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Editor: Joseph O’Connor

Editorial Assistant: Susan McDermott (Chambers Ireland) Commercial Editor: Conor Forrest Art Director: Alan McArthur Commercial Design: Alejandra Camacho Editorial Contributors: Orla Connolly Conor Forrest Valerie Jordan Olive Keogh Rachel Murray Christopher O’Riordan Front Cover Photography: Conor McCabe Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Special Innovation Reports: Shane Kelly Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Gerry Tynan

Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: +353 1 432 2200 Email: Web: On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: Web: All articles © Ashville Media Group 2015. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. Opinion and comments expressed herein are not necessarily those of Ashville Media or Chambers Ireland. ISSN 20093934


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ThoughtBox’s Cristina Luminea on disrupting the way kids learn maths and science via interactive games


Communications Now A look at the PR sector here, and some of the companies that have survived, thrived and emerged in recent years Words: Valerie Jordan

It took Cathriona Hallahan nearly 30 years to reach the top of the corporate ladder. The Microsoft Ireland MD’s story of hard graft and dogged determination should serve as inspiration for any young professional starting out, writes JOSEPH O’CONNOR.

rowing up in Stillorgan, Cathriona Hallahan faced a major life-changing event at a very young age. She lost her father when she was just ten years old, and it was his absence that led her to concentrate on securing a job rather than going to college once she had finished school. “My mum at the time was unskilled,” recalls the managing director of Microsoft Ireland. “Her mum had died when she was quite young so she ended up being the housekeeper at home after leaving school at 13. Because she didn’t have any skills, when my dad passed away she went out to work as a housekeeper. It made me motivated to get out into the workforce and start earning a salary so my mum wouldn’t have to work as hard.” And that’s what she did when she landed a secretarial job in a family-run catering business in Dublin back in the mid ’80s, a time when job opportunities were scarce on the ground. It didn’t last long however as the company ran into financial difficulties forcing Hallahan to look elsewhere for regular work. It was only months previous to this that a large US multinational called Microsoft had moved into the neighbourhood. In fact, it was located in Sandyford, just up the road from where Hallahan lived, an added incentive to apply for an opening there which she came across through an employment agency. Little did she realise then that her new role as an accounts clerk – where she joined 24 other employees – would be

the beginning of a long and successful career spanning decades at the company, culminating in her filling the position of Ireland’s Managing Director in 2013, which now sees her in charge of 1,200 permanent staff and overseeing another 1,000 through vendors. Hallahan has seen significant transformation at the global giant over her 29 years there. She’s also had the opportunity to work in many divisions, including ten years in the finance department, followed by a move into operations in local, regional and global roles, where she ran call centres, oversaw supply chains and partner engagement. Being flexible and versatile in the workplace along with having a true desire to learn new skills is something Hallahan cites as a key factor to her success. “I’ve done every job that’s possible to do,” she says. “I covered in reception, I worked out on manufacturing floors and as an finance person. I was accounts clerk, cost accountant, finance supervisor, I worked in every space so my real philosophy is a curiosity and a constant willingness to learn, change, try new things and take risks and that’s allowed me to have multiple careers within the same company and have a lot of success.” Hallahan also says that having a strong mentor in her work life was important. In her earlier days at Microsoft she worked under a senior manager who she says saw true potential in her, something she had failed to recognise herself. “He encouraged me to go back to college, get my accountancy qualification. That’s what I did and I’ve used those financial skills in every aspect of my career.”


InBUSINESS | Q4 2015


InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

Illustration courtesy of Jen Murphy (@JenJen_Murf). Jen is a graphic design and caricature artist based in the west of Ireland. For further details contact:



Cathriona Hallahan

Microsoft Ireland’s MD on hard graft and dogged determination

Words: Joseph O’Connor


All Bets on Ireland’s Bid

The economic impact of Ireland hosting Rugby World Cup in 2023 should its bid be successful Words: Conor Forrest


The Smart Brewer

A Belfast start-up is disrupting how we brew and consume beer, but in a positive way Words: Joseph O’Connor

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015


Jen Murphy

Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton



eir Means Business

eir’s Director of SME Gary Disley on providing choice, cost control, freedom and flexibility to small businesses Words: Joseph O’Connor

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We are the Pension & Investment Consultants *Corporate Pensions Consulting *Benefits Administration *Actuarial & Investment Consulting

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Dublin tel +353 1 297 7600 Cork tel +353 21 4808041

Invesco Limited is regulated by the Central Bank Of Ireland. An analysis of Invesco’s activities between those that are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland amd those that are not is set out on the company’s website

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Q4 2015
















772009 393018

Go to for the online edition



New offerings from Toyota and Jaguar 126


Travel gadgets for the tech-savvy jetsetter 128


Lake Garda is a region rich in culture and small town charm 131


The rise of digital music piracy 132


Celebrity endorsed lines

Eamon Moore, Founder and MD, E-MIT Solutions


SME Feature

We paid a visit to Bear Market coffee shop in Dublin’s Blackrock



Damage Limitation

The Volkswagen emissions scandal reminded us of the importance of having a robust crisis management plan Words: Orla Connolly


Book Extract

An extract from Jason Zweig’s The Devil’s Financial Directory


The Last Word



Brid Horan on taking steps to further the percentage of females at senior level through the 30% Club Words: Valerie Jordan



10 Movers & Shakers

Making a Mark in Manufacturing

IDA’s Chantelle Kiernan on Ireland’s bid to become the strategic hub of choice for global manufacturing

Words: Joseph O’Connor

Our Local Government InBUSINESS 07 CORK Supplement continues to look at the 06 important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise Page



5 Business News






Boost for Wicklow’s film industry, Dublin Enterprise Zone launched and tributes paid to IGCA President..

Cork cashes out, Limerick leaps to e-parking and a renewed energy for Tipperary.

Council to fund Irish language scholarships, surfs up in Sligo and no move on business rates in Roscommon.




Cavan geopark given UNESCO status and Tidy Towns accolade for Donegal.

In Association with

CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

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• Din Medium • Din Regular


13 Opportunity Ireland 14 Start-Up Central 47 Chambers Catch Up 136 The IB Index

This year has represented a period of forward momentum for Cork with continued positive signs in place for 2016. We talk to the Chamber, the councils and various businesses about what’s ahead.


A new mapping application developed by Donegal County Council is helping connect the Irish diaspora with opportunities back home.

In Association with

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InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones


US President Richard Nixon


number of Irish companies were recognised for the content they generate through online blogs at this year’s Blog Awards Ireland. Among the firms honoured were Ryanair who took home the award for Best Company Travel Blog as well as Overall Company Blog of the Year. Other companies that picked up trophies on the night were Blacknight Solutions, Mick’s Garage, The Body Shop and Harvey Norman. For a full list of winners go to Marlon Brando


Celebrates Milestone With Photo Exhibition

A Boxer Muhammad Ali

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photographic exhibition capturing 70 years of famous faces at Shannon Airport has opened to the public. The opening of the exhibition of 64 photos brings an end to this year’s milestone 70th anniversary celebrations for the airport. The new permanent photo exhibition was launched in early December by Shannon Group chairman Rose Hynes and includes photographs of several world political and religious leaders along with sports heroes and film stars.


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HEALTH FOOD COMPANY Irish UFC star Cathal Pendred has been announced as the first official franchisee of Chopped, the healthy food company. The announcement is the latest milestone in the fast growing firm from Dublin entrepreneurs Brian Lee and Andy Chen. The first Chopped outlet opened in Dublin city centre in May 2012, followed by a second outlet in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 and a third outlet which opened in Fairview in May 2015. The three outlets currently employ 66 people and the company’s growing success is a reflection of the current health food revolution in Ireland.

NEW EVENTS SPACE AT CROKE PARK Croke Park has recently completed a major renovation of its meeting and event spaces which includes the full refurbishment of the stadium’s two flagship suites in the Hogan Stand and the development of four new luxury All-Star Suites. It took the Irish design and construction team three months to complete the transformation, which was unveiled at an official launch on October 7th. Upoming high profile events at Croke Park include the Hive Conference in April 2016 and the International Association of Credit Portfolio Managers scheduled for May 2016.



UFC star Cathal Pendred with Brian Lee of Chopped



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almon Software, the Irish headquartered Treasury Management Systems (TMS) specialist, has announced the establishment of a new African operation based out of Cape Town, South Africa. “We see this move as boosting TMS competition in the African market and bringing the option of much needed choice to corporate treasurers,” said John Byrne, CEO, Salmon Software. Salmon Software’s new African operation will target English speaking markets including South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.



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Pictured on the opening day of the National Crafts and Design Fair 2015, RDS was textile artist Astrid Tomprop-Hofmann from Co Galway. The very best of Ireland’s top craftspeople and designers in areas from fashion to jewellery, ceramics, textiles, woodcraft, photography and art exhibited at the country’s largest celebration of crafts in early December.

IKEA Group, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, has announced that net profit grew 5.5% in its fiscal full-year, mainly on the back of sales growth in existing stores.


Cork-based online fraud prevention firm Trustev has been bought by New York-listed credit reporter TransUnion for up to $44m. The company, set up by entrepreneur Pat Phelan, makes software that monitors e-commerce transactions to try and stop fraud.


DELOITTE INNOVATION ZONE @UCC LAUNCHED Deloitte and the Department of Accounting, Finance & Information Systems at University College Cork have collaborated for a new partnership that saw the opening of the Deloitte Innovation Zone@UCC on December 1st. The innovation zone will be used to facilitate an innovative, flexible and collaborative space for learning and student group-work projects, to further enhance and support the student learning experience at UCC. For more on all the business happenings in Cork go to our Local Government InBUSINESS section.

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BIS UCC students Shane O’Riordan, Ciaran Brennan, Ciaran Williams, Julie Kelleher, Enda Sugrue and Ben Morris at the official launch of the Deloitte Innovation Zone@UCC

The level of economic activity in Ireland was 7 per cent higher in the third quarter of 2015 than in the same period in 2014, according to new figures from the Department of Finance. Ireland’s gross domestic product rose by 1.4 per cent in Q3 compared to the previous quarter.

TV ADS SLUMP IN IRELAND TV advertising in Ireland is facing a shake-up after new figures show a 25% drop in viewership of ads. TV advertising is worth approx. a200m a year in Ireland.


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How do you think businesses fared in Budget 2016? BRID HORAN Steering Committee Member, 30% Club Ireland Budget 2016 took some quite measured steps to support business and consumer confidence. This is welcome after the negative adjustments which had to be made over the last few years. Businesses will also welcome initiatives such as the introduction of the knowledge development box.


PAYMENTS SERVICE Hailo, the taxi booking app, has launched HailoPay, a payment solution that will allow Ireland’s small public service vehicle (SPSV) drivers accept mobile payments. The launch coincides with Hailo announcing that it has recorded over 10 million passenger journeys across the country since beginning operations three years ago. This year alone, Hailo drivers will clock up five million journeys, with the service supporting up to 45,000 passengers nationwide every day.





years operating here


Has recorded over





journeys expected in 2015



45,000 every day

Founder and MD, ThoughtBox I have to admit I am pretty disappointed. The budget was definitely positive for everyone except entrepreneurs. It failed to address all the urgent issues that the community has put forward, such as share options and tax allowances for company owners and capital gains tax.


CATHRIONA HALLAHAN MD, Microsoft Ireland The knowledge box is something that’s a benefit to business. I think there’s still more we need to do, in particular, support for startups. We need to continue to create opportunities for people to think about setting up their own business but not just starting up, scaling up.

Tony Hanway, CEO, Virgin Media Ireland and David McRedmond, CEO, TV3

GARY DISLEY Director of SME, eir It was a step in the right direction but a lot more needs to be done. We need a tax structure that encourages small businesses and the people that own them. The reduction in capital gains tax to 20 per cent and the introduction of the tax credit will help, but there is still some way to go.


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irgin Media Ireland has completed its acquisition of broadcaster TV3. The company was bought by Virgin Media’s parent group, Liberty Global, in July in a deal worth up to a87 million. At the time, Virgin Media Ireland was known as UPC Ireland but has since been rebranded. TV3 was put up for sale by British private equity group Doughty Hanson, which paid a265 million for the business in 2006. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed by the broadcaster that TV3 CEO David McRedmond is to leave the station by the end of the year.

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NEW TITLE: Head of Innovation EMPLOYER: Ulster Bank PREVIOUS ROLE: Founder, David Erixon Ltd

NEW TITLE: Funding & Investment Manager EMPLOYER: Lioncourt PREVIOUS ROLE: Corporate Finance, Raglan Capital

NEW TITLE: Account Manager EMPLOYER: PSG PLUS PREVIOUS ROLE: Clinical Editor, Irish Medical News

NEW TITLE: Finance Manager EMPLOYER: Central Remedial Clinic PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Finance, Ana Liffey Drug Project

Ulster Bank has announced the appointment of David Erixon as Ulster Bank’s first Head of Innovation. Erixon has a wealth of experience, having spent over ten years in senior commercial and marketing leadership positions at Vodafone, and the Russian telecommunications innovator Yota.

Michael Lynch has been appointed Funding & Investment Manager at Lioncourt. Lynch’s new role will focus on origination of new investments, portfolio management as well as managing new and existing investor relationships. Lioncourt seeks to partner with management teams to successfully grow and develop businesses.

The specialist healthcare, pharma and medical communications team in PR agency PSG PLUS has announced the appointment of Sandra Ryan as Account Manager. Ryan will cover public affairs, issues management, public awareness campaigns and engagement for the prescription markets.

Michael Moriarty has been appointed as Finance Manager at the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC). In his new role, Moriarty will have responsibility for leading the finance function of the CRC in support of the organisation’s strategic objectives. He joins the CRC from the Ana Liffey Drug Project.


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NEW TITLE: Business Unit Director EMPLOYER: M+C Group PREVIOUS ROLE: Communications Consultant

NEW TITLE: Non-Executive Director EMPLOYER: PM Group CURRENT ROLE: Group MD, Jacobs UK & Ireland

NEW TITLE: Group Solicitor EMPLOYER: Ward Solutions PREVIOUS ROLE: Solicitor, Bank of Ireland

NEW TITLE: VP & MD for EMEA EMPLOYER: LinkedIn PREVIOUS ROLE: VP of SMB Sales, Google Ireland

Simon Fullam has been appointed as Business Unit Director of the M+C Group’s public relations agency, First Medical Communications (FMC). Fullam will manage the strategic implementation and direction of client projects as well as the development of existing and new client business.

Fred Barry has been appointed as a nonexecutive director of Project Management Holdings (PM Group), the international project delivery specialists. Barry has over 30 years’ experience in senior leadership positions including chief executive of the National Roads Authority.

Information security provider Ward Solutions has announced the appointment of Aisling Hennessy as group solicitor. In her role, Hennessy will advise the company on legal matters relating to all aspects of its business, including negotiating contracts with customers, suppliers, partners and other stakeholders.

LinkedIn has announced the appointment of John Herlihy as a vice president of the company and Managing Director for the EMEA region. In this role, Herlihy will lead LinkedIn’s business efforts in EMEA, overseeing the company’s strategic direction while continuing to drive business and member growth.

Call Visit Email Follow

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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(01) 432 2200 @Ashvilleteam


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The Knowledge Development Box Find out more about the potential benefits of KDB for Irish based business engaged in R&D activities See or contact Ken Hardy +353 1 410 1645

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15/10/2015 18/12/2015 09:38 15:26


SECTOR: Software

LOCATION: Nationwide

ANNOUNCEMENT: Software company Infosys is to create 250 jobs over the next three years at a new R&D facility, with a second Irish premises to provide IT services to Infosys clients.

COMPANY: Limerick Institute of Technology SECTOR: Education

COMPANY: GE Healthcare SECTOR: Healthcare LOCATION: Cork

LOCATION: Limerick

ANNOUNCEMENT: GE Healthcare is to create 140 jobs as a result of a 37 million investment in its Cork facility. The move will double the firm’s production capacity.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Limerick Institute of Technology is to create 234 new jobs – 100 of those full-time – following confirmation that it is to open a “game-changing” new campus on the site of the Coonagh Cross shopping complex.

Opportunity IRELAND InBUSINESS highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities around the country.

COMPANY: CPL Resources SECTOR: Recruitment

COMPANY: MC Group SECTOR: Engineering

LOCATION: Nationwide ANNOUNCEMENT: CPL Resources, Ireland’s largest indigenous recruitment and outsourcing company, has announced the creation of 160 new positions placed across six offices.


The Stats InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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COMPANY: Iceland

SECTOR: Retail

ANNOUNCEMENT: Independent quarry operator MC group is set to create 30 new roles for engineers, sales and marketing, plant operators, fleet management, fitters and drivers at its plant in Killarney.


ANNOUNCEMENT: Food retailer Iceland has created 40 new jobs in Dublin, with the opening of a new store on Talbot Street, their 10th shop in Ireland.



visits to Ireland between January to October 2015


Increase in visits for the same period last year



€3.7BN Generated in revenue in 2014

people employed in Ireland’s tourism sector


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The percentage of would-be entrepreneurs in Ireland who are too scared of failure to start their own company Figures taken from the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report 2015

START-UPS 2015 HEAT MAP Over 17,300 new companies have been set up in Ireland during the first 11 months of 2015, according to Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of these new companies have been established in Dublin however, if you look at the spread of start-ups throughout the country on the map, you can see other hotspots emerge. The counties bordering Dublin, along with Limerick, Tipperary and Galway have all seen over 400 start-ups so far this year. The majority of start-ups in Ireland in 2015 are based in Dublin or Cork. Between them they account for just over 9,800 of the start-ups set up this year with 8,065 starting in Dublin, and 1,752 in Cork.

START-UP PROFILE: BOAST Dublin-based start-up Boast is an audio social networking app aimed at bringing conversation back to social media. A free to use platform, it differs from other social networks in that the form of communication used is voice. People chat with each other in 20 second segments. For marketers and promoters of brands and products, Boast has opened up an opportunity for them to add a personal touch to their marketing in giving them a voice to create a deeper engagement with their followers and also in creating unique audio content for use online. For further details or to download the app visit


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Map courtsey of

Pictured at the BOAST Rugby World Cup preview event are Mark Gaffney, CTO, Boast; Edward Wallace, CEO, Boast; Kevin McLaughlin, former Leinster and Ireland rugby player; Isa Nacewa, Leinster; Tania Rosser, Ireland; Mick Galwey, former Munster, Ireland and Lions; Seamus Redmond, Marketing Manager, Boast

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CEO, Parcel Connect How did you fund your business initially? Whilst we’re a start-up, we began as a service within a bigger organisation – Fastway Couriers – and spawned out of that. The directors of Fastway have funded Parcel Connect since our inception last year, supported by the regional franchisees across the country. We go through funding rounds like any start-up, and have to present a value proposition to stakeholders to secure investment twice a year.

EVENT AND SPORTS TECH FIRM SECURES INVESTMENT Irish event and sports software technology firm Servasport is seeking a Series A investment of a2 million on the back of successfully securing a550,000 from WhiteRock Capital Partners. The company is now working with investment advisors PKF-FPM and Grant Thornton, who expect to close this new funding round in the first half of 2016. Servasport is a software enterprise company that manages people and events for sports organisations and brands that are seeking to build, manage and engage particular communities.

FEAR OF FAILURE HOLDING BACK WOULD-BE ENTREPRENEURS Bankruptcy and prevailing concerns about the Irish economy are the two single biggest obstacles preventing would-be entrepreneurs from starting up a business in Ireland in 2015, according to the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report 2015. Despite the fact that more than half of all Irish adults have considered setting up their own business, the majority are too afraid to do anything about it for fear of failure.

What’s the best advice you were given? Be clear about what you believe, and make it your ambition. We remind ourselves why our customers use our services all the time, and make sure that all our ideas are aligned with our core philosophy; making delivery personal. What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? Surround yourself with the right people, and work with confidence. These two things are linked, it’s no good having the right idea if you can’t execute it. Your biggest make or break moment? Launching our store network. With over 1,000 agents across the country it seems like a lifetime ago when we were starting out with our first group of stores. It’s amazing what can be achieved when there’s an immovable deadline, and we had one due to a partnership we had with Littlewoods Ireland. Our chances of meeting that deadline were slim at best. But like a space shuttle, we had a lift off date and that was that, there was no room for error and the stops were pulled out. Would you change anything in hindsight? Obviously, at a granular level, that’s why we have retrospective sessions every week, to discuss what we would have done differently. The philosophy of our team is to reflect constantly. But at a higher level no, all decisions the team and I have made have been contextually correct based on what we knew at the time. Company: Parcel Connect Ltd Location: Swords, Co Dublin Staff: 4 directly (but many more indirectly) / Website:

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Q: Could you give us some background on ThoughtBox and where the idea came from? A: I’ve always been a maths geek. I loved maths in school and never understood why other children didn’t enjoy it as much. I always saw maths as a puzzle and I strongly believe that the subject is structured as a game, but it lacks some of the gaming elements to make it fun. When I first played with a tablet device I realised how powerful it is to be able to touch and manipulate objects and numbers while observing the results of your actions. This is when I decided to start ThoughtBox and give kids the opportunity to discover the rules of maths and science by themselves rather than being spoon-fed the information. From there, in 2011 I won a place on the NDRC LaunchPad programme and started working on the concept of our first suite of apps. Q: What products do you currently have available on the market? A: We have a suite of maths games called Numerosity that has been launched worldwide. It has been downloaded in 52 countries and won various awards. We have also partnered with Eason on a project that launched an Irish maths game 16

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In this issue’s entrepreneur slot, InBUSINESS caught up with Cristina Luminea, founder and MD of ThoughtBox, who’s on a mission to disrupt the way kids learn maths and science via interactive games.


Numerosity: Play With Addition!

Numerosity: Play With Subtraction!

Eason: Play With Maths!

on the market called ‘Eason: Play with Maths’, and recently we have worked with Fyffes to create a science game which is available on both iOS and Android devices. Q: What spurred your passion for education and better ways of learning? A: Being an R&D project manager in the new ventures and innovation group of one of the biggest educational companies in the world, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, opened my eyes to the challenges but also opportunities available in education. This is where I learned all about the US educational market and started looking at new ways of integrating technology into the classroom. Q: Could you tell us about some of the partnerships that ThoughtBox has formed? A: Apart from our partnerships with Eason and Fyffes to develop educational products, we have also partnered with four other companies around Europe: etventure and the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, Weblify in Poland and Fsecure in Finland to create a virtual accelerator for start-ups called EuropeanPioneers. We have managed to raise 4.5million and InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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I think the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs looking forward will be funding. Accessing early stage funding such as angel and seed investment will become quite a challenge in Ireland.

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invested in 25 European companies so far, 13 of which are currently in the programme. I am very proud to have the opportunity to help other start-ups, the same way we have been helped over the past four years. Q: How have you found the transition from the corporate world to the start-up one? A: For me it was great. I always wanted to start my own business, ever since I was in college but I also wanted to arm myself with all the knowledge I needed in order to maximise my potential. This is why I first took a job in the corporate world. I wanted to see how a large company works; the various components and departments of a big company and how they all work together. After two years in corporate, it was time to pursue my own dream of starting my own start-up. Q: Could you tell us about your work in mentoring other start-ups through EuropeanPioneers? A: EuropeanPioneers is a brilliant accelerator programme. I wish it was there when I first started. There aren’t a lot of opportunities in the start-up world to get free money and mentorship. When we entered the partnership with the other four companies, we were aiming to build something new and to reinvent the way accelerators work. We don’t ask start-ups to move to a specific location. We enable them to work in their own environments but at the same time give them the opportunity to learn about and penetrate other markets in Europe. This support is offered by all the consortium members but also by their peers. We are aiming to empower European start-ups by developing interconnected support networks for entrepreneurs. Up until now we have managed to accelerate and connect 25 start-ups from 11 European countries. Through our efforts we’re looking to help build the European tech space. Q: What are your thoughts on the current business and start-up landscape in Ireland and what do you see as the biggest challenges? A: I love Ireland as a start-up space. It is perfect when it comes to location – with access to both the US and the rest of Europe – size and networking. There are also a lot of programmes in place that help and support entrepreneurs that start-ups in other countries wouldn’t have access to. However, I think the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs looking forward will be funding. Accessing early stage funding such as angel and seed investment will become quite a challenge in Ireland. 18

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Q: What are you most proud of to date? A: I am very proud to have designed educational products that have entered over 350,000 homes around the world. Receiving messages from children on how they love Skruff (our main character in Numerosity) and from parents on how their kids are improving their skills by just using our products brings me the greatest satisfaction. Q: Where do you see ThoughtBox in the next 10 years? A: I believe ThoughtBox could become the top provider of free educational products that engage kids in play and experimentation. Our aim is to work with big brands to provide these quality educational products for free and make education accessible to all children in the world. Q: Any advice for budding entrepreneurs hoping to get a start-up off the ground? A: Make sure you understand your end users and customers and that you know the difference between them. The problem you are solving should relate to your customers rather than your users. It’s very easy to define problems from the user’s perspective, however, keep in mind that the customers are the ones paying for your products or service. Knowing your customers will allow you to build and adapt your product based on their needs and figure out at an early stage the value you are creating. This will help you build a painkiller rather than a vitamin. If you do it right, the early research into your customer will subsequently sit at the basis of your business model, pricing, sales and marketing strategies. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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TOYOTA SAFETY SENSE The new Toyota Avensis appeals to every sense with a dynamic new look and higher levels of specification, at the touch of a button. And now with Toyota Safety Sense to help you with whatever’s up ahead, you’ve got a sixth sense too.

As standard:

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Model shown is the Avensis 1.6 D-4D (112) Sol saloon. Toyota Ireland is a 100% Irish owned company. 237466_1C_Toyota_CIB.indd 1 JAV6537_ChamberComm_A4_V2.indd 1

18/12/201510:55 16:41 23/11/2015


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Conor McCabe


There was much fanfare about eircom’s transition to eir in September. Gary Disley, Director of SME, talks to JOSEPH O’CONNOR about what it means for small businesses.

here’s a newfound confidence about Ireland’s biggest telecoms group eir. The company recently announced that its revenue was up 4 per cent to a325 million during the third quarter, its second quarterly growth in a row. Then in December the group confirmed that it is to expand its TV offering with the acquisition of sports broadcaster Setanta Sports Ireland. The move will pit the company against rival TV and broadband provider Virgin Media who recently took over UPC Ireland, adding to an already competitive market. eir’s chief executive Richard Moat described the Setanta takeover as a “game-changer” for eir. But it’s all about the company’s offering to businesses – and in particular SMEs – when I meet with Gary Disley at eir’s HQ in Dublin’s Heuston South Quarter, the offices already decked out with its new branding. The reimagined identity was approved some time back in April and Disley was part of a tight-knit marketing team who had to keep the name under wraps until the official launch. By way of background, Disley is an Australian who came to Ireland in 2002 to “do six months of travelling, play a bit of rugby, and see the sights.” Thirteen years later, he’s settled here with his Irish wife and two children, and is now almost four years at eir, where he is currently Director of SME. He joined the company having 16 years’ experience in the telecoms sector working for other major players such as Optus in Australia and O2 in Ireland. During that time he has witnessed major technological 21

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Conor McCabe

CV: Gary Disley ROLE: Director of Small Business LIVES: Clontarf, Dublin FAMILY: Married to Brigette and Dad to Eva and Tom CURRENTLY READING: Barca by Jimmy Burns FAVOURITE FILM: Goodfellas by Martin Scorsese HOBBIES: Playing tennis, cooking BBQs and watching too much sport on TV


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advancements in the industry such as the emergence of mobile and now what he describes as a renewed focus on fixed with fibre and data having come to the fore. CONNECTING SMES Disley’s role as Director of SME is to enable small businesses to meet the growing demands of their customers when it comes to communication. Consumers are always connected and demand as much of a personalised service as possible. This can be a significant challenge for an SME that’s under constant pressure to keep an eye on costs. Businesses – whether they are mulitnationals or sole traders – need to fully embrace new communication technologies, everything from social media to mobile-friendly websites and custom-built apps. That’s where eir comes in, offering simple propositions for the SME market that give more choice, cost control, freedom and flexibility. “Our main focus is making sure the connectivity experience is the best it can be,” says Disley. “We’ve invested over a1 billion already in the company, in terms of fibre and 4G, making sure both are at the speed and capacity expected to enable us to support small businesses. We’ve also rolled out new products, like Advantage WiFi, which open up a different parameter of opportunities for SMEs.” Of course WiFi from a business perspective isn’t only about providing a free service to customers, it’s the data you can obtain on the

back of this usage that can prove hugely beneficial to an SME that might not have the budget available to engage with its customers through other means. “If I own a café I can tell from all the data traffic when I’m at my busiest, who’s coming back in, who are the repeat customers,” explains Disley. “Even now on some of the applications we can use Facebook and gather a whole bunch of information like age and gender. We really focus on making sure that the products we provide SMEs with, like Advantage WiFi, are very simple and easily understood. One of the core insights around small business owners in particular is that they have so much going on in their lives that we need to be an aid to their business, not causing them a distraction.” So productivity is the real driver from Disley’s point of view. It’s about taking the pains away from timestrapped SMEs and allowing them to focus on other areas of the business. For example, eir has recently launched products that deliver true fixed and mobile convergence, giving a small business the ability to have a landline number without actually having a landline. “A lot of small businesses are actually so mobile that they’re not in the office and they don’t have a need for a landline,” explains Disley. “But historically they’ve always had a landline as a business number and they don’t want to give that up because it’s on the side of the van or that’s what the customers know. With eir Virtual Landline, businesses can actually keep that number which terminates on their mobile, so no matter where they are the customer thinks they’re ringing a landline. It’s small things like that which we can do because we own both the fixed and the mobile network, and bringing that together allows us to give real value to SMEs.” A MUCH NEEDED BOOST One initiative that eir has been working on in recent years to help small businesses better connect is InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Digital Boost, a a250,000 seed fund for Irish SMEs looking to innovate and grow their business through investment in digital solutions. The fund was designed to offer tangible assistance to the SME community in four key areas: business mobility, digital training, sales and marketing, and business productivity. The company partnered with other big names in the tech space such as Google, PayPal, Samsung, the Digital Marketing Institute and Salesforce to deliver the suite of digital funding to successful applicants. “The seed of the idea was based on an awareness, at that stage, that half of small businesses didn’t have any online presence whatsoever,” says Disley. “There was obviously a lot of missed opportunity so we thought it’d be great if we could help small businesses to get online. So we had a lot of companies apply and we ended up setting up their websites. But now that has evolved due to the shift to mobile so we now build apps for those who are successful in the selection process.” Disley says the initiative proved to be a great success and cites a pizza company in Swords as a good example of one of the SMEs benefiting from the programme. Thanks to Digital Boost, they now push messages out via their app to frequent users in order to generate business and have plans to further invest in the app. While eir has played its part in developing and strengthening a digital presence for SMEs – something the company will continue to work on in the future – it now has a renewed focus on helping business owners control their costs and give them greater flexibility. Having taken a different strategic route to its competitors, eir is now providing contract free broadband and mobile. According to Disley, eir understands that cost control is crucial for SMEs and that’s why it has introduced the option of unlimited plans, a move that will protect business owners from regular ‘bill shock’.

“We know that running a small business is complicated enough without worrying that you’re not getting the best deal on your telecoms,” says Disley. “As well as keeping business owners connected, we want to help them drive efficiencies at the same time. That’s why we are doing things differently for business owners, helping them control their spend each month, giving them flexibility with contract free broadband and mobile and making sure our solutions are simple, clear and focused on making things better for SMEs.” Challenges are ever-present in the SME sector. For Disley, he believes the biggest one is enabling small businesses to make the best use they can of data, something many SMEs are still struggling with. With the myriad of opportunities presenting themselves through customergenerated data, the real challenge lies with developing the tools and services to allow time poor businesses to take a step back and analyse this information without becoming a victim of information overload. As Disley says, “it’s about being smart in terms of what you’re capturing and what you’re going to use it for. Rather than just amassing huge amounts of data, you need to know what the question is you want to ask.” Disley certainly believes that eir, despite an increasingly competitive market, is best placed to help these SMEs to ask the right questions and to provide them with the simple tools and solutions that offer more choice, freedom and flexibility, allowing SMEs to focus on the bread and butter of their business. He puts eir’s positioning down to three factors: owning the fixed and mobile network, the products and services it offers, and the inherent knowledge of its staff. “Sure, it is competitive but I think we’re in a very strong position,” he says. “We inherently have an advantage because we own the network but we also have years of expertise around managing large technology areas and that will help us.”

How eircom lost its ‘com’

In September 2015 the company that evolved from the Department of Posts and Telegraphs to Telecom Éireann to eircom became known as eir. Reported to be Ireland’s largest rebrand in 20 years, the new identity was developed by international agency Moving Brands and brought to life by a number of local agencies. Gary Disley talks us through it: “The rollout of the new brand was a great success. Early feedback has been extremely positive. We have achieved very high levels of brand cut-through and advocacy as well as a positive appraisal of the brand with regard to modernity, dynamism and overall appeal. It really signifies that as an organisation we’ve fundamentally changed both internally and externally, and that we are now geared up for the future in terms of the services and products that we offer and the way that we operate as an organisation.”

the eir rebrand


A16m 1,700 Cost

uniforms for engineers



agencies used

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3,000 web pages rebranded


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NOW T The public relations or communications industry has undergone more change in recent years, arguably, than any other – and that’s leaving the recession aside. InBUSINESS talks to some of the Irish companies that have survived, thrived and indeed emerged over the last few years.

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hink about your day-to-day life, how you communicate, how you consume media: it’s changed profoundly over recent years and shows few signs of abating. The way in which we work has naturally changed too. Nowhere have these changes impacted more than across the communications industry. The challenges that face the industry have grown, including ever-evolving channels and increased competition from within and outside the industry itself. Amidst that, a host of new opportunities have presented themselves. Adaptation and innovation have been key to survival and success in this industry, we discover, as we speak to three of Ireland’s most influential communicators.

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NEW INFLUENCES Joe Carmody is Managing Director of Edelman, one of Ireland’s leading communications consultancies, offering corporate communications, consumer marketing, public affairs and digital services to clients which include Ryanair and Musgraves. He believes the old model of communications, focused on broadcasting the brand story and demanding the attention of the audience, no longer works and that as mainstream media declines, the historic means of distribution for public relations is no more. “We see a seismic shift in how audiences are accessing, consuming and sharing information. The traditional voices of authority are being eroded by new voices – peers and friends. The most trusted source of information is earned media such as commentary, word of mouth or recommendations from family or friends. Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report September 2015 shows that 83 per cent of consumers around the world say they ‘completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family’.” This report reveals that owned, or brand-managed, online channels comprise the second-most-trusted format; consumer opinions posted online being the third. These findings reinforce the important conclusions of the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer, which Carmody explains mean that traditional authority figures have given way to new, more credible sources, or “an academic, an employee and a person like you”. This is where the role of social media becomes most important for communicating and influencing. “These online communities are becoming more and more influential as they cement their place as one of the most trusted information sources. The consumer is no longer a passive audience member but an active participant distributing their experiences and directly influencing peers. Companies are re-examining their in-house digital tools amidst social media’s evolution. “In this new world the opportunity for PR is to be the lead discipline in guiding brands on how they engage and earn influence. This means merging what we have always done well – reputation management, stakeholder engagement, InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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brand, corporate communications and public affairs – with the broader marketing services of planning, creative, digital and research.” Content creation has become a priority for companies everywhere and it’s a trend that’s expected to continue with brand publishing moving to the fore and search becoming ever more critical. “Amidst all of this, content – and the ability to distribute that content across channels and to funnel people to purchase – is key to every company’s marketing efforts,” says Carmody. “At Edelman, we are helping brands move away from top-down, image-driven marketing. Brands must now earn rather than demand attention,” he concludes. PR FOR START-UPS Ireland is home to a tech boom and Dublin is fast acquiring a reputation as a global tech hub with a vibrant start-up scene. Beachhut PR was founded on the back of the tech industry, offering PR services to the fastest-growing players in tech. Today its clients include Currency Fair, Channelsight, Nearform and Shake. The company is uniquely embedded in the start-up ecosystem, based at Dogpatch Labs, an incubator for scaling technology start-ups in the heart of Dublin’s Silicon Docks. Paul Hayes, founder and CEO explains Beachhut’s role: “If you build great product out of Ireland but need to take on the world, we are uniquely positioned to bring your message to the world. We are embedded in the start-up ecosystem for the past eight or nine years through early-stage incubators so before startups have the resources to properly take advantage of PR, we teach them how to do it.” Beachhut helps start-ups get their message out themselves through incubators and accelerators. It also helps start-ups develop and disseminate different messages globally and ensures reach to publications like the Financial Times and New York Times, as well as the dedicated tech channels, such as CIO. com, Mashable and TechCrunch. Beachhut only works with start-ups that are building innovative products from an Irish base. “What excites us most is that we are starting to work with multinationals who fall under that

Joe Carmody, Managing Director of Edelman

Paul Hayes, founder and CEO of Beachhut PR

Paul Hayes mentors resident companies in Dogpatch Labs on PR for tech start-ups


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criteria of building great product out of Ireland. Traditionally they just came here to do sales and service support but that’s changing and that’s what is most exciting right now,” says Hayes. Hayes has extensive experience in technology communications. He most notably developed the message for early Irish success stories Havoc and Demonware and has mentored over 150 start-ups on communications. He agrees new media has been the biggest disruptor to the PR industry, but that content is still king. “I think the proliferation of outlets and blogs has been the biggest and most interesting challenge and opportunity for the industry over the last few years – blurring lines between corporate journalism and conventional journalism. In the technology world there’s an increasing blurring of the lines. Most of our client companies have in-house managing editors, mostly former journalists who are writing great and consistent content,” says Hayes. “Everyone starts a blog once, the problem is keeping it going consistently with interesting content to your readers – you can’t just give them advertorial. In fact, they won’t take advertorial from you until you’ve engaged them with interesting, sectoral analysis for a lot longer. So you need to hire someone who knows how to write, who also knows about your sector but also knows how it’s going to impact in the wider world.” YOUTH COMMUNICATORS The third communicator we speak to agrees that content is still king, or at least of major importance. Jane McDaid, founder and Creative Director of Thinkhouse, or the youth communications agency, says her clients didn’t believe they required content seven years ago when Thinkhouse set up a dedicated content department. “But they joined us on a journey of discovery and as a result ended up on the cutting edge of marketing by undertaking work that was considered very innovative for its time,” she says. “Now of course, over the last five years, content has grown into one of the most important parts of our business.” Thinkhouse offers a suite of services, 26

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Thinkhouse collaborated with the GAA and GPA for Movember 2015

Jane McDaid, Founder and Creative Director, Thinkhouse – the youth communications agency

like most successful agencies today, creating everything from ads, brand documentaries, to social media and content and experiential projects for global and indigenous brands. “Over the last five years the industry has fragmented a lot. Agencies used to be very specialist and now they tend to offer multiple services. In some cases this has made agencies ‘Jack of all trades and masters of none’ but we’ve always remained true to our promise and committed to our specialty which I think stands to us,” says McDaid. This specialty is helping brands connect with the coveted market of 18 to 35-year olds. It’s earned the agency numerous accolades as wells as high-profile projects. Its clients include Heineken, Three, Unilever and Coca-Cola. “This starts with insights – and Thinkhouse’s ‘Youth Lab’ division is set up to deliver game-changing strategies that help our clients future proof their brands. Then we build a creative idea on that insight and deliver it via whatever channels are right for the client, the project and, of course, for the specific audience. An idea may be deployed with social media, content and media relations, or with digital development, an event or peer-promoter activity – or indeed, as the case is very often, a combination of all of these,” McDaid explains. “We’re hugely focused on our insights work. The birth of the Youth Lab has helped quickly establish Thinkhouse as the youth-insights partner for many of our global brands. The talented team that makes up this division has global experience and the influence of the Youth Lab, across the agency, has really helped bolster our thinking and drive more innovation within the agency.” Earlier this year Thinkhouse was featured as one of Campaign magazine’s world’s leading independent agencies, an annual publication of the top 16 companies globally. “For years we’ve looked to this publication for inspiration in building Thinkhouse, benchmarking ourselves against the best indies in the world. Now, in 2015, it’s great to be positioned alongside them – the most innovative, exciting, talented agencies in the world.” InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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18/12/2015 15:30



Should an IRFU bid be successful, Ireland could play host to the Rugby World Cup in 2023. CONOR FORREST examines the economic implications.


here’s no doubt that 2015’s Rugby World Cup – hosted by England and won by New Zealand – was an unrivalled success, both in sporting and financial terms. Besides catapulting rugby onto the global stage once again, with ticket sales of over 2.47 million, official fanzone attendance of over 1 million, and two record Rugby World Cup attendances recorded at Wembley (including 89,267 who turned up to see Ireland take on Romania), strong revenues and profits were reported. Over £250 million in ticket sales provided World Rugby with an £80m surplus, and the English Rugby Football Union with £15m to invest in the development of the sport. Better still, according to the Telegraph, the UK’s economy was a big winner, receiving a £1 billion boost, rising to £2.5bn when other factors such as an increase in retail sales are taken into account. “Rugby World Cup 2015 will be remembered as the biggest tournament to date, but I also believe that it will be remembered as the best. England 2015 has been the most competitive, best-attended, most-watched, most socially-engaged, most commercially-successful Rugby World Cup,” said World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset. A THREE-PRONGED INITIATIVE Ireland may not have progressed beyond the quarter final stage of the most recent tournament, but the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) is seeking to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, competing with bids from France, Italy and South Africa. Announced in December 2014, the bid is a three-pronged initiative composed of the Irish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the IRFU. An oversight board has been established, consisting of former Tánaiste and rugby international Dick Spring as Chairman, with Dr David Dobbin, Chair of the Ulster Branch IRFU Management Committee, as Vice-Chair. Hugo MacNeill, Philip Browne, Shane Logan and Páraic Duffy fill the remaining seats. Brian O’Driscoll, the

Bets on

most capped international rugby player in the world, has also been drafted in and will serve as the bid’s ambassador. A team of advisers has been appointed, and the overall process will be managed by Deloitte. From the IRFU’s point of view, an Irish Rugby World Cup would be successful for a number of reasons. Firstly, they note the presence of unilateral support, both from the Irish Government and from the public, as well as our reputation for being visitor friendly in attracting people to these shores. Secondly, Ireland’s impressive stadia, particularly those under the control of the GAA, would provide the necessary sporting infrastructure – Croke Park, the Aviva and Semple Stadium can all play host to crowds over 50,000. Limerick’s Thomond Park, the home of Munster Rugby, regularly plays host to PRO12 and European Champions Cup fixtures, while Antrim’s Casement Park and Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork are both in line for major redevelopment projects. And they’re all within relatively easy


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The Taoiseach and government ministers from both sides of the border attended a recent meeting of the RWC 2023 Oversight Board at the Aviva Stadium. Pictured back row L to R: Board members Padraig Slattery, Shane Logan, Brian O’Driscoll, Tom Grace, Páraic Duffy, Hugo MacNeill and Kevin Potts, Director of the Bid. Back row L to R: Paschal Donohue, Minister for Tourism and Sport, Philip Browne, Chief Executive, IRFU, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Dick Spring, Chairman RWC 2023 Oversight Board, Jonathan Bell, NI Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Michael Ring, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport

RWC23 BID: THE LOWDOWN Major players:

Ireland South Africa Italy France


Possible stadia:

Croke Park Páirc Ui Chaoimh Thomond Park

all feature on the list


Potential worth:


travelling distance of one another. Speaking to The Irish Times earlier this year, the IRFU’s chief operating officer Kevin Potts also made note of the fact that as a result of having stadia in place, infrastructure costs such as improving changing facilities and adding big screens and floodlights won’t prove as costly as other nations have discovered – an estimated a36m. “Ireland’s record in supporting international events and fixtures shows that we could look forward to full stadia throughout the tournament with the perfect mix of stadia in place, from intimate venues suitable for pool matches, right up to Croke Park with its 82,000 capacity, and all within easy travelling distance of one another,” said IRFU Chief Executive Philip Brown earlier in 2015 “As a well established international tourism destination, we can comfortably handle significant numbers of travelling supporters, providing them with ease of access and a mix of accommodation to meet every visitor’s needs. Finally, given our proximity to major rugby markets, timeline location and the array of major international firms with European bases here, I believe Ireland would deliver a highly successful commercial event.”

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COUNTING THE COST Success and financial benefits go hand in hand. Were Ireland to be awarded the competition there could be a major benefit to both sporting organisations and the wider economy. That’s a position reflected by a financial feasibility study commissioned by the IRFU and undertaken by Deloitte. The study highlighted Ireland’s proximity to the major rugby markets, the number of multinational firms headquartered here, as well as consistently high attendance records among Irish supporters, and indicated that the competition could be directly worth around a250m. That’s including a fee, payable to World Rugby, of around a100m, though this could potentially rise to a120m and will be underwritten by governments on both sides of the border. Then there’s the impact on the wider economy. Tourism and international exposure could be key – across the water, the UK played host to around 500,000 visitors who landed for up to six weeks, alongside having a global audience of around 4 billion people spread across 200 countries (something Tourism Ireland would undoubtedly be keen to capitalise on). Figures including a800m have been tossed around, though there’s no knowing for sure. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, however. In a piece by Marek Kozak entitled ‘Sport Mega Event: A Curse or a Blessing for Tourism Development’, featured in Regions Magazine, the author noted that the expected impact of tourism in Poland during EURO 2012 never came to pass – tourist numbers were lower than expected, below the national average in fact. Hotel numbers only exceeded the average in two of the country’s host cities, and more tourists actually spent less money. “There was no evidence of the impact of EURO 2012 on the number of tourists,” he wrote. Perhaps this could be attributed to tourists avoiding the country during a major tournament, fearing higher prices, and it’s not completely unlikely that the same could happen here. The announcement by World Rugby as to the host nation for the 2023 World Cup won’t be made until May 2017. The Irish contingent will be hopeful, however. In May, Dick Spring stated that Ireland is in a strong position, having already received support from 40 per cent of the World Rugby Council for the preliminary round of voting. Though there are some unknowns surrounding ticket sales, visitor numbers and projected economic benefit, if the figures balance out as expected, it would be well worth it. For now, it’s a waiting game. 29

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18/12/2015 15:32



The Belfast team behind a robot beer brewing system is disrupting how we brew and consume beer, but in a positive way, writes JOSEPH O’CONNOR.


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18/12/2015 15:34


In the age

of the Internet of Things when machines, devices and appliances connected to the internet through multiple networks are providing consumers and businesses with innovative new services, it was really only a matter of time before we could brew beer through a smartphone. The firm at the forefront of making this a reality is Belfast start-up Brewbot. Brewbot is two things: a stainless steel beerbrewing appliance and an app that tells you exactly what ingredients to supply it with. The appliance – which is around the size of a mini fridge – is a self-contained system that allows novice brewers to produce craft beers with a quality approaching that of renowned Czech pilsners, American IPAs and Belgian blonde ales. It’s the brainchild of Chris McClelland and his colleagues at product design and tech company Cargo IO. Their knowledge of programming coupled with a passion for good beer prompted the group to raise capital for the venture through crowdfunding site Kickstarter. And a bit like the burgeoning craft beer market itself, there has been huge interest in Brewbot to date. Now as well as making the hardware to produce the end product, the company also supplies the recipes and ingredients to concoct it, plus bottles and labels for packaging. “We were a technology company and were keen to get into products,” McClelland says over the phone from San Francisco where he’s busy in the middle of a funding round, looking to add to the $2 million already raised through a combination of angel investment, support from Invest Northern Ireland and crowdfunding. “We had travelled a lot and tasted IPAs and beers in the US, the kind that we couldn’t buy in Northern Ireland, so we started brewing them ourselves and soon realised how difficult it was, hacking buckets and kettles together. Consequently, we saw an opportunity to use some of our technology background. We started developing applications and using them to control our brewing set up. We elaborated on that and ended up with a machine that we called Brewbot.” It was the result of the Kickstarter campaign in

Chris McClelland, Founder and Chief Executive, Brewbot

September 2013 that really led McClelland and co to believe they were on to something. Having set an initial target of raising £100,000, they managed to eclipse that figure after just one month. Brewers from all over the world began to connect with a view to testing Brewbot software as part of their own brewing systems. And this software is key to what Brewbot does; allowing for remote control capability, push notifications, recipe management, access to ongoing updates and much more. McClelland says the feedback from brewers thus far has been extremely positive and has helped Brewbot develop what he terms an “ecosystem” in the world of brewing. “There’s definitely a really good community around brewing and there are some amazing stories of sharing equipment and passing equipment on to new brewers,” he says. “It’s like an open source community for the greater good. And that’s something that we try to do with our system. We’re building technology that allows brewers to be more successful and consumers to enjoy it more.” So the craft brewers out there seem satisfied with what Brewbot is bringing to the market. What about the homebrewing purists who still get a kick out of using buckets and kettles? McClelland says they have nothing to fear. “When we initially launched some people thought that we were taking the art out of brewing, but instead we do the exact opposite, we allow people to be more creative about brewing. What we do is remove the mechanical parts of the process, allowing people to brew more freely and think about the ingredients versus spending two hours cleaning or calibrating the machine. We are definitely trying to build a community here

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18/12/2015 15:34


CHRIS’S TOP TIPPLES As Chris continues his R&D work in the US, he recommends beers from three breweries based on the west coast.

Almanac Beer Company is a San Francisco, California contract brewery that makes farm-totable beers in small batches using fruit, grains and herbs purchased from local family farms. Oak-aged beers have been the company’s primary focus since early 2014.

Russian River Brewing Company is a brewery and brewpub in downtown Santa Rosa, California. The company makes strong India pale ales and sour beers.

Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Company is the ninth largest craft brewer in the US. Stone has been described as the “all-time top brewery on planet earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine.

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and develop openness with our technology.” That openness has drawn Brewbot Stateside where there is a much more advanced craft beer market, not to mention the opportunities for further investment. Their journey in the US so far has seen them tour dozens of breweries across the country as well as present Brewbot at the Techstars accelerator programme in Austin, Texas. As recent as October 2015 Brewbot raised $1.5m in seed funding, with the round led by Bebo founder Michael Birch, alongside a number of other angel investors. McClelland and Brewbot can now call San Francisco their second home. “We’re out in the US because a majority of our customers reside here and we are also at a time and place where we are looking at how we can distribute and manufacture out here,” says McClelland. McClelland hasn’t forgotten his roots however. At Brewbot’s headquarters in Belfast, the company has opened its own brewpub to satisfy the thirst for craft beer in the capital. “The bar is great,” he says. “From a licensing point of view, when looking for new office space it was important to find a place we could legally serve our beer. We want to understand what the customer’s perception of the beer is, testing it basically. It could be thought of as a big research lab in some ways. It’s a very technology driven bar. We’re looking at scaling that part of the business as well.” So Brewbot, which began with five employees and has expanded to 30, the company certainly has no problem with scaling fast, nor has it struggled to attract the right investors. But who is actually buying the product right now? According to McClelland, half are residential

customers and half are commercial. Over 100 units have been pre-ordered at the introductory price of $4,000 each. A growing number of commercial brewers have also expressed an interest including Galway Bay Brewery who own nine bars in the Republic. It’s still early days for Brewbot but the venture is certainly growing at a rapid pace. So where would McClelland like to see the company in five years’ time? The Belfast native doesn’t lack ambition. “Let’s say we sell 10,000 brewbots and are one of the largest breweries in the world by volume. If we get to that point.” He interrupts himself. “We will get to that point, and we’ll have an interesting opportunity to connect the dots. We have a huge opportunity to have an impact on the environmental side of brewing. Thinking about carbon footprints, these are things we are always aiming to improve with our products. There are stories about grains being shifted from the west coast of America to Ireland. The point is there is better grain in Ireland or even Germany. So for us it’s also about having a more ethical approach to brewing and to look at that would be an important position for us to be in.” The question is ‘does McClelland and his team have the wherewithal and alcohol tolerance to see these plans through?’ “I don’t drink as much as people think I do, although it is important for R&D,” he laughs. “There are incredible breweries here in the US and the standard of beer is inspirational. That’s the whole point of beer, it’s hugely versatile. There’s a vast spectrum of beers available to meet everyone’s taste buds. There really is a big world of beer out there.” It looks as though Brewbot might play a big part.

The Brewbot team


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Eamon Moore, Founder & MD, E-MIT Solutions

This played a big part in putting E-MIT on Dell’s radar outside of Ireland. GLOBAL DELL SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM.

Dublin-based E-Mit Solutions was recently awarded Social Media Partner of the Year at the annual global Dell Partner of the Year Awards. Dell recognised the firm’s ability to collaborate and engage audiences with Dell in the social space, bolstering both companies’ business initiatives in Ireland.

Our relationship with Dell goes all the way back to the formation of E-MIT in 2003. One night I checked my phone to find a string of Twitter notifications and to my surprise I could see that Michael Dell had retweeted our post to almost 1 million followers. This drove a huge amount of traffic to our social media channels and website and helped us to gain massive recognition within the Dell partner ecosystem. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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To go to the home of Dell and receive the award was such an honour and a fantastic experience. We are very proud of our partnership with Dell and social media has played a huge part in developing this. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are our social media platforms of choice. Each one has different target audiences for us but they all have one thing in common – the multiplier effect of a successful campaign. Social media provides a vehicle to promote your company and to shout about your success, but it needs to be more than that.

Social media has allowed us to implement a global strategy for our brand awareness.

For a company of our size this would not be possible through more traditional means.

Michael [Dell] has connected with me on LinkedIn and we are now in contact on a regular basis. We will have plenty of announcements in 2016 that will include additions to our growing team and the launch of new business solutions to the Irish market.


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Architects turned baristas Stephen Deasy and Ruth Hussey have placed a strong emphasis on producing high quality artisan coffee without the snobbery. InBUSINESS paid a visit to their coffee shop, Bear Market, in Dublin’s Blackrock. IB: Could you give us some background on Bear Market and the motivation behind opening the coffee shop?

SD: Ruth and I graduated from architecture in 2009. We spent a brief period as aspiring architects before we soon realised that we would need to emigrate if we were to find a job in the industry. Spotting a need for high quality gluten free products Ruth set up Pure Food Bakery in Blackrock

with her mother Mary in 2011, which turned out to be a huge success with their products becoming available in a number of Ireland’s leading retail stores. At the same time I dived headfirst into the hospitality industry and founded Epi Hostels with my cousin. Unfortunately, on the brink of securing a partnership with a large private equity firm, the Greek economy collapsed which cast all EU wide

investments in doubt. On the back of the success of Pure Foods we noticed that people were interested in high quality artisan products. Bear Market Coffee was born from our passion for all things quality. We worked in conjunction with fellow classmates VAV Architects to create the store’s rugged design, the style a nod to the economic environment from which the business was born and is perhaps a measured reaction to the slick, elaborate décor of the bygone Celtic Tiger era. We both trained as baristas but despite our coffee knowledge we adamantly shun the notion of coffee snobbery. At Bear Market we firmly believe that consumers deserve a good quality product without the intimidation. Bear Market prides itself on producing the best quality artisan espresso accompanied by freshly baked pastries, scones and cake slices. IB: Where did the name ‘Bear Market’ come from?

Ruth Hussey and Stephen Deasy, Bear Market


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SD: It’s a cheeky nod to the financial term to which our architecture careers and hostel project had

fallen victim, which in turn led us to the adventure that is Bear Market coffee. IB: What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an SME?

SD: Finding the most suitable property was a big struggle. The location of any business is paramount, especially in the take out coffee industry where volume is key. Now as we search for our second store we are finding it difficult to secure the right location at acceptable rental levels. Opportunities are out there, but it’s vital to carry out as much research on each location as possible. IB: What would you say sets your business apart in your sector?

SD: Atmosphere and customer service within Bear Market Coffee is key to our success. We focus on delivering a high quality product and service to all our customers, brightening their day. We were awarded for our customer service recently at the JCI Business Awards 2015. We believe that education is also intrinsic to our success and this is achieved both formally and informally through InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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impromptu coffee conversations over the counter or within one of our structured coffee classes. We believe that the more knowledgeable our customers are, the more they will appreciate the lengths we go to in providing them with the perfect cup. IB: What has been your biggest success so far?

SD: The most pivotal decision we have made to date has been to partner up with other specialists. Bear Market coffee is first and foremost a coffee retailer. We very quickly realised that if we could create strategic partnerships with other complementary professional businesses it would allow us to block out external noise and focus on the customer. So instead of trying to do everything ourselves we have outsourced a number of products/areas within the business. On the front end the most obvious example would be our partnership with our primary coffee roaster Alan Andrews as well as a number of other specialty coffee roasters. It gives us great confidence to know that our key products are being supplied to us with rigorous quality controls. We pride ourselves in offering the best quality products across the store. By partnering with specialised companies in each sector such as food, coffee, equipment and drinks, we always have a huge selection of new artisan Irish products to offer. This in turn provides a sustainable supply chain, InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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supporting local jobs and resources. The same can be said for the back end of the business. We found that we fell into the same trap as a number of small businesses, trying to run our day to day business while attempting to do all our accounting and bookkeeping work. We finally succumbed to a mountain of paperwork and discovered how invaluable a good bookkeeper and accountants really are. IB: What key piece of advice would you give someone starting a business?

SD: Start with lots of research into the sector, your product offering and your customer base. Research owes you nothing, look at it from every angle and question everything, especially yourself. Spend at least as much time interviewing potential staff as you would researching your key equipment. Your staff is potentially your most valuable asset or at worst your greatest liability, give them the time and direction they deserve. Don’t be afraid of change, it is essential to constantly adapt. It’s not uncommon for our customers to walk into our shop and say ‘wow, the space has changed so much since the last time I was in’. Finally, enjoy it! IB: Where do you source your coffee?

SD: We source it from a variety of Irish micro roasters including

Silverskin Company, Coffee Culture, Bailies Coffee and Coffee Mojo. IB: Any news or expansion IB: Ireland has developed a strong coffee culture in recent years. What do you think have been the main factors behind this?

SD: People have been travelling and experiencing great coffee abroad, especially in places like Australia, New Zealand and London. This has developed a more discerning customer that likes to enjoy a barista made artisan cup of coffee produced to high standards.

plans for 2016 you can share with us?

SD: We plan to open a new store in the coming months with hopefully more Bear Market stores across Dublin within the next few years. We believe that our online store will be one of our strongest revenue streams over the coming years so we are investing heavily in this with the intention of expanding our delivery service from nationwide as it currently stands to worldwide within the next year.


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SOFT HOTSEAT It took Cathriona Hallahan nearly 30 years to reach the top of the corporate ladder. The Microsoft Ireland MD’s story of hard graft and dogged determination should serve as inspiration for any young professional starting out, writes JOSEPH O’CONNOR.

rowing up in Stillorgan, Cathriona Hallahan faced a major life-changing event at a very young age. She lost her father when she was just ten years old, and it was his absence that led her to concentrate on securing a job rather than going to college once she had finished school. “My mum at the time was unskilled,” recalls the managing director of Microsoft Ireland. “Her mum had died when she was quite young so she ended up being the housekeeper at home after leaving school at 13. Because she didn’t have any skills, when my dad passed away she went out to work as a housekeeper. It made me motivated to get out into the workforce and start earning a salary so my mum wouldn’t have to work as hard.” And that’s what she did when she landed a secretarial job in a family-run catering business in Dublin back in the mid ’80s, a time when job opportunities were scarce on the ground. It didn’t last long however as the company ran into financial difficulties forcing Hallahan to look elsewhere for regular work. It was only months previous to this that a large US multinational called Microsoft had moved into the neighbourhood. In fact, it was located in Sandyford, just up the road from where Hallahan lived, an added incentive to apply for an opening there which she came across through an employment agency. Little did she realise then that her new role as an accounts clerk – where she joined 24 other employees – would be 38

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the beginning of a long and successful career spanning decades at the company, culminating in her filling the position of Ireland’s Managing Director in 2013, which now sees her in charge of 1,200 permanent staff and overseeing another 1,000 through vendors. Hallahan has seen significant transformation at the global giant over her 29 years there. She’s also had the opportunity to work in many divisions, including ten years in the finance department, followed by a move into operations in local, regional and global roles, where she ran call centres, oversaw supply chains and partner engagement. Being flexible and versatile in the workplace along with having a true desire to learn new skills is something Hallahan cites as a key factor to her success. “I’ve done every job that’s possible to do,” she says. “I covered in reception, I worked out on manufacturing floors and as an finance person. I was accounts clerk, cost accountant, finance supervisor, I worked in every space, so my real philosophy is a curiosity and a constant willingness to learn, change, try new things and take risks and that’s allowed me to have multiple careers within the same company and have a lot of success.” Hallahan also says that having a strong mentor in her work life was important. In her earlier days at Microsoft she worked under a senior manager who she says saw true potential in her, something she had failed to recognise herself. “He encouraged me to go back to college, get my accountancy qualification. That’s what I did and I’ve used those financial skills in every aspect of my career.” InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Jen Murphy

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Illustration courtesy of Jen Murphy (@JenJen_Murf). Jen is a graphic design and caricature artist based in the west of Ireland. For further details contact:


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Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland



To be more confident in my abilities. If you had told me 30 years ago when I started at Microsoft, that I would become Managing Director, I probably would have said there’s no way I’d be capable of that. So it’s important to really believe in yourself.


To share my aspirations and goals with people. I’ve had experiences where I’ve missed opportunities to progress my career purely because I assumed people would know that I wanted a particular role or that I wanted the next opportunity without verbalising that.


The third one is related to what I’ve learned about work-life balance. You’ll never get it perfect but being able to set your boundaries about what works for you makes life an awful lot easier.


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Success for Hallahan did not come without some major challenges along the way, some in her personal life and some in her professional one. Her desire to remain based in Ireland while continuing to progress in her career was one of those. However, it was her battle with breast cancer a number of years ago, that proved to be the biggest setback. Hallahan says at the time it was difficult to decide how long to break from her career in order to fully recover. “Typical me, I went back after ten months of leave and took on a global role,” she says. But being diagnosed with cancer clearly didn’t break her spirit. “I went straight back in and haven’t looked back. I also qualified as an executive coach around that time because I wanted to look at what I would do if I did give up my career in Microsoft; where was my passion? And my passion was always with my team and trying to help other people develop and be successful. That stemmed from my first boss spending time with me and helping me see my potential. So I qualified as an executive coach after that first year back and that was along with having surgery and







chemotherapy. But I now use those skills every day with my team but also at home with my daughter who is turning 16.” Her daughter is not the only 16-year old Hallahan is mentoring. Through her work with Coderdojo, the global movement of free coding clubs for young people, she reaches out to thousands of young people to help them prepare for the workplace of the future by learning how to code. She also acts as a role model for women in business as Microsoft’s sponsor for diversity and inclusion, a role she says she was reluctant to take on initially. “It was one of those questions that I really asked myself; did I want to be a role model? Did I feel like I would end up being the token woman on a pedestal talking about women in business. I didn’t want to be that but there comes a time when you have to step up and say if I’m not out speaking about the challenges of there not being enough talent in the technology business and I’m not encouraging other female talent to look to leadership roles and the opportunities that are there for them, and sharing my own experiences, then I’m not doing my job. At some point you have to step up and hopefully inspire some other people to challenge themselves to take on bigger roles.” In 2016, Hallahan will be 30 years with Microsoft, and while she has held numerous positions at the company spanning a wide ranges of areas from marketing to supply chain, she still has a lot to give while holding plenty of aspirations of her own. “I’m still very excited about the fact that I’m still learning and growing everyday. The industry is changing at such a rapid pace that for me it’s a hugely exciting time to be in the role that I’m in. I see that role continuing to evolve with an opportunity to bring more business to Ireland and be there right into the future.” InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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DAMAGE LIMITATION The Volkswagen emissions scandal in September was a reminder to companies of the importance of having a robust crisis management plan in place. ORLA CONNOLLY examines why businesses should plan for such an event rather than react to it.

VW SAGA CONTINUES Volkswagen Ireland has apologised to its customers in the wake of its global emissions scandal but the Sunday Business Post reports that it is denying that it made any misrepresentations. In letters issued on behalf of the carmaker by Dublin legal firm AL Goodbody, Volkswagen Ireland said that while it takes the emissions issue very seriously “it has not accepted liability in relation to this issue.”


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ow many times have we heard of a major corporation being caught in a sticky situation? The news of Volkswagen’s recent emissions scandal circled the press for weeks. Once it came to light that they were involved in using software to distort emission tests a media storm ensued that left their shares plummeting and their top executives redfaced. After bracing for the initial storm, and tackling the crisis head-on, many thought the company had come out the other side, until it emerged that there were further deceptions Volkswagen had failed to admit. This wouldn’t be the first time a global company had handled a scandal poorly and it will by no means be the last. Someone who knows a thing or two about crisis management is media expert and former journalist Orlaith Carmody of It’s her job to advise corporations on how to best respond to a crisis, and emerge with their reputations intact. Not always an easy task. According to Carmody, there are three key elements to successfully managing any crisis situation: “tell it all, tell it early and tell it yourself,” a strategy that she believes will minimise any of the credibility damage caused by a corporate scandal.

TELL IT ALL Most corporations aren’t well versed in the art of truth telling, so when asked to share all, many attempt to

conceal possibly damaging facts. “There’s nothing worse than prolonging a story and making a media mountain of it because someone only tells a little bit,” advises Carmody. “They would have been so much better off being upfront, holding their hands up, saying we got it wrong and giving all the details that they can at that point in time. Then the media storm will subside.” In situations involving corporate deception, theft or impropriety, a consumer can be left with the feeling that their trust in the company was misplaced. For that reason, the best way to regain that trust is for a company to be immediately forthcoming with the full truth. If more damaging information leaks from other sources in later weeks, it will only serve to reaffirm the public’s belief that their trust in the company had indeed been abused. The recent scandal at the Volkswagen Group is a prime example of how corporations should follow the first step in Carmody’s crisis management strategy. After the

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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reduce the risk of bad press. “When there’s a delay we fill the vacuum with suspicion, we fill the vacuum with rumour, we fill the vacuum with suggestion. So you need to get out there early for that reason,” says Carmody. Companies are advised to keep in regular contact with the public throughout the course of a crisis situation. In the case of Volkswagen, their response was slow, which left the public confused about the details of the case. Orlaith Carmody, MD,

initial emissions scandal emerged, the carmaker was forced to admit a second illegal defeat device had been deployed in emissions cheating after initially denying it. This is something Carmody believes was a step too far from a consumer’s point of view. “When you think of America alone in the first wave, the 11 million people who bought Volkswagens on the basis that they were safe and environmentally friendly, when they change their car are they going to buy Volkswagen again?” she asks. “I’m not sure they would. Now that there’s a second wave you wonder is there any coming back for Volkswagen on this? In my mind I think we might be looking at a big rebranding exercise at Volkswagen in the next year or so.” TELL IT EARLY In previous years, the deadline to respond to a crisis was a press conference on the six o’clock news. Today that deadline is always right now. Due to the instant nature of social media, once a whiff of corporate impropriety hits the internet the news will spread like an infection. “Nowadays it’s all over social media by the time the incident has happened,” says Carmody. “By the time the group has even got to the building it’s already all over the internet and that has changed the whole crisis management arch where it flares up and comes back down again.” The importance of savvy social media personnel who can get your message out quickly can’t be undervalued when attempting to

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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TELL IT YOURSELF Having the head of the company address a crisis publicly can have a huge effect on how the news is received and then delivered by the media, according to Carmody. When a firm opts to have a spokesperson step in front of the camera at a time of crisis, there is a sense that those in charge are avoiding the issue, not to mention the blame. “You need a key person, the CEO, the person who is the face of the business. They need to be the person to go out front,” she says. “Good communication between the company and the public can be a powerful tool in restoring some of the integrity lost by public aspersions.” Corporate scandals such as the recent Volkswagen crisis can be the most difficult to prepare for due to the often concealed nature of the details, but it isn’t impossible. Realising the importance of effective crisis management, companies are now being trained to deal with these stressful situations before there’s even a hint of wrongdoing. Organisations are employing companies like to equip their staff with a fully comprehensive crisis management plan. These plans can vary from scenarios that include corporate rumours to a robbery or fire on company property. Carmody advises that every company put in place the key elements of a crisis plan. “Who’s going to deal with it? How are they going to deal with it? How quickly are they going to deal with it? What resources are they going to need? Put your plan in place and God forbid the day it all goes pear-shaped you can pull out your plan and you will hopefully stay ahead.” For a corporation hoping to avoid the fallout from a poorly handled scandal, the rules are clear: tell it all, tell it early and tell it yourself. One day of training with a crisis management team can prepare your staff for a situation that has the potential to dismantle your company. While you may want to predict only the best for your growing business, it’s always nice to have that umbrella when stormy weather strikes.

FIVE FAMOUS CORPORATE SCANDALS ENRON American energies, commodities and services corporation Enron was the centre of perhaps the most famous corporate accounting scandal known to this generation. Once it was discovered that the company purposely falsified accounts in order to hide debts their stock went into free fall, leaving shareholders and employees with worthless shares.

BERNARD MADOFF In December of 2008 Bernard Madoff confessed that the assets management sector of his firm was a smokescreen for a Ponzi scheme that he had orchestrated. Madoff stole $20 billion from investor funds which included charities and celebrities such as Kevin Bacon and John Malkovich.

MARTHA STEWART In July 2004 Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison and five months house arrest after it was revealed she had been involved in insider trading of ImClone stock. Stewart’s reputation as the perfect housewife and mother was more than a little tarnished by this scandal.

TYLENOL When leading pain reliever Tylenol was found to be tampered with by persons unknown, the company Johnson & Johnson’s faced financial ruin. Even though the fault was not their own, they recalled all of the medication in the interest of public safety. It’s believed that this act of public concern above the needs of the company is responsible for the survival of the brand.

CENDANT Before Enron there was the Cendant crisis. The Cendant accounting fraud case was largely considered the accounting scandal of the 1990s. Discovery of the fraud, considered the largest ever perpetrated at that time, eventually put two central players, Walter Forbes and Kirk Shelton, in prison. The scandal is believed to have cost investors $19bn.


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YOU AREN’T CYNICAL ENOUGH In his new book The Devil’s Financial Directory, Jason Zweig provides a glossary of all the financial terms you wanted to understand but were too afraid to ask. The result is a wryly satirical critique of Wall Street jargon and finance culture. Here’s a taste of what you can expect from the veteran US financial commentator.


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APOLOGY, n. In the real world, an admission of culpability and remorse for an action that harmed someone else, typically followed by an attempt to right the wrong and a commitment not to repeat it; on Wall Street, a declaration that other people did something wrong and that any resulting harm was caused by circumstances beyond the bank’s control. A Wall Street apology always purports to take responsibility, but usually omits contrition, shame, a desire to make good on what went bad, or the willingness to make sure the same behavior never happens again. In testimony at congressional hearings today, Manuel B. Schacht, chief executive of Bellow, Blair, Howell, Huff & Bragg, the investment bank, apologised for the $794 billion in losses his firm incurred on securities backed by the value of beachfront property in the Central African Republic. “I accept full responsibility for what happened, and as a firm we deeply regret the inconvenience that investors and taxpayers have experienced,” said Mr Schacht. He added: “The worst of the suffering, however, will be borne

by our own employees, who must forgo their future bonuses and search for work elsewhere while bearing the stigma now so unfairly attached to our firm. It is important for policymakers and the public to recognise that, while mistakes were made, these losses were triggered by events beyond our control.” BEAR MARKET, n. A phase of falling prices when you can no longer bear to think about what a fool you were for not selling your investments — which is generally a sign that you should think instead about buying more. A period of falling prices inevitably sets the stage for a period of rising prices. See also BULL MARKET. A bear market is commonly believed to begin when a stockmarket average or index has fallen by at least 20 per cent. But, in fact, there is no official definition or threshold — still another reminder that reality on Wall Street is just a state of mind. BIASED, adj. Human. BULL MARKET, n. A period of rising prices that leads many investors to believe that their InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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IQ has risen at least as much as the market value of their portfolios. After the inevitable fall in prices, they will learn that both increases were temporary. See BEAR MARKET. BUY, v. What Wall Street analysts say investors should almost always do, regardless of a stock’s price or market conditions. See also SELL. CLEARLY, adv. Unclearly. Analysts and pundits using the word “clearly” are either (1) pretending, without any valid evidence, that they know what is going to happen, or (2) describing what has already happened and declaring, after the fact, that they knew it would happen when at the time they had no idea (see HINDSIGHT BIAS). CREDIT CARD, n. A thin slab of plastic that enables a person to feel pleasure today by incurring pain tomorrow. DATA, n. The raw material from which Wall Street fabricates distortions for marketing purposes. DAY TRADER, n. See IDIOT. DODD-FRANK ACT, n. A financial-regulation law, enacted in 2010, that sought to prevent financial institutions from becoming “too big to fail” but succeeded mainly at being too long to read, too complex to understand, and too convoluted to implement. POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST, n. An actual conflict of interest. REGULATOR, n. A bureaucrat who attempts to stop rampaging elephants by brandishing feather-dusters at them. Also, a future employee of a bank, hedge fund, brokerage, investmentInBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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management firm, or financial lobbying organisation. (See REVOLVING DOOR.) The term “regulation” in the financial sense dates back at least to 1827, when Governor DeWitt Clinton told the New York state legislature in his annual message that “general regulations are indispensably necessary” to limit the risks of another banking crisis like the PANIC of 1826. Regulation fails to stop giant financial firms from periodically destroying billions of dollars of their clients’ wealth and from imperiling the global economy, but it does ensnare smaller firms in tangles of red tape that handicap their ability to compete against the larger firms. Lobbyists for giant financial firms call that “levelling the playing field.” RUMOUR, n. The Wall Street equivalent of a fact. SELL, v. What Wall Street analysts say investors should almost never do, regardless of a stock’s price or market conditions. See also BUY. From a recent article by the prolific financial journalist Phil DePage: Shares of EmoPhone Corp. are down 10 per cent so far this year as sales of the company’s leading product, an app that makes cell phones glow different colours as users’ moods change, have faltered. The company’s chief financial officer, Aston Martin, resigned in March amid questions about EmoPhone’s accounting, which some short-sellers claim is aggressive. There is some concern that the stock, which had risen more than 35,000 per cent until its recent stumble and is still valued at approximately 2,000 times the consensus forecast of what the company will earn next year, might be overpriced. Nevertheless, most analysts are optimistic. “We aren’t worried, and we certainly don’t think the stock is a sell,” said analyst I. C. Nutton of Alfred E. Neuman & Co., a brokerage in New York.








The above is adapted from The Devil’s Financial Directory by Jason Zweig, reprinted with permission from PublicAffairs. The Devil’s Financial Dictionary is available on Amazon priced at 13.99.


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CATCH UP CHAMBER COMMENT “I am delighted to honour a man whose vision and ambition had a transformational impact on Irish higher education and helped the University of Limerick to achieve widespread recognition as a force for change and progress in Irish society.” Catherine Duffy, President of Limerick Chamber, on presenting Dr Ed Walsh, the founding president of the University of Limerick, with the Limerick Chamber President’s Award at the Limerick Chamber’s 200th Anniversary President’s Dinner in November.

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Neil Pakey, CEO, Shannon Airport, Natalie McCambridge, McCambridges of Galway and President of Galway Chamber Frank Greene


WINS GALWAY AWARD MCCAMBRIDGES OF GALWAY, A FAMILY OWNED deli and fine foods shop and restaurant, proved popular winners of the Galway Chamber Business Awards 2015. Receiving a standing ovation while accepting the award from CEO of Shannon Airport Neil Pakey, Natalie McCambridge praised her team at McCambridges for the win and said that they are the reason the business continues to grow and prosper. President of Galway Chamber Frank Greene said that McCambridges epitomises what the Galway Chamber Business Awards are all about.


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CHAMBER COMMENT “We are delighted that the plan clearly acknowledges so many of the proposals we put forward at draft stage and now look forward to working independently and collectively with other regional stakeholders.” Shannon Chamber Chief Executive Helen Downes responds to the details of the Mid-West Action Plan for jobs 20152017 launched in October.

Lynda Lawton, Waterford Chamber and Michael O’Dwyer, Waterford Chamber President with Delorentos

DELORENTOS PLAY SURPRISE SET AT WATERFORD THANKSGIVING PARTY Waterford’s first ever Thanksgiving Party was in for a big surprise at the Medieval Museum on November 26th when chart-toppers Delorentos played a surprise set for guests before going on stage at the Theatre Royal. A Night at the Museum – A Festive Thanksgiving Party was a collaboration between Waterford Chamber, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, EveryEvent and Winterval to give the business community the opportunity to give thanks and help support Focus Ireland and The Samaritans.





imerick Chamber has welcomed the publication of the preferred route corridor for the Foynes Limerick road. Speaking at the launch on December 1st, Director of Policy Dr Órlaith Borthwick said: “Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) facility at Foynes is a key economic driver for this region. Adequate connectivity plays a vital role in facilitating business expansions and job creation opportunities, not just for Limerick, but the wider region. The recent investment announcement of f22m into a smokeless fuel manufacturing facility by CPL, which will create 120 jobs; and earmarked projects such as Bórd na Móna’s plans to build a new f25m facility creating 55 jobs; is testament to the potential of what can be done at SFPC.


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Crystal globes presented to EnviroCom Award winners

International catering company Sodexo were among the winners at this year’s EnvironCom Awards, which took place last November. The awards were founded in 2007 by the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber to annually recognise the ten best examples of businesses and non-profit organisations in the County of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown that are working to protect our environment. Sodexo was presented with the waste prevention award in recognition of the company’s concerted effort to reduce food waste at educational and industrial sites in South Dublin. Other winners on the night included SOS Cleaning Services, Foxrock Golf Club and SSE Aitricity. For the full list of winners visit

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Pictured at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lunch on December 10th were Greg Clarke, President, Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone, guest speaker Michael O’Leary, CEO, Ryanair and Gina Quin, CEO, Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

Barbara Moynihan, Managing Director, On Your Feet

CHAMBER MEMBER AVIATION OPPORTUNITIES KEY MESSAGE OF SHANNON EVENT Aviation is a key cluster for Shannon, with over 40 companies already involved in aircraft and engine leasing and finance, maintenance repair and overhaul, regulation and manufacturing. Key stakeholders in the region are intent on capturing new opportunities within the global aviation sector. This was the key message emanating from Shannon Chamber’s Christmas lunch, held in Dromoland Castle Hotel on November 23rd at which Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe was keynote speaker. The lunch was sponsored by Shannon-based GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and co-sponsored by Eirtech Aviation, Shannon Group plc, Laya Healthcare and Dromoland Castle Hotel.

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A WELCOME INVESTMENT FOR CORK Cork Chamber has broadly welcomed the Government’s Capital Plan 2016-2021 investment announcements for Cork and Kerry. The launch which took place in UCC’s Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy on November 27th saw the announcement of a wide range of projects for roads, floodworks, healthcare, housing and policing. Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy, in welcoming the news, said: “today’s announcements are hugely positive for Cork and the entire southwest region and I am delighted to see the investment in such far reaching projects as the Cork City Events Centre, the investment in IMERC projects and the redevelopment of Pairc Uí Chaoimh.”



arbara Moynihan, a member of Dublin Chamber, was very well received during her presentation to the 2015 SME Assembly in Luxembourg in November. Moynihan, MD of On Your Feet, a company that provides presentation skills training to help people in business to present and pitch in a more compelling way, spoke during the Skills for SMEs session on behalf of EuroChambres. Commenting on the experience, Moynihan said: “Attending the SME Assembly was a great opportunity to discuss issues with other SMEs across Europe. Interestingly, the issues were amazingly similar. For example on the issue of skills for SMEs there were three topics that came up on several occasions; digital skills, mentoring and ensuring ease of doing business for all SMEs across the EU.”


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Understanding the

COMPANIES ACT Chambers Ireland and the Law Society of Ireland have launched a new guide to the Companies Act 2014.


he Companies Act is the largest piece of legislation ever to come into effect in Ireland and fundamentally changes the legal environment in which businesses operate. Consolidating 30 pieces of legislation – dating from 1963 to 2013 – into one act, the focus of the legislation is on private companies. This more accurately reflects the way business is actually done in Ireland, where nearly 99 per cent of businesses operating here are SMEs. The new legislation requires all existing private companies with shares to choose to become either a company limited by shares (CLS or LTD type-company), a Designated Activity Company (DAC), or another type or company such as a PLC. Companies have 18 months from when the law originally came into effect (June 2015) to make these decisions. Under the new legislation, small private companies who opt to convert to a LTD type – through which the majority of business in Ireland is conducted – will benefit from a number of changes, including: • A simplified constitution, comprising a single document instead of a Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association • Only one director will be needed • May avoid holding Annual General Meetings


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Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Ken Murphy, Director General, Law Society of Ireland, Emma Kerins, Chambers Ireland, Paul Keane, Solicitor, Reddy Charlton and Former Chair, Law Society of Ireland Business Law Committee

• Unlimited capacity - removal of ultra vires rule whereby companies cannot operate outside of the activities laid out in the objects clause • Codification of directors’ duties into eight rules

• Compliance statements and audit committees for larger companies; directors have new obligations for securing compliance with certain company law provisions and tax law, and to consider whether to appoint an audit committee

Additionally, there are also new rules for businesses to consider, including:

The aim of this guide is to highlight the most important pieces of information for companies in a clear and concise manner. Speaking at the launch of the guide, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said: “The Companies Act 2014 brings the most significant changes to company law ever introduced in Ireland and it is vital that businesses know what is required of them. Understanding the implications of the Act could pose difficulties for many businesses, particularly SMEs, given the sheer quantity and complexity of the legislation.”

• The requirement that a company secretary must have the skills and resources for the role • Directors’ loans will be treated adversely; it will be important that proper loan agreements and board resolutions are in place • Directors will be required to confirm that all relevant audit information of which they are aware, having made reasonable enquiries, has been conveyed to the auditors • Directors will also need to consider what basic steps they should take to demonstrate compliance

To download a copy of the guide, please visit our website at

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CURBING INSURANCE COSTS As consumers and businesses continue to shoulder the burden of the ongoing rise in insurance costs, urgent action is needed to address the issue.


ust over a decade ago, in 2004, the government responded to the issue of soaring insurance costs which was having negative consequences for both businesses and consumers. The Government established the Injuries Board in an effort to control costs to consumers, to business and to the insurance industry itself and to relieve the burden on the courts. Through the establishment of the Injuries Board, claimants could be awarded compensation following a straightforward, fast and cost effective process. The results were successful. Insurance costs were lowered, the processing time of claims was reduced, and courts were freed up to deal with more relevant cases. Fast forward 11 years and it is clear that urgent action is once again required. Insurance costs are rising at a worrying pace with the average cost of motor insurance increasing by 24 per cent in the past year. Industry experts predict that there will be further increases in 2016. So what is driving these cost increases? There are a number of interrelated factors at play. A recent change to the monetary limits of our courts is one key factor. Since then the limit on awards made in the District Court has increased from a6,000 to a15,000. Meanwhile, the equivalent limit for the Circuit Courts has increased from approximately a38,000 to a60,000 for personal injuries. The

rationale for increasing these limits was to reduce the amount of cases being brought to the Circuit and High Court. Although this was the right decision to take, the changes have had unintended consequences. By increasing the monetary limits of courts, expectations on the parts of claimants and their solicitors have been heightened, creating an incentive for claimants to actually avoid the Injuries Board and proceed to litigation. And this is exactly what has happened. More and more cases are now being brought before the courts instead of through the Injuries Board as originally intended. Forty per cent of awards made by the Injuries Board are being rejected by claimants and instead are being settled through litigation. Consequently, the aggregate level of insurance awards is at an all-time high. In 2014 the average High Court award was 34 per cent higher than in 2013, while the average Circuit Court award was 14 per cent higher. In line with this, Ireland has also witnessed a jump in the number of claims being made. Between 2007 and 2012 the

Injuries Board recorded a 24 per cent increase in personal injury claims with the system supporting a developing compensation culture. Interestingly, the level of awards in Ireland appears to be out of sync with other EU states. A routine whiplash injury in Ireland is awarded on average a15,000 compared to a5,000 for the same injury in England or Wales. Insurance premiums are primarily dictated by claims cost. The fact that injuries here are awarded higher damages than the international norm means that Irish insurance premiums are likely to rise. High awards also bear a risk of increased fraud. According to Insurance Ireland, fraud annually adds an additional a50 to the average motor premium. It is consumers and businesses that will be required to shoulder the increasing burden of the resultant rise in insurance costs. Maybe Ireland could look to the UK where Chancellor George Osborne recently banned cash payments for minor whiplash claims in an effort to reduce false claims and in turn reduce annual premiums.


















12,662 Courts Service Annual Reports 2010-2014

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A VISION FOR IRELAND IN 2020 F Ahead of what looks likely to be an early general election in 2016, there are a number of key issues that businesses want addressed by political parties.


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ollowing a lengthy period of media speculation as to when the next General Election will be, it is now most likely that the Taoiseach will call the election of 2016 and polling day will take place in early 2016. So what are the issues that the business community in Ireland want to see addressed by political parties in their pre-election manifestos? The election is taking place during a period of economic growth and the recovery, while still fragile, is taking hold across the country. In this context mindsets are moving on from austerity policies and short-term survival, and people are beginning to question what they would like for the long-term vision for the country and for the economy. For this reason, Chambers Ireland are focusing on macro policy issues that would provide a long-term strategy and vision for the country and secure a

stable and competitive economy in which to do business. We would like to see each political party put forward a vision for Ireland in 2020, commit to providing a stable Government, sustainable growth and investment in our future. To build on the recovery Irish business needs to remain competitive and to do so business relies on government to create the necessary conditions. Supporting competitiveness should be central to each political party’s manifesto if they are serious about ensuring stability and recovery for Irish business. Ireland’s rankings in the OECD 32 Doing Business report has increased from 13th to 11th in 2015, showing our improved competitiveness in Europe. We should aim to be in the top ten, at least, before 2020. Improving competitiveness covers a range of issues: high business costs

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particularly affecting SMEs, taxation structures, upward wage pressures, high childcare costs and of course commercial rents and housing supply. Housing supply has become an increasingly prevalent competitiveness issue in Ireland as the years of recession put a halt to construction activity. The lack of supply in the private housing market is a cause for concern for many currently renting, paying ever growing rent prices, and those hoping or planning to buy a home. It is a problem that is centred in our main cities but which is spreading across the country. The housing shortage in Ireland has now become a business issue, as it threatens competitiveness and puts added pressures on wage demands, the amount of disposable income in the economy and quality of life. This is a real worry in sectors of the economy where there are already skill shortages and companies are dependent on attracting skilled people from a highly internationally mobile workforce. There is no easy solution to this problem and it is certainly not something that can or will be fixed overnight, however, the Chamber network would like to see a longterm, five-year strategy that proposes a range of solutions to increase supply and to show that there is a serious plan to solve the problem. The next government will be operating in a very different budgetary environment from the previous and current one, therefore an ambitious capital investment and infrastructure plan is essential for a

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A vision for Ireland 2020 must be considered in the context of a more open global economy and with regard for policies that support global trade and investment. Trade and investment has never been more important for the Irish and European economy. The European Commission reports that over the next ten to fifteen years, 90 per cent of world demand will be generated outside Europe. vision of Ireland in 2020. Sustainable economic growth needs to be underlined by a capital investment plan that serves the entire country and will provide the necessary transport, communications and energy infrastructure for Ireland’s economic development. A capital investment plan is one thing but there also needs to be a strategic planning framework in place to guide all future planning policies and decisions. The National Spatial Strategy introduced in 2002 is obsolete and it is imperative that the next government begins its term working from a new, clear and relevant National Planning Framework. Strategic planning will provide a vision for Ireland 2020 and beyond that will lead to balanced regional development and give confidence to the business community across Ireland, not just in our main cities, that there is an economic vision for the country as a whole. Finally, a vision for Ireland 2020 must be considered in the context of a more open global economy and with regard for policies that support global trade and investment. Trade and investment has never been more important for the Irish and

European economy. The European Commission reports that over the next ten to fifteen years, 90 per cent of world demand will be generated outside Europe. It is essential that the next government prepares for this and continues to support the development of an ambitious trade agenda that will open new markets to Irish business, including TTIP, CETA and proposed trade agreements with ASEAN countries. The strength of our exports helped lead Ireland out of recession and our potential for future trade must be harnessed. Remaining at the heart of Europe is vital for Ireland and its main trading partners to succeed in an increasingly open global economy. Chambers Ireland is calling on all candidates running in the General Election 2016 to recognise the vital contribution of the business community to our economy and commit to being proactive advocates for business. We are calling on parties and candidates to look at the bigger picture, to put forward a vision for Ireland and, in doing so, to give confidence and support to the business community by backing policies that create a stable and sustainable economic future.


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small FIRST The European Commission’s commitment to making it simpler and more cost effective for SMEs to do business under the Single Market strategy is a positive move in addressing the bureaucratic burdens facing small businesses, according to Chambers Ireland.


he new EU Single Market strategy was launched by the European Commission in October of 2015. At the heart of the Commission’s plan was recognition of the contributions SMEs and entrepreneurs make to the European economy. As part of the internal market strategy, the Commission intends to simplify VAT regulation, reduce the cost of company registration, put forward a proposal on business insolvency and make all information on regulatory requirements accessible in a single digital gateway. The Commission has also committed to developing clear and SMEfriendly intellectual property rules and take the final steps needed for the Unitary Patent to become an attractive and affordable way for European companies, including SMEs, to capitalise on their ideas, both of which have been called for by Chambers Ireland in the past. A key priority of the new single market strategy was the focus on compliance. We especially welcome this aspect of the plan and the strong focus on better application

A key priority of the new single market strategy was the focus on compliance. We especially welcome this aspect of the plan and the strong focus on better application and enforcement of EU legislation.


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and enforcement of EU legislation. However, for this to become a reality, the Commission needs to create political demand for compliance within the member states. This can notably happen by ensuring interconnection with national policies. In addition, more needs to be done at European level to ensure that regulations are being applied properly. For example: • The Competitiveness Council must become an effective decisionmaking body and address problems in relation to transposition or implementation of EU legislation candidly and effectively. In addition, the Council’s High Level Group on Competitiveness and Growth should be mandated to play a preparatory role in this enhanced action. • The Network of SME Envoys should play a role in identifying and addressing barriers to the internal market encountered by smaller businesses, both collegiately when they meet and individually within their national administrations. • The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection must also strengthen its ties with national parliaments in highlighting examples of poor implementation and gold-plating of internal market rules.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion with Commissioner for Internal Market Elzbieta Bienkowska hosted by the European Commission Representation in Ireland, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot welcomed the new strategy. “The single market is the crown jewel of the EU and we welcome the steps the Commission is taking to ensure that it keeps up with the times and reflects the reality of doing business in today’s business climate,” he said. “Entrepreneurs and small business are the drivers of economic growth and the Commission’s commitment to making it simpler and more cost effective for SMEs to do business is a welcome move. That being said, the announcement made by the Commission to focus more resources on enforcement of single market rules, compliance and mutual recognition of standards is a timely and welcomed move. Chambers Ireland has long been highlighting the bureaucratic burdens facing business because of detailed documentation requirements or differing interpretations of EU legislation. The Commission’s commitment to creating a culture of compliance is an important step to reducing the burdens on businesses around Europe.” The one big regret from the perspective of businesses across Europe is that there was no mention within the single market strategy of any initiatives to upgrade the various

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The single market is the crown jewel of the EU and we welcome the steps the Commission is taking to ensure that it keeps up with the times and reflects the reality of doing business in today’s business climate. Entrepreneurs and small business are the drivers of economic growth and the Commission’s commitment to making it simpler and more cost effective for SMEs to do business is a welcome move. points of single contact. Prior to the publication of the Commission’s Single Market strategy, our partners Eurochambres launched a survey in 2015 in an attempt to find out what businesses think of the single market and whether it is working in the interests of business. The survey was carried out between August 31st and September 14th 2015 and saw 592 entrepreneurs from the 28 EU countries respond to the poll. The survey reveals that 23 years after the Single European Act, innumerable national product and service rules persist within the EU, imposing complex compliance obligations and implying huge information requirements for

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businesses. In particular, the main sources of concern for producers are the inaccessibility of information on rules and procedures in other EU countries (85 per cent extremely significant to significant), payment recovery (83 per cent) and different national product rules (83 per cent). Service providers are particularly hindered by complex administrative procedures (82 per cent extremely significant to significant), the inaccessibility of information on rules and procedures in other EU countries (80 per cent) and different national service rules (79 per cent). Heavy bureaucratic burden is the most acute problem encountered by service providers, with 44 per cent

of the respondents considering it as extremely significant. The results also show that the key obstacles remain the same regardless of the size of the business, with the lack of accessibility of information on rules and requirements applied in other EU countries being the top shared concern. The response from those polled proves that proper implementation of existing internal market rules and measures should take priority over adoption of new EU ones. Therefore the decision taken by the Commission to focus on compliance and reducing regulatory burden is welcome and will go some way to help the single market work more effectively. However, without more resources allocated to bridging the information deficit when it comes to accessing information on rules and procedures, SMEs will continue to struggle. The Commission must continue to “think small first” on these matters if we are to truly have a single market for all EU member states.


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TO MEDIATE Chambers Ireland recently consulted with stakeholders in the legal and mediation community to discuss how businesses can be encouraged to consider mediation as their first port of call when resolving disputes.


hambers Ireland hosted a half day seminar, entitled ‘Dublin Mediation Day’ in the Law Society of Ireland on November 20th 2015. Focusing on the theme, ‘commercial mediation in Ireland - current developments and future challenges’, the objective was to discuss how mediation is changing the way companies resolve commercial disputes. Chambers Ireland has been promoting alternative dispute resolution and mediation as the most effective and efficient option when it comes to resolving disputes amongst businesses. Irish businesses face many challenges in terms of their competitiveness, and using mediation to avoid the high costs associated with unnecessary litigation should be an obvious choice. Unfortunately, it has been our experience that mediation is not used as frequently amongst the Irish business community as it could be. In response to this, Chambers Ireland consulted with our stakeholders in the legal and mediation community to discuss how businesses could be encouraged to consider mediation as their first port of call when resolving disputes. From these discussions, the Business and Commercial Mediation Pilot Scheme was launched on the September 1st 2015 by a cross section


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of bodies (Chambers Ireland, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Law Society, the Bar Council of Ireland and the Mediator’s Institute of Ireland) with the objective of promoting the use of mediation as a cost and resource efficient way for businesses to resolve commercial disputes. Opening the seminar, Director of Policy and Communications Mark O’ Mahoney welcomed delegates. “This seminar is one of a series of initiatives Chambers Ireland are undertaking to demonstrate to the business

community the value of mediation and alternative dispute resolution,” he said. “Chambers Ireland recently launched a mediation scheme with the goal of encouraging more Irish businesses to consider using mediation when commercial disputes arise. This scheme is an example of Chambers of Commerce and the legal and alternative dispute resolution communities cooperating to support the Irish business community.” The seminar covered four areas. Firstly, a debate on whether mediation should be compulsory.

Mark O’Mahoney, Director of Policy and Communications, Chambers Ireland; Joe Behan, Mediator; Nicola Dunleavy, Partner at Matheson; Hon. Justice Paul Gilligan; Bill Holohan; Mediator; Matthew Austin, Solicitor at Hayes Solicitors

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Opposing the idea of compulsory mediation was the Honourable Mr Justice Paul Gilligan of the High Court. Speaking in favour was Nicola Dunleavy, a partner in Matheson. Dunleavy made the point that mediation makes business sense. “The average duration of mediation in the EU is 43 days compared with 566 for litigating the same dispute,” she said. “Compulsory mediation can bring parties to the table – parties may not realise the benefits that mediation can offer until they participate. Compulsory mediation creates a safe environment where neither party has to suggest mediation and create a perception of weakness. Even where a case does not settle at mediation, the process can build bridges between the parties which might facilitate settlement at a later stage.” Following the debate, the conversation moved to the idea of costs in mediation, where Matthew Austin of Hayes Solicitors spoke about the issues companies needed to be mindful of when it came to deciding whether or not to opt for mediation when resolving commercial disputes. “It’s important for parties engaging in mediation to consider the costs involved in preparing for and participating in mediation,” he said. “Those costs can be money well spent in a well prepared and well run mediation. The Superior Courts’ jurisdiction to penalise litigants who act unreasonably in failing to engage in mediation is largely unchartered territory. The UK courts have considered the issue in some detail but the Irish courts have not had the same opportunities to develop the law in this area. Further judicial consideration of this issue could result in clarification on the factors that an Irish court might consider in deciding if a party has acted unreasonably in refusing to mediate.” Concluding the conference was David Nolan, Senior Council and past Chairman of The Bar Council

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Nicola Dunleavy, Partner at Matheson

Hon. Justice Paul Gilligan

of Ireland, who spoke about confidentiality in mediation and what the proposed Mediation Bill may mean for confidentiality in the future. In summing up the seminar, Chairperson of the event, Joe Behan, past International President of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, congratulated Chambers Ireland for taking the recent initiatives to promote mediation in the resolution of business and commercial disputes. “The seminar held in the Law Society had one of Ireland’s leading High Court Judges, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, together with leading senior counsel and solicitors tackling some of the most interesting and challenging facets of commercial

mediation,” he said. “Chambers Ireland’s pilot mediation scheme supported by the Courts Service of Ireland will give businesses the opportunity to use the services of Ireland’s leading commercial mediators to resolve their disputes.” It is envisaged that Dublin Mediation Day will be the first in a series of events to promote mediation as a cost effective way for businesses to resolve disputes. Should you be interested in learning more about the Chambers Ireland Business and Commercial Mediation Scheme or if you would like to refer a dispute to mediation, please visit the Chambers Ireland website at For more information, please contact This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Civil Justice Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the above named partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.


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TTIP: What’s in it for SMEs? If the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to be a success for SMEs, it must introduce measures to encourage and facilitate these businesses to both begin to export under the trade agreement and increase their activities.


ast November, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot participated in a highlevel conference organised by the Luxembourg presidency entitled ‘TTIP: What’s in it for the social partners?’ at the headquarters of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. Other speakers at the event included EU Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmström, Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament and Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs. As the only Irish representative at the conference, Chambers Ireland spoke not just on why the business community supports these trade negotiations but also on why Ireland has so much to gain from such an agreement. Ireland has a long history of transatlantic co-operation with the United States. Our shared history relates not only to the many millions of Irish people who left our shores over the past several centuries for the US, but it also relates to the strong economic links between our two countries.


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When the failed policies of economic protectionism were abandoned in the late 1950s under our Taoiseach Sean Lemass, the Irish State began to pursue policies that encouraged increased trade and exporting amongst our indigenous businesses along with the introduction of incentives to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Ireland also sought to join the EU or European Economic Community as it was then, and finally did so in 1972. The past 50 years has seen Ireland go from being the poor relation in the northwest of Europe to a prime investment hub in the North Atlantic that is currently the number one destination in the world for US FDI (US FDI stock in Ireland was $240 billion in 2013). This trade relationship has also proven to be mutually beneficial with the overall Irish investment in the US at $26.2 billion in 2013. It is this shared history with the United States that makes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) such an important opportunity for Ireland

which, according to a study carried out by Copenhagen Economics on behalf of the Irish Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation earlier this year, will benefit more than double the European average should an EU-US trade deal be successfully negotiated. Additionally, a survey commissioned by European Movement Ireland in May also found that on average, Irish people are broadly supportive (about 70 per cent) of a trade deal between the EU and US, significantly higher than the European average. However, it’s not just the strength of the Irish relationship with the US that makes an EU-US trade deal such an advantageous prospect for our economy. Reports have shown that across Europe, SMEs will almost certainly benefit from the trade deal. Since SMEs make up nearly 99 per cent of businesses active in Ireland and with the US (after the UK) being the top destination for Irish exports from SMEs, there is no reason to doubt that small businesses in Ireland will see a significant benefit from such a trade deal.

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Speaking at the conference, Chambers Ireland focused not just on the economic benefits of TTIP for SMEs, but also on what commitments SMEs will need in the trade agreement if they are to truly benefit. For example, the trade deal will need to prioritise the introduction of measures to encourage and facilitate SMEs to both begin to export under the trade agreement and increase their activities. A report published by the European Commission in April 2015 identified a number of barriers currently faced by SMEs when trying to trade with the US, barriers which would be eased through the implementation of TTIP. The report highlighted a significant knowledge gap for SMEs in the area of regulation and internationalisation. The findings of the report also confirmed what we in Chambers Ireland have been saying all along: that reducing non-tariff trade barriers will likely be more of an opportunity for SMEs than for large firms. The conclusions of this report

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support our view that if SMEs are to benefit not just from TTIP, but from trade agreements more generally, they will need to be provided with tailored information on trade. The proposed SME Chapter in the TTIP negotiations should go some way in making it easier for small businesses to reap the benefits of the TTIP agreement. However, there will also need to be similar commitments when it comes to agreeing other aspects of the trade agreement. This relates to ensuring that rules of origin are simple and user-friendly for both manufacturers and exporters. Likewise, when it comes to agreeing co-operation on regulatory issues, TTIP must also take into account the impacts on SMEs. Small businesses are at the heart of EU and US economies and are major drivers of economic growth and employment on both sides of the Atlantic. If TTIP is to deliver on the promises of increased growth and jobs, it is absolutely necessary that the interests of SMEs are at the forefront of the minds of negotiators.



Reports have shown that across Europe, SMEs will almost certainly benefit from the trade deal. Since SMEs make up nearly 99 per cent of businesses active in Ireland and with the US (after the UK) being the top destination for Irish exports from SMEs, there is no reason to doubt that small businesses in Ireland will see a significant benefit from such a trade deal.


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This is the second in a series of tips to help SMEs see the benefits of being a responsible business

Tip No. 2

Responsible from

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12/8/2015 10:57:13 AM 18/12/2015 15:44


Energy Upgrade

A a700m ESB Networks investment programme is helping businesses to grow and encouraging inward investment into all parts of the country.


ommunities and businesses across the country have been benefitting from major upgrade work carried out by ESB Networks over the past decade. In the past 18 months alone, the company has invested over a700 million with the result that Ireland’s electricity network is now one of the most resilient in the world. According to Marguerite Sayers, Managing Director of ESB Networks: “One of the key considerations for many companies in deciding where to locate and operate is the adequacy and security of the electricity supply. ESB Networks’ investment programme will therefore support the growth of local economies by providing a high quality electricity service, using smart technologies to minimise unavoidable interruptions, and facilitating the connection of record quantities of renewable generation on to the system.” The ESB Networks’ investment portfolio spans all system voltages, from upgrading parts of the highest transmission voltage (400kV) network to local distribution network reinforcement. Transmission grid (high voltage) projects, spanning 11 counties across Munster, Connacht and Leinster, accounted for over half of the total recent investment. Many of these projects were undertaken to facilitate the connection of new wind generators to the system. The connections to seven new large wind farms in the last year have helped to increase the wind generation capacity up to 21 per cent of Ireland’s electricity needs and will contribute greatly to achieving Ireland’s

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2020 EU targets. Significant projects to upgrade distribution substation capacity have taken place in Dublin and other large urban centres to meet current electricity demands, but also to cater for future growth in businesses. Rural medium voltage lines have also been refurbished and upgraded, with large parts of the network converted from operating at 10kV to a higher voltage level of 20kV (20,000 Volts). This programme is unique to ESB, and is a very cost effective and innovative means of developing the network; it allows the network to carry twice as much power on the same wires, while reducing energy losses by 75 per cent. Overall, since the programme began, 44,000km of lines have been upgraded to 20kV operation across every county in the country, with 3,000km converted in the past two years. To give an idea of scale, one 20kV project which commenced in January 2015 has recently been completed on time and within budget in southwest Cork and involved the upgrade and refurbishment of over 200 km of medium voltage lines as well as the replacement of 460 transformers. Over 60 ESB Networks’ staff worked on this project over a number of months. In conjunction with this work, smart technologies such as additional remote control capability and automation were

added to the network so that it is now one of the most modern to be found anywhere in the world. The roll out of these network improvement projects, which it is hoped will benefit the whole community for years to come, has been facilitated by the excellent co-operation which ESB Networks’ staff received from local communities, businesses, farmers and landowners. “The improved resilience of our network will almost certainly mean fewer and shorter duration power outages for our customers, while a reduction in system losses impacts positively on our national carbon footprint,” says Marguerite Sayers, ESB Networks. “All of these upgrades are helping to fulfil the mission of ESB Networks to provide electricity to all Irish customers safely, reliably and efficiently, thereby helping businesses to grow and encouraging inward investment into every part of the country.”


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TO RIO 2016 Rio de Janeiro is experiencing an economic revival with the development of a strong business environment, proving extremely attractive to new investors.


io de Janeiro is still beautiful,” as Brazilian music star Gilberto Gil famously sang. And it’s improving constantly. Beyond its natural beauty and internationally renowned tourist sites, Rio has been investing heavily in infrastructure and urban mobility. Year on year it’s becoming a major world city, and one of the world’s main tourist destinations. In 2012, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed for its natural beauty and exceptional urban setting.

RIO 2016 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES Rio de Janeiro’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has generated many opportunities in the city, both directly or indirectly related to the event. The Games have brought a sense of urgency and present a valuable opportunity to revitalise the city and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants, the so-called ‘cariocas’, as well as providing an improved destination for visitors. Rio is expected to receive 10,903 Olympic athletes from 206 countries and 4,350 para-athletes from 176 countries. The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism estimates that between 250,000 and 350,000 foreign tourists will visit Rio during the period of the Games. Considered the heart of the Olympic Games, the Olympic Park – located in Barra da Tijuca – is one of City Hall’s main infrastructure projects for the Rio 2016 Games.


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In order to completely improve the city’s mobility, Rio de Janeiro City Hall is building a new transportation system that will increase the proportion of the population that uses mass public transport from 18 to 63 per cent. In addition to hosting most of the Olympic and Paralympic competitions, this 1.8 million sq m area will be transformed into a residential, sustainable and accessible neighbourhood after the Games, with a large sports and educational complex for public school students and high-performance athletes, sharing the space for social projects and events.

BRINGING RIO TO THE 21ST CENTURY In order to completely improve the city’s mobility, Rio de Janeiro City Hall is building a new transportation system that will increase the proportion of the population that uses mass public transport from 18 to 63 per cent. In the area of public transport, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is now a reality. It consists of exclusive express corridors for articulated buses with the capacity of 160 passengers. At the end of the project a 150km network will have been built which will also interconnect with the railway and

underground lines. Improving urban mobility is also one of the key challenges of the Rio Operations Centre, a nerve centre built in 2010 to monitor the city 24 hours daily. Approximately 900 cameras, an integrated system created by IBM, and an exclusive radar system allow the centre to deal not only with traffic, but also with weather forecasting, planning for big events such as the Olympic Games, and improving reaction times to emergency situations, including floods and landslides. In the run up to the 2016 Rio Games US$3.5 billion is also being invested in the security of the city. Approximately 85,000 professionals – 47,000 from the areas of security and safety, national defence and planning, and 38,000 from the armed forces have been trained. Considering the country’s previous success with the Confederations Cup, Rio+20 Conference, World Youth Day, and the 2014 World Cup, coupled with investments made in equipment, technology and training of security agents, it is safe to say that Rio is prepared for its latest challenge.

MARVELLOUS PORT Rio’s port, one of the main points of arrival and departure for both national and foreign tourists, is going through a major revitalisation. The Porto Maravilha (Marvellous Port) project, Brazil’s largest public-private partnership with an investment of approximately US$2.1 billion is regenerating 5 million sq m of urban

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Uberlândia: The Training Camp Location for Irish Athletes

Christ the Redeemer and Maracanã Photo: Fernando Maia/Riotur

landscape and will be completed in 2016 for residential, commercial and tourism purposes. Improved access, modern roads and conservation of historical heritage are all part of the project. As the birthplace of the city, the port area is the centre of Rio’s historical heritage. Works by major architects, rediscovered warehouses, expressions of Afro-Brazilian culture, royal mansions, early 20th century row houses and railway terminals are part of this diversity that tells the story of Rio and Brazil.

RIO, A BUSINESS CAPITAL Today, Rio is experiencing an economic revival and the development of a business environment that is proving extremely attractive to new investors. The discovery of a new frontier in oil exploration has stimulated the growth of research and development, beyond the industrial services of engineering and logistics. Since 2010, a total of US$3 billion has been invested in the city by

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companies such as GE, EMC, Cisco, L’Oreal, Microsoft and Rolls-Royce. There are many reasons for foreign companies to choose Rio for their Latin American headquarters; it is a leader in academic excellence and has the best universities in applied sciences in Brazil. Over the past two years Rio has also become home to research centres for some of the biggest companies in the world. In addition, the technology park at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro is the fastest growing research and development cluster in Latin America, with the capacity for 5,000 highly skilled workers. There are investment opportunities in diverse sectors such as energy, digital technology, industry, financial services, the creative economy and infrastructure. This article was produced by the Embassy of Brazil in Ireland in coordination with Rio de Janeiro City Hall, Riotur – City of Rio de Janeiro Tourism Authority and Uberlândia City Hall.

It is no surprise that Uberlândia was chosen to be the pre-Games training camp for the Irish Olympic and Paralympic teams. Uberlândia offers a complete infrastructure for sports through premier training centres and it is most notable for its natural attractions including its ecological parks, which together add up to approximately 2.8 million sq m of green area. Praia Clube is one of the main sports facilities to be used by the Irish athletes, and it is considered one of the best sports and social clubs in Latin America with over 330,000 sq m of green area, as well as SESI Gravatás, with its complete framework for the practice of athletics. Furthermore, Uberlândia, in the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais, is within close proximity to large economic centres such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and the Federal District. In recent decades, the city has been attracting large companies and, due to its unique strategic location with easiness of production flow, has become the largest wholesale distribution centre in Latin America. Its industrial district has an area of approximately 9.6 million sq m and over 266 established companies in a diverse number of sectors.


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THE FUTURE With the completion of its first apprenticeship programme in over 25 years, Waterford Crystal is securing its next generation of craftspeople.


aterford Crystal’s factory is home to a brand new, continuous melt tank furnace that has been tailor-made for Waterford Crystal’s specifications, melting two tonnes of molten crystal every day. The furnace uses leading edge technology to deliver molten crystal of the highest quality for our skilled master blowers to hand-shape and mouth-blow Waterford Crystal’s range of premium products. Investing in the future is key to Waterford Crystal’s future success. The first apprenticeship programme in over 25 years was completed recently. This will secure the next generation of Waterford master craft persons. The apprenticeship programme will see the skills of blowing, cutting, engraving and sculpting being developed at the manufacturing plant in Waterford. The apprentices will work in the factory for the next five years in order to complete their training and be awarded their qualification. The apprenticeship programme is accredited with a City & Guilds qualification. This reflects the standard and quality of the work and training being completed. Waterford Crystal is delighted with the key role that Waterford & Wexford Training Services provided in the creation, development and implementation of the programme. At the factory in Waterford the design team creates and designs all of the products that are distributed worldwide. The benefit of having two manufacturing plants – one in


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Waterford and one in Slovenia – gives the design team greater flexibility to create products that cater for consumers around the world. The Waterford plant has recently added a new line extension to join the diverse range of tumblers, decanters, coupes, shot glasses and bar accessories in four colours. Some of the exciting collections include Talon, with its deep red crystal accents, broad cuts and deep strokes it complements Circon, which echoes a strong amethyst colour. Argon boasts a base of dense vertical cuts wrapped in electric blue and shines brightly alongside Neon with its deep lime hue and crystal blaze cuts. This modern and chic collection from Waterford Crystal truly emphasises their ability to create fresh designs and continue to delight their customers worldwide. In addition to their core products, the factory in Waterford produces some of the company’s world renowned pieces. One such piece is the Times Square Ball, which each year is witnessed by millions of eyes from all over the world. At 11:59pm on New Year’s Eve the ball begins its descent as voices unite to count down the final seconds of the year, and celebrate the beginning of a new year.

A BRIGHT FUTURE The future looks bright at Waterford Crystal. Since the re-structuring of the company in 2009 and the subsequent purchase by Fiskars, Waterford Crystal has re-established itself near its roots on The Mall in Waterford City, where the firm is now thriving again. “A company that’s been around since 1783 is going to have difficult times, however when we reorganised after 2009 and set up in the city, it was a proud day for all connected with Waterford Crystal,” says David McCoy, Sales & Marketing Director of House of Waterford Crystal. “Those involved with the company are so proud of the brand which is a product of the work of so many generations of local people over so many years.” Waterford Crystal has a manufacturing plant and brand experience in Waterford, where the company produces quality crystal and gives visitors an opportunity to see how the company makes its beautiful products. Waterford Crystal factory tours are available all year round. For further details visit, email: houseofwaterfordcrystal@wwrd. com or phone +353 (0)51 317000.

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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CARLOW COUNTY COUNCIL SCOOPED THE TOP ACCOLADE AT THE 2015 EXCELLENCE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AWARDS. Carlow County Council was named Local Authority of the Year at this year’s Chambers Ireland Annual Excellence in Local Government Awards, which took place on November 12th. The awards, which are held in association with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, recognise and celebrate the best of Local Government.

THE WINNERS Supporting Active Communities sponsored by Eirgrid Monaghan County Council – The Peace Link Best Practice in Citizen Engagement sponsored by ESB Networks Fingal County Council – Fingal Age Friendly Facilities Health & Wellbeing sponsored by Healthy Ireland Dublin City Council – The Ballybough Community, Youth and Fitness Centre Supporting Tourism sponsored by Fáilte Ireland Carlow County Council – Tourism Planning and Execution Promoting Economic Development sponsored by Eirgrid Cork City Council – ‘I wish’ stands for Inspire young Women to Investigate opportunities in STEM

The Carlow County Council team who won Local Authority of the Year

Local Authority Innovation sponsored by AIB Wexford County Council – Environmental Incidents – Mobilised Investigation and Management Sustainable Environment sponsored by ERP Cork County Council – Cork County Hall Campus Beyond 2020 Smarter Travel sponsored by Waterford Crystal Mayo County Council – Westport Smarter Travel (WST) Best Library Service sponsored by CBRE South Dublin County Council – Creative Campus: Supporting our second level students in South Dublin

Sustaining the Arts sponsored by Shell E&P Ireland South Dublin County Council – TENDERFOOT: A volume of plays by & for young people Joint Local Authority Initiative sponsored by GloHealth Donegal County Council – SPACEial is an acronym for ‘Spatial Planning and Collaborative Exchange of Information and Learning’ Festival of the Year sponsored by Fáilte Ireland Limerick City and County Council – A Giant’s Journey, Limerick, September 2014 Parks and Recreation sponsored by Healthy Ireland Wicklow County Council – Arklow Duck Pond, Nature Walk & Leisure Area Outstanding Customer Service sponsored by Zurich Cork County Council – Your Good Self: Cork’s Positive Self Help Programme Enhancing the Urban Environment sponsored by ERP Wexford County Council – New Ross Quayfront redevelopment Heritage and Built Environment sponsored by An Post Cavan County Council – World War 1 Experience at Cavan County Museum

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Minister Alan Kelly, Cllr Noel Keelan, Rosemary Steen, Eirgrid, Declan McKernan, Chairperson, Peace Link, Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland

BEST PRACTICE IN CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL Ian Talbot, CEO Chambers Ireland, Cllr David O’Connor, Louise Edwards, Marguerite Sayers, ESB Networks, Paul Reid, Chief Executive, Fingal County Council, Minister Alan Kelly

HEALTH & BEST PRACTICE WELLBEING IN CITIZEN DUBLIN CITY ENGAGEMENT: COUNCIL WATERFORD COUNTY COUNCIL Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Tracey Byrne, Dublin City Council, Joe Lumumba, Kate O’Flaherty, Healthy Ireland, Robert Lawless, Craig Martin, Minister Alan Kelly


Ian Talbot, CEO Chambers Ireland, Cllr John Murphy, Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive, Carlow County Council, Paddy Matthews, Fáilte Ireland, Eileen O’Rourke, Minister Alan Kelly

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Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Gillian Keating, Ruth Buckley, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Mick Nugent, Rosemary Steen, Eirgrid, Caroline O’Driscoll, Minister Alan Kelly


Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Brian O’Shaughnessy, Hugh McGuire, John Irwin, AIB, Cllr Malcolm Byrne, Billy Byrne, Minister Alan Kelly


Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Tim Lucey, CEO, Cork County Council, Paul Finnerty, Martin Tobin, ERP, Cllr Joe Carroll, Alex Grassick, Minister Alan Kelly


Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Peter Hynes, Chief Executive, Mayo County Council, Cllr Michael Kilcoyne, Joanne Grehan, Mayo LEO, Cllr Michael Holmes, David McCoy, Waterford Crystal, Eva McIntyre, Dermot Langan, John Magee, Minister Alan Kelly


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Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Síle Coleman, Cllr Sarah Holland, Enda Luddy, CBRE, Rosena Hand, Caroline Higgins, Minister Alan Kelly


Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Cllr Vicki Casserly, Cllr Sarah Holland, Caroline Higgins, Minister Alan Kelly, Sile Coleman, Rosena Hand

BEST PRACTICE JOINT LOCAL IN CITIZEN AUTHORITY INITIATIVE ENGAGEMENT: DONEGAL COUNTY WATERFORD COUNCIL COUNTY COUNCIL Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Mary McBride, Rosita Mahoney, Minister Alan Kelly, Catherine McLoughlin, Joe Peoples, Director of Services, Donegal County Council


Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Mike Fitzpatrick, Con Murray, Paddy Matthews, Fáilte Ireland, Sheila Deegan, Minister Alan Kelly, Mayor Liam Galvin

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Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Linda McDonald, Bryan Doyle, Cllr Sylvester Bourke, Kate O’Flaherty, Healthy Ireland, Cllr John Ryan, Corey Bateman, Minister Alan Kelly

OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE CORK COUNTY COUNCIL Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Tim Lucey, CEO, Cork County Council, Christina O’Sullivan, Bernie Wallace, Conor Brennan, Zurich, Cllr Joe Carroll, Minister Alan Kelly


HERITAGE AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT CAVAN COUNTY COUNCIL Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland, Eoin Doyle, Director of Cavan County Council, Angus Laverty, An Post, Savina Donohoe, Cllr Winston Bennett, Minister Alan Kelly


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InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

18/12/2015 17:41


CARLOW Pitching High Carlow County Council’s Chief Executive, Kathleen Holohan, speaks of their recent win at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards, and highlights the economic growth and progression in the county.


arlow County Council has taken further steps in positioning the county as the best in Ireland in which to work, live, play and visit with its recent achievement, winning Local Authority of the Year at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards. Speaking on the achievement, Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive, said: “Carlow has always been a progressive county, and as outlined by Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, at the recent awards, Carlow is a Council that has been prepared to ‘think big’, has shown ambition and has delivered on that basis. The Council’s success to-date has been achieved by its people, and our ambitions will be further achieved by the commitment of our elected members and teams to work with strategic partners in continuing to attract both private and public investment into the county”. Holohan explained that the Council’s key focus over the past years has been on “active engagement with customers”, with the Council placing significant emphasis on delivery and presentation of services. “Over the past number of years, Carlow County Council has been working on projects with local, national and international appeal, and will continue to work with a variety of partners to ensure County Carlow is the true gateway to the South East and Greater Dublin regions. The Council has also invested in the development of enterprise space for business incubation, with three business incubator locations in Carlow town, whilst Tullow and Bagenalstown have thriving business parks where successful manufacturing companies, employing thousands of people, are located”. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Presentation of Local Authority of the Year award – Minister Alan Kelly with representatives from Carlow County Council, Chambers Ireland and Carlow Chamber

Holohan describes Carlow’s diverse backdrop for business sectors as attractive for potential businesses. “Carlow is now home to a variety of sectors, including small-scale craft, technology, food and engineering, with a broad range of companies operating at a local, national and international level, such as Netwatch, Keenans, Burnside, Autolaunch, Seerys, Carlow Brewing Company and Walsh Whiskey, who have become ambassadors for what the county has to offer. Carlow benefits from a highly educated workforce with its two Institutions of Higher Education; IT Carlow and Carlow College, as well as the National Crops Biotechnology Research Centre at Teagasc, Oak Park,” she explains. In terms of economic investment and employment creation, the Council has ensured a smooth transition for major projects in planning and infrastructural supports, with companies such as Merck Sharp and Dohme, Unum and Autolaunch. The Council is currently working with the IDA to attract further foreign direct investment into the county and works closely with Enterprise Ireland in supporting the expansion of indigenous companies such as Burnside, Keenans, Netwatch,

Sunshine Juice and many others. Holohon places an emphasis on Carlow’s strong retail sector, with key developments such as Fairgreen Shopping Centre, Shaws on Tullow Street and Ireland’s Store of the Year – Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven. “Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and supporting jobs is a key objective and Carlow County Council’s Local Enterprise Office and Economic Development Unit are proactive in collaborating with the business community. We have a highly skilled and motivated team who work closely with the sector to secure Carlow’s status as an ideal location for businesses to start, develop and grow. Our own County Carlow Chamber is promoting the county as a location for investment, and we play a key enabling role through a myriad of activities that have resulted in a jobs dividend for County Carlow”. In concluding, Holohan says that being named Local Authority of the Year is “a great honour for the elected members and the team in Carlow County Council. We are determined to maintain the high standards in delivering innovative and necessary projects that benefit and support our local communities”.


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BEST InBUSINESS THE WINNERS Best in Tourism Shannon Heritage Exporter of the Year CLdN Best Life Assurance Company Zurich Life

Best Marketing Initiative Bank of Ireland Payment Services Fleet Car of the Year ŠKODA Superb Best Brand Shannon Group

Business Law Firm of the Year Eversheds

Best in Sponsorship DHL Express for Rugby World Cup 2015

Best in Logistics Dublin Port

Executive Car of the Year BMW 7 Series

Best Private Health Insurer GloHealth

Best ICT Service Provider Open eir

Best in Banking AIB Private Banking

Best in Retail Excellence LloydsPharmacy Ireland

Best Business School Dublin Business School

Best in e-Commerce PayPal

Best in Energy Bord Gáis Energy

Special Merit Awards eir – partnership with Special Olympics

Best Newcomer Origin Capital Best Business Show Newstalk’s Business Breakfast Accountancy Firm of the Year KPMG Food Producer of the Year Keelings Farm Fresh Best Business Airline CityJet

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Best Support to SMEs IEDR Best Semi-State Agency Enterprise Ireland Businessman of the Year Pat McCann, Dalata Group Businesswoman of the Year Carolan Lennon, eir Wholesale Company of the Year Glanbia

THIS YEAR’S InBUSINESS EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARDS ONCE AGAIN HONOURED EXCEPTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT IN IRISH BUSINESS. Irish companies and individuals were recognised at the fourth InBUSINESS Editor’s Choice Awards on December 9th at the Hibernian Club, St. Stephen’s Green. The awards honour outstanding achievement in the Irish business community and the winners were selected based on the broad criteria of growth, profile of business, range of services and customer care. With 28 categories the Editor’s Choice Awards provide a rare opportunity to gather together in one room representatives from a wide variety of business sectors. The event was hosted by Today FM broadcaster Anton Savage. ☛ Anton Savage, Awards MC


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Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, John Ruddle, Shannon Heritage, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Koen Vanhentenrijk, CLdN, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group



Anthony Brennan, CEO Ireland, Zurich Life



Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Alan Murphy, Eversheds, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group


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Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Pat Ward, Dublin Port Company, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Ruth Bailey, GloHealth, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group



Pat Farrell, Head of Private Banking, AIB

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Cliona O’Beirne, Dublin Business School, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Dave Kirwan, Bord Gáis Energy, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group



Ross Metcalfe, CEO, Origin Capital


Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Vincent Wall, Newstalk, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Colin O’Brien, KPMG, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group


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InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Aisling Boggan, Keelings Farm Fresh, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group



Cathal O’Connell, Commercial Director, CityJet


Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Brian Cleary, Bank of Ireland Payment Services, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Brian Cleary, Alicia O’Connor, ŠKODA, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Neil Pakey, Shannon Group, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group



Alison Moore, Brand, Communication and Marketing Manager, DHL Express Ireland


Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Neil Pakey, Austin Behan, BMW Group Ireland, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Orlagh Nevin, open eir, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group


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Goretti Brady, MD, LloydsPharmacy Ireland



Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Anthony Rafferty, PayPal, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Michelle Toner, eir, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, David Curtin, IEDR, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Tom Hayes, Enterprise Ireland, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group



Pat McCann, CEO, Dalata Group

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Carolan Lennon, eir Wholesale, Tracey Carney, Director of Events, Ashville Media Group

Martha Kavanagh, Head of Media Relations and Henry Corbally, Head of Glanbia Group


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InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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FEB 2016 9am-1pm

The ‘Children First’ Law Seminar will see an expert panel of speakers focus on the specifics of the proposed Bill, with an emphasis on the requirements for organisations that provide services to children. SPEAKERS:  DR. NIALL MULDOON, OMBUDSMAN FOR CHILDREN Keynote Speaker  CLARE DALY, SOLICITOR, RONAN DALY JERMYN SOLICITORS What is the new law? Who needs to be concerned? How do my clients comply with the law?



MAR 2016 9am-1pm

The Litigation Funding & Insurance Seminar 2016 will provide delegates with an in-depth assessment of the risks, rewards and requirements in litigation funding, and how receivers and liquidators can take cases that otherwise wouldn’t be possible due to lack of funds. SPEAKERS:  SUSAN DUNN, HEAD OF LITIGATION FUNDING, HARBOUR LITIGATION FUNDING LTD What is a litigation funder?  SHARON DALY, PARTNER, HEAD OF LITIGATION AND INSURANCE, MATHESON Developments of the law of champerty

 NUALA EVELYN JACKSON SENIOR COUNSEL The historical backdrop to the legislation and the implications for schools

 PAUL JACOBS, PARTNER, HEAD OF FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATION SERVICES, GRANT THORNTON Practical insight from an accounting practitioner’s perspective into litigation funding

 GARETH NOBLE, PARTNER, KOD LYONS Abolition of the defence of reasonable chastisement

 MARTIN HAYDEN, SENIOR COUNSEL Requirements in relation to securing finance from a Senior Counsel perspective

UPCOMING CONFERENCES: • Intellectual Property - 3rd March • Legal Costs - 7th April • Corporate Social Responsibility - 12th April •

For sponsorship opportunities or to book your place at an upcoming conference, please contact Chris Lavery Tel: (01) 432 2273 or Email: Irish Conferences 2016 Advert.indd 1

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Making a Mark in

MANUFACTURING The manufacturing sector has undergone a major transformation in recent years and while Ireland has responded favourably to the changes, more work and support is needed for us to become the strategic hub of choice for major global companies, as Chantelle Kiernan, Scientific & Innovation Adviser with the IDA, tells InBUSINESS.


strong research and innovation ecosystem is critical to any economy and one industry operating in the shadows of the much revered tech sector but playing a significant role in developing a strong research, development and innovation (RD&I) landscape in Ireland is manufacturing. But manufacturing isn’t as we once knew

Chantelle Kiernan, Scientific & Innovation Adviser, IDA with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Richard Bruton


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it. Through technological advancements, globalisation and the growth of emerging markets, it has moved on at pace in recent years, with the lines between industries becoming much more blurred as the impact of the new age of the Internet of Things takes effect. Advanced manufacturing is a case in point. It could be described as disruptive technology aimed at improving or differentiating products and processes, and it’s revolutionising a range of industries, which is why it is important that Ireland is well positioned to cater for the rapid changes taking place. Someone whose job it is to identify global technology trends in manufacturing and the RD&I areas for future public investment is Chantelle Kiernan, Scientific & Innovation Adviser with the IDA. “My role is to horizon scan locally and globally for RD&I investments for Ireland from multinational corporations (MNCs),” she says. “The objective is to get more high value R&D activity into Ireland, working with corporate and Irish operations on that agenda.” A good example of a disruptive segment of advanced manufacturing is additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it is more widely recognised. This allows us to create an exact geometric replica of an object from an




directly employed in the sector

+ Accounts for


of Ireland’s GDP

+ More than


extra jobs created by sector in past


years Figures from Manufacturing Guide: An Overview of Government Supports for Manufacturing in Ireland as part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2015

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INNOVATION IDA IRELAND electronic design file. Kiernan outlines just how revolutionary it has been, particularly in the development of medical devices, an industry in which Ireland punches well above its weight on the international stage. “When getting a hip or knee replacement, traditionally only a certain number of sizes are available and the surgeon selects the one closest to your fit. With additive manufacturing, the patient’s knee can be scanned and an implant manufactured to their exact geometric requirements. They basically get their old knee back but it works better!” Innovative developments such as these are better known as ‘mass customisation’ and according to Kiernan, this is a phenomenon that’s about to “explode” as customers look for more value from their products. Of course, this creates significant opportunities too for businesses at the forefront of RD&I. “Companies can see the huge market potential,” explains Kiernan. “The Irish industry – indigenous and MNCs – are aware of this opportunity and have identified additive as an important future growth market for Ireland Inc.” To capitalise on this, the IDA, Irish Manufacturing Research and a number of businesses are collaborating on a pilot programme centred on understanding the implications of ‘additive’ for current manufacturing operations in Ireland and to help transition facilities in line with this value chain. In terms of the future, some of the changes we are likely to see down the line are factories where production systems will merge industrial engineering with sensors wrapped into a software architecture, which will generate massive amounts of data. Kiernan breaks it down for us: “Basically, components of the factory floor will autonomously talk to each other, tell each other what they are currently doing and what to do next, resulting in better production efficiencies and reduced waste and costs.” It’s all part of what’s termed the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ where manufacturing processes are led by the Internet of Things. Manufacturing competitiveness is one of the priority areas identified as having huge potential for economic returns. So what supports are needed here to ensure Irish companies develop the skills and technology competence to realise future opportunities? In October 2015, a proposal supported by IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland was submitted to Government calling for funding to establish a research and training centre in advanced manufacturing, something similar to the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training, which was funded by IDA in response to the industry needs of the biotechnology sector. “The objectives of the centre would be to InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Minister Richard Bruton, Tom Kelly, Head of Industrial, LifeSciences and Consumer Division, IDA and Chantelle Kiernan, Scientific & Innovation Adviser, IDA at the launch of the guide to Government supports for the manufacturing industry

provide a ‘sandpit’ type environment where companies could gain access to next generation manufacturing technologies and develop the necessary skills to improve Irish sites’ absorptive capacity for the next generation of manufacturing and associated investment,” says Kiernan. She believes the development of such a centre would allow Ireland to compete with the likes of Germany, the US, UK and Singapore, who all have developed strong strategies for attracting manufacturing to their respective locations. “A centre of this type would place Ireland on a level playing field with global competitors.” So there’s still a significant amount of work to be done but the foundations are in place. Ireland has already been hugely successful in not only winning new investments but in winning repeat investments by some of the biggest corporations in the world. “That speaks volumes in itself in terms of the Irish value proposition,” says Kiernan. “We have a significant and experienced talent pool and generate world class, high calibre graduates through an education system that is agile and reactive to industry needs. “What differentiates Ireland in my opinion is the people and the connectivity here. Within the manufacturing ecosystem it is literally one degree of separation; we all know each other, we communicate and support each other, irrespective of whether the companies compete on a global stage. Personally, I haven’t experienced that level of comradery anywhere else.”


Over the following pages we profile some of the champions and organisations at the heart of the innovative and exciting industry that is advanced manufacturing in Ireland.


Enterprise Ireland



Boston Scientific


P.89 Advanced

Manufacturing Ireland



Cook Medical


P.93 Schivo


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KEY TO SUCCESS State investment in research and development is key for Irish business, explains Tom Kelly, Head of Industrial, Lifesciences and Consumer Division at Enterprise Ireland. Q: What kind of R&D and innovation supports does Enterprise Ireland provide?

A: Enterprise Ireland has a well developed R&D support system for building Irish R&D capability, including financial assistance which covers eligible activities. For companies working on a shared project, we can offer a collaboration bonus of up to 15 per cent depending on company size. Combined with R&D tax credits, this offers a very favourable environment for R&D. In addition, our Innovation for Growth programme seeks to put in place innovation management systems at our leading firms. This has a particular relevance to companies investing in new services and products that can successfully compete in global markets. Q: Could you tell us about the Innovation Partnership Programme?

A: One of the financial offers available through Enterprise Ireland, this partnership fosters collaboration between firms in Ireland, both indigenous and overseas owned, and the publicly funded research centres

in the universities, Institutes of Technology and elsewhere. State funding of up to 80 per cent is provided for small companies, and less for larger firms, with a minimum 20 per cent cash contribution. One of the most effective ways of linking businesses to research infrastructure, over a9 million has been committed by Enterprise Ireland this year in supporting 57 partnerships involving 70 companies and 21 research institutes.

Q: Could you give us some examples of Irish companies who are at the cutting edge of R&D?

Companies with intensive R&D activities are spread across all sectors. In the agri tech sector, Keenan Systems recently launched their In-Touch innovation which bundles technology and dietary expertise to drive feed efficiency and profitability; Dairymaster is recognised at home and abroad for their innovation in milking systems; McHales leads the field in farm equipment and Samco Agricultural Machinery recently won at the Agribusiness Awards. Elsewhere, firms including

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Glen Dimplex, Combilift, Grant Engineering, Multihog and Athlone Extrusions are examples of companies who lead the field in investment in innovation. R&D has become increasingly important to companies supplying parts and components for the automotive, aerospace and medtech sectors, with leading companies moving to co-development with the OEM for specific parts. Companies such as Mergon, Steripack, Vistamed, Schivo, Bellurgan and TEG are among those constantly strengthening their capabilities to serve the OEMs. Other firms that stand out include Aerogen, Crospon and firms in the generic yetpharma sectors such as Chanelle and Bimeda.

Q: What are your thoughts on the landscape for R&D in Ireland?

A: As we emerge from the recession, companies that continue to invest in R&D are best positioned to respond to changing market demands. Well over 900 Enterprise Ireland client firms spend more than a100,000 in R&D each year, while 140 of the top tier spend over a1m. Companies that really reap the benefits of R&D spend are those that

have equipped themselves with sufficient market intelligence to enable them to develop products that meet current needs and are sufficiently differentiated and marketed at the correct price point.

Q: What measures can firms in Ireland take?

A: Collaboration is the key to success. The State continues to make significant investment each year in strengthening R&D infrastructure, and it is crucial that businesses in all sectors take full advantage. Industry must also help shape the future of these centres through active partnerships, and collaborations with these centres can be a route into involvement in the EU Horizon 2020 Programme. Ireland can play to its strengths and position itself as a prime location for advanced manufacturing. We have very strong capability across multiple manufacturing sectors and combining this manufacturing base with the world of ICT, a space where Ireland has tremendous strength, positions us well to lead the way. The investment made and being made by the State and by industry is crucial to our future success and to ensuring manufacturing continues to play a major role in our developed economy.


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More than the opportunity of a lifetime‌ the opportunity to improve lives. At Boston Scientific, we are committed to advancing science to help patients live healthier, longer lives. People are at the heart of everything we do. From the employees behind our state-of-the-art medical solutions to the patients our products help. There’s never been a better time to be a part of Boston Scientific. In Ireland we are at the forefront of designing and producing some of the company’s most innovative medical devices, transforming millions of lives world-wide.

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A Spirit of

INNOVATION A culture of continuous improvement and knowledge driven product development is what drives success in Boston Scientific, as Director of R&D Michael Keane explains.


oston Scientific employs over 4,000 people across three Irish sites – Clonmel, Galway and Cork. We focus on producing therapies for debilitating conditions such as chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, digestive system cancers, vascular diseases and heart rhythm disorders. Our Clonmel site, where I am based, was established in 1999. Our primary focus is on cardiac rhythm management and neuromodulation. We develop and manufacture implantable devices which are used to treat patients with a variety of ailments, including arrhythmias, sudden cardiac arrest, heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic pain. The medical device sector is one of constant change driven by innovation. It is a challenging space, but one full of opportunity, as we create and improve devices while adhering to strict industry regulations. Boston Scientific’s mission is ‘advancing science for life’ and our desire to continuously build and improve is ingrained in the

organisation’s DNA. My team bridges R&D and operations. We introduce new processes and new products to grow our market share in a cost-effective manner. Boston Scientific operates on the principle of ‘KDPD’ – Knowledge Driven Product Development. We ensure that the collective knowledge within the organisation is used to reduce development costs, resources and time to market, which in turn enables the effective redistribution of new product development resources. For example, one of the devices manufactured at our Clonmel facility is Boston Scientific’s S-ICD™ system. We are the only plant in the world that manufactures this new generation of defibrillator which is entirely subcutaneous and delivers protection from sudden cardiac arrest while leaving the heart and vasculature untouched. Our skill to manufacture such devices is built on years of experience that is further leveraged

Boston Scientific R&D engineers Eoin Enright, Eithne Lynch and Shane Power

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by a culture that drives advancement in proficiencies, skills and knowledge. Closing knowledge gaps within the team allows us to continuously improve our devices and reduce the time from product concept to regulatory approval. Team skills are further aided by the advancement of digital technologies. Systems such as CAD (Computer Aided Design) or CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) and CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) along with rapid prototyping allow us to manufacture devices that are smaller, leaner, lighter and longer lasting. The ‘digital age’ has not only impacted manufacturing but is also synonymous with changes in how we communicate. Social media has given us more opportunities to highlight our strengths and quality. It increases our capability to provide more information to people living with an illness and to their loved ones. Patients get a better insight into the Boston Scientific devices that they use, see examples of what motivates and drives us as an organisation and can gain a better understanding of our culture and values. The trend to communicate directly with patients is not just limited to online promotion. In Clonmel we hold a ‘quality day’ every year when patients who have received our life saving devices are invited on site to meet our team of product builders. The day is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of the life-saving therapies we create, and it also gives us immense satisfaction to see the impact that our dedication to quality and scientific advancements make to so many peoples’ lives. We are always driving to improve the quality of patient care and all things Boston Scientific. In an ever changing environment, our team’s passion for innovation and continuous improvement are keys to our success.


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ENCOURAGING EVOLUTION For every manufacturing job in the country, there’s two other service jobs based around that – a multiplier effect from our solid manufacturing base. The reason Ireland needs to drive after this is to stay out in front, to be leaders, and to ensure we have the most efficient factories on the globe.

Ensuring Ireland’s manufacturing industry moves ahead of the competition is key, Advanced Manufacturing Ireland’s Barry Kennedy tells InBUSINESS.


he Irish manufacturing sector can be described as something of a foundational stone in the country’s business landscape, an industry which helped prop up our economy during the darkest days, when the construction and banking services sectors were struggling. The industry is, however, facing a necessary evolution in order to keep up with the times and, through advanced manufacturing, use the latest technology to drive efficiency and boost growth. One of the major proponents of advanced manufacturing is aptly known as Advanced Manufacturing Ireland. The organisation is comprised of three parts, of which Barry Kennedy is CEO; two business networks, focused on productivity and energy efficiency, and one research centre which develops applied research in both of these areas. “There’s huge competition to retain manufacturing across the globe. For every manufacturing job in the country, there are two other service jobs based around that – a multiplier effect from our solid manufacturing base,” Kennedy explains. “The reason Ireland needs to drive after this is to stay out in front, to be leaders, and to ensure we have the most efficient factories on the globe.” If we can achieve that, it could be a key factor when multinationals are considering Ireland as a base for their operations – providing the most advanced

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Barry Kennedy, CEO, Irish Manufacturing Research

factories, the best trained staff and the most productive environment. Otherwise, these companies could take their search elsewhere. Irish Manufacturing Research is something of a pioneer – the first independent research centre which isn’t tied into the university model. Its focus is on the middle stage TRLs (Technology Readiness Levels, developed by NASA, which codify technology maturity). Because of their independent status, the centre relies on industry in order to guide their research focus, and then liaises with the academic community and other research organisations to connect the two strands. “We try and help carry fundamental research out into industry and at the same time we hope to create new businesses,” Kennedy says. “We take products that are in development and run pilots with Irish enterprises.” The next step sees the team choosing the cream of these products in conjunction with entrepreneurs or venture capital firms, and then going to market. “Not only

do we make manufacturing facilities more productive, we are also trying to create jobs and better companies from the research we do,” he adds. There’s no doubt that these are exciting times for the industry, and Kennedy urges prospective students to take a closer look at a career within manufacturing – wherever that might take them. He also lauds the Government for their role in supporting these students, but notes that more work is required. “We need more focus on the area of advanced manufacturing, and the skillsets required to meet the growing need for Ireland. We would also encourage the Government to further invest in advanced manufacturing in the coming years – it’s crucial that Ireland maintains its manufacturing strength. We need to get ahead of the competition and, in order to do that, critical and targeted investment is what the country needs.” If you’re interested in becoming involved, simply get in touch – visit or email to take the first step. “Our door is open – we’re welcoming companies at any stage to talk to us about their challenges and to see if we can help,” Kennedy concludes.


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Where ingenuity and integrity converge

Founded in 1963, Cook Medical pioneered many of the devices now commonly used to perform minimally invasive medical procedures. Since our inception, Cook has operated as a familyheld, private corporation. Today we have 10 medical divisions working to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes with our medical devices, drugs and biologic grafts. Š COOK 2015 PR-D23658-EN

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Putting the ‘Advanced’ IN MANUFACTURING Cook Medical is among the world’s most respected names in medical devices and supplies. In Ireland it’s playing its part in realising future opportunities for the advanced manufacturing sector.


he story of Cook Medical in Ireland is one of evolution. The US medical devices manufacturer, which employs over 10,000 across the world, first established its Irish base in Limerick back in 1996 when it acted as a a small scale manufacturing and technology transfer site. Over time, and particularly in the past number of years, the company has moved into the area of research and development (R&D) to become a multi-disciplinary site and a hub for its European operations. In 2013 the company opened a stateof-the-art R&D Innovation Centre in a bid to further enhance its R&D capability and to provide an environment that nurtures innovation. The centre enabled Cook Medical to collaborate closely with physicians, and features technology to recreate and simulate clinical conditions, to improve the testing of devices and better product design outcomes. John Neilan, Director of Research at Cook Medical, says Ireland’s research and innovation ecosystem is in a healthy state due in part to the support agencies such as the IDA, Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland offer multinationals, along with the high quality of talent being produced at our universities. However, he believes there needs to be more focus on research in manufacturing, a key sector for Ireland’s economy. “Manufacturing is the core of our industry here and we should never lose sight of that,” he warns. “For a while there during the boom we did and it InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Lab at Cook Innovation Centre

John Neilan, Director of Research at Cook Medical

was to our detriment.” One proposal being put forward by companies and stakeholders in the industry is the establishment of a dedicated advanced manufacturing centre aimed at developing new technologies and solutions in the sector. Neilan says such a centre is needed if we are to prepare for the challenges presented by “mass customisation” in the years ahead. “If you talk to a lot of people in the industry they will say they’re so consumed with the everyday running of their business that they don’t have time to think about changing the way they do things. They also don’t have the expertise or the space to facilitate that work. The concept of a manufacturing centre would provide the solution for these existing limitations.” Something Neilan is also quick to highlight is the need for additional funding models to support a focus on research in manufacturing. He believes there needs to be a shift

from models based on the output of technologies and products to recognise transformation in manufacturing and a move towards supporting discreet manufacturing. He says such a shift would enable SMEs – the kind of companies that don’t have a history of engaging with research instutitions – to further develop manufacturing processes and technologies for the future. “If you look at funding in this country, a huge amount has traditionally been on the early technology readiness levels (TRLs) with mixed success in translating those technologies into an impact in manufacturing. What we need to do is get some of the funding redirected down to the lower levels of TRLs so that the research applies to manufacturing and translates into an impact for industry.” Whatever advancements are introduced in the sector in the years ahead, Neilan stresses the need for more joined up thinking. “We’re quite a long way off where we need to be. We require a consolidated national effort to make this whole transformation in manufacturing. What we’re trying to get to is an intelligent, flexible, efficient manufacturing system but with levels of integrity that have not been seen before.”


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The future of MANUFACTURING SCHIVO 3D has partnered with Stratasys, the world’s largest 3D printing company, to grow the market in Ireland and Europe.


ne of the biggest myths about 3D printing is that it is a new technology. In fact, it has been around for over a quarter of a century, and Stratasys has been at the forefront of 3D printing innovation since it was formed in 1989. When Stratasys Direct Manufacturing searched for a European partner, it found the perfect match in Ireland with local company SCHIVO 3D. “It’s a really exciting time to be involved in the industry,” explains SCHIVO 3D’s Tony Flanagan. “What we’re seeing now, and what our customers are doing…is using this technology, not only at the development phase but all the way through the product lifecycle process.”

THE WAY FORWARD Many companies initially engage with 3D printing for concept models and prototypes because it’s frequently faster and more cost effective than traditional prototyping methods. They quickly realise they can adopt the technology for low volumes of end use parts and as a bridge to traditional volume manufacturing as well as streamlining the manufacturing process by 3D printing custom tools, jigs and fixtures. The development in 3D printing technologies coupled with corresponding advancements in materials is revolutionising manufacturing. Today, you can print parts that are biocompatible or that are certified for use in commercial aircraft. The Airbus A350 XWB, which began delivery late last year, for instance, has more than 1,000 parts 3D printed in ULTEM 9085 resin. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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PARTNERSHIP To support the next phase in the industry’s evolution, Stratasys created a new entity – Stratasys Direct Manufacturing – and sought to forge links with a select group of partners around the world who shared their vision of advanced manufacturing. This search led them to SCHIVO, an engineering company with a strong certification base including ISO 9001, AS9100 for aerospace and ISO 13485 for medical devices as well as a number of industry approvals including Airbus, Bombardier and Rolls Royce. “The initial link between Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and SCHIVO was made via the IDA – Stratasys were establishing their Global Manufacturing Network and were talking to companies around Europe when they met with SCHIVO and they were very excited by what we were doing. They saw a company with a strong background in precision machining, fabrication and full product assembly as well as 3D printing, plus a commitment to manufacturing excellence and customer satisfaction that mirrored their own,” says Flanagan. “SCHIVO 3D is delighted to join forces with Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and this partnership is good news for Irish manufacturing as a whole. Irish companies now have access to industrial 3D printing services and

ULTEM 1010 on Fortus 450mc

The development in 3D printing technologies coupled with corresponding advancements in materials is revolutionising manufacturing. expertise on their doorstep. We are committed to bringing innovative solutions to help our customers develop and manufacture products more efficiently by reducing leadtime, mitigating tooling costs and optimising design complexity. 3D printing is a genuine business solution that brings value, not just to the production floor but to the bottom line.”


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We don’t know what the car of the future looks like. But we know how it will be built. Making things right. Answers for the future of manufacturing.

To ensure long-term success in the automotive market, production has to react flexibly to its changing needs. Nowadays it is about more than just the mere manufacturing process – product design, production planning, and service performance are also key factors.

Connecting the real and the virtual world for the future of manufacturing.

Siemens has already collaborated with leading automotive manufacturers to make production more intelligent. In the future, machines will learn to communicate independently and to optimize production steps. The goal is to simplify the manufacturing of different car models. The benefits include greater flexibility, increased efficiency, and improved global competitiveness. The answers for the future of manufacturing exist. And now is the time to make things right. Because the world of tomorrow needs answers that last today.

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Staying competitive THROUGH INNOVATION For Irish manufacturing companies to continue to compete on the global stage, they must adopt advanced manufacturing techniques, explains Domhnall Carroll, Siemens Ireland.


hen considering the future of manufacturing, it’s expected that goods will be increasingly produced closer to where they are consumed, facilitated by advances including digitalisation and 3D printing – collectively known as advanced manufacturing. This poses a threat for Irish manufacturing, as many companies here currently manufacture their goods for other markets. Many companies and research institutes around the world are working intensively on new technologies for the manufacturing of the future, with their efforts based around digitisation of manufacturing processes, which allows faster and more efficient design and manufacture. Ireland has the potential to become a hub for advanced manufacturing and to set the bar on a global level, thanks to a range of positive attributes including software and future orientated outlook, a history of innovation and collaboration, and a graduate population that can propel the industry to greater things. For Siemens, digitalisation is one area in which Ireland can distinguish itself on such a scale. Across the globe, innovation is a core topic for the company, which partners and collaborates with many universities for research and development purposes. Here in Ireland, Siemens has recently relocated to the DCU Campus in Glasnevin, a unique environment that fosters innovation and promotes collaboration. “Ireland is well positioned for the move towards digitalisation, we have InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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The future of manufacturing: Connecting the real and the virtual world

significant capability in engineering, software and analytics, and in developing the associated hardware solutions for data collection,” explains Domhnall Carroll, Siemens Ireland. “In our view, the seamless integration of data along the entire industrial value chain is a key criterion for the survival of a strong manufacturing industry.” Siemens, which is a member of the Irish Centre for Manufacturing Research, is focusing its activities to serve this trend among their customer base in Ireland and abroad, looking at using data and data analytics in industrial processes and equipment. One such initiative is their Digital Factory Division, which aims to provide its customers with a comprehensive portfolio of hardware and software products, enabling the integration of data from design to production operations and within the supply chain. “The competition in international manufacturing is very fierce, and we want to make sure that we are very well positioned in Ireland to compete,” Carroll says.

More must be done to ensure that advanced manufacturing techniques are widely adopted across Ireland. One of the main challenges, as Carroll explains, is international competition – every country in Europe, the Americas, India and China is investing heavily in development and education centres, all focused on advanced manufacturing. To counter this, Carroll pinpoints continued Government investment, coupled with input from relevant stakeholders, and a continued focus on the future by each company within the industry. “For me, the success of Ireland will depend on how well the local companies prepare for advanced manufacturing. Right now, I think that some are quite advanced, while others still are working in that direction. If we do really well there, and if the Government provides strong support for those companies, then it’s quite likely that Ireland will be a strong manufacturing force in the future, and that’s an environment that is very attractive to companies such as Siemens.”


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INNOVATE! Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, reflects on how Ireland is faring in global terms when it comes to research and innovation. Q: How would you say 2015 has been for Ireland in the areas of research and innovation?

A: 2015 has seen the launch of Innovation 2020 - Ireland’s five year strategy for research and development, science and technology. The strategy focuses on excellence, talent and impact and sets out the roadmap to realising Ireland’s ambition of becoming a global innovation leader. Our research funding agencies have continued to strategically invest in the areas that we consider most likely to generate impact for our society and economy. In the 2015 Global Innovation Index, Ireland has climbed three places to be ranked 8th in the world and 6th in Europe and is placed in the top ten for innovation output and innovation efficiency. The Government believes that continuing to enhance our research and innovation capacity will be crucial if we are to develop a strong, sustainable economy and a better society. Q: What would you say is Ireland’s standing in relation to its European peers when it comes to innovation?

A: As Ireland’s success in 96

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Horizon 2020 indicates, we are performing well at a European level. In the Innovation Union Scoreboard, a benchmarking of research and innovation trends and activities in Europe, I was very impressed to see that we have improved our ranking, climbing from 10th place in 2013 to 8th place in 2015. The Scoreboard shows that Ireland is 13 per cent above the EU average across a range of key innovation indicators and it also provides evidence of the efficiency of the Irish research and innovation system.

Q: What role do our universities and institutes play in ensuring Ireland remains among the top ranked European countries in terms of research and innovation?

A: Irish universities are in the top 1 per cent of research institutions in the world in 18 fields, spanning natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities and as a country we are ranked 18th across all fields, having risen from 36th in 2003. One of the cornerstones of Ireland’s policy to attract foreign direct investment has

been the talent that our higher education institutions produce. Damien English, Minister for Skills, Talent is a key Research and Innovation differentiator and one operations in Ireland, which our higher education including Novartis, Pfizer institutions continue to and Sanofi, employing develop and nurture. over 25,000 people. Amid challenges including export Q: Could you give me some decreases and site closures, examples of companies at recent investment by the forefront of research Government and private and innovation in Ireland interests in manufacturing and what can we do to and technology will attract more of the top firms contribute significantly to in hi-tech sectors? exports in the coming years. A: A strong research and The ICT sector is also a innovation ecosystem is significant player – Ireland critical to attracting and is the location of choice retaining foreign direct for nine of the top ten US investment. IDA Ireland’s tech companies, and IDAstrategy ‘Winning FDI supported ICT companies 2015-2019’ outlines a directly employ 100,000 plan to support clients people. The sector continues in creating 80,000 new to grow its Irish footprint as a jobs and to increase result of Ireland’s competitive employment in the client environment, skill base and portfolio to 209,000 by available infrastructure. 2019. Support for research The presence of major and innovation will be key international technology to achieving these targets. companies helps to raise Ireland is a leading global the national standard, and location for pharmaceutical initiatives like the Enterprise manufacturing, and is Ireland/IDA Technology one of the world’s largest Centre Programme create pharmaceutical exporters. connections between these Nine of the top ten pharma companies and SMEs. companies have strategic InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Stimulating Innovation IN ENTERPRISE The Irish Government is introducing a number of key measures to drive innovation, explains KPMG’s Ken Hardy.


n December 2015 the Government published Innovation 2020, an ambitious five-year strategy for research and development (R&D), science and technology. The ultimate goal of the strategy is to increase public and private investment in R&D to 2.5 per cent of GNP by 2020, estimated at over a5 billion; this means current investment levels (a2.9 billion in 2014) will have to be almost doubled. The Government anticipates that the private sector will lead the charge in increasing investments in R&D and in order to make this a reality, Innovation 2020 contains key actions to support innovation in enterprise, including improvements to financial R&D supports and the strengthening of the intellectual property (IP) environment. The suite of financial R&D supports for enterprise, comprising R&D tax credits, the knowledge development box (KDB), intangible asset relief, and R&D grants, are widely acknowledged as essential to the sustainable growth of industry investment in R&D. According to KPMG’s Innovation Monitor 2015/16 report, almost half of companies say the R&D tax credit and R&D grant funding have a strong influence on their decision to invest in innovation projects. However, there is a clear disparity between the needs and experiences of large and small firms – for example, our research shows that small companies are almost half as likely as large companies to benefit InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Ken Hardy, Partner, KPMG

from both the R&D tax credit and R&D grants. In an effort to address this inconsistency, the Government will review current financial supports, including the R&D tax credit and the recently-introduced KDB, to ensure they cater equally for small firms as well as large; both incentives will also be benchmarked against international offerings. The UK has a two tier R&D tax credit regime for large and small companies, and KPMG believes a similar distinction is necessary for Ireland; this is echoed by 86 per cent of respondents to Innovation Monitor, who agree that a simplified and more generous SME R&D tax credit regime would encourage SMEs to increase their R&D spend. Action will also be taken to streamline enterprise supports and improve the communication of their availability, including a series of national and regional showcase events. This is particularly welcome

given that only a quarter of respondents to Innovation Monitor believe there is sufficient information related to R&D and innovation funding available. As well as a comprehensive range of financial supports, an effective IP framework is becoming increasingly important in the development of a globally competitive innovation environment. Minister Noonan introduced the much anticipated KDB in Finance Act 2015, aimed at further incentivising the undertaking of innovative activities in Ireland by providing a 6.25 per cent corporate tax rate for income generated from the commercialisation of certain IP. As part of Innovation 2020, the Government will support the implementation of the KDB in 2016, and is committed to complementary actions such as raising IP awareness and capability at enterprise level and improving patent options for businesses. The ultimate vision of Innovation 2020 is to make Ireland a global innovation leader. KPMG looks forward to working closely with Government, the Revenue and stakeholders in the implementation of the action points set out in the strategy over the next five years and in the ultimate achievement of growing investment in R&D to 2.5 per cent of GNP. Ken Hardy is a Tax Partner in KPMG and leads the R&D Incentives practice. The multidisciplinary practice, comprising tax and engineering professionals, has extensive experience helping companies to identify qualifying R&D activities for the R&D tax credit regime, and will work with companies seeking to avail of the knowledge development box.


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Ireland’s Premier IT Managed Services Provider

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EVOLUTION IS A CHOICE CHANGE IS INEVITABLE Keeping up with the pace of changes in technology can be mind blowing, but the ever-strengthening Typetec can help any business to evolve with the times.


ver the last 50 years a global technological revolution has taken place in the IT sector. This has been particularly present here in Ireland where we have witnessed a number of multinational companies such as Apple and Facebook establish their headquarters. Typetec, a wholly Irish company, witnessed its own evolution. From selling typewriters back in the 1980s we are now established as one of Ireland’s leading IT managed service companies. “If we’d just stayed as we were, I think we might have become dinosaurs. We don’t tend to wait around,” says Tom Close, Chairman of Typetec. To this day, we continue to seek out new business, enabling solutions for our customers, which we deliver in a professional and efficient manner. With our drive and passion to be the best, Typetec has developed key partnerships with industry leaders including Apple, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Citrix, VMWare, Symantec and Datacore to help us on this journey.

Typetec offers a wide range of services including IT infrastructure services, mobile device management and remote working solutions such as Global Office. Our team of over 50 highly skilled employees has a vast range of expertise to deal with just about any IT challenge. Our innovative engineers will design, implement and maintain business critical ICT solutions, which align IT with your business goals. “We pride ourselves in building positive long term relationships with our clients. But equally, we dedicate time and energy into our employees to help them achieve their potential in this exciting and dynamic environment.” says Typetec CEO Paul Dooley. Typetec has driven IT for more than 30 years, carving out a position as a trusted IT partner across the education, SME, enterprise, printing Typetec has driven IT for more than 30 years carving out a position as a trusted IT partner across the education, SME, enterprise, printing and public sectors.

and public sectors. We work with over 100 companies nationwide including The Irish League of Credit Unions, RTE, St Vincent de Paul, Royal College of Surgeons, KKR, Open Hydro, Walsh Colour Print and Alexandra College. Recently, we worked alongside Ryanair to deploy iPads for over 3,500 pilots serving 72 destinations across Europe. Through comprehensive enduser training provided by our Apple Accredited Engineers, all of Ryanair’s pilots were completely informed on how to operate their new electronic flight bags. Our graphic arts division offers a complete range of workflow and prepress solutions for publishers, design houses, advertising agencies and commercial printers. We also offer a full range of pre-press consumables for commercial printing. At Typetec, education is something that we are deeply passionate about. In 2012, our education department set up Wriggle to serve the post primary market. Wriggle provides a digital mobile learning programme for schools by putting new technology and engaging content into the hands of every student. Wriggle is the market leader and is currently working with over 120 schools nationwide. Typetec is proud to offer our clients a unique skillset unrivalled in the Irish technology sector. Our years of experience and evolution have allowed us to become one of Ireland’s few ISO 9001 and ISO 20000 certified IT suppliers. If you want to learn more about our evolution and to be part of it, please visit or contact us on 01 500 9001.

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18/12/2015 16:38


DIGITAL SHOWCASE The Digital Media Awards, which highlight the best and the brightest within the Irish digital media industry, have announced a new headline partner for 2016.


reland’s premier event within the digital media sector, the Digital Media Awards (DMAs) has recently announced Accenture Digital as the headline partner for the 2016 Digital Media Awards. Now in its second year, the partnership between the DMAs and Accenture Digital represents a perfect fit – the latter offers complete, integrated digital business and technology services including digital marketing, mobility, data and analytics, with clients including multinational corporations, blue chip Irish organisations and several public sector agencies. “We’re delighted to sponsor this year’s DMAs for the second year, and to be at the heart of celebrating exceptional digital talent in Ireland,” says Vicky Godolphin, Head of Digital at Accenture Ireland. “The Awards are a great showcase of creativity, innovation and collaboration, from digital design and marketing, through to data,

analytics and technologies – and we are thrilled to be part of this.” Speaking about the partnership Event Director Tracey Carney said: “We are delighted to have Accenture Digital onboard as our headline partner for the 2016 Digital Media Awards. Accenture Digital is all about innovative and creative thinking and the DMAs are where the industry recognise the best digital work.” The DMAs have recognised creativity and innovation in an ever-evolving industry for the past 13 years, and offer a platform for the dynamic work taking place across the broad spectrum of digital media both in Ireland and abroad. The categories cover all aspects of the digital space including digital content creation, advertising and marketing, mobile media, app development, social networking, web design and development. Each year the DMA categories are

Tracey Carney, Event Director, Digital Media Awards, Oliver Callan, Host, Vicky Godolphin, Head of Digital at Accenture Ireland


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reviewed and amended to ensure they reflect the ever-evolving digital space. The 2016 awards aim to recognise the people at the heart of the digital industry, and the teams behind innovative digital marketing campaigns. Digital Marketing Team, Media Brand of the Year – Digital and Digital Marketing Technologist were just three of the new categories introduced. The DMAs also identify changes in consumer behaviour and how purchasing has recently revolutionised online. New categories such as Data and Analytics and Best Conversion Strategy reflect this surge in online transactions. The categories provide the opportunity for businesses to showcase the understanding of online consumer objectives, measures, how agile the approach was and how changes were implemented based on data insights. Accenture Digital is one of several partners who support innovative and creative thinking within digital media. For The Irish Times, innovation is at the very core of what they do, across their content, technology and marketing strategies. “We are constantly re-imagining how we deliver quality journalism to our readers and how we deliver our content to new readers in ways that suit their lifestyles and media consumption journeys,” says The Irish Times’ Hannah Bates. “The Irish Times has become involved with the DMAs because we believe that part of delivering innovation in our solutions for advertising partners is to recognise and support our partners who are delivering impactful, relevant and effective campaigns and products.” The 2016 Accenture Digital Media Awards will take place on February 19th at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Burlington Road, Dublin 4. To book seats or inquire about sponsorship visit InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

18/12/2015 16:38


DIGITAL Deadline Save your company time and money by uploading your financial statements when you electronically file your annual return on, explains Harry Lester, Companies Registration Office (CRO).


very company on the register has an annual return date (ARD). On this date a company must file an annual return. The annual return is a two part filing including: • F orm B1 which requires up-to date information on the company • Financial statements made up to a date no longer than nine months before the ARD. Over 85 per cent of annual returns are electronically filed by completing the Form B1 through the CRO’s electronic filing portal CORE. By electronically filing the Form B1, companies and presenters save time and money while helping to ensure that the form is completed correctly. This in turn leads to quicker registration, savings in postage and fewer documents sent back for correction. While the take-up of electronic filing of the Form B1 is high, most companies still post a physical paper copy of their financial statements 28 days later, with a physical signature page (which includes the signed certification of the documents submitted). It is important to note that the annual return requirement is not fulfilled until every aspect of it is received by the CRO. These requirements consist of: • Form B1 • Financial statements • Certification (ROS or signature page) • Fee (b40 / b20 if Form B1 is filed electronically). InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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FINANCIAL STATEMENTS Previously, financial statements required wet signatures to be applied before they could be submitted. This necessitated their physical, paper submission. However in 2013 the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act removed the requirement to wet sign the financial statements. Instead, typed names of the Directors must now be inserted into the financial statements with no wet signature required. This enables companies and their presenters to simply upload an electronic version of the financial statements instead of posting in the signed documents. CRO has developed a facility within CORE which allows companies and presenters to easily upload their financial statements after they have electronically filed the Form B1. The facility is signposted on CORE as you complete the Form B1 electronically. It is also available for the full 28 days after the B1 Form has been submitted. Users just need to log onto their workspace on CORE and choose the upload icon associated with the submission. CRO encourages all companies and presenters to: • Log onto CORE • File the Form B1 • Upload the financial statements • Pay online (with credit/debit card or through customer account). Uploading your company’s financial statements couldn’t be easier. Just log into CORE, submit

Harry Lester, CRO

CRO has developed a facility within CORE which allows companies and presenters to easily upload their financial statements after they have electronically filed the Form B1. your annual return, and click on the upload icon in your workspace to upload financial statements. More information can be found on www. and UploadPdfAccountsInfo. The certification signing requirements for the annual return can also be completed online by electronically signing the B1 using a ROS Digital Certificate. For further information on signing with ROS, please visit RosRegistrationInfo. Alternatively the signature page must be printed, signed and delivered to the CRO at: Companies Registration Office, Parnell House, 14 Parnell Square, Dublin 1 D01 E6W8, DX Number 145001 OR Companies Registration Office, O’Brien Road, Carlow R93 E920, DX Number 271004 DX Exchange: Carlow 2.


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Energy Savings FOR YOUR BUSINESS Implementing energy efficiency measures could reduce your costs, according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).


hen it comes to sustainable energy, it’s a win-win situation for business. Energy efficiency measures will generate savings, typically 10 per cent at little or no cost, that impact directly on a business’s bottom line and improve its competitiveness. If a business is starting out with energy management, we would advise them to identify the key energy using areas. They should look at their bills, learn how to read them, and examine what they are spending. It’s a classic case of plan, do, check, act and then review. The most obvious changes often involve switching to a more competitive electricity supplier, turning off equipment when it’s not in use, installing occupancy controls for lighting or time and temperature controls for heating systems. It doesn’t matter if you’re from a big or small organisation, you must lead from the front and engage your staff. Most of the energy savings can be generated by simple behavioural changes, so staff buyin is key. Identifying an ‘energy champion’ among your staff is also another way of ensuring that energy projects are fully implemented, targets are achieved and continuous improvements are made.

Energy Minister, Alex White T.D. at the official opening of the Energy Show 2015 which brought together over 3,800 visitors at the two-day event. The Energy Show 2016 takes place on April 6th and 7th in the RDS, Dublin.

– through training, advice and mentoring and, most importantly, networking. Businesses are often most comfortable sharing experience and taking advice from peers who are facing similar challenges. Depending on the size of your energy bill, companies can avail of an assessment, carried out by an independent consultant, to advise on measures to be taken to reduce energy spend. To find out more and avail of the various training or advisory services go to



The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland advocate a structured approach to energy management and assist in a number of ways

There are a number of supports available for companies wishing to invest in energy efficient projects. The Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme


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offers tax incentives to companies wishing to invest in energy efficient equipment. Companies can write off 100 per cent of the purchase value of qualifying efficient equipment against their profit in the year of purchase, see for more. SEAI’s Energy Show is a great place for businesses to learn more about energy saving opportunities. The annual business to business event takes place in the RDS on April 6th and 7th 2016 and consists of an exhibition with multiple workshops and side events for professionals to learn about the latest energy saving technologies and practices. Full event details will be available at InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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EFFICIENCY DEFINED Enprova assists businesses in reducing their energy costs.


nprova represent the Irish Petroleum Industry Association who, like key energy utilities, have had an obligation placed on them by Government to meet specified energy savings as part of a multi-annual programme. We aid and incentivise organisations to make energy savings, which in turn impacts on the bottom line. Our experience shows that although companies are interested in making energy savings they often don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to see this through to the end. We can offer free, independent and simple energy advice and can implement an energy management


TYPICAL SUPPORT PACKAGE Site assessment – we engage energy management specialists to visit your site and to identify savings opportunities. We also provide support in the development of an energy management system and the development of an energy conservation programme. Finally, we provide technical support in the implementation of energy saving projects.

ENERGY APPRAISAL Speak directly with our support desk to find the level of support that we can provide to you – this will be based on your annual spend on energy and therefore your potential to save.

For many clients, we work in conjunction with state agencies to maximise grant aid where possible. Call us on 01 801 0140 for further information.

process for you to follow so that you continue to make energy savings. Our partnership approach to reducing your costs means we work with you to identify opportunities and implement projects. We provide specialist expertise to help you overcome any road blocks which may arise. We already work with many of Ireland’s leading energy users.

Like you, we all face increased legislative and financial pressure to be as energy efficient as possible. As an independent Irish buiness we offer uniquely tailored energy savings solutions that are the best for your home, your business and the environment, as well as the reassurance of our unique collaboration and backing of the Irish Petrolium Industry Association. Together, we all have to contribute to a better tomorrow; so let us help you move forward today. Tel: 01 801 0140

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18/12/2015 16:37


Reducing your ENERGY COSTS Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world’s leading names in the manufacture and sales of electrical and electric products and systems used in a broad range of fields and applications.


s a global, leading green company, Mitsubishi Electric are applying their technologies to help reduce energy consumption and contribute to society and daily life around the world. At their Irish headquarters in Ballymount, Dublin, Mitsubishi Electric concentrates its energy saving efforts on three specific divisions; air conditioning, heating and factory automation.

AIR CONDITIONING Mitsubishi Electric is a world leader in air conditioning systems for residential, commercial and industrial use. Challenged to create air conditioning systems that provide exemplary performance in the wide-ranging climatic conditions found throughout Europe, Mitsubishi Electric engineers develop amazingly sophisticated yet durable units and systems capable of constant use under virtually any natural climatic condition on Earth. Each product delivers years of quiet operation, energy efficient performance and minimum impact on the environment. A wide variety of indoor unit designs and outdoor unit capacities ensures the flexibility to meet the most challenging of air conditioning needs. From aesthetic wall-mounted and floor-standing designs to ceilingrecessed cassettes, abundant options are available to match virtually any interior design. Many systems are equipped with the l-see sensor, an


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original Mitsubishi Electric technology that realises better air conditioning control. This is combined with other industry leading, energy saving and silencing technologies to produce air conditioners that provide optimum and efficient performance and room comfort wherever they are installed.

HEATING Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air, irrespective of temperature. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, under floor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home. As a market leader in commercial and domestic renewable solutions, Mitsubishi Electric pioneers the development of renewable heat pump technology that offers improved energy efficiency and meets tough legislation. Heat pump technology has been used around the world for decades and Mitsubishi Electric have developed this technology to produce Ecodan – one of the most advanced, efficient heating systems available today. The Ecodan heat pump range is suitable for everything from a small domestic to a large application and can provide water temperatures of up to 60°C (without backup electric heater) in ambient temperatures as low as -25°C. Using proven inverter driven heat pump technology to deliver effective, low carbon heating and hot water, for each 1kW of electricity fed into an Ecodan heat pump unit (i.e. the outdoor part of the Ecodan heating system), 4kW of heating energy is produced. Mitsubishi Electric’s award winning Ecodan systems provide a simple, renewable solution that rivals traditional heating systems.

FACTORY AUTOMATION (FA) Offering a vast range of automation and processing technologies including controllers, drive products, SCADA,

Mitsubishi Electric energy saving variable speed drives

power distribution and industrial robots, Mitsubishi Electric FA helps bring higher productivity – and better energy management – to the factory floor. One of the simplest ways to make huge energy savings is through the use of variable speed drives (VSDs) in controlling pumps and fans. Mitsubishi Electric has just released its latest VSD technology, the FR-F800, to the market. Its on-board intelligence virtually eliminates nuisance trips, makes set-up easy and can achieve energy efficiency of up to 98 per cent. The F800’s advanced features makes it ideal for water/ wastewater processing, compressor and HVAC applications. Improving energy efficiency for an already efficient product is all about making small advancements on many fronts and the Mitsubishi Electric F800 has a wide range of dedicated features and functions that create efficient operation. For example, during standby all unnecessary circuits are shut down to reduce energy usage. Advanced Optimum Excitation Control (AOEC) maximises energy savings even for high torque loads, while intelligent cooling fans only activate when required because a set point temperature has been reached. For more information on how you can save on energy costs contact Mitsubishi Electric on 00 353 1419 8800, email sales. or visit InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Do you need to reduce your Energy Costs?

As a leading manufacturer in the Electric lectric Industry, Mitsubishi Electric take pride in our expertise in energy saving. From simple air-conditioning units to cost effective heat pumps and Factory Automation equipment, Mitsubishi Electric has you covered. Our energy saving air-conditioning units use vector wave technology which translate into lower monthly bills. Our Ecodan heat pumps can also provide a highly efficient alternative to traditional gas and oil. Our variable speed drives feature many innovative functions that ensure accurate control, while also achieving energy efficiency figures of up to 98%. This is in addition to a range of energy measuring and metering products we offer.

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• Centrally located, just one hour from Dublin • 15 Professionally Appointed Conference & Banqueting Suites • Capacities up to 800 Theatre Style & 500 for Banquets • Self Contained Exhibition Area • 143 Deluxe Bedrooms & Suites • 30 Self Catering Lodges on the Resort • Award Winning Christy O’Connor designed 18 Hole Golf Course • Green Site Areas for Outdoor Activities • 500 Complimentary Parking Spaces

A TRANQUIL RESORT, THE PERFECT BACKDROP FOR YOUR BUSINESS Contact: Sheena McCanny, Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, Tullow, Co. Carlow T: 059 9180100 | E: | W:

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18/12/2015 15:57


CUTTING THE MUSTARD The Mustard Seed in Co Limerick is the ideal location to experience the relaxed ambience of a luxurious country house.


estled in the heart of the Limerick countryside, the Mustard Seed is a converted 19th century convent turned country house located on ten acres of land surrounded by mature trees, herbaceous plant life, an orchard and kitchen garden. The restaurant with its bustling dining room has long been highly acclaimed, attracting lovers of good food and fine wine from around the globe. Dinner is a memorable affair and the bedrooms are individually designed, combining modern facilities with old world charm. Recently winning Outstanding Guest Experience at the prestigious 2016 Georgina Campbell Awards, the Mustard Seed is an oasis of understated luxury making it the ideal hideaway. First opened as a fine dining restaurant in Adare in 1985, the Mustard Seed was soon to become the most recommended restaurant in Limerick serving award winning food in Adare village. Following ten years of success, proprietor Dan Mullane moved his restaurant into the heart of Co Limerick to the stylish country house, Echo Lodge, where it continues to flourish today. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, it continues to welcome guests with open arms and warm hospitality. Dan is an exceptional host, and was recognised for his service to the industry at the 2015 Keeling’s Farm Fresh Gold Medal Awards. A memorable dining experience is guaranteed at the restaurant, where

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Head Chef Angel Pirev carefully creates the four course menu to reflect seasonal and local ingredients, while the busy dining room creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Located just a 40-minute drive from Shannon Airport and 20 minutes from Limerick city, the private location of the Mustard Seed makes it the ideal venue for small but significant meetings. Without the distractions of a busy hotel car park, passing traffic and background urban sounds, the tranquillity of the Mustard Seed provides the perfect backdrop for a productive meeting. The main conference room can be set to your requirements with lots of sub rooms also available. Converted from one of the convent’s former school rooms, the main meeting room is located in a quiet area of the house so you are free from disturbances. Its double doors provide plenty of light and open on to the courtyard, which boasts a

Dan Mullane, Restaurant Proprietor

cascading fountain. Surrounded by country lanes and ample outdoor space, this country house provides the perfect team building venue in Limerick. Horse riding, fishing and garden visits can be arranged within close proximity, while the nearby Ballyhoura Mountain range is suitable for organised trails, and for the golf enthusiasts, a choice of four courses are within a 30 minutes drive of the house. The Mustard Seed is the perfect base for touring the south west region and the ideal getaway location to experience the relaxed ambience of a luxurious country house. The Mustard Seed is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book - Tel: 069 68508


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18/12/2015 15:58


Building an

Innovation Ecosystem The University of Limerick has moved to strengthen and advance science and engineering in Ireland through a culture of innovation and creativity with their new pioneering research, the Bernal Project.


nnovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organisation, whether institutional or national, in generating better solutions to meet new or existing market needs. Innovation requires creativity, debate and discourse to productively challenge ideas from conception to implementation. The University of Limerick (UL) is taking a leading role in creating such a culture of innovation and creativity through the Bernal Project, which has been devised to attract world-class professors in science and engineering to Ireland, provide advanced infrastructure and resources to the heart of the campus and undertake pioneering research that can help re-energise Ireland’s economy. UL has a proud track record of excellence and impact in science and engineering. It is prioritising key areas such as manufacturing, process engineering and advanced materials, to address Ireland’s academic and research needs. In a new four-year strategic plan entitled ‘Broadening Horizons’, UL commits to building on past achievements in these and other areas, accentuating current distinctiveness and raising its international profile. The Bernal Project is a flagship example of this commitment as it will expand both research expertise and capacity in Applied Sciences & Engineering through the provision of state-of-the art laboratory facilities (Analog Devices Building), together with the creation of new professorship positions (Bernal Chairs), to build a multi-disciplinary team of worldleading scientists and engineers at UL. The Bernal Project, a a52 million

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The Analog Devices building

investment, has been funded on a partnership basis between the Irish State, the University of Limerick and philanthropic support, including Atlantic Philanthropies and Analog Devices. Each Bernal Chair, a leading researcher and scholar of their field, is delivering excellence in research. Through their teachings, these professors deepen the UL student experience, and by working with existing departments and research centres of the university, the Bernal Chairs actively raise UL’s international profile, bringing global recognition of excellent research to Ireland. Whether industry-targeted projects or blue-sky fundamental research, these world leaders are playing a significant role in undertaking the pioneering and impactful research needed to strengthen Ireland’s economy. The Analog Devices building was completed in June 2015. This 7,500m2 building comprises ten custom-built,

state-of-the art laboratory suites along with office space and teaching facilities. Located on the South campus, adjacent to the existing science and engineering facilities, this new building will expand and enhance the breadth of technical capability and expertise available to UL’s research community. The project was named after one of Ireland’s greatest scientists, John Desmond Bernal. Affectionately referred to as ‘Sage’, J.D. Bernal’s pioneering work in crystallography revolutionised this field, with a number of his research students – Dorothy Hodgkin and Max Pertuz – receiving Nobel prizes for their own research work. The Bernal Institute will provide positive career profiles and opportunities in science and engineering graduates and researchers for the global scientific community. For further information visit


18/12/2015 16:36


Investec Investing

IN WOMEN The Women in Business Programme at Investec is a new initiative aimed at promoting the support and advancement of women in the workplace. InBUSINESS caught up with its founder Aisling Dodgson to find out more. Q: Could you give us some background on the Investec Women in Business Programme?

A: The aim of this initiative is to increase awareness of diversity issues and working to demonstrate commitment by the firm’s management to support and advance women. We’re developing an internal mentoring programme for women in management positions and providing additional information and support for women in those areas to promote advancement. We’re also looking at business development and networking and how we can encourage females to expand their network more and also looking to connect better with our female clients. I think it’s incumbent upon us to encourage and provide the right platform to bring women through the organisation and to encourage them into frontline facing roles. Q: What steps were taken

management structures of the firm together with a marketing and sponsorship programme aimed at female clients. In 2015 we started working with The Gloss magazine, who run a highly successful, sell-out women’s networking event, and this partnership allowed the launch of the Investec Investment Dinners. Investec has also acted as main sponsor of the business mentor profiles in The Gloss magazine, where women in business give advice and mentorship.

Q: What was the motivation behind starting the initiative?

A: Investec was keen to improve the retention and advancement of talented females in the business while also exploring ways to enhance the firm’s relationships with its female clients. Hence the business set out to devise a diversity programme which would promote equal opportunities for women and others while improving business performance.

to make this happen?

A: It was important to

Q: What needs to be

increase the visibility of women in leadership positions in the

done to ensure women are fairly represented at senior levels?


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Aisling Dodgson, Head of Treasury and Corporate Teams, Investec

A: Banks need to demonstrate constantly that they can innovate and distinguish themselves from the competition. There is an opportunity for Investec to champion diversity in the banking market, enhancing the firm’s profile with clients and potential employees. We also recognise that to compete in an increasingly global market for the most talented Irish graduates, it is essential to demonstrate a commitment to being an inspiring and rewarding place to work for all employees. For more on efforts to increase the percentage of females at senior level go to The Last Word with Brid Horan on page 134.

AISLING DODGSON BIO Originally from Cork, Dodgson has been Head of Treasury and the Corporate Teams in Investec Ireland since 2004 where she is currently a member of the executive team and a director of Investec Ireland Holdings Limited. Dodgson started her career in Woodchester Credit Lyonnais Bank in 1993 as a treasury accountant. She joined the dealing team at Gandon Capital Markets in 1995 which was acquired by Investec in 2001. Dodgson holds qualifications from University College Cork, the Institute of Bankers and the Institute of Directors in Ireland. She is an active member of a number of Industry associations including the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and The 30% Club.

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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EXAMINERSHIP Examinership is a viable option for financially beleaguered companies, including SMEs, explains Jamie Ensor, Partner, Dillon Eustace.


xaminership is a rescue mechanism which can be used by a company in financial difficulty where that company has a reasonable prospect of survival, if restructured. It allows for a period of protection from creditors within which time the examiner will endeavour to put together a survival plan. This will usually require investment or, as has been a recent feature of Irish subsidiaries of UK retailers availing of the process, the write-off of debt by a parent company. If the survival plan is agreed to by a minimum level of creditors and then approved by the court it allows the company to avoid liquidation, restructure its business and preserve employment.

THE PROCESS There are two primary prerequisites to the appointment of an examiner, being (i) that the company is insolvent, and (ii) that there is a reasonable prospect of survival of the company as a going concern. The application is accompanied by the report of an independent expert who is of the opinion that the company does have such reasonable prospect, and what conditions are necessary for that survival. The duration of court protection is 70 days from the date of the petition’s presentation, which may be extended by a further 30 days upon application to the court. During this time the examiner prepares a survival plan, referred to as the scheme of arrangement, to facilitate the company’s survival. In order for the InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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scheme of arrangement to be approved the examiner must persuade at least one class of creditors to accept the scheme before it can be brought before the court for sanction. To approve the proposals a court will generally look to be satisfied that all classes of creditors will not be paid less under the examiner’s proposals than they would in the insolvent winding up of the company. Creditors have the right to be heard during the court hearings.

THE RETAIL SECTOR Examinership remains a particularly favourable means of restructuring for businesses in the retail sector, where often times a significant reason a company is failing is because of legacy debt issues arising from rent provisions in leases. Examinership has been seen as a useful method of restructuring in such situations because during the process the company can make an application to the court to repudiate a lease where the terms of the lease are onerous. In the case of Ladbrokes, for example, leases on 29 units were repudiated and leases on 52 others were renegotiated against the backdrop of the option of the company to apply to repudiate.

FUTURE Under the right conditions, examinership can be a highly effective corporate restructuring tool. Historically this has been an expensive process, making it unsuitable except for larger companies. In July 2014 an ‘examinership lite’ procedure was introduced in an attempt to make the procedure more accessible to small companies (companies with a

Jamie Ensor, Partner, Dillon Eustace

turnover of less than b8.8m, balance sheet of less than b4.4m and less than 50 employees). These companies can now make the application to be put into examinership to the Circuit Court. This is an attempt to make examinership a viable restructuring solution for SMEs where liquidation or receivership would otherwise be inevitable. To-date struggling SMEs have not fully embraced the potential of this more cost-effective and accessible option. Only 16 examiners were appointed out of the 742 corporate insolvencies recorded for the first three quarters of 2015. Companies that are seeing the benefit of the return to growth in the economy but may be still struggling with legacy debt should explore the potential of availing of the examinership process as a means of restructuring the business.


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The Simple SOLUTION Kefron takes the complexity out of managing information for your business, providing expert document and information management with the latest technologies to their customers across financial, legal, medical, pharmaceutical and public organisations.


t Kefron we see complexity and make it simple. Our business exists to improve how you manage your information. Be it physical documents or digitisation of your information, we can make a real difference to your business. This is what drives us. When we first set up the company in 1989, in a small warehouse on Fosters Avenue in Dublin, we had a clear vision; to build a business that we could be proud of, a service level of the highest international standards, a team of colleagues we respect and admire and customers we call friends. We also

knew we were solving real problems for our customers – a pressing need, often under legislation, for secure document and information management. A simple, yet crucial service. Over the past two decades we’ve worked our dream into a reality. We offer a complete document and information management service to customers, including the latest cloud technology for document processing and invoice management, as well as services for confidential storage and destruction. We can manage the complete document lifecycle with our expertise, supporting both physical

records and digital information with four ISO certificates to support our commitment to quality service. As a Group we now service over 2,000 customers, ranging from local solicitors or accountants to multinational financial, legal, medical, pharmaceutical and public organisations. We’ve done well because we take time to understand our customers’ needs and give each one simplified solutions that really make a difference to their operations. We manage information and documentation. Simple.

At Kefron we see complexity and make it simple. Our business exists to improve how you manage your information, be it physical document storage or digitisation of your information. We create workflows and solutions through our expertise which enhance efficiency and ultimately, productivity. We can make a real difference to your business. This is what drives us.

01 438 0200

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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • Boost for Wicklow’s film industry, Dublin Enterprise Zone launched and tributes paid to IGCA President.

Cork cashes out, Limerick leaps to e-parking and a renewed energy for Tipperary.

Council to fund Irish language scholarships, surfs up in Sligo and no move on business rates in Roscommon.



CMYK 83 / 0


HEX: 40B3

Cavan geopark given UNESCO status and Tidy Towns accolade for Donegal.

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This year has represented a period of forward momentum for Cork with continued positive signs in place for 2016. We talk to the Chamber, the councils and various businesses about what’s ahead.


THE APP ANSWERING IRELAND’S CALL A new mapping application developed by Donegal County Council is helping connect the Irish diaspora with opportunities back home.

In Association with

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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27TH – 31ST JANUARY TradFest Temple Bar Dublin city 16TH – 20TH MARCH Tradfest Kilkenny Co Kilkenny 17TH – 27TH MARCH Dublin International Film Festival Dublin City 29TH MARCH – 3RD APRIL International Pan Celtic Festival County Carlow


DUBLIN ENTERPRISE ZONE LAUNCHED Deputy Mayor of Fingal Cllr Jack Chambers, Tánaiste Joan Burton, Fingal County Council Chief Executive Paul Reid and Louise Phelan, Global Vice President of Operations at PayPal welcomed guests to the official launch of the Dublin Enterprise Zone at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown on November 26th. The Dublin Enterprise Zone project seeks to brand the area as a destination of choice for both Foreign Direct Investment and indigenous enterprises. The zone, which consists of 1,571 hectares of industrial land, is home to many household names in the IT sector, such as IBM, PayPal, eBay and Symantec. COUNTY WICKLOW



DEVELOPMENT OF CHURCH GROUNDS Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly has announced that his Department and Kildare County Council are jointly providing funding of a1.39m for the purchase of the Dominican church and grounds in Athy, Co Kildare from the Dominican Order. It is intended to convert the church into a library, to build sheltered housing on the site, as well as develop part of the area into an amenity park. It is envisaged that up to a8m will be invested.


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Wicklow is already home to major television shows like Vikings and Penny Dreadful and thanks to the efforts of local government more may be on the way. Wicklow County Council is to allow a 100 per cent reduction in development contribution for film studio infrastructure. For the studios it represents a saving of a10,000 per 25,000 square feet, which is a saving of a40,000 on a 100,000-square-foot development. It will also boost local employment within the sector.

Injected into the local economy through TV series Penny Dreadful and Vikings


TRIBUTES PAID TO IGCA PRESIDENT Inspirational, positive and “Carlow’s greatest ambassador”. These were just some of the descriptions of Rachel Doyle, who was honoured by Carlow County Council last September for her role as president of the International Garden Centre Association (IGCA). Doyle was joined in the council chamber by her husband Frank and her family. Councillors took the opportunity to congratulate her on being the first Irish president of IGCA and the international face of the gardening industry, which is worth an estimated a516m each year in Ireland. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Cork city is aiming to become the country’s first cashless city, through the launch of a new scheme which encourages electronic transactions. A three month pilot project has been launched by business leaders to encourage shoppers to switch from cash to electronic transactions. The initiative has been established by the Cork City Centre Forum, an umbrella group which represents retailers and business owners, the city council, Cork Chamber, Gardaí and other organisations.


THE FRONTRUNNER IN CASHLESS SOCIETIES Cash is fast disappearing in Sweden. New research estimates that there are just 80 billion Swedish crowns (about a8bn) in circulation in the country’s wallets and cash registers - down from 106 billion just six years beforehand, making Sweden the frontrunner to become the world’s first cashless country.

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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TIPPERARY MAYOR SEAMUS HANAFIN has expressed his commitment to the European sustainable energy movement by allowing Tipperary to become a signatory on the covenant of mayors. The movement, which involves both local and regional authorities, seeks to increase energy efficiency and encourage the use of renewable energy within their region. By becoming a signatory, Tipperary County Council has committed itself to implementing a sustainable energy action plan for the county, with the aim of cutting CO2 emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020. COUNTY KERRY

KERRY GOLD FOR CITIZEN SERVICE County Kerry’s citizens information service has won a European Foundation of Quality Management gold star award in recognition of the high standard of service it provides to people in the region. The organisation provides the people of Kerry with advice, support and information on topics that include housing, health, tax and employment. Kerry is just one of three services in the country to receive the award. Last year alone the Kerry service was responsible for responding to 19,000 callers and 26,000 public queries.

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10TH – 13TH FEBRUARY Cork International Poetry Festival Co Cork 17TH – 21ST FEBRUARY The Gathering Traditional Festival Killarney, Co Kerry 29TH FEBRUARY – 26TH MARCH Corofin Trad Festival 2016 Corofin, Co Clare 4TH – 6TH MARCH Doolin Writers weekend Doolin, Co Clare


LIMERICK LEAPS TO E-PARKING Limerick City and County Council have launched an e-parking service aimed at making the area more convenient to shop in. The one stop shop service will allow motorists to pay for on street parking more conveniently by either calling a number or by using a free app. The local authority hopes this is the first step in phasing out parking discs and machines. A new website will allow the people of Limerick to see how many on and off street parking spaces are available in real-time.


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CONNAUGHT 22ND – 24TH JANUARY Galway Midwinter Festival Co Galway 26TH – 27TH FEBRUARY Kiltimagh Choral Festival Kiltimagh, Co Mayo 11TH – 13TH MARCH Aran Celtic Festival Aran Islands, Co Galway 24TH – 26TH MARCH Galway Food Festival Co Galway


SLIGO PROVED ITSELF AS A TOP VISITOR ATTRACTION once more when it hosted its successful Surf Summit, an event which attracted dozens of participants from the Web Summit held in Dublin in late November. A highly influential group of businesspeople were in attendance, a mixture of international start-ups, CEOs and investors, looking to wind down after a busy week at the tech conference in Dublin. Among those participating in the outdoors activities was Microsoft’s Vice-President of Sales Peggy Johnson.


LOLLIPOPS FOR MAYO LOCALS Mayo County Council has launched a new scheme which will see lollipops handed out to local revellers and party goers as they exit pubs and nightclubs in the region. The drive comes after similar initiatives in the UK and Canada have proven to reduce public disorder in the late hours. The lollipops, which will have road safety warnings attached to them, are said to reduce the likeliness of altercations taking place in the late hours by keeping those involved preoccupied. The trial initiated by the local council is supported by both the Gardai and local businesses.


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SURF SUMMIT ORGANISER DENISE RUSHE ON WHAT THE COUNTY HAS TO OFFER: “We have a lot of things in our favour; there is close proximity between beaches, lakes and mountains, all within about 20 minutes of Sligo town; the facilities and infrastructure available in Sligo like venues such as the Model which hosted this event over two nights, provide unique and interesting spaces.”

NO MOVE ON BUSINESS RATES IN ROSCOMMON Roscommon County Council adopted its budget for 2016 at a special meeting held in late November. The budget will see no increase in the commercial rate charged to businesses. Just over a54m will be spent by the council in the coming 12 months on a range of services. The largest amount of that total (a20m) will go towards road transportation and safety. Council Cathaoirleach Paddy Kilduff said the agreement reached on the rates incentive package means that even though there was no overall reduction, over 70 per cent of businesses in the county can qualify for a 5 per cent reduction if they pay early.


COUNCIL TO FUND IRISH LANGUAGE SCHOLARSHIPS Galway County Council has launched two new Irish language scholarship schemes organised in honour of Pádraig Pearse and Eamonn Ceannt – two of the leaders of the 1916 Rising and signatories to the proclamation. The programmes are being run as part of the County Galway 1916-2016 Centenary Programme. Five scholarships will fund the attendance of qualifying second level students at Gaeltacht summer colleges across the county. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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The Marble Arch Global Caves in Cavan have been awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status, which will launch the tourist attraction to new heights. The site will now be listed on the UNESCO official programmes along with other regions of global importance. The Geopark is the first cross border site in the world, joining the Cuilcagh mountain park in Fermanagh with the Cavan Burren Park run by Cavan County Council.

Donegal County Council welcomed the news that Letterkenny had been named winner of the Supervalu Tidy Towns competition. The Letterkenny Tidy Towns committee saw off competition from 362 participating towns and villages to secure the prominent award. The Cathoirealeach of Donegal County Council congratulated the team after they were presented with their accolade at a ceremony in the Helix in September.

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9TH – 15TH JANUARY Letterkenny Trad Week Letterkenny, Co Donegal 29TH – 30TH JANUARY Robert Burns Supper Harvey’s Point, Co Donegal 4TH – 6TH MARCH The Race Endurance Event Rathmullan, Co Donegal 12TH – 20TH MARCH Ballyshannon Arts Festival Ballyshannon, Co Donegal




website detailing how Irish local authorities source and spend public funding has won a prestigious international digital innovation award. has been declared a winner in the e-Government and Open Data category of the UN-based World Summit Awards. The site was developed by the Dublin-based content marketing company Brightspark Consulting on behalf of, a think-tank that works to promote better economic, social and environmental policies. Commenting on the win, Maryrose Maryrose Lyons, Founder, Brightspark Consulting Lyons, Founder of Brightspark Consulting, governmental, UN and private sector representatives.” said success in the World Summit Awards presents an went live in the lead up to opportunity for digital SMEs to expand their reach. the 2014 local elections, with the aim of “By winning this award, we are effectively gaining a global platform,” she said. “At the Global Congress making information on local authorities’ income and in China next spring, we will have the opportunity expenditure easily accessible to – and understandable by to network with all other winners, as well as with – the general public.

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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The App Answering


A new mapping application developed by Donegal County Council is helping connect the Irish diaspora with opportunities back home.


n a world where digital connections are becoming increasingly important in linking businesses and in sharing information and engaging with people, the work of the SPACEial North West (SNW) team in Donegal County Council is gaining considerable national and international attention. Housed within the research unit of Donegal County Council, the SNW team has created its ‘Ireland’s Call’ application to connect with Ireland’s diaspora. The application assists those contemplating returning home by presenting them with various tools, including a global skills locator which links the diaspora with new and exciting job opportunities here. Information from the Research Unit is often requested from agencies like the IDA, the Department of Social Protection and various Council departments, in relation to the recent recession and the impact it has had on emigration. In the absence of available up-to-date mapped layers, or indeed any data focusing on where our young people have emigrated to, their qualifications and sectors of the economy they are employed in abroad, the idea for Ireland’s Call was born. The development of the story map involved considerable research around the hard economic facts and statistics influencing the Irish diaspora in understanding why they chose to leave. A keen desire to find out where Irish born populations now live led to the discovery of the UN dataset which enabled the SNW team to effectively identify the spread of the global Irish. Considerable data mining and mapping was involved through various sources to produce the ‘competitive house prices’ and ‘global


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Ian Talbot, CEO Chambers Ireland, Mary McBride, Rosita Mahony, Minister Alan Kelly, Catherine McLoughlin, Joe Peoples, Director of Services Donegal County Council at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards

job prospects’ web maps. Research was carried out on how to utilise the analysis tools to best visualise and symbolise the ‘healthiest towns’ and ‘shortest commute’, data that could potentially entice some of the diaspora to return home. Now equipped with the relevant information on which to base their decision, there is a call to action for the diaspora to participate in the global skills locator to connect with job opportunities in Ireland. The app has received a high level of interest for its pioneering and groundbreaking features. Ireland’s Call managed to catch the attention of Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan at the Tipp O’Neill Annual Irish Diaspora Award as a unique way of engaging and digitally connecting with the diaspora community. Ireland’s Call was presented to Minister Deenihan to showcase the potential to reach out to the Irish diaspora throughout the world. Rosita Mahony, GIS Co-Ordinator for SNW, has since been asked to attend a

meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs hosted by Minister Deenihan and Minister for Research, Innovation and Skills Damien English who are developing a national collaborative initiative to attract skilled diaspora back to Ireland. The app has also been recognised by Esri Ireland who named Ireland’s Call overall winner in their highly competitive annual Maps Make Sense Challenge. As a result, Rosita was invited by world renowned GIS evangelist Bern Szukalski to present on the European stage at Esri’s conference in Salzburg in October. The work of the Research Unit of Donegal County Council received further recognition when their SPACEial project scooped a Chambers Ireland Local Government award for Excellence in Local Government. The project has produced a dedicated website,, which is a one-stop-shop for maps, stats and apps in the northwest region, along with a dedicated mapping portal, InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Driving Growth

IN CORK This year has represented a period of forward momentum for Cork – both city and county – with continued positive signs in place for 2016.


ithin Cork, there have been a number of positive developments over the past year, including job announcements, redevelopment projects and a general rise in positive sentiment across the region. That’s the viewpoint of a number of key stakeholders within the county, including Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Cork Chamber. “From Cork Chamber’s point of view, I would say it has been a positive year in terms of our own role. We’re engaging in wider activities and working in a positive environment – as opposed to the challenging environment which has been the case over the last number of years,” explains CEO Conor Healy. The Chamber has had a busy 2015 – taking a more proactive approach to encouraging economic development and investment in the context of an improving national economy, involvement in the restructured Enterprise Europe Network, the continued provision of services to their 1,100 strong membership base, as well as their involvement in a number of development projects around the city and county. “It really is a very exciting time for business in Cork, and we would encourage any business to look at Cork as a location where there are a lot of opportunities,” Healy adds. “Due to the downturn and lack of investment we have lost a number of years, and we are now going to make up that ground.” Within the county, 2015 has witnessed a lot of momentum, InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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including the publication of the Government Capital Programme which includes the Dunkettle Interchange, the N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy road, the N22 Macroom bypass, and the Cork-Kerry upgrade among others. Though the supply of private housing continues to be challenging, and a potential limiting factor for growth, other positive notes include advancement of the Cork Lower Harbour Treatment Scheme, agri-sector developments including commencement of the Ornua production plant and centre of excellence in Mitchelstown, and further investment by Dairygold in their Mallow plant, providing a powerful base on which businesses can build in the southern region. “Tourism development is also an area of significant focus, with the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East both capable of delivering significant additional tourism to the Cork region,” explains Tim Lucey, CEO, Cork County Council. “We are just completing a five year strategy and action plan for the development of the Cork region in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.”

Similar developments have been experienced with Cork City. Alongside Apple’s announcement of 1,000 new jobs at their Holyhill base to the north of the city, the development of 1 Albert Quay will provide at least 700 new jobs, while development on Páirc Uí Chaoimh has commenced. “We’ve also set up a city centre partnership and appointed a city centre coordinator,” explains Cork City Council acting chief executive, Pat Ledwidge. “We’re working with Cork Chamber, the Cork Business Association, those in the hotel/ hospitality industry, the Gardaí, and public transport operators.” The council is targeting four sectors on a strategic basis going forward – FDI companies, talented people, students (via UCC and CIT), and tourists. “What we’re selling is quality of life, quality of environment, a very attractive city centre, and a really beautiful hinterland including Cork Harbour,” says Ledwidge. “We have talented people, a great environment, a range of property solutions and a very supportive business environment – both from local authorities and from the business associations.”


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& EXPERTISE Law firm Ronan Daly Jermyn offers a national top tier service amid a growing economy, explains Partner Gillian Keating.


ork is home to an increasing number of industries and enterprises, ranging from the bolstered pharmaceutical sector to technology and security. For many of these firms, particularly the region’s multinational tenants, their first port of call in relation to corporate matters is Ronan Daly Jermyn, an organisation that offers specialist legal expertise to both multinational and indigenous clients engaged in various sectors of the Irish economy. The firm, which has several locations around the country, and more than 200 employees, continues to grow, with ongoing expansion across the range of services provided to their clients. This growth is driven by the firm’s continued investment in people and service. Gillian Keating is a Partner in the firm’s corporate and commercial department, which consists of a team of ten lawyers in Cork, with a further four in Galway and two in the Dublin office. “It’s a very strong team, right across the country,” she says. “It’s the only top ten firm that has a strong regional presence. We are based in Dublin, Cork and Galway – the advantage from our clients’ perspective is that we are literally on their doorstep in each one of those locations. We understand the challenges and opportunities in the region in which they operate, while at the same time providing them with the assurances that they are working with a top ten national firm and, as such, are guaranteed excellence in terms of advice and support.” Their main location in Cork also has


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Gillian Keating, Partner, Ronan Daly Jermyn

“KEATING IS WELL PLACED TO WITNESS BUSINESS GROWTH WITHIN THE REGION, RANGING FROM INDIGENOUS ENTERPRISES TO CORK’S MULTINATIONAL FIRMS, AND IS DELIGHTED TO SEE SO MANY SUCCESS STORIES EMANATING FROM THE REGION.” a secondary impact – a lower cost for their clients. “That translates into more competitive pricing of services, as it is more cost-effective to operate an office of this size from Cork than it is from Dublin. We pass on that benefit to our clients,” Keating says. Ronan Daly Jermyn also places considerable importance on maintaining an active presence in the local business community, with many of their Partners holding leadership positions on boards across the region. Keating, for example, served two years as President of Cork Chamber, and continues to have a very strong involvement in business activity in the city. “I chair the City Centre Forum, which is focused on driving footfall and business in the city centre, and I am on the governing body of University

College Cork and also the Cork Education and Training Board,” she says. As such, Keating is well placed to witness business growth within the region, ranging from indigenous enterprises to Cork’s multinational firms, and is delighted to see so many success stories emanating from the region, which attracts inward investment through the depth of its talent pool, combined with the high calibre of professional services available in the region. “Just last week we acted in respect of the sale of Trustev Ltd. That’s an incredible story – a business born in Cork only four years ago and then sold to US-listed company TransUnion. We are delighted to be representing companies like Trustev and the team that built it.” InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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YOUR FUTURE Invesco provides a range of pensions, personal finance and wealth management services in Cork.



ounded in Dublin in 1991, Invesco is the largest Irishowned firm of employee benefits and actuarial consultants. In 2008 they expanded the company with the opening of their Cork branch. Both Invesco locations provide services across three divisions – corporate full service pensions, insured pensions and personal financial services and wealth management. While operating in the thriving business landscape of Cork, Invesco have continued to prosper in their sector. The commercial environment in Cork has been attracting a multitude of enterprises in recent years. The well established business sector has generated a wealth of employment, and greatly benefited the local community. “The business landscape in Cork is very positive”, says Finian O’Driscoll, director at Invesco. “There’s a lot of employment going on. I suppose what you’re seeing is that the whole Cork area has developed more jobs than it ever had, in the last three or four years.” According to O’Driscoll, the growth in Cork’s employment figures positively affects Invesco’s opportunities for business. He explains that the recent announcement from Apple concerning the creation of 1,000 new jobs in the area is beneficial for any business within the region. For Invesco, the growing attraction of Cork for IT businesses like Apple provides them with greater opportunities to pitch for a multitude of different companies. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Finian O’Driscoll, Director of Invesco

GROWTH With the influx of such business to the Cork area, many corporations are reviewing their investment providers to ensure they’re receiving a personalised competitive service at an appropriate cost, as O’Driscoll explains. “It’ll become a far more competitive market. What you are seeing is procurement and HR people looking out to the market; they’re not just traditionally staying with someone for 20 years because that’s the way it used to be,” he says. Optimistic that Cork’s appeal to major foreign corporations could also be an opportunity for further growth, he notes that “because of the expansion of employment in Ireland there’s a lot more new companies coming in and they all need corporate pension advice regarding the setting up of pension schemes, etc. in Ireland.” This year has generated substantial development for both the company

and its employees already, and prompts a positive forecast. “So far in 2015 we’ve had a good year, we’ve seen very positive growth in Ireland,” says O’Driscoll. With an estimated 120 individuals already employed in Ireland, Invesco is set to grow further. This year’s development has enabled the company to expand their business and prompted a move to a larger location in Cork’s business centre. They hope to make this change of location as early as March 2016. Looking forward to the coming year in Cork, O’Driscoll is confident of further growth. “We’re just going to try and grow the business on all three fronts by getting out there, marketing our name and making sure that we provide a high class service to our clients,” he says. “We are the largest Irish-owned firm in the marketplace, we want to continue to try and grow that. We have ambitious plans to grow the business in Ireland over the next five years.”


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Colliers International is an industry-leading global real estate company operating from more than 500 offices across 67 countries. What sets us apart is not what we do, but how we do it. Our enterprising culture encourages Colliers people to think differently, share great ideas and create innovative and effective solutions that help clients accelerate their success. In 2015 we have acted on over 350,000 sq ft of office and retail space for Irish and international businesses, advised on billions of Euro of property asset transactions and managed 3.3 million sq ft of property assets. We have acquired and sold investment property in all sectors and are advising on the development Ireland needs. Our unique and innovative Destination & Development Consulting service is helping to position Ireland for sustainable growth. Development strategies for Cork; the Wild Atlantic Way; Waterford’s Viking Triangle; Dublin Docklands market and product needs, Lough Boora Parklands and Tramore Valley Park; plus Ireland’s first city region place brand and marketing strategy for Cork. Colliers International Ireland Hambleden House 19-26 Lower Pembroke Street Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 633 3700

To have a conversation about your property, place or destination please contact: Declan Stone | Managing Director | Colliers International, Ireland Roger Hobkinson | Director | Destination & Development Consulting, Ireland

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Positioning Cork

FOR GROWTH Colliers International has been working tirelessly to develop a cohesive strategic plan for Cork, explains Roger Hobkinson, Director, Destination & Development Consulting Ireland.


n a world that is increasingly led by city regions that drive regional economic growth, a modernisation and elevation of Cork is vital – as the State’s second city, Cork has the largest population outside of Dublin and makes the second largest contribution to Ireland’s economic activity. Colliers International has led the way to ensure Cork has a high quality portfolio of property plans and services to help position the city more effectively nationally and internationally as a great place to live, visit and invest. An exciting pipeline of projects is now emerging to ensure a much healthier city region. Colliers recommended the development of a high quality modern central business district, which we termed ‘Cork City Harbour’. This is now emerging with the completion of No 1 Albert Quay in early 2016, a high quality modern office building in the city centre that will accommodate some 1,800 people boosting city centre vibrancy. Alongside improvement and development initiatives in Cork, Colliers International led work over the last 18 months on the delivery of a fresh approach to the strategic branding and marketing of the Cork region. A place brand is a strategic approach to what a place wants to be known for, a driving idea rather than simple logos and straplines. Cork is the first Irish city region to do this, something common in the UK and

InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Continental Europe. The development of a place brand for Cork will help bring stakeholders together on the same page, leverage investment, attract and retain talent and support domestic and international business growth. The process has seen collaboration from Cork City and County Councils, Cork Airport, Port of Cork, UCC, CIT, Fáilte Ireland and South West Regional Authority, alongside IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and many Cork businesses and people. The key finding from the process is that all must speak more coherently, and that focused messages will drive greater engagement than broad stories. Core messages to broadcast include Cork’s major strengths in global growth industries, its accessible and connected nature, access to the second largest labour market in Ireland, a great value and great quality balance, alongside superb quality of life and excellent business support and collaboration. Four target audiences have been selected: • Cork people, Irish people at home and abroad • Newcomers to Cork and other overseas nationals • Government and its agencies in Ireland, Europe and globally • Domestic and international business – investors, developers, operators and occupiers A brand book has been prepared to communicate this message to those charged with promoting Cork, in order to understand the brand proposition. Further work will support direct communication through online, press, broadcast, events, activities, adverts and direct conversations. Within the place

Roger Hobkinson, Director, Destination & Development Consulting, Ireland, Colliers International

brand there are four brand pillars; each has its own driving idea, value propositions and messages: • Economic and business: ‘A tradition of agile, energetic and entrepreneurial local and global business success’ • Quality of life: ‘Big on Life’ • Education: ‘A tradition of independent learning, great ideas, contemporary innovation and collaboration’ • Visitor: This is being prepared by Fáilte Ireland, given different nuances of the visitor pillar The brand position for the Cork region is ‘The right mix for your success’. It is not a strapline. It is a state of mind that all in the Cork region can use and work towards. Many people said there is no one thing that makes Cork great, but lots of smaller things add up to something powerful. As a high quality second tier European city region, Cork will complement Dublin and add more weight to Ireland’s global offer. For more information on the Cork brand, visit


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A Bumper


Southampton and Leeds Bradford, just two of 12 new routes announced at Cork Airport in 2015.


arlier this month, Cork Airport welcomed two new UK routes after it was announced that Aer Lingus Regional – operated by Stobart Air – is set to launch routes to Southampton and Leeds Bradford next summer. The new routes bring to 12 the number of new routes announced from Cork Airport this year, making 2015 a remarkable year for the airport. Other new routes announced this year include Düsseldorf with Aer Lingus, Cardiff with Flybe, London City, Nantes and La Rochelle with CityJet, Madrid with Iberia Express, Boston, Barcelona and New York with Norwegian Air and Menorca with Lee Travel. As well as the new routes being announced, capacity across numerous existing routes was increased for next year, including Tenerife, Paris, Barcelona, Palma, Faro, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle. Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said: “2015 has been a fantastic year for the airport in terms of new routes and new airlines. The news that Aer Lingus Regional is to operate another two UK routes is further evidence that Cork Airport is now well on track to return to growth next year. It’s also great news for our customers, who now have even more choice of destinations from Munster. “There is a lot of hard work that goes into establishing new routes both from the team here at Cork Airport but also the commitment shown by our airline customers. Creating opportunities such as these takes time, but it’s important that the people in the region now support them to ensure their success. This is the only way we will be able to


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continue to offer the best connectivity from any airport outside of Dublin. We already have 50 routes from Cork Airport and the new services are further recognition of our status as a key gateway in and out of the south of Ireland.” He added: “We also worked closely with tourism stakeholders in the region such as Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork County Council, Cork Chamber of Commerce, Cork Business Association, Tourism Ireland, IDA Ireland, Irish Travel Agents Association, Irish Tour Operators Association, Irish Hotels Federation and the Cork Convention Bureau to help secure the support necessary for the new routes. We’re looking forward to more success in 2016.” Cork Chamber strongly welcomed the announcement by Aer Lingus Regional of two new routes to Southampton and Leeds from Cork Airport. Commenting on the announcement Conor Healy, Cork Chamber CEO, said: “This

announcement is yet another positive indicator of Cork Airport’s strong performance, which comes on foot of a string of encouraging developments for Cork Airport in recent months. We are delighted to see Aer Lingus Regional’s continued commitment to serving the Cork region, with the addition of these new routes greatly benefiting business and tourism links with the UK, our nearest economic partner.” Cork Airport, the international gateway to the south of Ireland, is uniquely positioned at the start of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. It is the country’s second largest and busiest airport after Dublin and with more choice than any other airport outside of the capital. More than two million passengers travel through the airport each year, flying to top destinations across the UK and throughout continental Europe. Cork Airport’s customer service (as voted by passengers) has won national and international awards. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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• Din Medium • Din Regular

Committed to Cork KPMG has operated in Cork for over 40 years, and is committed to doing so for the foreseeable future.


ork City and County is a dynamic, enterprise-driven region. Like its sporting teams, its people and enterprises are passionate about what they do. KPMG shares this passion for Cork. It has been based in Cork for more than 40 years and looks forward to serving its clients in the region in the years ahead. “I have worked in Cork for ten years. It’s a terrific location to work and live,” explains Michael Lynch, who leads KPMG’s tax practice in the southern city. “The airport provides good connectivity with the recent

addition of flights to London City airport a significant boost. The region is supported by both University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology and an excellent primary and secondary school network. These attributes are really important to employers who are looking to locate or increase their footprint in the area. “Additionally, the cost of grade A office accommodation compares favourably to Dublin rates. As such, it is more cost effective to locate in Cork, yet it has sufficient scale to attract skilled people into the region. The quality of life helps to ensure that when people move to Cork they are very likely to want to stay!” Noting positive developments on the business landscape, including growth in cyber security and shared


service sectors, the development in Albert Quay, the long planned events centre and the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh among others, Lynch sees a strong future for KPMG’s operations in Cork. “KPMG is fully committed to the region,” he affirms. “We will continue to invest in the economy, which has already seen growth in the past two years. KPMG will look to employ an additional 25 staff members in Cork over the next 12 months.”


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• Din Medium • Din Regular

Leading the Way Cork Education and Training Board is helping to drive education across the county.


ork Education and Training Board (CETB) is the second largest education and training board in the country, with responsibility for the provision of post primary education, further education and training programmes across a range of settings, and the largest training centre in the country. The past two and a half years have been a period of significant change for CETB – beginning with the amalgamation of the City of Cork and Cork County Vocational Education Committees (WECs) in July 2013, following by an assumption of all former Fás training in the Cork area from January 2014. Continued demand for post primary

places has also led to significant capital investment across the county. CETB is also enhancing its links with business and industry, ensuring that its education and training programmes match local labour market needs, and reflect national trends. With the economic recovery still in the early stages, there is a developing realisation that providing courses and training for those in employment is important, as upskilling and retraining to develop additional skills is a vital component for sustained development and competitiveness. CETB is seeking to improve communication with business and industry in order to improve its ability

to respond to emerging education and training needs, and continues to review all programmes to ensure they meet learners’ needs. Alongside two new pilot programmes, CETB is collaborating with a number of professional organisations on the development of new apprenticeship programmes, to be introduced following the Government review of apprenticeship undertaken earlier this year. Cork Education and Training Board is building on the traditions, strengths and histories of the organisations it supersedes to be a dynamic leader in education and training provision across the region.

“Through Cork ETB there is a Pathway for EVERY Learner” 

Primary Education


Post Primary Education


Further Education




Adult Education

Head Office, 21 Lavitt's Quay, Cork Telephone: 021-4273377 Fax: 021-4275680 Email:

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Supporting Irish Business Leading accountancy firm WENTWORTH is supporting Irish SMEs seeking to grow internationally.


leading accountancy practice specialising in audit, tax and advisory services, WENTWORTH has recently expanded its reach within the Cork region, responding to a demand for specialist taxation and corporate finance services. As part of their proactive service offering, the firm has launched a new service for SMEs and corporates, which focuses on international growth, including the establishment of overseas operations. Two experts have been appointed to support this expansion – Cormac Brown, a tax

consultant specialising in domestic and international taxation and Brendan Lynch, a management consultant with specific expertise in corporate restructuring and organisational evolution. “Over 40 per cent of our current clients have a base overseas and 60 per cent export their product or service. Irish businesses, both large and small, are looking for more from their accountant outside of the traditional services,” explains Declan Lynch, WENTWORTH Managing Director. “Clients now want us to be business advisers who can offer advice on international expansion and provide them with operational support.” The new service will identify and advise businesses on the financial, commercial and taxation implications

of international expansion, alerting them to taxation traps and supporting organisational change. In addition, it will assist these businesses with new market research, establishment of the financial function, cost-base analysis, interim management services, taxation planning, transfer pricing, corporate structuring and repatriation of profits, among other offerings. “Our new service ensures that the appropriate operational and governance structures are put in place to deal with expansion in overseas markets, securing maximum tax efficiency and allowing businesses to function properly and in a controlled manner,” Declan Lynch concludes. For more information, visit or phone 021 421 7470


WENTWORTH is a leading accountancy practice offering a comprehensive service range including; Audit, Tax, Consulting, Corporate Finance, Corporate Recovery, Forensic Accounting & Litigation Support, Company Secretarial, Grants, Funding, Payroll and Business Process Outsourcing. Our skilled team of expert consultants advise national and international owner-managed businesses, corporates, entrepreneurs and private clients. Contact us today to discover how we can help you build and protect your financial future.

Telephone: +353 21 4217470 | | | Atrium Business Centre, Blackpool Business Park, Cork, T23 T2VY, Ireland

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• Din Medium • Din Regular

Local service, Global reach Eurotranslations are a translation and interpreting service that provide quick and quality translations interpreted by an expert team of translators, with professional experience in many different fields such as pharmaceutical, IT, engineering, legal and commercial.


urotranslations was established in Cork 40 years ago and today continues to provide high quality, cost-effective translation and interpreting services. Quality and confidentiality are the hallmarks of our business and we work with clients locally, nationally and internationally; including State bodies, multinational corporations, SMEs and private individuals. We believe that the needs of our customers are paramount and we are committed to meeting those needs. We understand that the translation of documents is

time critical and we respect any deadlines set by our customers. The translation business in Ireland has evolved since 1975 and we have seen customer requirements change from the translation of very simple texts in Western European languages to the provision of highly complex, technical and specialised documents in Asian, African or Eastern European languages. Through the use of modern technologies, and with our ever-expanding network of global translators, we are able to embrace these exciting new opportunities. We are proud of our long-standing

reputation and no matter how technical or complex the document, the translation you receive will be accurate and acceptable for all legal and commercial requirements. Our translations are completed by mother tongue professionals and are checked and proofread prior to delivery. Our translators come from a wide range of backgrounds including pharmaceutical, IT, engineering, legal and commercial, which means that our customers can be confident that translations are assigned to translators from the appropriate area of expertise.

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Finding the Right Fit Cork-based FastTrack to IT (FIT) has developed a new ICT programme in conjunction with leading technology employers such as IBM.


BM has been involved with FastTrack to IT (FIT) for many years, as one part of an extensive programme to hire and develop the skilled people they need for their Irish operations. IBM was delighted when FIT approached them to help with the development of their new ICT Associate Professional Programme, and to support its launch in December 2014. For this, FIT has produced an innovative syllabus focusing on equipping the IT professionals of the future with the skills to meet the

business needs of today and tomorrow. The two year IT apprenticeship combines workplace learning in a technology company with classroom teaching in a college setting. Current evidence from around the world reveals that companies which invest in such apprenticeships derive many long term business benefits from doing so. The programme is designed to ensure that not only will they have an employee who is being trained to industry standards, but one who understands their unique workplace conditions. For the apprentice, they have the opportunity to learn from experienced employees, providing them with more confidence in their work and faster integration in the workplace. Apprentices use the tools and IT equipment required for their specific

“THE PROGRAMME IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE THAT NOT ONLY WILL THEY HAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS BEING TRAINED TO INDUSTRY STANDARDS, BUT ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THEIR UNIQUE WORKPLACE CONDITIONS.” role, resulting in skills of immediate benefit to the participating company. The programme ensures that future skills needs will be met and also provides a pool of skilled employees from which future supervisors and managers could be internally recruited. The newly launched programme modernises the apprentice model for the digital age. It is a very exciting new initiative with serious potential to secure Ireland’s reputation in the tech space.




• Join a 2 year apprentice style programme that leads to an ICT Associate Professional qualification and a rewarding job in the tech sector with a leading company • Choose a Software Development or Systems & Networks Programme • We are recruiting now for positions with employers such as Accenture, AOL, AQMetrics, Fujitsu, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Version 1

If you are interested please apply by the 4th February by email to Or fill in the online application form at See for more information FIT is an industry-led initiative which works in close collaboration with government departments, SOLAS and Education and Training Boards. FIT’s mission is to promote an inclusive Smart Economy by creating a fast track to marketable technical skills for those with the aptitude and ambition to commence a career in ICT.

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Belgian Brilliance in Cork Fred Cudmore, Director of DKO Trading Ltd., which imports and sells Leonidas chocolates in Ireland, discusses rising cocoa prices and how they keep the price low but the quality high.


eonidas chocolates originated in Belgium in 1913. Ireland was presented with the succulent treats when the first store selling these treats opened in Cork in 1985. The second store opened in Dublin in 1987. Unsurprisingly, Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, as Director Fred Cudmore explains. “We do huge business coming up to Christmas. Especially the last couple of weeks before – we do about 30 per cent of our annual sales in the last few weeks before Christmas; it’s really a great time for us,” he says. The business is focused on supplying quality produce that has their chocolate held in high esteem. When asked

about changes he might implement in 2016, Cudmore mentions how good chocolate is always good chocolate, and change doesn’t necessarily mean innovation. “You know our business hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same chocolates are very popular.” But he also notes that they and all chocolate producers are being faced with the challenge of rising costs in cocoa. “A shortage of cocoa beans, which is pushing up the price of chocolate, is a major challenge,” he states, while almonds have doubled in price. “We also have VAT of 23 per cent which is penal,” he adds. Nevertheless, the Cork store’s aim is to continue to provide the highest

quality of Leonidas Belgian chocolates at a low and competitive price. “We wish our customers a Happy Christmas, and enjoy our chocolates,” he concludes. Leonidas Chocolate have 11 Irish stores and are also available online:

Celebrating 30 Years In Ireland We would like to thank all our customers for their support over the past 30 years.


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Cork County Council supports many initiatives and business partnerships to help maximise business opportunities such as the Cork Convention Bureau, the Beacon Retail Initiative and our Food Incubation units. We also allocate 1% of the collected rates income for Economic Development initiatives to provide financial and other supports to promote enterprise, economic activity and increase employment. Cork County is a centre of excellence in the Agri-food sector. This reputation is being enhanced by the development of

Ornua’s, the Irish Dairy Board, Centre of Excellence at Mitchelstown which will support the global development of the Kerrygold brand; offering a valuable outlet for our expanded milk output. The Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Ancient East starts, or finishes, in Cork County. So, whether you’re a walker, a cyclist or an angler, a nature lover or a sightseer, a history buff or a foodie, a shopaholic or a culture vulture... or even if you just want to kick back and enjoy a relaxing break, County Cork has something for everyone


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Informing you about the work of local authorities in supporting the business needs of their community... To tell us what your local council is doing for business email

In Association with

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HAPPENS HERE Gerry Muldowney, CEO, Dublin Business School, reflects on 40 years of success.


ver 40 years ago what would become Dublin Business School was created by its founder Diarmuid Moroney who started to produce, from his garage, correspondence courses for accountancy students to assist them in their preparation for their professional examinations. The Irish Accountancy and Business College as it was then known went on to provide full and part time accountancy courses under the brand name Accountancy and Business College. It quickly established a reputation for the provision of accountancy training and education with many of its student achieving prizes at national and worldwide levels. In 1989 the college entered into the higher education sector and commenced offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at degree and master levels. As Dublin Business School (DBS) the college has established and developed itself as a centre of excellence and is recognised as a provider of high quality third level education with a record of distinction in student academic and career achievement. DBS graduates have progressed to successful careers and many occupy senior positions in professional and commercial organisations both in Ireland and overseas. As part of its growth and development, DBS has made a number of acquisitions including LSB College, European Business School and Portobello College. In 2003, DBS itself was acquired by Kaplan Inc, the education division of the Graham Holdings Company (formally the

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Washington Post Company). Kaplan Inc with over 19,000 employees is a world leader in education, serving more than one million students per year on a global basis. Today, Dublin Business School is now Ireland’s largest independent college with a student enrolment of approx. 9,000. It offers over 140 programmes to learners, many of which are accredited by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). In 2015, Gerry Muldowney, CEO, Dublin Business School 21 of our students were awarded these programmes. Students are places and prizes in their professional recruited from over 50 different accountancy examinations, including countries to a range of undergraduate, five first places in Ireland, five second postgraduate and study abroad places in Ireland and 13 placings in the programmes. top 10 in the world. As DBS has grown DBS is also actively involved in a and developed, it has designed and number of Government initiatives launched approximately 20 Masters aimed at addressing the national programmes in a variety of disciplines, skills shortages in the areas of ICT leading to MBA, MSc and MA awards. and financial service collaboratives. DBS is becoming a truly global DBS works very closely with industry institution with over 1,500 European in the development, design and and international students registered delivery of all of its programmes. on its programmes. In addition, We take an industry-led approach in thousands of international students our programme design. In the last have completed programmes in DBS year we have seen a surge in interest since the first international student was in our short upskilling professional admitted in 1989. Our international diploma programmes with a noticeable collaborations in Malaysia and China increase, which is another indication of continue to grow with a combined confidence and growth in the economy. enrolment of over 600 students on


18/12/2015 16:36

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Know it when you see it. The new QQI Award heralds the best in education and training.


uality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) was established in 2012 as a result of the amalgamation of a number of predecessor organisations; among them two awarding bodies, FETAC and HETAC, which were well-known to learners, providers, employers and the general public. QQI was conscious that it was important to ensure that the value of the qualifications awarded by these bodies was maintained in the transition to a new QQI award brand. To help build that understanding and confidence, we first coupled the QQI Award brand with references to FETAC and HETAC. Following this transitional period, we now believe it is time to promote the statutory QQI Award brand in its own right. Creating awareness of any brand takes time and needs to be approached in more than one way. In autumn 2015 a number of initiatives were undertaken at both a national and a provider level, which will be built upon over the duration of the 20 month campaign. The strapline for the promotion campaign is QQI Award. Know it when you see it. Building on this idea, a series of promotional images have been designed which focus on the QQI certificate and on a series of characters that speak about reaping the benefits of education and training in their chosen paths. These images are being used as advertisements in national newspapers and for promotional posters. The stories created around the characters InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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are also the subject of radio advertisements which have commenced on national radio stations. In order to further highlight the new QQI Award brand, we held a launch event on November 18th in the Aviva stadium. We were very pleased that the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., was in attendance Dr Padraig Walsh, to present CEO, QQI commemorative certificates to learners from across the country who represented achievement at all ten levels of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The event was a keen reminder of the significance of qualifications and the importance of ensuring that the national, statutory and quality assured nature of QQI awards is known to learners, providers, employers and the general public. For further information on the QQI Award Launch please visit http:// Press, radio and events are obviously important elements in this promotional campaign, but we are also increasing our use of the QQI website to promote the brand and to direct providers to further information on usage of the Award brand and logo. The carousel at the top of the

QQI website draws direct attention to the promotional campaign. Our ambition is to increase our information and communication activities, and to improve the quality and effectiveness of our interaction with stakeholders such as providers and employers. In this context, we wish to highlight one of the organisational goals in our recentlypublished Strategy Statement 2016-18 whereby we seek to ensure that the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and its qualifications are used to develop education and training programmes with clear occupational and educational purposes and learning outcomes for informed career and other choices by learners.


18/12/2015 16:35

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18/12/2015 16:06


Back in

BUSINESS The new BMW 7 Series looks set to shake up the luxury executive market with a stellar upgrade of its flagship 7 Series.


aving recently had the chance to drive the brand new BMW 7 Series, it’s safe to say we’re thoroughly impressed. BMW’s flagship model, the sixth generation is sharply styled on the outside, and absolute luxury on the move on the inside, with meticulous attention to detail, a range of interchangeable BMW fragrances and the most comfortable rear seats known to man. Out on the road, the 7 Series doesn’t feel like a big car, with quick and agile steering response, as well as a smooth and insulated drive, thanks in part to a self-levelling air suspension system which can be raised or lowered depending on the terrain. Alongside the (somewhat) ordinary diesel and petrol engines, there’s also two new plug-in hybrid versions found in the 740e and the 740 Le xDrive. These will be paired to a 2.0L petrol unit with a combined output of 326hp and an official fuel consumption figure of 134.5mpg (2.1L/100km). If it can get anywhere near that under regular driving conditions, we’ll be impressed. As with each successive edition of its main model, the new 7 Series doesn’t disappoint in terms of its technology complement. Among the highlights is inbuilt WiFi, massage functions, a removable Samsung InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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BMW 730D XDRIVE  Price (OTR): a101,910  HP: 261  0-100km/h: 5.8 seconds  Stated efficiency: 5L/100km (56.5mpg)  CO2 emissions: 132 g/km

tablet and ambient lighting. Boot capacity is a decent 515L, dropping to 420L in the hybrid models as a result of the relocated fuel tank. It’s also the first production car that can be driven in and out of forward parking spaces without the driver, via the touchscreen key fob. BMW gesture control, though, was the thing that caught our eye, through which a 3D sensor recognises hand gestures to control various systems and settings. It works, too, with none of the fiddliness we’ve come to expect

from, say, voice control. Executive Lounge Seating will arrive in July of next year, bringing with it a reclining backrest, greater legroom in the back, an electrically-operated footrest, foldout table, two cupholders, a storage compartment and a touch command unit. Not for the everyday driver, then. On sale since the end of October, prices begin from a98,880 on the road, and can easily rise to around a145,000 depending on the model and with a few extras thrown in. Worth it? Absolutely?


18/12/2015 16:35


The new ŠKODA Superb. From €289 per month including three years servicing. Imagine a car that blurs the line between beauty and functionality. Where style and spaciousness are in perfect harmony. Where there’s room for everything, except compromise. We imagined such a car and we call it the new ŠKODA Superb. Longer, wider, taller, lighter and packed with the latest technologies, the new Superb represents 120 years of forward thinking. From €26,795, the Superb will be one of the most talked about cars of 2016. Call into your local ŠKODA dealer and see the all-new Superb for yourself.

Clever inside The most popular Superb model, the Ambition, is available with a host of standard features such as: Bi-Xenon Headlights with LED day time lights

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Largest interior in its class

Terms and conditions apply. RRP prices displayed exclude dealer delivery and related fees. Typical Finance Example: Superb OTRP €27,395. Deposit / Part Exchange €8,390.95. 36 monthly payments of €289 (Including service plan of €13.99 per month). Optional Final Payment €10,718. Total cost of credit €1,764.31. Total hire purchase price €29,159.31. Minimum deposit is 10%. Subject to lending criteria. This offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. ŠKODA Finance is a trading style of Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland, authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Images used for illustrative purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy however errors may occur and specifications may change without prior notice.

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Skoda’s new Superb lives up to its name.


he new Skoda Superb is a milestone for the brand. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the third generation of the model celebrated its public unveiling. The brand’s new flagship is the best Skoda of all time and features emotive design, the most room of any vehicle in its segment, and innovative MQB technology from the Volkswagen Group. “The new superb heralds the dawn of a new era for Skoda,” said Skoda CEO Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “Over recent years, Skoda has established itself as an international volume manufacturer. Our new flagship is now the highlight of Skoda’s most comprehensive model campaign ever, and shows where Skoda stands today.” He continues, “The car’s outstanding design and engineering qualities, and the unbeatable space make our flagship the new benchmark in the automotive mid-class. The new Skoda Superb is a clear demonstration of our growth and points to the future of the brand.” Commenting on the new model, John Donegan, Brand Director, Skoda Ireland said: “The Superb has been a

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huge contributing factor to the Skoda brand’s best ever sales result in 2014 with 1,150 Superb vehicles delivered to customers. The new Superb is exceptional in every way. For the first few months I expect demand across Europe to outstrip supply. Our job in Ireland is to fight for our share of production in order to ensure we have enough Superb vehicles to meet the demands of our customer.” With its new, expressive design the new Skoda demonstrates the emotional power of the brand. The new Superb brings the exciting design of the ‘Skoda VisionC’ show car into series production. This elegant yet dynamic appearance is supported by the use of the modular transverse matrix (MQB) from the Volkswagen Group. The new Skoda Superb sets standards in terms of room and comfort. The latest generation of the model offers the best head and legroom in the rear and the largest luggage space in its segment. The new Superb has reached a new dimension

in terms of technology. For the first time in a Skoda, the vehicle features Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), including drive profile selection. Alongside this there is a brand new air conditioning system, including the new three-zone climate control. An electronic sliding and raising panoramic roof is also available, along with auxiliary heating, heated seats, wirelessly heated windscreen and the electronic boot that can also be opened with a virtual pedal. Thanks to the new parking assistant, the park distance control and the new rear camera, getting in and out of parking spaces has never been easier. And one other feature just in case: the two umbrellas tucked away in the front door panels. Connectivity has never been better: The new infotainment system automatically connects to many smartphones. Thanks to high-speed Internet connection, the Superb is the first Skoda hotspot on wheels. With the Skoda Media Command app, you can operate the infotainment system from the rear from a tablet device. The new Skoda Superb boasts record values in fuel economy. Thanks to new engines (five petrol and three TDI common rail diesel), weight reduced by up to 75 kg, and better aerodynamics, the new model consumes up to 30 per cent less fuel, emitting less CO2 than previously. Despite the reduced consumption, the new engines actually provide up to 20 per cent more power on the road, while 4x4 technologies are also available in the new model – all adding up to a superb combination.


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ENGINES Ford Ireland is looking forward to continued growth in 2016.


ord Ireland Chairman and Managing Director, Ciarán McMahon, is very happy with how the company has performed during 2015. “In common with the rest of the car industry, 2015 has been a very good year for us. Car and van sales for 2015 were up in excess of 31 per cent year over year and Ford Ireland has managed to outperform that level of growth with Ford car and van sales up some 34.5 per cent on the 2014 sales figures,” he says. “The market for car sales in the country is up 27 per cent overall and our own car sales figures have shown a similar level of growth. But it is really in commercial vehicle sales where we have significantly outperformed the market and, indeed, the competition. Our van sales are up a whopping 51.9 per cent (total units 6,143) while the overall van market is up 39.5 per cent. Our tally of 6,143 commercial vehicles is more than double the sales of our nearest competitor. “We always say that van sales are a better indicator as to the strength of the economy rather than car sales. If van operators are confident enough to renew their vehicles, it augurs very well for the overall economy. So on that score, the Irish economy is set to continue its upward trajectory into 2016.” McMahon’s level of confidence will continue into the new year as the company gets ready to welcome one of the most iconic car nameplates in automotive history. From early January, the all new Ford Mustang will be available for sale in Ireland for the first time since the Mustang

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Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director, Ford Ireland

nameplate was launched in 1964. “As part of the OneFord global plan, Mustang is now available in Europe and for the first time ever, the car is available in right hand drive versions for both the UK and Ireland markets,” he says. It is interesting to be in the position of launching a car like the Mustang, a nameplate that has so much heritage. A heritage like that is a quality that

money can’t buy, it can only be earned. What other car can come close to that sense of heritage, the freedom of the open road, that even just the mere mention of Mustang can convey to any motorist? Here was a car nameplate that featured on the top ten list of favourite cars for motorists in countries such as France, the UK and Germany and yet, the car was never officially available for sale in any of those countries. “Well, the wait for Mustang is over and we can’t wait to see the first right hand drive models of the beautiful all new Ford Mustang cruising along the highways and byways of Ireland in the next few months,” McMahon concludes. Drivers interested in finding out more information about the new Mustang should contact their local FordStore or visit the Ford Ireland website –


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he Toyota Avensis is a bit like a school prefect. Reliable, sensible and predictable with car appropriate qualities such as good economy and user friendliness thrown in. It’s a good choice for those who prioritise consistency, comfort, good levels of equipment and space. It’s also ideal for those who don’t care about cars at all and just

want something “decent” that will go from A to B efficiently and with no hassle day after day. Those of you old enough not to still have your tooth fairy money will remember that the Avensis’ predecessor was called the Carina. Between them, Carina and Corolla changed the Irish motoring landscape introducing ‘mod cons’ such as radios and seatbelts as standard. Fast forward to 2015 and the highly competitive mid sized family car segment where Avensis battles it

out with traditional big hitters such as Mondeo and Passat, as well as ambitious newcomers such as the Hyundai i40. It’s a particularly tough corner of the market not least because it’s “fleet central” where companies spent a lot of their transport budgets. Also piling on the pressure is that the growing popularity of SUVs/crossovers is causing the mid-sized segment to shrink. Indeed Nissan saw the writing on the wall as far back as 2008 when it stopped

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LIFESTYLE: motoring


making the Primera. Perhaps mindful of mounting pressure from all sides, Toyota has put the Avensis through a substantial makeover this year. The most significant exterior changes are an additional 40mm in length coupled with new front and rear ends. There’s a new grille, new headlights, and the option of new alloy wheel designs to smarten the look. The safety equipment package has been upgraded with the addition of Toyota’s Safety Sense

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system as standard across the range. It uses information provided by a windscreen-mounted unit (comprising a laser and a camera) to provide features such as forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking. The engine line-up has also been revised to offer better fuel consumption, lower CO2 levels and reduced cost of ownership while the standard equipment package has been improved as has the quality of the materials used in the interior. The

front seats have been redesigned to reduce fatigue on long journeys, the switchgear is easier to use and the cabin soundproofing is better. Add all of the above together and you get a spacious, practical, comfortable family car that has raised its game on a lot of levels. But perhaps most importantly of all, the new Avensis is a more satisfying drive not least because it has more pep in its step and what was quite woolly feedback from the steering is now a great deal sharper.

The Avensis comes with two BMW-derived diesel engines (1.6 litre and a 2.0 litre) and they combine economy with a pleasing amount of power. Prices for the new Avensis saloon start at €25,995 for the 1.6 petrol Aura version while the 1.6 diesel Aura costs from €27,890. For those with more to spend, Luna and Sol upgrades are also available. The Avensis is very much a car that does exactly what it says on the tin. The latest version just does it better.


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he new “baby” Jag is not exactly a car for the masses, but its brief is to woo private and corporate buyers out of their Audis, BMWs and Mercedes in significant numbers. Jaguar anticipates that about 90 per cent of those buying a new XE will be conquests


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to the brand, tempted by the opportunity to drive an “affordable” Jag (XE prices start at €37,995). If they’re right, and the XE achieves predicted global sales of 60,000-80,000 units, this would effectively double the company’s annual volume. For a niche luxury brand that’s a highly desirable outcome

as prestige marques, such as Audi, push harder and harder towards annual sales volumes of close to two million units a year. Small volume producers like to emphasise their exclusivity, but unless the margins are substantial, size matters. With so much at stake, Jaguar has gone all-out for road presence with the XE, which has a coupe-like profile with a rising waistline descending towards a steeply raked windscreen and strongly accentuated bonnet styling. They’ve also put a great deal of thought into the driving dynamics in an effort to produce handling characteristics on par with the best the Germans can offer, and they’ve largely pulled it off successfully. The rear-wheel-drive XE is stiff and aerodynamic

with a 75 per cent aluminium body that produces a body-in-white weight of just 251kg making it the lightest Jag ever. The front suspension is also aluminium with a set-up that mirrors that of the Jaguar F-Type sports car. Jaguar has developed its own diesel engine range for the XE and this two litre four-cylinder unit is available with either 163bhp or 180bhp with six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. The diesel will be the big seller here, but there are also two and three-litre petrol engine options for those so inclined. To let owners get the most from their XE, Jaguar has served it up with four driving modes - dynamic, InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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normal, eco and winter. Modes two and three are self-explanatory. Modes one and two are where driver preference comes in and mine was for the dynamic mode as it seemed best suited to delivering the kind of sporty saloon feel that BMW has down to a fine art and Jaguar would like to replicate. The XE comes with electric power steering which offers a consistent feel regardless of the conditions and it also debuts Jaguar’s All Surface Progress Control which works like a very smart traction control system to ensure the car gains grip in snow or slippery conditions without driver intervention at speeds below 30kph. Also on board are autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. The XE has a very well appointed cabin with a nice infotainment system accessed via an 8-inch touchscreen. It’s very comfortable and the driving experience is refined and polished. Sat Nav and smartphone connectivity are standard. The XE comes with a Jaguar Care package that includes three years free service and roadside assistance. Jaguar launched the new XE with enormous hype. Now that the dust has settled it will be the sales figures that will show whether or not buyers believe the hype was right.

Auto Innovate: VEHICLES GET VIRTUAL Coming down the tracks fast is in-vehicle virtualisation whereby your car becomes like a mobile part of the internet and interior surfaces can be used as a graphic interface and a source of information. According to Anke Kleinschmit, Head of Corporate Research at Daimler, “virtuality makes in-vehicle digitisation directly perceivable. This makes it one of the key technologies for the mobility of the 21st century.” Mercedes reckons the car of the future will become a mobile living space that will connect travellers to their surroundings, social, informative and anecdotal. Using 3D simulation, Mercedes-Benz’s Going Virtual project demonstrates how passengers can see their surroundings in daylight even though they are travelling at night. It also allows them to make advertising hoardings and noise protection barriers disappear to get an unobstructed view of their urban or rural surroundings. Information about an interesting place or buildings en route can also be brought right into the car to get a bird’s-eye view of the place or attraction.


VOLVO TAKES THE STRESS OUT OF CHILD SEATS As anyone who has ever tried to get a wriggling infant into or out of a car seat, not all child seats are user friendly for adults. But if Volvo puts its Excellence Child Seat Concept into action, all this may change. What’s new about the concept is that the child seat replaces the front passenger seat with the child facing into the cabin. This is consistent with Volvo’s long held view that children should be seated rear facing due to the lack of muscular strength in their necks and the disproportionate weight of their heads. The concept also makes life easier for stressed parents. The seat swivels for easier access and it comes with loads of storage spaces. There’s room for small items behind the seat, space for bigger things underneath and a dedicated place for a changing bag below the dashboard. The seat also tilts to allow the child to lean back safely to sleep while bottles can be kept warm in the heated cup holder.

In 2015 global sales of the radar, cameras, sensors and software used for driver assistance systems will reach around $10.6 billion according to industry analysts, IHS Automotive. This figure is set to double by 2020 as features such as collision avoidance systems are added to volume models. All of this is moving the world closer and closer towards self-driving cars. Toyota plans to offer automated driving in Japan by 2020 while Volvo expects to have a fleet of fully autonomous cars driving real customers on the roads of Gothenburg in 2017. Right now technologies such as self-parking cars, cars that can change lanes and cars that can make autonomous emergency stops based on the information being received from cameras, radar, lidar and multiple sensors, are all being fine-tuned. Within a decade these functions will be combined to create cars that can drive themselves with little or no input from humans. Then it really will be possible to shave, breakfast and even snooze safely on the way to work.

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LIFESTYLE: innovation

INNOVATION NATION InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping the future. In this issue: travel tech.

BIRKSUN BOOST SOLAR BACKPACK Our fascination with mobile technology has created a market for all kinds of portable devices. With that comes the constant need to recharge. Enter the Boost Solar Backpack from Birksun for those who love the outdoors but who keep their tech close at hand. A solar panel on the backpack harnesses the sun’s energy, allowing you to simply plug your device into the USB port within the backpack and start charging. The solar panel is waterproof, the backpack is lightweight and it comes in a range of colours, styles and sizes to accommodate everyone’s tastes and requirements. Available for €90-€180 at

RE-TIMER JETLAG EYEWEAR They may not be the most stylish of eyewear, but Australian researchers claim that Re-timer glasses have developed the answer to jetlag. The light therapy used by the goggles suppresses your body’s melatonin production so that you can control when you fall asleep. Available for €220 at


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LIFESTYLE: innovation

Digital Digest Slack, the massively popular business messaging app that has a base in Dublin, has launched a new $80 million venture capital fund that will invest in start-ups, building apps on top of Slack, and a new app store called App Directory.

AIRBOLT SMART TRAVEL LOCK AirBolt is a bluetooth enabled smart travel lock that you control from your phone. It can send you audio alerts if your luggage has been stolen and has the ability to track it via a map to its last registered location. Due to launch in August 2016.

85 per cent of Irish homes have access to the internet at home, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office. Under 1 per cent says there’s no broadband available to them.

The same-sex marriage referendum was the most talked about topic in Ireland on Facebook during 2015, according to new data released by the social network.

Apple has released a smart battery case that will give iPhone 6S and iPhone 6 users up to 25 hours extra talk time. It is available in the US for $99.

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With a surface spanning as far as the eye can see, this holiday hotspot plays host to a variety of watersports and leisure activities.

Luxury Lake of


Il Vittoriale degli Italiani


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here is an enchantment and beauty to Lake Garda in northern Italy that cannot be matched. Its vast and varied landscape creates a scene of tranquillity for those seeking a quiet getaway and, with its commanding cultural presence and potential for adventure, it offers much more than a pretty landscape. It’s also a fantastic treat for the historical enthusiast – populated by a large number of medieval castles, including Castello degli Scaligeri in Sirmione which is one of the best preserved fortifications in Italy. It’s also worth paying a visit to the Saint Martino Tower, and the slightly bizarre Il Vittoriale degli Italiani, once home to the Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio.

The largest of Italy’s lakes, make sure to experience everything the vast waters of Lake Garda have to offer. With a surface spanning as far as the eye can see, this holiday hotspot plays host to a variety of watersports and leisure activities, from fishing and diving to kite surfing and para-sailing. If you fancy letting a machine do most of the work, simply hop on a jet ski or take the wheel of a luxury speed boat; you won’t be able to resist putting yourself in the shoes of James Bond – the heart-thumping opening scene of Quantum of Solace was filmed along the road to Tremosine on the lake’s northwestern shores. And, if you’re bringing the family, don’t forget to take in the Caneva Aquapark on the southeastern banks of the lake; all the fun of life on a Carribbean Island with less of the expense! If the water isn’t your favourite place to be, don’t worry – look to the nearby InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Hotel Parchi de Garda The Hotel Parchi de Garda offers a space that contains six meeting rooms that can each accommodate up to 800 people. With impeccable catering services and skilled technical staff, the hotel will accommodate your needs with expertise and efficiency.


Hotel Remàt The Hotel Remat restaurant is an authentic find. Inside the premises you’ll find a laid-back ambience with superb dishes on offer. If you opt for the outdoor seating, it provides an idyllic view of the sun setting on Lake Garda as you dine.

SLEEP... Aqualux Hotel mountains for a dose of adrenaline. Alongside rock climbing, hiking and rail car rides, the rugged terrain is paradise for the avid mountain biker (whether you venture onto the tougher tracks to the north, or the gentler slopes further south), while touring the local countryside by bike is one of the best way to explore the villages, vineyards and eateries.

Slow Pace If you’ve come to Lake Garda to escape the rush of a fast-paced life then perhaps a more peaceful diversion is in order. For a more serene activity, try a relaxing stroll through InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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View the area by guided tour. A bus ticket for the 24-hour City Sightseeing costs 20

Check out Marco e Daniela Time on Via Risorgimento, Peschiera del Garda, which also boasts some tasty craft beers

the vineyards and wineries that fill the region – you can’t come to Italy without tasting the fruits of their fantastic vineyards. Three of Italy’s wine producing regions border the lake, with a diverse range of red, white and rosé wine just waiting to be tested. A tour through the vineyard followed by a wine tasting can be a touch of elegance for anyone ranging from novice to expert. Le Chiusure in Portese is well worth the visit, with tours of the wine cellar, vineyard and olive groves held every Thursday at 6pm. And then there’s the food – fantastic, filling and easy on the wallet.

Located in the town of Bardolino, this central hotel will provide you with a a fresh and modern setting that strays away from the traditional Italian style. Enjoy premier cocktails at the hotel bar or avail of the full spa facilities provided.


Malcesine Castle Inside Malcesine Castle lies a comprehensive exhibit of Italian history dating back as far as 500 B.C. The fortification is a reminder of the strategic position of the town and the battles that were fought over who controlled it. Check out the fantastic panoramic views from the top.


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LIFESTYLE: travel The south east banks of the lake have all the fun of life on a Carribbean Island



GENUSS & LIFESTYLE This handy app will search for the best bars, restaurants and clubs in the region. Available:


LAKE GARDA APP The Lake Garda app provides you with information on how to get to the lake and the surrounding areas of interest. It also offers information on the weather and has a list of useful local phone numbers. Available:


LAKEAPP Using your GPS location, this app will give you all the necessary information about the port closest to you. But don’t worry if you can’t use WiFi because LakeApp comes pre-installed with boat schedules. Available:

Verona is only one hour by bus and train from Garda town



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If you’re on a no carbs diet then Italy may not be your ideal destination, but the numerous eateries dotted around the lake region offer the widest variety of pasta dishes. For those who don’t want to roam too far from their comfort zone, many restaurants offer the classics such as lasagne and bolognaise at an impeccable standard. For the daring type there’s a medley of different options that include flavours of spicy chilli, crushed garlic and porcini mushrooms coupled with seafood caught from Lake Garda itself. Check out Marco e Daniela Time on Via Risorgimento, Peschiera del Garda, which also boasts some tasty craft beers. When you need something sweet, head straight for the gelato, and prepare to have your decisiveness tested by the abundance of radically different flavours at each location. For the best gelato on the lake, try Gelateria Blu Garda near Portese for a flavour feast you’ll never forget (we recommend the pistachio).

Room to Explore No matter which area of Lake Garda you choose to stay in, public transport will make moving through different towns relatively effortless. Between buses, ferries and trains you won’t be restricted to the hotel pool. Lazise, for example, supplies an authentic taste of Italy. There’s less focus on tourism in this quaint little pocket of Lake Garda, which means you will be privy to a glimpse of true Italian culture. Visit one of the many idyllic cafes and bars and take in the passing culture with a smooth glass of wine in hand. If high fashion is your passion then Lazise is a town you can’t afford to skip. You will easily invest hours in wandering the casual side-streets for your favourite Italian boutiques. If you have a taste for passion, immerse yourself in the romance of nearby Verona (one hour by bus and train from Garda town) where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set the scene for their epic tale. Verona offers an

opportunity to explore stunning architecture and fascinating history Classics and any fan of the Bard’s such as famous tale can wander lasagne and through numerous sites bolognaise dedicated to his two young at an impeccable lovers. Verona is also a centre for art and poetry. standard If you would like to fully appreciate everything this historical venue delivers we’d suggest booking a guided tour throughout the city – a 24-hour City Sightseeing ticket (by bus) will set you back just €20. If historic culture, sophisticated dining and good wine are all boxes on your holiday checklist, then make Lake Garda your next destination. The gentle heat in the late summer months can be a welcome relief from unruly Irish weather, but you won’t be overpowered by the high temperatures while you explore the surrounding towns. All in all, there is only one way to truly understand what this unique location has to offer. Buy your ticket, pack your suitcase and take the plunge. InBUSINESS InBusiness | Q4 Q2 2015 2014

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InBUSINESS looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge.



hortlisted for this year’s Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, How Music Got Free charts how the arrival of the MP3 upended almost everything about how music is distributed, consumed and stored. It’s a story most people think they know, but in his first book Steven Witt brings fresh reporting to bear, and complicates things in terrific ways. The story begins with a small time thief at a CD pressing plant and a ground breaking invention on the other side of the globe. It then pans from the multi-million dollar deals of the music industry to the secret recesses of the web, from German audio laboratories to a tiny Polynesian radio station. This is how one man’s crime snowballs into an explosive moment in history. How Music Got Free is an engaging account of the rise of digital music piracy and it’s well worth a read.

AUTHOR: Steven Witt PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House RRP: 22.10 AVAILABLE:


The FT Essential Guide to Writing a Business Plan

Calcio: A History of Italian Football


While lounging at Lake Garda why not get a real taste of Italian culture by reading the first book on the history of Italian football to be written in English. First published in 2006, John Foot’s Calcio is a mix of serious analysis and comic storytelling, with vivid descriptions of games, goals, dives, missed penalties, riots and scandals in the richest and toughest league in the world.

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In their new book, Rob Goffee and leadership experts Gareth Jones Rob Goffee and PUBLISHER: Gareth Jones show Harvard how organisations Business Review Press can create a thriving, RRP: attractive workplace 29.50 culture that attracts AVAILABLE: and retains the right people, which leads to a sustained high performance. They also provide ways of assessing how your own organisation is doing and describe the tensions and trade-offs that leaders must manage in building their dream business. Exploring the successes and learnings of diverse organisations such as Arup, NovoNordisk, LOCOG and Waitrose, the authors acknowledge that building better workplaces is not an alternative to, but rather a means for, responding to the new challenges of capitalism, for building productivity, unleashing creativity, and winning.

“You can get it if you really want, but only if you have a good plan to get you there.”

AUTHOR: Vaughan Evans PUBLISHER: FT Publishing International AVAILABLE:

Whether you are seeking financial backing or board consent, this book provides the critical knowledge you need to get the go ahead. Written by a seasoned practitioner with years of experience in both writing and evaluating business plans for funding, it will help formulate a coherent, consistent and convincing business plan with your backer’s needs in mind. Follow its guidance and your plan will have every chance of winning the backing you need for your business to succeed.


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| ROBBIE WILLIAMS | | FARRELL | PENNEYS | Robbie Williams first launched his clothing range Farrell, named after the singer’s late grandfather, in 2011. In November 2014, Robbie announced he was relaunching the brand in partnership with Primark, the line continues to be sold in Penneys with new lines added throughout the year.

Check Shirt a24.99

Tweed Blazer a50 Tweed Waiscoat a23 LS Shirt a19 Tweed Trouser a25

Wool Blend Jumper a19.99

Camel Classic Coat a119

Peacoat a65 Slim Fit Jeans a20 Brogue Boots a50

Long Sleeve Black Denim Shirt a19


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| DAVID BECKHAM | MODERN ESSENTIALS | H&M | David Beckham is probably one of the few celebrities who still manages to boost sales in the cash strapped month of January – H&M reported a 14 per cent sales boost in January of this year, thanks to the former footballer’s clothing collection flying off the shelves in its stores worldwide. In 2013, the Swedish fashion giant reported a pre-tax profit of £17.8m, for its UK arm, up from £15.7m the previous year. It thanked brand Beckham for helping lift sales from £718.5m to £777.6m. InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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| BALMAIN X H&M | A one-off collaboration between the Parisian luxury fashion house Balmain and the high street retailer H&M hit stores on November 2015. Balmain x H&M is an accessibly priced collection of more than 100 pieces for both men and women. The success of these collaborations is not measured in dollars, but in overall media impressions, the metric used to determine how many times consumers read or saw a mention of the collaboration in the news media. This particular collaboration amassed billions of impressions.

Balmain X H&M Faux Fur Jacket

Scribe of London, from a495, House of Fraser

Balmain X H&M Mixed Fabric Top


Balmain X H&M Yellow Rope Top

Balmain X H&M Suede Boots

Balmain X H&M Suede Purse

Irish model Roz Purcell has gone into business with former professional soccer player Pat Morley to produce sixties inspired two piece suits. The brand is now available at House of Fraser, Dundrum with an on-site tailoring service included.

| NAOMI CAMPBELL | TI:AMO | | NEWBRIDGE SILVER | Naomi Campbell was announced as the face of Newbridge Silverware in September. This is the first time the former supermodel has represented an Irish brand. Campbell will feature in all press advertisements for the company which have already been shot in Ireland for the next two years for print, campaign and point of sale.

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Long Sleeve Black Denim Shirt a19

Ti Amo charm bracelet, a40


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Brid Horan, Steering Committee member of 30% Club Ireland, talks to VALERIE JORDAN about women’s experience in the workplace, taking steps to further the percentage of females at senior level and the sound business reasons for gender balance.


I joined the workforce in 1971, they were stark and challenging times, with unequal pay and treatment the norm. This has changed over the years but it is striking that there is still a serious gender imbalance in the leadership of many vital organisations,” says Brid Horan. Horan started her career in Irish Life as an actuary. She later worked in KPMG, heading up its pension and actuarial business before joining ESB as Group Pensions Manager. Late last year she retired as Deputy Chief Executive of ESB, having spent eight years on the executive director team. She has also served on the board of the IDA, as a commissioner of the National Pensions Reserve Fund and as a non-executive director of FBD Holdings.


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In 2014, the 30% Club launched in Ireland and Horan joined the initiative as a member of the Steering Committee. “At board level, only 12.3 per cent of board members of companies listed on the Irish Stock Exchange are women and there is a similar pattern at the most senior levels in business. I believe highlighting the value of gender balance and working with business leaders to achieve this is really worthwhile,” she states. Horan has long been an advocate for women and their career development, both for the sake of equality and also for better business. She says her belief in gender balance is based on three key areas: “First, the need for talent in business – young women are highly successful in business. It is so important to fully develop this talent, female and male.

“Second, teams with gender balance have a mix of attributes, skills and experience. Research has shown that balanced teams produce better outcomes. Just to mention two, When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive by Mercer and Cracking the Code by YSC and KPMG, both found that, in terms of key leadership competencies, women often score better than men in relation to collaboration, teamwork, innovation and creativity. Several other studies have demonstrated stronger financial results from companies with more gender-balanced leadership. “Third, a significant majority of purchase decisions are made by women – it doesn’t make sense to have this important customer perspective underrepresented at board and senior management level. All too often

businesses are missing out on the female perspective on their products and services.” In Ireland, the 30% Club is working towards a figure of 30 per cent of business leadership positions being held by women by 2020. When the organisation was set up in the UK in 2010 it had a particular focus on the low percentage of women on FTSE company boards. Since then the focus has extended to improving gender balance at all levels of business leadership. “The need for greater diversity is true for other elements of the workforce too; balance across all dimensions is important,” says Horan. “It is clear, however, that, in spite of having anti-discrimination legislation in place for decades, there is still a serious imbalance in the gender mix at the top of business.” InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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Brid Horan with Marie O’Connor, Partner, PwC and Country Lead of the 30% Club in Ireland, Lochlann Quinn and Dr Simon Boucher, IMI

Brid Horan with Siobhán McAleer from the IMI, Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Brid Horan

In the UK, real progress has already been made on FTSE 100 boards, with the proportion of women increasing from 12.5 per cent to 26 per cent in the last five years. Since the Irish launch, the percentage of women on listed company boards has also increased from 10 to 12.3 per cent. Support has been widespread. Chairs and CEOs from some of the country’s leading businesses have joined, from major plcs, commercial semi-state companies, multinationals and private Irish businesses. Other important business organisations, including Chambers Ireland, have also joined. Several international reports, including for example, research by McKinsey, have confirmed that female executives believe they have the ability to become top managers InBUSINESS | Q4 2015

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and have the ambition to do so, but are less confident that their companies’ culture supports their advancement. The real challenge, Horan believes, will be changing this culture. She also has some practical advice for business leaders to get more women to senior levels and for affecting a cultural shift. “A good start is to understand what is happening in your own business and question the data,” Horan advises. “What are the proportions of women at each level? Is there a concentration in particular functions? Are women applying for more senior roles in proportion to their existing representation at the more junior level? If not, why not? Are women leaving the organisation as they progress to more senior levels and, if so, do you understand why? In doing this, it’s really important

not to assume you know the answers or the underlying reasons. “While overt barriers have come down, unconscious bias can be a critical factor. Work to understand and counter this, particularly as it affects hiring and promotion decisions and the culture in the business. Ensure that managers are not promoting people based on their own ideals, which may reflect their own particular personality, skills and experience. Company leaders need to show genuine leadership on this issue and embrace the challenge and the opportunity of having greater balance in their business,” Horan says. With sound business reasons, as well as equality ones, shouldn’t we ultimately strive for a 50:50 balance and a business culture where gender is no longer a factor? “I’m going to quote

the French philosopher Voltaire,” says Horan. “‘Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien – the perfect is the enemy of the good.’ This advice applies to many aspects of life, not just business, and for me it means taking steps to improve the situation. Don’t wait for the perfect solution, the ideal; work to improve things and move forward. “We have some way to go to reach 30 per cent. When we do, then I hope that the ambition and drive will be there to go further and achieve genuine balance, which would be more like 50 per cent.”


THE GLOBAL LANDSCAPE To see how Ireland stacks up against other countries when it comes to female representation on the boards of top listed companies turn to our IB Index on the back page.


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In this issue, InBUSINESS explores data from the Women on Boards Davies Review.




7 6



5 10


1st Norway

35.1 6th

3rd Sweden


7th UK




5th Finland

29.4 9th




4th France




Scandinavian countries feature strongly in this index with Norway positioning the highest on the international stage. In 2003 the Norwegian government passed a law that requires companies to have women representing at least 40 per cent of company board members. In place since 2006, a failure to achieve the quota leads to the company being delisted.


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28.5 10th





Perhaps surprisingly, the US features only 11th in this index with women accounting for 16.9 per cent of directors of NASDAQ 100 companies. The US has a bit of catching up to do with many of its European counterparts, but on a more positive note, of the 500 biggest American companies, just 3 per cent have zero female board members.




With women accounting for just 12 per cent of company directors in Ireland, there is still a long way to go to achieve gender parity, and in the meantime many continue to call for faster progress. Initiatives such as the 30% Club and Investec’s Women in Business Programme can only help Ireland break into the top ten and be an example for other nations.

ABOUT THE WOMEN ON BOARDS DAVIES REVIEW The Women on Boards Davies Review is a UK government publication which gives a summary of the voluntary, business led approach to increase representation of women on FTSE 100 boards to at least 25%. The report also sets out next step recommendations for further work in this area. To view the full report go to

uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/482059/ BIS-15-585-women-onboards-davies-review-5-yearsummary-october-2015.pdf

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For over 150 years John Sisk & Son has been developing the strength, diversity and experience that has made it Ireland’s leading construction business. We have used our expertise to win contracts of national scale across all sectors in Ireland, the UK and beyond. In Ireland these have included contracts for the Convention Centre Dublin, Aviva Stadium, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, the fit-out of the Google Offices in Dublin the New Science Block at UCD and the Mater Hospital Atrium. In the UK we have managed contracts for the Olympic Games Athletes’ Village, Crossrail Tunnels, the Monarch Aircraft Hangar at Birmingham Airport, the Energy from Waste Station near Leeds and many more. SISK Group has built a diversified, international business with the support of our customers and partners and we are very proud of our history and our long standing reputation for providing top class service delivery and quality.


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