TPS is a private, family owned Irish company (formally RKT), who service and fulfil customer requirements from our manufacturing bases in Co. Limerick, Ireland. They are a leading custom plastic injection moulder and have been manufacturing and validating high precision moulded components for our OEM and Tier 1 customer base for over 12 years. They have developed, implemented and now use their own production management system (MaHaSy). This has been developed in line with the demands from customers in allowing their business to effectively manage incoming volume production orders and provide components “on time” within very short lead times.

See TPS Member Profile: https://www.lincnetwork.ie/member/tps/

See TPS Website: http://tps-amc.com/

Being acknowledged as a Platinum System Partner with KUKA Robotics is an accolade not awarded lightly with a number of strict criteria having to be met which is why we were thrilled to be awarded this official status for the sixth year in a row. Mark Elwell, Head of Robotic Sales Ireland joined DesignPro onsite last week for the official presentation. This partnership has opened up opportunities to new markets & kept DesignPro at the forefront of the latest technological advancements. The wide range of support services & training available has meant that their robotic engineers are constantly developing their skill sets above and beyond the industry standard.

LINC Management would like to congratulate DesignPro Automation for this fantastic accreditation.

LINC Member DesignPro is based in Limerick and is a leading provider of precision automation and machine build services to a variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, aviation, automotive, cosmetics and renewable energy.

See DesignPro Member Profile

Meet LINC Engineering Network member Barrett Engineering Ltd. located in Barna, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. They specialise in profiling sheet and plate steel to exact specification, using High Definition CNC Plasma Cutting Technology.

Barrett Engineering was established in 1993 and during this time has established itself as a leading steel fabrication and steel services company through their continued commitment to their customers, to the quality they consistently deliver and to their reputation of achieving on-time delivery of high-profile projects.

See Barrett Engineering Website:

http://www.barretteng.ie/

LINC Member Ashgrove Renewables, in conjunction with SEAI are running a new Home Energy Upgrade scheme.

If you are interested in reducing your running costs and CO2 footprint, and if your house was built before 31st Dec 2005 you could be eligible for this amazing offer under the SEAI BEC or BEH scheme !!

Qualifying homes could get a complete home energy upgrade including :

Insulation Upgrade

Air/Water Heat Pump & Hot Water Cylinder

Solar PV Panels

Energy Monitor

Contact sales@ashgrove.ie for further information

Local Enterprise Office Limerick’s 3 hour webinar on ‘How to Create Marketing Videos on a Budget’ still some availability on Thursday 24th June!

About the workshop:

Would you like to be able to shoot and edit lots of marketing videos for your website or social media posts but you don’t know how to do it? In this LIVE online course which you can attend from the comfort of your home you will learn what kind of online marketing videos you can make for your business, how you can shoot videos with your smartphone – if you have some additional low cost equipment – and how to edit the footage (using video editing software on a PC) into a marketing video. This course is for businesses based in Limerick only!

LEO Limerick

To book use this link: https://bit.ly/3wD3lJC

Leo Cork North & west – “A presence on Google Search and Maps can help customers find you more easily. Ensure you’re being as helpful as you can by providing customers with accurate, updated information about your business on Google Search and Google Maps. Join us online to learn about search and how to create a Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.

Topics covered will include: 

  • What is search and how does it work.
  • How to build your online presence and where it appears in search results.
  • Ways to optimise your business profile on Google Search and Maps.

Who is this webinar suitable for?

  • Businesses of any size.
  • Beginners level. 

Places available on the 2nd series of Google Digital Garage Webinars on Wednesday 23rd of June next week. Book Here!https://www.localenterprise.ie/…/Google-Digital-Garage…Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West

Meet LINC Engineering Network member CPH Plant & Platform Hire located in Charleville, Co. Cork. CPH is Irelands Largest Independent Construction Services Company and they provide Access Hire, Plant
Machinery Hire,  and Tool Hire  Nationwide

CPH makes your life easier. They understand what you
want and make sure you get it. They offer Reliable and trustworthy advice and service as well as Reliable Delivery.

For further information see their:

Member Profile

Website

Great news from LINC Member, EPS Group today as they have confirmed that they will sponsor Peter Lawless Solo Non-stop Circumnavigation as he sails solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world from Kilrush, Co. Clare & back to Ireland via the 5 great Capes, using just a sextant and paper charts as his primary navigation tools.

Peter is hoping to be the first Irish person to successfully complete this endeavour when he sails his Waxwing cruising yacht out of Kilrush in August.

About EPS Group

EPS Water Treatment Manager Shane Corcoran and Managing Director Patrick Buckley presented Peter with a Spectra Watermakers Ventura 150R, which turns sea water into drinking water to allow access to drinking water onboard. They also gave him some EPS goodies like our nice snug fleece jacket, beanie hats and stainless steel water bottles – which he’s wearing & using already as you’ll see in this video!

https://youtu.be/F_kS9XNEONk

Best of luck to Peter’s and we wish him well over the coming months both as he prepares for the sailing and during his epic voyage.

See EPS Group Profile

The Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters (TAME) grant enables clients to explore and develop new market opportunities.

The TAME grant part-funds the costs that can be incurred investigating and researching export markets, e.g. exhibiting at Trade Fairs, preparing marketing material and developing websites specifically targeting overseas markets.

The grant is called: ‘Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters’ and 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.

Don’t forget…

The maximum Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters grant is €2,500 (excluding VAT), up to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs. Micro enterprises cannot receive more than one Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters’ grant per year.

Eligibility criteria, and general conditions of the Financial Support Instruments apply.

The Local Enterprise Offices are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.

Grant terms, eligible projects and expenditure

Grant terms:

  • Grant Covers 50% of eligible costs (net of vat) to a max of €2,500.
  • Applications must be made prior to any expenditure being incurred
  • Payments will be made to approved projects on receipt of proof of payment of all qualifying and approved expenses.
  • Successful applicants should consider using an Enterprise Ireland Mentor to develop an export/marketing plan.

Projects eligible for support include:

  • Enterprises not employing more than 10 people;
  • Enterprises located within the geographic location of the Local Enterprise Office
  • Enterprises operating in the commercial sphere
  • Enterprises must demonstrate a market for their proposed product/service
  • Enterprises engaged in manufacturing or internationally traded services
  • Innovative businesses with prototype products
  • Enterprises must not have received any funding for this proposal from any other source

What does the TAME Grant cover?

  • Participation at trade fairs and shows covering Trade Show Exhibitor costs including rental/fees relating to space/stands; foreign travel & subsistence*
  • Participation at international trade networking events organised through the Enterprise Europe Network;
  • Development of specific Marketing Materials aimed at exploring new export markets;
  • Translation, e.g. of existing material (booklets,webpages, etc.) for export markets;
  • Development of export related websites;
  • Investigation of new internal or external processes to develop export business, e.g. new business model or the carrying out of non-regulatory technical requirements;

* Note: Travel & Subsistence Costs are only eligible for overseas trips:

Eligible Travel Costs: Economy Air/Ferry or Rail Fares; Mileage (60c per kilometre) or Economy Car Hire (mileage cannot be claimed on Car Hire)

Subsistence Rates: Overnight Rate – 24 hour period; €200 per day; Day rate < 24 hours €60

To find out More Click Here

Sustainability is often quite a theoretical concept and many small businesses just don’t know where to start. This practical ‘how to’ event will help you to ‘Green’ your business and benefit from practical guidance on how to make your business more sustainable.

We’re taking the theory away and just bringing this down to practical action steps for business. Discover the benefits of doing so from business owners who have already done it.

Meet a selection of SMEs from around the country who have introduced green principles into their business. Learn how to market your green business credentials as a unique selling point.

You will also hear about the new Local Enterprise Office ‘Green for Micro’ supports. This programme is designed to provide small businesses with tailored expert advice on how to drive sustainability. Qualifying SMEs will access two days of intensive mentoring including a sustainability audit and action plan, designed to help “green” your business.

For further information, contact your Local Enterprise Office

Click here to download the Green for Micro brochure

Businesses operating from a non-rateable premises such as a home office or hot-desk now eligible for help with fixed costs

Self-employed working from home, wedding planners, on-course bookmakers, travel counsellors and photographers among those expected to benefit

Micro Enterprise Assistance Scheme also reopened to help smallest businesses

Tánaiste extends eligibility of Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC)

18th May 2021

Businesses operating from a non-rateable premises such as a home office or hot-desk now eligible for help with fixed costs

Self-employed working from home, wedding planners, on-course bookmakers, travel counsellors and photographers among those expected to benefit

Micro Enterprise Assistance Scheme also reopened to help smallest businesses

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD today extended eligibility for the €60m Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) to include businesses operating from a non-rateable premise like a home business or yard. The Tánaiste is also relaunching the Micro Enterprise Assistance Scheme so that our smallest businesses, those with a turnover of less than €50,000 can apply for a grant of €1000 to help with fixed costs.

The Tánaiste said:

“We have tried through various Government schemes to help as many businesses as possible with their fixed costs. By extending eligibility for the SBASC, we hope to catch those who have not qualified under our existing schemes, mainly because they don’t operate from a rateable premises.

“Those who are self-employed and working from a non-rateable premises, such as their own home for example, can apply for a €4,000 payment to help with fixed costs.

“While the grant is modest, it will make a big difference to those businesses. It is designed to help with energy bills, security, IT systems fees, legal and accounting fees or any other fixed costs that may incur as part of running a business.

“We are also relaunching the Micro Enterprise Assistance Scheme so that our smallest businesses, those with a turnover of less than €50,000 can apply for a grant of €1000.

“It has been a really tough few months for anyone brave enough to run their own business. Things are looking up now.”

The Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) is for businesses which are not eligible for CRSS or other sector specific grants, that are down 75% or more of turnover.

Further details, including the go-live date for Q2, will be announced shortly. Those who applied under Phase 1 are still eligible to apply for a second payment of €4,000 if they continue to meet the criteria. Interested businesses should contact their local authority. Closing date for Phase 2 applications will be 21 July.

The Micro Enterprise Assistance Scheme is for companies facing particular hardship and that do not qualify for other government schemes. It will provide a grant of up to €1,000 to businesses with previous turnover of less than €50,000 that meet the other criteria for SBASC.

This scheme is in addition to the comprehensive package the Government has put in place to help businesses and workers during the pandemic, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), low-cost loans, the deferral and warehousing of tax liabilities and the waiver of commercial rates.

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

“At the heart of Ireland’s jobs-led revival will be the small business community who made major sacrifices during the pandemic to sustain their operations.  For many negatively impacted upon by Covid, their efforts are firmly fixed on trading successfully once again as the economy continues to reopen and the remaining public health restrictions are eased.

This second round of SBASC will reach a further cohort of businesses and will contribute towards some of the ongoing fixed costs associated with maintaining operations.  I am optimistic that small firms can return to viability and contribute positively to the economic recovery.”

The Minister of State for Trade Promotion Robert Troy TD said:

“The outlook is hopeful as we now enter the early stages of recovery but central to our economic recovery is the small and micro business community. We know businesses across the country continue to feel the impact Covid-19 has had on their normal operations. The expansion of the eligibility criteria of the SBASC to those working in non-rateable premises and the re-launch of support available to our micro enterprises through the Micro Enterprise Assistance Scheme is welcome, both of which I had been pushing for with my colleagues. While modest, both schemes will assist in addressing some of their ongoing fixed costs.

“I will continue to work with my colleagues across Government to ensure we address the needs of our smallest businesses and the update to the schemes announced today will give some level of help to those who need it most. Along with the other Government schemes and regulatory responses currently underway, I want small and micro businesses to know that we are committed to supporting their long-term viability.

(Click here for original article from Gov.ie)

The Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, today launched a public consultation on the European Commission’s recently announced proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

The proposal, which revises the current rules on Non-Financial Reporting substantially increases the detail of the information which must be provided in particular through the development of new EU sustainability reporting standards

To coincide with the public consultation, Minister Troy hosted a webinar to inform key stakeholders, including Irish businesses directly impacted, about the details of the proposal. It featured keynote remarks by Commissioner Mairead Mc Guinness and presentations by Elena Arveras of the European Commission DG FISMA and from Tomás Sercovich CEO of Business in the Community Ireland.

Speaking after the webinar, Minister Troy said:

“We all know how important the next ten years are if we are to address the climate change and biodiversity crisis. Last month, the Government introduced the Climate Action Bill – demonstrating our ambition and commitment in this regard. It’s for good reason climate change is a top agenda item both here and internationally, and part of this includes discussing company reporting.

“Today’s webinar brought together stakeholders from across the Irish business community to hear presentations on the recently published proposal. I would like to thank Commissioner McGuinness for taking the time to share her vision of the future of sustainability reporting, and Elena and Tomás for their very informative and insightful presentations. The proposal by the European Commission demonstrates the commitment of the European Union to addressing the challenges of climate change through innovative new sustainability reporting obligations.

“This is an important opportunity to reflect on what has been done and given the extraordinary global upheaval, forge an effective approach to raise the transparency of the environmental information provided by undertakings in all sectors and result in lasting change for the better.”

The public consultation on the proposal will be open until 23 June. Encouraging submissions to the public consultation, the Minister said:

“I would strongly encourage all stakeholders, particularly the Irish business community, to engage with the consultation and submit their views over the coming weeks. The input received from stakeholders will play an important part in the development of Ireland’s approach in the forthcoming negotiations on the proposal. It therefore is important that the Department hears your views on this significant topic.”

Covid-19 restrictions are due to ease further from Monday 10 May. Here is a brief summary of the key changes.

Travel

Intercounty travel for non-essential reasons can return.

Owners of stationary mobile homes or caravans can travel to another county to stay in their mobile homes, and caravan parks are permitted to open to facilitate access for owners. However, no rentals are allowed, and shared facilities are not permitted.

Rental of accommodation will not be allowed. It is expected to resume from 2 June, subject to the public health conditions at the time.

Social visits

A maximum of three households, or up to six people from individual households, can meet outdoors, including in private gardens. Children aged 12 and under are not included in the limits.

Additionally, people who are fully vaccinated can meet indoors with other fully vaccinated people, with a maximum of three households present.

Fully vaccinated people can meet indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household, as long as they are not at risk of severe illness. Again, there is a limit of three households in total for such visits.

Outdoor gatherings

Up to 15 people can attend organised gatherings outdoors.

Outdoor sports training for adults can return, in pods with a maximum of 15 people.

Retail

The phased reopening of non-essential retail begins.

Stores can offer click-and-collect, or in-store shopping by appointment.

Outdoor retail can also resume.

Personal services

Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can reopen for customers, by appointment only.

Cultural services

Galleries, museums and other cultural attractions can reopen.

Libraries can reopen for lending services, but there should be no access to reader spaces or computer facilities.

Religious services, funerals and weddings

In-person religious services can resume, with a limit of 50 people attending.

The Government says Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time.

Up to 50 mourners are allowed to attend funeral services. Related events should not take place before or after the service.

50 guests are allowed to attend wedding services, whether civil or religious. For celebrations or receptions after the service, a maximum of six people will be allowed to attend indoors, and up to 15 outdoors.

Public transport

The number of people allowed on public transport increases to 50% of normal capacity.

For information about Coronavirus symptoms, testing and keeping well see the HSE’s website here.

Click here for detailed information on Covid-19 Restrictions from Gov.ie

(via enterprise.gov.ie)

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Canada, South Korea, Mexico and Japan will increase GDP and wages, especially for low-income workers, according to a major new trade study published today by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion Robert Troy TD.

 The independent examination, conducted by Copenhagen Economics, looked into the economic opportunities and effects for Ireland arising from four recently concluded EU Free Trade Agreements – Korea, Canada, Mexico and Japan.

 The Tánaiste said:

“Free trade agreements are good for workers, good for business, good for producers and good for consumers. This study shows how widespread and significant the benefits are for everyone of cutting out red tape and reducing friction in trade with other countries.

“Some countries, such as Norway, Australia and the Gulf States, use their rich natural resources to create employment and fund services and a good quality of life for their citizens. Ireland, however, has very little oil, gas or mineral wealth. For us, trade is the source of our economic growth. It is what has consistently raised our living standards over decades and created hundreds of thousands of jobs for our citizens.”

 Principal findings of the study:

  • Real wages are expected to increase between 2.6 and 4.4 per cent in 2030 due to the FTAs, with the largest increases found for low-income workers.
  • Imports are and will continue to become cheaper, reducing costs for consumers and Irish firms with global value chains.
  • Irish GDP will be 2.3 per cent higher in 2030 than would have been the case without the four FTAs in place.
  • The higher GDP is driven by an increase in global total Irish exports of 3.3 per cent and an increase in global imports of 3.3 per cent.
  • Increased market access benefits Irish exporters who can specialise in production, where they have a comparative advantage and are productive relative to competitors
  • As a small open economy with a limited home market, Irish producers will benefit more than producers in large countries who can gain scale in their home markets. 

The Tánaiste said:

 “These findings show that the Free Trade Agreements we have reached with Canada, Korea, Mexico and Japan will increase wages, especially for low-income workers, increase Ireland’s GDP, our national income and our productivity. Consumers are also better off as increased trade provides more choice and keeps prices competitive. For business, trade deals open up new and exciting markets, make doing business easier removing bureaucracy, tariffs, quotas and regulatory barriers. This is particularly important for SMEs, given that trade barriers tend to disproportionately burden smaller firms.

 “I am strongly committed to ensuring that the Government is doing everything possible to support businesses in Ireland to internationalise and diversify export markets, particularly in the context of the impacts of Brexit, to safeguard Irish jobs and investment.”

 Ireland currently exports over €20bn in goods and services to the four specific FTA partners subject of this study, equivalent to almost six per cent of total Irish exports of goods and services in 2019. These markets are growing as significant export destinations for Ireland, with exports to these partners increasing by 270 per cent – almost threefold – over the last decade, over twice the rate of growth in total global Irish exports of 126 per cent in the same period.

 The study indicates early benefits are arising from the FTAs since their application. For example, exports to South Korea grew 19 per cent per year since 2015 and 22.8 percent per year since 2017. Irish goods exports to Canada increased from €953 million in 2016 to more than €1.7 billion in 2020 (+78%) and services exports grew from €1.6 billion in 2016 to more than €2.3 billion in 2019 (+44%). 

 Minister for Trade Promotion, Robert Troy TD, added that:

 “As a small, open economy trade and investment is crucial to our recovery and future prosperity. The more we trade, the more jobs we support and the better the living standards for all.  

 “The best way to grow our exports and market diversification is by improving the terms of trade for Irish firms. The report highlights the significant benefits of the respective trade agreements, and it is important that we continue to secure greater market access for our exports and reduce the costs of entering those markets as we look to trade our way to a more favourable, post-pandemic, economic position.

 “I look forward to continued engagement with our dynamic Irish-based enterprises, especially SMEs, on maximising the potential of these markets and what other Free Trade Agreements offer.  Moreover, the European Commission’s “Access2Markets” portal should facilitate all companies, including our SMEs, in identifying the favourable tariff and quota arrangements that apply for their goods exports to these particular destinations.”

(See original article from Enterprise Ireland)

Online resource provides a one-stop-shop for start-up entrepreneurs

Enterprise Ireland has announced the launch of ‘Start In Ireland’, a single online repository of information for all things relating to the Irish start-up landscape.

The new online portal simplifies the process of finding relevant start-up information and provides a pathway through a detailed list of supports available to people who want to start or grow their early-stage businesses. Available on desktop and mobile, users can easily refine their search results to identify suitable supports for their business needs.

Ireland’s support for entrepreneurship continues to grow and our thriving start-up community is underpinned by a multitude of relevant supports and events, including start-up ‘office hours’ for first-time founders, pre-accelerators, accelerators, competitions, hackathons and more.

Commenting on the announcement, Jenny Melia, Divisional Manager, High Potential Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland said, “Enterprise Ireland works closely with start-up businesses from the very early-stages of development. While there is a wide range of information available from multiple sources on how to set up your business and the supports available, it can be challenging to find the right information at the right time.

“So, we are delighted to launch Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Start In Ireland’ portal after an extensive and collaborative development process with industry and stakeholders. We believe that this portal solves a real problem for potential, new and existing start-ups. By offering a one-stop-shop, start-ups can easily access information about the vast array of supports on offer throughout the country.”

Updated by industry, the portal can be accessed via Enterprise Ireland sites https://globalambition.ie/startinireland/ and https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/startinireland/. Enterprise Ireland is also in discussions with industry stakeholders to host the portal on their own sites to ensure the widest access possible.

The Post-Brexit Advisory Support helps businesses to create a strong action plan and identify the opportunities and risks that the new trading environment in the UK may pose to your business.

The initiative is available to Enterprise Ireland supported companies and is delivered at no cost to the company. The initiative is intended to help companies strengthen their capabilities in three key business areas:

(1) Strategic Sourcing

(2) Customs and Logistics

(3) Financial and Currency Management*

The structure of the assignment between the company and the consultant consists of:

  • A half day with the consultant and your company to discuss your current arrangements and the challenges that Brexit brings
  • Consultant spending a half day analysing the findings and formulating practical advice and recommended actions for your company
  • Consultant spending a further half day with your company discussing the advice and recommendations and agreeing on an action plan that clearly outlines the various actions
  • A final half day spent by the consultant preparing a unique and specific report for your company, articulating the challenges and actions agreed (including details of dates and responsibilities).
  • *Note: The Business Financial Planning Grant will support companies that wish to develop their financial capability. See Covid-19 Business Financial Planning Grant for details.

Eligibility Criteria

You must already be an Enterprise Ireland client to be eligible.

How to Apply

To apply, contact your Development Adviser (DA) or email the Brexit unit to express your interest in the programme.

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and Enterprise Ireland invite you to a webinar on World Intellectual Property day (April 26th) where you can learn how the new guidance standard (ISO 56005) on IP management can support innovation and business efforts in Irish SMEs.

Background: Intellectual Property (IP) can be daunting for many Irish SMEs. They may not be able to identify the IP in different areas of their business, let alone know how to create and implement a successful IP strategy.

ISO 56005 is a new guidance framework for SMEs to effectively manage the IP that supports and protects their innovation. Forming part of the ISO 56000 Innovation Series of Guidance Standards developed by the world’s leading IP experts, this document will be a valuable resource and practical tool for Irish companies navigating through the world of Intellectual Property management.

This event, coinciding with #WorldIPDay under the theme of ‘IP and SMEs: Taking your ideas to market’, is the official launch of the ISO IP guidance Standard in Ireland, and will show how IP strategy, a typical pain point for innovators, can now be streamlined thanks to this new Standard.
Join the experts behind the framework on April 26th at 11am to learn more. Click the banner in the attached document to register, or register directly via link below:

https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=https%3a%2f%2fregister.gotowebinar.com%2fregister%2f6873164147434886156&c=E,1,SM3iqGWoB69bHnZt2ZT0ucLiDpTY3L117AQaiozFQFvwSAEO2Yr8RFvqdnI5bX-hUl7CZFX1Xs7Y5z8Iz489yXmXPnukX0fGxGrHgKTqoU2SkP-85KbTehxhmQ,,&typo=1  


Speakers

Paul Killeen, NSAI
Paul Killeen is a Senior Standards Officer and ‘Research & Innovation’ lead at the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). Formerly the Head of Research, Innovation & Enterprise Development at AIT, he chaired the Knowledge & Technology Transfer Committee for the Institutes of Technology Ireland and was a member of the Knowledge Transfer Ireland Stakeholder Forum. Paul currently manages Irish participation through NSAI in the development of International Standards in Systematic Innovation Management (ISO 56000 Series), and participates in various European programmes designed to use European and International standards development as an effective knowledge Transfer mechanism to help bridge the innovation gap between research and market impact for new and emerging technologies. NSAI supports enterprise, trade, consumers and government in the areas of Standards, Legal Metrology, Agrément, Certification and Scientific/Industrial Metrology.

Joe Doyle, Enterprise Ireland
Joe is Intellectual Property (IP) Manager with Enterprise Ireland (EI) where his role is to promote the integration of IP strategy with the business strategies of EI client companies. He provides a first line of enquiry in EI on IP issues, promotes IP awareness and manages the EI IP Strategy funding scheme. Joe was very active as an Irish IP expert representing NSAI in the development of the ISO 56005 guidance standard on IP Management – from its initial conception to its final publication.

Nikos Minas, Hanna Moore and Curley
Nikos helps companies and universities to define their IP strategy and protect their IP assets. Before becoming a patent attorney, Nikos worked as a researcher and in-house patent manager for a prominent R&D organisation, where he was responsible for developing the IP roadmap to support the innovation and business efforts of the different R&D groups. As an Irish IP expert representing NSAI, Nikos actively contributed to the development of the ISO 56005 guidance standard on IP Management.


Mary White, Evoquent
Mary worked in a leading Irish intellectual property law firm, before setting up brand consultancy Evoquent with the aim of bringing intellectual property skills to the SME sector. Mary is an Irish trade mark agent and professional representative before the EU Intellectual Property Office.  She provides clients with commercial and strategic advice on their trade marks, including conducting portfolio audits and international filing strategies.  
She has particular expertise in handling objections and oppositions at the IPO and EUIPO.  Mary has been member of the NSAI Technical Committee 45 and ISO Technical Committee 279 (Innovation Management) since 2019 and has contributed to the ISO 56005:2020 (IP Management) and ISO56010 (Innovation management – Illustrative examples) standards.  

Joanne Griffin, AdaptIQ
A former tech exec and Chartered Accountant, Joanne founded AdaptIQ to help companies thrive in an increasingly volatile landscape, and foster adaptability in their teams and businesses.
With a passion for problem-solving and an agile mindset, Joanne has extensive experience in finance, business transformation, automation, innovation management and behavioural change. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of emerging technologies, building resilience, and exploring resistance to change

(See original article at enterprise.gov.ie)

An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD and the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD today launched the Climate Enterprise Action Fund with an initial allocation of €10m.

The Fund, which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, will help businesses take action to drive down their emissions and embed sustainability in how they work.

An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD said:

“The road to recovery after the pandemic must be a sustainable one. We must break the link between economic prosperity and fossil fuels and fully embrace the transition to a low-carbon economy. The enterprise sector accounts for just over 13% of the economy’s total emissions so all businesses will have a part to play in achieving the 7% per year, on average, emissions reduction that the Government has committed to over the next decade.

“With our new Climate law, Ireland is now one of the most ambitious countries in the world on climate. I think this presents significant opportunities for Irish businesses, whether that be in the huge expansion of entire industries, such as retrofitting or offshore wind, by becoming an electricity exporter, or new jobs in cleantech. Those that act first, will see the greatest reward.

“This Fund is about helping companies, no matter where they are on their journey towards sustainability, to put a plan in place. We hope these companies become exemplars of best practice in their respective fields, so that others can learn from their experience and see what works. Some of this Fund will also be channeled into high impact feasibility projects, to explore new ways of working which could ultimately have a really significant impact across Irish enterprise as a whole.”

The new fund will:

  • Fund up to 850 companies at an early stage of exploring climate and sustainability to develop a high-level company action plan, which will enable them to measure their carbon footprint and identify projects leading to reduced emissions and greater resource efficiency (for example, energy, water, materials). The plan will assess the company’s operations, supply chain, market opportunities and challenges through a climate and sustainability lens.
  • Fund up to 100 more advanced companies to develop comprehensive multi-annual business plans with climate change and sustainability actions integrated into the company’s overall strategy.
  • The Fund will also support a small number of public/private partnerships working on high-impact feasibility projects that will enhance climate change and sustainability capabilities across Irish enterprise (for example, R&D, new ways of working) 

Minister Eamon Ryan TD said:

“The Government has recently published the Climate Bill which commits Ireland to halving our greenhouse gases by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. There is now a huge opportunity for Irish business to reap the financial and reputational benefits of being early adopters when it comes to climate action.

“The Enterprise sector will have a key role to play; not only can it take action to reduce its own emissions, it can influence the entire economy by driving innovation in other sectors such as transport, housing, energy and agriculture.

“I would encourage companies to access the Fund announced today, along with other supports for businesses such as the EXEED fund from the SEAI. I welcome Enterprise Ireland taking such a proactive approach and I am confident they will help Irish business become leaders in this field.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Irelandsaid:

“Supporting Irish companies to reduce their carbon footprint and capitalise on opportunities emerging from the low-carbon transition is a key strategic priority for Enterprise Ireland.  As Irish businesses continue to adapt to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for getting back on the road to recovery, we need to also build resilience and ensure Irish companies have the capabilities in place to meet the challenges of climate change.  Substantial changes are required across the enterprise sector to meet national and EU emissions targets, increasing regulation, changing consumer and buyer preferences. Increasing customer demand for sustainable and innovative products and services will also provide more Irish businesses with opportunities. The new €10m Climate Enterprise Action Fund will help a wide range of businesses to accelerate their planning or take the first step to compete and grow in a low-carbon future.

“Enterprise Ireland recently launched a new international ‘Ready for a Green Future’ campaign. The campaign promotes Irish innovators and businesses which are delivering sustainable solutions to tackle climate change.”

For More Details See:

globalambition.ie/climate-enterprise-action-fund/

(See original article here)

It would take a brave man, or woman, to be emphatic about the future of work. Jobs once imagined secure and beyond the reach of change are now vulnerable — ask anyone in banking or the wider financial services sector. It is less difficult to offer plausible opinions on the place of work in society. It will, in whatever form it takes or at least it should take, a manifestation of opportunity. 

To that end, the Government is to launch this week a new scheme to encourage people to take up apprenticeships and to encourage employers to offer apprenticeships, especially to women. Employers will get  €3,000 payment for every apprentice employed and an extra sum, almost €3,000 if they take on a female apprentice. Bonus supports will be offered to those who employ, lone parents, people with disabilities or those living in direct provision.

Our long-standing attitudes to apprenticeships have been more than unhelpful and disadvantaged far too many individuals. This scheme will, hopefully, go some way to making this idea an attractive option.

Dublin 12 April 2021 – London-based consultancy firm Albany Beck is launching an EU Operations Centre in Dublin that will create 100 new jobs over the next three years. The new roles created will be in in the areas of Software Development, Software Engineering, Cloud-Services, Machine Learning/AI/Automation, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Transaction Management. Recruitment will begin immediately for Software Developers, Full-stack software engineers, Python Developers and KYC Analysts.

After expanding successfully into Ireland in 2018 and rapidly growing to a team of 87, the company has identified Dublin as the optimum location to invest in and to scale its EU business following Brexit.     
This expansion will allow Albany Beck to seamlessly provide its cutting-edge services to its EU clients, from regulatory and compliance advice to digital transformation and systems implementation.

The company is supported by the Irish government through IDA Ireland.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD said: “I really welcome this announcement from Albany Beck. The decision to expand and base its EU Operations Centre in Ireland is a great vote of confidence in Dublin City and underscores the company’s continued commitment to our country. The 100 new jobs are a real boost. I wish the company all this best with this exciting new chapter.”

Adam Kelly, Albany Beck Partner & Head of EU Operations Centre said: “Over the last couple of years our success in Ireland has been exceptional. Dublin has been the ideal location for Albany Beck and our service offering. The depth of talent in Ireland, especially in software development and financial services has been the key to our growth. As a Dubliner, I take great pleasure in seeing the city continue to thrive, especially with Albany Beck being a part of it.”

Celia Johnson, Albany Beck Associate Partner, added: “Being a part of Albany Beck’s continued growth in my home country over the past 18 months, has been a journey of both pride and passion. Spending so much time in Ireland prior to Covid-19, I’ve watched us grow by developing new client relationships, helping them build their teams, hit regulatory commitments and deliver transformational programmes. This new centre will boost our capabilities and I can’t wait to see it in action.”

Since Albany Beck arrived in Ireland it has won several international projects for high profile European financial services clients and is looking to accelerate its growth across the EU from Ireland.

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan commented on the announcement saying: “Albany Beck’s commitment to Dublin represents an endorsement of the talented workforce available here and is evidence of Dublin’s growing reputation as a great place for financial services companies seeking to access EU markets.”
 
About Albany Beck
 
Albany Beck are a specialist financial services consultancy with over 170 expert consultants, providing senior SME and junior delivery support across Technology, Risk, Data and Operations to global banking clients.
 
Through their Employed Consultant Model (ECM), Albany Beck provide cost-effective access to specialist talent, enabling clients to overcome immediate workplace skill gaps and prepare for future needs, by offering the option to internalise consultants, free of charge.
 
To ensure all consultants are perfectly suited to each role, Albany Beck offer a thorough L&D and professional qualification programme, bespoke designed with each client requirement in mind. By engaging with Albany Beck, each clients benefits from a stable, flexible and highly productive workforce that can grow with its organisation.

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

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to Email App

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!

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!