Waterford News

Waterford Book Launch

Richard Kirwan’s deeply moving novel, Minding Jack, is a strikingly vivid reawakening of Waterford in the early 1960s. It evokes a city caught between the conservative past and an exciting liberating present. It is set around a mother and her three adult children, living in the inner-city in 1964, struggling with the changing social and moral environment.

Kirwan skilfully draws out family and individual conflicts as well as some dark secrets as the children struggle to make their own lives away from the influence of a dominant mother, who has sheltered them from outside influences, even into adulthood. Now their sheltered lives and religious certainties are being challenged by the emergence of a less restrictive moral climate, something which ultimately threatens to split the family apart.

The story is interwoven with the fabric of the old city, its streets and laneways, shops, churches and gossip-mongers eager to spread the latest scandal. Indeed, the streets and shops take on their own personalities and become synonymous with the lives of the family members. It is Kirwan’s ability to integrate characters with the fabric of the city that makes it so evocative of life in Waterford at that time.

In many ways, the novel depicts not only life in Waterford but aspects of Irish society at that time and chronicles the national struggle both with conscience and social norms, which have defined Irish culture over the generations.

This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in this old city.

The novel will be launched in the Book Centre on Friday 24th May at 6.30pm. All are welcome.

Boyle Room

Set in the heart of Lismore Town the Robert Boyle Escape Room at Lismore Heritage Centre is a great day out for families, friends and work colleagues for team building.

The escape room is set in the study of the famous scientist Robert Boyle, Father of Modern Chemistry, who was born in Lismore Castle in 1627. Players have 60 minutes to find Boyles secret alchemy box before his enemy Falcone gets here.

Players work together as a team to find clues hidden in the study, break codes, solve riddles and open locks, all within 60 minutes.

“Robert Boyle has been trying to solve some of the 17 century sciences most puzzling questions. His enemy the fraud Vincenzo Falcone believes that Boyle has discovered a mysterious ingredient that can turn base metals into gold. Falcone will be here in 60 minutes to search Boyles study. Can you save his precious alchemy box before he gets here, and Escape the Room?”

The escape room can take teams of 2-6 people. Prices according to size of team.

Come along to Lismore Heritage Centre where you are guaranteed a fun and challenging escape room experience.

Enquiries to Megan Barry

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T: 058 54975

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobertBoyleEscapeRoom

LEO Entrepreneur RetreatFollowing the success of Local Enterprise Office Waterford Entrepreneur Retreat last year, applications are invited for this year’s residential Entrepreneur retreat.

Returning to Waterford’s Woodhouse Estate in Stradbally on June 14th and June 15th, this two-day event will be led by business experts and mentors and will challenge entrepreneurs to see their businesses with a fresh perspective.

Once again, the team at Waterford Local Enterprise Office will be joined by the entrepreneurial experts to lead and guide the course content.

Stephen Walsh of Aerhaus Ventilation was a participant on last years retreat and said the experience was hugely beneficial to him, both on a personal and a business level.

“Last year we were at a phase with the business where we needed to equip ourselves with the right tools to build on what we had to date and to take the company to the next level. I came to the retreat in 2018 as I wanted to learn from others. It was a great experience and I certainly gained an insight into how the other participants faced and overcame the challenges that are all too common in business.”

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at LEO Waterford is looking forward to the return of the Retreat in June. “The residential retreat is the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to genuinely and absolutely work on their business rather than in their business. The programme delivered by the mentors and expert facilitators, along with the engagement of the participants allows those involved to gain valuable insight into high impact leadership and how to strategically maximise their future potential.”

“The number of places is restricted to eight business leaders, so there will be a lot of focus on their individual business strategies, but it will also harness the collective knowledge and experience of the group in order to plan new strategic goals to move forward and grow.”

The LEO Waterford Entrepreneur Retreat is priced at €200 per person and if you are interested in taking part visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/

The closing date for expressions of interest is midday on Tuesday, May 28th and the successful entrepreneurs will be notified by 5.00p.m. on Friday, May 31st.

TSSG Dr Michael BarrosTECHNOLOGY experts in Waterford are bidding to tackle one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer using miniature, implantable devices.

Brain cancer survival and recovery rates could be significantly improved as telecoms experts at Waterford Institute of Technology’s Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG) partner with universities world-wide on the potentially life-changing GLADIATOR project.

Together, they’re developing miniature devices that interface with engineered cells, bio-nanomachines, to detect as well as treat the cancer from inside the brain.  

Engineering cells into bio-nanomachines involves the use of synthetic biology to design specific functions in living cells, and in this particular case, the secretion of molecules that can be used to detect and treat the tumour.

The devices, when implanted in the brain, will be controlled from an external wireless device that will collect information, which should enable a futuristic automated theranostic (therapeutic + diagnostic) solution for treating Glioblastoma Multiforme, a type of brain cancer that can kill within weeks.

GLADIATOR is a paradigm shift in Oncology, with the introduction of "bio-nano-machine diagnostics". It will stimulate the greater use of the "Internet of Bio-Nano Things", leading to technological and clinical developments with high socioeconomic impact, Principal Investigator and Director of Research at TSSG, Dr. Sasitharan Balasubramaniam predicts.

TSSG’s specific role in GLADIATOR is to look at the molecular communications side of matters. Molecular Communications is the emerging discipline of exploring the transmission of encoded messages via engineered cells. This will allow artificial networks of bio-nanomachines to communicate, and when externally controlled, can be used to not only extract information on the status of the cancer but also manipulate it to affect its progression, Dr. Balasubramaniam said.

“The comprehensive theranostic solution for brain malignancies is set to be a significant medical breakthrough. Currently, highly complex malignancies such as brain tumours have a very grim prognosis, despite recent progress in their treatment and management,” he added.

GLADIATOR’s mission is to radically and dramatically change cancer monitoring and therapy, TSSG’s Dr. Michael Barros said. “Surgery for this form of brain cancer is very traumatic as the cancer is embedded deep within the brain. GLADIATOR aims to use wireless signals to control implanted bio-nanomachine engineered cells within the brain for sensing and treatment, and to send signals back to an external computing device that will determine the next best course of action.

 “Moreover, the innovative biological and nanotechnology-based innovations, development methods, computational and analytical tools advanced through GLADIATOR, are expected to have significant economic impact, since they can enter into particular market segments as indicated by global market projections and underlying drivers,” Dr. Barros explained.

“The project team will also examine the circuitry design, the power and communication requirements etc of these tiny implantable devices and how to interface to the bio-nanomachines that will interact with the cancer,” Dr Barros added.

The €6 million Horizon 2020-funded project will substantially improve patient prognosis and prolong their survival, the GLADIATOR partners say.

GLADIATOR is already underway and the 4 year-long project sees ICT experts at TSSG working with six other vibrant academic centres across Cyprus (University of Cyprus), Finland (University of Oulu), Norway (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Germany (Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering), USA (Michigan State Univerity) and Japan (Osaka University) and a nano-biotechnology SME EPOS-IASIS from Cyprus.

 It is expected that the project’s results will substantially improve patient prognosis and prolong survival by minimising recurrences and reducing drug toxicity. Extended life expectancy and productivity, shorter hospitalisations, and less personnel and caregiver involvement will also have a positive effect on the already overstrained Health Care Systems.

Specifically, GLADIATOR will provide, for the first time, a working prototype of a complete, autonomous and clinically applicable, nanonetwork-based, theranostic system based on the conceptual framework of Externally Controllable Molecular Communications (ECMC), Dr Barros revealed.

TSSG is a renowned hub of innovation in ICT and its role in molecular communications and health in particular, has been growing since 2008.

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SCHOOLS, family groups, gardening enthusiasts and lovers of nature and the great outdoors across Waterford city and county will revel in the extended programme of events as part of this year’s Bealtaine Living Earth Festival. It runs from May 18 to 26 right across the south east.

 The massive free schedule includes over 50 events for adults, schools and all the family and celebrates biodiversity in the region, Calmast’s Dr Cordula Weiss said.

 Calmast, Waterford Institute of Technology’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Engagement Centre, is proud to have even more events in Carlow and Wexford this year as the event grows in popularity, she said. She commended Waterford City and County Council for its invaluable support.

 The Waterford programme kicks off on May 18 at 11am and again at 1pm with Gardening for Pollinators: All things Buzzing and Beautiful, an event at the WIT West Campus at Carriganore run by Horticulture at WIT to celebrate Fascination of Plants Day. Sea Gardener, Marie Power, will lead a biodiversity walk at Garrarus Strand the same day between 11am and 12 noon.

On May 19, Dr Weiss presents Science on the Farm, an event at Copper Coast Mini Farm from 2pm. It is already fully booked. The same afternoon, the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens in Tramore are open for a free event from 3pm to 4pm.

The Dusk Chorus – the Songs of Nightfall at Curraghmore Estate from 7pm to 9pm is set to be a massive hit. Eric Dempsey, Bird Expert, Birds Ireland, and Author will bring enthusiasts on a dusk walk. It was one of the most keenly supported events on last year’s programme.

Met Eireann’s Head of Forecasting, Evelyn Cusask, will be a big draw. She is part of the Climate Change debate at City Hall from 3pm to 5pm on May 21. She will also be at The Munster Bar later that evening from 8pm for Ireland’s Weather – A journey through Time.

Stunning Mount Congreve is the venue on May 22, International Day of Biological Diversity, for Mount Congreve Unseen with Paddy Dwan, naturalist, author and photographer. It runs from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Bunmahon is the place to be earlier that day as the Copper Coast Geopark Centre hosts an open day with a talk about the changing landscape of Waterford from 11am to 12.30.

Other events on the programme for Waterford include Treasures of Earth workshop at Garter Lane Gallery on May 23 at 6pm with gemmologist, Tina Keating. The Secret of the Gardens at Mount Congreve runs from 6pm on May 24 and Robbie Galvin, Geologist will be at the Copper Coast Geological Walk from 7pm for a walk that takes attendees through hundreds of millions of years of the earth’s history.

One of the final Waterford events is at Annestown Beach on the coast road between Tramore and Dungarvan on May 26 from 2pm to 4.30pm. It is with geologist, Tina Keating and will be a great medium through which to learn about the geological history of the area.   

For more, log on to www.livingearth.ie and check out Facebook for the events: @BealtaineBiodiversity

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Local Enterprise Office Waterford is inviting clients in the craft and design sector to apply for a subsidised place at next year’s Showcase Creative Expo in the RDS.

Running for over forty years, Showcase has an impressive track record in attracting Ireland’s most talented makers and designers, along with buyers from over twenty countries.

Working in partnership with the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country set up a dedicated area within Showcase every year - the Local Enterprise Showcase - enabling up to 100 designers, manufacturers and craftspeople to sell directly to international buyers.

A Waterford business with experience of Showcase is Monkey Cups, an Irish-designed barista standard reusable coffee cup. Established by Mailo Power and debuted at Showcase 2019, Monkey Cups is an advocate of reducing single-use plastic waste in creating a fun, reusable alternative.

Mailo said the experience was hugely beneficial to her company as it afforded her the opportunity to meet with national and international buyers.

“As we were a new brand it was hugely important to have face-to-face discussions with customers, build relationships and get feedback on our product, pricing and our packaging. Showcase Ireland 2019 helped us meet lots of interesting retailers face-to-face rather than by email or over the phone.”

“The advantage of attending Showcase Ireland is you get really focused on getting your product ready for market. The mentoring we received by LEO Waterford prior to the show was invaluable. We hit the ground running and were able to comfortably and confidently talk to people knowing what information decision-makers required in advance. We were fully supported every step of the way by LEO and we’ll certainly be back for 2020!”

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at LEO Waterford said that Showcase is an invaluable stepping stone to any craft-maker or designer getting an audience with potential clients. “With buyers from Ireland, Europe, the USA and Asia, Showcase is truly established as the must-see trade event. For any one in the fashion, jewellery, home or giftware business the four-day event offers exposure to new international markets.”

“Not only will their place be subsidised by the LEO, in advance of the expo the successful applicant will also avail of training and briefing days in October in order to help them perfect their pitch and give them the tools, advice and insights to take full advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”

In addition, LEO Waterford is looking to map the craft sector in Waterford in order to gauge the future development needs of craft businesses in Waterford. A short questionnaire is available on line and all responses will contribute to the development of further support services to the craft industry.

LEO Waterford is now inviting any clients interested in availing of one of three stands to complete an Expression of Interest form and return to LEO Waterford by 12pm, Tuesday, May 22nd. Forms are available online at www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/ or from LEO Waterford offices at 35, The Mall, Waterford or the Civic Offices in Dungarvan.

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Daniel Connolly, Abby Wood and Conor Walsh named as Waterford’s best young entrepreneurs

As part of a nationwide search launched by Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Pat Breen to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs (IBYE) for 2019, the winners and runners-up were announced at an awards ceremony in Dooley’s Hotel, hosted by Local Enterprise Office Waterford on Friday, April 26th.

Chosen from 18 local finalists the winners and runners-up share a €50,000 investment fund and will go on to represent Waterford at the Regional Finals in June.

MC for the evening’s proceedings was WLRfm’s Damien Tiernan.

The ‘Best New Idea’ category, with a €7,000 investment fund, was won by WIT student Daniel Connolly, founder of Defynd. Defynd is an online platform which will allow students to search words and terms and receive a list of academic definitions from published literature. The runner-up award and €3,000 investment fund went to Bryan Hurley of Needy Insights.

Abby Wood was the winner of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category and a €15,000 investment fund. Abby’s business, The Content Lab, works with digital agencies to create innovative content strategies. Ivan Kiersey of Freezin’ Friesian was runner-up and received a €5,000 investment fund.

Meanwhile, the title of ‘Best Established Business’, with an investment fund of €15,000, went to Conor Walsh of Encon. For over ten years in the retrofit market, Encon has been delivering retrofit homes, making them energy efficient and affordable to run. The runner-up in this category, scooping a €5,000 investment fund was Stephen Lynch of Momentum Events.

Conor was also awarded the title of Waterford’s ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Waterford said, “Waterford boasts a wealth of young, innovative entrepreneurs. The Waterford IBYE competition highlighted the drive these finalists have, and they are destined to make a huge positive impact in their respective industries.”

“IBYE is about discovering local potential and nurturing that talent through financial supports, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. What stood out for LEO Waterford throughout the whole process, was the determination and unyielding belief that these young entrepreneurs have in themselves and their businesses. It’s heartening to see, as these are the individuals who will contribute significantly to the local economy.”

In the lead up to the county final, each finalist received targeted business supports through Local Enterprise Office Waterford. They attended an intensive Business Boot Camp, receiving mentoring and support on their business plans, pitch training as well as getting the opportunity to connect with other young entrepreneurs from the city and country.

IBYE, now in its fifth year, is a nationwide youth enterprise initiative to help 18-to-35 year olds with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business. In 2019, 1,644 young entrepreneurs entered IBYE, which is an initiative of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities.

The county winners from Waterford will now progress to the regional finals. In all, 24 national finalists will be selected at regional finals across the country to compete for the overall title of “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”

At the IBYE national final on Sunday 15th September, which takes place at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, a €100,000 investment fund will be awarded to winners.

Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through www.localenterprise.ie and www.ibye.ie .

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