The launch event took place at Unit Nineteen in Swansea and provided an opportunity for businesses to network and explore support opportunities with project staff.
Guests included Patrick Lilly from the Ireland Wales programme; Michael Moroney from Tipperary County Council; Michael Begley from Tipperary Local Enterprise Office; Brian Ogilvie and Silvia Guglielmini from Carlow Institute of Technology; Gabrielle Carrol and Helen Ryan from Carlow County Council; Carl Nichols and Hugh Jones from WRAP Cymru and Ben Reynolds from Urban Foundry.
The event was also attended by UWTSD’s Professor Ian Walsh, Dean of Swansea College of Art, Chris Holtom, Katrina Hodges, Nicola Dowdle, Caroline Thraves, Head of School of Fine and Media Arts, Dr Shelley Doolan and Lloyd James.
The project offers opportunities for collaboration particularly in the areas of design.
Backed with €1.3m of EU funding, the Catalyst project will bring together partners on both sides of the Irish Sea to develop new products and processes within their fields.
The scheme will work with 60 businesses to develop new specialist products, access new markets, and ensure packaging of products are sustainably sourced and minimised.
The aim is to encourage business growth and create new employment opportunities.
Supported through the EU’s Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David will lead the scheme alongside WRAP Cymru, the Institute of Technology Carlow, Tipperary County Council and Carlow County Council.
Catalyst Project Manager, Chris Holtom said: “We’re delighted to have now launched the Catalyst project and look forward to working with our partners to support Irish and Welsh businesses. It was great to meet so many businesses and learn about how the Catalyst project may be able to assist them through our upcoming workshops, residencies, cross-border events and 1-to-1 support programmes.”
Professor Ian Walsh, Dean of UWTSD’s Swansea College of Arts said: “We’re delighted that the Catalyst project has been funded following the hard work put in by our dedicated CIRIC team. Catalyst offers exciting opportunities to build upon UWTSD Swansea College of Art’s successful record of business engagement and knowledge transfer as well as continuing our longstanding international collaboration with Ireland.”