22 Jun IMR Proudly Hosts EIT BoostUp! 2023 – Ireland Edition
Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) had the honour of hosting the prestigious BoostUp! 2023 – Ireland Edition start-up competition organised by EIT Manufacturing on June 20th. The event provided an exceptional platform for start-ups to internationalise their businesses and gain access to a vast European network of opportunities. The competition concluded with three remarkable Irish start-ups emerging as winners: DataMinfo, Infraprint, and Mersus.
The six finalists showcased their innovative approaches and companies at IMR’s facility in Mullingar. The event attracted an audience comprising distinguished guests from the Irish manufacturing industry and an expert jury, responsible for selecting the winners. The top three winning start-ups, DataMinfo, Infraprint, and Mersus, impressed the jury with their groundbreaking solutions and potential for industry impact.
DataMinfo, the first prize winner, specialises in developing data-driven solutions that empower manufacturers to enhance plant capacity by replacing data complexity with actionable insights. Their off-the-shelf non-invasive machine monitoring system enables real-time identification and resolution of production bottlenecks through live shop floor displays and automated decision-making.
Infraprint Ltd, the second prize winner, excels in contract manufacturing for advanced polymers and composites using Additive Manufacturing. Leveraging intellectual property developed at University College Dublin (UCD) and its experienced team, Infraprint produces high-strength components for the aerospace and space sectors.
Mersus, the recipient of the third prize, has created the Avatar Academy platform, revolutionising the creation of virtual reality experiences in a user-friendly ‘Drag & Drop’ format. Combining award-winning graphics with exceptional technical performance on hand-tracking mobile VR hardware, Mersus captures valuable data to assess and trace trainee performance, making it a game-changer for industrial training. Mersus were also winners of the Best Training & Development Programme at the 2022 IMR Manufacturing and Supply Chain Awards.
The winners not only received well-deserved recognition but also secured prize money of €7,500, €5,000, and €2,500, respectively, to support their European go-to-market strategies. Additionally, they will receive growth support for business development through EIT Manufacturing’s innovation network. All finalists, including the winners, have also been invited to a matchmaking event in continental Europe, providing them with valuable opportunities to connect with potential customers.
IMR CEO Barry Kennedy expressed his pride in hosting such a significant event that aligns with IMR’s mission of fostering innovation, collaboration, and knowledge dissemination:
“Start-ups play a vital role in supporting IMRs mission by bringing innovation, driving collaboration, prototyping, piloting new technologies, and attracting talent with the objective of stimulating economic growth, and disseminating knowledge. IMR recognises the importance that networking and networks themselves play, as it fosters collaboration, knowledge exchange, partnerships among researchers, industry stakeholders, and start-ups, enabling the growth of the manufacturing ecosystem. We are thus delighted to support EIT Manufacturing and its network partners with this competition as it brings industry experts, investors, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders in the ecosystem together.”
The BoostUp! 2023 – Ireland Edition competition not only celebrates the achievements of these exceptional start-ups but also highlights the positive impact they can have on the Irish manufacturing landscape. Ireland has become a global hub for high-tech manufacturing, contributing to job creation, exports, and overall economic growth. The collaboration between EIT Manufacturing and Irish entities, such as UCD, Stryker, and IMR, further strengthens these ties and fosters a thriving manufacturing ecosystem.
The BoostUp! competition, organised in collaboration with the atim cluster, an Enterprise Ireland-funded industry cluster, underscores the importance of embracing technological advancements to enhance the agility, efficiency, and competitiveness of Irish manufacturing companies. By showcasing the valuable solutions offered by Irish start-ups, the competition enables these companies to expand their operations across Europe, while also providing manufacturing companies with insights into the available solutions and their potential benefits.