DRIVING EXCELLENCE IN INNOVATION Irelandâ€™s leading non-profit, business-led, innovation network.
INNOVATION EXCELLENCE INTO THE NEW DECADE
nnovation, from product through process to business innovation, has been a cornerstone of the country’s strengthening economic performance in recent years. This is evident in multinational and indigenous firms, startups and the higher education sector, and is testament to strong investment by both the business community and the State over the past decade. Ireland faces new and continued challenges in 2020. Sustainability is an increasingly important theme, alongside global trade tensions, disruptive technology, future skills, taxation, Brexit and competitiveness. Despite these pressures there is an underlying confidence that we are well placed to exploit the many opportunities for growth at home and abroad. Since its foundation in 1992, IRDG has been an effective advocate for industry research and innovation and has consistently played a key role in representing the voice of industry to government departments, bodies and State agencies. This aspect of IRDG’s mission is as important as ever in 2020 and we will continue to advocate for greater investment, both public and private, in our Research, Development & Innovation talent, expertise and infrastructure. Over the 28 years of its existence IRDG has become recognised as Ireland’s leading business-led community of practice for collaboration and innovation.
IRDG prides itself on being an open, inclusive, collaborative community, sharing insights, stories and experience. It facilitates networking with companies outside your normal area of expertise and industry sector. IRDG acts as the glue to enable shared learning and collaboration with a commercial focus. Our community of members is diverse across sectors, industries, location, seniority and vastly different levels of innovation experience. Companies can leverage IRDG in different ways depending upon business needs at any point in time: 1•
Work with us individually on topics of interest and relevance 2• Attend events to be kept up to date on the latest thinking or policy matters 3• Build your network to share insights and experience which will grow your capability 4• Let us connect you across sectors to grow your business. My message to our IRDG members is to embrace the opportunities for engagement that our community offers – ask questions, attend events, share your experience. Grow your own capacity and network through IRDG.
For those who are considering membership please contact the IRDG team and we will be delighted to explain the benefits and details. As a business involved in Research, Development and Innovation, IRDG is a unique community, full of potential and openness to help you. Be part of it!
Listening to and leveraging the experience of others can help you avoid similar mistakes and reach optimum results without duplication of effort.
Denis Hayes Managing Director, IRDG
The only non-profit industry group of its kind totally focused on RD&I
Led by our Industry Board, funded entirely through members subscriptions
Solid reputation for our approach and industry representation at State level
All HEI’s are full members facilitating direct engagement with industry
PROMOTING STATE SUPPORTS
ACTIVE UNDER 5 PILLARS
BUILDING INNOVATION CAPABILITY
300+ companies equally split between indigenous and FDI firms across all sectors
Advising members and providing fora for agencies to engage with industry
Representation, Funding & Support, Innovation Networking, Collaboration & Learning
Pioneering Design Thinking and Lean Product Development
SERVICE TO MEMBERS IRDG’S 5 PILLARS REPRESENTATION
FUNDING & SUPPORT
Ultimately, everything we do is about Research, Development & Innovation…
Managing Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership Development & Communications Manager email@example.com
086 254 4473
087 650 1215
Research & Innovation Services Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Accounts & Executive Assistant email@example.com 01 237 4671
083 821 3177
DARRAGH GAFFNEY Research & Innovation Services Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 087 347 3222
THE BOARD OF IRDG IRDG IS AN INDEPENDENT, NON-PROFIT GROUP, GOVERNED BY A BOARD OF DIRECTORS REPRESENTING A CROSS-SECTION OF MEMBER COMPANIES. IRDG CHAIRPERSON: DONAL TIERNEY, CEO, Bimeda Holdings MUIRIS FLYNN, Technical Director, Glen Dimplex ALDAGH MCDONOGH, CEO, Morgan McKinley RICHARD STACK, Director, Tricel SEAMUS LEDWITH, Senior Principal R&D Engineer, Medtronic Vascular FRANK KENNEDY, Cadbury Ireland SIOBHAN CAMPLISSON, Technical Director, Allergan JOHN MCKEON, Co-Founder & CEO, Allergy Standards THEA MURPHY, Managing Director, Silver Pail LOUISE GRUBB, Co-Founder & CEO, TriviumVet JOHN NEILAN, Director of New Ventures, Cook Ireland
THE VOICE OF INDUSTRY INNOVATION
epresentation is IRDG’s primary pillar and, having developed a strong reputation over 28 years, IRDG is recognised as the leading voice of industry when it comes to Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I). The organisation engages with government departments, agencies and state bodies to drive forward the national innovation policy and operational agendas. IRDG’s Representation occurs in a number of different ways:
2 By reaching out in a proactive way to Government, IRDG shares the collective positions of members on a variety of topics which are critical to the business Research & Innovation community. DBEI
3 Through facilitated fora, IRDG brings together government departments and agencies with industry members to engage, connect and speak with each other to progress key initiatives and insights. IDA IRELAND
DEPT. OF FINANCE
R&D TAX CREDITS KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT BOX R&D INCENTIVES BREXIT INNOVATION STRATEGY TECHNOLOGY FORESIGHT RESEARCH PRIORITISATION COLLABORATION
KEY TOPICS WHICH ARE LIVE AND ACTIVE ON THE IRDG AGENDA INCLUDE: • The 2019 Department of Finance review of the R&D Tax Credit Scheme and future related policy decisions arising in 2020. • Brexit and the imperative for increased RD&I activity and support. • Digital Strategy, Industry 4.0, Future Skills & Jobs, Technology Foresight and other such strategic Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) initiatives which aim to understand future trends and ensure national readiness for Ireland. • Design Strategy via participation in the National Design Forum. • The continued development and rollout of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF). • Revenue R&D Tax Credit Discussion Group. • Development of successor to Innovation 2020, the National Strategy for Research & Innovation. • Horizon Europe - the successor programme to H2020. • The Knowledge Development Box Review 2020. • Knowledge Transfer and Intellectual Property issues in industry. • Programmes and supports for industry RD&I available via the key agencies: IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Science Foundation Ireland. • ISO Innovation Management standard through NSAI. • National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence. Overall, IRDG is a conduit for channelling lots of ideas and conversation to / from our members and the key national policy makers and implementors. IRDG is recognised as a key, constructive, stakeholder and our continued membership growth adds to our strength of voice. With diverse and bright-minded opinions from our unique cross-sectoral membership, we can ensure a creative collaboration and exchange of ideas in order to navigate the future purposefully and skilfully. Members inputs are always welcome on any topics.
As a recognised leading voice of industry, IRDG regularly contributes to invitations by the Government on the development of specific policies or guidelines in relation to Research, Development & Innovation.
IRDG PILLAR: REPRESENTATION
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION FUND (DTIF)
he Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is a €500 million fund established under Project Ireland 2040. With applicants from sectors including Manufacturing, ICT, Health and Food in the first round (2018), the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) was keen to gauge the industry sentiment. DBEI invited an IRDG delegation to a consultative workshop to understand the experiences of first-round applicants and identify what changes could be implemented ahead of round 2. Over 20 IRDG members from large and small companies took part.
Discussions and recommendations centred around effective communications, intellectual property, partner companies, increasing the attractiveness for SMEs and feedback on applications. The second set of successful projects were announced in late 2019. Several IRDG industry members were amongst the 16 teams that will share €65 million in funding. We wish every success to Aerogen, Fotonation, Gentian Services, Mastercard and Teleflex. (IRDG members successful in the 2018 call included Intel, Curran Scientific, Design Partners, Henkel, Janssen, Stryker and Carbery.)
t the IRDG R&D Tax Credits Policy & Operations Seminar in February 2019, the Department of Finance announced the review of the R&D Tax Credit Scheme which was completed during the year.
Department of Finance. One delegation consisted of SME’s and the second consisted of larger member companies, in order to facilitate a more targeted discussion around their respective perspectives.
R&D Tax Credits are worth an estimated €700m per annum to Irish businesses, and are a significant incentive for many companies doing RD&I. Such a review is undertaken every 3 years, to ensure ongoing value to the exchequer and tax payer from the credit.
In addition, IRDG made a written submission containing the summary views of all members who contributed.
During the consultation period, two delegations from IRDG met with the
The detail of the review will be available throughout 2020, and we expect ongoing discussions and adjustments to the scheme as the outputs from the review are considered and implemented.
REVENUE COMMISSIONERS DISCUSSION GROUP
RDG continues to work closely with the Revenue Commissioners in developing sector-specific guidance around the R&D Tax Credit. This has started with the Food & Beverage sector. The IRDG Food Working Group, set up in response to this
s Ireland approaches full employment making sure Irish workers have the skills that enterprise needs matters more than ever. Increasingly Ireland is competing globally on the basis of talent and on a growing reputation for innovation. Hence a focus on skills has become a central tenet of the Government’s future strategy. The IRDG executive and member companies have been involved through interviews and workshops with the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), an independent, non-statutory body set up by Government. One area of focus for the EGFSN is a study on Design Skills in Ireland. Due for publication in 2020, the outcome of their research will determine if there is a gap between the supply and demand of design skills in enterprise and recommend actions to bridge any gaps.
R&D TAX CREDITS
EXPERT GROUP ON FUTURE SKILLS NEEDS
Revenue initiative and involving a number of key member companies, has submitted worked examples to Revenue, and will see through to conclusion with Revenue. Other sectors will be invited to participate as the initiative is rolled out.
ENTERPRISE IRELAND’S NEW STRATEGY FOR RESEARCH & INNOVATION
n opportunity for IRDG members to contribute to Enterprise Ireland’s new strategy for research and innovation was very welcome in 2019. A joint consultative workshop involving over 20 member companies took place between senior Enterprise Ireland representatives and business leaders from across a variety of sectors. Open discussions were had around the existing policies and programmes Enterprise Ireland has for business, to determine where there are opportunities for improvement and versatility to support overall business and economic success.
INNOVATION SUPPORTS - IF IN DOUBT, SHOUT WE HAVE THE EXPERTISE TO ADVISE & GUIDE YOU
S ES LLS C I AC I SK & RD
N TIO ORA S LAB T COL UPPOR S
• Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund • Innovation Vouchers • Innovation Partnerships • Science Foundation Ireland Spokes Programme • Science Foundation Ireland Strategic Partnerships • EU H2020 Collaboration Projects • EU Eurostars • EU Fast Track Innovation
R GR D& AN I TS
BU INN SINESS OVA TIO N
• Enterprise Ireland GradStart • InterTradeIreland Fusion Programme • Irish Research Council Employment Based Programme • Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme • Science Foundation Ireland Industry Fellowship • EU H2020 Marie SkłodowskaCurie Actions
EI/IDA/Údarás na Gaeltachta • Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund • RD&I Grant • Technical Feasibility/Exploring Innovation Grant • Intellectual Property Strategy Grant EU • Eurostars • EIC Accelerator Pilot (formerly SME Instrument) • Fast Track Innovation
RD&I PERFORMER © IRDG 2020
• EI Business Innovation Grant • EI Capital Investment Initiative • IDA Business Asset Grant • EI Small Business Innovation Research
• R&D Tax Credits • Knowledge Development Box • Capital Allowance for Intangible Assets
NEED HELP? When looking into grant funding, it’s not unusual to become confused about the most relevant option to support the R&D you want to do. Often the language of funders doesn’t align with that used in business and anticipating the funders expectations can be fraught with uncertainty. This is where IRDG can help. Assistance is available in the form of experienced sector specific experts who are regularly assisting companies with
grant applications. They have built up a picture of what a good application looks like and understand the content required to meet expectations. They also understand the technical and commercial assessments undertaken and can help navigate the process, saving you time and energy. If grant funding is on your agenda for 2020, please get in touch for a conversation on how we can help.
IRDG PILLAR: FUNDING & SUPPORT
R&D TAX CREDITS BE CLAIM READY FOR 2020
he R&D Tax Credit scheme is designed as an incentive for SMEs and large companies to invest in Research & Development. It offers a vital means to develop new products and processes, cut costs and improve cash flow, whilst keeping ahead of the competition. Keeping up to date with the changes to the scheme is essential to ensure an optimised and compliant claim.
BUDGET 2020 Budget 2020 set out a series of changes, including the following. ( Note that these rules are now in effect, and will apply for the 2020 period. ) • For micro and small companies - Rate of credit increased from 25% to 30% - Payable credit limit increased to twice the payroll liabilities - Relief available for pre-trading expenditure. • Cap on subcontracting to third level institutions increased to 15% - Available to all claimants - Comes in line with outsourcing to third parties. • Application of penalties on R&D tax credit overclaims aligned with other credit overclaims.
• Companies must notify subcontractors “in advance of, or on the date the payment is made” where they might be claiming the R&D tax credit on that payment. • R&D expenditure is net of grant funding - Grants funded by any Member State and/or EU must be deducted. • Losses or credits cannot shelter any clawbacks. • Only one relief can be claimed in respect of capital expenditure on buildings or structures.
FUTURE CHANGES TO R&D TAX CREDIT SCHEME The October 2019 review by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) of Ireland’s SME and Entrepreneurship Policy came as a timely reminder that greater State support for SMEs is required to keep pace with foreign-owned counterparts. Amongst the many recommendations in the report, those relevant to the R&D tax credit scheme include: • Smaller enterprises would gain from a reduction in the administrative burden of the scheme, less stringent audits and clear guidelines on how to file a claim. • Reduce the record keeping requirements for firms accessing the credits from four years to three years.
• Adapt the R&D tax credit instrument to encourage innovation collaborations by SMEs by increasing the share of subsidies that flow to smaller firms involved in outsourcing R&D tasks to research and technology organisations. • Introduce a pre-approval procedure for R&D tax credits.
The next step for the Dept. of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is to publish its own strategy that meets the targets for all 11 actions set out in the OECD’s Review. The 2019 Dept. of Finance R&D Tax Credit review also sought inputs on improving the current system to make it more attractive to SMEs. The output of this work will be published during 2020.
EVOLVING REVENUE GUIDELINES The R&D Tax Credit scheme is administered by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, which issued its latest guidelines during 2019. Although not legislation, the guidelines provide useful insights into Revenue’s present thinking on key issues relating to the R&D Tax Credit. There are 14 changes compared to the previous guidelines published in April 2015. Some of these are minor and constitute clarification on existing practice. Other notable revisions cover: • Inclusion of a template file layout to support an R&D claim • Examples of qualifying R&D in the Biopharma and Generic Pharma industry • Eligibility to claim for sub-contracted R&D activity
• Materials used in R&D activities, which may be subsequently sold • Clarification on the treatment of seconded employees.
Any further changes to the scheme emerging from the Dept. of Finance R&D Tax Credit Review or the OCED Review will be reflected by Revenue in updates to the guidelines. Members can be kept informed of changes by attending the many nationwide R&D Tax Credit Clinics during the year.
ACHIEVING GLOBAL INNOVATION THROUGH LOCAL R&D ECOSYSTEMS 1 9 9 6 FIDELITY IRELAND
FINTAN O’MALLEY Director, RD&I, Fidelity Investments Ireland
FIRST GLOBAL S I T E
ACROSS DUBLIN &GALWAY
U S PAT E N TS FROM FIDELITY
INVE N TOR S
idelity Investments is a diversified financial services company based in Boston with a global presence. Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $8.2 trillion as of November 30, 2019, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 30 million people invest their own life savings, 22,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 13,500 financial advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Fidelity Ireland wins the 2019 Invest in Ireland Use of R&D Gold Award
We are more than a financial services firm - we are innovators, a market leader in defining investment strategies and pioneers in developing cutting-edge technology solutions. Our work at Fidelity Ireland is critical to the global organization, delivering essential technology, operations and support services. Ireland’s Innovation 2020 strategy, supporting the new generation of emerging technology opportunities, has been a significant contributor to Fidelity Investments doubling its technology footprint in Dublin and Galway in the past six years. Through support from the IDA and various Government R&D incentives, Fidelity Ireland has grown its capabilities across multiple domains including Enterprise Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Asset Management, Brokerage Technology, and more recently, our new Digital Assets organization. Our Dublin office in Citywest is also home to Fidelity’s European Innovation Lab.
Exploring ideas and potential at Fidelity’s European Innovation Lab
With support from Enterprise Ireland (EI) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), we partner with universities and research centres to achieve break-through innovations for global application. A recent co-authored paper on the work Fidelity and Insight/NUIG conducted in the area of NLP was awarded top 3 paper in the 2019 International Semantics Conference in Germany and in recognition of our work with the Irish academic R&D ecosystem, Fidelity Ireland was awarded the Invest in Ireland “Use of R&D” Gold Award 2019.
Fintan sharing experiences and insights at IRDG’s Funding & Collaboration for Business Innovation event
IRDG PILLAR: FUNDING & SUPPORT
MAXIMISING FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
TO SUPPORT INNOVATION ROADMAP DELIVERABLES SHARON DAVIN R&D Grants Manager, APC Ltd.
PC specialises in integrating innovative process performance across a medicine’s life cycle, from early phase development to manufacturing support. Serving the needs of the global biopharma sector, our primary objective is to design, develop and optimise robust, scalable and transferable processes to ensure an efficient, safe and secure supply of medicines for clients’ patients. With a new state-of-the-art research facility at Cherrywood, the APC team of world-class bio/process engineers, process and analytical chemists, modelling engineers and life scientists deliver excellence across a wide range of process challenges and APC’s own R&D and Innovation roadmap.
APC win Innovation of the Year in the 2019 Pharma Awards
At APC, we identify immediate, near-term and longer-term innovation deliverables within our roadmap, ranging from 12 months to 2+ years. IMMEDIATE TERM: For immediate term goals and sensitive, proprietary technology, this activity is performed in-house by our own subject matter experts and resourced with internal funds.
Brian Glennon, APC; Mary Byrne, IRDG; Sharon Davin, APC and Denis Hayes, IRDG
NEAR - LONG TERM: To realise our near-term and longer-term innovation deliverables, APC strategically targets national and EU funding to support these activities. These programmes help to ring-fence innovation activity within the company by bringing in excellent research staff and access to new technology; effectively reducing the risk and cost associated with longer-term RD&I goals – a critical issue for us as an SME.
In addition, as an industry partner in national technology and research centres, such as the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC) at the University of Limerick, APC can access talent, relevant and applied research programmes and a wider international network of excellence. The importance of the R&D Tax Credit also cannot be understated for APC. It has underpinned the development of our new RD&I facility and the recruitment of world-class R&D scientists and engineers in Ireland from both a national and international skills base.
SCHEMES ACCESSED INCLUDE: • Large R&D Grant and Innovation Partnership funding with Enterprise Ireland to deliver new platform services • Direct access to skilled researchers through the Irish Research Council PhD programmes • Science Foundation Ireland’s Industry Fellowship programme • Horizon 2020 MSCA and other European research programmes.
Our facility infrastructure is relatively mobile, as indeed are a substantial number of our key R&D employees. Leveraging the full scope of State and EU incentives is helping APC anchor core RD&I activity in Ireland, pioneer innovative solutions and increasingly become the partner of choice for the world’s leading pharma and biotech firms.
SETTING THE STANDARD FOR INNOVATION
nnovation is the most challenging management discipline of them all, and the skills and traits needed are not typically part of the regular management repertoire i.e., developing deep customer insights rather than relying on market reports; taking stepped funding decisions based on assumptions rather than proven facts; running small experiments to verify hypotheses rather than launching into costly project programs. The new ISO 56000 series of guidance standards on innovation management breaks new ground to enable organisations of all sizes navigate a systems approach to integrating innovation
into all the layers of an organisation. It offers best practice, procedures and guidance that provide a general, guiding framework for the successful implementation, maintenance, and continual improvement of an innovation management system. ISO 56002, Innovation Management System, published in July 2019 covers all aspects of innovation management, from how to generate initial ideas, right through to selling something new in the marketplace. It considers seven elements including context, leadership, planning, support, operations, evaluation, and improvement.
INNOVATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Context of the organisation Leadership
Evaluation Improvement Source: innovationmanagementsystem.com
The benefits of implementing a process aligned to the ISO Innovation Management System will impact every part of your business model, your people and processes, including Increased ability to manage uncertainty; Increased growth, revenues, profitability, and competitiveness; Improved common understanding and language within an organisation; Reduced costs and waste, and increased productivity and resource efficiency; Improved sustainability and resilience; Increased satisfaction of users, customers, citizens, and other interested parties;
Sustained renewal of the portfolio of offerings; Engaged and empowered people in the organisation; Increased ability to attract partners, collaborators, and funding; Enhanced reputation and valuation of the organisation; Improved ability to understand other organisationâ€™s ability to innovate; Facilitated compliance with regulations and other relevant requirements.
Ultimately, it will give your organisation first-mover advantage, safeguard your future while boosting positive returns on innovation investments, and allow you to successfully operationalise innovation management as a core competency. Further details on the standards are available at the National Standards Authority of Ireland.
OTHER COMPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTS IN THE ISO 56000 SERIES INCLUDE: ISO 56000
Fundamentals and vocabulary
Innovation Management Assessment
Intellectual property management
Strategic intelligence management
IRDG PILLAR: INNOVATION NETWORKING
INNOVATION PRACTICE GROUPS BE WHERE INNOVATION HAPPENS
e’ve had superb innovation visits in the past to companies including Microsoft, Medtronic, Trinity College Dublin, SAP, Keenan Systems, Irish Distillers, Glen Dimplex, Wisetek, ding*, EirGen, Bord na Móna, An Post, Alltech, Intel Labs, Silver Hill Foods, Dairymaster, Henkel, Kerry Group, Helsinn, APC, ESB and Analog Devices.
INNOVATION PRACTICE GROUP VISITS 2019
Focused on learning, generating knowledge and building capability, IRDG’s Innovation Practice Groups cover key innovation themes: ideation, implementation, collaboration, networking, leadership and value creation. Everyone loves to learn from the experience of their peers, and Source: Moodi Mahmoudi at Design Thinking Ireland these members generously share where they have gained and lost so that others don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Being exposed to life in different sectors and companies is an enlightening experience, which members really value. In addition, the more intimate group setting facilitates really valuable engagement, discussion and networking. Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities. And going by the statistic above, with so many companies seeking to improve how they ‘do’ their innovation, it’s no surprise our Innovation Practice Group visits are so popular.
SOME 2020 VISITS PLANNED:
If your business would like to host an Innovation Practice Group at some time in the future please do come talk to us.
NOEL CARR Managing Director
“It makes me wonder how they do it but IRDG keeps opening up these wonderful opportunities for us to visit leading companies such as Microsoft, Kerry Group, Dairymaster and Analog Devices. Getting direct access to their Centres of Excellence for R&D and hearing about the latest developments from their Innovation leaders is both inspirational and educational. Through these visits I have also made very important business connections with people from all sectors. Every single one we have attended has been invaluable to us”.
MEMBERS QUESTION TIME One of the huge advantages of the diverse membership base of IRDG is the range of knowledge, experiences and connections that people have. Tapping into all that collective insight and putting it to good use comes regularly when we share challenges members need help with. In recent times we issued over 30 questions, resulting in over 350 suggestions and ideas. The MQT page on our website hosts an up-todate list of questions. Members are welcome to request a copy of the report generated for any question, and very much encouraged to put forward their own challenges at any time.
OUR CHALLENGE: First-time collaborator – Finding a research partner Archway is an SME that designs and manufactures road repair equipment in Co. Leitrim. We’ve developed specialised equipment with several patented features for spray injection patching. This process involves a precisely controlled mixture of aggregate and bitumen emulsion that’s simultaneously pre-mixed and sprayed into road potholes. It’s more efficient and sustainable than traditional forms of patching.
DONAL MCNAMEE Managing Director, Archway Products
Spray injection patching is a relatively new area, however understanding the chemistry is challenging. We needed to evaluate the properties of the materials to identify the optimum and edge conditions, so we had the right mix at the right time. A literature search yielded nothing so we knew we needed to find an academic partner and conduct our own research. As we had no knowledge of relevant researchers in Ireland, we turned to IRDG who circulated our challenge to the academic institutions. We were delighted with the response which identified several key researchers with the expertise we were looking for. Brexit is demanding our attention presently, but we will soon begin the process of choosing our partner. This will be a new experience for Archway and we look forward to collaborating to deliver the outcome of a gold-standard operating procedure for the spray injection patching process. This will keep us at the forefront of the market, and meeting the needs of key customers such as the Department of Transport UK.
OUR CHALLENGE: Facilitating innovation and operational excellence at the same time The business was facing key questions. How do you balance innovation, delivery of a product and ultimately speed to market? How do you facilitate innovation and operational excellence at the same time?
CLARE KELLY Operations Manager, Aviareto
One of the key elements of Aviareto’s strategy is customer responsiveness: ensuring we meet our Service Level Agreement. Our goal was to be more innovative, but we had concerns around negatively impacting on our core element of operational excellence. We had reviewed research and papers from the likes of MIT, Harvard Business Review, academic publications and so on. All were helpful, but we lacked the real-world stories from the coalface; direct experience of others who had been in this situation before. We shared our question with the IRDG members and were thrilled with both the quality and quantity of insights received. We discovered some real golden nuggets whilst also being comforted that we weren’t the only company with these challenges! We’re now on a journey of evaluation, and have been trialling many of the ideas over recent months to see how they fit with us. As we learn what suits us best, we look forward to reaching out to engage with the relevant respondents to share experiences and delve deeper. We’re immensely grateful to all who replied, and would encourage others to engage with the MQT facility to both contribute to and leverage the power of the network.
IRDG PILLAR: INNOVATION NETWORKING
OUR CHALLENGE: Digital transformation of Irish Pressings’ production management processes Irish Pressings’ Quality and Production Management processes are one of our core strengths in providing the highest level of quality assurance to our customers. Critical to these processes is our product-specific “black folders” which contain all relevant job information including H&S checks, tool-setup, operator instructions, QC inspections, etc.
BEN MCGONAGLE Risk Analysis & Business Planning, Irish Pressings
However, manual creation and maintenance of these folders has become an everincreasing demand on resources and with the company on a significant growth trajectory – including recent approval as a Tier 1 supplier to Jaguar Land Rover - the imperative to modernise our processes was upon us. Our research into possible solutions for modernising continually led to “off-the-shelf” packages which we knew would not fit our unique production processes and so more in a last-ditch effort of hope than expectation we decided to try the MQT route. Sceptical about whether we would receive any responses we were genuinely amazed - and incredibly grateful - for the insights that were shared with us. Having shortlisted solutions of interest we are now embarking on a project with Adrian de Cléir and Mark O’Sullivan at Cartolytics (recommended by IRDG member iQuTech) whom we would never have found without the MQT facility. “Black folders” will now be history. Real-time tablets, finger-print IDs, data analysis and visualisation are now on the cards for us. Workplans are currently being finalised and – thanks to the MQT - we are ready to embark on an absolutely transformative project for Irish Pressings in 2020.
Thank You to all who Contribute! A SELECTION OF MEMBERS’ CHALLENGES SHARED IN RECENT TIMES Packaging design to maintain temperature during shipping?
Implementing product transfers into existing business?
Flexing communications with a live chat solution on website?
Vendor Management Inventory - pricing & costto-serve models?
Packaging materials - lessons from green industry leaders?
Experience of bringing company through Agile transformation?
Sourcing an engineering / fabrication company for manufacture?
Unique Device Identification system for medical devices?
Restructuring a performance appraisal system?
SCADA for waste water treatment plant?
Collaborative Robotics use in Operations?
Unlimited annual leave policy?
Single-board computers to deliver image processing services?
Marketing strategies for business model changing to cloud service provider?
Robust Process Development Engineering early in Product Development cycle?
THE BIG QUESTION THE BUSINESS VALUE OF DESIGN
he elusive question for many leaders comes down to the potential contribution of design to business performance. Where is the evidence that investment in the talent, skills and culture change needed to facilitate a design thinking approach is more than just a nice-to-have? Apart from intuition, anecdotal evidence and some high-profile cases, this question has been a difficult one to answer quantitatively for the majority of companies. To test the correlation between good design and good business, McKinsey & Company undertook a global study of over 300 publicly listed companies over a five-year period in multiple countries and industries. They interviewed senior business and design leaders, collecting more than two million pieces of financial data and recording more than 100,000 design actions. To interpret it, they devised the McKinsey Design Index (MDI), a single score which rates companies by how strong they are at design and how that links up with the financial performance of each company.
We all know examples of bad product and service design. The USB plug (always lucky on the third try). The experience of rushing to make your connecting flight at many airports. The exhaust port on the Death Star in Star Wars. We also all know iconic designs, such as the Swiss Army Knife, the humble Google home page, or the Disneyland visitor experience. All of these are constant reminders of the way strong design can be at the heart of both disruptive and sustained commercial success in physical, service, and digital settings. The Business Value of Design, McKinsey & Company +56% +32% Top-quartile McKinsey Design Index performers generated
then their industry peers over five years. Revenue
akhi Rajani, Foresight, Futures and Innovation - Associate Partner, Design + Innovation at McKinsey & Company shared the results of this study with us at Design Thinking Ireland. What they found was that the companies in the top quartile of the MDI score outperformed all other companies, generating 32% more revenue, and 56% more in terms of total return to shareholders as opposed to their industry peers over the 5-year period.
Total Return to Shareholders
These were impressive scores and really did demonstrate that design can make a significant contribution to business. Understanding exactly how the companies in the top quartile unlocked that business value came down to studying the four clusters of design actions that showed the most correlation with improved financial performance. These were the key elements:
DESIGN IS MORE THAN A FEELING. IT’S ABOUT ANALYTICAL LEADERSHIP. Design is a top-management issue, and design performance is assessed with the same rigor used to track revenues and costs across all other functions.
DESIGN IS MORE THAN A DEPARTMENT. IT’S ABOUT CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TALENT. Designers are part of all functions in the business, and are not just housed away in a siloed department. Design skills and talents are proactively integrated with all knowledge sets across the business to bring a user-centric culture to all areas. Hence it is seen as a responsibility, and natural behaviour, of all employees.
DESIGN IS MORE THAN A PRODUCT. IT’S ABOUT A SEAMLESS USER EXPERIENCE. Leading companies capitalise on all user insights to embrace the full user experience, breaking down internal barriers among physical, digital, and service design. They recognise that you cannot have a seamless front end if you have a siloed back end.
DESIGN IS MORE THAN A PHASE. IT’S ABOUT CONTINUOUS ITERATION. The opportunity to de-risk development by continually listening, testing and iterating with end users is a vital part of the innovation process. Ultimately, design in these companies plays a role from strategy to product launch to post launch.
IRDG PILLAR: LEARNING
THE DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION OF SUCCESSFUL SERVICES With the rise of digitalisation, the service industry has become more and more important. Currently, services make up roughly 70 percent of many Western European countries’ GDP’s.
MANUEL GRO MANN Service Designer & Co-Founder, Fuxblau (Berlin)
Service Design is a discipline that focuses on the design and implementation of successful services. In essence, it is applied Design Thinking in the specific context of service innovation. It has user-centricity as a core value. Qualitative user research, working with personas and user journeys as well as prototyping and iterations are common practices in the discipline. Whereas Design Thinking is often used in the context of creating new product ideas itself, Service Design goes beyond that. Service Design looks at the entire ecosystem and includes the road to implementation, the stakeholder management and the business model design. Out of the various tools used in the discipline, the service blueprint is one of the core tools. A service blueprint helps to analyse and visualise complex business processes. It describes the ideal user journey from a user’s perspective, breaks down the channels with which users interact and also plans the backstage processes (usually invisible to customers) that need to be in place in order to deliver the service successfully. Service Design is applied in fields like mobility, health, hospitality and financial services. It helps to break down the complexity of a service system and to implement innovations sooner rather than later. Hence, people and organisations that are building or redesigning a (digital) service can benefit from the holistic approach of Service Design.
DISCOVER, DEVELOP AND DELIVER BREAKTHROUGHS IRDG has been championing design thinking as an approach to support business innovation for many years, and has a number of established activities in this area. We host:
DESIGN THINKING 4-DAY PROGRAMME
DESIGN THINKING INDEPTH WORKSHOPS
DESIGN THINKING SHARED INTEREST GROUPS
A fantastic introduction to design thinking covering the mindset, processes and benefits. It’s a learning by doing experience for teams of 2-4 people from a company.
Delivered in conjunction with expert partners, these cover topics such as Service Design, Implementing Everyday Design Thinking, Leading Human Centred Innovation in your Business and more.
Specifically for industry people who are implementing design thinking in their companies, SIGs facilitate members to share experiences, challenges and successes and learn from each other. Hosts include:
DESIGN THINKING IRELAND 2020 24TH & 25TH JUNE – CROKE PARK, DUBLIN Ireland’s 7th National Design Thinking Conference followed by Immersive Workshops
RIGHT PROJECTS, INNOVATION EFFICIENCY & SPEED TO MARKET LEAN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT The rate of change and pace of innovation in today’s markets dictate that companies must continuously deliver value to customers or risk falling behind the competition. Efficiently and effectively developing those value-added products, services and solutions requires a solid process for innovation. One that can cope with the degree of unknowns, uncertainties and undefined requirements of the main users, consumers, customers and stakeholders.
Pat Lawlor, CIRCA (facilitator); Bernie McGahon, IRDG; Sean McNulty, Dolmen (facilitator); Denis Hayes, IRDG; Shane Hughes, Lean Unlimited (facilitator) and Tony Duddy, Memjet (industry LPD practitioner & expert)
Addressing topics such as front-end discovery, culture & behaviours, project management, resource management, risk management and knowledge sharing, this approach will introduce game changers into your existing process:
• #2 Big Change: techniques to maximise your valuable R&D resources to successfully design, develop and deliver significantly greater customer value and financial returns. • #3 Big Change: guidance on key aspects such as governance and product development events to accelerate your new product development pipeline, delivering up to 30% faster time to market.
Front End Market Requirements
PICKING THE PROJECT
Accelerating Product Development
PLANNING THE PROJECT
Lean PD & Organisation
• #1 Big Change: a front-end discovery framework to support the identification and selection of winning ideas for your business and customers.
People - Culture & Behaviour - Strategy for Mindset Change
IRDG has been promoting Lean Product Development (LPD) for a number of years as the engine for consistent innovation. Our LPD approach is unique. Designed for an Irish audience by our expert team, in collaboration with Ron Mascitelli (global LPD thought-leader), it integrates practical tools and techniques into a set of events that can be applied safely into any existing Stage Gate or Agile process, in any sector.
EXECUTING THE PROJECT
• #4 Big Change: a team with a changing mindset, approach to issues and problems, habits and behaviours that over time will reinvigorate the culture within your business. The LPD approach can easily be scaled to your company’s size and is being implemented in companies of all sizes and sectors. Approved for funding support by Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and IDA Ireland, this practical & proven programme is already adding real value for companies. If you are looking to build a structured new development process, to critique and improve an existing process or to train development teams on best practices, this programme is for you.
Companies can participate in a programme with us, or engage us to do in-house work in this area. Get in touch if you would like to hear more.
IRDG PILLAR: LEARNING
SILVER PAIL: ACHIEVING A FIT FOR PURPOSE LEAN NPD PROCESS FAMILY OWNED AND MANAGED ICE CREAM MANUFACTURER SUPPLYING GLOBAL MARKETS
THEA MURPHY Managing Director, Silver Pail
With shorter life cycles, increasing demands for greater product variety, opportunities and issues around raw materials and compliance, our New Product Development (NPD) team is continually challenged to improve the development and introduction of new products. Contending with issues around voice of the customer, project control, process integration etc we participated in the IRDG 4-day Lean Product Development (LPD) programme to bring greater structure and discipline to our NPD process. In getting to the ideal NPD process, we drew on the LPD approach and tools to support our own planning and execution processes. The business brief has now been adopted. This gathers all cross functional information required to understand opportunities and ensures ownership and accountability is clearly understood. These are reviewed at monthly management meetings with only approved projects moving to the execution phase. We’ve also implemented an agile approach to managing projects. An Excel standard checklist is used for smaller projects and project boards for larger ones. This hybrid model is a tailored, lean approach adopted as a best fit for the business. The business has seen the benefits of these changes. Better commercial decisions are being made earlier in the product development process, allowing resources to be targeted at more strategic or higher yielding projects. Our employees too have embraced the changes with enhanced communication and cooperation across all functions. The LPD programme has provided a foundation for Silver Pail to transform itself into a highperformance company, ensuring we stay ahead of our competitors and continue to add value to our customers’ expectations. We would strongly recommend IRDG members to explore the benefits of LPD.
MINTEQ: PROGRESSING A LEAN ORGANISATION GLOBAL REFRACTORY LEADER PROVIDING TECHNOLOGIES TO THE STEEL INDUSTRY
An early introduction to Lean Product Development (LPD) following a workshop at an AME Conference saw the Minteq team implement some of the LPD tools in the R&D laboratory in Cork. Visual workflow management and stand up meetings were easy, early wins, but in isolation, did not bring the desired enhanced efficiency to the innovation process.
ANDREW MCCORMACK Technical Director EMEAI, MINTEQ (A Minerals Technologies Company)
We participated in the IRDG LPD programme to gain fresh insight into the overall process and how it could be effectively implemented. The programme offered us a disciplined, structured approach to better understand how to identify customers’ unspoken needs and desired outcomes. A key objective was to partner with customers to manage complexity within projects and to accelerate the new product development pipeline. The front-end, customer discovery piece was a real game-changer for us. In the past, reacting to specific requests from the sales team or customer feedback was the main driver for development & innovation. However, by embedding a more in-depth approach to capturing the Voice of the Customer into our process, it has facilitated a greater understanding of our customers’ pain points, unmet and unspoken needs. This has enabled us to more closely map out our customers’ journey with our product development and evolution, identifying multiple solutions which benefit the customer and Minteq. Adopting this structured approach has also ensured higher quality and better developed concepts are entering the new product pipeline. Through the programme and the support of the IDA, we were able to secure 3 additional inhouse days with the programme mentor. This has helped to embed the learnings, encourage cross functional collaboration in innovation and supported our progress as a lean site and organisation.
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES IMPACTING ALL AREAS
s individuals, many aspects of our lives have been impacted by disruptive technology and digital transformation. As businesses, the proliferation of emerging and evolving technologies is demanding real attention to ensure companies of all sizes and sectors sustain their competitive advantage. Research tells us that 80% of current business processes and practices will either be changed or eliminated by 2025. Technologies like data analytics, artificial intelligence,
blockchain, augmented reality and virtual reality are delivering new capabilities to analyse, personalise, predict, correct in real time, automate, and reduce risk that can transform business. Given IRDG’s cross-sectoral membership, we are perfectly placed to help companies to collaborate whether as a solution provider or solution seeker. We are always available to you on a one-to-one but in addition, our Disruptive Technology Series in 2020 will focus on 2 key themes:
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FORUM with Mastercard 20th May 2020, Dublin
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – TAKING OVER THE WORLD? As it stands, much of what we do is impacted by artificial intelligence on a daily basis. Whether we are using our smartphones, surfing the internet, buying products online, browsing social media or listening to songs on our favourite music streaming service, AI is impacting our choices in one way or another. Take it to a business level and we are seeing increased automation around optimisation of performance and command-control activities. AI is also augmenting human perception in the likes of voice and facial recognition in transport, medicine or consumer protection for example.
Yet, artificial intelligence, and it’s potential, is still understood to be in the infancy stage. The rate of progress and how ‘intelligent’ computers might actually become is one of the most hotly contested aspects of the digital transformation era. Whilst change is inevitable, there are still question marks over the extent to which artificial intelligence will affect business models, working environments and people’s roles. Despite the hype surrounding it, machines, at this stage, can still only perform narrow tasks that human intelligence has taught them, say experts. But, the potential is there. And, in addition to the technical challenges associated with the development of AI, there are also philosophical and ethical questions to be considered.
5G FOR BUSINESS FORUM with Dell Technologies 29th September 2020, Limerick
IMPROVING COMMUNICATIONS WITH 5G TECHNOLOGY Wireless communications technology has become increasingly important over time, facilitating improvements in business, education and technology, and connecting people across the world.
• Internet of Things: 5G will seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down data rates, power and mobility to provide extremely lean/low-cost solutions.
5G is the fifth-generation wireless technology that began wide deployment in 2019. 5G is not only important because it has the potential to support millions of devices at ultrafast speeds, but also because it has the potential to transform the lives of people. The main features include increased speed and bandwidth, low latency, less power consumption and stronger security. The main benefits of 5G will be:
• Mission-critical communications: 5G will enable new services that can transform industries with ultra-reliable/ available, low latency links - such as remote control of critical infrastructure, vehicles, and medical procedures.
• Cost-effective technology to handle the ever-growing data traffic demand from consumers. 5G will not only make smartphones better, but it will also usher in new immersive experiences, such as VR and AR, with faster, more uniform data rates, lower latency, and cost-per-bit.
The potential business applications are wide ranging including enhanced video, real time automation, connected vehicles, monitoring and tracking, autonomous robots, remote operations, augmented reality and smart surveillance across diverse industries.
IRDG PILLAR: LEARNING
SUSTAINABILITY THE NEXT FRONTIER OF INNOVATION
here is no doubt that climate change has emerged as the biggest threat to humanity, with a demand on all of us to respond to this challenge with ambition and creativity.
ALI SHERIDAN Director at SustainabilityWorks Ireland
In the past, many companies held the belief that sustainability, beyond compliance, only increased costs, did not generate revenue, and therefore, should only be addressed as a matter of corporate social responsibility. However, as awareness of climate change continues to grow, impacts are increasingly felt along supply chains and stakeholders’ demands continue to rise. Companies are rapidly becoming more aware of the environmental and social impacts
of their activities and are searching for ways to do things differently. Leading companies have realised that sustainable business is not just the right thing to do, but by integrating sustainable practices throughout an enterprise, a wide range of tangible benefits can be realised including: Improving brand image and competitive advantage Reducing risk Increasing employee attraction and retention Driving innovation Increasing productivity and reducing costs Attracting investors.
DRIVING INNOVATION Over the next decade, sustainability challenges will provide enormous opportunities for companies to drive innovation as they seek to re-invent products and services in line with stakeholder demands and climate limitations.
New constraints will demand a different approach to design, and will shape how key resources such as energy, carbon, water, raw materials and waste are used in products and processes.
PRODUCT LIFE EXTENSION
PRODUCT AS A SERVICE
Supply fully renewable, recycable or biodegradable resource inputs to support circular supply chains
Eliminate material leakage and maximise economic value of product
Extend the current lifecycle of a product: repairing, upgrading & reselling
Stimulating collaboration among product users
Products are used by one or many customers by means of a lease or pay-for-use arrangement Source: simapro.com
5 DIRECTIONS FOR CIRCULAR BUSINESS MODEL DESIGN Already, some of the world’s biggest companies are actively transforming their supply chains to become “circular,” where they are redesigning systems that ‘close the loop’ so that waste is eliminated, and materials stay in circulation as long as possible. Entire industries have started to move towards new business models to ensure they stay relevant in the new sustainable economy. For example, the automotive industry is moving at pace to not only increase the production of electric vehicles, but to also explore leasing models as consumers’ relationship with ownership changes. Similarly, the textile industry has witnessed huge innovation in the design of new sustainable materials and are now also experimenting with rental models.
IRDG ON SUSTAINABILITY We recognise the importance of incorporating sustainable actions in the conduct of our business. We are committed to continually improving our performance to reduce environmental impacts, whilst encouraging members and suppliers to do the same.
Given the magnitude of the challenge, there will be opportunities for organisations to collaborate at a scale never seen before. Whether it’s established companies partnering with start-ups, corporate organisations working with NGOs, or even traditional competitors coming together to pool resources in shared supply chains, collaboration will be essential to drive the level of innovation necessary to combat climate change. As we move towards a low carbon economy, business as usual will no longer be an option. Innovation is vital for a successful transition to a green economy and for those companies that move quickly enough, there are huge opportunities ahead.
SUSTAINABILITY – UNLOCKING THE INNOVATION OPPORTUNITY 29th April 2020, Cork
COLLABORATE TO INNOVATE
he strong knowledge transfer system in Ireland facilitates the research base to apply their expertise to the needs of industry. For industry, the benefits of academic engagements are wide ranging and include access to skills, resources and expertise that don’t exist within the business. There are many different approaches to facilitating collaboration including contract research, collaborative research, research services, consultancy and student supports.
IRDG is delighted to have many of Ireland’s leading higher education institutes and dedicated research centres as part of our network of members, thereby opening up the channels of communication, collaboration and opportunity for all. There are many occasions to meet face to face throughout the year, and get a sense of available capabilities and technologies. We too are happy to advise and connect companies depending on specific needs.
an Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway cluster
ACCELERATING & ENHANCING R&D
exco is an Irish company that has grown to over 2500 employees across 29 countries since it’s foundation in 1981. Headquartered in Kerry, Fexco processes upwards of €14bn in transactions per annum across FX, treasury, digital tax and government-backed financing sectors.
CATHERINE EVANS RDI Collaboration Manager, Fexco
Technology is significantly transforming and disrupting the financial services ecosystem, and Fexco invests heavily to develop and deliver the best solutions to meet customer needs. The company proactively embraces collaboration with industry, HEIs and Public Sector to facilitate both continuous innovation and their long-term strategy. In 2019, they established a €3m investment research collaboration together with Science Foundation Ireland and University College Cork which will lead to the creation of new knowledge and technology. This Next Generation of Financial Services Technology (FINTECHNEXT) project facilitates Fexco by bringing world-renowned research experts into the organisation, ensuring the company is at the forefront of identifying new trends and technologies. It is also key for growth in the future talent base and economy of the region.
Catherine Evans is a dedicated resource within Fexco whose role focuses on building key strategic innovation partnerships for the business. Through her engagement with IRDG she says Fexco have been able to accelerate and enhance their R&D and pinpoint key partnerships.
The IRDG network provides a single funnel of indigenous and international companies, connected together with the various policy and funding agencies. For us, collaboration is a strategic building block, rather than just being a source of funds. The cross-fertilisation of expertise and research we undertake feeds into the curriculum of the HEIs and in turn develops the overall capability for future skills and jobs. Together with the contribution to business in terms of technologies and discoveries, collaboration is instrumental to our future-proofing the business.
IRDG PILLAR: COLLABORATION
COLLABORATING FOR STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE
A BARRY WALSH Chief Scientific Officer, Alcon
lcon is the global leader in eye care, dedicated to helping people see brilliantly. The Alcon Ireland site has been successfully operating in Cork since 1991 and employs more than 450 highly skilled associates across 25 different nationalities. The site manufactures Alcon’s leading surgical products, intraocular lenses (IOLs) and associated lens delivery devices. An IOL is a prosthetic lens that replaces the eye’s natural lens following cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the developed world. Over recent years Alcon Ireland has driven a number of Innovation Partnership Programmes with CIT, NUIG, UCD and AMBER at Trinity College Dublin. The latter innovative collaboration explored the use of cryogenic technology to optimise IOL processing. This collaboration with AMBER provided Alcon with opportunities to investigate and exploit the differences in the thermal contraction of polymer materials using cutting-edge research, technologies and facilities. The Cork team’s remit has expanded significantly over the last 5 years. Barry Walsh, Chief Scientific Officer with Alcon says that the collaborative activities have contributed to driving this expansion.
Being involved with the various Centres and Institutes has been hugely cost-effective for us, enabling us to get access to early stage research and development whilst expanding our network. Strategically we’ve been able to demonstrate the benefit of collaborative, value for money R&D, with the support of specialised subject matter experts working with our partners in the Irish academic sector. This has been critical for us in enhancing the profile of the site and influencing corporate investment towards the Cork facility. The access to, and collaboration with, a well skilled network has enabled the site to attract high calibre candidates to the team and in the process helped the group develop into a significant process development resource within the global R&D organisation. This bodes well for the future of the site.
INDUSTRY PARTNERED R&D
V IAN MCDEVITT Head of Innovation, Ventac
entac develop, design and manufacture customised noise control solutions for industrial equipment, facilities and commercial vehicle manufacturers. Headquartered in Blessington, Ventac draw upon an in-house team of acousticians, design engineers and installation specialists to provide domain expertise in noise and heat insulation treatments, as well as noise abatement installations. As a trusted development partner to international OEMs, Ventac collaborate closely with client R&D teams throughout the development cycle. Ventac is home to Ireland’s only Innovation and Acoustic Laboratory, which is used to innovate new noise control products, develop client component performance and as a consultative R&D service to component and system manufacturers. VENTAC & SULZER COLLABORATION A recent strategic project saw Ventac & Sulzer of Wexford collaborate on the technical development of Sulzer’s innovative, next generation wastewater aeration unit, BCX5. This market-first system features long life, energy efficient aeration and
with its low noise signature, can be deployed without additional noise mitigation measures. The existing industry standard had recommended indoor only deployment, which was not compatible with Sulzer’s vision for their product. Working in a very compact design space, Ventac delivered this vision by working closely with Sulzer R&D. An early prototype was evaluated and then characterised using acoustic camera technology. An iterative design process followed that combined component-wise development within Ventac’s Acoustic Laboratory with full system evaluations at Sulzer. A substantial audible reduction in the unit’s sound signature was achieved, whereupon Sulzer and Ventac engineering teams set about validating and delivering the specification to be ready for production. This collaborative arrangement was a win-win for both businesses and given it’s success, Sulzer have awarded Ventac the supply contract for the series manufacture of noise attenuation on this innovative new Sulzer product.
IRDG INNOVATION NETWORK A SELECTION OF OUR MEMBERS
PA N T O N E 294 PC
IRDG PILLAR: INNOVATION NETWORKING
Join IRDG and be part of this Unique Business Network
WHAT’S ON THE AGENDA IN 2020
DESIGN THINKING IRELAND 2020
LEADING BUSINESS INNOVATION 2020
NATIONAL CONFERENCE & WORKSHOPS 24th & 25th June 2020 at Croke Park, Dublin
NATIONAL CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 20th October 2020 at The Heritage, Co. Laois
BE ENGAGED AND ACTIVE WITH IRDG’S
ACTIVITIES & EVENTS IN 2020 Many of IRDG’s events are also eligible for CPD hours.
R&D Tax Credit Clinic, Waterford
Lean Product Development Shared Interest Group
Lean Product Development Programme, Naas
Design Thinking Ireland 2020, Croke Park, Dublin • 24th June, National Conference • 25th June, Immersive Workshops in the area of Design Thinking & Service Design
FEBRUARY R&D Tax Credit Policy & Operations Conference, Dublin
R&D Tax Credit Clinic, Cork
Innovation Practice Group visit to Becton Dickinson (BD), Limerick
Design Thinking Shared Interest Group - Medtronic, B+B SmartWorx & Synecco, Galway
R&D Tax Credit Clinic, Limerick
Design Thinking Programme, Naas
Innovation Practice Group visit to Pramerica, Donegal
R&D Tax Credit Clinic, Dublin Airport
Funding & Collaboration for Business Innovation Seminar, Dublin
Innovation Practice Group visit to Fexco, Kerry
5G in Business Forum with Dell Technologies, Limerick
Funding & Collaboration for Business Innovation Seminar, Galway
R&D Tax Credit Clinic, Dublin city
R&D Tax Credit Clinic, Athlone Sustainability - Unlocking the Innovation Opportunity, Cork
National Conference – Leading Business Innovation 2020, The Heritage, Killenard, Co. Laois
Design Thinking Shared Interest Group – Dolmen, Dublin
Design Thinking Shared Interest Group
Innovation Practice Group visit, DePuy Synthes, Cork
R&D Tax Credit Policy & Operations Conference, Cork
Artificial Intelligence Forum with Mastercard, Dublin
Innovation Practice Group visit to Kingspan, Cavan
IRDG Innovation Network
For more details visit
IRDG is a non-profit, business-led Innovation Network of member companies and colleges, working together to drive excellence in Innovation w...
Published on Feb 13, 2020
IRDG is a non-profit, business-led Innovation Network of member companies and colleges, working together to drive excellence in Innovation w...