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Home » Manufacturing » New Innovation Hub at Technological University Shannon (TUS) driving Manufacturing Transformation through Digitalisation

Dr John Cosgrove

Director of Smart Manufacturing, IDEAM Research Institute

David Downey

Educational Outreach Manager, IDEAM Cluster

In the heartland of innovation, where academia and industry converge, TUS stands as a beacon for collaborative progress. Within its realm, a new groundbreaking initiative, the Smarter Factory Technology Gateway, is carving a path toward disruptive change in Manufacturing. Supporting innovative and ambitious enterprises through their digital and green transformation, TUS is developing a centre of excellence for Industry 4.0/5.0, data-driven intelligence and flexible, adaptive, and digital production processes, shaping the future of manufacturing. 

Empowering Industry Through Collaboration 

The Smarter Factory Technology Gateway ( is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027. Working in close collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, the Gateway will partner with all of industry in the manufacturing value chain, in collaborative research projects leading to impactful and breakthrough innovation.  

At the core of these partnerships lies a shared belief in the power of data. The Smarter Factory’s emphasis on harnessing data through Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Edge Devices, lays a foundation for the effective deployment of intelligent systems, cognitive robots, computer vision systems and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The TUS Researchers bring deep expertise in manufacturing systems, control, simulation, machine learning, digital twins, algorithm development, intelligent business tools and the industrial data space. A core priority of the gateway will be the practical applications of these Advanced Digital Technologies through demonstration in real-world industrial scenarios, where new insights from Smarter Data can drive improved quality, predictive maintenance, increased capacity, cost reductions, improved efficiency, and more sustainable operations.  

The Smarter Factory’s dedication to Innovation Diffusion finds a natural ally in the IDEAM Industry Cluster’s commitment to nurturing SMEs and startups. This partnership actively supports these companies on their transformative journey, providing them with not just knowledge and information but also the tools needed to adopt new technologies and innovate. The result is a thriving ecosystem where external knowledge and insights are skilfully applied, leading to the development of distinctive products and processes. 

Through this initiative, IDEAM has led
the development of a large network
of Industrial SMEs and Start-ups.

Fostering Innovation in SMEs and Startups 

The IDEAM Industry Cluster, at TUS, supported by the Enterprise Ireland Regional Technology Clustering Fund, is an initiative to develop the engagement between enterprise and regionally based knowledge providers such as TUS. Through this initiative, IDEAM has led the development of a large network of Industrial SMEs and Start-ups, enabling the sharing of best practice, experiences and opportunities, as well as facilitating business-to-business collaborations, support to find investment and opportunities for international collaboration.  

Supported by an Industry Steering Board and regional stakeholders, the activities and strategic workplan for IDEAM are focused on enabling SMEs to address the opportunities arising from, Industry 4.0/5.0, the digitalisation of manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Analytics, to support the development of agile, sustainable and resilient manufacturing operations and to exploit the innovation and funding potential of National and European Research Programmes. 

The network of companies is actively supported by and linked with dedicated Digital Strategists who will work with a company to identify its current business model, metrics and challenges, to assess its current digital maturity, to identify knowledge and skills gaps, and to chart the course towards value-driven business transformation. Through the IDEAM Research Institute and the wider technology and engineering community in TUS, an extensive range of specialist industry-based training programmes and specialist engineering labs are accessible to support the talent necessary to drive digital and green transformation in industry.    

Shaping the Manufacturing Future 

IDEAM and the Smarter Factory Technology Gateway will cooperate synergistically, creating a formidable force, impacting industries of all sizes, from multinational corporations to the dynamic landscape of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups. 

Together, these initiative are not merely envisioning the future of manufacturing; they are actively shaping it. The TUS Research Institute provides the intellectual foundation and expertise, while the Smarter Factory Technology Gateway brings the practical application of these innovations industry to the forefront and the IDEAM Industry Cluster spreads this knowledge with SMEs and the wider eco-system. This dynamic collaboration is driving progress, fortifying businesses with advanced technologies, reducing costs, and enhancing performance. 

The future of manufacturing is not a distant prospect; it’s a tangible reality being shaped by the transformative partnership between academia and industry at the Technological University Shannon.  

Connect with us now at and get supported by one of our Digital Strategists who will help your company chart the way forward.   

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