300w-advancedA key driver of the manufacturing industry is competitiveness. Competitive manufacturing employs a systematic approach to produce high quality products, components and materials at the least cost and with the least waste. Competitive manufacturers use highly talented and innovative people to design and develop products and processes that utilise inputs such as materials, components, energy and scientific knowledge. These inputs are then transformed into innovative products that both define and meet customer needs.

To achieve this, research of advanced manufacturing and materials, including nanoscience, is focused on creating more resource efficient and effective manufacturing systems; and developing more cost effective manufacturing processes and technologies.

A number of key research centres have been established to support materials research and processing technologies. These research centres all host open innovation networks comprising academic and industrial researchers (both Irish and foreign owned companies) who jointly work on research focused on the issues identified in this priority area.

To date Ireland has drawn down approximately €27 million in nanotechnology, materials and processing (NMP). Active collaboration between industry and academia is beginning to deliver significant economic benefits to Ireland. Ireland has an established base of multinational companies in key focus areas who utilise nanotechnology to enable their existing or future products such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Seagate, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Elan, Analog, Seagate and Johnson & Johnson.