TUESDAY 13TH OF APRIL, 2021

LEO Cork City are hosting a Trading Online Voucher Webinar, presented by Almedia;

Join us at our Trading Online Voucher WEBINAR on TUESDAY 13TH APRIL, 2021 at 9.30 A.M. This FREE Webinar is the first step in applying for the Trading Online Voucher. It is mandatory to attend an information seminar before submitting an application. Applicants will be informed of the purpose of the Scheme and how best to use and get value from the voucher to support your online trading proposition. Online registration is essential. What will be covered: Customers finding your business online covering basic SEO, mobile friendly websites, selling products & services online, e-Commerce, how to find new customers online, pay per click advertising, Google Vs Facebook, targeting demographics, increasing traffic & online engagement, using your voucher wisely, how to identify individual needs of each participating business and increase the return on investment. This seminar will be facilitated by Alan O’ Meara – Almedia Ltd.

localenterprise.ie/CorkCity

If you are interested in this event, you can book now by clicking the button below.

LINC Network Acts as Catalyst for Growth amongst Engineering Companies in Limerick and North Cork

The Limerick Post

This week’s Limerick Post (pictured) and the Avondhu newspaper will feature a success story about LINC Engineering Network. Featured proudly is Chris Doody, of LINC Member, Doody Engineering.

The article gives a brief history of LINC and outlines how LINC has helped member to succeed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many LINC Members are featured and have quotes featured throughout. This is no doubt a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our members.

We are extremely proud to be achieving such levels of recognition and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Members for incredible work.

If you would like to read one of many articles, here’s one from limerick.ie: https://www.limerick.ie/business/news-events/news/linc-network-acts-catalyst-growth-amongst-engineering-companies-limerick

Tánaiste also invites views on putting Right to Request Remote Working into law

(see original article at https://enterprise.gov.ie/)

From today, all employees officially have the Right to Disconnect from work and have a better work-life balance, after Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD brought in a new Code of Practice.

The Tánaiste is today also inviting views on his plans to put the right to request remote working into law.

Both are part of the Tánaiste’s commitment to create more flexible family-friendly working arrangements, including working from home and working more flexible hours. They also build on the Our Rural Future plan published this week, the Government’s blueprint to transform rural Ireland, by facilitating more people to work remotely and flexibly.

The Tánaiste said:

“The pandemic has transformed working practices, and many of those changes will be long-lasting. Although much of the impact of the pandemic has been negative, particularly for those who have lost jobs, income or whose businesses have been closed, it also offers an opportunity to make permanent changes for the better, whether that’s working more from home, having more time with the family, or more flexible working hours.

“I am announcing two things today. Firstly, I have signed a new Code of Practice giving all employees the Right to Disconnect. This is effective immediately. Secondly, I am opening a public consultation on the right to request remote working, inviting views from all on how this right can be enshrined in law.”

Right to Disconnect

The Right to Disconnect gives employees the right to switch off from work outside of normal working hours, including the right to not respond immediately to emails, telephone calls or other messages. There are three rights enshrined in the Code which comes into effect today:

  • The right of an employee to not have to routinely perform work outside their normal working hours.
  • The right not to be penalised for refusing to attend to work matters outside of normal working hours.
  • The duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect (e.g., by not routinely emailing or calling outside normal working hours).

The Tánaiste said:

“The Code of Practice comes into effect immediately and applies to all types of employment, whether you are working remotely or not. It will help employees, no matter what their job is, to strike a better work-life balance and switch off from work outside of their normal working hours.”

The Code of Practice needs employers and employees to work together to determine the appropriate working arrangements and policies. Because the Code is flexible, employees will have more options to work outside of traditional hours, which many people have availed of during the pandemic. And it reflects the fact that many Irish employees are part of a global network, requiring contact with colleagues around the world.

While placing the onus of management of working time on the employer is appropriate, individual responsibility on the part of employees is also required (e.g., being mindful of other colleagues’ right to disconnect or cooperating with any employer mechanism to keep a record of hours worked).

If problems or issues arise, employees have the right to raise the matter with the Workplace Relations Commission.

The Code was developed by the Workplace Relations Commission, following a request by the Tánaiste in November 2020, underpinning the commitment made in the Programme for Government to facilitate and support remote working.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, said:

“The right to disconnect has never been more important following a seismic shift in work practices this time last year, as Government asked people who could work from home to do so in the interest of suppressing the virus.  The publication of the Code of Practice is a positive step in providing practical guidance on the right to disconnect.  It will ensure that both employers and employees are aware of their requirements and entitlements and understand how they apply, especially when it is time to unplug and recharge the batteries by switching off properly from work, especially in a remote working scenario.”

The Director General of the WRC, Liam Kelly, commented:

“Disconnecting from work and work-related devices necessitates a joint approach by employers and employees. While placing the onus of management of working time on the employer is appropriate, individual responsibility on the part of employees is also required.”

The Tánaiste noted:

“Thanks to the WRC for its role in putting this Code together. I’d also like to thank and acknowledge the work of ICTU and IBEC for their contribution. I now encourage employers to engage proactively with employees to develop a Policy suited to their needs. The Code of Conduct includes a generic template policy to get people started.”

Right to Request Remote Working

The Tánaiste is today also inviting views on his plans to put the right to ask for remote working into law.

The Tánaiste said:

“Putting the right to request remote working into law will provide a clear framework around which requesting, approving or refusing remote work can be based. In putting this into law, we recognise that remote working doesn’t work for everyone or for every organisation, so the Government will take a balanced approach with the new legislation. I encourage employers and employees alike to engage with this consultation and make their views known.”

Currently in Ireland, all employees can ask their employers for the right to work remotely, but there is no legal framework around which a request can be made and how it should be dealt with by the employer. This new law will set out clearly how these requests should be facilitated as far as possible.

Not all work lends itself easily to remote working, for example where a worker needs to be physically present on site to do a task, interact with others, or use location-specific specialised machinery or equipment. In cases where remote work is suitable, a hybrid or blended model with a combination of remote work and onsite work may be the preferred arrangement. Some organisations may prefer a model where employees are required to come onsite only a few days a week or month. Some companies will need a core of ‘anchor’ people, who will be in the office or on site most days because they need to be. The new law will look at how all of these possibilities can be facilitated.

The full Code is available to view here: workplacerelations.ie/wrc/en/what_you_should_know/codes_practice/code-of-practice-for-employers-and-employees-on-the-right-to-disconnect.pdf

(For the original article see enterprise.gov.ie)

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. today announced the setting up of a High-level Working Group under the auspices of the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) to review collective bargaining and the industrial relations landscape in Ireland.

The Tánaiste said:

“The approach to industrial relations in Ireland is one of voluntarism, whereby the State does not seek to impose a solution on the parties to a dispute but will, where appropriate, assist them in arriving at a solution.  This approach has served us well for many years. 

“However, whilst there is an extensive range of statutory provisions designed to back up the voluntary bargaining process, some of these are currently subject to legal challenge. In the light of this and international moves to look more closely at how employers and trade unions engage on matters of mutual interest, I now consider it timely to review collective bargaining and the industrial relations landscape in Ireland.”

The Tánaiste has nominated Professor Michael Doherty, Department of Law, Maynooth University as Chair of the group, the membership of which will include senior representatives of union and employer sides nominated by ICTU and Ibec, Professor Bill Roche of UCD and officials from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment and the Department of the Taoiseach.

The Group will:

  • Examine the issue of trade union recognition and the implication of same on the collective bargaining processes.
  • Examine the adequacy of the workplace relations framework supporting the conduct and determination of pay and conditions of employment, having regard to the legal, economic, and social conditions in which it operates.
  • Consider the legal and constitutional impediments that may exist in the reform of the current systems. In doing so, the group will need to be cognisant of the individual employment rights frameworks and the EU context. It may wish to consider other models of employee relations and pay determination established in other Member States.
  • Review the current statutory wage setting mechanisms and, where appropriate, make recommendations for reform.  This aspect will commence following the Supreme Court ruling in the National Electrical Contractors Ireland case that is currently before the Labour Court – expected in Q2.

The group will report quarterly to the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment who will, in turn update the LEEF. The Group will convene in mid-April with the aim of producing an interim report by the end of July 2021 and completing its work as soon as possible thereafter.

ENDS

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

Venue: Online – Zoom

Date:07/04/2021

Time:14:00-16:30

Please note that on booking this course you agree to share your name and contact details with the Trainer for the purpose of receiving the Zoom details.

At this end of this course participants will be aware of the different ways to use Twitter for your business. You will know how to use Twitter to build a relevant network and for customer acquisition. Get hands-on experience using some key Twitter tools and features.

Notes for Participants

It would be beneficial if all participants could have their Twitter account created prior to the course. It is important that all participants are able to access their Twitter account on their smartphone and PC/Laptop. This video may help as it shows how to navigate from Zoom to your browser on your computer http://bit.ly/navigatingzoom.

If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with navigating from Zoom to your browser it may be beneficial to attend the Zoom session via a tablet (phone screen will be too small) and your LinkedIn account via your PC/Laptop or browser.

Course outline

  • Choosing a username and writing an effective bio
  • Features and tools: a walk-through key features:
  • Composing and sending tweets. Engaging with tweets.
  • Using the search function.
  • Tagging accounts and using hashtags.
  • Creating lists and moments.
  • Blocking and muting topics and accounts
  • Understanding Twitter timeline filter and how to increase organic reach and engagement.
  • Twitter etiquette – the DOs and DON’Ts
  • Scheduelling tweets.
  • Hashtags – what they are, creating a hashtag and how to use them effectively.
  • Case Studies – showcasing relevant case studies.

To book your place click here

Substantial progress made in first three months of Plan

New personal injury guidelines adopted

New office to promote competition established

See Original Article ( https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/News-And-Events/Department-News/2021/March/20210324b.html )

Today the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, chaired a meeting of the cabinet committee sub-group on insurance reform.

Reflecting the priority reforming the insurance sector is for the Government, the cabinet committee sub-group is attended by the Ministers for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Justice, Children and Ministers of State at the Departments of Finance and Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The meeting considered the progress made in the first three months of the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform.

Actions delivered in first three months include:

  • New personal injuries guidelines adopted & published
  • New office to promote competition established
  • Public consultation on enhancing role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) commenced
  • New regulations on solicitors advertising introduced

Priorities for the next three months include: reform of the duty of care, strengthening the laws on perjury, enhancing the enforcement powers of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), expanding the National Claims Information Database and reforming PIAB and responding to the Central Bank report on dual-pricing.

The meeting was also updated on recent engagement with stakeholders such as the Alliance for Insurance Reform and Insurance Ireland, which is helping to inform the Government’s reform agenda.

Following the meeting the Tánaiste said:

“This Government is committed to bringing down the cost and increasing the availability of insurance for motorists, homeowners, businesses and voluntary groups alike. There is no silver bullet, no simple solution to do this, it will require action and sustained action right across Government.  Today the cabinet committee sub-group met to consider the progress we have made in the first three months of the Plan and to agree priorities for the next period.

The Action Plan for Insurance Reform is one of the most important programmes that this Government will undertake. Implementation of the Plan is on track. While this progress is welcome, we are committed to doing more to reduce insurance costs. Ministers reported today on an ambitious programme of legislative reform over the next quarter that will see significant changes made to reform the duty of care, strengthening the laws on perjury, strengthening the enforcement powers of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and reforming PIAB. We will also see in the coming months the expansion of the National Claims Information Database and the Central Bank of Ireland’s final report on differential pricing. As chair of the sub-group, I will continue to meet regularly with Ministers to drive forward implementation of our plan and deliver meaningful reform of this sector.”

Following the meeting, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, said:

“Today’s meeting was very productive. Progress continues to be made across many areas, and the imminent introduction of the Personal Injuries Guidelines is a key milestone. Along with other aspects of the Government’s reform agenda, this should help improve both the cost and availability of insurance. I look forward to working with my colleagues across Government, to continue to drive other elements of the Action Plan. This will help achieve a more sustainable and competitive insurance market to the benefit of all consumers, businesses and community groups”.

The legislative amendments to give effect to the Personal Injury guidelines are progressing through the Oireachtas and will be commenced shortly thereafter.

Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, said,

 “The overriding concern is to address with urgency the economic impacts on businesses and consumers of high insurance costs, while ensuring fair compensation when someone is injured. The approach agreed by Government takes into account both the urgency in tackling high insurance costs and fairness for those who have suffered injury through no fault of their own, as well as those who are required to defend a claim.  I believe we have struck the correct balance.

“The recently adopted Personal Injury Guidelines mark an important step which I hope will have a lasting impact on the award of damages in personal injuries cases.  It is my hope that the new Guidelines will bring consistency, reduce litigation and reduce awards, which are a major driver of insurance costs.

“The recent introduction of Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (Advertising) Regulations 2020 now prohibits advertising by legal professionals that would solicit, encourage or offer inducements to make claims for personal injuries. Advertisements are prohibited from inappropriate locations including GP surgeries, hospitals and funeral homes, along with references to personal injuries and damages in excess of the Personal Injury Guidelines.”

The Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Sean Fleming TDsaid:

“I am pleased to note that the price of motor insurance has fallen by around 6% since last year. I am meeting the Chief Executives of the main insurance companies to ensure all savings from the new personal injury guidelines will be passed onto the customers. I would also note that the work programme for the Office to Promote Competition has now been agreed. Encouraging greater competition in the insurance market is a key element of the insurance reform agenda.  As Chair of the Office, I look forward to continuing this work and having further engagement with relevant stakeholders. My main objective is to achieve a more competitive market to the benefit of all groups in society and the economy”.

Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, added

“I know from speaking to businesses and consumers the importance of insurance cover being available and at a reasonable and fair price. This week, as part of Government’s plan to reform the insurance sector, I launched a public consultation on measures to reform and enhance the role of the PIAB. I believe these proposals will deliver real reform to reduce the cost of litigation and ultimately, insurance premiums.  I encourage all interested parties to submit a response. I am also progressing legislation that will strengthen competition law in Ireland. The legislation will break new ground in this area, giving competition authorities, such as the CCPC, teeth by providing for administrative sanctions and other tools in dealing with anti-competitive practices.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Insurance Reform

The Programme for Government contains commitments which together clearly demonstrate the Government’s commitment to real reform of the insurance sector to deliver an insurance system which is both affordable and reliable and one which underpins a vibrant economy.

The Sub-Group on Insurance Reform under the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery & Investment, chaired by the Tánaiste, with membership from Ministers and Ministers of State, is tasked with driving insurance reform on a cross-governmental approach.

The ‘Action Plan for Insurance Reform’ was launched on the December 8, 2020. The Action Plan sets out 66 actions for reform to bring down the costs for consumers and business and to introduce more competition into the market: Action Plan for Insurance Reform (PDF)

The following is from an article published by Irish Examiner. It describes LINC Networks hard work to prosper despite setbacks brought on by Covid-19

An engineering network in Munster is working towards enabling indigenous companies to expand despite the challenges brought about by Covid-19.

LINC Engineering Network is a member-led engineering cluster network based in north Cork and  Limerick where the mission is to bring companies together to increase the competitiveness of the region.

Initiated by a group of engineering firm owners in 2014, the network has gone from strength to strength in the intervening years and now has over 40 members.

In 2018, funding was secured through the REDZ fund under an application from the Local Enterprise Office in Limerick and in 2019, further financial assistance was allocated to continue the network into 2020 under the LEO Competitive Funds.

The network has become a hub for knowledge and information sharing as well as a forum to access key skills, contacts and collaboration opportunities that allow members to develop, grow and scale their business sustainably thereby bringing economic growth to the region.

Meanwhile, the cluster of companies with over 40 members comprises diverse engineering disciplines that range in size from start-ups to medium sized enterprises such as  Design Pro Automation, Takumi Engineering, and EPS Group which employs over 500 people.

The companies are spread across rural Co Limerick and north Cork in towns like Kildimo, Rathkeale, Newmarket and Mallow.

Collaboration

One of the core focuses of LINC Engineering Network is to support and promote peer learning, inter-company networking, collaboration and best practice.

Several member companies have found they are growing faster together than they would on their own due to ongoing collaboration.

Chris Doody, of Doody Engineering, which specialises in fabrication, highlighted the importance of networks such as LINC.

“As a small family-run company, it’s easier to grow in a group like LINC. On our own we’re living under a stone,” he said.

“Since joining LINC, we’ve been able to increase and diversify the range of services we offer clients by working in collaboration with other members.

“We don’t have our own laser-cutting machines but instead of turning work away, we now sub-contract that work to fellow members Irish Rollforming in Mallow.

“In the last year we responded to an e-tender with two other members; while we didn’t win it, this opportunity would never have been available to us in the past.

“We’re breaking new ground as a company and as a cluster.”

via Irish Examiner ( https://www.irishexaminer.com/business/economy/arid-40249847.html )

We are delighted to be receiving national media coverage and would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their continued hard work and dedication.

(see original article here from Case School of Engineering; https://online-engineering.case.edu/blog/the-story-of-st-patrick-the-engineer)

When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you probably think of crowds of jovial people wearing green. It’s a day when even those who have even the smallest drop of Irish blood seem to develop an unmistakable brogue.

However, despite the revelry and the abundance of green that comes every March 17, there is actually a more serious reason for celebrating St. Patrick. Sure, we all might have heard about the driving of the snakes out of Ireland, but did you know that St. Patrick is also considered the patron saint of engineers?

Who Was St. Patrick?

The actual details of St. Patrick’s life are somewhat murky—and over several thousand years of retelling, the details have undoubtedly been embellished or forgotten. But the most accepted version of events is that the man who was to become St. Patrick was born in what is now Scotland in the late fourth century AD. His father was a deacon in the Christian church, which at that time was widely accepted throughout Britain.

In his adult life, St. Patrick worked to spread Christianity throughout the British Isles. As part of this mission, he built churches—including the first churches in Ireland, as a matter of fact. Before his arrival in Ireland, builders used a dry masonry technique that involved stacking flat stones on top of each other, gradually overlapping the stones to enclose the walls. St. Patrick, however, was familiar with more Romanized forms of architecture, including the use of lime mortar. It’s also believed that he introduced the concept of arches to Irish builders, giving them the knowledge they needed to build the traditional stone churches that still dot the Irish countryside today. Because of this, the Catholic church has deemed him the patron saint of engineers.

Celebrating St. Patrick, the Engineer

St. Patrick is usually represented in imagery with a serpent or snakes around his feet, referring to the legend of his driving the snakes out of Ireland with his shillelagh, a type of cane, as punishment for attacking him during a fast. Typically, his role in engineering and modernizing building methods isn’t celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day. At some engineering-focused academic institutions, however, his engineering legacy lives on. At Missouri University of Science and Technology, for instance, self-styled “Knights of St. Patrick” among the engineering faculty are well-known for celebrating his accomplishments through a series of traditions during the week of St. Patrick’s Day.

So, the next time you don your finest green attire in honor of St. Patrick, give a nod to his engineering accomplishments as well.

“Meet the Buyer event” with Enterprise Europe Network in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Offices in Ireland is hosting EENGINEXDate: Thursday 15th April 2021Location: Virtual Cost: FreeClosing date to register: 8 April 2021 This event will be of interest to companies engaged in:-• Mechanical Engineering• Industrial Tooling• Materials Handling• Materials and Components • Marine• Aviation and Aerospace• Electronic Engineering• Precision EngineeringIt is expected that in excess of 25 engineering buyers, and 100 supplier companies, will attend the event. Participants will be presented with a unique opportunity to engage virtually in face-to-face sales meetings with senior buyers from throughout Ireland and the EU. Further information and link to register: https://eenginex-meet-buyer-matchmaking-event.b2match.io/

We were delighted to hear Patrick speak about the importance of collaboration between the Linc engineering cluster network who are standing together as a team and working together to grow their business.

Check out the interview here:

Funding Advisory Service workshops coming up between March and June 2021

Are you an established ambitious company, planning to grow your business and in need of new funding?

If so, this is your opportunity to register for a free InterTradeIreland online workshop



Tuesday 9th March, Cork

Tuesday 30th March, Galway

Tuesday 20th April, Dublin

Thursday 22nd April, Belfast

Tuesday 25th May, Limerick

Tuesday 22nd June, Dublin


All workshops run from 10 to 11am and are currently run via Zoom.

TO REGISTER CLICK HERE

Our Funding Advisory Service is aimed at SMEs who are looking for new or alternative sources of funding to finance business growth. Is this you?This short workshop delivered by Grant Thornton on behalf of InterTradeIreland , will give you the opportunity to find out about the main sources of funding for growth suitable for your business and will include information on both traditional bank funding and the newer types of funding that are now available in the market.   WORKSHOP CONTENTOverview of the current funding landscape including active funders;How providers of funding make their funding decisions and discussions around the types of SMEs they have funded; andAdvice on how to make your business ready for funding. 

PLEASE NOTE :This event is NOT aimed at start-up businesses & only SMEs with a trading history of at least 18 months and a turnover in excess of £100,000 (or euro equivalent) should attend.

LINC Network Acts as Catalyst for Growth amongst Rural Engineering Companies

  • Member-led cluster helps rural companies build resilience during Pandemic
  • Collaboration leads to new business development & high quality supply chain

3 March 2021 – LINC Engineering Network, a member-led engineering cluster network based in North Cork and East/West Limerick, is enabling indigenous engineering companies of various sizes to become stronger despite challenges generated by Covid-19.

The cluster, which was initiated ahead of its time in 2014, now boasts over 40 members with diverse engineering disciplines and ranging in size from start-ups to medium sized enterprises like Design Pro Automation, Takumi Engineering and EPS Group which employs over 500 people. The companies are spread across rural Co Limerick and North Cork in towns like Kildimo, Rathkeale, Newmarket and Mallow.

One of the core areas under the remit of LINC Engineering Network is to support and promote peer learning, inter-company networking, collaboration and best practice.  Several member companies have found they are growing faster together than they would on their own due to ongoing collaboration.

Chris Doody, Doody Engineering, specialists in fabrication, noted, “As a small family run company, it’s easier to grow in a group like LINC – on our own we’re living under a stone.

Since joining LINC, we’ve beenable to increase and diversify the range of services we offer clients by working in collaboration with other members.  We don’t have our own laser cutting machines but instead of turning work away, we now sub-contract that work to fellow members Irish Rollforming in Mallow. In the last year we responded to an e-tender with two other members, this opportunity would never have been available to us in the past. We’re breaking new ground as a company and as a cluster.”

While established to ensure engineering companies in the region of North Cork and East/West Limerick are supported as major changes take place due to globalisation, the LINC network has proved to be an essential service to members during the pandemic.  It has become a hub for knowledge sharing where members meet online every two weeks to discuss relevant issues, gain information in relation to supports and sub-contract business.

Fiona Murphy, Takumi Engineering, said, “Together, we’ve been looking at newer ways to develop business as everyone experienced a downturn in business due to Covid-19. We can bounce ideas and learn from each other which allows us to make better strategic decisions on our business. We’re a small nation, there’s strength in numbers.”

Mike Cantwell, Head of LEO Limerick and Innovate Limerick said, “Clusters are drivers and enablers of change and in particular helping member companies build resilience. This has never been more evident than in the last 12 months. We can clearly see the impact that engagement with LINC Network has had on members in terms of building their resilience as they face challenges posed by Brexit and Covid-19 and develop remedial actions.”

LINC also provides a central hub of information in relation to Government supports across training, funding, innovation and recruitment.

Paul Sheahan, Unison Engineering, specialists in pasteurisers, homogenisers and heat exchangers, said, “We’re exporting all over the world and dealing with export regulations is a minefield. Through LINC, we’re getting the information we need and finding best ways of dealing with the red tape involved.  We were also able to send two staff members on an AutoCAD course and upskill. This is hugely valuable.”

Patrick Buckley, Managing Director of EPS Group and Chair of LINC, was one of the founding members of LINC and is a firm advocate for industry collaboration. Although being one of the largest companies in the cluster, EPS Group also realises a number of benefits.

Mr Buckley explains, “For companies like us it is a win-win. We’re contributing to the LINC Network but also gaining from it. For smaller companies, they benefit from collaborating with us as they gain visibility to large scale projects. For us, we can demonstrate to our global customers that we have an enhanced, highly capable and high quality supply chain,” he said.

“When industry collaborates, benefits ensue. Collaboration supports innovation, industrial modernisation, the scaling up of SME’s as well as the reskilling and upskilling of the workforce. LINC Engineering Network is bringing all these benefits to play. We have seen members collaborate on tenders, save money through joint procurement, access R&D through the University of Limerick, send staff on highly skilled training courses and learn from industry experts”, he continued.

LINC Engineering Network is keen to attract new members and widen its remit geographically. For more information see https://www.lincnetwork.ie/

  • Local Enterprise Offices are running over 200 virtual events to mark ‘Local Enterprise Week’ from March 1st to 5th, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and Local Authorities
  • An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD and Minister of State, Robert Troy TD speaking at Spotlight events on opening day

An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, is officially launching a new ‘green’ enterprise support this morning, to mark the beginning of Local Enterprise Week (March 1st to 5th).

The Green for Micro programme, an initiative from the Local Enterprise Offices with support from Enterprise Ireland, is being rolled-out nationwide to help prepare small businesses for the low carbon, more resource efficient economy of the future.

With the help of a Green Consultant, small businesses with up to ten employees can get free advice and technical support on resource efficiency, how to better understand their carbon footprint and how to implement an environmental management system to reduce costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

An Tánaiste is officially launching Green for Micro on the opening day of Local Enterprise Week as part of a ‘Spotlight’ event this morning, organised by Local Enterprise Office Dublin City. He said:

“I’m really happy to launch this year’s Local Enterprise Week. I know this past year has felt like constant firefighting for many businesses. I hope this week is an opportunity to take a bit of time out, to reflect, network and grow. This year’s theme is ‘Making It Happen’. Our Local Enterprise Offices across the country are always there to help no matter what challenge a business is facing. I’m also launching a new ‘Green for Micro’ initiative to help small businesses decarbonise and become more sustainable. Making your business more sustainable, is not just the right thing to do from an environmental point of view, it also makes good business sense.

“I encourage anyone interested to check out the programme of events for Local Enterprise Week – there are over 200 taking place over the next 5 days.”

Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices and supported by Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, ‘Making It Happen’ is the theme for Local Enterprise Week. Virtual events include information webinars, online networking and masterclasses with entrepreneurs and experts, designed to help those looking to start, grow or pivot their business in 2021.

The Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, is speaking at another Spotlight this morning, ‘Spring Back & Step Forward’, which is hosted by Local Enterprise Office Donegal.

He said: “There’s no question that this past year has been one of the toughest times for business. Our ability to learn from challenging situations and step forward is key to being successful and that’s one of the overarching themes of Local Enterprise Week, which I am proud to support. Businesses throughout the country are being severely impacted by Covid-19 restrictions and many haven’t been able to trade fully since last year. That’s why initiatives like Local Enterprise Week are more important than ever as they showcase all the supports that are available to small businesses and start-ups. The Local Enterprise Offices are on hand to help small businesses plan and prepare for 2021 and I am confident that through our collective efforts, we are beginning to turn the tide on these challenging times; and we will spring back.”

Padraic McElwee, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices said: “Because of Covid-19 restrictions, more than 200 events are moving online for Local Enterprise Week and as a result, we are making events as accessible as possible. Local Enterprise Week is the ideal time for business owners and those thinking of starting a business to find out what supports and programmes can help them face the challenges ahead. From existing schemes, like the Trading Online Voucher or Brexit Mentoring to new programmes, like Green for Micro, there is a whole suite of training, mentoring and financial supports that we’re encouraging small businesses to sign up for.”

The other Spotlight events taking place during Local Enterprise Week are:

  • Building The New’ – A dynamic morning session featuring insights from innovators and new start ups, on Tuesday, March 2nd at 10am (open to all businesses across the country and organised by Local Enterprise Office Galway).
  • ‘Growing Lean: One Small Step or One Giant Leap, Getting Started with Lean’ – An introduction to the basics of Lean thinking, how it is applied and the many supports available, on Tuesday, March 2nd at 2pm (open to all businesses across the country and organised by Local Enterprise Office Kildare).
  • AgriTech Revolution in Farming and Food’ – A fast-paced interactive conference that will examine how AgriTech has transformed farming and continues to help the sector thrive, on Wednesday, March 3rd at 9.30am (open to all businesses across the country and organised by Local Enterprise Office South Cork).
  • ‘Creative Connections: Enabling your B-2-B Online Opportunities’ – Aimed at entrepreneurs in creative sectors, this event is designed to showcase opportunities through developing online tools for selling to the Trade, on Wednesday, March 3rd at 2pm (open to all businesses across the country and organised by Local Enterprise Office Carlow)
  • ‘Engage for Growth with David Meade’ – A highly energetic and interactive 90 minute session introducing the psychology of leadership and providing a practical toolkit for effective business management, on Thursday, March 4th at 10am (open to all businesses across the country and organised by Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown).
  • ‘S.M.A.R.Tech for StartUps’ – A dynamic event is aimed at technology start-ups who want to learn more about cutting edge technology and supports available, from both private and public sectors for their business growth, on Thursday, March 4th at 4pm (open to all businesses across the country and organised by Local Enterprise Office Clare).
  • Masterclass: Health checking your business for its forward journey’ Blaise Brosnan, Management Resource Institute author and business guru, will deliver a practical masterclass assessing the financial health of your business, on Thursday, March 4th at 7pm (open to all businesses across the country and organised by Local Enterprise Office Wexford).
  • ‘Trading Online Voucher Information Webinar’ – An interactive online information session covering various topics, including developing a website, digital marketing, social media for business and search engine optimisation. The information provided is impartial and will help you decide what trading online options are right for your business, on Friday, March 5th at 9.30am (open to all businesses across the country and organised by Local Enterprise Office Fingal).

Details for all the events taking place for Local Enterprise Week, running until March 5th, are available at LocalEnterprise.ie/Week.

Information about the new Green for Micro programme, including how to apply, are available at LocalEnterprise.ie/Green

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Local Enterprise Week is an annual initiative from the Local Enterprise Offices and takes place from March 1st to 5th 2021. It’s supported by Enterprise Ireland, local authorities and the Government of Ireland.

Over 200 virtual events are taking place online, including ten ‘Spotlight’ events which are referenced in this brochure.

Common topics across the week include starting a new business, resilience and recovery, the green economy, becoming ‘leaner’, exploring new markets, doing business online and the new trading relationship with the UK.

Green for Micro is a new support from the Local Enterprise Offices and is open to micro-enterprises that employ up to 10 people. It involves two days of mentoring with a Green Consultant. More details can be found in the Green for Micro brochure.

Are you looking to grow your business through export?

Enterprise Ireland are presenting a series of workshops to demonstrate and promote ways to overcome the challenges of the pandemic by understanding overseas business cultures, building digital capabilities for selling and developing customer, distributor and/or partner relationships. 

The 5-part series will look at:

1.    What is the basis of your export plan?  Where in the world you might export?  Research

2.    Who is your ideal customer?  Culture and doing business in other countries

3.    How to prepare for export.  Sales and marketing to win export customers in a digital world

4.    How to finance your export plan.  Finance management through funding and pricing

5.    Bringing it all together.  Q&A session

The series will feature interviews with companies who have successfully exported and overseas Enterprise Ireland staff.

The webinar series is free to all micro & sme companies who are looking to take the first steps on the export journey.

Dates for the series are:

Part 1: 28th January 2021

Part 2: 11th February 2021

Part 3: 25th February 2021

Part 4: 11th March 2021

Part 5: 25th March 2021

To register please go to  – https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Export-Assistance/Exporter-Development/index.html

1-to-1 Advice & Support

If you have an idea for a new product or service, and need support to develop it, our team at the Medical and Engineering Technology Gateway, Galway are here to advise and support you in developing your idea. This FREE one-to-one consultation will take you through the process from start to finish. We are part of a nationwide network of Gateways, each with their own set of expertise and we can help you find the right partner to support your needs.

Talk with us on Wednesday Mach 10th or Thursday March 11th and find out more.

Book your session here: https://bookwhen.com/met

To learn more about our capabilities and how we can help you, see www.metcentre.ie or contact Sharon White at sharon.white@gmit.ie or 091 742329.

MET Centre Overview

Located in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology’s Galway campus, the Enterprise Ireland Medical and Engineering Technologies (MET) Gateway is an interdisciplinary applied research centre, dedicated to supporting Research, Development and Innovation activities in the MedTech, LifeSciences and Engineering sectors across five technology themes:

  • Medical Imaging Technologies that allow for prototype devices to be tested and evaluated under clinically relevant simulated use conditions.
  • Anatomical Modelling and Physiological Replication that translate medical data into engineering data and then into clinically relevant anatomical models with accompanying simulation systems.
  • Data Analytics and Visualisation: MET has expertise in data analytics and the visualisation of clinical data that inform the design of next generation medical device prototypes.
  • Design Engineering and Verification: offering services in prototyping and resign verification technologies such as CAD design; rapid prototyping, technical reviews and materials and product characterisation.
  • Medicinal Nutrition and Sport: with expertise in Nutrition and Sports Science, the research team assist the food industry in all aspects of novel food development including food analysis and testing, human intervention trials, product innovation, development and optimisation.

Life-on-Chip Conference – Exploring the Convergence in Health Technologies’ organized by Smart Hub Flemish Brabant together with flanders.health (DSP Valley, flanders.bio and MedTech Flanders), BioWin, imec, Antleron, VIB, Leuven.Inc and EIT Health.

Micro- and nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, design thinking, robotics, novel manufacturing technologies and big data have made major impacts across all industries, but perhaps their greatest potential impact will be in health and life sciences. Combined with ever-growing biological insights and discoveries, resulting innovations will enable amazing applications that can change the healthcare system.

A visionary seminar on nanotech in health and 4 thematic sessions covering how to increase efficiency in the healthcare system through the introduction of new technologies, healthtech solutions for patient specific treatment, digital diagnostics & therapeutics, and progress in shifting the boundaries of knowledge at the forefront of medicine and healthcare.

The matchmaking is intended for Business-to-Business, as well as for Science-to-Business. The matchmaking event organized by the Enterprise Europe Network is free of charge, participants that also wish to attend the Conference, need to pay a conference fee.

To Register for the Event, click here

Yes It’s True
Government funded part time and online Springboard+ courses Springboard+ courses are short in duration and delivered on a part time basis up to and including Level 9. Programmes are funded between 90-100% for employees looking to upskill. This briefing by the HEA, University of Limerick & Limerick Institute of Technology is on February 25th at 9am. Register by clicking here

Mid-West Females in Tech Initiative 
Employer Mentoring and Work Placement For StudentsFemales in tech is a pilot software development programme to attract females looking to return to the workplace in the Mid-West. Each student will be mentored during their studies by tech companies who will also provide a three month work placement. The collaborative initiative involves Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board, Code Institute, Limerick for IT industry cluster and the Regional Skills Forum. The objective is to create another pipeline of talent to meet ICT skills needs in the region.   

‘Explore’ Funded Digital Skills Training 
Upskilling Older Employees in Manufacturing SectorExplore is a Government funded short training programme to help older employees develop their digital skills. Technology is changing job roles and no employee should be left behind. Employees who participate on Explore will develop the skills and confidence to continue their learning journey.  

Diary Dates on Regional Upskilling Events
Regional Skills Mid-West are hosting a series of industry webinars in collaboration with education and training providers to advise employers on the range of Government upskilling supports available. Registration details and further information is available by contacting joeleddin@regionalskills.ie 
Springboard+ Employer Briefing February 25th 
Life Sciences Webinar February 26th 
Logistic Apprenticeship March 25th
Retail Apprenticeship April 29th

Financial Services Apprenticeships
Employer briefing on 4th March 2pmIndustry briefing on the range of financial services apprenticeship programmes to upskill existing employees or create new talent pipeline. Hear from employers including Northern Trust on how the apprenticeship route now forms part of their talent acquisition strategy. Registration available by clicking here  

Mid-West Regional Skills Forum
Helping Employers Upskill Their Employees
The Mid-West Regional Skills Forum is part of a nationwide network of fora established by the Department of Education & Skills. Regional Skill Managers provide a single point of contact for employers looking to engage with education and training providers. To find out about Government funding supports to help upskill your employees click here

Families are encouraged to get involved in Ireland’s largest celebration of engineering during STEPS Engineers Week 2021, with online events to take place on Saturday, 27 February and Sunday, 28 February to inspire Ireland’s future engineering talent.

A series of Family Fairs to inspire Ireland’s future engineers through interactive virtual workshops and spectacular shows will be beamed live from Dublin, Cork and Sligo to kick off STEPS Engineers Week 2021.

Taking place from 27 February – 5 March, STEPS Engineers Week encourages young people, their teachers and parents to explore the creative and limitless world of engineering and the diverse opportunities a career in the sector can offer.

The week-long celebration of the engineering profession in Ireland, now in its 15th year and taking place in a virtual setting for the first time, is managed by the Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills and industry leaders ARUP, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

To kick off STEPS Engineers Week 2021, the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme has teamed up with IT Sligo and Foróige YES! Youth Engineering Solutions Programme to provide families with free and engaging engineering workshops and shows as part of their annual Family Fair series of events.

On Saturday, 27 and Sunday, 28 February, the Sligo Engineering Fair will be beamed live from IT Sligo between 12 noon and 5pm each day. Families are invited to attend a range of performances, interactive talks, workshops and hands on activities, including building a Fan-Powered Car, an Automata, a Bio-Engineered Artificial Hand and much more. Special guests, Dr Niamh Shaw, Prof. Niall English and Nemo le Magician, will also join the engineering spectacular at IT Sligo to engage budding engineers at home.

On Sunday, 28 February, Foróige’s YES! Youth Engineering Solutions Programme will present a day of discovery and will host a live online show by Science Made Simple, live workshops by Anyone4Science, a fun Engineering Quiz, an Invention Challenge and will be introducing YES! TV, engineers will be interviewed about their careers.

From Dublin, on Saturday, February 27, and Sunday, February 28, the Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme will host two-days of online pre-recorded engineering shows and live workshops led by Explorium, Scientific Sue and Silly Billy. The Reptile Zoo, Science Made Simple and Rediscovery Centre will also offer workshops and learning experiences throughout the weekend

Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said: “The STEPS Engineers Week Family Fairs will bring the fascinating world of engineering to life in homes across Ireland and will provide children and their families with the opportunity to dream, invent and create like professional engineers.”

“Engineering is more than just bridges and structures, engineers are responsible for designing and creating the technology behind virtual reality, the invisible technology that supports our daily lives and finding solutions to tackle climate change. I would encourage families to register to attend a free family activity as part of STEPS Engineers Week and find out more about how Irish engineers are pushing the limits of innovation.”

For more information about the STEPS Engineers Week Family Fairs hosted remotely from Dublin, Cork and Sligo and to pre-book activities, visit: www.engineersireland.ie/schools/.

Engineering students are asked to be creative and explain to school children in just a minute or less what engineering is. The students are asked to upload their short video to their own Instagram or Twitter account using the hashtags #ThisIsEngineering2021 and #STEPSEngineersWeek and tagging Engineers Ireland (@engineersIreland on Instagram and @EngineerIreland on Twitter). Entry is free and students have a chance of winning a share of a €700 prize fund.

Thanks to Dr Jamie Goggins of our Engineers Ireland West Region for this initiative, linking in with STEPS Engineers Week and Dr William Finnegan, Chair of the West Region. More information about entering this competition is available on the NUIG website here.

The deadline for entry is 11pm on Saturday 6 March and ten finalists will be selected for the 60-second This is Engineering Film Festival screening at 12 noon on 16 March, sponsored by our West Region.

Here at LINC Engineering Network we value the importance of young people in engineering and are delighted to see such efforts to encourage the next generation of engineers.

For more info go to Engineering Irelands Website

Enterprise Ireland launch Evolve Strategic Planning Grant and Evolve UK programme to support Irish exporters deliver strategic response to the recent changes and challenges in the UK trading environment

The new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has resulted in changes to how businesses and sectors operate in the UK.  However, the market remains Ireland’s largest single trading partner and will continue to offer opportunities for Irish exporters. A survey conducted by Enterprise Ireland of 427 Irish exporters, exporting to the UK has revealed that 89% see future opportunities in the UK market. Also, 4 in 5 companies (83%) say that their strategy is to grow exports to the UK, while 15% say they will sustain exports to the UK. The survey was conducted ahead of Enterprise Ireland’s official launch of its Evolve UK initiative at its online event ‘The New UK: Succeeding in a Changing Market’, taking place today.

In response to the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, Enterprise Ireland has launched its Evolve UK programme, delivering critical insights to Irish companies on the evolving UK market and sector changes and opportunities through reports, insight bulletins and virtual events.

Another initiative launching today is the ‘Evolve Strategic Planning Grant’, designed to support clients to respond to the challenges and opportunities, which have arisen as a result of changes to the trading environment in the UK since January 1st, 2021. This support, a €5,000 grant, from Enterprise Ireland will support companies to adapt their approach to the market to secure and grow their sales. It will also support companies to explore approaches to optimise supply chains, research opportunities as the market evolves and changes, and prepare for changes in certification and regulatory requirements.

Both initiatives will be launched this morning by Minister for State for Trade Promotion, Robert Troy TD, at Enterprise Ireland’s online event ‘The New UK: Succeeding in a Changing Market’, attended by Ambassador O’Neill Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom, Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram , with participation from client companies including Conor McCarthy, Chairman and Chief Executive, Dublin Aerospace and Lulu O’Sullivan, CEO, Gifts Direct & The Irish Store.

Robert Troy TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation commented:

“The UK has always been and remains Ireland’s largest single trading partner. In 2019 Enterprise Ireland client exports to the UK were the highest ever and represented 31% of total exports.  The importance of the relationship between our two markets cannot be understated and over the coming months and years, the Irish and UK Governments will look to strengthen this relationship further. With our deeply integrated networks, the UK is often the first export market for most Irish companies to grow and scale internationally. With the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement we can expect changes in how businesses and sectors operate in the UK.  Both the Evolve UK initiative and the Evolve Strategic Planning Grant will be instrumental in supporting Irish exporters to keep informed and prepared for market and sector changes and opportunities.”

Marina Donohoe, Enterprise Ireland Director, UK and Northern Europe, said:

“The UK market is evolving, and we can expect further changes and developments over the months and years ahead. In this now post-Brexit world, Enterprise Ireland companies remain optimistic and ambitious about the opportunities in the UK market and strategies to grow their export sales to the UK. Through our two offices in London and Manchester, team of Market Advisors based in the UK, we are focused on delivering deep market and sector knowledge to support Irish exporters to adapt and grow in the UK, navigate changes and seize evolving opportunities.”

In 2019, Enterprise Ireland client exports grew by 2% to €7.9bn, representing 31% of Enterprise Ireland client exports. The overall dependence on the UK market reduced to 31% of total exports, down from 42% ten years ago, a key focus of the Enterprise Ireland market diversification strategy.

Venue: Online Virtual Classroom | Date: 16/02/2021

Note: Tuesday 16th February | Time: 9.30am – 11.30am

Mandatory information Webinar for those applying for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme. Applicants must attend same prior to completing an application. Bookings from outside of Limerick will be cancelled immediately!

These Webinars inform about the grant that is available through the Local Enterprise Office  to develop an ecommerce business site and how to apply for it in a stress less fashion.

BOOKINGS WILL ONLY BE TAKEN FROM BUSINESSES REGISTERED IN LIMERICK.

This Webinar will be facilitated by Almedia Training.

To book your place click HERE

Continuing expansion of its European Centre of Excellence in Cork as demand for cross-border fund administration and asset servicing grows

Alter Domus (“Alter Domus” or the “Company”), a leading provider of integrated solutions for the alternative investment industry, has announced the creation of 100 new jobs, substantially increasing headcount at its European Centre of Excellence in Cork.

From Cork, Alter Domus operates a European hub for global private debt, private equity, real estate and infrastructure investors and managers supporting over €1 trillion in assets under administration globally. With offices in Cork and Dublin, Alter Domus has already invested significantly in its Irish operations, having increased its headcount in Ireland from 100 to 180 people in 2020.

To support continued growth, the Company is investing in a new workplace for the future at Cork Airport Business Park allowing the business to continue to scale. Alter Domus will also continue to invest in its partnerships with third level institutions locally. This will include the enhancement of both graduate and internship programmes that will become a key source of top talent of the future. Annual intake for each of these programmes is expected to double this year.

The plans come as private asset funds are poised for significant growth in Ireland and the Company aims to provide fully integrated solutions to its clients.

Globally, Alter Domus recruited over 700 people in 2020 including 80 people in Ireland. In addition to organic growth, Alter Domus continues to grow by acquisition. Most recently, in December, the Company acquired Boston-based fund administrator, IPS Fund Services and London-based fintech, Credit-Vision and, in January, acquired Utah-based Strata Fund Solutions LLC. Alter Domus is targeting significant further organic and acquisition growth in 2021, part of which will be driven by the expansion of its services and capabilities in the Irish market.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said:

“The creation of 100 new highly-skilled jobs at the Alter Domus European Centre of Excellence in Cork shows the rich pool of talent we have in this country. The company’s 10-year commitment to Ireland as a leading player in the alternative investment industry has been an important part in that success story. There will be even greater opportunities in the Financial Services sector in years to come and the innovative graduate development paths provided by Alter Domus will help ensure future growth.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade & Employment Leo Varadkar said:

“I warmly welcome this further expansion of Alter Domus in Cork, which will create 100 new highly-skilled roles over the next year, on top of the 80 created last year. I am particularly pleased to see the company will continue the partnerships it has established with local third-level institutions. Ireland is now a hub for Financial Services companies from all over the world and we welcome this expansion and look forward to the company’s continued success here in Cork.”

Heather Crowley-Kerr, Head of Operations Europe, Alter Domus, said:

“Our Irish operations have played a key part in our growth to become a leading global provider of fund administration and asset servicing dedicated to the alternative investment industry. We are delighted to announce the creation of 100 new jobs in Ireland and, in particular, at our European Centre of Excellence in Cork. Ireland offers a strong talent pool from which to grow. This includes both experienced professionals from the alternatives fund services industry and also access to quality third-level graduates. Our ability to attract talented professionals with a rewarding career path together with the development of a sophisticated training academy has aided our ability to grow rapidly in 2020 and we expect this to continue in 2021.”

James McEvoy, Country Executive Ireland, Alter Domus, said:

“We are delighted to confirm our plans for further growth in Ireland. We have continued to rapidly grow the business in recent years and see a new market opening up here for investors in private assets. This industry holds over $10 trillion in assets, a growing proportion of which is invested in Europe. Ireland is going to be an increasingly important access point to these markets. Our priority is to support our clients where they need us and our focus now is to enhance our service offering to bring our specialist full-service solutions to market in support of that growth.”

Martin Shanahan CEO of IDA Ireland, said:

“Alter Domus first established in Ireland in 2011. Since then it has significantly expanded its presence in Dublin and Cork. Today’s announcement to create 100 roles at its European Centre of Excellence in Cork, endorses Alter Domus’ confidence in the availability of a high skilled and talented workforce in the South West and demonstrates IDA Ireland’s continued commitment to winning investment for regional locations. I wish Alter Domus every success with this expansion.”

– Ends –

Contact Information

IDA Ireland Press Office

press@pressofficeidaireland.com

Notes to editors

About Alter Domus

Alter Domus is a leading provider of integrated solutions for the alternative investment industry. Vertical integration allows us to build dedicated teams to provide support and bespoke solutions across entire value chains. By tapping into a talent pool of some 3,000 employees across more than 35 offices in 20 countries, our expertise and cutting-edge technology combine to put clients ahead of the game.

Globally, Alter Domus serves the majority of the largest private debt managers, real estate firms, and private equity houses.

Operating in Ireland since 2011, Alter Domus was the first independent service provider dedicated to private assets to be authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland.

With an established professional focus on private equity, infrastructure, real estate, and debt capital markets sectors, we offer fund administration, corporate services, depositary services, transfer pricing, domiciliation and management company services. Our specific experience in the debt capital markets sector allows us to provide specialist solutions such as loan administration, agency services, trade settlement and CLO manager services.

For more information, please visit: www.alterDomus.com


A €20 million grant scheme has been launched to help European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access their intellectual property rights.

Supported by the European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund is aimed at businesses that wish to develop their IP strategies and protect their IP rights, at national, regional or EU level.

Open to all enterprises in the EU that fit the official definition of a SME, the new scheme offers financial support in the form of reimbursements for trade mark and design application and for IP pre-diagnostic services (IP Scan), up to a maximum amount of €1,500 per business.

It opens for applications on 11 January 2021 in the first of five application windows that will run throughout the year.

The new scheme forms part of the European Commission’s IP Action Plan. It is carried out in cooperation with the national and regional intellectual property offices of the EU.

The requirements, timing and other information relevant to the scheme can be found on the Ideas Powered for Business hub.

https://www.clustercollaboration.eu/news/eu20-million-grant-fund-help-smes-maximise-intellectual-property

As 2021 begins, EPS is celebrating the awarding of a new UK framework. Following a comprehensive procurement process, EPS has been nominated as a provider of packaged chemical dosing units to Southern Water through AMP7 and potentially beyond.

The framework has been established to cover the supply, installation and commissioning of packaged systems on water and wastewater treatment works across the Southern Water region. There are approximately 78 projects currently identified on the dosing programme, the majority which will require ferric sulphate dosing for the removal of phosphorus on wastewater sites.

The framework will kick off in January 2021 with the design of a range of standardised packaged dosing systems to meet Southern Water’s requirements and asset standards, with the delivery of systems to site beginning thereafter.

“We’re delighted to have secured another dosing framework to mark the start of a new year,” says Shaun Stevens, EPS’ UK General Manager. “Our teams have worked tirelessly through 2020 to maintain productivity and continuity of work, despite the challenges of the pandemic and the impacts it has had on workflows. This framework further expands our footprint in the UK water sector and will enable us to increase dosing output at our Centre of Excellence for Design & Manufacturing in 2021.”

He adds: “It’s encouraging to have yet another water company recognise the value that the EPS product offering brings to the market. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Southern Water teams and fellow suppliers on the framework, and to applying our expertise and experience for the benefit of our Client and their customers.”

For more information on EPS’s chemical dosing capabilities, please contact Paul Cousans at pcousans@epswater.com or visit www.epswater.co.uk.  

66 actions across Government to bring down costs, introduce more competition, reduce burden on business
The Government has today (Tuesday the 8th of December) published the first Action Plan for Insurance Reform, with actions across Government to make Ireland’s insurance sector more competitive and consumer-friendly, supporting enterprise and job creation.

The Plan sets out 66 actions to bring down costs for consumers and business; introduce more competition into the market; prevent fraud and reduce the burden on business, community and voluntary organisations.

The Plan will:

Replace the Book of Quantum with new guidelines on the appropriate level of personal injury awards
Enhance the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board
Examine the duty of care to strengthen waivers and notices to increase protections for consumers, businesses, sporting clubs and community groups.
Further strengthen transparency through the expansion of the National Claims Information Database
Monitor whether personal injury award levels need to be capped
Reduce insurance fraud including placing perjury on a statutory footing, making the offence easier to prosecute
Strengthen the enforcement powers of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC)
Examine dual pricing
Establish an office within Government to encourage greater insurance market competition.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said:

“Insurance reform is one of my top priorities as Tánaiste. For far too long, the cost and availability of insurance has been a problem for businesses, consumers and community and voluntary groups. Things have to change and I am determined that they should change for the better under this new Government.

“This Plan shows that Government is serious about reform and committed to bringing about substantive change for consumers and businesses, which will make a real difference to people’s lives and livelihoods.

“As we re-open our economy once more, businesses and families will face financial pressures, including that of insurance, and it our intention to alleviate that over the coming period.”

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD said:

“The launch of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform today represents a clear demonstration of this Government’s focus on reforming the insurance sector for our citizens and businesses. Its focus on an all-of-government approach is necessary if we are to deliver the key reforms needed. I believe that the insurance industry has a key role in helping to reopen the economy and wider society as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, and welcome their support of this agenda. Implementing these reforms will not be without challenge however our new approach provides the best basis for providing positive outcomes for consumers, in turn delivering wider social and economic benefits.”

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said:

”The Action Plan for Insurance Reform is an ambitious reform programme which shows the Government’s commitment to drive down insurance costs for businesses and consumers.

“Through the Action Plan my Department will drive a number of key actions, such as a review of the Occupiers’ Liability Act and an assessment of the implementation of the Personal Injury Guidelines.

“The Perjury and Related Offences Bill will introduce penalties for perjury related offences and there will be enhanced cooperation between An Garda Síochána and the insurance industry to combat insurance fraud.

“This Government is determined to bring about long awaited change in the insurance market, and we will work together to achieve that goal.”

Minister of State Department of Finance with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance Sean Fleming TD said:

“This whole of Government approach demonstrates our commitment to deliver a more competitive insurance market for consumers and businesses. We have spoken to all the insurance companies and stakeholders about how we can reduce premiums and I am satisfied these actions will deliver on this commitment over time. Progress has been made on motor insurance, but many businesses have not felt the benefits of this. My role is to encourage competition but also seek out a clear and transparent analysis of all costs associated with insurance premiums. Over the past couple of years, legal costs, fraud and big profits of insurance companies have hurt Irish consumers. Competition in Ireland has been shaped by the fact that we only have one locally owned insurance company, which makes us reliant on multinationals.

“Next week I will chair the first meeting of a new cross-departmental office which will take a strategic approach to promoting competition by breaking down barriers to reform and enhancing policy co-ordination across the State.”

Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy added:

“Reform of the Personal Injuries Board and enhancing the powers of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is a top priority for me as Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation. The actions set out in this Action Plan are essential to reducing the cost of insurance and dealing with the negative impact this has on businesses and consumers. I am committed to progressing actions over the coming months to bring about effective change for consumers, businesses and community and voluntary groups”.

Actions will be undertaken and delivered by Ministers in the Departments of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Finance and Justice over the next 18 months. The Sub-Group on Insurance Reform within the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery will meet regularly, engage with stakeholders and publish progress of the actions every six months.

The Programme for Government sets out a range of commitments to reform the insurance sector in Ireland. These commitments include addressing legal reforms; addressing fraud; increasing competition and enhancing the role of the PIAB. The Government has established a Sub-Group on Insurance Reform under the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment to drive implementation of these commitments.

The Sub-Group which is chaired by an Tánaiste includes:

-Minister for Finance;
-Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform;
-Minister for Justice;
-Minister for Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth;
-Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance;
-Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation.


The first task of the Sub-Group has been the development of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform. The Action Plan launched today reflects the insurance reform commitments made in the Programme for Government as well as outstanding recommendations arising from the Reports of the Cost of Insurance Working Group and Personal Injuries Commission. It sets out 66 measures for reform in the short and medium term. It assigns responsibility to Government Departments for delivery and sets out associated timeframes for delivery of the commitments.

The Action Plan for Insurance Reform can be viewed on gov.ie.

Negotiations have resumed in Brussels to try to break the impasse ahead of a phone call between European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and British prime minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: EPA

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The European Union’s chief negotiator has told member states that it will be difficult to make a breakthrough in negotiations with Britain as talks enter their end game.

Negotiations have resumed in Brussels to try to break the impasse ahead of a phone call between European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and British prime minister Boris Johnson, after the two teams failed to break the impasse over the weekend.

“Having heard from Michel Barnier this morning really the news is very downbeat. I would say he was very gloomy and very cautious about the ability to make progress today,” said foreign minister Simon Coveney.

“Unfortunately I’d like to be giving more positive news but at the moment these negotiations seem stalled. The barriers to progress are still very much in place.”

Barnier was summoned to brief EU member states on Monday amid nervousness among some capitals that any deal should not give Britain a permanent economic advantage over its neighbours.

The Innovation Voucher initiative was developed to build links between Ireland’s public knowledge providers (i.e. higher education institutes, public research bodies) and small businesses. Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 are available to assist a company or companies to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider.

In an independent survey of companies that participated in the Innovation Voucher Programme:

  • 97% of respondents would be willing to recommend the Programme to other businesses.
  • Increase in company turnover of €11.83 per €1.00 of Enterprise Ireland investment in the Voucher Programme.

Am I eligible?

The Innovation Vouchers initiative is open to all small and medium-sized companies registered in Ireland.

Applications are not restricted to clients of Enterprise Ireland.

Exclusions

Small and medium-sized enterprises in the agricultural sector are excluded in line with State aid guidelines.

Companies with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, “not for profit” organisations, trade associations, company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce, Sports Bodies & Associations, Sports Clubs and other non-commercial bodies or associations are not eligible to participate in the innovation voucher initiative.

Small and medium-sized company definition (SME):
For the purposes of the Innovation Voucher Initiative, a small and medium-sized enterprise is defined as a company or (if part of a group) a group of companies where the total number of full-time employees in the company (or the entire group) is less than 250 and has an annual turnover total not exceeding €50m and/or an annual Balance Sheet total not exceeding €43m. (Exclusions: small and medium-sized enterprises in the agricultural sector are excluded in line with State aid guidelines).

Eligibility Criteria and Conditions of Use

Small and medium-sized companies may make use of a maximum of three vouchers, one of which must be a 50-50 co-funded Fast Track voucher.

Companies that have been approved in excess of €300,000 (includes funding under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership programme) funding from Enterprise Ireland in the previous 5 years are not eligible to apply for a fully funded 5k Standard Innovation Voucher, but are eligible to apply for a Co-Funded Innovation Voucher provided they satisfy all other eligibility criteria.

A company may have one ‘active’ voucher at any point in time. Companies should ensure that the voucher has been redeemed by the knowledge provider before applying for a subsequent voucher.

Companies will not be eligible for further vouchers until their accounts with the knowledge providers are settled in full (including the payment of VAT).

Your voucher will also be accepted by registered knowledge providers in Northern Ireland as part of Enterprise Ireland’s arrangement with Invest Northern Ireland.

Please note that Innovation Vouchers are EXCLUSIVE OF VAT. You will be charged VAT by the knowledge provider and this cost MUST be settled separately by the company.

For additional information and application info, see the following link;

Innovation Vouchers Info

With Brexit impending, it is crucial that you prepare your business. New regulations and laws etc. may have a huge impact on you and your business.

To help with this, Local Enterprise Office Limerick is holding a free Virtual Brexit Mentoring Clinic.

Venue: Online Virtual Classroom

Date: 11/11/2020

Time: 9am – 5.30pm (allocated slots)

To book your place click here

Key Points

  1. Up to €9,000 in funding for each new employee engaged in customs work
  2. The grant also covers costs associated with redeploying an existing member of staff.
  3. Business urged to act now to be ready for major customs challenge
  4. Failure to act could damage important customer relationships

A new ‘Ready for Customs’ grant was opened today by Enterprise Ireland, as part of the Government’s Brexit Readiness Action Plan.

The €20m fund provides grant support for each new employee taken on in a customs role within a company. Up to €9,000 is available for each full-time employee hired.

According to Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland: “The ‘Ready for Customs’ grant is one of a range of business supports the Government outlined today as part of Ireland’s Brexit Readiness Action Plan. This new grant provides companies with financial assistance to cover the costs of taking on much needed additional customs clearance staff, which will be needed when Brexit becomes a reality on the 1st January 2021.

“Research indicates that insufficient customs clearance capacity is a significant risk for Irish enterprises. Business needs to act now to build capacity and this grant will assist them meet the challenge that will become very real on 1st January next. My clear message is don’t wait – take action now.

“A grant of up to €9,000 for each new full-time employee taken on in a customs role over the coming months is available.”

If an existing employee is redeployed the grant can also be used to cover those costs.

“The Revenue Commissioners estimate that the number of customs declarations will increase from 1.7m a year to 20m in 2021, requiring approximately 2,000 additional staff to process them. There is currently not enough customs clearance capacity in Irish businesses. This is a real risk, that could ultimately damage valuable relationships with UK customers.

“The Ready for Customs grant is time limited and I would urge every Irish company, logistics firm or customs intermediary involved in trading with the UK, to apply for this grant through Enterprise Ireland today.”

Details available at: www.enterprise-ireland.com/ReadyforCustoms

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Conor O’Donovan

Enterprise Ireland

Conor O’Donovan

087 967 1342

Brexit news – live: Boris Johnson blames EU for end of talks, as Lords hand government heaviest defeat for 20 years

Boris Johnson has told the Greek prime minister there will be no more Brexit trade talks with Brussels unless the bloc fundamentally changes its stance on the discussions – again claiming the EU “have effectively ended those negotiations”.

It comes as EU negotiator Michel Barnier held another phone call with his counterpart David Frost, telling the No 10 official: “We should be making the most out of the little time left. Our door remains open.”

For further updates on Brexit click here

Brexit Readiness Checker

With Brexit impending, Enterprise Ireland is supporting Irish businesses to assess their Brexit readiness across Customs, Finance, Strategic Sourcing and Serving your customer. Complete the Brexit Readiness Checker to receive a personalized report to help assess your current readiness status and prioritize your actions before Jan 1st.

To use this useful tool follow this link:

https://www.prepareforbrexit.com/brexitreadinesschecker/

In these uncertain times, everybody at Linc Engineering Network would like to wish all of our Members and Customers continued health and success.

The following is Kildare Local Enterprise Office Description of the Workshop

The clinic can cover the following areas: Current Challenges & Action Plans, Business Vision, 3 Year Planning, Market Opportunities analysis, SWOT Analysis, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Strategies, Knowing your competitors.These mentoring clinics will provide strategic support to businesses in overcoming challenges posed by Brexit and/or the Covid pandemic.“

Venue:Mentor session delivered online via Zoom

Date:21/10/2020

Note:Exact time will be allocated by business mentor

To book visit;

https://www.localenterprise.ie/Kildare/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Copy-of-Brexit-and-Covid-Mentoring-Clinic-Strategy-and-Business-Development-22nd-Sept-PM-.html

The following is Cork City Local Enterprise Office Description of the Workshop

This session will bring you up to date with the current status of the Brexit process and the future trading relationship negotiations. It will outline the steps businesses should take now to prepare for the trading environment from 1st January 2021 onwards. It will also present an overview of the range of supports available from the Local Enterprise Office and other State Agencies to support small businesses.

Venue:Online

Date:16/10/2020

Time:09:30-11:30

To Book:

https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkCity/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Brexit-information-session-for-small-businesses1.html

The following is Cork City Local Enterprise Office Description of the Workshop

At our business advice clinic, you will be provided with one to one business advice, for an hour, with a business expert. Please note that for specific Legal, Tax or Accounts queries you should contact your Accountant or Solicitor . Important Note: Only clients who situated in Cork City Council’s administrative area will receive a subsequent email confirming an appointment. If in any doubt please contact us on 021 4961828

Venue:Online via Zoom

Date:13/10/2020

Time:9:00am-16:15pm

To Book Your Place;

https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkCity/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/Online-Business-Advice-Clinic-Tuesday-13th-October-2020.html

( Original article by https://www.siliconrepublic.com/ )

CIT’s Nimbus Centre will lead an EU project called ‘Denim’ to find new energy efficient manufacturing technologies.

As part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 Factories of the Future programme, Dr Alan McGibney and Dr Susan Rea of the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) Nimbus Centre will lead a new €11m European research project.

The ‘Denim’ project aims to accelerate the digital transformation of manufacturing processes by greatly reducing their energy consumption. With a significant amount of Europe’s total energy consumption attributed to the industrial sector, the EU is aiming to find how new technologies can help reduce this in line with its aim for the continent to carbon neutral by 2050.

The Denim project’s goal is to collect, analyse and communicate data in real time that can optimise performance and reduce consumption at machine, process and factory levels. This, the team behind it said, can be achieved using the internet of things, data analytics, digital twins, energy modelling and automation.

“In order to save energy, you first need to know how and where it is being consumed,” McGibney said.

“At home you might look at your electricity smart meter or heating bill, however in an industrial setting there are many factors that impact energy consumption and getting a full view of these remains a major challenge.

“Digital technologies will play a significant role by providing the ability to automatically monitor and optimise energy usage, while also informing users on the environmental and economic impact of decisions made at all stages of the manufacturing process.”

18 different partners

Rea added that the project sees education, awareness and upskilling as an “essential component to allow all workers understand their collective responsibility in addressing energy efficiency”.

The project includes a consortium of 18 partner organisations led by CIT across eight countries. It is the first Ireland-led project funded under the Factories of the Future programme.

According to Dr Sergio Ceballos, the national contact point for the EU programme in Enterprise Ireland, Denim scored fifth out of 83 proposals submitted for funding.

Congratulations to everybody involved for their fantastic work and innovation

The following video shows the inner working of EPS Group and outlines their products, services and additional information about their certification.

LINC Member, EPS is a trusted provider of innovative, progressive and future proof products, solutions and services to the water sector. With 50 years expertise, we pride ourselves on our client focus, embracing a can-do attitude; reliability, certainty of performance and delivery to clients.

EPS Group is a wet infrastructure specialist operating across the Republic of Ireland and the UK, one of the few genuine end-to-end service providers in the global water sector. Founded upon 50 years of experience, EPS has grown from a modest electrical and pumping services business into an innovative, internationally exporting product and service provider, now focused upon the water, wastewater and clean technology sectors. The Group provides services to municipal, industrial, commercial, agricultural and domestic clients and currently exports globally.

For more information

Contact;

info@epswater.ie

or visit;

http://www.epswater.ie/

The following video shows the inner working of SQ Fabs and outlines their products, services and additional information about their certification.

SQ Fabrication is a manufacturer of high-quality stainless steel; fabrications, quality-built stairs and balcony platforms. The company works closely with its clients capitalising on the most modern manufacturing methods. The goal is to exceed customers’ expectations with attention to detail in the products.

SQ Fabs caters for a vast spectrum of clients across a multitude of sectors including; the Food, Pharmaceutical, Architectural, Construction, and Commercial. They specialize in building the rapport with the customer to provide initial 3d inventor drawings prior to the project being completed.

For additional information contact;

noel@sqfabs.ie

or visit SQFABS.ie with the link below

Kevin Deady of LINC Member Company, Munster Tool Company, outlines their products and services in this short video.

Established in 1980, Munster Tool Co supplies top quality workshop and automotive tools, workwear and garage equipment to the automotive, agricultural, industrial, plant hire and HGV and allied industries. Today Munster Tool Co distributes a comprehensive range of tools and equipment from the world’s leading brands to customers in 32 counties and some overseas customers.

Munster Tool Co operates from a modern computerised administration centre, and warehouse in Mallow and our fleet of modern state of the art sales/demonstration vans support our growing list of customers.

For any queries contact;

info@munstertoolco.ie

or visit;

Enrika from Viska Systems asks you to visit Viska Systems at the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Confrence. The event takes place from 27 – 28 January 2021.

LINC Memeber Viska Systems design and build customised automated high-accuracy manufacturing and metrology measurement systems for the medical device, electronics, semiconductor, and research industries. Company’s ‘secret sauce’ is their specialist knowledge in designing equipment operating with accuracies to one-thousandth of a millimetre, which is a unique offering in the Irish market.

Viska Systems work on a partnership basis with their customers and aim to become the ‘go-to’ specialists for their most demanding manufacturing and measurement requirements.

Check out the video!

LINC Member, Advanced Hygiene Technologies will be attending the National Manufacturing and Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition.

They will be at stand D-17 and will be showcasing their latest hygiene innovations. The spotlight will be on their hand washing system which offers standardization and guarantees effective handwashing in just 12 seconds.

Watch this short video for more information.

We are proud to see a member company thriving and we wish them the best of success at the Exhibition. Make sure to attend if you can!

In an abandoned former cigarette plant on the edge of Mullingar, a group of researchers is plotting the future of Irish industrial technology. The repurposing of the old Imperial Tobacco site is emblematic of how the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre sees itself – building Ireland’s industrial base of the future on the foundations of the past, and present.

But this is not some dream factory for academic researchers preoccupied with blue-sky thinking. The centre is focused on the pragmatic manufacturing challenges of business today.

Nowhere was this more evident than in its response to Covid-19.

“As soon as COVID hit, we realised the country was in a place that it’s never been in before and that we were in a privileged position where the State had funded advanced manufacturing research,” says chief executive Barry Kennedy, a former quality control expert at Intel. “We made a decision, a business decision, to step up now and play our part.”

The first thing they did was use their 3D printers to pump out bands for making face shields for hospitals and clinics.

“I genuinely won’t ever forget – it was quite an upsetting day when an emergency department nurse from Mullingar General Hospital came in in a state and begged us for anything we could give her that looked remotely like PPE [personal protective equipment] because they had nothing.

“So we printed off loads of masks, face shields for them and got them down to them that afternoon. They’d literally take anything we had.”

The centre has been supplying Mullingar hospital as well as St James’s, Kerry General and hospices consistently since. It also started to work with client companies with spare capacity as orders dried up.

They helped them manage the switch over to producing PPE, leveraging their network of companies to develop new business links to access necessary materials for this new supply chain.

It has also worked extensively on developing an enclosed face mask to protect frontline workers and others, such as those in meat plants, who must work in close proximity to one another. And it has been involved in two separate ventilator projects.

Crisis genesis

But there is more to the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre (IMR) than responding to immediate crises like Covid. Its genesis came in the midst of our last crisis, after the 2008 financial crash. Kennedy was in a senior role at Intel at the time. Talking to his general manager, he noted Ireland’s near-unique position in having such a high density of major multinationals in relatively close proximity to each other.

“And I said, ‘I wonder could we work collectively together on common challenges that would give another reason why the mothership wouldn’t move out of the country.’ ”

He put out a call to gauge interest and, within 24 hours, had more than enough encouragement to proceed. At a subsequent meeting, the group focused on energy efficiency and manufacturing productivity.

The Government was setting up research centres at the time, so the group applied for funding and its two ideas were among the five approved. But the initiative was almost strangled at birth.

“When we got together as a cluster of companies, we said, ‘Well that’s wonderful, we’re all together now in spirit, we think it’s the right thing to do, but I can’t work with you because you’re a competitor of mine, so thanks for the lunch,’ and we’re kind of done,” he recalls.

The answer, hammered out over time, was to steer clear of anything impinging on company IP or their specific products and to focus instead on things like factory air-handling systems, production-line parts and processes and machine efficiency.

“We worked for well over a year, maybe a year and a half trying to get these companies to sign up to the legal agreements, with all the international lawyers – 28 international lawyers on the line – trying to negotiate consortium agreements with them, but we got there.”

IMR now focuses on four areas – energy efficiency; sustainability; collaborative robotics/advanced automation with a focus on digitisation and the industrial internet of things; and 3D printing.

Demystify, derisk and deliver

“Our job is to demystify, derisk and deliver emerging technologies for manufacturers,” says Kennedy.

They were originally based in Rathcoole outside Dublin and the Mullingar base will give them a 35,000sq ft space to use as a testbed for larger projects, such as robots, large 3D printers and a manufacturing line.

“We wanted to be on a main network where companies could come from almost anywhere in Ireland and get to our building in the morning, do a good day’s work and get home in the evening, without having to stay over,” says Kennedy.

COVID has held up progress on the Mullingar site, but work on the project is catching up. Now employing 70 people, Kennedy expects the number to rise to 120 over the next couple of years “and we could see a scenario where that could actually double again driven by market demand”.

IMR is funded by the State, industry and competitive funding streams, such as EU grants. The model is that a third of the funds come from each, though the State funding tends to be required upfront to get projects up and running and proving their worth, with industry money arriving as potential becomes clear.

The former Intel man says the IMR has punched above its weight in securing grant funding but is still little behind target on the industry side.

The centre currently works with 63 companies – 33 of them multinationals and the rest indigenous businesses – across multiple sectors. “We’re agnostic,” says Kennedy. “We don’t focus on any sector. So, we’ve food and beverage, ICT, pharma, BioMed, engineering, automotive, whatever.

“We don’t have this type of research centre in the country. We’ve great research going on in the universities, but it’s a lot more early-stage research. To have a space and a place where industry can come and get answers to these new emerging technologies, we don’t have that, and that’s why we believe this organisation, IMR, it’s so important.

Robots and humans

“We don’t take on stuff and compete with other companies on work that they’re already doing,” he says. “Our job is to try and enable them to be successful, help Irish companies be successful, not take business from them.”

When COVID first hit, Kennedy feared for the future of the centre.

“I felt the first thing industries would do would be walk, they’d just try to barely tread water, or in a lot of cases, do nothing,” he says. “But we found we were still able to secure a number of contracts and the companies still wanted to stay with us.

“I think they began to recognise that these technologies are going to be key if they’re going to survive in the long run. In fact maybe even in the short term, because you look at scenarios where, to help reduce high density of people, having a robot working side-by-side a human being helps get your manufacturing line up, and become more productive.”

Ultimately, IMR would like to see itself as the engineering brains behind the future of manufacturing process and product.

“We’re an organisation that’s playing a critical function in the translation of all these changes that are coming. They are coming fast and furious and companies can’t keep up with it, because they’re trying to focus on the output of their products today. Our job is to tip them on the shoulder every so often and say, ‘look at this here because if you don’t you’re going to be out of business’.

The germ of the idea almost 10 years ago was just to stop a flight of multinationals out of the State in what was a historic recession. Now, in the teeth of another crisis, its ambitions have grown. And, in COVID, its rapid response to a whole new set of challenges has raised its profile and its confidence.

“It’s just amazing when you get people behind a challenge that’s bigger than themselves, what they’re willing and able to do,” says Kennedy.

Articled featured from Irish Manufacturing Research

For the original article see;

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, has asked the Chairpersons of the nine Regional Enterprise Plan Committees to put forward proposals that would help to address economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in their region.

Based on the success of Regional enterprise Plans that launched last year, the minister said the plans now need to focus on tackling economic challenged presented by Covid-19.

Click here to see the full story.

Event takes place June 27th – 10:00-16:00

Reserve your place at Ashgrove Renewables FREE Information Events which are now being held at their offices just outside Mallow.

With all trade shows and self build events likely to be cancelled for 2020, come along to their office where they bring the showroom outdoors allowing you to hear about their systems, view them and ask questions in a completely safe environment.

With designated parking, sanitisation stations and social distancing observed, its the perfect opportunity to research your homes new Heat Pump, Underfloor Heating, Solar PV and Heat Recovery Ventilation options. Book your place TODAY by contacting the team @sales@ashgrove.eu as session spaces will be limited.

For information or booking instructions you can use the following methods;

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/AshgroveRenewables/events/

Email: sales@ashgrove.eu

LINC Engineering would like to wish well to everybody involved!

Congratulations to LINC Member SQ FABS (Stainless Quality Fabrications) on the launch of their brand new website.

Graham Whelan of SQ Fabs states:

“Stainless Quality Fabrications are delighted to announce that we have officially launched our new website on May 29th, 2020! 

After several months of hard work and dedication, with our team working in tandem with Mark O’Leary at Web Design Ireland, Theresa at LINC Engineering Network and also the continuous support from the Limerick Local Enterprise Board we now invite you to visit us at www.sqfabs.ie.

We hope that you enjoy the fresh look and feel of our updated website and find that it serves as a valuable resource to you and for any of your stainless steel fabrication requirements. Thanks to the entire SQ FABS team for their hard work and dedication on making our new website a reality.

For any questions, suggestions, comments or enquiries please contact us at www.info@sqfabs.ie.  We look forward to seeing you at www.sqfabs.ie

Thank you!”

We wish Noel, Graham and all the team at SQ Fabs the very best of luck with their new website and will enjoy watching them build on the continued success of their company.

The  Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway and Technology Centre capital funding programme 2020 has €6million worth of funding to help out companies who are looking to get involved in R&D but perhaps feel they don’t have the necessary resources for such an undertaking.

According to an article in the Irish Times, working with the Institutes of Technology, the funding programme gives companies access to “hundreds of highly skilled and industrially focused researchers, together with specialist equipment and facilities”.

Companies are encouraged to apply if they feel they could do with a capital investment to upgrade to new technologies or develop new products/processes.

The full article can be read here: https://www.irishtimes.com/sponsored/innovation-partner-profiles/from-cheese-to-cobots-opening-new-tech-gateways-to-greatness-1.4267863

Enterprise Ireland are running a webinar on Tuesday 9th June 10:30 – 12:30

During this session, you will learn about how the supports work and eligibility criteria. So, if you’re thinking of restructuring your work processes or developing your products or services, this free webinar could provide a very informative use of your time and potentially finance your undertaking with up to 50% in support for product, process or service development projects with a total cost of up to €300,000.

To book your spot now, click here: https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Research-Innovation/Companies/R-D-Funding/Agile-Promotional-Events.html

Following the success of our training on Friday 22nd May, many of you are now in a position to prepare your business for reopening after the Covid-19 closures. The Government and Local Authorities are providing a ‘Restart Grant’ to help with the costs associated with reopening.

LINC would encourage anyone who is applicable to apply sooner rather than later to ensure your best chance of securing this grant.

Criteria:

To avail of the Restart Grant, a business must be in the Local Authorities Commercial Rates Payment System and: 

  1. Have an annual turnover of less than €5m and employ between 1 to 50 people;
  2. Have closed and/or suffered a projected 25%+ loss in turnover to end of June 2020; 
  3. Commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed;
  4. Declare the intention to retaining employees that are on The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and to reemploy staff on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) where applicable.

The grant will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019 with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000.

The grant can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety. 

Cork linkhttps://www.yourcouncil.ie/AchieveForms/?mode=fill&consentMessage=yes&form_uri=sandbox-publish://AF-Process-8a03a9e0-a929-49a4-9154-0f0a7a8848d7/AF-Stage-980318be-3f85-4a27-a3e2-b3f2bf6878d1/definition.json&process=1&process_uri=sandbox-processes://AF-Process-8a03a9e0-a929-49a4-9154-0f0a7a8848d7&process_id=AF-Process-8a03a9e0-a929-49a4-9154-0f0a7a8848d7

Limerick link
https://www.limerick.ie/form/business-restart-application

This grant will be discussed at our members meeting on Friday 29th May. Make sure you check your email for the link. If you did not receive the link, please email info@linknetwork.ie

A training event has been organised for member companies on preparing to return to work and dealing with Covid 19. This will be an online training session held on

Friday 22nd May 2020

08:00am – 11:00am 

Please check your inbox for the Zoom link. If you have not received this email, please click on the link below to register your interest before 4pm Thursday 21st May and an email will be sent to you containing the zoom link.

https://forms.gle/StGKpGbSuWF2XAMXA

Please note that this training is for LINC member companies only.

As we prepare to reopen following the Government Roadmap, we must take time to familiarise ourselves with what our businesses will have to do to reopen safely. Attached, you will find the policy document the government have issued. The Protocol should be used by all workplaces to adapt their workplace procedures and practices to comply fully with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures identified as necessary by the HSE.

Unison Engineering Services, backed by the Local Enterprise Office Limerick and Enterprise Ireland are helping to respond to the Covid-19 crisis by developing a fully automated production unit which creates non toxic liquid used for disinfection

Well done to LINC Network Member Unison Engineering Services Limited. For an interesting read, please click the pdf document below and scroll to the second page. Well done Paul and Team.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has thrown up challenging and uncertain times for Engineering businesses. Here is an outline of some of the supports available to your business right now.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has created severe challenges for Irish businesses with an uncertain road ahead.  Below is a list of supports available to businesses during this unprecedented time.  There are three main sections:

  1. LEO Supports
  2. Government Supports
  3. Practical Steps

1. LEO Supports

Business Continuity Voucher

In conjunction with your Local Enterprise Office, this grant is an excellent support to help any engineering business through this difficult time.  It offers €2,500 towards consultancy costs to aid with finance, HR, supply chain, marketing, digitisation issues and more to enable businesses to continue trading through this crisis.  Application closing date 15th May 2020.

Limerick: https://www.localenterprise.ie/response/Business-Continuity-Voucher/

Cork North & West: https://corknorthandwestleo.submit.com/show/33

Trading Online Voucher

The TOV is a grant offering up to €2,500 for a business to develop or enhance their ability to trade online.  I would urge any Engineering firm who is eligible for this and who has not availed of this in the past to apply for it to build a strong online presence and/or upgrade your website.  If you have applied for this previously then there is a second online trading voucher available to businesses.

Your Local Enterprise Office is offering to cover up to 90% of the costs involved in getting your business online where previously it assisted with 50%.  This enhanced assistance is available until September 30th 2020 after which it will revert to original supports.

Limerick: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Limerick/Financial-Supports/Online-Trading-Voucher/

Cork North & West: https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest/Financial-Supports/Trading-Online-Vouchers/

New Covid-19 Business Loan

The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses through the current period of uncertainty.  This is a business loan of between €5,000 and €50,000 and is designed for micro-enterprises that are:

a) having difficulty accessing Bank finance and

b) impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.

More information:

Limerick: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Limerick/Financial-Supports/Microfinance-Loans/MFI%20COVID%2019%20Business%20Loans%20-%20Up%20to%20%E2%82%AC50,000%20available/

Cork North & West: https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest/Financial-Supports/Microfinance-Ireland-Loans/

Mentoring

LEO are now offering Mentoring supports free of charge to develop robust strategies, identify possible issues and maximise potential opportunities when Covid-19 crisis comes to an end.

More information:

Limerick: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Limerick/Training-Events/Mentoring/

Cork North & West: https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest/Training-Events/Mentoring/

Training and Webinars  

Local Enterprise Offices have moved training programmes, workshops and networking meet-ups online, covering areas such as cash management in a crisis, leading your business through COVID-19 and advice for employers impacted by the crisis. Training programmes are free of charge and places can be booked online, through the links below

Limerick: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Limerick/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/

Cork North & West: https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/

LEAN for Micro

LEAN for Micro is available to LEO clients to help build resilience within small companies.  Under this programme, clients can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert (a qualified practitioner), who will work with the company to introduce lean principles, undertake a specific cost savings project and assist the company in benchmarking its performance. LEAN for Micro can also be used to help implement new remote working and physical distancing guidelines.

Further information:

Limerick: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Limerick/Training-Events/Programmes/LEAN-for-Micro-Programme/

Cork North & West: https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest/

Other LEO Financial Supports

For existing companies and potential start-ups that meet eligibility criteria (such as employing 10 or fewer people with the potential for growth and job creation), Local Enterprise Offices can offer additional financial supports to help manage current market challenges:

  • Business Priming Grants*
  • Business Expansion Grants*
  • Feasibility Study Grants*
  • Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters Grant*

Please note: *For LEO Financial Supports, further eligibility criteria apply.

Limerick: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Portal/Discover-Business-Supports/Discover-Business-Supports.html

Cork North & West: https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest/Financial-Supports/

2. Government Supports

Covid-19: An Employer’s Guide

The HR Suite in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland have developed a guide for employers. The guide provides direction to Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies on how they should manage the Covid-19 situation from an employer/employee perspective. It may also be relevant to other SME and large companies operating in Ireland. It covers topics such as the current situation, Your obligations as an employer, Examples of preventative and precautionary measures, Covid-19 company response template and others.

Covid – 19 Financial Planning Grant

The grant is designed to help companies to develop a robust financial plan, including the preparation of documentation required to support applications for external finance from banks and/or other finance providers (including Enterprise Ireland). The Covid-19 Business Financial Planning Grant, worth up to €5,000, will enable companies to access external support from approved financial consultants to prepare a financial plan to secure the company in the short to medium terms. Click below for more information.

Sustaining Enterprise Fund

This €180m Fund is open to eligible companies which:

  • Employ 10 or more full-time employees
  • Are operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors
  • For SMEs – have applied for funding from a financial institution, including, where appropriate, through the SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Loan/Future Growth Loan Schemes
  • For large companies – have applied for funding with an appropriate financial institution.
  • Businesses qualifying under this EU-supported scheme will be offered a repayable advance of up to €800,000.
Click Link

SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme

Working Capital is the liquid assets that finances the day to day running of our businesses.            This loan is for innovative businesses and the link below outlines eligibility criteria.  It is noted that in a similar scheme operated by the SBCI for Brexit impacted businesses, of the applications to date for eligibility to that scheme, less than 1% have been declined due to not meeting the innovation criteria.

If your liquid assets (including cash flow for operational purposes) are impacted by Covid-19, you can apply for a loan between €25,000 and €1.5 million.  No security is required for loans of up to €500,000.  The loan period is up to 3 years and the interest rate is set at a maximum of 4%.  The scheme operates until March 2021 or until the scheme has been fully subscribed.  There is a link on the Local Enterprise Office website and below.

https://sbci.gov.ie/schemes/covid-19-loan-application/

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

This government scheme is aimed at SMEs who are affected by a minimum of 25% decline in turnover as a direct result of Covid 19 and are struggling to pay employees but are keeping them on payroll.  We all know it is difficult to recruit staff within the Engineering industry and most Engineering firms are doing their best to hold on to the staff in which they have invested.  This scheme can help Engineering firms ensure they keep staff on payroll while reducing the cost of employing them.  It can be particularly useful for staff who are on reduced working hours.  The rates of pay were updated on 04th May 2020 and differ for employees earning up to €586 per week and those earning over €586 per week.  It is expected this scheme will run until 18th June 2020.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/communications/covid19/temporary-covid-19-wage-subsidy-scheme.aspx

Other Government Supports:

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/communications/covid19/temporary-covid-19-wage-subsidy-scheme.aspx

3. Practical Steps

Talk to your bank

All banks have stated that they will offer flexibility to their customers. They are open to discussions regarding payment holidays, emergency working capital facilities and other supports.

Take steps to manage your cashflows now

  • Look at your spending – can you lower/renegotiate your costs (e.g. insurance, rent, etc), can you delay discretionary expenditure?
  • Speak with your suppliers – are they willing to extend your repayment contract?
  • Speak with your debtors – can you expedite your accounts receivable?

Engage with the Revenue Commissioners

Revenue Commissioners have provided guidance on areas including

  • debt enforcement
  • RCT measures suspension of interest
  • retention of tax clearance status
  • guidance on e-working
  • tax relief

If you feel like you might need to speak with the Revenue Commissioners, you can contact:

Revenue Regional Office Cork: 021 602 7000

An overview of the funding options for your business, overview of credit and credit assessment – what the finance company reviews and why?

Overview of programme content & methodology: 

–          ‘CAMPARI’ acronym

–          Business current account profile, monthly turnover, peak and troughs match to management accounts?

–          Business credit history (ICB and central credit register) as past performance can indicate future risk

–          Competition and peer analysis (compare gross and net margins, wages as a % of sales, price and USP)

–          Relevant management experience in the sector

–          Product or service offered and market for same

  • Outline of the credit market in Ireland including the range and type of finance providers (including alternate finance providers) and outlining their credit appetite and cost:

–          Banks products and services

–          Overview and application of the Governments Credit Guarantee Scheme

–          Use of Microfinance Ireland

–          Alternate finance providers

  • Tips and strategies for getting you or your business ‘finance ready’
  • Strategies for dealing with and addressing either poor credit history or personal credit legacy issues
  • Business plan for business vs. business plan for finance – key differences
  • Key financial indicators required for projections and cashflows
  • Working capital & cashflow workshop – linking cashflow to credible assumptions
  • Case studies & examples
  • Templates for participants for finance applications

*This workshop is facilitated by First Choice Financial Services DAC

Bookings available online

Would you like to join the team at ABS Engineering? 

Now hiring! 

With over thirty years of experience, ABS Engineering is an established player in the industrial automation and BEMS sector. They operate at the cutting edge of innovation and technology.

ABS Engineering is currently recruiting for the following positions at ABS Engineering Controls Ltd in Newcastle West.

If you feel you would like to join the team, send send a Curriculum Vitae to info@absengineering.ie 

More positions available:

Full-time Electrician

Apprentice Electrician

Instrumentation Technician 

As hubs of expert advice, information and practical supports, dedicated Local Enterprise Office teams can help you manage your Brexit response through – 

Here’s a handy guide to Brexit supports, which are available through your Local Enterprise Office.

When? Thursday 24th October 2019

What time? 5pm to 7pm

Where? Trident Hotel, Kinsale

As part of Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Offices – Cork North & West Cork and Cork South’s continued support to the Gift/ Craft / Design/ Homewares/ Skincare and gift Food products, they will host a “Meet the USA Buyers” event on Thursday 24th October from 5pm to 7pm.  The event will take the form of a ‘Pop Up Trade Show’ with a short retail and export seminar within.

Over 15 NACTA buyers will attend this trade only event to meet with new, emerging and establish businesses targeting USA retail market.  NACTA is made up of over 100 retailers in North America and are a key buyer sector of Showcase Ireland.  They organise the Showcase Exports Award each year and working closely with Enterprise Ireland.  We will also invite Cork gift retailers to this event.  The short seminar is designed to make the event more interesting for the retailers and exhibitors attending.

The event will allow Cork businesses to meet with USA trade buyers in an intimate and informal setting, while maximising the sales and revenue opportunities

If you are planning to sell into to USA shops, stores and e commerce sites, this is a must attend event for your business. A limited number of business can exhibit heir gift products to these retail buyers at the Pop Up Trade Show.

To avail of this opportunity: 

  • Please complete a short application form and return to Méabh Ring at meabhring@gmail.com
  • This form will ask for product details, your price list and 2 images of your products, deadline for receipt of application is Monday 9th September before 5pm.
  • Applications will be reviewed and you will be contact by your local LEO from Friday 13th September. A shortlist may be created.

Find an application form here

Our member company Ashgrove Renewables has been selected as finalists in the upcoming Plumbing & Heating Awards 2019.

Ireland’s Plumbing & Heating Awards provide a unique opportunity to recognise the achievements of this specialised sector in Ireland. The 2019 competition boasts 17 categories and are independently judged by experienced panel of experts.

The 2019 Awards culminate in a black-tie Gala Evening at the Citywest Hotel, Saggart, Dublin on Friday, September 13, 2019, with an estimation of over 500 people, including leading figures in attendance.

Best of luck to Ashgrove Renewables Team!

The International Cheese Awards were held in Nantwich on Tuesday 30th July. The awards are the biggest cheese show in the world which have over 5,000 entries from over 30 countries and a huge 1,380 attendees to the event.  

Dairygold had great success at this years awards, achieving the best results we have ever had with a massive 16 awards!  Congratulations!

Trading Online Voucher Seminar (TOV) is taking place on Thursday, 29 August 2019 from 09:30-12:30 in Kilmurry Lodge, Castletroy.

What are you waiting for, boost your business by enhancing your online trading presence today!

Venue:    Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick
Date:      29/08/2019
Time:      9.30 am – 12.00 noon

Registration is essential.

The TOV scheme offers small businesses and retailers the opportunity to apply for match funding to the value of €2,500 to develop and improve their online trading presence.

This scheme offers small businesses a huge opportunity to develop and engage in the hugely powerful market of online sales.

The TOVs are available to eligible SMEs in the region and can be used for;

  • The development or upgrade of an e-commerce website such as implementing online payments or booking systems;
  • Purchase of Internet related software;
  • Online advertising;
  • Development of an app;
  • Implementation of a digital marketing strategy;
  • Consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy
  • Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage any online trading activity;
  • Photography.

The scheme is open to businesses that are trading for over 6 months, have a limited online trading presence, less than 10 employees and a turnover less than €2 million.

The Trading Online Voucher Programme is supported by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources through the National Digital Strategy.
Eligibility Criteria

  • Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser;
  • Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense;
  • Own labour is not an eligible expense;
  • Third party costs only will be considered;
  • All third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (e.g. Tax and Business Registration details).

The ‘Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters’ grant is available through all Local Enterprise Offices to help more small businesses in Ireland develop products and services that will unlock export markets.

This grant can cover up to 50% of qualifying expenditure, up to a maximum of €2,500 (excluding VAT).
The grant is designed to help micro enterprises explore, develop and unlock new overseas markets for their products and services, within Europe and beyond.

The Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters grant can help part-fund the costs of:

– Attending international Trade Fairs and renting exhibition space to meet potential customers face-to-face.
– Developing export-focused websites and marketing materials and the translation of these materials into foreign languages, to communicate directly with new target audiences overseas.
– Investigating new ways and processes to develop export business, such as setting up a new business model or fulfilling non-regulatory technical requirements.

If you want unlock export markets….

Take the first steps by talking to your Local Enterprise Office.If this grant will support the development of your business (and if your business is eligible), they will ask you to fill out a short application form.

More information available online www.localenterprise.ie.

For the 3rd year running, DesignPro has been recognised as part of the global network, receiving KUKA System Partner 2019 certificate. Find out more on the success of this partnership & just what it means to be aligned with one of the leading manufacturers of industrial robots in the world today, visit https://buff.ly/2Je8ktL.

If you are interested in finding out more about KUKA’s range of robots and how DesignPro can help you to integrate them, contact DesignPro today to speak with one of our experienced robotic engineers.


Are you a guidance counsellor, parent, student or career-changer? Meet leading industry organisations from Aviation, Engineering, ICT, Finance, Construction, Hospitality and more on Wednesday 16th October 10am-8pm in South Court Convention Centre, Limerick.

More details on the Mid-West Regional Skills Forum available here.

Great seeing our Network Manager Theresa Mulvihill representing LINC in the Midlands UK this week meeting with a very high calibre of delegates and speakers from across the UK Midlands including representatives of government, industry and academia, joining the dots and making new connections.

“Last November in Cork, together with the Tánaiste and Cork Chamber, I launched ‘Joining the Dots’, the UK – South West Ireland programme to promote stronger business partnerships and collaboration. The accompanying report clearly showed the untapped potential for economic co-operation between our regions. This was reflected in the energy and enthusiasm among the participants that day, including our Honorary Prosperity Consul for South West Ireland, Mark Hutchinson, who all saw the potential to develop new UK-Ireland links. 

This is the phase of Joining the Dots in the UK, in the Midlands. This is a region with deep and valued Irish links, world-class businesses and ambitious growth plans. Nowhere epitomises this more than the Manufacturing Technology Centre at Ansty Park, which bridges the space between research and industry, supports the commercial application of new technologies and also focuses on upskilling and training. It is truly a fitting venue for this launch. 

The delegation includes major global companies and innovative indigenous firms spanning manufacturing, agri-tech and financial services. In addition to a strong Cork contingent, I am also pleased to welcome senior business and government representatives from Limerick, Kerry and elsewhere in Ireland, and of course national organisations like Ibec and the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, also – LINC Engineering Network.

We are thrilled to share that for the third year in a row, EPS Group has scored 100% across the board in their Achilles audit. The 2 day audit took place just a few weeks ago between the main office and a site in Bandon. It’s a credit to their teams who work hard behind the scenes every day to ensure that EPS group is compliant and conforming. Congratulations!

Kisnabrin Engineering is currently hiring. Anyone with any interest or background in engineering don’t hesitate to call in, with or without a CV and just have a look around to see if what we do here is something that you might be interested in! You can also email to info@lisnabrin.ie or call 025 84562.

Lisnabrin Engineering is recognised by its customers as being one of Irelands leading sub contract CNC specialists. We have a highly skilled and highly motivated team of toolmakers and engineers which are dedicated to completing any job, large or small.

Massive thanks to our members for all the support! We were delighted to be exhibiting on behalf of our member companies at the Manufacturing Solutions in Limerick Institute of Technologies in Limerick.

Organised by the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) & GTMA, The Manufacturing Solutions Conference is a focal point for manufacturing technologies and engineering solutions.

Over 100 of the most advanced providers of metrology, inspection, machine tools, workholding, cutting tools, and Cad/Cam/PLM manufacturing software and ancillary products and services will be exhibiting.

Bringing all the leading technology suppliers together the GTMA and LIT are providing an ideal conduit for the transfer of technology from the specialist suppliers to the practical industrial landscape, where its take-up and practical application can be used to gain a competitive business advantage.”

More information about the event, available here.

Earlier this month LINC Engineering Network members meet in Dairygold. The opening of Dairygold’s €86 million Nutritionals Campus in Mallow marks a significant milestone in the co-operative’s Post Quota Expansion plan.

The Mallow Nutritionals Campus is a key pillar of Dairygold’s Expansion Plan to support the growth ambitions of its 2,900 suppliers across the Munster region. 

New Nutritionals Campus in Mallow is simply impressive! Thank you for the presentation and a warm welcome! 

Recently at the British Cheese Awards 2019, Dairygold Food Ingredients Leeds received a Silver medal with their  American Style Soft Cheese in the Lactic – Cow, Goat, Sheep or Buffalo Class and a Silver medal with their Imokilly Cottage Cheese in the Cottage Class.

They also received a Bronze medal with their  Dairygold Mature White Cheddar in the Cheddar – Mature Block (Classic Starter) Class and a Bronze medal with their  Dairygold Extra Mature White Cheddar in the Cheddar – Extra Mature Block (Classic Starter) Class.

This is a great start to the Cheese Awards season and is a wonderful recognition of the passion, high-standards and innovation that Dairygold dedicates to the craft of cheesemaking and its products.

Source: dairygold.ie

Keltec Engineering is hiring! If you are looking for a new exciting opportunity, where no two days are the same and where thinking of innovative ways to solve agricultural and industrial problems is encouraged then Keltec Engineering might be the perfect fit for you.

Keltec Engineering is currently looking for a welder/fabricator. If you are interested, please contact the office on 063 98688 for more details. You can also apply for by sending your CV and a cover letter to info@keltec.ie or alternatively by post.

Keltec provides a wide range of design, development and manufacturing services – from concept development to volume manufacture. Since the foundation in 1988, Keltec has diversified from agricultural based products into products for the construction, water treatment and horticultural industries. Keltec personnel have built up a high level of expertise in custom design and are currently involved in various research and development projects for construction and food sectors.

Massive congratulations to LINC member Viska Systems on winning the IBYE LEO Cork North and West “Best Young Enterpreneur” and “Best Established Business 2019” awards! Well deserved!

IBYE is a programme run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) with the support of the Department of Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. The competition is open to people between the ages of 18 and 35 with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business.

Now in its 5th year, IBYE has an investment fund of up to €2million. IBYE is a nationwide competition, run across three categories: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. Up to 450 young entrepreneurs will be invited by the LEOs to attend free regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ later in the year to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

Enterprise Excellence Ireland 2019 will take place on Wednesday, 22nd of May in Croke Park. EEI will bring together over 700 LEAN Managers from the European, Japanese and Irish business to discuss the implementation of LEAN management systems within their organisations.

Delegates from the Irish manufacturing & business sectors who are responsible for the efficient performance of their operations within Ireland and across the world will come together to provide an insight to the elimination of waste in all business processes.  

In addition to the conference a small number of solution consultants will be on hand to answer any questions delegates and speakers may have during the event.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

  • Adrian Furey – General Manager – Zimmer Biomet
  • Alex McDonnell – CEO – Expertivity Technologies
  • Dr. Andrew McCormack – Technical Director EMEAI – Minteq
  • Arthur Stone – Chief Executive Officer – OEEsystems International
  • Colm Sheils – Operations Director – Boston Scientific
  • Denis Lucey – Vice President – Dell EMC EMEA
  • Caroline Dowling – Flex
  • Fergus Bates – Lean Champion – Kersia Ireland
  • Frank Dolphin – Chairman – Rigney Dolphin
  • Dr Heiko Gierhardt – Global Director Purchasing – Jaguar Land Rover
  • Joe O’Sullivan – Regional Director – Sisk
  • John O’Brien – Business Optimisation Manager – Coca–Cola
  • Jude Carey – Head of Asset Management – Irish Rail
  • Michael Prendiville – Engineering Manager – Johnson & Johnson
  • Padraic O’Neill – Vice President – Pfizer Global Business Services (GBS)

Delegate Charge: €195 (+vat)

More Information – HERE   

Register – HERE

LINC meeting hosted by one of our member companies – EPS Water – a trusted provider of innovative, progressive and future proof products, solutions and services to the water sector. A big thank you to John Fitzgerald and Tom Fitzgerald sharing their experience with others. Massive thanks to all our members for participating. We are looking forward to our next meeting in May.,

EPS Group is an international water infrastructure specialist operating across the Republic of Ireland, the UK and the Middle East. It is one of the few genuine end-to-end service providers in the global water sector.

Celebrating our 50th year in 2019, EPS has grown from a modest electrical and pumping services business into an innovative, internationally exporting product and service provider, now focused upon the water, wastewater and clean technology sectors. The Group provides services to municipal, industrial, commercial, agricultural and domestic clients and currently exports to over 30 different countries worldwide.

Nereda and Off-Site Construction at Great Dunmow Makes the Press

An article by EPS’ Shaun Stevens and Michael O’Sullivan on the combination of Nereda® technology with off-site construction was featured in a recent edition of the Insitute of Water Magazine.

Great Dunmow is a biological treatment plant with 3 No. reactors, 600m³ each.

EPS provided a DB/DfMA package to the value of £3.4m, which consisted of:

  • layout & hydraulic design
  • design manufacture and installation of storm tank tipping buckets
  • interconnecting pipework system & Nereda® technology for influent buffer
  • Nereda reactors & sludge buffers
  • tertiary treatment
  • instrumentation system
  • access steelwork &
  • process commissioning

EPS provided a full DfMA federated 3D model; minimised site deliveries and installation time.

Online Trading Voucher Seminars are taking place on 29th of April 9.30am – 11.30am in the E Centre Fermoy (register localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest) and 15th of May 9.30am – 12.00noon in Deebert House Hotel, Kilmallock (register localenterprise.ie/Limerick).

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme assists small businesses to trade online.  Eligible businesses can

apply for a voucher of up to €2,500 matched by own funding to invest in developing their e-commerce capability.

Vouchers can be used for:

– IT consultation

– Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website

– Implementing online payments or booking systems

– Purchase of internet related software

– Purchase of online advertising

– Developing an app

– Implementing a digital marketing strategy

– Consultation with ICT experts

– Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage online trading activity

If you wish to be contacted with details of future information session dates, email localenterprise@limerick.ie or call 061 557 499.

For queries to LEO North Cork call 022 43 235 or email  joan.kelleher@leo.corkcoco.ie.

Pictured above President Michael D Higgins at the LIT stand, Ireland Skills live event in March at the RDS Dublin. The event showcased all the trades, skills and career opportunities available to students. It was an incredible showcase of talent and innovation. 

While it’s no secret that there is a serious skills shortage in Ireland right now, the solution is a little harder to recognise. 

Ireland Skills Live 2019  promoted skills in apprenticeships, traineeship and graduate courses through competition linked to WorldSkills International standards. It encouraged students, their parents and in some cases teachers and careers advisers to engage positively with career choices that provide learning and earning potential from early stages.

The Seedcorn competition reflects the real-life investment process and can greatly improve your ability to attract investment for your business by helping you and your business become investor ready.

The competition is aimed at early and new start companies that have a new equity funding requirement and has a total cash prize fund of €280,000.

More info available online intertradeireland.com/funding/seedcorn

The eplan event that is running in LIT on the 16th of April – (good luck finding info online – there is nothing much but I will attach all I have below)

“In relation to the 16th of April at Limerick Institute of Technology  – EPLAN, the global market leader of electrical CAE software, are hosting an event with the aim of discussing the German concept, Industry 4.0. The event will allow companies to understand what Industry 4.0 means and how existing and near future technologies can help them move towards becoming a smart factory which ultimately produces machines and products that effectively talk to one another. 

To enable companies to understand Industry 4.0 and how it impacts them and their future, EPLAN are bringing together their strategic partners; Abb, Igus, Omron, Panasonic, Phoenix Contact, Rittal, Siemens and more to demonstrate integrative technologies and highlight how technologies can improve the integration along the value chain and enable visitors to discover how companies are preparing for Industry 4.0.      

The event is free to attend, LINC will be taking a stand on behalf of our member companies. If in the event you wish to take your own stand, please register your interest with us before this Friday 5th of April. The event is open to visitors between 9:30 – 15:00. Throughout the day there will be a series of seminars which will be announced shortly”

 The Midwest Careers Fair 2019. The event will take place in the South Court Hotel, Raheen, Limerick on Wednesday 27 March 2019 from 11 am to 5.30pm.The careers fair is one of some 80 events taking place around the country during National Jobs Week, which runs from Monday, March 25 to Friday, March 29.

Organised in conjunction with the Mid-West Regional Skills Forum, some 30 Employers and 15 Training Providers will attend the Midwest Careers Fair 2019. Entry is FREE. 

If you wish to be part of the LINC stand, I will be attending on the day. If there is any information you want me to gather on behalf of your company please reply with your quires.


This event will provide an opportunity for Jobseekers, Job Changers, and Job Returners to meet with local companies actively recruiting. Local Education and Training Providers will also be exhibiting at the event. Companies attending range from Multi-Nationals to small and medium-sized enterprises and include, Guidant IRC, OpTech Ltd, General Motors, First Data, WP Engine, Atlantic Aviation, Jaguar Land Rover and Johnson and Johnson.

In only its first year, Ireland Skills Live will pack the RDS Simmonscourt this March 21-23 with hundreds of competitors, exhibitors potential employers and thousands of visitors.

While it’s no secret that there is a serious skills shortage in Ireland right now, the solution is a little harder to recognise. 

Ireland Skills Live 2019 will promote skills in apprenticeship, traineeship and graduate courses through competition linked to WorldSkills International standards. It will encourage students, their parents and in some cases teachers and careers advisers to engage positively with career choices that provide learning and earning potential from the first day of registration. 

There can be nothing more empowering than a real face to face opportunity allowing students, parents and teachers to experience the realities that so many of our apprenticeships and skills can offer today. 

David Moore, Managing Director of Viska Systems takes on the Business & Finance 60-second interview challenge.

Q. In three words or fewer, how do you define success?

Achieving perfect balance

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

A mentor once told me that the market will pay “almost anything” if you can give them a unique product or capability. There is obviously an element of hyperbole in that advice, but it always makes me think about how we add value for our customers in the marketplace.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

I’m very lucky in that our staff are very self-motivated – so in general I try to support them doing their thing.

Read full “Business and Finance” interview here.

Mid-West employer briefing on the new Laboratory Technician Apprenticeships will take place on the March 28th 8AM – 9.30AM in LIT.

LIT will be presenting new initiatives such as their new Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship programme and New Science Springboard opportunities.

Register today if looking to build your lab team!

For more information and confirmation of attendance, please email scienceinfo@lit.ie by Friday, 15th of March 2019.

Barry Lowe, engineering manager at Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon, highlights how engineering talent development is critically important to the future success of Limerick and the mid-west.

Over the last five years at Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon (LTTS) we have become increasingly focused on talent development. We recognise the strategic importance of talent development within our engineering team in order to support future product and technology development plans for our company. As the country reaches full employment and talent shortage in industry intensifies, talent development is critically important to our future success.

Developing engineering talent at work

Our first step was to establish a structured approach to learning and development to ensure alignment with our vision for our future business. We identified the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Accredited Employer Standard from Engineers Ireland as a comprehensive and well-structured programme to support our talent development.

The standard is based on seven core criteria that span “aligning CPD outcomes to organisational strategy” to “establishment of external learning linkages”. It is not overly prescriptive, allowing each organisation the flexibility to tailor their programme within the set framework.

Implementation of the Employer Standard within LTTS was and continues to be a very collaborative process between management and employees, resulting in a win-win outcome as it benefits both the organisation and individual personal development.

Having achieved the CPD Accredited Employer Standard, we now have a comprehensive system for managing our talent development in line with the future needs of our company. It provides a basis for determining competency requirements and potential gaps that need to be addressed through our employee development activities. The programme also encourages our engineers to be more externally focused to help inspire innovation and creativity. This is extremely important in a rapidly changing environment, including industry 4.0 and digitalisation.

Engineering for the mid-west region

LTTS joined Limerick for Engineering, an industry-led initiative that has the support of the education and training providers in the region, having identified it as an important external linkage to support our talent development.

Established in 2015, the primary goal of Limerick for Engineering is to increase the quality and quantity of engineering talent (apprentices, technicians and engineers) available in the region. Industry members and academic partners (including the Limerick Institute of Technology, University of Limerick, and the Limerick Clare Education and Training Board) form a plenary group that oversees three working groups – the showcase group, the promotions and identity group, and the talent group – each being led by an industry member.

Engaging future generations of engineers

The Limerick for Engineering Showcase is an annual event that takes place in March to coincide with Engineers Week. The event is an exhibition of the careers that are available in engineering in our region. This coming Thursday, 7 March, more than 40 organisations, training providers and representatives from third-level institutions across the region will take part in the event in the departures hall at Shannon Airport – the world’s first free-trade zone, which also has a long tradition with industrial development in the Shannon region.

Last year, the event was attended by more than 1,500 students and parents, and proved very effective in generating interest in careers in engineering. Exhibitors included many of the best manufacturing companies in the mid-west region, including Analog Devices, Cook Medical, Regeneron, Stryker, Roadbridge, Intel, Molex, General Electric, SL Controls, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Dell, Jaguar Land Rover, Lufthansa Technik, Modular Automation and Zimmer.

‘It shows the fact that these jobs are interesting, challenging and very well paid, and, most importantly, they do not have to leave this region to have it all’
– PASCHAL MEEHAN

The event provided students and their parents with an excellent opportunity to meet young engineers working in a wide variety of industries, including electronics, medical devices, aerospace and automotive. They could speak with engineers from many different disciplines in a variety of engineering jobs, including research and development, design, production, materials, and maintenance, to help them get a better understanding of the various roles.

Paschal Meehan, dean of work-based learning and vice-president of international engagement at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), aptly commented that, “The purpose of the showcase is to demonstrate to young people and their parents what it is they would do if they worked as an engineer or technician in the participating companies. It shows the variety of jobs; the opportunities for long-term careers; the fact that the jobs are interesting, challenging and very well paid; and, most importantly, they do not have to leave this region to have it all.”

Towards a diverse future

The Limerick for Engineering promotions and identity group is responsible for marketing and communications to engage with second-level students and their parents with relevant messages that create a curiosity around engineering. This group also develops links with local schools to promote careers in engineering among students and teachers, and also attends high-profile career events in our region.

We actively promote diversity within engineering to attract more people to pursue careers in engineering. For example, the Limerick for Engineering ‘Inspire’ Women for Engineering event, recently hosted by LIT at Moylish Campus, was organised to give young women in fourth, fifth and sixth year an insight into engineering in the STEM industries. The students were addressed by inspirational speakers, including Dr Norah Patten, entrepreneur; Samira Kaissi, site lead at BD-GenCell Biosystems; Gráinne Barry, regional operations director of EMEA at STATS and co-founder of SportsTech Ireland; and Marian Corcoran, independent director, coach and business leader. The Inspire event had 350 girls in attendance along with their teachers and a cohort of industry representatives.

Quality through education

While the showcase and promotions and identity groups focus on attracting more students to pursue careers in engineering (increasing the quantity), the talent group at Limerick for Engineering is focused on talent development (increasing the quality) in our region. This group identifies future industry talent needs and works with the education providers to develop courses and programmes to meet these future needs.

An important aspect of talent development is to provide employees with career path options to be able to progress from operative to technician and engineer. Given the transformation that is taking place in Ireland with apprenticeships, the talent group works with the education and training providers to develop new apprenticeships to meet industry needs in new technological areas such as vision systems (Level 7 at LIT) and professional skills for graduate engineers (Level 9 at University of Limerick). They are currently working on a Level 8 automation and robotics course.

Collaboration for a common purpose

Limerick for Engineering is an excellent network of organisations and people with a common purpose. It is all about collaboration, which is at the heart of the success being experienced in our region. The component parts of Limerick for Engineering exist in every region but the lubricant that makes everything work is the people.

The mid-west region has more than 1,500 companies that employ engineers and, given the forecast growth, there will be an increasing demand for engineering talent. The innovations that are taking place within manufacturing, such as industry 4.0 and digitalisation, are driving the evolution of new roles and skills requirements. Therefore, the initiatives being pursued in our region are strategically important to sustain future growth.

We all have a responsibility to support these initiatives and remember the importance of collaboration towards our common goal.

By Barry Lowe

Barry Lowe is the engineering manager at Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon, a leading aero engine parts repair facility in Shannon. He is the current chair of Engineers Ireland Thomond Region and is a strong advocate for continuing professional development.

Second-level students, parents of school-going children, teachers, career guidance counsellors and those curious about the ever-developing world of engineering are all invited to attend the Limerick for Engineering Showcase. This free event will showcase the diverse range of engineering careers available with companies in the mid-west region.

published on siliconrepublic

Massive congratulations to EPS representing EPS at the Deloitte Digital Best ManagedCompanies Awards in The Convention Centre Dublin!

Gold Requalifiers this year – this is their 5th year making this prestigious list amongst such illustrious company! 

LINC Network Member Meeting took place last week. Thanks to the team at The Bernal Institute for hosting the meeting that was focused on the financeial supports for engineering businesses.

Massive thanks to Ray O’Brien for the interactive site tour and all who were able to make it! Here is more about the Bernal Institute, the largest research institute at the University of Limerick (UL).

Bernal Institute of the University of Limerick was established in November 2016 to promote scientific excellence, and stimulate Irish and global community in the key domain of materials. Bernal Institute aspires to “Advancing Materials” to the next level, pushing boundaries of understanding, of science, of engineering and of applications.

These activities include the synthesis and processing of materials and their building blocks, control of their quality, composition and structure, so that they can be manufactured into functional devices that deliver global and societal impact.

Bernal Institute is named for one of Ireland’s greatest scientists, J.D. Bernal who recognised the importance of the relationship between science and society. Bernal Institute will continue to emulate J.D.Bernal’s desire to champion the transformation of scientific research results into useful innovative productive systems. 

Bernal Institute will help nurture Ireland’s research leaders of the future and support Ireland’s progress for many generations to come. The Institute has already established a significant track record. We host a number of leading research centres, including: the Science Foundation Ireland funded Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) and three Enterprise Ireland/IDA funded Technology Centres: Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC), Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC) and the Irish Composites Centre (IComp).

More info available online www.bernalinstitute.com

The National Engineering Summit is being held on the 14th March 2019 in the Citywest Convention Centre, Dublin.

The event will bring together a wide variety of sectors with an interest in engineering such as manufacturing, energy, utilities, IT, telecommunications, data centres, tech, transport, construction etc.

If you or your colleagues would like to attend, you can register for complimentary passes on the site and a badge will be waiting for you on day. Feel free to pass on the invitation.

You can find some general info about the day below. The event is Co-Located with several other events including the National Construction Summit. Over 2,000 delegates will attend on the day.

Key Topics Include

Construction, Civil Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical, Innovation, Continuous Improvement and Lean, BIM, Maintenance and Facility Management, IoT, Energy and Sustainability, Data and IT, Technology, Training and Skills, Manufacturing and Processing, Automation, Packaging, Material Handling, Robotics, Factory Optimisation, Industry 4.0, Compliance, OEE, Drives and controls, Process Control & Instrumentation, Product Development & Design,  Project Management and much more..

Call for Speakers:

If you are interested in speaking at the event, please email info@engineeringsummit.ie  or find out more online http://engineeringsummit.ie/.

Exhibiting or Sponsoring:

To exhibit at or sponsor the expo email info@engineeringsummit.ie or call Mark  Ryan  on +353 16120880.  
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While a lot of uncertainty exists around exactly what Brexit will mean for the business landscape in Ireland and further afield, there are supports available that will help mitigate some of the risks.

Local Enterprise Office Limerick is committed to supporting its clients in preparing for the risks and opportunities that Brexit poses. This 45 minute one-to-one clinic with an approved Brexit Mentor will enable clients to talk through their concerns regarding Brexit, as well as discuss supports and services available that can help a business re-evaluate its options and diversify its exposure to the UK market.

When? 28th of February

Where? LEO Offices, 7-8 Patrick Street, Limerick

An acute shortage of engineering graduates means there will not be enough qualified workers to meet the country’s current and future needs, the representative body for the profession has warned.

There has been a 55 per cent decrease in civil and building engineering graduates over the last five years, despite a jump in starting salaries and thousands of job openings in the sector.

While there has been a 48 per cent increase in entrants to civil and building engineering courses in higher education over the same period, this is from a low base when numbers dropped dramatically during the economic crisis.

Engineers Ireland said there is ongoing buoyancy in the sector with the financial position improving for most companies in the past year.

Brexit

Company surveys indicate that almost 90 per cent of engineering firms expecting their financial position to improve this year despite Brexit uncertainties.

It says this positive business performance is translating into significant demand for engineers , with over 6,000 job openings expected this year.

Graduate salaries – an average of €33,750 – are also up by just over 20 per cent since 2014.

The report has found that almost all engineering employers surveyed consider a shortage of experienced engineers to be a barrier to growth, while almost half expect this situation to get worse this year.

Civil and building engineers are most in demand with almost 60 per cent of organisations surveyed looking to hire engineers in this discipline.

The report, Engineering 2019: A barometer of the profession in Ireland, was launched by Minister for Education Joe McHugh on Wednesday as part of Engineers Week 2019, which runs until March 8th.

Engineers Ireland director general, Caroline Spillane, said the number of students moving into third-level engineering and technology sectors needs to be much larger to meet current and future needs.

“With just 35 per cent of the parents of secondary school children that we surveyed confident in explaining what an engineer does, as a society we need to collectively do more to inform the public about the importance and diversity of the modern engineer,” she said.

“ Junior Certificate results have shown that Irish students have a strong appetite for Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths).

“Now, more than ever, we need to retain this interest, particularly amongst females, and convert it into more third-level graduates – and ultimately more engineers entering into industry to fill the huge number of job vacancies that exist in Ireland.”

‘Critcal need’

Mr McHugh said the report strongly articulated the “critical need” for engineering skills to drive innovation in Ireland and deliver vital services and projects in our communities.

“It is also highlighting the huge opportunities that are out there now for engineers and for graduates coming through the system,” he said,

He added that the Government was committed to working with industry and the education system to ensure we have the skills needed to sustain our economic growth.

published on Irish Times

An excellent opportunity is now available for the following position: IT Systems Support with The DesignPro.

The Role

The successful candidate will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of IT system support and platform administration across the Company.  He/she will play a key role in the implementation and integration of a new ERP system and will control and manage all Microsoft 365 applications and improvements. Training of staff on applications will also be included in this role. All internal IT systems management, support and debugging of issues that occur in terms of software and hardware including system optimisation are key aspects of this role. He/she will also support users on the application of SharePoint and Teams including management and review of the phone system.

Requirements

  • The successful candidate with hold a 3rd level IT qualification.
  • Minimum 3-5 years’ experience in a similar IT support role required.
  • Highly knowledgeable in Microsoft 365 applications and IT systems.
  • Excellent troubleshooting, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with a new ERP Software provider and Management on the implementation and integration of a new system into the company, gaining a high knowledge level of the system.
  • Construct and provide training on all new software roll outs to internal staff as required.
  • Control and manage all current and new Microsoft 365 installations and review the full set-up of the system.
  • Improvements to the current 365 set-up (including applications used and current folder structure) and current user knowledge of all staff members.
  • Microsoft teams – structure and management.
  • Client portal system – new structure set-up for future projects
  • Set up SharePoint for all client/project interactions.
  • CRM integration and set-up, working closely with Marketing/Sales.
  • Service/support ticketing system selection and set-up (this maybe part of the ERP system).
  • Technical set-up of internal intranet in conjunction with Marketing/HR department.
  • All internal IT systems management, support and debugging of issues that occur – server/PC’s/tablets/Wi-Fi/printers/software (inventory logs).
    • Data backup and recovery
    • System security – Antivirus, Firewall, Remote access, VPN’s
    • Set up security groups
  • Link with Design office and PDM software set-up for solidworks.
  • Phone system management and review – to include mobile phones and contracts with Vodafone.
  • Broadband management and upgrades
  • Continuous review of systems in use with a view to optimisation, continuous improvement, preventative maintenance.
  • Transfer of data to SharePoint.
  • Use of SharePoint to reduce / eliminate paperwork, forms and approvals.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in highly progressive, dynamic and team orientated environment, please submit your CV to careers@designproautomation.com or contact the HR Department on +353 (0)69 63842 Ext. 312 for further information.

The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 1st March, 2019. More info available online: designproautomation.com.

The UK will leave the European Union on Friday 29 March 2019 at 11pm Irish time. In the absence of a Withdrawal Agreement (No-Deal), EU law will cease to apply to and in the UK as of 30 March 2019. Therefore, all businesses concerned have to prepare, make all necessary decisions, and complete all required administrative actions before 30 March 2019 in order to avoid disruption.

The European Commission has assembled a list of things businesses within the EU27 need to be aware of if they are to prepare for Brexit. We encourage you to use this list to understand the impacts that Brexit is likely to have on your business, and to guide your preparations. 

The list includes issues relating to:

  • Preparing for the 30 March 2019
  • Supply chain issues
  • Certificates, licences and authorisations
  • Customs, VAT and excise
  • Rules of origin
  • Prohibitions and restrictions for import/export of goods
  • Transfer of personal data

For full details, see Seven things businesses in the EU27 need to know in order to prepare for Brexit (PDF, 257KB)

Are you interested in growing your business through exporting but are not sure what might be involved?

Enterprise Ireland invites you to a half-day masterclass to help you to:

  • Understand your business strengths and identify what you need to export successfully
  • Look at your products and / or services and their value to overseas customers
  • Assess the opportunities and the costs, the risks and the rewards
  • Hear from companies that have achieved success in export markets and meet the Enterprise Ireland experts

Working on your business you will use a range of tools and canvases to help you to:

  • Assess what your business could sell overseas
  • Chose an export market that has the most business potential for you
  • Work with an Export Checklist to understand the financial and operational requirements associated with your chosen export market
  • Plan your roadmap to successful exporting
The Essentials of Exporting will be run in the following locations in 2019:
7 February CORK: Radisson Blu Hotel, Little IslandREGISTER HERE FOR 7 FEB CORK
26 FebruaryGALWAY: Clayton Hotel Galway, Ballybrit REGISTER HERE FOR 26 FEB GALWAY
14 MarchMONAGHAN: Four Seasons HotelREGISTER HERE FOR 14 MARCH MONAGHAN

Tariffs affect your business?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit the tariffs that the EU have registered with the World Trade Organisation would be applied to goods being traded between the UK and the EU. It is likely the UK will register similar tariffs in the first instance for goods entering the UK.

For a more detailed tariff information which includes further details on any restrictions, quotas or special conditions relating to your product you may contact The Revenue Support.

The Revenue Support:

Customs Overview: www.revenue.ie/en/customs-traders-and-agents

Goods classification for customs: www.revenue.ie/en/customs-traders-and-agents/importing-and-exporting/classification

HMRC Support:

Goods classification service: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/tariff-classification-service

For a quick guide to the potential tariff for your product simply enter key words in the search box. This will automatically generate the tariffs for products that match your search term.


The Northern Ireland High tech Manufacturing & Precision Engineering Expo is being held at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast on February 13th 2019.

This gathering of over 1000 senior management from the high tech manufacturing and precision engineering sector offers an opportunity for the sector to gather and keep up to keep up-to-date with the latest innovations, best practice and new technology solutions

Over 30 speakers and 50 exhibitors will inform and educate and inform the delegates who have network and listen to key note talks.

Simply, click here for your FREE DELEGATE PASS which will give you fast track entry to the event.

 Key Topics Include:

  • Composites
  • Innovation in Production Line and Automation
  • Augmented Reality
  • Precision Engineering
  • 3D Printing and Prototyping
  • Collaborative Robots
  • System and Device Interoperability
  • Digitalization
  • OEM
  • R&D
  • Machine Vision
  • Industry 4.0 Solutions
  • 3D Vision
  • Machine Learning
  • Process Control and Automation

To speak at the event, please email info@hightechmanufacturing-northernireland.com.

For exhibiting or sponsoring opportunities please email info@hightechmanufacturing-northernireland.com.  or call Darren McHugh on +44 207 183 7959