IDEAM cluster – Pictured at LIT’s Moylish campus Dr. John Cosgrove, Head of Graduate Studies LIT and ACORN Research Team Leader, Dr. Jamie Meehan, Educational and Outreach Manager IDEAM Cluster and Ciaran O’Loughlin, Lecturer LIT.
LIT based IDEAM cluster helps manufacturing SME’s become digitised
Over 200 collaborators have now signed up to a digital engineering and manufacturing cluster based at LIT, with a focus on improving manufacturing SME’s in the Midwest.
The Irish Digital Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (IDEAM) Cluster, which will support over 75 manufacturing SMEs to improve productivity and competitiveness through digitisation has kicked off after being awarded funding of over €400,000 last December.
Stryker, Takumi Precision Engineering, Modular Automation, Doncaster’s Group and SL Controls are among the indigenous and multinational organisations that have already signed up to the cluster. Eleven research centres, 18 government representatives, 19 academic providers and over 60 SME’s, start-ups and micro-enterprises have also signed up as part of the cluster.
While over 115 representatives from industry, academia and government recently attended the official inauguration of the IDEAM Cluster during a virtual event.
On joining IDEAM Cluster, Managing Director of Pressure Welding Manufacturing Sinéad O’Dwyer said, “As an engineering and manufacturing business, we are acutely aware of the need to continually create efficiencies through new technologies and processes, to be competitive. Being a part of the IDEAM Cluster exposes us to the incoming trends and best practices being used internationally, as well as connecting in with other like-minded companies.
IDEAM will be a great benefit to SME’s looking to stay competitive in a rapidly changing technological and digital environment. The cluster can be an excellent resource for SMEs who, because of size, are always playing the balancing act of keeping up with trends to remain competitive but not utilising new technologies or digitisation that isn’t going to bring real value,” she continued.
Sean Ryan, Managing Director of Thormac, a leading custom plastic injection moulder in Shannon, said, “As the owner of an SME, I believe that it is crucial to the future of Thormac that we embrace new ideas and technologies to improve our competitiveness and relevance to our customers. I believe that this is best achieved by collaborating with other like-minded SMEs. IDEAM creates the perfect platform for this collaboration.”
Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of Western Development Commission said, “The Cluster is hugely important in improving the awareness and accessibility of support for the digital transformation and that it’s a learning process for all. The Western Development Commission, as the lead agency for the National Hubs Network, welcomes the opportunity to work with IDEAM to engage with as many SMEs as possible and, in particular with those in more rural and regional areas, to ensure that they have access to cutting edge manufacturing development across the EU”.
Dr. Jamie Meehan, Educational and Outreach Manager, IDEAM Cluster said, “Industry engagement is core to the success of this cluster. Having a diverse group of over 200 smart manufacturing-focused enterprises, from start-ups, micro-enterprises, SMEs, and multinationals, provides this engine of the cluster. Together we can harness the new opportunities enabled by Industry 4.0 technologies and help the region become a global leader in smart and sustainable manufacturing.”
Funded under the Regional Technology Cluster Fund (RTCF), the IDEAM Cluster assists manufacturing SMEs in digital transformation and Industry 4.0, initially over the 3-year funding period (2020-2022) with a focus on the sustainability of the cluster thereafter. This will be achieved through identifying research and development needs, gaps in innovation practice and key skill requirements as well as partnering with LIT initiatives to support industry competitiveness and innovation in manufacturing.
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