Industry Clusters and Networks based across the Midlands came together for the inaugural Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan (MREP) Network & Cluster Exchange Forum. Held in Tullamore, the forum saw the 5 Industry Clusters based across the Midlands coming together to support cross-cluster collaboration as well as supporting stakeholders from academia and government.
Cross-cluster collaboration can be extremely powerful in opening opportunities in supply chains, research and innovation, which can lead to new jobs, growth and regional competitiveness. Linking the networks and clusters of the Midlands aims to facilitate and enable the development of synergies and cross-cluster collaboration opportunities, whilst securing greater efficiencies.
The MREP Network & Cluster Exchange Forum aims to formalise strategic connection between networks and clusters, opening channels of communication and the ability to take shared opportunities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The forum is also intended to act as a conduit to feed into regional and national policy in the Smart Specialisation (S3) and clustering space.
- Engenuity Midlands Engineering Network promote market-led innovation, stakeholder collaboration, best practices and product / trade development among the Midlands Engineering Cluster. The cluster works with members to build links, share experience and undertake joint commercial activity to build connections and share engineering ideas.
- Atim Cluster (advanced technologies in manufacturing) cluster supports the green and digital transition of manufacturing SMEs, and companies along their value chain, building on regional strength in digital services, polymer and advanced manufacturing. It goals is to support SMEs and identify common areas of interest, develop strategic alliances so collectively they can enhance capabilities to win business in global markets
- The Midlands ICT Cluster has been established with the aim of becoming Europe’s leading ICT cluster in Digital Innovation, creating opportunities for people and business in regional growth sectors, driving knowledge creation, sustainability and resilience. The focus of the cluster is on the ultimate value of digitalisation, which is in its application, ensuring that the full potential of ICT can be realised for enterprise and society in the region.
- FactoryXChange is a European Digital Innovation Hub established by Irish Manufacturing Research in Mullingar, created to accelerate digital transformation for enterprises across Ireland. FactoryXChange is a community made up of businesses, innovators, and industry experts from diverse backgrounds, all working together to drive digitisation and make advanced technologies accessible for manufacturing start-ups and SMEs
- The Midlands Food & Drink Cluster will set out to create a unique food and drink eco-system where local people are proud of their local produce, where companies have the capabilities and supports to create world-class hospitality and product experiences, where scaling and exporting is enabled, whilst respecting nature and our environment. It is proposed to fully establish the cluster in 2024.