The aim is to establish the cluster as a single-point of contact for SMEs interested in acquiring knowledge on digitalisation of manufacturing. This will be done through the establishment of a community of practice comprising of SMEs in manufacturing, services, technologies and IT, hosted by the Limerick Institute of Technology, the co-ordination of the cluster activities/workshops/conferences, the establishment of single point of contact (website, office) for IDEAM Cluster activities, information, resources and the mapping of industry workforce profile and competencies with National Framework Qualifications and development of an on-line assessment of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and individual progression pathways. We must identify specific talent and skills programmes and events to support industry needs. A sustainable supply of digital and manufacturing talent is needed.
Research & Development
The aim is to identify how SMEs within the Cluster can assess their current productivity against industry benchmarks and norms and identify opportunities for improvement. This will be done through the assessment of the digital readiness of companies using online calculators and site-assessments, the collation of relevant white-papers and case studies, and the development and delivery of bespoke industry training in digital literacy, electrical skills, electro-pneumatics, PLCs, electronics & IoT, CAD, tool-setting, troubleshooting and fault-finding. In addition the feasibility of a scheme of in-company micro-certification for skills and competences mapped to existing educational programmes will be investigated. R&D activities such as digital readiness and training workshops will be important activities moving forward. In support, greater levels of collaborative R&D between Industry and Academia will be facilitated.
Internationalisation and Funding
The aim is to identify how SMEs within the Cluster can improve their geographical diversity and increase their scale through product & process innovations, increased quality of their offering and engagement with research performing organisation across mainland Europe. This will be done through engagement with regional, national and international RPOs, coordination of innovation activities (site-visits, webinars) and development and delivery of bespoke industry Masterclasses through the LIT Industrial Skills Academy. Priority modules (Level 9) identified by industry include; Manufacturing Automation & Robotics, Data Analytics & Machine Learning, Database Design & Data Visualisation and Cyber-Physical Systems & IoT. Supporting industry on the exploration and application of new funding streams and access to new markets will be paramount to the mission and vision of IDEAM. The promotion and supporting of cross-industry collaboration will be one of our main focal points.
Business & Community
The aim is to identify how SMEs within the Cluster can improve their competitiveness through better operational norms and adoption of new technologies. This will be done through the coordination of in-company workshops (micro-training) in manufacturing SMEs to discuss digital transformation with employees, the coordination of industry workshops for peer-sharing of best practice in relation to; scrap reduction, zero-defect manufacturing, inspection & testing, etc., and the development and delivery of bespoke industry cluster training through the LIT Industrial Skills Academy. Priority modules identified by industry include; Vision Systems, PLCs, Robotics, 3D Printing, Database Systems, and Data Visualisation. The development and engagement in strategic projects with a focus on building a community of practice and cluster believers is key to IDEAM. We will support Irish advanced manufacturing SMEs and start-ups to grow and export.