by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Almost 40 researchers, academics and industry partners shared their collective insights at the recent NWCAM Advanced Manufacturing: Transforming the Future of Life and Health Sciences conference. Hosted by Catalyst Ballymena and sponsored by SEUPB, the hybrid event heard from Professor Alistair McIlhagger from Ulster University and keynote Andrew Lynch from Irish Manufacturing Research, who focused on Industry 4.


0, cross border collaboration, green transition and digital skills of the future. The event also provided the perfect showcase for the 16 research and innovation projects, which the research teams from Ulster University, University of Glasgow, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Sligo have been working on for the past four years.

The goal of the conference was to stimulate new research projects for continued innovation across all NWCAM partner companies in Northern Ireland, south of Ireland and Scotland such as GSK, Denroy and Clyde Biosciences.

Interim Innovation Broker, Claire McCafferty from NWCAM said, “NWCAM seeks to increase the level of cross-border collaboration across the region of applied Advanced Manufacturing and the synergies and relationships built over the four years were evident to see at our event.

“Increasing the awareness of the potential of Advanced Manufacturing as an enabling technology is key to improving the region’s current and future economic success. Showcasing the research is one way to highlight the areas under investigation and the potential application of the research to improve industrial competitiveness. After seeing the appetite for collaboration from our conference, we are positive that our programme has created long-lasting working relationships which will benefit both the researcher and partner companies working within the sector.

Ulster University’s Alistair McIlhagger, who is principal investigator on NWCAM and works closely to connect researchers with partner companies said, “The real value from NWCAM has been with the four institutes partnering and linking our research facilities, equipment and expertise directly to industry. Each of the projects were co-designed with industry to ensure activities are aligned to their needs, whilst continually engaging to better understand how those requirements and the application of research can be presented in a commercial environment.”

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Pictured at the NWCAM Advanced Manufacturing: Transforming the Future of Life and Health Sciences conference in Catalyst Ballymena are keynote speaker Andrew Lynch from Irish Manufacturing Research and Ulster University’s Professor Alistair McIlhagger who is principal investigator for NWCAM, NWCAM interim innovation broker Claire McCafferty and event host Grainne McGarvey from Pulse PR

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