Limerick Institute of Technology has been awarded more than €400,000 from the Regional Technology Clustering Fund for the establishment of Irish Digital Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing Cluster (IDEAM) - a one-stop-shop that will assist Manufacturing SMEs in all aspects of digital transformation and Industry 4.0.
This week the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD confirmed that 12 successful applicants to the Regional Technology Clustering Fund had been selected through a rigorous evaluation process, which was based on criteria including a project’s significance for innovation.
IDEAM received the maximum allocation of €406,520 from the €4.6 million fund, a fund which provides a platform for engagement between enterprise and regionally-based academic institutions to drive productivity and competitiveness in and across the regions.
IDEAM will bring together and support the growth of three individual networks, namely Limerick for Engineering, Limerick for IT and the Precision and Turned Parts Manufacturing Association (PTMA) through an overarching cluster.
The cluster will help more than 70 Manufacturing SMEs, from all over Ireland, to increase productivity, improve competitiveness and expand into international markets.
The key goals will be increased engagement on Industry 4.0, skills development in automation and robotics, masterclasses in data analytics and IIoT and increased participation in European Funded Platforms.
President of LIT Professor Vincent Cunnane said IDEAM will further strengthen the collaboration between industry and LIT.
“The IDEAM cluster will enable LIT to connect and engage further with SMEs providing a means to increase their educational and research remit in all aspects of digital transformation and Industry 4.0,” said Professor Cunnane.
“The Regional Technology Clustering Fund, which is supporting the cluster, was designed to help strengthen collaboration between industry leaders and Higher Education Institutions with a view to enhanced balanced regional development.”
“Working and supporting industry in the region is already one of LIT’s key priorities as we continue to develop courses to meet industry needs and educate our students to a work ready standard. It is the success of this partnership that paves the way for three quarters of LIT’s graduates to remain in the Mid West region, working primarily in counties Limerick, Clare and Tipperary,” he added.