Two projects underway in Leitrim are embracing technology to deliver benefits for the creative sector and beyond. The Mobile FABLAB and the Creative Heartlands projects are funded under the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Competitive Fund.
The FABLAB project will establish a Mobile Fabrication Laboratory that will provide access for SMEs, enterprise & innovation hubs and schools to digital fabrication technologies. This will allow them to increase their level of innovation and technical skills to develop new ideas and increase the skill set of employees. The project which has secured over €140,000 is led by Leitrim LEO in collaboration with the Local Enterprise Offices from Cavan, Roscommon and Longford.
Speaking about the announcement Head of Enterprise for Leitrim Joe Lowe said that “This mobile lab will foster innovation, education and new business development and connect entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, innovators and developers with resources for prototyping, product development and manufacturing. This is particularly important for traditional manufacturing sectors as they transition to Industry 4.0.”
Leitrim is regarded as being culturally vibrant, with remarkable activity and capacity across multiple art forms. Leitrim boasts a strong network of communities rich with artists, writers, filmmakers, dancers and musicians. The Western Development Commission’s publication Creative West noted that the creative sector in Leitrim had the highest proportion of people working within the creative sector (4.4% of total employment in the county) with Sligo the second highest on 4.2%.
The Creative Heartlands will support a creative cluster and skills development to build on existing structures such as the Sligo Leitrim Roscommon Film Project and Creative Frame CPD Network in the region. The project will achieve this through a number of investments in infrastructure, equipment and personnel.
The project will invest in three film editing suites, installed in the Leitrim Sculpture Centre (LSC), Roscommon Arts Centre and Northside Community Centre. Audio recording equipment will also be available to the cluster members.
Both projects are innovative in their use of technology to sustain employment and support enterprise development.