Thursday, April 21 is World Creativity and Innovation Day. The midlands of Ireland is not short of its share of innovators and creators, with businesses from Westmeath, Offaly and Meath regularly winning local, regional, national and international awards for their products and services. We’re sometimes modest to admit it but we are a bright bunch in the midlands and have our name in businesses throughout the world probably more than we realise.
Think on local companies based in Mullingar, such as Pem Automation, who are manufactures special-purpose machinery, tooling, and engineering products for customers in the Automotive, Healthcare and other manufacturing industries, or 360Tech Engineering who offer a host of Energy Solutions, Electrical Installations, Commercial Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning, Facilities Management and service and maintenance.
Similarly, Mersus Technologies in Athlone, who, through the combination of traditional animation art with the latest in computer-generated image technology, offer immersive virtual reality platform that mirrors real-world environments and scenarios that can be used to train employees.
Take a drive through any of our local industrial centres and make a note of all the company names and do your research on the products and services each business provides, and you’ll see for yourself that we have a firm base on which we can further build on and enlarge.
The midlands has a host of smaller manufacturing companies that hold their own on the world stage. They continue to invest in their towns and counties at every opportunity, offering employment and exposure to national and international markets.
Of late, the BT Young Scientist competitions showcase the bright sparks in our schools and colleges. Apprenticeships are also making a comeback and are a great way for those who may not have excelled in books to put their practical skills and ideas to use.
There’s still scope for much more investment in the midlands. Our location on the map and proximity to the capital city, to road, rail, sea and air ports make for an ideal location to set up a business. Our dedicated workforce, good work-life balance and friendly outlook on life play an important role in attracting manufacturing enterprises to the midlands. We have a super support system in the local enterprise offices, who offer invaluable assistance and support for set ups, no mater how small or large they may be.
Perhaps you or someone you know has an idea that you believe could make a difference? Take note of Henry Ford’s words …“When you once get an idea in which you believe with all your heart, work it out” … and use World Creativity and Innovation Day on April 21 as a catalyst to bring your ideas to life.
Pem Automation Ltd
Operating from a manufacturing facility in Mullingar, Pem Automation has been designing and manufacturing capital equipment for over 40 years. The company employs 20 people and manufactures special-purpose machinery, tooling, and engineering products for customers in the Automotive, Healthcare and other manufacturing industries.
Project elements include consultation, concept development, quotation, design, assembly, software development, installation and commissioning. Manufacturing solutions are designed in-house, using up-to-date 3D design software. Our fully equipped machining facility includes 3D printers, EDM, WEDM, CNC mills, lathes and grinders.
The company provides a range of controls services, specialising in automation and robotic systems including software development. The company prides itself in the after sales service and support that accompanies each project. A strong emphasis on customer care is reflected in the fact that the company enjoys very long relationships with its customers. Check out the amazing manufacturing work of PEM, on their website: www.pem.ie or give them a call on 044 933 6000 any working day, to discuss a project you may have for them.
Virtual Reality Transforms Training at Mersus Technologies
Irish Times Innovation Awards winner, Athlone’s Mersus Technologies, produce cutting edge training solutions using Virtual Reality.
Avatar Academy™, Mersus’ learning platform, primarily targets the medtech and biopharma sectors and recreates physical world experiences in virtual reality (VR). With a VR Headset, you can enter a virtual lab or cleanroom, complete with all required tools and equipment. Intuitive, hands-on experience combines with physics-defying gaming technology to reinforce learning. Where traditional training involves valuable resources or hazardous conditions, VR training provides a cost-effective, safe, and versatile alternative.
Avatar Academy projects, driven with key learning in mind, ensure users get the maximum impact with remarkable results for the industry in terms of operational excellence and efficiency. Interactions are tied to specific learning outcomes for the most cost-effective training.
Avatar Academy also generates powerful analytics, further improving a company’s processes. Companies log into the platform with a unique profile to monitor trainees’ progress, access analytics, and even create custom training content.
To find out more, visit avataracademy.io
Get Creative on World Creativity and Innovation Day!
Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week by getting your family, friends, school mates and work colleagues involved in something new and different.
A good way to get started is to think on the old saying “necessity is the mother of invention” … and from there, think about something you believe would make a difference to the world and go about putting your ideas into practice. These need not be difficult, expensive, or time consuming plans – just think about creating something that is useful around the house, or for your room, or for your pets. Some ideas would be to:
(i) recycle something, perhaps and old box or basket by weaving bright ribbon or threads through the basket (around the box) and there you have it – a brand new product that can be used for holding towels in your bathroom or for storing toys in your room.
(ii) think about something practical you would really like to have – whether it’s a toy, something for your hair, something for the car; and set about putting your idea in motion.
Many ideas were born out of people saying “Oh, I wish there was a solution for …” , and after a few times of saying this, creative juices flow and the old adage of necessity being the mother of invention kicks into play.
(iii) walk in the woods or a forest. This is called “forest bathing” in some countries and it is said to have quite a few health benefits, including clearing the mind to let creative thoughts enter. We have lots of nice walks in the midlands through wooded areas – go out for some ‘forest bathing’ today and see what happens!
(iv) do something new; something you haven’t done before. Maybe hop on the train or a bus and visit a nearby town you have never been to before. Or try a new flavour of ice cream or visit a museum or read a book. Doing something out of the ordinary forces the brain to think differently and often this results in clever, creative ways of dealing with change.
(v) Sleep! This might be music to many a teenager’s ears but it is important to get the necessary deep sleep you need not only to recharge your body but to also clear the mind and allow space for new ideas and creative thoughts to enter.
(vi) work with your hands; start by tidying up the garden perhaps or building a small stonewall around your vegetable patch. Although we highly recommend Roundtower Stoneworks in Athlone (https://roundtower-stone-works.business.site) for the bigger stonework jobs in and around your house, starting off small can greatly challenge your brain, especially when it comes to building, calculating shapes and sizes and making sure everything fits securely into place.
(vii) Organise a community event. Summer is coming and maybe it would be an idea to organise a street party, or a bring and buy sale in a communal area or maybe a neighbourhood sports day? These activities will put the logistical part of your brain in action as you list out all the things you need to be mindful of and work with a team to carry out the tasks involved. You can then relax at the end of the day and feel great about what you have achieved, simply by applying your mind to it. Who knows what you’ll achieve tomorrow and in the years to come!