Waterford News

WIT Lean

Speakers: Elaine Dooley & Jon Hawkins, Waterford City & County Council

Date: Tuesday, 13th November 2018

Time: 18:00 – 20:00

Venue: WIT Arena, West Campus, Carriganore, Waterford.

Register: click here to book your place

The WIT RIKON Centre Academy of Lean Enterprise Excellence and the South East Lean Network present the WIT Annual Lean Practitioner Seminar Series, free monthly events which bring together practitioners in CI and Lean enterprise, operational, and process excellence to share their knowledge, experience, expertise, and good practices. The WIT Annual Lean Practitioner Seminar Series is brought to you in association with Waterford Chamber Skillnet.

About the speakers

Elaine Dooley is Project Leader with over 29 years’ experience in Finance, Housing, HR, and primarily Information Systems. Elaine leads the newly established Continuous Improvement Section where engagement and process review come together to improve service to the citizen. Elaine holds a BA (Hons) in Local Government and a Higher Diploma in Computer Studies, and she is presently undertaking year-2 of the Master of Business in Lean Enterprise Excellence at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Jon Hawkins is a Geographical Information System (GIS) specialist with over 18 years’ experience of implementing, managing, and using GIS in the Public Sector. Jon is presently completing the Executive Master of Business Administration at Waterford Institute of Technology.

About the topic – Process Improvement in Local Government

Local Government has gone through a profound change in recent times, weathering a financial crisis along with reductions in staff and budgets putting service delivery under strain. The Local Government sector has had to deal with enforced change and is tasked with doing more with less. Short timelines and public sector organisational culture for change implementation often make staff engagement and buy-in difficult. The focus now has to be on efficient processes, high levels of customer service, and a workforce that feel valued and motivated.

In this Seminar, Elaine will present our journey so far and share experiences to date working with the Housing Department using the Continuous Improvement Process and ‘Lean Toolkit’. She will reflect on the old way, lessons learned, and detail the new collaborative approach which creates better services for users and citizens. Jon will present how he introduced the Continuous Improvement Process to the Planning Department of Waterford City and Council as part of his MBA Action Research Project (ARP). He will share his experiences and demonstrate how good stakeholder engagement was used to empower staff, create a Standard Operating Procedure, and deliver a solution that was adopted across the department.

This book has just been written by Liam Murphy, who is a native of Waterford. The book will be launched in the Book Centre in Waterford at around 6.30pm on Friday 2 November.

The book deals with those Waterford merchants who were forced to leave Waterford by the new Cromwellian authorities in the 1650s because they had lost their rights to trade and to hold civic positions in the city. The book is based on sources in English, French and Spanish and deals with the subsequent careers of these emigrant merchants and their families and descendants in the port cities of France, Spain and the Spanish Netherlands. Some of them became very successful such as John Aylward, who lived in Málaga, St Malo and London.

Other successful merchants were Juan Murphy and Tomás Quilty who both also lived in Málaga, and Bernardo Valais (Walsh) who settled in Tenerife. Eustaquio Barron made so much money in Mexico that he was able to go on a two-year holiday in Europe with his family. Two of the descendants of these Waterford merchants became Cardinals, namely Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman and Cardinal Merry del Val, who were both born in Seville. Another descendant, José Blanco White, was a well-known writer and changed his religion twice, while María Gertrudis Hore, who was described as the most beautiful woman in the Cádiz of her day was a leading woman writer in Spain in the eighteenth century.

Antoine Walsh and Pierre-Joseph Lincoln were slave-traders in Nantes, and Antoine Walsh also brought Bonnie Prince Charlie to Scotland for the 1745 Jacobite uprising there. Nicolas Geraldino (Fitzgerald) from Cádiz commanded the Spanish flagship in the Spanish-Franco victory over the British fleet at Toulon during the War of the Austrian Succession. Luis Power of Bilbao was an officer in the Spanish army and he died alongside his cannon defending the city against the invading French troops.

There are many other interesting characters also discussed in this book, which should prove of particular interest to those who like reading about these old Waterford families.

Winterval 2018 SantaWinterval, the largest Christmas festival in Ireland, is to feature over 60 free and ticketed events across Waterford city as part of an exciting new programme for 2018. Launching its programme today (22 October), Winterval will run from 17 November to 23 December. For more information on Winterval, Ireland’s Christmas Capital, visit www.winterval.ie.

Attracting over 500,000 visitors each year, Waterford city will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland for the duration of Winterval. New attractions for 2018 include Enchanted Christmas, a brand-new Santa experience at the Old Postal Sorting Centre and the free  12 Days of Christmas attraction, taking place across Waterford city. Twelve events — from spoken word to street theatre — will run during the Festival, each representing a gift from the iconic Christmas song. Details of each event for  12 Days of Christmas will be revealed in advance on  www.winterval.ie, Winterval’s social media platforms, and the Winterval app.

Newly appointed Winterval Festival Director, Tommie Ryan said: “We’re delighted to present the new jam-packed programme for the seventh annual Winterval festival. Along with new attractions, we welcome back some family favourites such as Winterval Illuminates, the Christmas light show on Cathedral Square.

“There will also be fantastic markets, selfie stations, the Winterval Express Train and Sleigh, and a 600sqm ice rink at the Waterside carpark with Winterval on Ice. To top it off, this year there is a wonderful new Christmas attraction by the award-winning Waterford street arts and spectacle company, Spraoi, at Wyse Park. Full details of what to expect from Spraoi will be revealed in the coming weeks.”

Tommie added: “We have set out this year to acknowledge and celebrate what makes Christmas truly special — the creation of unforgettable memories with plenty of festive magic.”  

The 2018 Winterval Festival kicks off on 17 November from 4pm with the arrival of Santa and International Rose of Tralee, Kirsten Mate Maher, at John Roberts Square for the turning on of the city’s lights at 5pm.

Other highlights include the return of the Waterford Eye, the iconic Big Wheel on Merchants Quay. A VIP experience on the attraction is available, which includes warm blankets, chocolates and prosecco, or non-alcoholic fizz for children’s groups.

A giant post box for Santa letters, situated at The Applemarket, will see free special performances from the Waterford Academy of Music and Arts every Saturday and Sunday afternoon during the festival.

Other performances include  Handel’s Messiah, performed by the City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra and the Notable Works Chorus at St John’s Church on 2 December; a free Lions Club Christmas Carol Service at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on 15 December, and two special concerts at City Hall on 17 November and 17 December.

For charities, Waterford Rotary Club Memorial Christmas Tree Appeal will support Waterford Hospice on John Roberts Square. At the Cartamundi Giving Tree at Georges Court Shopping Centre, for every homemade decoration hung, a donation of a toy to the St Vincent de Paul will be made by Cartamundi, the leading Waterford-based games manufacturer.

Tommie added: “Every year, sponsors, stakeholders, local businesses, volunteers and the general public rally behind Winterval, to make this magical festival possible. Through their support, they have made Winterval the leading Christmas festival in Ireland.”

For full details, visit www.winterval.ie or see:

Facebook: @WintervalWaterford

Twitter: @Winterval_WAT

Instagram: @winterval_waterford

Lets Talk Hormone Health EventJoin Broadcaster Lorraine Keane and a panel of experts for an evening of “Let’s Talk Hormone Health” supported by Cleanmarine® MenoMin and Full of Beans Health Store

Cleanmarine® MenoMin is delighted to join forces with Full of Beans Health Store to bring an informative evening focusing on women’s hormone health to Waterford. This unique event, which will be hosted by Lorraine Keane, will take place on Wednesday, 24th October 2018 at the Granville Hotel from 7.30pm – 9pm, this is an evening not to miss for every woman over 40!

Every stage of womanhood comes with a new set of hormonal changes and challenges. Get the key information you need to feel capable, confident and empowered to take control of your hormone health! Experts that will be speaking at the event include Dr. Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist and Sarah Brereton, Nutritional Therapist who will be there to offer advise and information on how best to deal with hormonal changes.

Perimenopause can start as early as 35 and is a transitional time which can last anything between 4 and 10 years prior to menopause where women may suffer from many of the negative symptoms associated with menopause including fatigue, mood swings, weight gain, dull hair and skin and even night time sweats, hot flushes, decreased libido, due to the decrease in oestrogen production.

When we enter the peri-menopause phase it can be very draining on our energy, play havoc with hormones, whist having an effect on the condition of our skin and hair. There is a must have supplement which can help minimise the effects and naturally too. Irish brand, Cleanmarine® MenoMin is a premium quality all-in-one Omega 3, Phytonutrient and Vitamin blend, formulated specifically to give extra nutritional support for peri-menopausal and menopausal women.

Tickets for this unique evening are priced at just €10 each and include refreshments and a goody bag. Secure your place today by booking your ticket with Eventbrite – www.hormonehealth40plus.eventbrite.ie

For more information on the event pop into Full of Beans Health Store today or visit www.cleanmarine.ie

Waterford Christmas Tree Festival

Waterford Christmas Tree Festival Entry Form

Christmas is coming, and this year Christ Church Cathedral has something new for the annual Winterval Festival. Individuals, schools, businesses, charities and shops are being asked to create a Christmas tree.

You can make your tree from socks or books, bottles or ties, your challenge is to be as creative as possible. The trees can be twelve inches to twelve feet tall, once they look like a tree and can be displayed during Winterval at Christ Church Cathedral.

Waterford Christmas Tree Festival will run from 7-15th December 2018 with a wide range of Christmas Trees imaginatively created and decorated by local community groups, youth groups, schools, businesses, artist and craft groups & individuals. We encourage creativity & imagination.

Come visit or be inspired to create your own. Entry forms available at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford Chamber offices or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The trees will be displayed in Christ Church Cathedral. Come & see all the different concepts. An ideal outing for all the family.

Suir Valley VenturesThe award-winning artificial intelligence (AI) software firm, Artomatix, has completed a funding round lead by Suir Valley Ventures totalling €2.7m.

The investment will help the Dublin-based firm, whose patented software has been proven to reduce the time needed for expensive 3D art creation by as much as 80%, to accelerate their market delivery worldwide.

Artomatix uses machine learning to radically speed up the slowest part of the scan-based artistic workflow.

Textures and backgrounds in 3D game-space have been radically enhanced by scan-based design, and photogrammetry is fast becoming the gold standard for high-end 3D content in games, movies, industrial prototyping and interior design.

End results of photogrammetry can, however, take months or even years to deliver, and requires significant investment.

The hotly anticipated remake of cult classic game Resident Evil 2 from Capcom has been in development since 2015.

The game uses scans of real world clothing to ensure movie-quality textures and finishes.

Artomatix uses neural-nets to reduce the time needed to handle many aspects of the scan-based artistic workflow.

Their software has been exciting 3D artists at AAA Studios around the globe, who took note when NVIDIA awarded the firm $100K and the label of most promising start-up in 2015.

Since then, it has been further developing its software and building its client base, now focusing on using the funds of €2.7m to accelerate market delivery worldwide.

Artomatix CEO, Joe Blake, said: "The really exciting thing for me is to see how 3D design concepts pioneered in the entertainment space have become standard for product design and visualisation within mainstream industries like fashion, furniture and automotive."

Suir Valley Ventures Managing Partner, Barry Downes, said: "We believe Artomatix not only complements our existing portfolio, it also allows us to access the new convergence of 3D design and AI. Artomatix technology is about to change every industry exposed to 3D content, cutting costs, speeding up the rendering process and enabling the creation of truly groundbreaking graphics."

WIT Strategy John Paul PhelanWaterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) recently published Strategic Plan makes special provision for the Irish language and strongly supports Co Waterford’s Gaeltacht na nDéise.

Dr Richard Hayes, Vice President for Strategy at WIT, said the institute was keen to ensure particular reference to Gaeltacht na nDéise and to WIT’s activities there in its new strategy.

“It is a strong mark of regional distinctiveness that we have a Gaeltacht in Waterford,” he said. “We are very strongly committed to supporting the regional Gaeltacht and are keen to build on existing successful partners into the future.”

An example of existing joint activity is WIT’s collaboration with Nemeton TV in An Rinn which has been beneficial to the community, the language and partner organisations within the television, media and related industries.  The postgraduate Higher Diploma in Arts in Television and Digital Media Production, developed by WIT and Nemeton TV in partnership with Údarás na Gaeltachta, has been successfully preparing new media talent since 2006 and is widely recognised within the industry for the quality of training graduates receive. The year-long course is designed to provide students with the essential practical skills in order to work as bilingual professionals in the television and digital video industry. Graduates to date have gone on to play key roles in the broadcast media and film industries in Ireland.

According to Course Leader Moira Sweeney, “The participants on the course benefit from learning in both an academic setting and a live television production environment. The collaboration between Nemeton TV and WIT ensures that the course stays abreast of the growth in new technologies”.

According to Dr Hayes WIT plans to create another course to be delivered entirely through Irish in the coming number of years as well as to extend opportunities for staff and students to study the language.

“We will be working with all the partners in An Rinn to bring additional activity to the region. The model we have with Nemeton has been enormously successful and has been industry leading. We would like to continue to assist in attracting talented, creative people to the region by offering these kinds of cutting-edge courses.”

Dr Hayes also notes that Irish becomes an official working language of the EU in 2022, and in July there were more than 70 European Union translator roles in Brussels and Luxembourg advertised.

WIT offers Irish as a language option on a number of undergraduate courses such as Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business; Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology; and Bachelor of Arts (Hons).

WIT’s Strategy 2018-2021 was published earlier this summer and indicates that WIT plans to be within the Top 100 universities under 50 years old in the world by 2030 through the Technological University process.

Sean Burke from Enterprise Ireland, the National Contact Point for the H2020 SME Instrument and Fast Track to Innovation(FTI) is holding an Information Session in Arclabs, Waterford Institute of Technology on Tuesday, 16th October @ 10.00am in the Boardroom, Arclabs, Carriganore.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about these two Instruments which are specifically designed to support SMEs and engagement between SMEs and Research Centres. More details on each programme below. To register your attendance please email Philomena Treacy on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SME Instrument

Funding and support for innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Are you an innovative, high-flying small or medium-sized business with European and global ambitions? Are you looking for substantial funding to develop and scale up your idea? And could you make use of business development resources and coaching to take your company forward? Then the SME Instrument is for you.

Who should apply? 

We are looking for high growth, highly innovative SMEs with global ambitions. You should be actively investing in innovation, and looking to grow. You should have been established for a while – further than the start-up stage.

EIC Fast Track to Innovation (FTI)

Supports close-to-market innovation activities

The Fast Track to innovation (FTI) scheme targets radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that open up new markets. It is a fully-bottom-up measure in Horizon 2020 promoting close-to-the-market innovation activities that is open to all types of participants. FTI aims to reduce the time from idea to market and aims to nurture trans-disciplinary and cross-sector approaches.  It offers up to €3 million to consortia composed of 3 to 5 partners (including research centres and SMEs) with time-to-grant (from the cut-off to the signature of the grant) of around 6 months.  The participating SMEs also have access to free business coaching and acceleration services.

Proposals for the Fast Track to Innovation scheme can be submitted at any time with 3 cut off dates per year.

The government announcement of a €500m Disruptive Technologies Innovation (DTI) Fund has been greeted with enthusiasm at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) which is one of the key partners in a Disruptive Innovation-themed conference under way today.

Amplitude, which runs in Waterford’s WIT Arena on 3 October 2018 is led by research centres in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow).

Speaking ahead of the Amplitude conference, a new conference aimed at businesses and innovators which will demonstrate how availing of Government funding to collaborate with researchers, Dr Richard Hayes, Vice President for Strategy at WIT, said: “We welcome the creation by government of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund. Given WIT’s expertise in this domain where we are industry and academic leaders, the opportunity exists to attract a significant body of this funding to Waterford and the region. Indeed, more than this, the opportunity exists now to redefine the city and region as technologically advanced and technologically ‘smart’. Technology should define what we do and how we do it and we have the chance now to position Waterford as Ireland’s leading smart city.”

The DTI fund announcement was made recently by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD and Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD.

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development and Waterford native, John Halligan, who launched the Amplitude conference stated: “The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund will allow us to take research that is being performed in both the public and private sectors in such areas as healthcare, energy efficiency and sustainable agriculture and develop new solutions from that research, helping to build an ecosystem around disruptive technology and innovation and creating new markets for our enterprise sector. We have top-class enterprises and researchers in this country and I want to see proposals under this Fund that involve collaboration between industry, colleges and public sector bodies. Combining their strengths, successful project partners will help us to build new markets and tackle important societal challenges for the benefit of the people of Ireland.”

Dr Hayes referred to the recently published WIT Strategic Plan 2018-2021. “WIT has put technology strongly into its strategy for the coming period, building on the existing strengths of the college. In particular we aim to increase our activity in digitally-enabled and enhanced teaching.”

“This is just one example of how technology should increasingly be central to what we do,” Dr Hayes continued. “This thinking needs to permeate everything in the city and region. Already in WIT we are at the cutting edge in smart agriculture, in augmented and virtual reality, and other areas.”

King of the Vikings

Established in 2002, Travellers' Choice awards are the highest honour TripAdvisor can bestow. The only travel industry awards based on millions of reviews and opinions from travellers around the world, these annual awards reflect "the best of the best" for service, quality, and customer satisfaction, from hotels and accommodations to destinations, attractions, and even brands and products.

Travellers' Choice award winners are selected annually based on feedback from millions of TripAdvisor members. Travellers' Choice awards single out not just popular choices, but truly exceptional ones that keep travellers coming back. This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to the top 1% of businesses across select categories.

The King of the Vikings is also the #1 Attraction on TripAdvisor for Waterford city too!



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