention to this essential and crucial statement.”

Turlough Rafferty, Operations Manager, GMIT Innovation Hubs and event co-organiser, says: “Invent for the Planet provides a learning platform for students to engage in challenges effecting the planet today. In a 48-hour design sprint, students form egalitarian collaborative teams to come up with an innovative sustainable solution for positive change. A daunting but very rewarding creative endeavour”.

Dr Oliver Mulryan and Dr Carine Gachon, GMIT Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, paid tribute to all the participants, sponsors and the mentors who gave their weekend to the event. “Thank you for your time, advice and guidance and to all local industries who continually support and enhance the students’ learning experience. Your continual support is greatly appreciated and long-term leaves an indelible mark on the students’ learning and college experience.”

Damien Toner, Development and Innovation Executive, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), says: “The teams have shown a capacity to quickly identify problems in the Global Aquaculture sector and to identify potential solutions. Their enthusiasm and skillset is infectious and bodes well for future Irish based research and development commercialisations”.

Dr Majbritt Bolton Warberg, Blue Bioeconomy Programme Manager, Marine Institute, says: “I was delighted to be involved in Ireland’s inaugural Invent for the Planet held in GMIT iHubs this past weekend. Now more than ever we need to look across and bring together different disciplines to find solutions to global challenges. To see people from different backgrounds with no or very little knowledge of a topic, come together, develop and then present a well thought out solution after just 48 hours was incredible. Congratulations to all the Irish participants, you’ve all done something you can be very proud of”.

The winning team at the GMIT-hosted “Event for the Planet” international event: L to R: Sean Andreassen from Lahinch Co Clare, Manuel Bruch from Dublin, originally Tönisvorst, Germany, James Britton from Mountcharles in C. Donegal, Jonathan Orpen from Killybegs, Co Donegal and Piotr Kirche, Łódź, Poland, currently living in Galway.
GMIT President Orla Flynn takes a selfie with Invent for the Planet 48 hour challenge student participants.
An Ocean of Opportunity Event
GMIT iHubs recently hosted information session on the Marine Industry with Nua na Mara, Marine Innovation Development Centre, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), HATCH and the Marine Institute.

This online event showcased the supports, funding, and information available to start ups and researchers with business ideas related to or that can be applied to the Irish marine sector. It outlined the economic value of the marine sector, current developments and where we see the blue future.

Topics covered include an overview of the supports and opportunities available from Nua na Mara, BIM, HATCH, and the activities of the Marine Institute to give budding entrepreneurs an insight into the blue market.

The event featured on RTE Radio 1 Seascapes programme and you can listen to it here. A video recording of the entire event is available on the GMIT iHubs YouTube channel.
Damien Toner from Bord Iascaigh Mhara showcases companies working in the Blue economy as part of the Ocean of Opportunity showcase recently held in GMIT iHubs. 
Cybersecurity the focus of GMIT Digital West Conference 2022

Leaders in public and private sector organisations along with academics shared cybersecurity and trust stories at this year’s GMIT Digital West conference, which took place online on on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

The event was opened by GMIT President Dr Orla Flynn (10am), followed by guest speakers Dr Eoin Byrne and Eamon Larkin, Cyber Ireland; Aoife Long, Cyber Skills Education and Public Engagement Manager MTU; Mathie Gorge, CEO at VigiTrust; Dr Seamus Dowling, Cybersecurity lecturer, GMIT; Paul Fitzpatrick, Cyber Forensics Manager, AGS; Colm Healy, Founder and CEO of Corrata; Louise O Sullivan, Security Services Manager and Lei Shao, Security and Risk Advisor at HEAnet; and Rebecca Springett, Titan HQ Leading Cloud Security.

Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, says: “GMIT is delighted to be hosting the 5th annual Digital West conference in partnership with the Mayo Local Enterprise Office and our Atlantic Technological University partners IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT. The theme of this year’s free online conference – Cybersecurity and Trust – has enormous relevance for public and private sector organisations but also for us as individuals in society”.

One of the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic was the forced shift to a hybrid office model and subsequent rise in the number of cyber-attacks targeting organisations and companies through home offices, according to the recent “ENISA Threat Landscape 2021” report. Statistics reveal that:

  • 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing (Accenture)
  • Personal data was involved in 58% of breaches in 2020 (Verizon)
  • On average, every employee has access to 11 million files (Varonis)
  • More than 77% of organizations do not have an incident response plan (Cybint)

Andrea Manning, Founder of Cyberpie and MC at Digital West 2022 says: "Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT problem. It affects us all — whether it’s a ransomware attack that hits the payroll software that sends you your salary, the takeover of your social media accounts or the loss of customer trust due to a data breach. As an industry we should be doing more to educate people about what they can do rather than what they can’t do. The panel of speakers at Digital West this year does just that.”

Laura Hegarty, lecturer in IT, GMIT, and one of the founders of Digital West, adds: “This event is a real opportunity for us all to learn about the threats (big and small) and changes we can implement to help secure our data. The speakers bring real life experiences to the discussions and give all attendees tips to take away and reflect upon.  Cybersecurity is very much a human problem with 95% of cybersecurity breaches caused by human error. This year’s theme “Cybersecurity and Trust” is for everyone, not just the technically minded.”

A video recording of the entire event is available on the GMIT iHubs YouTube channel and on the Digital West website.

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