Today, Robert Troy, T.D. , Minister of State Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with responsibility for Trade Promotion & the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan marked the publication of the Midlands Advanced Manufacturing Action Plan 2021-2024.
At an outdoor event at Irish Manufacturing Research AM Lab, National Science Park, Dublin Road, Mullingar, County Westmeath today.
In launching the Action Plan, Minister for Trade Promotion & the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan, Robert Troy TD, said “I’m delighted to launch the Midlands Advanced Manufacturing Action Plan to 2024 this morning, which is about making the Midlands an internationally recognised centre of excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and an ideal location for manufacturing companies to grow their business and exports. I want to commend the work of everyone involved – a real example of cross collaboration between our regional stakeholders. Given the significance of manufacturing to the Midlands, I hope this strategy will enable our Region to capitalise and leverage its strengths in this area to promote the Midlands as a place to live, work and invest in.”
The action plan aims to realise the vision through the implementation of a suite of actions under four enabling themes:
1. Education, Training & Skills,
2. Research & Innovation,
3. Support infrastructure & networks,
4. Strengthening the manufacturing industry base – FDI and Indigenous sectors.
Dr Anne Cusack, Chair or the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Committee, commented that “the actions of the plan will support and enable regional enterprise to face the challenges which are being driven by a need for more sustainable practices and adoption of new technologies”.
Michael Cryan, Abbott Diagnostics and Industry Chair of the Working Group stated that the “Midlands, with its centrality, young talented labour force, quality of life offering, excellent education, research and innovation facilities both within the region at the Technological University of the Shannon – Midlands Midwest, and those adjoining the region make it an ideal location in which to do business”.
Anne Fitzpatrick, Manager, Engineering in Enterprise Ireland and Enterprise Ireland lead on the Midlands Advanced Manufacturing Steering Group said: “The Action Plan sets out a range of distinctive actions centered on Education and Skills, Research and Innovation and Infrastructure and Networks which will support the development of an advanced and sustainable Midlands manufacturing centre of excellence. The plan will leverage the existing national and regional infrastructure in place, including the “Irish Manufacturing Research” and the “Industry 4.0 Regional Technology Cluster” supported by Enterprise Ireland. This plan will support regional manufacturing companies to embrace emerging technologies and advanced techniques which will enhance their competitiveness, innovation and sectoral leadership.”
Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive, Westmeath County Council “welcomed the inclusion of exemplars from other regions which have provided inspiration and guidance for the actions developed within the Action Plan, which will serve to further strengthen the strong collaboration that exists between industry and enterprise agencies and LEOs within the Midlands Region”.
Paying tribute to the her colleagues on the Steering Group, Ms Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise, LEO Westmeath, representing regional LEOs, “the publication of this plan, marks a commitment between industry; skills, research and innovation providers, Technological University of the Shannon – Midlands Midwest, Midlands Regional Skills Forum and Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR); enterprise agencies (EI, IDA) and the LEOs to work together, to learn from each other, and to grow the sustainable enterprise base of the Midland Region”.
John Costello, Midlands Regional Skills Forum Manager noted that “a highly skilled workforce is vital to the future growth of the Midlands manufacturing industry, this plan will strengthen our skills and workforce development responses to meet the current and future needs of industry and employers”.
Sarah Morgan, Programme Manager, Midlands Regional Enterprise Development Office, expressed her “appreciation to all members of the working group and to the manufacturing companies from across the region that contributed to the development of the action plan.”