The iBUS project is a four year Horizon 2020, EU funded project. The project aims to develop and demonstrate an innovative internet based business model for the sustainable supply of traditional toy and furniture products that is demand driven, manufactured locally and sustainably using non-traditional manufacturing methods, meeting all product safety guidelines, within the EU by 2018.

The University of Limerick are partnered with nine institutions and toy companies based throughout the EU. The iBUS model focuses on the capture, creation and delivery of value for all stakeholders – consumers, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. The main focus of iBUS is to drive sales for EU traditional toy and furniture manufacturers by leveraging internet based technologies and additive manufacturing technologies. User-centred design will be central to the creation of this new paradigm.

Design Factors Mission

The role of Design Factors in this project is to support iBUS partners transitioning from existing toy and nursery furniture product ranges (that use traditional manufacturing methods) to customised product ranges capable of being manufactured locally and in small production batches, working within the iBUS network competencies.

Utilising design ethnography tools, DF will identify customer needs and requirements to inform and support iBUS beneficiaries in the creation of new product experiences, appropriate to the iBUS paradigm. User feedback will be gathered and evaluated following each iteration to inform future development. The work will conclude with the development of a design framework.

IBUS Project Website


Design Practice & Education

We are actively engaged in research for design education, continuing professional development and design practice.

Design for Health

Our user-centered work in health and wellness focuses on humanising technology that benefits both patients and clinicians.

Design for Sustainability & Society

Our research projects take a design led approach to framing and tackling societal, environmental and consumption issues.

Human Factors in industry

Our research on work related musculoskeletal disorders examines occupational health and industrial ergonomics.