In This Issue
»  Enterprise Ireland’s End of Year Statement 2011
»  91 new jobs at Bord na Móna in €6m investment
»  Quarter three results for Enterprise Ireland-backed high-potential start-up companies (HPSU)
»  Imperative Energy Ltd Wins "Best in BioEnergy"
»  New Facility to Support Innovation - University of Limerick
»  How Kerry based Altobridge made the World Economic Forum's top 25 technology pioneers for 2012
»  A breath of fresh air from industrial technologies
»  Microelectronics Technology Centre has developed a way of getting longer battery life in smartphones
»  Irish technologies to keep astronauts fit and healthy in space
»  HPSU Profile: Cloudium Systems
»  Billfaster raises €330k to scale up online accounting globally
»  €15 million in new export contracts annonced on Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa
»  Brown Bag Films Begin New Animated Series ‘The Happy Hugglemonsters’ For Disney Junior
»  IBM Extends Smarter Cities Initiative through Acquisition of Cúram Software
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Graduates embark on new international careers G4IG
Graduates embark on new international careers G4IG
Enterprise Ireland Graduates 4 International Growth Programme sees 80 young graduates head off for International Markets

A group of 80 young graduates are embarking on new international careers with Enterprise Ireland’s Graduates 4 International Growth Programme.  Developed and delivered by Enterprise Ireland in partnership with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, the programme places top-level graduates in export-led firms with markets across the globe.  It is aimed at developing firms' export market development strategies and at the same time advancing graduates' international business skills. This year, over 120 graduates have been placed with companies under this initiative.


The Star Education Fair Malaysia
EnterpriseSTART Programme 2012 - workshops in your region
Showcase 2012 - Ireland’s largest international trade event for fashion, jewellery, gift and interiors
Mobile World Congress 2012
SXSW 2012 - Trade show
Medtec Europe 2012 - is the leading exhibition and conference for medical device development and manufacturing companies in Europe
ACHEMA 2012 - The world forum of the process industry and the trend-setting technology summit for chemical engineering, environmental protection and biotechnology.
 
Entrepreneurs and growth sectors lead job creation
Entrepreneurs and growth sectors lead job creation
Enterprise Ireland’s End of Year Statement 2011

Record Levels of Exports for Irish Firms. Employment in client companies stabilises after period of decline. Entrepreneurs and growth sectors lead job creation


Enterprise Ireland reported that record levels of exports were achieved and employment in Irish exporting companies stabilised in 2011. While the economic context of 2011 was challenging, Irish companies increased exports and are now using this renewed confidence to aggressively target opportunities in international markets.

 

Enterprise Ireland estimates that client companies’ export sales grew in 2011 and that the final export figures will exceed the pre-recession record levels of 2008. ‘New export sales’ in excess of €1 billion are expected to be recorded for 2011.

 

Throughout the year, Irish companies faced severe global economic conditions head on.  They have emerged leaner, stronger and with a greater appetite for international growth than ever before.

 

Employment in client companies stabilised this year.  Total employment (full and part time) in Enterprise Ireland client companies stood at 162,692in 2011[1].  Of these, 141,228 are full-time jobs – a similar number to last year while 21,464 are part-time jobs - a slight increase on last year.

 

The World economy is predicted to grow moderately in 2012 (source World Bank 2011). This is important because it offers opportunities for Irish companies to increase exports which sustain and create employment in Ireland.

 

During 2011 Enterprise Ireland continued to focus its human and financial resources on driving exports, innovation and improving competitiveness.  A number of new initiatives were introduced in direct response to the demands of entrepreneurs and client companies including;

 

Competitive Start Funds for very early stage entrepreneurs – €50k per start-up – 55 start-ups supported
 

€10m International Fund for attracting entrepreneurs from overseas
 

Graduates 4 International Growth programme saw 120 graduates placed with Irish companies all over the world.
 

Leadership training for Chief Financial Officers
 

Staff resources in key markets were re-aligned to maximise impact in key ‘first time export’ and High Growth Markets.
 

Enterprise Ireland also opened its first office in South Africa
 

In 2011 we also had a record number of Irish companies being acquired by overseas Multinationals, such as Research in Motion (Blackberry), BAE Systems, AMDOCS and IBM giving the acquired companies significantly greater global reach.

 

Building the innovative capabilities of Irish companies was a major focus of Enterprise Ireland in 2011. Large scale R&D expansions were supported in 110 companies. The Technology Centre programme, which Enterprise Ireland runs jointly with the IDA, is already delivering next generation technologies to key industry sectors such as manufacturing, bio-energy, nanotechnology, microelectronics, IT, composite materials, energy and food. The programme expanded in 2011 with the announcement of centres in Financial Services, Cloud Computing and Learning Technologies.

 

Enterprise Ireland continued to introduce Irish companies to ‘big ideas’ from 3rd level research in 2011.  More than 90 technologies were licensed to companies during the year and a further 30 spin-out companies were created through Enterprise Ireland’s support of the technology transfer offices in Higher Education Institutions.

 

A further 51 companies were supported through the Innovation Partnership programme which enables companies to source technical solutions to their business challenges from Higher Education Institutions.

 

748 companies received Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 which allowed them to work with researchers in local third level institutes and colleges and access knowledge and specialist equipment. 

 

Enterprise Ireland continued to help companies to win funding from Europe for innovative research. In 2011 Enterprise Ireland helped Irish companies secure €31.8 million from the Seventh EU Framework Programme (FP7) and the European Space Agency, both important sources of non-exchequer funding.  

 

Frank Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland said:

 

“Enterprise Ireland is proud of the companies we work with. They have proved to be resilient and relentless in their pursuit of new market opportunities and they are to be commended on their success. Enterprise Ireland is determined to continue to support their job creation initiatives and identify and help secure overseas business in established and high growth markets. This will not only assist growth in exporting businesses, but local economies in every county in Ireland. It is also apparent that Companies that invest in continuous research and development have been our most successful in overseas markets.

 

“There should be no misunderstanding however, and it’s been widely reported, that 2012 will be a year of continuing challenges. In preparation for this, Enterprise Ireland will move rapidly to implement the Government’s planned Jobs Strategy.  We will continue to focus on lean programmes to increase clients competitiveness; we will continue to increase numbers of High Potential Start Ups from within Ireland and from overseas; we will continue to help companies win business overseas in both established and high growth markets; and we will continue to introduce new offers and initiatives to ensure that the full focus of Enterprise Ireland is aimed at meeting the needs of our clients so they can sustain and grow employment.”

 

Noting the outturn for the year, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D. said:

 

‘Creating an indigenous engine of economic growth is central to my plan for revitalising the economy. Enterprise Ireland, and the various supports it provides to domestic businesses, particularly in the exporting sector, will be key to this.

 

“In these very difficult times, to have kept employment steady in the companies it supports, with increases in certain categories, is a creditable performance. I commend Frank, his team, and above all the businesses on this record. Although 2012 will be another difficult year, this government is determined to continually improve our supports to domestic job-creating businesses through improvements in access to finance and reductions in costs. With the right supports I hope that these businesses can build on this year’s performance and get more people back to work”.

 

(1) Source: The Annual Employment Survey carried out by Forfás.  The full 2011 report will be published in early 2012.

 
Bord Na Móna
Bord Na Móna
91 new jobs at Bord na Móna in €6m investment

Bord na Móna is to create 91 new jobs as part of a €6million R&D investment over the next three years with the support of government through Enterprise Ireland.


Bord na Móna is to create 91 new jobs as part of a €6million R&D investment over the next three years with the support of government through Enterprise Ireland.

The announcement is part of Bord na Móna’s ongoing innovation programme and will add to Bord na Móna’s skilled, high-tech, graduate workforce.

Enterprise Ireland is supporting the work of the Innovation Division of Bord na Móna in a number of number of high technology growth areas such as Clean Technology, Carbon Reduction and Growing media.

Bord na Móna announced a new strategy to collaborate with and mentor start-ups and SMEs in the Midlands region and have appointed an outreach development manager.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said:

"If we are to rebuild the economy and create the jobs we so badly need, we must create an indigenous engine of growth. A key part of my plan to support indigenous business and create sustainable jobs is picking winners – we must target supports at the sectors where we have advantages and the companies with potential, in order to create high-growth indigenous businesses which will drive future growth.


"Cleantech is a sector which we as a government are targeting for support, as we believe Ireland has distinct advantages and the capacity to be a pioneer in this area. Many people have talked about the potential of the sector. Today’s announcement is about providing concrete supports to a large, successful State company to create real, high-end jobs in the sector. If we are ambitious and if we act decisively, I believe that we can create large numbers of jobs in this sector and I am determined to see that through".

 

Also making the announcement, Minister Rabbitte said:

"This jobs announcement is a welcome boost for Newbridge and the Midlands region but it is also important as it represents significant R&D investment in one of Ireland’s most important firms.

"I congratulate the management team for their ambitious plans to redefine this historic company. Bord na Móna is an integral part of Ireland’s heritage and this investment in innovation ensures it will be integral to Ireland’s future as an innovation nation. Bord na Móna is a significant contributor to Ireland’s economy in terms of employment and output and this significant step to secure their future growth and invest in their international strategy is to be strongly welcomed."

 

Bord na Móna CEO, Mr Gabriel D’Arcy, welcoming the support from Enterprise Ireland stated:

"This is an important development for our company as we transition to a more sustainable company moving away from peat-based activities into operations centred on clean technology. It fits very well with our company strategy ‘A New Contract with Nature’. We appreciate the support and help of Enterprise Ireland. We have a long history of Innovation at Bord na Móna. We were the first company to build a wind farm in Ireland and Bord na Móna proprietary technology is used in more than 500 Clean Water and Clean Air installations across the globe from Osaka to Oslo. We want to work with the community in our area to achieve our goals and we intend to work with start up companies in these sectors in the region to help us reach out goals."

 

CEO of Enterprise Ireland Frank Ryan added:

"Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support this significant R&D programme by Bord na Móna. The strategy will help this important company to transition from a domestically focused traditional company into a significant internationally focussed, innovative business. Its success will contribute to our broader aim of enhancing Ireland’s innovation profile and creating high-value jobs."

 
Latest HPSU Results
Latest HPSU Results
Quarter three results for Enterprise Ireland-backed high-potential start-up companies (HPSU)

528 new jobs to be created in government supported start-up companies


The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced that 528 jobs will be created over the next three years in 32 new high potential start-up companies which have been supported by Government through Enterprise Ireland in the third quarter of 2011.


The announcement builds on the 755 new jobs announced earlier this year as part of the Q1 and Q2 results of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start Ups programme, and once again shows an increase in both the number of companies and new jobs, compared with Q3 last year.  


Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said:


“If we are to rebuild the economy and get jobs growing again, we must create an indigenous engine of growth. I have said before that while foreign direct investment must and will remain an important part of our economic strategy, indigenous businesses will be the key to achieving the levels of growth and employment that we need. Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start Up programme, which provides support to dynamic, high-growth companies in key sectors, is a central part of my plan to drive success in our indigenous businesses. I was happy to secure an increase in funding for this programme as part of Budget 2012, and I look forward to further expansion in future years.


“Today’s announcement that over 500 jobs will be created in high-growth indigenous companies supported by government in a three-month period is very good news.  For the third quarter in a row, we are seeing an increase in new start ups and job creation in this programme. However we must be highly ambitious in this area, and in next month’s Action Plan for Jobs I will be looking at ways to provide further supports for indigenous businesses so that we can not only attract the next Google to Ireland but also seek to create the next Google in Ireland”.


Commenting on the announcement, Greg Treston, Head of High Potential Start Ups and Scaling at Enterprise Ireland said: ‘In Enterprise Ireland we are very encouraged by the number and quality of export-led new business start ups we are seeing.  These are ambitious companies, with highly innovative products and business development strategies that are successfully building their presence in export markets.  This year we have introduced a series of new Competitive Start Funds and a €10million International Start-Up Fund, all aimed at supporting these entrepreneurs in every way possible to expand, create jobs and contribute to our economic growth.  An increasing number of mobile international entrepreneurs are coming to Ireland as their location of choice to start a new business.  The environment for new business start ups is positive and already the pipeline for 2012 is strong”.

Press Release here

 
BioEnergy
BioEnergy
Imperative Energy Ltd Wins "Best in BioEnergy"

Imperative Energy Ltd a leading developer of BioEnergy Projects in Ireland and UK, has been named "Best of BioEnergy" by the Global Cleantech Cluster Association


Imperative Energy Ltd a leading developer of BioEnergy Projects in Ireland and UK, has been named "Best of BioEnergy" by the Global Cleantech Cluster Association

 

Winning the GCCA Later Stage Award for BioEnergy demonstrates Imperative Energy Ltd’s significant success in the growing cleantech industry and validates its innovative use of proven bioenergy technology in a range of new applications as a leader in the Renewable Energysector.


"Our Top 10 winners are truly the best in class and are the companies to watch in the coming years," says Ben Taube, Chairman of the GCCA. "In each category, these companies are making both broad strides in their global industries as well as working closely with their regional cleantech clusters to build sustainable green economies and jobs. We are thrilled to name them the GCCA Global Top 10 for 2011."


Imperative Energy Ltd was the winner of the GCCA 2011 Later Stage Award for BioEnergy because of its success in building an investable business in the field of energy generation from sustainable biomass resources. The company has grown from a small base in Maynooth, Ireland to become a leading player in the sector in the UK and Ireland with plans to enter new markets in the near-term.


Receiving the award from Mr Pat Rabbitte, Irish Minister for Energy, Mr Joe O’Carroll, Managing Director of Imperative Energy Ltd paid tribute to those who have aided the success of his young, entrepreneurial company. "It is fitting that we are receiving this award from the Global Cleantech Cluster Association because Clusters are about building networks to ensure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is a key mantra at Imperative Energy Ltd and we have grown the company from very humble beginnings by finding synergies with longer established partners such as Schmid AG, our technology provider and Green Belt Ltd, our dedicated biomass supplier. This allows us to build our entrepreneurial and innovative project development approach on the rock solid foundation of their long standing success".


Further details here Imperative Energy Ltd

 
Dan Tierney, UL President, Professor Don Barry and Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D at the launch of the Tierney Building, UL
Dan Tierney, UL President, Professor Don Barry and Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D at the launch of the Tierney Building, UL
New Facility to Support Innovation - University of Limerick

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. officially opened the Tierney Building at University of Limerick in November 2011. This state-of-the-art campus facility will house UL’s Innovation Centre and LERO – the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre.


Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. officially opened the Tierney Building at University of Limerick in November 2011. This state-of-the-art campus facility will house UL’s Innovation Centre and Lero – the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre.

 

The UL Innovation Centre is the latest Enterprise Ireland campus incubation centre to be opened and will support the formation and growth of 35 new high potential start-up (HPSU) companies between 2011 and 2016, generating over 115 new high-value jobs.

 

Speaking at the launch, Minister Noonan said: “The Tierney building will house both cutting-edge software engineering research together with a centre that will support the growth of new high potential business start-ups. It is a tangible example of what we can achieve when Government, industry and our universities collaborate together.”

 

“Over recent years Ireland has built up a very impressive record in scientific research. If we are to get out of our present difficulties, we must now use this base to commercialise more ideas, create more Irish businesses, and attract and embed more multinational investment. Turning good ideas into good jobs: that is what SFI’s research centres, such as the Lero CSET, and funded teams are about, and that is what I am determined to achieve.” Minister Noonan added.

 

The objective of the UL Innovation Centre is to increase regional entrepreneurship with an international trading focus. It will provide dedicated business incubation space and support services for start-up companies whose activities are aligned with UL research strengths. The UL Innovation Centre offers dedicated units for supporting new technology based businesses together with two fully equipped research laboratory suites, boardrooms, meeting rooms and ancillary support services. The centre will facilitate the transformation of new knowledge into commercially viable opportunities and become a hub around which regional innovation is driven, organised and supported.

 

Further information Here

 
Altobridge-lite-site-v3
Altobridge-lite-site-v3
How Kerry based Altobridge made the World Economic Forum's top 25 technology pioneers for 2012

How did one Irish start-up get to be recognised as a technology pioneer? With a little bit of help from the European Space Agency (ESA) and a lot of its own innovation.


How did one Irish start-up get to be recognised as a technology pioneer? With a little bit of help from the European Space Agency (ESA) and a lot of its own innovation.

Altobridge was set up in 2002 to develop a cost-effective system to allow people to use their mobile phones on planes. Up until then, such technology was very costly.

“Satellite links are extremely expensive, so we developed a software product that sits between the satellite and the base station on the aircraft, which reduces the amount of satellite bandwidth you need,” says Richard Lord, chief technology officer at Altobridge.

 

The company then started to look at what other sectors they could sell the technology to, repackaging and deploying it on ships, to enable crew to use their standard GSM phones. This concept was then rolled out in regions of Africa and south east Asia, bringing mobile phone coverage via satellite out to remote communities where it was too costly to lay down cables.

 

“We developed this system whereby we have a base station which would typically handle up to about 1000 users, and covers a radius of 5-10 km,” says Lord.

 

Then, in around 2007, Altobridge was approached by Enterprise Ireland to consider applying for a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). With ESA’s help, Altobridge has added new features, including local switching of calls and intelligent handover to other nodes in the public mobile network.

 

“It's a well-known fact that bringing telecommunications out to these remote communities helps them develop,” notes Lord.  The base stations are already being used by local communities in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and, more recently, throughout northern Iraq.

 

Altobridge is now on its third contract, which will look at the migration of voice and messaging services to data services.

 

“In the past we focused on bringing voice and text messaging services, but now the demand is for broadband data. Because satellite communications are quite expensive, we are developing a suite of products that optimise broadband”.

 

This project is still in development phase, but according to Lord, Altobridge will look to commercialise it next year.

 

The company efforts gained recognition in June of this year when they joined the likes of Google and Twitter by being recognised by the World Economic Forum as a 2012 technology pioneer. The annual awards acknowledge companies whose technology has the “promise of significantly impacting the way business and society operate”.

 

Click here to read the World Economic Forum's report on Altobridge

 
Air-filtration technology - EcoCar
Air-filtration technology - EcoCar
A breath of fresh air from industrial technologies

Enterprise Ireland presented Industrial Technologies Commercialisation Awards to nineteen researchers from Higher Education Institutions in November 2011


Enterprise Ireland presented Industrial Technologies Commercialisation Awards to nineteen researchers from Higher Education Institutions in November 2011

Among the award winners were three researchers who have set up new companies to commercialise their technologies - Pilot Photonics emerged from DCU,  InfiniLED from the Tyndall Institute and Aeriaq Filtration Ltd from Trinity College Dublin.

 

Spotlight on Aeriaq Filtration Ltd. – delivering cleaner, greener air.

 

The technology at the centre of Aeriaq Filtration Ltd. is a new, energy-efficient air-filter technology, which by virtue of its design filters fine dust passively and effectively. A cleantech, it can reduce the energy consumption of air handling compared to conventional filtration systems.


It is designed for use in ventilation systems in buildings and cars use fans as part of the process to filter or trap dust and provide clean air to the interior. This new, passive system reduces the pressure drop in ventilation systems and can so reduce energy and maintenance costs.

 

Invented by Dr Aonghus McNabola and Dr Laurence Gill, both based in Trinity College Dublin, the intellectual property involved has been licensed to Trinity campus company AERIAQ Filtration.
Trials indicate a three-year payback on the device, according to Elmarie van Breda, CEO of AERIAQ Filtration, who came to the project as business partner last year.


“Savings look to be in the order of about 15 per cent of the life-cycle costs of an air-handling unit over 20 years and that is mainly because of lower energy consumption and also reduced maintenance.”


The estimated global annual market for the technology in buildings is around USD 26 million, says van Breda, and AERIAQ can be deployed anywhere in the world on a range of scales.


“The product can be used in any ventilation systems at any locations,” she says.


AERIAQ now intends to move the technology beyond prototype. The company will first seek to implement the system in office buildings in Ireland and has tendered for Irish manufacturing companies to develop the product. For exports the initial target is the UK and thereafter Saudi Arabia, and there are plans to develop the system further for more complex air handling systems such as cleanrooms and smaller installations for vehicles.
“It’s the right product at the right time,” says van Breda. “If we can save electricity, there’s a fantastic opportunity to reduce energy costs.”

 

 
Brendan Mullane, Senior Research Fellow, University of Limerick
Brendan Mullane, Senior Research Fellow, University of Limerick
Microelectronics Technology Centre has developed a way of getting longer battery life in smartphones

Technology which addresses the problem of short battery life frustrating smartphone users has been identified by a research group at University of Limerick.


Technology which addresses the problem of short battery life frustrating smartphone users has been identified by a research group at University of Limerick.

The research project is the first one to be completed for the group of companies involved in the MCCI Microelectronics Centre which is part of the joint Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland Technology Centres initiative. The announcement was made as part of Microelectronics Week.

 

Microelectronics Week which took place in November 2011 involves a series of awareness raising events to shine a light on the sector. The event was led by MIDAS Ireland (Microelectronic Industry Design Association), an industry led organisation, established to maximise the economic impact and employment potential of the microelectronics industry in Ireland.

 

Users of mobile devices often have to leave them plugged in constantly to recharge, particularly when heavy wireless broadband usage is required. The  Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) developed by the research group facilitates ‘best-in-class’ signal reception in smart phones such as the iPhone and Android devices and would allow battery lifetime in future phones to be increased significantly. 

 

Welcoming the announcement, Sean Sherlock, T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation said; “As this is the first completed project from the Microelectronics Technology Centre, it is encouraging to see the results have direct relevance to the microelectronics industry and the consumer. This shows that the Government funded Technology Centres - which enable industry sectors to identify their research needs, and then find solutions from Irish research institutes - are delivering tangible economic benefits”.

 

The DAC is a key component of all smartphones and is required to convert digital information - used to process data on the phone - into real world analogue signals for wireless data transmission.   The technology is currently being evaluated by two potential licensees based in Ireland.

 

Speaking today, Chairman of MIDAS and Director of ON Semiconductor’s Design Centre in Limerick, John Blake said: “Today’s announcement is a great endorsement for the high calibre research being undertaken in Ireland in the microelectronics sector. This week has been focused on generating awareness of the sector in Ireland. The microelectronics sector is uniquely positioned to support Ireland’s economic recovery efforts. I congratulate the MCCI Microelectronics Centre on their continued work in this area and look forward to the introduction of today’s innovation in the future.”

 
keep astronauts fit and healthy in space
keep astronauts fit and healthy in space
Irish technologies to keep astronauts fit and healthy in space

Helping astronauts deal with ‘accelerated ageing’ and a lack of exercise in space are the focus of two European Space Agency research contracts awarded to Irish researchers.


Helping astronauts deal with ‘accelerated ageing’ and a lack of exercise in space are the focus of two European Space Agency research contracts awarded to Irish researchers.

The two European Space Agency (ESA) contracts totalling €135k won by Dr. Dónal O’Gorman, DCU and Dr. Brian Caulfield, UCD arises directly from Ireland’s membership of ESA and its Space Programme.  Ireland’s membership of ESA is funded by the Irish Government and is managed by Enterprise Ireland. Membership of ESA enables Irish research institutes and companies to participate in ESA programmes and secure valuable contracts.


Congratulating the two researchers, Minister Sherlock said, “The awarding of ESA contracts to Irish researchers is further evidence of the leading role Ireland plays in pushing the boundaries of biomedical research for the European Human Spaceflight programme. We are seeing a growing number of Irish companies developing biomedical technologies with ESA support, which contributes to employment generation in Ireland and which can also benefit society here on Earth. The ESA space-related research in Ireland builds on the strategic investments that the Government has made in life sciences in the past decade through Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.”


Dr. Bryan Rodgers, Enterprise Ireland explained why this research is so important; “astronauts can be in space for up to 18 months on missions to Mars and on board the International Space Station and so they have to adapt to the specific challenges of life in space such as the absence of gravity, high levels of radiation, and cramped living conditions, which often result in deterioration of the astronauts’ heart, muscle and bone condition.


 

The research of Dr O’Gorman and Dr. Caulfield will address these issues and find solutions to enable astronauts to function healthily on critical missions. This research also has applications in the healthcare markets back here on Earth, as the characteristics of natural human aging are similar to those experienced by astronauts”.


The technology, developed by Galway based Biomedical Research Ltd (BMR) - suppliers of electrical muscle stimulation devices for the commercial market e.g. Slendertone® and Neurotech® - works by stimulating the large muscles of the legs.  It has already produced impressive aerobic exercise training and muscle strengthening effects during ground-based studies, and offers a potential solution to the problem of how astronauts exercise aerobically in the confines of a spacecraft.  The parabolic flight campaign provides an opportunity to test this technology in a zero gravity environment, similar to that experienced on the International Space Station. 

 
Cloudium Systems
Cloudium Systems
HPSU Profile: Cloudium Systems

Cloudium Systems wants to improving the experience of anyone who works with a ‘virtual desktop’.


For many people, work is rapidly becoming something they do rather than somewhere they go.

This trend is enabled by the growing popularity of mobile devices like smartphones and laptops, and their ability to connect to the internet from anywhere. The concept of mobile working only works if the experience of working on a remote device is the similar to sitting at a desktop PC.

Clodium was founded in January 2009 and is based in Limerick.
Cloudium’s technology is a combination of silicon and software. In its current form the VCA2000 virtual client accelerator is a standalone device system which can bee integrated directly onto a device, whether that’s a PC, a monitor or a smartphone.

 

Cloudium’s target customers are OEMs. The company intends to sell the VCA2000 in niche markets such as broadcast and digital signage and is also considering a move into the home entertainment space, relying on its background in delivering high-quality video footage through congested networks.


 
The company employs a team of 14 and hopes to add a further 25 people over the next three years. All of the current staff are engineers or product managers.

 

Cloudium is currently moving into commercialisation mode. The business plan aims for up to 70pc of sales from Cloudium’s VCA2000 for the next 18 months, followed by a move to supplying manufacturers. The company is almost entirely export-driven, with the US, the UK and Germany as the main focus for sales efforts.

 

The company has partnered with Microsoft and licensed technology from the software giant to accelerate its own R&D efforts.


More information here: Cloudium Systems

 
Billfaster at media cube Dun-laoghaire Dublin Ireland
Billfaster at media cube Dun-laoghaire Dublin Ireland
Billfaster raises €330k to scale up online accounting globally

Dublin-based accountancy solutions company Billfaster has raised €330,000 through the Enterprise Ireland High Potential Startup Program (HPSU).


Dublin-based accountancy solutions company Billfaster has raised €330,000 through the Enterprise ireland High Potential Startup Program (HPSU).

This investment allows Billfaster to scale their global business beyond their current customer base of 5,000 users. The award includes a contribution by Enterprise Ireland.

 

Billfaster's service allows business owners to create and e-mail invoices, manage cash and cash registers, keep track of expenses and taxes. Billfaster began developing their software in November 2008 with the idea in mind that the system should be simple enough that anyone could use, yet functional enough that any business would want to use it.

 

Director Rod Condell said: "We've found a nice balance between functionality and ease of use by making it ‘simple by example.' We have automated the accounting in the background so business owners don't need any accounting knowledge or software training to be able manage their business finances. We have also incorporated a cash planning tool to help start-ups succeed in their formative years."

 

Basic service is free, but for more comprehensive reporting and tools premium versions start from less than €4 per month to €10 per month.

 

Billfaster also maintains an office in New York.

 
Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa
Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa
€15 million in new export contracts annonced on Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa

Irish companies announced contracts and strategic alliances worth over €15m across a range of business sectors as part of this week’s Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa.


The mission was led by the Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., and supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Ireland to South Africa.The trade mission of 28 companies marked a major drive to increase the scale of Irish exports to South Africa and the wider Sub-Saharan region.

 

Minister O’Sullivan announced that Enterprise Ireland will shortly open an office for the first time in the region (in Johannesburg) to support Irish companies win new business, secure alliances, build relationships and networks, and establish a long term presence in the market.  

At the end of the highly successful mission Minister O’Sullivan said:

“South Africa is one of the most sophisticated business environments in Africa and the importance of the trade mission for building Ireland’s exports in the area and creating jobs at home cannot be over-emphasised.”

“Irish companies are winning more and more business in the region and the potential for continued growth is tremendous.  This trade mission, and the work of Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and our Embassy in South Africa are all part of our combined efforts to open doors for Irish companies and help them to secure new business. 

 

“I particularly welcome the establishment of an Irish-South African business network during my visit, with chapters in both Johannesburg and Cape Town and strong support from our Embassy"

 

Among the announcements made during the trade mission were

 

EirGen Pharma, based in Waterford, announced a deal of €3m in a partnership agreement with Equity Pharmaceuticals, a leading South African pharmaceuticals company, to develop and commercially supply five oncology products from their facility in Waterford.


Clarigen, the HR software solutions company, announced a €150,000 contract with Silburn Drake, the Pretoria based human resources organization that will now be rolling out the Clarigen HR management solution to their client base within the South African market.


   
Azotel, the Cork based technology company, announced a new contract with Wirulink Pty Ltd through Multisource, its SA distributor. The value of contracts through Multisource is in the region of €3m over the next two years.  Azotel also launched its Broadband Franchise model for Africa during the trade mission.


   
TERMINALFOUR, the Dublin based leading Web Content Management (WCM) company, announced that it has won its first African client - South Africa’s Rhodes University.  TERMINALFOUR’s WCM solution will play a key role in the creation of Rhodes University’s new website which is at the heart of all its online communication activities.


   
Bannow Exports, based in Gorey, Co Wexford announced the transfer of its technology to South Africa with the establishment of Bannow Africa to provide package sewage treatment plants and environmental protection equipment.  The Bannow Africa product mix is ideally suited to the South Africa market.


   
Rennicks Group announced the signing of a multi million euro agreement with Uniplate Group in South Africa for the supply by Rennicks of vehicle licence plate materials to be marketed throughout the Sub-Saharan region.  The signing incorporates the renewal of the Supply Agreement for 2012 worth €1.8 million and the signing of a new Five Year Distribution Agreement for €9.1 million over the term of the agreement.  Uniplate is the largest number plate company south of the equator in Africa.


   
Hibernia College has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) that will see the two institutions collaborate in providing postgraduate education in the area of Regulatory Sciences. The goal of the collaboration is to make this new programme available to a broader range of students in South Africa through a blend of onsite tuition and web enabled learning
   


MindLeaders ThirdForce, the global elearning provider, has announced a partnership with a new South African channel partner to spearhead the growing channel partner programme, which makes one of the world’s most extensive portfolios of high quality elearning available across Africa. The company has also this year established a new office in Johannesburg.
   


AdaptiveMobile, the world leader in mobile security, announced it has successfully completed a mobile content filtering, anti-spam and anti-virus protection project with MTN Nigeria, enabling the operator to protect its network and subscribers from undesired mobile content through mobile handsets and mobile data-enabled PCs. The AdaptiveMobile Network Protection Platform is reducing network load, protecting the operator’s IP reputation from the growing threat of spam-related IP blacklisting and is reducing customer complaints.

 
hugglemonsters-family
hugglemonsters-family
Brown Bag Films Begin New Animated Series ‘The Happy Hugglemonsters’ For Disney Junior

Animation may be child's play, but it is also increasingly big business. “The Happy Hugglemonsters” is a brand new CG animated series for pre-schoolers about five year old Henry Hugglemonster and his loving and rambunctious monster family.


Animation may be child's play, but it is also increasingly big business. “The Happy Hugglemonsters” is a brand new CG animated series for pre-schoolers about five year old Henry Hugglemonster and his loving and rambunctious monster family.

Brown Bag Films developed the series from the book “I’m A Happy Hugglewug” created by award-winning Irish author and illustrator Niamh Sharkey, published by Walker BooksIt is the latest series to be developed and produced by Disney’s London based production hub, and will premiere on Disney Junior blocks from Autumn 2012, airing in over 150 countries worldwide. The 52 x 11 minute series will be produced in Brown Bag Films’ Dublin-based studio.

 

Cathal Gaffney, co-founder and CEO of Brown Bag Films said, “We are delighted to announce the production of this series, it is great to work with home grown talent like Niamh Sharkey and to bring an original idea like this to a global Disney Junior audience is hugely satisfying for all involved.”

 

Beth Gardiner, Vice President, Production & Development, Disney Junior EMEA added, “We are thrilled to welcome The Happy Hugglemonsters to the Disney Junior fold. Seen through our five year old hero Henry Hugglemonster’s eyes, the series delivers comedic and emotional storytelling with a monstery twist that pre-schoolers can really relate to; perfect for Disney Junior.”

 

Henry, the star of “The Happy Hugglemonsters”, is a young monster growing up in a bustling house with three siblings; older brother Cobby, slightly older sister Summer, and baby brother Ivor. ­ Henry knows a lot about the emotional ups and downs that preschoolers face in their daily lives, and in “The Happy Hugglemonsters” he is your guide to preschool life, monster-style.

 

Author Niamh Sharkey, whose illustrated picturebook ‘I’m A Happy Hugglewug’ was published in 2006, says, “I am thrilled to be working with Brown Bag Films to bring my characters to life; the creativity, enthusiasm and care they bring to the project is mind blowing. Making this show for Disney Channel is a dream come true, and to be able to create this show in Ireland together is the icing on the cake. I know my monster family is in safe hands!”

 

“The Happy Hugglemonsters” was developed with support from the Irish Film Board/Bórd Scannán na hEireann

 
Acquisition of Cúram Software
Acquisition of Cúram Software
IBM Extends Smarter Cities Initiative through Acquisition of Cúram Software

Dublin, Ireland and IBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cúram Software Ltd. to help governments improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of social programs for smarter cities.


Dublin, Ireland and IBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cúram Software Ltd. to help governments improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of social programs for smarter cities.

 

Cúram Software is used in more than 80 government agency projects around the world to provide the most appropriate social programs to citizens and their families in a timely manner, deliver services more effectively and continuously monitor progress toward achieving people’s social and economic potential.  The software is used by health and human services, workforce services, and social security organizations around the world to deliver welfare, social insurance and both individual and employer based social programs.

 

Cúram, which means “care and protection” in Irish, was founded in 1990 and is based in Dublin, Ireland.  One of the company’s investors was Enterprise Ireland, which helps Irish companies achieve global success.

 

Through its Smarter Cities initiative, IBM helps cities and governments serve citizens better by adopting more intelligent and efficient ways to analyze data, anticipate problems and coordinate resources.   IBM has led more than 2,000 projects to achieve these goals and through its acquisition of Cúram Software, IBM expects to extend its leadership in this area.

IDC Government Insights estimates the new Smarter Cities information technology market opportunity at $34 billion in 2011, increasing more than 18 percent per year to $57 billion by 2014.

 

This news also builds on IBM’s Smarter Cities initiatives in Ireland.  Last year the company opened its first Smarter Cities Technology Center in Dublin at IBM’s R&D Lab,  where IBM works with city authorities, universities, small and large businesses to research, develop and commercialize new ways of making city systems more connected, sustainable and intelligent.  With the addition of the Cúram Research Institute -- which is working to develop and deploy new business models for managing social programs -- IBM will enhance its ability to help clients increase the social and economic potential of people and their families.

 

“We are working to help cities and governments at all levels transform the way they interact with citizens while improving efficiency,” said Craig Hayman, General Manager of IBM Industry Solutions.  “We all have stories to tell about standing in long lines or making countless phone calls to gain access to government services, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Together with Cúram, IBM can transform the way citizens do business with government in a way that benefits everyone.”

Further details Here

Client Jobs
Client Jobs
Irish Education System – Some key Indicators

ECOFIN Study 2009  

  • Ireland ranked 1st of 28 countries in terms of graduates per 1000 inhabitants
  • Ireland ranked 2nd of 27 countries in terms of graduates per academic staff
  • Ireland ranked 1st of 28 countries in terms of recruiter perception of quality of graduates
  • Ireland ranked 2nd of 28 countries in terms of academic peer review of quality of graduates

Attainment Rates – OECD figures (Education at a Glance 2011)

  • Ireland ranked fourth in OECD in terms of tertiary attainment rate of 25-34 year olds (48%)

World Economic Forum 2011

  • Ireland ranked 29th out of 142 countries overall
  • Ireland ranked 10th out of 142 for Health and Primary Education
  • Ireland ranked 22nd out of 142 for strength of Higher Education and Training
  • World Competitiveness Yearbook (2011) IMD – Ireland ranked 24th out of 59 overall
  • Ireland ranks 1st globally for availability of skilled labour and openness to new ideas (up from 4th in 2010)
  • Ireland ranks 4th globally for labour productivity per person employed per hour (up from 6th in 2010)

Research Excellence and Impact 

  • Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators 2011:
    Ireland ranks within the top 20 nations in the world across all research fields.
  • Ireland moved up from 36th in the world in 2003 in terms of the impact of its research to its current position at 20th in the world.
  • In 2005, Irish research institutions featured within the top 1% in the world* in terms of research impact in 10 key areas - and the number of fields in which Irish research institutions feature within the world top 1%* has increased by 80% in the past 5 years to 18 fields.

World Rankings

  • Ireland has 5 universities in the top 300 overall rankings (QS)
  • TCD and UCD in top 100 universities for majority of HSS subjects (QS)
  • TCD in top 50 for 8 subjects and no. 15 in Maths (QS)
  • Ireland in sixth place globally for number of universities in top 200 relative to GDP
EU €80 billion Horizon 2020 fund for R&D
The European Commission has just proposed its new package of measures to boost research, innovation and competitiveness in Europe.

The European Commission has just proposed its new package of measures to boost research, innovation and competitiveness in Europe.

Horizon 2020, an €80 billion programme, will focus funds on three key objectives. It will support the EU’s position as a world leader in science. It will help secure industrial leadership in innovation. It will also address major concerns shared by all Europeans, across six key themes: Health, demographic change and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials; and Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.

In parallel, a complementary new programme to boost competitiveness and innovation in SMEs, has been announced with an additional budget of €2.5 billion. The funding programmes will run from 2014 to 2020.


For the first time, Horizon 2020 brings together all EU research and innovation funding under a single programme. It focuses more than ever on turning scientific breakthroughs into innovative products and services that provide business opportunities and change people’s lives for the better. At the same time it drastically cuts red tape, with simplification of rules and procedures to attract more top researchers and a broader range of innovative businesses. The Commission proposal will now be discussed by the Council and the European Parliament, with a view to adoption before the end of 2013.


Presenting Horizon 2020, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "We need a new vision for European research and innovation in a dramatically changed economic environment. Horizon 2020 provides direct stimulus to the economy and secures our science and technology base and industrial competitiveness for the future, promising a smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive society."


€3.5 billion will be devoted to a scaled up and expanded use of financial instruments that leverage lending from private sector financial institutions. These have been shown to be extremely effective at stimulating private investment in innovation that leads directly to growth and jobs. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from around €8.6 billion, recognising their critical role in innovation.


Horizon 2020’s predecessor FP7, which is currently under way, has been particularly lucrative for Irish companies. For example, Ireland has the highest SME participation degree of the EU27 (no. of SMEs participating in FP7 per 100,000 SMEs: 104). Ireland’s SME participation degree is approximately twice that of Finland (51), Denmark (54) and the UK (43).


For further information: Horizon 2020

Engineers Week 2012 from 27th Feb – 4th March 2012
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