Mullingar-based IMR is an independent research and technology organisation employing more than 80 researchers. IMR aims to position Ireland as a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

MTC chief executive Dr Clive Hickman says the link-up will be beneficial for industry in both countries: "At a time when there’s some uncertainty surrounding the future of the UK's international relationships, I see the formalising of our relationship with IMR as an important step in ensuring that our respective economies can continue to compete on the world stage when it comes to manufacturing.

"The exchange of knowledge, information and experiences between UK and Irish institutions, departments, researchers and companies can only benefit both nations, and I look forward to pooling knowledge and capability on areas of mutual interest,” he continues. “By working together we can add real value to help our respective industries manage their digital transformation and the introduction of advanced manufacturing technologies and processes."

IMR chairman Dr Will Barton OBE adds: "This strategic partnership is of significant importance to IMR. We intend to work with the MTC in research fields which are of mutual interest, including digital transformation and additive manufacturing, and training and education, to support innovation in these areas. We also look forward to working with the MTC in joint research projects on a bilateral and international level.

"In these uncertain times it makes sense to exploit our geographical proximity, common language and cultural approach to our mutual advantage in the development and commercialisation of novel technologies," he continues.