CONFIRM – Smart Manufacturing SFI Research Centre


CONFIRM aims to transform Ireland’s manufacturing industry to become a world-leader in smart manufacturing.  The manufacturing sector is the second largest employer in Ireland and accounts for €110 billion in exports.  Smart manufacturing optimises production systems, adding intelligence and enhanced information technology.  These new technologies will be at the heart of the factories of the future, increasing product line adaptability, enabling real-time decision making, shortening supply-chains, and speeding up the development of new innovations to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs across all industry sectors.  CONFIRM will be revolutionary for Irish manufacturing competitiveness, delivering the technological advances and expertise for a smart manufacturing innovation ecosystem, enabling companies to compete within the rapidly changing global landscape, and boosting Ireland’s reputation as a leading international manufacturing location.

Lead Institution:  University of Limerick

Director:  Prof Conor McCarthy, University of Limerick

As an Associate Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Limerick, Professor McCarthy also leads a research group, who are developing novel methods to join high performance composite materials to other lightweight materials, to result in structures with superior strength and stiffness properties, and with only a fraction of the weight compared to typical steel or aluminium structures. This work has attracted over €6million in competitively won research funding from Europe, Irish research funding agencies and both national and international Industries. His research has led to over 150 high impact publications and a patent pending on a new smart glue that can be “unzipped” using only high frequency radio waves for applications in automotive assembly down to dental implants. Prof McCarthy is a SFI Principal Investigator, and leads major research programmes in Engineering Science.

Academic Partner Institutions: Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, Athlone Institute of Technology, Maynooth University, Limerick Institute of Technology.


Dr Graeme Maxwell, Tyndall National Institute

Dr Aidan Quinn, Tyndall National Institute

Prof James Gleeson, University of Limerick

Prof Barry O’Sullivan, University College Cork

Dr Dirk Pesch, Cork Institute of Technology

Prof Cathal Heavey, University of Limerick

Prof Dietrich Rebholz-Schuhmann, NUI Galway

Prof Tiziana Margaria, University of Limerick

Brendan O’Flynn, Tyndall National Institute

Prof Bashar Nuseibeh, University of Limerick