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."