Successful DIH² acceleration program

Successful DIH² acceleration program

Well done to STAR

IMR is proud to announce the successful completion of the STAR Technology Transfer Experiment as part of the DIH² acceleration program.

The STAR TTE, formed by Malone Engineering and Ventac Ltd., has been one of the 13 Irish consortia supported by IMR through the Open Call process and one of the 11 European TTE to have been selected for a €248k acceleration program.

The TTE aimed at automating the stitching and taping of acoustic panels and to integrate the system within the production resource planning.

After 9 months of cross-European collaboration and innovative prototyping, the STAR experiment resulted in:

  • A strong collaborative partnership between Malone Group, as Tech provider, and Ventac Ltd, as manufacturing SME, positioned in the Euopean ecosystem;
  • A physical demonstrator automating the stitching & taping tasks of acoustic panels. The automated stitching is enabled by a seamless interaction between the collaborative robot and the existing sewing machine, which are in sync based on the speed required and the corresponding pre-simulated trajectory;
  • The elaboration of an automation roadmap & business development plan for the STAR solution;
  • And last but not least, a reusable and scalable digital platform, powered by FIWARE, enabling the integration of a robot system with a production planning software.


STAR was supported by IMR from the project proposal write-up and brokerage event up until the final review of the experiment. A team of European experts provided key support on technical & business challenges: Marija Seder from Innovation Centre Nikola TeslaGuy CAVEROT from Inter’nov & Jonathan Cacace from CREATE.

The STAR solution is foreseen to enable Ventac to automate up to 15% of their production and allow them to focus their skilled workforce on more detailed work and finishing touches. In this way the automation project would not replace people but compliment their skill and greatly improve production efficiency. This combination of skilled work and automation is seen by Ventac as the way forward to get the best of both worlds.

“IMR was an invaluable support for us as an SME to help navigate through all stages of securing and implementing this European funded project. The level of detail in this project was intimidating and it was good to have the support to help us through.”

Mark Simms, R&D Director, Ventac

“IMR was with us from the start of the application, through securing the funding and right through the delivery phase. They proved to be a great advocate for the team and the project and helped us navigate through the challenges associated with pan European collaboration.”

Tim Noone, Group projects Director, Malone Group

About DIH²

The DIH² project is funded by Horizon 2020 – the European Union research and innovation programme tasked with bringing great ideas from lab to market. The programme is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy which aims to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth for the future of Europe.

The DIH² vision is to build a sustainable pan-European network to facilitate and accelerate the knowledge and technology exchange among robotics Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs). The DIHs will facilitate the uptake of the latest robotic technologies across the European Union in the field of agile production.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824964.

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