I-Form and Stryker announce winners of school competitions


The winning entries of ‘Manufacturing a Healthy Future’ (primary schools) and ‘Discover Manufacturing’ (secondary) schools’ competition for 2021 have been announced. Both competitions were supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Manufacturing and saw primary and secondary schools on the island of Ireland and across Europe take on 3D printing design challenges.


Manufacturing a Healthy Future a 3D printing design challenge

CBS Primary Charleville and St. Patrick’s Boys’ National School in Cork were named as winners of ‘Manufacturing a Healthy Future’ – a 3D printing design challenge. The competition was initiated by I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, and Stryker, a leading medical technology company which employs approximately 4,000 people across eight facilities on the island of Ireland. The project, funded by EIT Manufacturing, challenged young pupils to design and create projects to improve health in their own community, using 3D printing as a creative tool.

 I-Form, headquartered at University College Dublin, and Stryker, which has facilities in Cork, Limerick and Belfast have been working with primary school teachers throughout 2021 to empower them with the skills to bring manufacturing technology into the classroom. The programme is also running in schools in France and Estonia.


Highlights include:

  • European-funded project has trained 56 teachers across three countrieson how to design and print using a 3D printer.
  • 1,500 primary school children in three countries are taking part in the health challenge.
  • In Ireland, 25 teachers and their 750 pupils are taking part in the programme.

The Senior autism spectrum disorder (ASD) class in CBS Primary Charleville designed sensory fidget toys aimed at improving well-being for themselves and their classmates. Third class in St Patrick’s designed a ‘learning desk’ aimed at helping children with autism to communicate their needs and emotions in a non-verbal way. Both schools were awarded a €2,000 technology support package for their school, along with gift vouchers for the children.

 3D printing (known in industry as additive manufacturing) is a key enabling technology of Industry 4.0 – a term used to signify the new era of industrial production, encompassing advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and the Internet of Things. ‘Manufacturing a Healthy Future’ is an innovative programme that recognises that teachers are key influencers of the next generation but sometimes lack access to information and technology around the newest areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and manufacturing.


Discover Manufacturing health challenge winners announced

I-Form and Stryker also collaborated on the EIT Manufacturing-funded ‘Discover Manufacturing’ programme for second-level schools across the island of Ireland. This project is providing 3D printing training for teachers and engaging students in a Design Thinking challenge to improve health or well-being. The winners of the all-Ireland ‘Discover Manufacturing’ health challenge have been named as Loreto College Mullingar, Cabra Community College, Campbell College, and Sperrin Integrated College. This project reached 48 secondary school teachers and 1,000 second level students across the island of Ireland. Loreto College Mullingar claimed top prize in the ‘Best Design, (Senior) category’. The award is the third consecutive year that Loreto College Mullingar has claimed first prize in national finals for 3D design and print.

 Dr. Triona Kennedy, Senior Research Manager, Stryker, said: “At Stryker, our mission is to make healthcare better and that is only possible through people. Partnered with I-Form at University College Dublin, we are connecting through teachers with young people who will help make healthcare better in the future. Our team of engineers, scientists and designers at Stryker have been so impressed with each entry to the health challenges from both primary and secondary schools. The future for healthcare is in great hands.”

 Prof. Denis Dowling, Director, I-Form, said: “We were delighted to see so many young people involved in these innovative EIT Manufacturing programmes, engaging 1,750 pupils across the island of Ireland, and 2,600 in total across Europe. An imaginative, creative approach to problem-solving is a key skill, which is highly sought after by industry and will be a critical factor in enhancing Europe’s manufacturing competitiveness, in the decades ahead. As the manufacturing sector evolves, we hope to inspire young people to prepare now for the jobs of the future, and also to provide key support to teachers, who are crucial influencers of students.”


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Note for Editor

Manufacturing a Healthy Future is a European project funded by EIT Manufacturing. The project partners are Stryker and I-Form at University College Dublin in Ireland; Arts et Metier Institute of Technology in France; and University of Tartu in Estonia. Discover Manufacturing is a European project funded by EIT Manufacturing; the partners are Stryker and I-Form at University College Dublin in Ireland; ESI Software in France; and University of Porto in Portugal.

Discover Manufacturing is a European project funded by EIT-Manufacturing. The project partners are Stryker and I-Form in Ireland; FEUP (University of Porto) in Portugal; and ESI Software in the UK. 


About I-Form:

I-Form is the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing. Its mission is to shape the future of manufacturing through high-impact research into the application of digital technologies to materials processing. I-Form works in close collaboration with industry partners to ensure that is research is relevant, applicable and impactful, delivering a step-change in competitiveness for Irish manufacturing. I-Form aims to be globally recognised as a leading centre in advanced manufacturing research by 2023.


About Stryker

Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies and, together with its customers, is driven to make healthcare better. The company offers innovative products and services in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical, and Neurotechnology and Spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes. Stryker’s Irish presence includes eight facilities in Belfast, Limerick and Cork. Stryker employs approximately 4,000 people across the eight sites in Ireland. More information is available at www.stryker.com.