Waterford News

Waterford Entrepreneurs Network

2021 is no doubt going to be a challenging year for many businesses. Beginning the new year with lockdown 3.0 means that we continue to rely on established business relationships and technology to connect us. But what about the businesses that don’t have that back-book of clients or who simply wish to grow their connections whilst working remotely? Recently established Waterford Entrepreneurs Network was set up to challenge that exact issue.

Launching 14th January and running for the full length of lockdown 3.0 (however long that may be) Waterford Entrepreneurs Network will host Networking @ Noon, for free, every Thursday for one hour. They invite all enthusiastic businesses in Waterford to come along, introduce themselves and make connections.

This is an hour of collaboration so we will also hear from businesses and networks of Waterford on the opportunities to connect and hopefully pick up some tips along the way.

WEN founder Margaret Julian explains; “As a business-woman in Waterford, I’m a huge believer in collaboration and I think it’s important that at times like these we focus on the things that we can control. What better way to start the new year than making new connections which is why I set up WEN as I knew another lockdown was imminent. Networking is not just about introducing yourself and hoping that someone will want to do business with you, it’s about following up with connections made and organising a virtual coffee and that is what we will be encouraging with Networking @ Noon.”

Networking @ Noon will commence on January 14th @ 12pm. Businesses are invited to register through Eventbrite for tickets; https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/networking-noon-tickets-134877162223

Kinetic Labs WaterfordKinetic Labs opens brand new laboratories in Waterford. From the start of January 2021, start-ups and established companies in the South East requiring wet laboratory space can rent it through Kinetic Labs.

Finding affordable and flexible lab space can be challenging for many science-based companies. Kinetic Labs addresses this issue and provides a space where science-based companies in the South East can rent co-working and individual lab space and facilities to develop their products and processes.

“The investment and opening of Kinetic Labs is not only great for our science community but also Waterford and the South East. The ability of start-ups and established companies to find appropriate wet lab facilities is a key constraint on the development of science-based industries in the region. Kinetic Labs overcomes this issue and will drive the growth, in particular, of Life Science companies in the South East. Kinetic Labs plays to regional strengths and will be connected to the wider business, research and innovation supports of the region and beyond. It is our vision to transform Kinetic Labs into a science innovation hub for the South East,” says John Breen, Centre Manager at Kinetic Labs.

Through renting lab space at Kinetic Labs, companies can access:

  • Over 400 m2 of high-quality wet lab space with shared lab space for companies starting out and individual furnished/unfurnished facilities for more established companies
  • The excellent facilities at WorkLAB including offices, meeting rooms, café and a community of established companies and start-ups
  • Business and technical support centres – the Waterford Institute of Technology, Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC), local IDA, Enterprise Ireland and South East Business & Innovation Centre (SEBIC) offices are all located nearby

Companies joining Kinetic Labs will have the support of a strong team that have experience in successfully growing life science companies from start-up stage to global businesses. Richie Walsh, Seamus Kilgannon and Patsy Carney are all hands-on Directors of Kinetic Labs. Richie is Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office (LEO), Seamus is a serial entrepreneur and Owner / CEO of precision engineering company SCHIVO and Patsy is a role model for any start-up with his experience building Eirgen Pharma from scratch to a global multinational. Centre Manager John Breen understands the needs of both start-ups and multinationals having worked at both scales in the fine chemicals and pharmaceutical industries.

There are already over 8,000 people employed in the pharma and medical device industry in the region and Waterford and the South East are fast becoming a life science innovation hub, particularly for indigenous start-up companies. Kinetic Labs will play a critical role in building on the capability and entrepreneurship potential of existing indigenous and multinational life science companies.

For further information or to arrange a tour, visit www.kineticlabs.ie

RelateCare logo

Patient Service Representative – Waterford, Ireland

RelateCare are looking for Full time permanent Patient Schedulers to work from home and in our Waterford city office.

IS Trainer & Support Analyst- Waterford, Ireland (Remote)

A fantastic opportunity has arisen in RelateCare’s Enterprise Support team, as we are currently looking a candidate to fill an IS Trainer & Support Analyst position.

HR Administrator- Waterford, Ireland

An excellent opportunity has arisen in RelateCare/rigneydolphin Group as we are currently recruiting a full time HR Administrator to start work in January 2021!

Remote Team Leader – Waterford, Ireland

An excellent opportunity has arisen in RelateCare as we are currently recruiting a number full time Team Leaders to start work in 2021! RelateCare provide the very best in patient access, telehealth, contact center and outsourcing solutions to healthcare organizations within the US and Ireland

WIT Nick Murray 2020 La perePivoting in a Pandemic: How Brands can Emerge Stronger from the Covid-19 Crisis opinion piece led to award for Nick, a high performing student

Dunhill, Co Waterford native Nick Murray, a 4th year BBS (Hons) Marketing student at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), is the winner of the 2020 Marketing Society of Ireland LePere award, winning €1,000 and invaluable industry recognition.

The Marketing Society of Ireland LePere annual award was set up in commemoration of the late John LePere (the acknowledged founding father of marketing in Ireland). This national award recognises and rewards academic excellence in the field of Marketing and celebrates the future leaders of the industry. The competition is open to all third-level students in Ireland who are in their final year of a Level 8 Marketing course.

At the online awards ceremony which took place on Friday, 4 December, Naomi Staff (Marketing Society of Ireland and MD of Core Research) noted that they had a large number of entrants this year with very stiff competition. She stated that “The judges were impressed with the structure of Nick’s essay, it was well thought through, researched and planned with some very strong case studies to back up his arguments and persuasive points. Congratulations and well done on such a great achievement Nick”

Nick’s task was to research and prepare a 2,500-word opinion piece based on a marketing topic provided by the Marketing Society of Ireland. His essay was entitled “Pivoting in a Pandemic: How Brands can Emerge Stronger from the Covid-19 Crisis”. All entries were judged independently by a three-person panel, comprising Ms Deirdre Wafer - Marketing Society of Ireland Chairperson, Mr Noel Quinn - Senior Marketing and Media Rights Manager, GAA and Dr Sarah Quinton - Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Oxford Brookes University.

This prestigious win follows previous success including winning the Dean’s List award in 2018/2019 and 2019/2020, which recognises the top 5% highest performers in the Business School at WIT. Commenting on his win, Nick said "I am absolutely delighted. It is an achievement I am immensely proud of, especially when I think about how I was competing against students from colleges across the country. A big thank you to Dr Ethel Claffey for nominating me and for believing that I would be good representative for WIT. I would also like to thank the Marketing Society of Ireland for presenting me with this prestigious award."

Speaking about Nick’s success, Dr Thomas O’Toole, Head of the School of Business, WIT, said: “We are thrilled for Nick Murray who took the opportunity to develop an essay with a strong practical bent on how brands can respond to Covid-19 in their marketing positioning. His programme at WIT, the Bachelor of Business (Honours, WD048) marketing stream, has a strong analytic component which prepared him well for his entry into this national competition.”

Joan McDonald, Head of Department of Management and Organisation congratulated Nick for his outstanding achievement, and Dr Ethel Claffey and the Marketing lecturers for the support and encouragement they give to their students.

Dr Ethel Claffey, Stream Leader - BBS (Hons) Marketing, added “We are delighted that Nick has been recognised by the Marketing Society for academic excellence. He is a very worthy recipient of the LePere Award. Winning this award highlights the high calibre of our marketing graduates. Nick is a very diligent student and we are very proud of his achievement.”

The School of Business at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has opened up its application process for local businesses interested in giving students valuable experience via work placement.

As students available for work placement have a general business background they can undertake a variety of business roles.

Joe Daly, the director of placement at the School of Business explains that the placement process has already begun and the students are available for a period of up to six months.

“WIT business students are now embarking on their placement with companies all over the region and beyond. Every year employers, large and small, benefit from the opportunity to gain access to high calibre, eager, and ambitious undergraduates with different specialisations: accounting, marketing, human resources, economics and finance and management,” he says.

Daly says that employers know and appreciate the placement process in WIT and are very grateful for the positive contribution WIT students provide to their organisations.

“Work placement is also an opportunity to develop and sustain strong links between employers and Higher Education,” he adds.

The placement process has already begun and the students are available for a period of up to six months.

For more information contact the School of Business placement office in WIT on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or for an informal chat just call Joe Daly on 087 2559238.

WIT Prof Willie Donnelly Dr Mark WhiteWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) published its aspirational three-year research strategy with a positive future outlook very much at its core. 

For over 20 years WIT’s research and innovation community has been at the forefront of the social and economic development of Waterford and the south east region. The institute has created international centres of excellence in the areas of advanced manufacturing, ICT, biopharma, agriculture and financial services.  Its research base is truly international through collaborations with leading universities and industry partners across the world.

The 2020-2023 research strategy builds on this foundation and will contribute to ensuring WIT will have the research and innovation leadership expected from a university of international standing. This strategy builds on the ongoing message of progressive and cutting-edge research that the Vice President for Research, Dr Mark White, has been driving since joining the institute in 2018. “The future of WIT and WIT Research is very positive for many reasons, not least the welcomed transition to becoming a technological university. This strategy outlines our objectives to improving our enterprise, civic, social and economic impact in the south east and Ireland which will enhance WIT’s contribution to research and innovation.”

WIT is proud of the academic leadership in the European Framework programme, Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway network and Science Foundation Ireland Centres which continue to generate significant funding for research projects and PhD graduates.

“Collaboration is key to meaningful research and WIT has a rich heritage of successful international collaborations with leading universities, academic and industry partners across the world resulting in the flow of state-of-the-art knowledge and skilled people in to the region. For this strategy to be effective, we will be encouraging the creation of even more partnerships beyond the institute to improve the knowledge transfer of our researchers. We will also continue to leverage and develop collaborators to create a multi-disciplinary research environment providing meaningful impact on the region,” Dr White continued.

President of WIT, Prof Willie Donnelly, highlighted the institutional vision to create an entity with the scale, autonomy, attractiveness and performance of an international university with the ambition of being among the top 100 ‘young’ universities by 2030, a vision shared with colleagues in IT Carlow. “Research excellence, doctoral education, knowledge transfer and international performance account for almost three quarters of the assessment of ‘young’ universities therefore this ambitious and committed strategy to being a research-led organisation is essential to achieving our objectives,” he explains.

Alongside the commitment to social and economic impact, collaboration and becoming a research-led organisation, is the continued dedication to industry nationwide. WIT’s research centres, Arclabs Research and Innovation Centre and the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) have a track record of supporting indigenous industry in their research and development endeavours. As the only institute to host three Technology Gateways funded by Enterprise Ireland with an overarching goal of providing support to industry from start-up to scale, WIT aims to build on this reputation by promoting and delivering research and development as an outsourced service function allowing them to optimise R&D tax credits without costly investments.

The launch of this strategy comes just weeks after WIT claimed the coveted Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year 2021 award. The impact of WIT research played a significant role in securing this award for the third time, with the success in European funding and the key role WIT plays in the region as deciding factors highlighted by the editor.

With the full details of the report available on WIT’s website, additional key strategic actions are:

  • Utilise the funding opportunities available to the Irish researchers in the Ireland 2040 strategic plan by maximising on the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund to create research with societal benefits.
  • Create an environment that can attract and retain creative people with a concern for making a difference though education and research. Successful research institutions add value to the efforts of their people.
  • In response to the imminent departure of the UK, WIT will establish a WIT-UK joint Research Professorial programme assigning a distinguished UK-based research professor to each School in WIT
  • Collaborate with the Southern Regional Assembly and support, through our research and innovation services, the goal of advancing the capacities of Waterford as a Smart City.
  • Continue our success in the forthcoming Horizon Europe programme with an aim of retaining the title of leading Irish IoT in ICT funding

TSSG Ian Mills ARVR Technical LeadCOMPANIES and individuals who need to run simulations or test prototypes now have access to a state-of-the-art, €160,000  mixed reality testbed lab and research team at Waterford Institute of Technology’s West Campus.

Available for free to qualifying projects through the Technology Gateway, the lab is now open and accessible for companies and access to the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) campus will be in line with COVID-19 regulations. 

The new facility allows clients see how mixed reality can transform education, training and awareness and monitor movement, immersion and interaction through a variety of technologies, including wireless headsets, a VR treadmill, 360-degree video capture, live performance and acoustic capture, physiological sensing and eye tracking equipment and so much more.

Funding for the landmark testbed facility was secured through the Enterprise Ireland Institutes of Technology Capital Call 2019 and although remote working has limited access to the equipment for the Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (ARVR) team, Frances Cleary, Research Unit Manager in TSSG, said it’s now open and available for use:

“Mixed reality innovations need to be experienced by clients and interested stakeholders in order to fully understand and appreciate the potential it can bring to a company. The mixed reality innovation lab allows organisations to immerse themselves in virtual or augmented experiences providing the opportunity to develop an impactful research and development strategy for a particular product or service. This helps a company plan for a market impact at an earlier date, therefore increasing their chances of success of getting to the market in order to generate revenue.”

The team can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and an appointment.

The Mixed Reality Innovation Lab at TSSG has a dedicated space located in Arclabs Research and Innovation Centre and also includes a portable element that can be brought to a client’s premises.

Kevin Doolin, Director of Innovation at TSSG said: “TSSG have been working in the Mixed Reality sector for a number of years and this lab allows the team to advance their research capabilities to showcase and enhance our developed applications and to support the visualisation and demonstration aspects of this technology to our industry partners in multiple sectors such as Health, Education and Pharma.”

Speaking about the importance of mixed reality technologies in industry, Miguel Ponce de Leon, TSSG Technology Gateway Manager said: “The applications of mixed reality technologies are endless. The nature of mixed reality lends itself well to a whole host of experiences as it offers a combination of movement, immersion and interaction. The experience and capabilities that it provides has many applications outside of its presumed entertainment value.

“We have seen an increase in mixed reality solutions being applied to industry since people are working remotely and the demand for online shopping has increased. Companies are using AR to allow their customers visualise a product in their home and others have applied VR to remote training programmes. We are very excited to see what the future holds for the mixed reality sector” he continued.

The Mixed Reality Innovation Lab provides four key components to industry:

  • A dedicated multi-user Mixed reality (MR) environment utilising the latest in wireless transmitted desktop grade and all in one VR experiences, enterprise grade AR as well offering consumer level alternatives featuring depth and Lidar technologies. Local and remote GPU processing for digital photogrammetry, digital twin and high intensity AR/VR applications.
  • A dedicated multi-user Augmented Reality (AR) environment with high-fidelity, full environment scanning (360-degree video capture, live performance capture, and acoustic capture), and visualisation capabilities.
  • Human-centric monitoring to study the impact of AR and VR environments on an individual. This includes a high-precision EEG headset, haptic devices for physiological sensing and eye tracking equipment.
  • Portable and mobile equipment that can extend the AR and VR environments beyond their dedicated lab spaces and push the current boundaries into multi-room and very large spaces, and outdoor spaces using a mix of traditional sensors, body sensors, visual odometry, drone-based 3D scanning and kinematic tracking.

WIT Pharma Research Centre of the YearThe Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology (PMBRC) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) was named as Pharma Research Centre of the Year at the Pharmaceutical Industry Awards 2020. It is the first time PMBRC has won the prestigious and hotly contested Research Centre award.

Since launching in 2014, the Pharma Industry Awards has established itself as the benchmark for excellence for those operating in Ireland’s pharma industry. This year’s event took place online due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Research Centre of the Year award recognises outstanding achievement, business growth, operational excellence and impact.

“We’re thrilled that our achievements over the past year have been recognised by our peers in the pharma industry and academia” said PMBRC Manager Dr Niall O’Reilly, speaking after the awards ceremony on Thursday. “Over the past 12 months we have significantly grown our research activity, won major funding awards and increased our engagement with industry and international academic partners. We are particularly proud of our commercialisation activities which resulted in 6 licence agreements and the formation of two WIT spin out companies, OcuDel Ltd. and BioEnz Technologies Ltd.”

Earlier this year, PMBRC partnered with the Eco-Innovation Research Centre in WIT, University Hospital Waterford and BioEnz Technologies Ltd. to improve the speed of COVID-19 testing under the SFI-coordinated research and innovation response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding of €118,000, competitively secured through the joint Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and IDA initiative to tackle the scientific challenges posed by COVID-19, has allowed PMBRC researchers to be active in COVID-19 research with two major projects on PCR testing and anti-viral inhaler formulations underway.

Although this is the first time for PMBRC to win the Research Centre of the Year, they are no stranger to awards having picked up the R&D Achievement prize in 2017 and 2019. They also won the “Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in the field of Digital Technology” at the 2019 Technology Ireland Awards in collaboration with WIT’s TSSG research centre.

As 2020 comes to a close, two TSSG led projects are hosting webinars highlighting the outcomes and applications of their research findings. One webinar is in the area of agri-tech and the second is in the area of energy and the smart grid. More information and registration details are as follows:

TSSG MELD Webinar

10th December, 11am: MELD – Early Lameness Detection through Machine Learning

This webinar presents a hands on experience of deploying an IoT solution to early lameness detection in dairy cattle using machine learning.

MELD builds upon an existing trial for early lameness detection on a farm in South East Ireland and extends and integrates this deployment into the IoF2020 Trials. The current trial deployed on a farm with 150 cattle utilises leg mounted sensors and uses Machine Learning Early Lameness Detection. MELD will integrate with the IoF2020 reference architecture and has identified the interoperability points to achieve this. Through this integration MELD will seek to make Ireland’s trial data available for analysis through other IoF2020 deployed algorithms and also utilise data from the currently deployed Herdsman+ trial in the UK to validate our Machine Learning approach to early lameness detection. MELD will also expand the Ireland testbed into three further testbeds in Portugal, Israel and South Africa. The project is deploying equipment across 8 farms in Ireland, Portugal, Israel and South Africa and collecting data from over 900 cattle. This data is analysed through machine learning techniques to detect lameness in cattle at an early stage.

To register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_fcs9yUQXTISYaw63s5dj9A

TSSG PISCES Webinar

15th December, 2pm: The piSCES Platform – Leveraging Energy Flexibility and the Smart Grid

This webinar will discuss the various aspects of the piSCES platform and how it uses Prediction & Machine Learning technologies to put these users at the centre of the clean energy transition.
piSCES is an Interreg Ireland Wales funded programme and is working with marine industries to optimise their flexible loads against available renewable energy and time of use market tariffs. The webinar will address a number of areas including the applications and results being achieved at its trial sites.
The webinar will be opened by Ms Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Wales.
To register https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rkxr3lY5QqeXTjREVz52NA

Please feel free to share these details with colleagues or clients you think might be interested in either of these webinars. If you are interested in one or both of these webinars but have a prior engagement, both will be recorded and sent to all registrants shortly afterwards.

WIT Presidents Scholarship AwardsWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has launched its 2021/2022 President’s Scholarship Programme for CAO applicants and is seeking exceptional applicants for the exceptional times we are in.

The €3,000-a-year scholarship encourages and rewards young people who show a capacity to shape a better society and each year up to five exceptional undergraduate students are awarded scholarships with a total value of up to €12,000 per person.

In what will be the sixth year of the scholarship programme aimed at CAO applicants, WIT President, Prof Willie Donnelly is calling on family, friends, communities, sporting clubs, people in the arts and volunteering organisations to encourage inspiring people who hope to start college in September 2021 to put themselves forward for the scholarship.

Among the 23 President’s Scholarship recipients to date:

  • Nine are from Waterford
  • Five are from Co Wexford
  • Two are from Co Kilkenny
  • Three are from Co Tipperary
  • Limerick, Cork and Dublin account for four recipients

WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly said: “2021 will be the institute’s sixth year offering the President’s Scholarship. Among the WIT graduates of 2020 are the first cohort of President’s Scholarship students who started their studies at WIT in September 2016. These are exceptional individuals whom we are proud to call students of WIT. Since 2016, the breadth of initiative shown by scholarship students has been across community, volunteering, innovation and creative spheres. We welcome applications from CAO applicants to WIT who may be creative, are innovators, are leaders, or people who make significant contributions to community. The pandemic will have impacted many people’s lives and we would like for college applicants who have made a difference to be given the support and encouragement to apply.”

For more details see www.wit.ie/CAOscholarship

Aroha Gemma MurphyGemma Murphy is a Holistic Therapist from Waterford who is passionate about helping people enhance their health and happiness.

It was from her own wellness journey in 2010 where Gemmas strong belief in alternative healing came that led her on her path to becoming a Reiki Master, Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Licenced Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Gemma is passionate about effectively helping people work on their own wellbeing and encourages and supports people in taking charge of their own lives. It is her hope that people find their strength, courage and resilience in the face of life’s challenges during their time working with her and beyond.

Gemma is constantly exploring ways to enhance her wellbeing and the wellbeing of others that she instantly knew she could bring the many benefits that she has gained already through NLP, yoga and her other trainings about making healthier choices to so many people. This idea of looking at ways to enhance people’s health opened her interest in wellness in the workplace.

Most people will spend 1/3 of their adult life at work. How they feel about their work will impact every part of their day, will have a significant impact on their personal lives and their wellbeing. Naturally, Gemma brings her passion for health and helping people to her yoga classes using her holistic view on approaching life, enhancing full permission living, ensuring people are living their best life with absolute belief in themselves.

Aroha - Wellness in the workplace even when it’s at home

Offering 1 hour (currently online) yoga classes to people in their workplace. 

Help your employees enhance their health which will in turn increase their performance and your businesses success. Yoga mixes ancient wisdom with modern science providing techniques to help people take control of their energy and emotions. 

If you want your workplace to be a healthier workplace offer a yoga class a week to encourage your employees to breathe, move, rest, reflect and reset. 

Promoting wellness in the workplace truly benefits all. 

Some benefits of yoga:

  • Boost energy for work
  • Improve concentration 
  • Balance your mood and relieve stress
  • Help detox the body 
  • Strengthen your immune system 
  • Help build healthy habits 
  • Create a positive attitude toward mental health difficulties 
  • Encourages self care 
  • Build resilience and health 
  • Improves flexibility, mobility and posture 
  • Help weight and sleep concerns 

To get in touch with Gemma please contact her at:

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

085 2047528

Facebook: @arohahealthandwellbeing 

Instagram: @arohahealthandwellbeing 

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