Waterford News

LEO Competitive Fund Oct2019Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD announced the results of the new €2.5 million Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Competitive Fund. Sixteen projects have received funding. Among those receiving funding were three projects from the South East region which will be delivered as collaborations among the Local Enterprise Offices from Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford and who received €345,000 towards same.

The successful projects were Green for Micro, Initium South East and Incrementum South East. The Green for Micro project aims to support enterprises incorporate sustainable practices to assist them in transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy focused on water, energy, waste, procurement. The Initium South East project is an innovative series of start-up programmes led by the South East LEOs, Enterprise Ireland, and the Ireland South East Office in partnership with the South East Business Innovation Centre and IT Carlow which aims to animate, develop and support the creation of 40 new specialised Start Up companies in the South East. The Incrementum South East project is a targeted business development programme for the LEO Portfolio of clients over 10 employees which aims to increase their engagement in R&D and Export Activity.

Announcing the successful applicants at a special event in the Council Chamber of Monaghan County Council, Minister Humphreys said: “The successful applicants demonstrated a real intent to collaborate, not only with neighbouring County LEOs but also with other stakeholders such as ITs, Innovation Centres, Local Authorities and others. So, while sixteen of the LEOs will lead on the projects, the vast majority of the LEOs throughout the country will also be part of these projects through collaboration.”

“There is a wonderful array of projects in the winning sixteen and they are spread right across the country.  I am particularly pleased to see projects in areas like digital technologies; green and environmental activities; e-commerce; and e-hubs and remote working. This is proof that our LEOs are looking to the future, and tackling the challenges of tomorrow, today.”

The successful applications were selected through a rigorous evaluation process based on criteria, which included economic impacts and value for money, collaboration and participation, Future Jobs orientation, collaboration and building regional strengths and viability and sustainability.  

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Waterford, said; “This announcement by Minister Humphreys is a great boost to Local Enterprise Offices in the South East Region. These projects will address a number of issues in the region, whether it’s moving businesses towards a low carbon economy, boosting start-ups or increasing engagement in R&D and export activity for LEO clients. This funding highlights the impact that Local Enterprise Offices are making and shows that they continue to be best placed in driving innovation and enterprise in towns and villages across the country.”

South East Lean Network

The South East Lean Network and WIT Academy of Lean Enterprise Excellence present the Annual WIT Lean Practitioner Seminar Series, kindly supported by Enterprise Ireland and brought to you in association with Waterford Chamber Skillnet. This is a series of free monthly network and knowledge exchange events that bring together continuous improvement practitioners in Lean enterprise, operational, and process excellence to share their expertise, knowledge, experience, and good practices.

DATE: Wednesday, 13th November 2019

TIME: 18:00 – 20:00


About the Speaker

Rob Healy is an Engineer, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Agile Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Since 2007 he has been involved in Agile Transformation in small, medium and enormous enterprises. His former clients include healthcare companies, major banks, Ireland’s largest Unicorn, the Department of Employment and Social Protection, and The Law Society. In his current role, he manages a cross-functional multinational team to deliver a digital transformation for healthcare insurance. In his spare time, Rob is a co-founder of Agile-Lean Ireland, a community group that has been running what has been deemed one of the top 20 best Agile Conferences in the world. Rob refuses to be dogmatic about Agile or its many frameworks, and he prefers to understand how the work works by listening to the people who do it rather than dictating a “best” practice.

About the Topic

The Agile Manifesto was signed in 2001 based on the research of a group of software development professionals. In the intervening years, “Agile” has become confused with some of the frameworks, tools, and practices that are part of it. In this back-to-basics talk, we will strip back the buzzwords from the key concepts and learn techniques for breaking down work into small pieces, establishing cross-functional teams (if they are needed) and learning by doing. Learn how “Scrum” got misnamed, how your brain uses Roman numerals, and how important radiators are to engineers. This talk will be entertaining, educational and interactive and we might just make it competitive!

Book your place here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/wit-lean-practitioner-seminar-series-2019-2020-seminar-06112019-registration-75962637293

Faile Ireland Know Waterford Workshop

Fáilte Ireland Invite YOU to Join the KNOW WATERFORD Local Experts Programme to Help Grow Your Local Economy

Fáilte Ireland has developed a KNOW WATERFORD Local Experts Programme. The programme is to support those involved in the tourism sector and the local community, who welcome and engage with visitors to Waterford. This programme will commence with an interactive workshop on what to see and do in Waterford. Sign up by choosing from one of the following workshop events:

Tuesday, 15th October @ 9.30am (Registration from 9.00am)


Tuesday, 15th October @ 3.30pm (Registration from 3.00pm)

Venue: The Tower Hotel, The Mall, Waterford, X91 VXEO

At the core of this programme will be a network of local people coming together to share their local knowledge to help visitors make the most of their visit to Waterford. The programme will also feature, social media initiatives, a Local Experts Pass and opportunities to network with other tourism businesses and interests.

The National Tourism Development Authority are calling on all visitor-facing employees, local volunteers and people in the Waterford community that regularly interact with visitors. So, if you own a B&B, work in a Hotel, restaurant, pub, retail store, taxi company, or if you are active in your local community, this programme is for you.

Click here for further details about the Fáilte Ireland Local Experts Programme.

This is a Free event and places are on a first come first served basis. To register for one of the Workshops listed please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rural Conversations RIA launchThe ‘Rural Conversations Series’ report was launched by Mr Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, at the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), Dublin in September.

The series was spearheaded by Dr Felicity Kelliher, RIA Social Sciences Committee member and Senior Lecturer and co-founder of RIKON research group, School of Business, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), and developed in association with the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Speaking about the report Dr Kelliher noted “Rural Ireland accounts for 57% of Ireland’s population. This is a significant pool of talented citizens who contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of the entire nation. The rural conversations series gave them the opportunity to offer their thoughts and ideas in relation to the forthcoming Rural Development Plan.”

Launching the report, Mr Ring shared examples of successful rural businesses operating throughout Ireland. He congratulated those involved in the work culminating in a report which conveyed “a great sense of the opportunities and challenges facing rural communities”.

The rural conversations series focused on (1) Economic development, (2) Social cohesion and (3) Vibrant and sustainable communities.

The reports collated the contributions of over 200 rural community stakeholders, government agencies, government support agencies and academics from around the country who participated in three roundtable consultative events hosted by NUI Galway, Dundalk Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology in 2018/19.

The resultant reports were compiled by Dr Kelliher and Dr Leana Reinl, two senior researchers from the RIKON research group. Dr Reinl is Lecturer in Management and Academy Lead, Rural Tourism Development, RIKON, WIT School of Business. The RIKON group, WIT undertake leading research into many aspects of rural and regional business development.

“A key viewpoint across all three roundtable events was the need for a sustainable economic and enterprise infrastructure,” said Dr Reinl.

Policy actions specifically called for support for diverse co-working spaces in tandem with the promotion of rural areas as smart working locations, a sentiment echoed by Michael Ring at the report launch.

Dr Kelliher noted that these policies could offer the momentum needed for sustainable development, “With an anticipated 500,000 new rural inhabitants expected by 2040, there is significant potential for these communities to gain from greater cohesion within and between local development groups and for multi-national corporations to locate in these communities”.

Dr Thomas O'Toole, Head of School of Business commented that rural Ireland is an asset that is underutilized. “The RIA and the Government have started a conversation on development, cohesion and sustainability that resulted in the publication by my colleagues Drs Kelliher and Reinl. The report contains so many ideas and practical solutions that can be used to produce action plans and further conversations. It is a real gem,” he said.

You can listen to the launch, hear the main findings, and download a copy of the report on the RIA website. Recordings of the individual country-wide events are also available on the RIA website.

Following on from these initiatives, the Department is now inviting wider public feedback through an online survey. Key themes emerging from both consultations series are reflected in the questions.

The survey, launched by Minister Michael Ring is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CTPVSHB and will remain open until Friday, 11 October 2019.

Purple Flag Awards June 2019Waterford City Centre will be taking part in the official annual celebration of the Purple Flag programme for those who have been recognised for excellence in the management of the evening and night-time economy (ENTE) in Ireland and the UK, taking place during the whole month of October 2019.

The evening and night-time economy significantly contributes to our local economy and Purple Flag Waterford aims to support this economy and drive standards within the Zone in partnership with key stakeholders. To celebrate Waterford City’s Purple Flag status since 2015, we intend to capture people’s imaginations, change perceptions and encourage people to do something different with their evenings in a variety of locations across the Zone area; the invitation is to experience the quality, diversity and vibrancy Waterford City Centre has to offer.

Gerald Hurley, local Coordinator of Purple Flag Waterford encourages everyone to get out and about during Purple Flag Weekend over 4th–6th October saying, “This gold standard award is not just about safety, but also recognises the vibrancy and diversity of our evening and night-time offer — this has been achieved by members working together across the Purple Flag Zone and is amazing example of what can be achieved by partnership working.

Chair of the Purple Flag Working Group, Eric O’Brien agreed, adding “It is great to see so many local businesses really celebrating their Purple Flag achievement and putting so much effort into the celebrations."

The Purple Flag programme is run by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM). Ojay McDonald, CEO of the ATCM congratulated Purple Flag location holders saying, "There now are over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation”.

LEO Making It HappenWith the ‘biggest ever’ National Women’s Enterprise Day planned for October 17th, Local Enterprise Office Waterford will host a networking event at the Tower Hotel, that promises to inspire and educate the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

With this year’s “Making It Happen” theme, entrepreneur Muireann Fitzmaurice will deliver a workshop on developing leadership competencies, followed by business strategist and technology evangelist, Clare Dillon.

Fitzmaurice is a lead trainer with the Entrepreneurs Academy on whose behalf she has trained over 1000 small business owners nationwide since she joined in 2012. She has an outstanding reputation for helping business owners feel inspired and get clarity on how to lead themselves and their business.  She is also a qualified life coach and trainer

and is particularly interested in helping businesspeople identify their core strengths and how to use that to market their business.

Dillon will talk about the basis of thinking and acting as leaders to ‘Make It Happen’ in business and capitalising on emerging tech trends. With over 20 years’ experience of leadership development, business strategy and technology evangelism, Clare helps organisations maximise the opportunities presented by the latest technology, from AI to Virtual Reality.

Waterford native and Waterford’s National Women’s Enterprise Day Ambassador, Sinead Quealy, will also give attendees an insight into her entrepreneurial journey. As Managing Director of VirtualVet, a data management company that tracks drug usage in animals in the food chain, VirtualVet was, earlier this year, announced as overall Regional winner at the National Enterprise Awards 2019.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Waterford said that the event will be of benefit to any female entrepreneur who is either thinking of starting a business or already in business.

“The keynote speakers at this event are highly renowned for assisting businesses in unleashing their potential and identifying opportunities for growth. Supporting women in enterprise and addressing the key challenges confronting women in business is paramount to ensuring female entrepreneurs realise their full business potential.”

“At Local Enterprise Office Waterford we have a broad range of support services, including events like this that enable entrepreneurs to take their business to take the next level. What National Women’s Enterprise Day does is not only showcases the work of successful female entrepreneurs, but also supports and fosters female entrepreneurship by encouraging more women to start their own business.”

With 22,000 female entrepreneurs taking part in Local Enterprise Office training programmes nationwide and 4,500 benefitting from business mentoring in 2018, Local Enterprise Offices are organising 17 entrepreneurial events across the country under the theme of ‘Making It Happen’, funded by the Government of Ireland in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and Local Authorities.

National Women’s Enterprise event takes place from 2pm to 6pm in the Tower Hotel Waterford on Thursday, October 17th. Tickets cost €10. To book your place visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/

Spearline Recruitment Afternoon

Spearline, a technology company that proactively tests phone numbers for audio quality and connectivity globally, is having a recruitment afternoon on Tuesday, 15th October at 1pm - 6pm.

It will take place in Spearline’s new Waterford office in ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre, Carriganore, Co. Waterford. The recruitment afternoon is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about sales and enterprise solutions roles and offers them an opportunity to meet the Spearline team on site.

Speaking ahead of the recruitment afternoon, Liam Dunne, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Spearline said, “We are in an exciting growth phase to accelerate our Fortune 1,000 customer portfolio across the telco carriers, unified communications and enterprise sectors.  We are seeking entrepreneurial and commercially astute candidates with excellent technical acumen. The team here in Waterford responds to customer demand internationally and builds contacts globally. Our recruitment afternoon is an opportunity for individuals to speak with our team members in person and to hand deliver their CVs to us.”

Lorraine McCarthy, HR & Operations Manager at Spearline continued, “Our team is attracted to Spearline as we are innovative leaders. This, along with the quality of life and the benefits we offer, such as flexible working, allows us to recruit top talent. The recruitment afternoon is an opportunity for anyone who is interested in working with us to find out more about Spearline and the open roles they may be interested in, now or in the future.”

Spearline is headquartered in Skibbereen, Co Cork and has offices in Waterford, Romania and India. The Spearline platform enables enterprises and telecommunications service providers to test connectivity and quality on global telecoms networks, testing automatically at volume. Spearline has conducted millions of test calls worldwide, resulting in billions of data-points. It operates a 24 hours per day, 365 days per year support service for its international customers.




Spearline, ArcLabs Research & Innovation Centre, Carriganore, Co. Waterford






WIT Felicity Kelliher BAM AwardDr Felicity Kelliher, Irish Academy of Management Chair and Senior Lecturer in Management at the School of Business, Waterford Institute of Technology received the prestigious British Academy of Management (BAM) Companion Award 2019 at the 33rd annual BAM conference, hosted by Aston University Birmingham in early September.

Companionship of BAM is an award made by invitation only in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of Management. The award is a way in which the BAM community honours those who have provided leadership in management practice or thought, or development of the field and its diverse community.
In addition to being a senior lecturer in Management at WIT School's of Business and co-founder of the RIKON research centre, Felicity is a mentor on the Waterford Chamber Regional Leaders Programme. Her specialisms include leadership and change management. 

Dr Kelliher's extensive research in the field of rural business and community development within the RIKON research group (www.rikon.ie), as well as her contributions to the Royal Irish Academy Social Science Committee and as a member of the Irish Research Council were acknowledged in the award citation.

Commenting on the announcement Dr Kelliher said: “I am truly honoured to receive the companionship award from the British Academy of Management. I strongly believe that companionship is vital to ensure the strong bonds between our nations are nurtured through academic collaboration that benefit of both research and practice”.

The British Academy of Management is the leading authority on the academic field of management in the UK, supporting and representing the community of scholars and engaging with international peers. 

The Irish Academy of Management (IAM) is the leading professional association for management studies, research and education on the island of Ireland. The academy was formed in 1997, and focuses on; building wider appreciation and acceptance of the science and practice of management, providing opportunities for researchers to collaborate within and across the sub-area specialties of management, and encouraging presentation and publication of scholarly research. Details of the IAM activities, the Academy’s Irish Journal of Management and the IAM annual conference can be found at www.iamireland.ie.

The Irish and British Academies work closely together in promoting scholarly engagement within and between the two communities.

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