Chamber News

CityRegionsIreland

New City Regions Ireland group launched with 8 principles for the urban future

City Regions Ireland is a new group bringing together the Chambers of Commerce of Waterford, Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick - Ireland’s 5 cities as identified by the National Planning Framework, Ireland 2040. City Regions Ireland met with the Minister for Housing, Planning and Urban Development Eoghan Murphy TD to outline what is needed to safeguard an ambitious urban future for Ireland’s City Regions. 

In one voice, the 5 cities have devised a document detailing the following 8 principles, spanning infrastructure, housing, and planning to inform policy making, maximise growth, and tackle the common issues and opportunities in our urban regions.

City Regions Ireland’s 8 principles call on policymakers to;

  • Plan for Core Density & Reduce Urban Sprawl
  • Increase Housing Supply
  • Support International Connectivity through our Ports and Airports
  • Develop Transport Infrastructure to Connect our Cities
  • Invest in Public Transport
  • Create Destinations of Higher Education
  • Rejuvenate our City Centres
  • Manage Water and Waste

City Regions Ireland is working for the common goal of ensuring the country’s 5 cities are developed sustainably as the national and regional economic engines and to support a population projected in the National Planning Framework to grow by 25% in Dublin and 50% in the other four cities out to 2040.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Urban Planning Eoghan Murphy commented on the new City Regions Ireland group;

“It’s essential that we as a country recognise the important part that our cities play in driving our national economy, they are centres of business, culture, education and innovation for everyone, and not just for those who live in them. I’m happy to see that Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford have come together for the collective betterment of urban Ireland, and I look forward to working with City Regions Ireland to ensure that our cities grow and develop sustainably into the future.”

Addressing the Minister, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley sought confirmation as to the timelines and level of funding that would be made available for the infrastructure required to enable the development of the North Quays.

The Minister advised that this project received higher funding than any other project, which is an indication of the Government’s commitment to the project and the Waterford City Region and that he is working closely with Waterford City & County Council Chief Executive Michael Walsh to ensure clarity.

Mr Hurley also highlighted the need to Create Destinations of Higher Education across the five cities, saying: “Each of our cities needs to be home to the best in third level education that the country can offer and while our colleagues in City Regions Ireland can boast thriving Universities, the journey continues for Waterford. It is imperative for the growth of our city as the Capital of the South East, as identified in the National Planning Framework, that Waterford Institute of Technology is upgraded to a Technological University.

“WIT is in the top 3 of every performance measure of IOTs in Ireland – it is delivering and it is a high performer. But in terms of regional development, we need more, which is securing University status and we would assume that the investment provided will be in line with that which was allocated to DIT. It would be bizarre if Government investment in new universities would be focused in Dublin when Ireland 2040 seeks to move the capital mass out of Dublin.”

City Regions Ireland is made up of Cork Chamber, Dublin Chamber, Galway Chamber, Limerick Chamber and Waterford Chamber, all members of Chambers Ireland.

Responding to the announcement that Waterford is to receive €7.35 million in funding under the National Development Plan, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said: “It is encouraging to see Waterford has been allocated €7.35 million, the largest allocation out of the 88 projects announced and it is certainly welcome news for Tramore.

“It begs the question, with only €100 million to allocate, should the Government have prioritised key projects instead of taking the attitude of let’s give a little bit to everyone?

“In terms of the North Quays, the allocation is somewhat disappointing, particularly as the project was specifically referenced in the National Planning Framework. It is only natural that Waterford be given the highest allocation, as we need this investment to bring us in line with the other regional cities but what we need now is a commitment from Government that the full funding will be made available, as well as the timelines, which will be required to trigger the tendering process.

“We knew the funding was always going to be on a phased basis, but we need buy-in from everyone, including the Government, that the total funding will be made available.

“Six million euro is a very small sum to advance a project of scale like the North Quays and we must be mindful of the fact that we have investors to keep on side, who are keen to get the project underway.

“We hope this is an indication of the Government’s commitment to making the full amount available but we need assurances as a matter of urgency, so we can begin the project in earnest and realise the goal of being the Capital of the South East, as identified in the Government’s own Ireland 2040 plan and which is fully supported by our neighbouring counties.

“In terms of Tramore, the allocation is most welcome and one that has been pushed for many years. Having recently integrated Tramore Chamber of Tourism & Commerce with Waterford Chamber, we are actively working with the business community in Tramore and look forward to supporting them to grow and develop the town.”

RLP Lunch Nov 2018 1

Shoot for the stars, the sky is not the limit was the hugely inspirational message from Dr Norah Patten at the first Waterford Chamber Regional Leaders Programme Speaker Lunch at the Greenway Manor Hotel.

Speaking to mentors and programme participants, Norah gave a fascinating overview of her career to date and how her determination to make it to space began with a trip to NASA as a child.

Following her dream, Dr Patten attained a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from University of Limerick, is a faculty member at the International Space University and has participated in many space related professional development programs over the years. In 2014, Norah managed ‘The Only Way is Up’ project which sent Ireland’s first student experiment to the International Space Station. Having a keen interest in education and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), Norah founded her own company, Planet Zebunar, which is launching a new series of STEM products designed to encourage, inspire and motivate the next generation of engineers, astronauts, scientists and innovators.

Dr Norah Patten remains on course to be the first Irish person in space and following her motivational talk, guests were left in no doubt at all that it is only a matter of time.

The Regional Leaders Programme is supported by Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Bausch + Lomb and Waterford Institute of Technology.

North Quays External View 10

Responding to the announcement by Waterford City & County Council Chief Executive Michael Walsh that contracts have been signed with the Fawaz Alhokair Group for the redevelopment of the city’s North Quays and Michael Street, Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber said: “This is fantastic news for Waterford and perfect timing, as we can be clear in our message to An Tánaiste Simon Coveney and IDA Chairman Frank Ryan at our Annual Dinner this coming Friday that Waterford has a vision as the Capital City of the Region and that this development is the catalyst for change.

“With the CPO’s finally approved by An Bord Pleanala, along with the immediate plans to widen Browne’s Lane/Hennessey’s Road and the demolition of the former WIT building and adjacent properties, we will now begin to see the movement we have so long lobbied for.

“Our theme for this year’s Annual Dinner is ‘Think Global, Act Local’, and in light of these announcements that has never been more prevalent. We will be calling on the Tánaiste and the IDA to offer every support as we strive towards making Waterford a better place to live, work and do business.”

Tramore Networking Evening 2018

Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely announced details of the integration of Tramore Chamber of Tourism and Commerce into Waterford Chamber at a special Corporate Evening co-hosted by Comerford Foley and AIB Bank Tramore on Wednesday, 24th October.

Speaking at the Comerford Foley offices in Riverstown Business Park, Kathryn said: “This coming together of Waterford and Tramore Chambers makes for a very strong voice to advocate for the collective business community in Waterford. It is a significant move and one we intend to nurture, while we continue to showcase Waterford as the Capital City of the region and a great place to live, work and do business.”

Kathryn also highlighted a new initiative called ‘The Spirit of Tramore’, which is a photography project designed to meet the proprietors of the local businesses, displayed on shop fronts. The project is currently underway with Waterford Chamber and local photographer Brendan St. John.

Welcoming the strong representation from the business community, Ger Foley of Comerford Foley, said he welcomed the amalgamation of the Chambers and said by working together we can have a much stronger reach.

In the spirit of collaboration, Ger, along with AIB Bank’s Stephen Frampton and Ger Fitzpatrick, offered the gathering sound financial advice, particularly ahead of the tax deadline.

With delicious catering from the Vee Bistro, there was plenty networking and talk of future collaborations, showing the good will and sense of community that exists in Tramore.

Big Deise Sleep Out 2018 Chamber

Focus Big SleepOut poster

Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley is calling on the business community to join him in supporting The Big Deise Sleep in aid of Focus Ireland, which takes place on Friday, 30th November.

This is Gerald’s second year supporting the event at the Edmund Rice Heritage Centre, which raises much needed funds for the homeless service, which has been in Waterford for the last 18 years and the city is now the charity’s largest centre outside of Dublin.

“While it was certainly one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life, it was also a very humbling experience. Yes we had some good laughs and I met wonderful people, but in the dead of night, it’s hard not to think of those less fortunate than ourselves.

“I was delighted to meet Thomas Barr last year, who has always been a huge supporter of the Big Deise Sleep Out and pending training commitments, he is committed to joining us again this year. He is a wonderful Ambassador, not just for Waterford, but for Ireland, and given the year he has had, I’ve no doubt we’ll have plenty to talk about in the wee hours!”

Focus Ireland have received support from Waterford and St Dominic’s Credit Unions and for anybody wishing to join the sleepout, or lend their support, please contact Cathryn O’Leary on 086 6042854.

If you cannot participate in the Big Deise Sleep Out but would like to show your support, donations can be made here: 

https://big-deise-sleep-out-2018.everydayhero.com/ie/waterford-chamber-big-deise-sleep-out-2018

04Toys 4 0 Engineers

“A vibrant expanding region” is how Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon described the South East as she opened the 2018 Toys4Engineers Conference & Expo, which was attended by over 1,500 engineering enthusiasts throughout the day.

Organised by Waterford Chamber and Waterford Institute of Technology, the event brought over 70 companies from across the country to WIT Arena for the national conference and expo.

Speaking to in excess of 200 conference delegates Ms Sinnamon outlined how there was a 17% growth in employment amongst Enterprise Ireland client companies in the South East over last three years, showcasing the strength of industry within the region.

This was further highlighted by Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely, who said the fact that the number of exhibitors at Toys4Engineers had increased by 50% from the previous year, showed a renewed confidence and determination by companies to showcase their innovations and talent.

“Networking, collaboration and sharing of knowledge is central to what Waterford Chamber is about. Toys4Engineers provides considerable opportunities for B2B networking, enabling companies to meet prospective customers, suppliers, collaborators or future employees.

“Also through the panel of expert speakers and exposure to the applications of innovation and technology across a wide spectrum of industry sectors, Toys4Engineers provides attendees with the opportunity to learn from others.”

That learning came from speakers Paul Brennan, BAM Ireland who addressed the delegates on one of BAM’s current projects, The Museum of the Future in Dubai, while Paddy Phelan, 3CEA spoke on renewables, electric vehicles and energy storage.

Cristian Olariu representing IBM gave an overview on cloud support for engineers, while Padraig McGarry offered an insight into Factory 4 Cobotics at Abbott Longford.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion, hosted by MC Laurent Borla of Senantra Ltd. Once the conference concluded, the doors were opened to the public to come and view the incredible ‘toys’ and technology on show – including live demonstrations of drones, VR headsets, robots, an exo-skeleton and 3D printers, while the event was also broadcast live on WLR with Geoff Harris.

According to Dr Ken Thomas, Head of School of Engineering at WIT, Toys4Engineers confirms that Waterford and the wider region is increasingly a centre of excellence in terms of engineering, innovation and technology. He was hugely encouraged by the large attendance keen to consider a career within these sectors.

“It is great to see so many young people finding out more about the high-tech toys being developed and used by engineers to make a better world. We are all aware of the skills shortages and terrific job opportunities, so it is really encouraging to see the next generation having a high level of interest. Our Jobs Board here today shows just how many good quality lives roles there are available right now and with a fantastic quality of life also on offer, Waterford and the South-East is a great choice for advancing your career and getting that perfect work life balance.”

Main sponsor for the event was Clem Jacob Hire, whose exhibition space proved extremely popular, as he presented hand-crafted wooden models of his machinery, which were created by artist and joiner John Murphy. 

“I have been to each of the engineering shows in the past and I have always enjoyed them. Having a stand at it this year was very productive for our business and so enjoyable.”

Toys4Engineers was sponsored by Clem Jacob Hire and supported by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Cobotics Skillnet and Bord Bia.

Paul Nolan European Parliament

Entrepreneurs gathered in the European Parliament in Brussels on 10th October 2018 for the fifth edition of the European Parliament of Enterprises, the largest exercise at European level in economic democracy.

Twelve entrepreneurs, representing Chambers across Ireland formed part of the Irish delegation. Paul Nolan, Group Development Manager, Dawn Meats represented Waterford Chamber. Mr Nolan said he was delighted to be given the opportunity through Chambers to address Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström in the European Parliament regarding concerns of Irish beef farmers and processors about the amount and form of access that she is considering under the Mercosur trade deal for South American beef into the EU.

Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot, welcomed the strong Irish participation in the event and said, “With European elections due to take place next year, the objective of the Parliament of Enterprises is to enhance understanding between decision-makers and the real economy. Our delegation had the opportunity to address key EU figures, including Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström and Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier, where we highlighted not only the priorities of Irish entrepreneurs but also how European policy can be made more business-friendly.”

Click the link below to view Paul's speech (skip to timestamp 13:56):

http://web.ep.streamovations.be/index.php/event/stream/20181010-1100-special-epe2018

Simon Coveney

The Waterford Chamber Annual Dinner will take place at the Tower Hotel on Friday, November 9th. The 2018 Annual Dinner will celebrate the opportunities that exists for business in a global economy.

The Annual Dinner, sponsored by Waterford Chamber Skillnet, is the highlight of Waterford’s business calendar and promises again to be an excellent social event with a great opportunity for networking and client hospitality. The evening will begin at 7:30pm with a drinks reception sponsored by McDonald Dwyer Reddy & Byrne Insurances, followed by speeches and dinner.

As Waterford continues to make its mark on the global stage, with recent investments exceeding €200 million by companies like West Pharma, Eurofins and Eirgen Pharma, Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely is delighted to announce not one, but two influential speakers for the business dinner.

“Waterford is on the cusp on something great right now and no matter the size of your business, we must all be aware that we are now operating in a global environment. Who more fitting to address this than our speakers, Mr. Frank Ryan, Chairman of IDA Ireland and An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD. By coming to Waterford to address the business community, both are showing their ongoing commitment to the region and it will be insightful to hear their thoughts on the developing international markets and how Ireland Inc can play its part in that.”

Speaking on behalf of sponsors Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Sara Mullally, Network Manager said, “Supporting local and thinking global is to the core of what we do at Waterford Chamber Skillnet. To that end, we are continually working with our members and stakeholders to make a substantial contribution to the future skills agenda and the competitiveness of Irish firms. The knowledge and skills that exist in our region is a key attraction for foreign direct investment and maintaining best practice and industry standards, along with developing a highly skilled talent pool, will ensure a stronger economy within the South East region.”

Group tickets and individual tickets are available from Waterford Chamber at a cost of €100 inc. VAT. For more information contact Lynda Lawton on 051 311130, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see here to book online.

RLP 2018 launch“Collaboration is key”, was the message from Waterford City & County Council Chief Executive Michael Walsh as he spoke at the launch of the Waterford Chamber Regional Leaders Programme in the Majestic Hotel.

“Programmes like this are so important to developing businesses and more importantly, ourselves. As mentors we get just as much from the programme as the participants and it is that shared experience and collaboration which makes me so supportive of initiatives like this. If you combine the wisdom and experience that is in this room between the whole set of mentors and mentees, there are very few problems that couldn’t be solved,” he said.

Supported by Bausch + Lomb, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Waterford institute of Technology, the programme is designed to develop business leaders for the future through mentorship and skills sharing and is aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership skills or for companies who would like to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool to ensure the next generation of their company is in safe hands.

Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely spoke about the importance of the shared learning experience and the importance of recognising Leadership Excellence in business.

“From Waterford Chamber’s perspective the Regional Leaders Programme is one of its flagship programme offerings to support its members and businesses in the region. Developing the next generation of leaders is recognised as one of the top five challenges that businesses face. Slowly organisations are beginning to recognise and value that leadership excellence can be as critical to success as product excellence.

“The value and benefit to the individual of experiential learning and shared learning are two of the key guiding principles which have shaped the development of this programme.”

Recognising the importance of the Regional Leaders Programme and its value to the business community, Waterford Chamber Skillnet have funded the programme by 50%.

Sara Mullally, Network Manager says: “The expertise in this room is extraordinary, people are willing to give their time and are eager to learn. Really powerful things can come from that. Your participation in this programme and in our networks is the lifeblood of Waterford Chamber and Waterford Chamber Skillnet. We are now already focused on 2019 and listening to your needs for training support and welcome any submissions or suggestions in this regard. Ultimately we are here to support the needs of the business community and this is a prime example of what emerges when ideas are shared and collaboration happens.”

The programme kicks off with a group mentoring session with international coach and Tramore native Dee Hutchinson on Wednesday, October 3rd, followed by monthly group sessions, one to one mentoring sessions and three inspiring speaker lunches with Dr Norah Patten of the International Space University, Conor McCarthy of Dublin Aerospace and Michael Doherty, Woodbrook Group.

For more information on the Regional Leaders Programme, please contact Lynda Lawton at Waterford Chamber on 051 311130.

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"Both Waterford Chamber and Bausch + Lomb understand the importance of leadership for the achievement of business success. Working with Waterford Chamber on the Regional Leaders Programme demonstrates just how effective it can be to come together and work collaboratively. The Regional Leaders Programme provides an opportunity to share our talents and expertise with the motivation to really ‘make things happen’."

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