Waterford News

LEO Richie WalshOver the last few months, it may seem that Brexit had taken a back-seat as local businesses had to deal with the impact on COVID-19. However, now that the first stage of negotiations is complete, Brexit is set to become a reality as the UK’s Brexit transition period comes to an end on January 1st, 2021.

Once the UK leaves the Customs Union, it will be regarded as a non-European Union country, so therefore Waterford companies need to prepare for dealing with a post-Brexit UK.

Local Enterprise Office Waterford will host a series of free bite-sized webinars as part of its BREXIT and Beyond series over the next two months. Taking place at 12pm each Friday from September 25th to November 6th, the 45-minute webinars are designed to help local businesses plan and take effective action for Brexit and beyond.

What does Brexit mean for business? will examine the implications of Brexit on local businesses and how to mitigate against risks. Prepare your business for customs and Custom Exports and Imports will focus on the potential impacts, formalities and procedures Waterford businesses will need to adopt when trading with a post-Brexit UK. Strategic Sourcing will highlight the practical steps that should be considered if your company trades with the UK or your supply chain is partly dependent on the UK. Financial and Currency Management will examine why businesses should quantify the potential cash flow impact and explore options to manage such an impact. With many challenges arising How to protect my Business against Brexit will offer clear and unambiguous guidance about minimising the impact and explore opportunities for growth, while The Simple Guide to overcoming Brexit will help companies navigate the maze of Brexit.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford said the BREXIT and Beyond series of webinars should provide some clarity for businesses as we approach the January 1st deadline.

“Businesses not just locally, but regionally, nationally and globally have had so much to contend with over the last six months with COVID-19 and the impact is destined to be felt for many months to come.”

“Brexit is a reality and while the timing couldn’t be worse, there is a necessity for Waterford businesses, particularly those that trade with the UK to start preparing and laying the groundwork. This series of BREXIT and Beyond bite-sized webinars will offer companies an informative and practical insight into minimising delays and costs and provide direction in how to deal with the consequences of Brexit.”

To book your place on the Local Enterprise Office Waterford BREXIT and Beyond webinars visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford

If you have any queries regarding your business and Brexit, talk to LEO Waterford #BrexitReady advisor, David Walsh, by calling 0761 102 905 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dooleys Hotel voucher initiativeDooley’s Hotel, a family-owned independent hotel, has recently launched an initiative to encourage visitor spend in the local retail outlets in Waterford City.

The offer is for mid-week bookings where guests can avail of a 10% discount from a large selection of independent stores in the city. Tina Darrer, co-owner of Dooley’s Hotel explained that the premise of the Book, Stay, Shop & Safe voucher was to combine a city stay with a broad, good value retail experience.

“Dooley’s Hotel has partnered with twenty five local retailers to give visitors to Waterford a value experience by availing of a discount on their purchases in these stores. Our guests simply have to present their key card in any of the participating stores to avail of 10% off their purchase price.”

“Obviously the events of the last few months have had a detrimental effect on most facets of business. The summer months saw lots of people holidaying at home, many for the first time and enjoying all the city and county has to offer. So, we wanted to continue that momentum into the autumn and offer a package for guests that would give them the opportunity to explore Waterford and also avail of great retail discounts in selected independent stores.”

“When we first broached the idea with local business owners, they all were enthusiastic about the initiative. In fact, it was their enthusiasm that made us realise that there is a fantastic resilient spirit in Waterford among small businesses, which is so heartening to see.”

Some of the participating businesses include T-R-M, Harlow Fine Jewellery, The Ice Cream Place, Jenny Shoo, Bebhinn, Alfie Hale Sports, Finders Keepers, Foxy Chopper, MC’s Outdoor Store, The Hanger and The Vintage Factory.

Lisa Fitzgerald of The Ice Cream Place was one of the first businesses to come on board. “As a new business, we feel it is important to collaborate with and support local business where and when we can, so we were delighted to get involved when Tina approached us with the idea. It’s a really simple concept and one that gives visitors a reward and who can refuse a discount?”

“The local business community is working hard to offer a wide-ranging value experience to shoppers, so if visitors to Waterford book and stay they will be able to get that little bit extra for their euro.”

The voucher applies to participating businesses and is valid for guests availing of a mid- week break in Dooley’s Hotel until the end of October.

For more information visit www.dooleys-hotel.ie or call 051 873531.

Until October 31st, guests at Dooley’s Hotel can avail of 10% discount from the following stores, upon presentation of their hotel key card.

  • Alfie Hale Sports
  • Bebhinn
  • Benetton
  • Evolution
  • Finders Keepers
  • Fitz U
  • Fitzgerald’s Menswear
  • Foxy Chopper
  • Harlow Fine Jewellers
  • Jenny Shoo
  • Kelly’s
  • Petit Cherie
  • MC’s Outdoor Store
  • Mulligan’s Pharmacies
  • Muse
  • Orchid Boutique
  • Phelan’s Shoes
  • Shaws
  • Shooballoo
  • The Book Centre
  • The Hanger
  • The Ice Cream Place
  • The Salon at George’s Court
  • T-R-M
  • The Vintage Factory

New Frontiers Martin PhelanEarly-stage entrepreneurs from across the south east are invited to apply for the six week New Frontiers programme.  

Some high profile past participants include:

  • David Whelan, Immersive VR Education, Waterford.
  • Edward Hendrick, Sonru, Wexford.
  • Anthony Cronin, Flexiwage, Tallow, Co. Waterford. 
  • Jens Kopke, Moto Klik, Kilkenny
  • Gery McCauley, OmniSpirant, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

The programme is run by the WIT School of Business from ArcLabs, the innovation hub based at WIT’s West Campus, Carriganore, Waterford.  

Past participants say the free course has saved them from making the wrong financial decisions in relation to their business, as well as giving them the tools to take their idea or start-up to the next step.  

The deadline for applications is 10 September 2020 at 4pm Applicants apply online at www.wit.ie/newfrontiers

New Frontiers Programme Manager at Waterford Institute of Technology, Dr Eugene Crehan explains the time commitment for Phase 1 is just two evenings per week, starting from 15 September 2020.  

“The impact of Covid-19 will result in innovation and people who are inspired to come up with digital solutions and new ways of doing business. Phase 1 of the programme will help would-be entrepreneurs or innovating start-ups and small businesses develop their ideas. Some participants will go onto Phase 2 which starts in December.” 

In 2016 €1.5m in Enterprise Ireland funding was announced to support early-stage entrepreneurs over five years across the south east region. Successful applicants to Phase 2 received €15,000 financial support available to further develop their innovative business start-up. Paid in tax free monthly instalments of €2,500 for six months, this financial support gives people the chance to develop their business while getting paid to do so. 

A number of programme participants have gone on to secure Enterprise Ireland Compatitive Start Funding or to participate in the NDCR at ArcLabs accelerator.  

  • Aidan Foley, Raceix, Ardmore, Co. Waterford 
  • Fergal Dearle, Stackolater, Baldwinstown, Co. Wexford
  • David Creevy, Sipario, New Ross, Co. Wexford

 Over the summer an online virtual showcase of the most recent New Frontiers participants took place.

Awards and winners:

  1. Best Business Plan: Niamh Byrne, Buyerpix, Gorey, Co Wexford
  2. Most Innovative  Idea: Laurence Fitzhenry, OcuDelLtd, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny
  3. Best Business Opportunity: Martin Phelan, Jenkinstown Co Kilkenny, Bull Shark Technologies Ltd 

Their showcase can be found online at: 

Twitter.com/NewfrontiersSE 

Facebook.com/NewFrontiersSouthEast/ 

And on LinkedIn via the LinkedIn profile of programme leader Dr Eugene Crehan 

WIT main campus Tourism Leisure buildingWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has received an additional €207,000 in funding for Springboard places under the Government’s stimulus measures. This brings to over €2.3m the funded WIT places available to employees, jobseekers, previously self-employed people and people returning to the workforce across the region for 2020/21.

WIT is running a virtual open evening focusing on part-time and Springboard+ courses on Wednesday, 9 September 2020 from 6.30pm-7.30pm. The virtual open evening for adult learners will allow people to ask questions they may have about returning to study, fees, and areas they are interested in. Also available is the website upskill.wit.ie is the facility to book a Zoom call with the WIT Springboard & Part-time Virtual Helpdesk.

The Head of the Department of Lifelong Learning at WIT, Neil Quinlan, says that there is enormous interest in Springboard courses this year.

“It’s been hectic and we will be recruiting right through September to fill all available places. Springboard courses allow people to gain a new qualification in one year or less generally and so provide a great structure for people to get back to work and or advance their career.”

Quinlan says that some places are still available in Advanced Drug Formulation, Biomedical Engineering, Data Analytics, Engineering Automation, Financial Services, Hospitality, Pharma Quality Management and Software Development.

Springboard courses include level 9 business qualifications in Economics and Finance and Digital Marketing Practice, Business Analytics, Finance and Business Analytics. In computing there is also a data analytics courses

Automation engineering and biomedical engineering are also on the list. In the science realm Advanced Drug Formulation Science and Quality Management and Quantitative Data Analysis are two areas of study. In the world of hospitality there is both a Certificate in Culinary Skills and Certificate in Food and Beverage Operations.

Courses may be 1-year courses to add to existing qualifications or it’s also possible for adult learners to do a variety of full degree qualifications part-time.

Over the summer WIT secured potential funding of €2,122,790 under the Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative: Pillar 1 calls this year, a new funding initiative targeted at new programmes for graduate conversion. WIT was awarded a potential €1,691,540 in funding for 324 Springboard places in 2020/21 and a potential €431,250 in funded places under the Human Capital Initiative: Pillar 1.

The free or highly-subsidised Springboard+ higher-education courses are open to both employed and unemployed people.

“Springboard+ courses are designed to allow people to re-boot their career through significant upskilling within one-year of less.  Courses are fully-funded for the unemployed, previously self-employed and people returning to the workplace. For employed people level 6 Springboard Courses are 100% - funded and Level 7 - 9 Springboard courses are 90% - funded,” concludes Quinlan.

Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme or Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

CALIN Tyndall SMEsIreland’s Tyndall National Institute is working with local businesses and individuals with novel research and development ideas under the Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) programme, a partnership between Irish and Welsh academic organisations. Becoming part of the CALIN programme enables start-ups and SMEs to access labs, knowledge and the expertise to develop, prototype and test new ideas at no cost. Through the CALIN programme, Tyndall has supported the delivery of new products and processes to 24 SMEs which employ more than 400 people, 350 of them in Ireland.

“CALIN is easy to access and efficient, which is especially crucial now as we get to work restarting the economy and supporting the SMEs who sustain employment in Ireland,” explained Tyndall Programme Manager Dr. Eamonn Hawe. “The application is just a few pages long, and it’s typically two months from initial talks to projects getting up-and-running.”

Explaining CALIN’s advantages, Hawe continued, “Perhaps most important to some of the smaller businesses we deal with, there is no cash or shares outlay. You can come to CALIN with an industry problem or a start-up product idea, and a partner like Tyndall will cover the costs through the ERDF-funded CALIN INTERREG project. With the funds, we can do a feasibility study and develop a rapid prototype for proof of concept. We’ll then link you to follow-on national funding supports such as Enterprise Ireland to develop your business.” CALIN clients are expected to contribute their time and their expertise, a contribution known as benefit in kind.

CALIN’s focus is on Life Science applications, and companies accessing Tyndall’s CALIN programme are primarily bringing together ideas and concepts that focus on human and animal health. However, the companies themselves span marine, construction, medtech, agriculture, software and more. One example is Dublin-based VRAI, a company using artificial intelligence and 360-degree virtual reality to improve safety in hazardous environments including war zones and off-shore wind farms.

Part of a programme for regional development, CALIN’s Irish team supports businesses in within the east and south of Ireland.

For a CALIN application, potential applicants can contact Dr. Hawe directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Waterford GAA Have Your Say

Waterford GAA have this week launched the biggest ever survey conducted in Waterford Sporting matters which will help shape the future development of Gaelic games within this great County. This survey is part of a major strategic plan that is currently being completed.

Do you support Waterford but are not directly involved in GAA otherwise?

Would you like to have a say to shape the future of Gaelic Games in Waterford?

Then HERE & NOW is your chance.

Over the next two weeks both GAA & Non GAA people within Waterford are being encouraged and urged to make their voices heard via the online survey.

Everyone is invited to have their say on the future of Waterford GAA.

There are 2 separate surveys being completed in conjunction with our title sponsors TQS Integration:

  1. An internal GAA Club Survey which has been communicated to all GAA Club secretaries over the last week and is underway this week.
  2. An external Survey which is encouraging people not directly involved with GAA clubs within Waterford to make their voices heard via an online survey which will be open from Thursday of this week.

The external survey can be accessed online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WGAA_EXTERNAL

It is the first time that such an approach has been taken across the entire Gaelic games community within Waterford. We want to improve our games at all levels, and we would welcome your opinion. This will allow us to better understand our games and for us to plan for the types of supports that we will be providing into the future. The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous, and confidential.”

As a result of this survey we be able to build a profile that we have across Gaelic games and understand their needs. The reports that we produce will be made available to every code and Club within the County, and because every response is anonymous, everyone can be as honest as possible. This is important as it will allow us to build a really accurate profile.

Tweak templatesAn Irish company has launched a new online initiative to help businesses of all sizes across the world to restart after the jolt they’ve gotten from Covid19. Tweak, led by entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly has been a pioneer of online design and has just made one million templates of its premium designs available, free of charge for businesses to relaunch and promote themselves. 

The designs include flyers, brochures, newsletters and large format display. Users can customise the designs online and download high-resolution artwork for use in print or digital marketing. The design templates are available in 45 different formats and across 350 different business types. Tweak CEO Jerry Kennelly said yesterday that the each of the one million designs are available in 7 languages - German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish and English.

“Tweak’s team of entrepreneurs, designers, software engineers, and technologists have a burning desire to make marketing more efficient. We’ve seen the devastation of business across the globe - and its impact on families and communities. Slowly, the world will recover. To mourn the dead whom we’ve lost. To restart with vigour and pump life into the economies of our villages, towns, and cities “ according to Tweak founder Jerry Kennelly.

Each template includes premium photography - and professionally written copy, which can be adapted easily. Artwork can be downloaded from Tweak.com - and can be printed on desktop printers or printed with local or online printers. “We urge local businesses to support their local printers. It’s important that everyone supports local business as we all seek to recover from the most serious economic impact of our times.”

https://templates.tweak.com/

Prof John Nolan Dr Marina Green GomezA new formulation can greatly increase the efficacy of nutritional supplements that are increasingly recognised for their value to eye health. That’s the key finding of research published this week by a team led by Dr Marina Green-Gomez at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) in the School of Health Science at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Titled COAST (Carotenoid-Omega Availability Study), the research compared bioavailability of key carotenoids when they were taken as microcrystals suspended in sunflower or omega-3 oil with a new method of delivery. In the innovative Micro-Micelle formulation, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin travelled more efficiently into the bloodstream, increasing the bioavailability and impact of these carotenoids.

Speaking about the research, Dr Green-Gomez said: “Previous NRCI research showed that these carotenoids – along with lutein - improve vision in the general population and those with age-related macular degeneration.

“This work set out to examine how best to achieve those positive benefits consistently for all those taking the supplements. 81 volunteers were recruited for the research which was funded by the WIT President’s PhD Scholarship Programme; Howard Foundation (UK) and Industrial Organica (Mexico). Now published in the Swiss-based, peer-reviewed open access journal Antioxidants, the findings provide high-quality evidence to the field supporting the role of targeted nutrition for human function.”

Commenting on the publication, Dr Mark White, Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies, Waterford Institute of Technology, said: “This calibre of research by a strong international team is something WIT and the wider community in Waterford and the southeast should be very proud of. This is work of real and enduring value that builds on an excellent track record at one of our most prolific research centres.”

Prof John Nolan, founder, NRCI and senior author on the paper, added: “This ground-breaking research really is disruptive science in the best sense where emerging technology and new knowledge are applied to boost the effectiveness of proven supplements. The real-world impact of this research is underlined by how the new formulation is being commercialised in the U.S. by MacuHealth and in Europe by MacuPrime.”

Along with Dr Green-Gomez and Prof Nolan, the research team also included Dr Alfonso Prado-Cabreror; Dr Rachel Moran, Tommy Power and Jim Stack from NRCI and Dr Laura Gómez-Mascaraque from the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Fermoy, Co Cork.

 

WIT External View 003 webWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) President Prof Willie Donnelly has welcomed the announcement that the new 12,800 m2 Engineering, Computing and General Teaching building on the Institute’s Cork Road Campus will go to tender in early 2021.

The announcement was made by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD.

The Waterford development is the largest of eleven new building projects at Institutes of Technology/TU Dublin in the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Sciences’ latest Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme.

The new building will include workshops, laboratories, classrooms, lecture theatres, research space, tutorial rooms, training rooms and administration offices and will provide students access to state of the art infrastructure and a modern student environment. The scale of the new building will also facilitate the relocation of the existing WIT Humanities departments and other activities from College Street to the Cork Road campus.

Speaking after the announcement WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly said “the facilities available in the new building will allow the Institute to continue to develop a multidisciplinary curriculum in science, engineering and humanities in line with the best international third and fourth level education.”

“The Government announcement today confirms the commitment to continual investment in the sector and in the development of the Technological University for the South East. The 12,800 m2 Engineering, Computing and General Teaching building on the Institute’s Cork Road Campus is an important and very welcome strategic investment in the educational needs of the region; it is the largest of the eleven new building projects and will be a cornerstone of the new university,” he said.

“The new building will not only provide students in the Schools of Engineering, Science & Computing and Humanities access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and a modern student environment, it will also support the strategic development of training, research and innovation with our regional and international industry partners enabling further economic growth in the region through these collaborations.

“The nature of third level education is changing rapidly with greater emphasis on personalising education to the needs of the student in the context of a lifelong learning experience. The state-of-the-art facilities will ensure that the new Technological University retains a greater number of students in the region as well as support continued economic and social regional development," Donnelly added.

The new facilities will be key to increasing graduate numbers at undergraduate and postgraduate level and flexible bespoke programmes to graduates in collaboration with stakeholders. The co-location of engineering, science and humanities supports the development of new multidisciplinary awards in line with the needs of industry stakeholders.

The building is included in the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Sciences’ Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme. The parties involved include the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, the Higher Education Authority, the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) and WIT.

Taylor McCarney Architects which specialises in educational buildings and also completed NUI Galway’s engineering building, has lead the multi-disciplinary design process in close collaboration with WIT’s capital projects office.

WIT IRC EPS Winners 2020Two research projects ‘bone health and safety and well-being of jockeys’, and ‘stabilization of biopharmaceuticals for parenteral use’ awarded funding

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD announced on 17 August 2020 an investment of €4.3 million in 50 enterprise-focused research awards under the Irish Research Council’s (IRC) Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

The investment in the two research projects at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) allows researchers work in close collaboration with partner enterprises Sanofi and Irish Injured Jockeys throughout the duration of their studies.

The two WIT projects awarded funding are:

Novel Processes for the Stabilization of Biopharmaceuticals which will be carried out by researcher Ashutosh Sharma’s project with Sanofi.

Strategies to promote bone health and body composition for the safety and well-being of jockeys which will be carried out by researcher Arthur Dunne with Irish Injured Jockeys.

Dr Mark White, VP Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies at Waterford Institute of Technology welcomed this great achievement of the successful Irish Research Council awards, stating “We value ourselves here in WIT with competing for and delivering high quality, relevant and impactful research projects for our community. Through schemes like the IRC Enterprise Partnership Schemes WIT creates linkages and partnerships with enterprises which are invaluable to embedding our research into the region. Receiving such prestigious awards reminds us and the higher education sector that WIT is ready to start our journey towards becoming the Technological University of the South East.”

Irish Injured Jockey Fund

The development and implementation of novel strategies to promote bone health and body composition for the safety and well-being of jockeys research is in partnership with the Irish Injured Jockey Fund. Arthur Dunne will work under the supervision of Dr SarahJane Cullen (WIT), Dr Giles Warrington (UL) and Dr Michael Harrison (WIT). This work aims to develop and implement novel strategies to promote bone health and body composition for the safety and well-being of jockeys.

Sanofi

Novel Process Strategies for the Stabilization of Biopharmaceuticals for Parenteral Use is in partnership with Sanofi and will see researcher Ashutosh Sharma focus on assessing novel processing technologies and their relevance to the commercial biopharmaceutical products that have never been studied before. The potential impact of these novel technologies will significantly reduce time, energy and costs associated with the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.

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