Digital Manufacturing Ireland is set to boost the competitiveness of the sector, which employs more than 270,000 people.
A new advanced manufacturing centre has been opened in Limerick today (27 March) to support the next wave of manufacturing in Ireland.
Digital Manufacturing Ireland (DMI) was officially launched by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, TD at the IDA Ireland National Technology Park in Limerick.
DMI will act as a “national centre of excellence” that will support Irish-based manufacturers of all sizes to innovate in and accelerate their adoption of digital technologies to give them a competitive edge on the global stage.
Supported by the Government through IDA Ireland, the facility includes an end-to-end physical and digital production line to support the testing and deployment of new technologies in the manufacturing space.
Coveney said that DMI will “play a pivotal role” in supporting the Government’s industry 4.0 strategy for 2020 to 2025 and advancing the future competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, which employs more than 270,000 people and contributes 37pc of Ireland’s GDP.
“As the world’s supply chains continue to be disrupted, competitiveness challenges prevail and international competition for investment intensifies, it has never been more important for Ireland to invest in the future of its core manufacturing capability,” Coveney said at the launch.
“Digital Manufacturing Ireland will support Ireland’s manufacturing base in remaining at the forefront of digital transformation and ensure that Ireland is recognised internationally as having a vibrant, collaborative, competitive and digitally enabled industry base.”
Mary Buckley, who is the interim CEO of IDA Ireland until Michael Lohan takes over next month, said that the state agency responsible for attracting FDI recognises the challenges facing companies “as they balance the need to drive competitiveness” with technological disruption.
“DMI will ensure that Irish-based manufacturers have access to the infrastructure, technology and skills to help them solve real issues and to kickstart and continue to drive their digital transformation journeys,” Buckley said.
The centre has also entered into a strategic partnership with global medtech company Edwards Lifesciences to focus on digital transformation across its sites in Limerick and Clare.
“We will collectively be working across the three pillars of technology, human-centric manufacturing and supply chain operations in order to advance the digital capabilities of our operations and workforce,” said Andrew Walls, plant general manager of Edwards Lifesciences in Limerick.
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