UL CONFIRM centre that will create more than 100 jobs nationwide seeks to expand. The President of The University of Limerick Prof Des Fitzgerald pictured with The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD launched the latest Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre, CONFIRM – a ‘smart manufacturing’ research centre led by University of Limerick (UL) and involving 42 companies. Picture: Sean Curtin / True Media
UL CONFIRM centre that will create more than 100 jobs nationwide seeks to expand
This past May, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD today launched the UL CONFIRM centre, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre, CONFIRM – a ‘smart manufacturing’ research centre led by University of Limerick (UL) and involving 42 companies. Now the University of Limerick is seeking planning permission for a further development of the site at Park Point, University of Limerick.
The centre is funded by SFI and industry to a value of €47 million, making it one of the largest new research and development centres in the country. The manufacturing sector is the second largest employer in Ireland and accounts for 24 per cent of total economic output – €110 billion in exports.
Minister Heather Humphreys TD launched the CONFIRM headquarters in May. The Park Point site, close to the main UL campus had been empty for some time with the development currently occupied by the Travel Lodge Hotel as well as a number of retail warehouse units. The university will continue to invest in its rejuvenation over the coming years and purchased the site in 2016 for €4m.
When the university gets the new planning permission for the further development of the site, they will change the use of Units 1 and 2 of the complex, from retail warehousing to facilitate educational research, in support of light manufacturing and industrial development, and office space.
The UL CONFIRM centre is a consortium led by University of Limerick including the Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland Galway, Athlone Institute of Technology, Maynooth University and Limerick Institute of Technology. The centre will comprise more than 200 researchers in smart manufacturing, including 106 new appointments.
The CONFIRM SFI Research Centre is supported by 42 Industry partners including technology providers and end users from the Multi-National Corporation (MNC) and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sectors across Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of the new UL CONFIRM centre last May, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD, said: “Manufacturing is a key sector in our economy in Ireland, and in an evolving world where digital economies are becoming commonplace, it is crucial that Ireland can continue to deliver impactful research outcomes in this area. CONFIRM will benefit Ireland by enabling us to compete internationally, generating employment, enhancing student skills, and attracting new investment. We are delighted to support this centre which will transform manufacturing in Ireland through the expertise of highly-skilled researchers. CONFIRM is one of five new Research Centres to receive funding from the Irish Government through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). SFI Research Centres are selected through a competitive and rigorous international peer-review process, and are of critical importance to Ireland’s economy.”
Commenting ahead of the launch UL’s Professor Conor McCarthy, CONFIRM Centre Director, said: “This truly is a game-changer for Irish manufacturing competitiveness. The establishment of this SFI research centre will position Ireland to play a leading role in the global smart manufacturing revolution. This innovation will enable consumer-driven mass customisation, where future Irish products will be tailored to individual needs and delivered directly to them just hours after placing orders.”
Professor McCarthy added: “CONFIRM will act as a beacon for international talent in the areas of advanced manufacturing from robotics to artificial intelligence. Ireland enjoys a highly-skilled and highly-motivated workforce in the manufacturing sector, this workforce is the envy of other nations. CONFIRM builds upon this reputation and seeks to establish a world-leading centre for smart manufacturing”.
Dr. Ciarán Seoighe, Deputy Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, said: “We are delighted to officially launch the new CONFIRM SFI Research Centre today. CONFIRM is supported through Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Centres Programme. This Programme has established a network of 17 world-leading research centres across Ireland that combine investment from Government and industry partners. The research centres are a tangible demonstration of the Government’s commitment to excellent scientific research in Ireland. By enhancing Ireland’s smart manufacturing systems through expert research, CONFIRM, alongside the other SFI Research Centres, will deliver important scientific advances that will enhance our economy, provide excellent training for students and maintain Ireland’s outstanding global reputation. I look forward to the impactful projects that CONFIRM will lead in smart manufacturing over the coming years.”
Minister of State for Training, Skills, and Innovation, John Halligan, TD, said: “We are delighted to support another SFI Research Centre through Science Foundation Ireland. CONFIRM will bring top researchers across higher-level institutes in Ireland together with key industry partners to drive the future of smart manufacturing. Through impactful research led by manufacturing and engineering experts, CONFIRM will continue the excellent work to date of the 16 other SFI Research Centres, all of which generate value in our economy through education and training, job creation, advancing key sectors and important scientific discoveries. I want to congratulate the researchers to CONFIRM and to wish them the best of luck.”
About UL CONFIRM Centre
CONFIRM will create a total of 106 new jobs by 2020, based in University of Limerick and around the country.
7 x project/centre managers (based in Limerick and HEIs nationwide).
2 x administrators (one based in Limerick and one between the Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology).
97 x senior research fellows/post-doctoral researchers
106 roles in total (55 in Limerick, comprising project/centre managers, administrator, senior research fellows and postdoctoral researchers)
Confirm will also recruit 87 Ph.D. students (based in UL and partner HEIs nationwide).
The Science Foundation Ireland research centre, CONFIRM, aims to transform Ireland’s manufacturing industry to become a world leader in smart manufacturing. Smart manufacturing seeks to add intelligence to our production systems, creating the factories of the future, where products can be fully customised and adaptable, decisions made in real-time, supply-chains shortened and new innovations realised. CONFIRM will deliver the technological advances and expertise for a smart manufacturing innovation ecosystem, enabling companies to compete in the rapidly changing global landscape, and boosting Ireland’s reputation as a leading international manufacturing location.
For more information on UL CONFIRM centre, go here
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