By Laura O’Donovan, Researcher at The Extended Campus, Munster Technological University, Cork.
As part of the SME Cluster Growth project, partners Munster Technological University (MTU) and Istanbul Technical University (ITU) co-organised an online mobility event on the 5th of October for Irish and Turkish SMEs to meet and share perspectives. The event was designed to provide the SMEs with information on innovation and collaboration with higher education institutions from both countries. Breakout rooms were created to facilitate sharing between the SME representatives. Two guest speakers presented, Liam Lewis from CAPPA (Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis), an industry-led applied research group working in the fields of optics and photonics in MTU, Ireland and Yunis İsmayil from İTÜ Çekirdek in Turkey.
Liam Lewis presented the many projects they have worked on with SMEs solving problems. One of the participating SMEs had completed a project with CAPPA and spoke of how significant this work was in catapulting their business forward.
The SME representatives provided positive feedback on the event. Connections were made on the day and both MTU and ITU hope to organise more of these events in the future based on participant feedback. We know that often smaller organisations face more significant challenges in connecting with universities and the SME CG project has enabled the creation of those connections more straightforward.