The attendance at the event at Irish Manufacturing Research’s Mullingar facility, located in the old tobacco factory on the Dublin Road, Mullingar.

Mullingar project aims at nurturing future STEM staff

Three local schools have been included in a new drive launched by Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) in Mullingar to nurture the next generation of workers for the advanced manufacturing and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sectors.

The three are Loreto College, St Finian’s College and Coláiste Mhuire.

Under the new ‘Ideas Made Real’ programme, IMR aims to work with schools, students and enterprise to highlight the possibilities of careers in STEM and advanced manufacturing.

With the tagline, ‘Empowering The Makers of Tomorrow’, Ideas Made Real aims to change the way we think about innovation, education, and empowerment, according to Barry Kennedy, CEO of IMR, which is based in the old tobacco factory on the Dublin Road, Mullingar.

Barry Kennedy, CEO of Irish Manufacturing Research.

“Ideas Made Real is not just a brand; it’s a movement,” Mr Kennedy said.

“It’s not enough to simply have a great idea. The true challenge lies in bringing that idea to life. That’s where ‘Ideas Made Real’ steps in. We’re here to nurture, support, and empower the makers of tomorrow, ensuring that no brilliant idea goes unrealised.”

Under the programme, there will be a holistic approach, with a view to ensuring that individuals are equipped with technical know-how and soft skills.

Through partnerships with industry, participants will get hands-on experience, bridging the gap between theory and practical application.

There will also be a focus on creation of a collaborative environment: “Ideas Made Real emphasises teamwork and collaborative projects, ensuring that individuals learn the value of collective brainstorming and execution,” said Mr Kennedy.

Tamara Wierks, Learning and Development project manager at IMR.

A further feature of the programme is to be the hosting of ‘innovation workshops’ – hands-on sessions designed to help budding innovators refine and develop their ideas.

“We believe in the power of ideas, but more importantly, in the power of making those ideas real,” says Lauren McDermott Smith, programme lead.

“It’s time we invest in the makers of tomorrow, providing them with a platform to shine and innovate.”

The Ideas Made Real programme is sponsored by Decotek Automotive with partners Fastrack into Information Technology (FIT) and the Engineering Technology Teachers Association (ETTA).

The brand plans to collaborate further with educational institutions, tech companies, and research organisations to expand its reach and resources further.

• To learn more about Ideas Made Real or to join the programme, visit Ideas Made Real – Irish Manufacturing Research ( or make contact by email –