I-Form launches next phase with €25m investment to shape the future of manufacturing


The I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has officially launched the second phase of its research programme, supported by €25 million of Government investment through Science Foundation Ireland.

An expanded and ambitious research programme will focus on harnessing the potential of the digital transformation in manufacturing, thus increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of Irish manufacturing on the world stage.

I-Form was one of four SFI Research Centres which received next-phase funding, in a major announcement for Irish research held earlier this week at the Mansion House in Dublin.

The total €104 million investment was announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Patrick O’Donovan TD, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD.

The funding is being allocated to four SFI Research Centres: BiOrbic Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre; FutureNeuro SFI Research Centre for Neurological Diseases; VistaMilk SFI Research Centre; and I-Form.

The targeted funding will support over 600 highly-skilled research positions in the bioeconomy, agrifood, neurological diseases and advanced manufacturing, over the next six years.

Dr Triona Kennedy, Senior Research Manager at Stryker, one of I-Form’s key industry partners, was among those who contributed to a panel discussion at the event.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister O’Donovan said:

“The bioeconomy, agrifood, neurological disease and manufacturing are each critically important to how we function as individuals and how we develop our economy. While significant scientific advances have been made in these areas by Ireland’s research ecosystem, we need to remain vigilant in addressing challenges old and new, and turning these opportunities into real world impacts that people can see and feel.”

“Today’s investment is as a result of close collaboration between individual researchers, research teams, research institutions, industry and government departments. I warmly welcome this multilayered partnership approach, and wish, in particular, to thank industry for their integral role.”

Welcoming the announcement, Deputy Director General of SFI, Dr Ciarán Seoighe said:

“The four Centres being announced today represent an important national research network of 17 host and partner institutions that, to date, has collaborated with over 130 industry partners ranging from SMEs to multinationals, across all regions and in a variety of sectors. The continued investment for these four SFI Research Centres follows a rigorous and extensive expert international peer review process on the scientific excellence and strategic impact of each Centre. SFI’s Research Centres play a vital role in developing and nurturing the next generation of research leaders and innovators, and today’s funding awards will support over 600 researchers at senior researcher (PIs), post-doctoral, PhD and MSc levels.”

I-Form Director Professor Denis Dowling said:

“The SFI Research Centres programme funding for I-Form Phase 2 will enable us to deliver a step-change in manufacturing research, focused on both processing efficiency and sustainability”.


Two men and one woman standing outside

A group of people on stage having a panel discussion

Two women and one man holding 3D printed objects