I4MS Digital Innovation Hub

What is it?


Irish Manufacturing Research is part of a select EU network of I4MS – Regional Manufacturing Digital Innovation Hubs that provide a one-stop-shop for manufacturing companies to access all of the supports they need to become ready for the next generation of digital manufacturing.  We provide information and support to manufacturing SMEs from:

  • Access to key research capacity and skills in Ireland and across Europe
  • Access to Competence Centres across Europe and Ireland
  • Access and support in accessing public and private funding
  • Connectivity to networks of manufacturing companies (SMEs and multinational)
  • Best known methods and case-studies
  • Technology roadmaps and frontier technologies
  • Integration into EU consortia and funding programs
  • Access to experimental facilities
  • Connectivity to national funding bodies and authorities

Case Studies

Tacit Knowledge Management

Tacit Knowledge Management: In conjunction with many world leading brands, IMR have successfully developed and deployed a next-generation solution for knowledge management in the enterprise environment which enables the capture and sharing of tacit and formal knowledge in a secured and trusted enterprise solution.  The platform uses advanced store and a system to minimise the time and cognitive effort required to upload and download content thereby dramatically reducing the time taken to complete work tasks.  A project consortium of leading global manufacturers identified a massive ongoing challenge in their global operations in respect of how to effectively harness and retain tacit knowledge.

In partnership with research teams from Irish Manufacturing Research, these companies jointly defined and helped develop and pilot a solution that would enable the tacit/experiential knowledge of experienced staff and subject matter experts to be captured and shared within the organisation enabling to significant productivity improvements and reduction in variability due to improved standard work practices.

Case-study: IMR has successfully deployed the WKS solution into multiple large and SME companies (e.g. Thormac Engineering) to deliver a solution which mitigates significant loses due to:

  • loss of productivity,
  • high variability in work practices,
  • loss of organisational knowledge when key workers leave or move roles,
  • bottlenecks due to high demand on subject matter experts, both on and off duty
  • duplication of files and documents and use of out-of-date versions
  • lack of trust in existing, outdated and ineffective knowledge management solutions

Additive Manufacturing

IMR has many cutting-edge additive manufacturing technologies for metal and polymer printing in its Industrial Pilot Facility.  We have successfully worked with many industry partners to develop new design concepts, proof-of-concept builds and short-run manufacturing builds.  We are equipped with leading CAD design tools and 3D manufacturing solutions from Renishaw, Carbon, EOS and Concept Laser as well as access to many other materials and processes through partners.  We have multiple case studies of prototype, proof-of-concept and pre-production builds for SME and MNC clients.

Data analytics, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and artificial intelligence

IMR have a strong team of data scientists for industrial applications covering maturity models, data acquisition, data filtering, data visualisation, modelling, simulation and optimisation.  We have successfully deployed:

  • Advanced AI based scheduling into both SME and large manufacturing organisations.
  • Modelled and simulated factory layouts for maximising throughout and optimising cycle times
  • Created data visualisations for improved decision support systems

Case Study: IMR has worked with Protech Performance Plastics to conduct an analytical and statistical review of their manufacturing performance data.  IMR provided a comprehensive insight into the trends and root causes impacting the manufacturing and quality systems over a number of years. Protech were able to use the data presented to investigate and apply Corrective and Preventative actions to help improve processes going forward.

Collaborative Robotics

IMR has a highly skilled research team in the area of Collaborative Robotics and works with SME and MNC manufacturers to de-risk this emerging technology area and to help manufacturing companies to develop and deploy successful implementations on the factory floor.  IMR have been awarded significant funding through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund to establish a state of the art Cobotics pilot facility in their Mullingar Lab.  IMR are also one of the EU robotics Digital Innovation Hubs awarded funding through the H2020 DIH2 program.

Case-study: During 2018 Grant Engineering and Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) engaged to identify opportunities where applied research would provide Grant with benefits in terms of competitive advantage, efficiency, cost savings, process improvements and or automation. Following several site visits to develop an understanding of the Manufacturing processes an agreement on the application of robotics to eliminate a highly repetitive, undesirable and ergonomically harsh manual process was agreed upon.

IMR with Grant engineering approval successfully applied for a Feasibility Study IPP Grant through Enterprise Ireland to develop a research project the outcome of which resulted in Enterprise Ireland approving a Full IPP grant to the Value of €109K. The focus of the research is to develop and test a robotic automation project to eliminate a highly relative manual process that requires considerable dexterity, feel, touch and hand eye coordination. The success of the project should provide hand-eyeconsiderable cost saving to Grant Engineering with an ROI of 2 Years and eliminate human ergonomic risk associated with the project.


I4MS (Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs) is one of the largest European Commission investment programmes in Research and Innovation.

“Led by Commissioner Oettinger, in April 2016 the European Commission has published its communication on “Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market ”. The overall objective of this European strategy for digitising industry is to ensure that any industry in Europe, big or small, wherever situated and in any sector can fully benefit from digital innovations to upgrade its products, improve its processes and adapt its business models to the digital change. This requires not only a dynamic digital sector in Europe but also the full integration of digital innovations across all sectors of the economy. The DEI strategy is based on an ambitious collective effort involving public and private stakeholders across Europe at regional, national and EU level.

To bring the benefits of digital innovation to every industry, the Commission will invest in digital innovation hubs. Hubs are based on competence centres located in technical universities or research organisations. They will provide companies, in particular SMEs, with access to facilities for experimenting and testing digital innovation. They will also supply advice on potential sources of financing and support industry in digital upskilling training. EU support is used to leverage much higher investments in these hubs by Member States and regions and of co-financing by industry.”

Irish Manufacturing Research is connected with the I4MS – BEinCPPS programme specialising in Industry 4.0 CPS-IoT (Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things).

How do I learn more and get involved?

Contact us today, whether you are a manufacturing SME, multinational, funding body, trade association, solution provider or otherwise interested in the future of manufacturing and we’ll get you connected.

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