Massive Russian market is ripe for Irish farmtech to do business in
Sunday Independent: One of Russia's biggest agricultural trade fairs, Agrofarm, takes place on Tuesday in Moscow. Irish businesses will be among the 340 exhibitors from nearly 30 countries pitching for contracts.
Increase in Angel Investing in Ireland benefits start-ups
RTE Radio 1: Rhona Togher, founder of Enterprise Ireland client company Restored Hearing, talks about the company's experience with Angel Investing which has gained traction in the last few years.

140 new animation jobs to be drawn at new Lighthouse Studios in Kilkenny
Silicon Republic
Mercury Filmworks, one of Canada’s most prolific animation studios, has joined forces with Enterprise Ireland client Cartoon Saloon in a move that will create 140 jobs in the next three years at Lighthouse Studios.
Limerick medtech company signs €1.1m deal in Oman
Irish Times
Limerick medtech company Fleming Medical has signed a €1.1 million deal to supply medical devices in Oman for the next three years.
The Government has announced 164 actions to deliver 45,000 jobs this year
Irish Examiner

The Government has published its 2017 Action Plan for Jobs which contains 164 actions aimed at delivering 45,000 jobs this year.

Brexit White Paper: the key points
Irish Times
The British government's 77 page "White Paper" policy document on leaving the EU has been published. Key points include a free trade agreement and new customs arrangements.
Keeping it weird – Ireland @ SXSW
The 24th annual SXSW Interactive Festival will once again bring together circa 35,000 executives and innovators from the USA and around the world.

Austin, Texas is perhaps best known for two things; their business slogan ‘keep it weird’ and South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the largest and most prominent technology conferences in the USA.

SXSW is regarded as the leading incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity. This March, the 24th annual SXSW Interactive Festival will once again bring together circa 35,000 executives and innovators from the USA and around the world.

In the last 6 years, Enterprise Ireland has hosted more than 100 Irish tech companies on our Irish National Stand and once again, from March 11-15 2017 we will be showcasing the best of Irish technology with the likes of NewsWhip, DataKraft, HelixWorks, SystemLink, Sanctifly and Cogni taking up key positions on the Irish stand. And there are still several spaces remaining for interested companies!

Exhibiting at the SXSW Interactive Festival offers Irish companies the opportunity to test US product / market fit or to directly promote their product/service to a senior executive audience from across the breadth of the technology industry in consumer, mobile, retail, healthcare, fintech, media & entertainment. SXSW attracts a significant number of decision makers and buyers from large US corporations that are specifically looking for leading edge applications in their industry giving Irish companies the opportunity to capture a high volume of quality leads.

Leading Enterprise Ireland’s delegation to SXSW this year, Paul Burfield, SVP West & Southern USA commented “This year, Enterprise Ireland is again fortunate to occupy one of the most prominent locations on the expo floor, the same location from where more than 1,200 visitors checked in to the Ireland stand in 2016. We expect this number to increase in 2017 providing exceptional access to key US buyers and networking opportunities for participating Irish companies”.

If you’re interested in joining this year’s Irish delegation at SXSW, further information can be found here


Boost for European life sciences sector as Seroba closes €100m Fund III
Silicon Republic
This is the fifth fund supported by the Government through Enterprise Ireland’s €175m Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2013-2018.
Irish firm’s invention puts cheap solar power on the horizon
Irish Times

The future of solar technology may be closer to home than you think. Irish firm Nines Photovoltaics has invented a new process that will significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing solar cells.

Hack and map the future of healthcare to win €5,000
Silicon Republic
Coders and entrepreneurs have the chance to win up to €5,000 if they can marry Eircodes with open data to create useful healthcare apps for citizens.
Cork firm PMD Solutions eyes global growth
Irish Examiner
Backed by €4.2m in EU funding, Cork company PMD Solutions is preparing to go global with an innovative new breathing monitor which alerts hospital staff to early signs of respiratory distress.
Your Business: Medical apps go global
Sunday Independent

John Moore tells Sean Gallagher about the rapid growth and ingenuity of his medical software business 3D4Medical, which boasts 12 million users worldwide. 

Advertise your job vacancies on Enterprise Ireland's website
If you are an Enterprise Ireland client and have a job vacancy, you can list this for free on the Enterprise Ireland website.
Spirits high as The Shed Distillery looks to export
Irish Examiner
Creator of The Shed Distillery Pat Rigney chose ‘remote and wild’ Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim to distill gin and whiskey for world markets.
€750k Competitive Start Fund closes on February 8th
The €750k Competitive Start Fund closes for applications at 3pm on Wednesday 8th February - Michael FitzGerald from OnePageCRM has some tips on making your application.
Start-up of the week: PhysioLinked
Silicon Republic
Start-up of the week PhysioLinked delivers appointment scheduling, practice management and online payment technology to physiotherapy clinics.
How Irish companies can prepare for the EU Unified Patent system

The largest reform of the European Union IP system for decades is expected to be in place by the end of 2017. Enterprise Ireland's Joseph Doyle shares the impact that this will have on Irish businesses and how they can best prepare for it.

Currently, if a company requires patent protection across the EU, they must patent their invention in each Member State individually. This is costly and entails a burdensome administrative process, as fees for translation and validation are necessary for each country selected. Following more than 40 years of intergovernmental negotiation, a new agreement has developed, allowing patent protection across most of the EU (25 member states) in a single application process. This is the largest reform of the EU IP system for decades. It aims to reduce patenting costs for businesses (particularly SMEs) and promote innovation in Europe.

There are essentially two parts to the reform: 1) creation of a new type of patent called a ‘Unitary Patent’ which will apply to several countries at once and 2) the creation of a new international court, the ‘Unified Patent Court’ (UPC), which will have the exclusive right to issue judgements in lawsuits involving Unitary Patents, e.g. on questions of infringement and validity. The new system will run in parallel with the existing European patent system rather than replacing it. However, the UPC will have jurisdiction over cases relating to existing European Patents unless they are ‘opted out’. 

There is still a few critical steps to be taken before the system comes into full force. Primarily, each participating country must ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement to give legal effect to the new court. Unitary patents cannot be issued until a minimum of 13 states, which must include the UK, Germany and France, ratify the agreement. The UK Brexit vote has introduced some uncertainty but late last year the UK authorities stated their intent to move ahead with the ratification process as soon as possible. In Ireland, ratification will require a constitutional referendum but as yet, no date has been set.

In January 2017 the Preparatory Committee in charge of setting up the UPC announced their aim to start the Provisional Application Phase (PAP) by May, 2017. The PAP will establish the organisation and commence operation of the UPC’s formal governing bodies. It also means that the recruitment and training of Judges for the court will start mid-2017. Ultimately, the committee expect that the UPC will come into effect at the end of 2017, dependent of course on successful ratification of the agreement and a few other procedural details.

The preparatory committee also 'assume' that the so-called ‘sunrise period’ for ‘opting out’ existing European patents will commence in Sept 2017. In practice, this means that existing European patents, which are normally only validated in a few member States, will automatically attain unitary effect (i.e. apply across all participating States) after the UPC comes into effect. That is, unless the owners of those patents choose to opt them out, in which case they remain as they are.  

The expected September deadline for the sunrise period gives a minimum of 3 months to decide but companies should start to plan their strategies earlier to be fully prepared for the impact on their businesses.  The overall reform should lead to significant benefits and opportunities for Enterprise Ireland clients.  However, as with any radical reform, there are potential downsides and pitfalls.  The new system may not suit everyone and therefore companies should consider their options, and engage with it strategically. For example, companies should decide whether to participate in the new system or stick with the existing European patent system.  Which patents in their portfolio should have unitary effect and which should be opted out?  What is their future patent filing strategy and what should be done now in preparation?  How will the new UPC structure affect their ability to enforce their patent rights? To answer these and other questions companies should engage with their legal and IP professional advisors as early as possible.  

Graduates 4 International Growth
Enterprise Ireland's Graduates 4 International Growth initiative connects internationally trading companies with capable graduates. Closing date for applications is 3pm, 24th February 2017.
9 February: Start-up Showcase, Dublin
10 February: Hack Your Way Day, Dublin
10-19 March: SXSW Festival, Texas
Newsletter Marketing Powered by Newsweaver