New Centre of Excellence will Advance Engineering Research

Northern Ireland’s technology infrastructure received a major boost today with a £6million net investment in a new engineering research centre at FG WilsonEngineering, Larne.

The Caterpillar Electric Power Engineering Centre of Excellence is a highly sophisticated, multi-disciplined facility that will carry out market leading, fundamental and applied research into the performance and control of electrical generators.  It will create 29 high value jobs.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered over £1.5 million to support the centre, which was officially opened by Enterprise Minister, Angela Smith.

At the opening event in Larne the Minister said: “This impressive facility will further strengthen Northern Ireland’s research infrastructure which is vital to the development of highly innovative and commercially viable products.

“The centre will provide an opportunity for engineering graduates to develop skills in a demanding career. By increasing the level of expertise in this sector we will accelerate innovation and technology transfer and raise the profile of Northern Ireland’s engineering expertise in the global arena.”

Dr Mark Sweeney, the managing director of FG Wilson Engineering, says: “Our aim is to expand our business substantially by focusing on new product development.  The centre will be an enabler for growth in both the existing and developing markets. It will be a major driver of technological development in Northern Ireland and it supports Caterpillar's strategy to develop its power generation business globally.

“We want to encourage an integrated approach to innovation through cross-disciplinary projects. Using the combined technological capabilities of FG Wilson, the universities and others we aim to generate cutting-edge research that can be quickly translated into practical applications.”