Waterford News

realirishtrees comWaterford based student entrepreneur Jordan Casey has teamed up with a nationwide group of Christmas Tree farmers and growers to bring the Christmas Tree Farm online during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a profound effect on the world this year, and as a result, Christmas is also going to be extremely different. One of the most traditional and important customs surrounding Christmas is of course, The Tree.

This year, Growers and Farmers find themselves in an unprecedented and uncertain place, with Public Health measures meaning traditional pop up shops and farms may be unable to open to sell trees.

One such grower, Waterford based Derek Walsh, was determined to pivot this year and so has collaborated with Waterford based student entrepreneur Jordan Casey in curating a vast network of growers nationwide to deliver an Online Platform that brings the Tree Farm to the home.

Real Irish Trees.com is Ireland’s first and only farmer-led platform that offers Real Irish Quality Christmas Trees with Free Nationwide Delivery starting November 24th.

Real Irish Trees is truly the first of its kind and was created by a motivated network of growers who saw it necessary to pivot in what promises to be an unprecedented Christmas Period.

In aiming to temporarily move the traditional Christmas Tree farm to an online environment, the team have launched a state-of-the-art, easy to use website with a fantastic buying guide, information on local growers and a fully customisable tree selection. 3 varieties of tree: The Nordmann Fir, The Noble Fir and Fraser Fir, 9 heights from 3ft-12ft and 3 widths: Narrow, Standard and Wide.

What is truly game changing about this service is the Free nationwide delivery. The sites technology aims to support local growers by assigning Delivery addresses to the closest grower in their proximity. For example, if you buy a tree for delivery to Waterford City, you will be assigned a grower in Waterford.

Customers may also choose their delivery dates starting November 24th, and the growers are encouraging customers to pre-order their trees to avoid disappointment. The Site is: https://realirishtrees.com

WIT Bubbly ScienceWith a line up ranging from Bubbly Science to Chemistry in the Movies, the upcoming Southeast Science Festival has something for all ages and stages of life.

Taking place online from 8-15 November as part of National Science Week, 2020’s Southeast Science Festival will host a huge array of exciting events for adults and families as well as primary and secondary school pupils.

Supported by Science Foundation Ireland, local Pharma companies MSD, Abbott, WEST, Sanofi and Bausch and Lomb, Waterford and Tipperary councils, the festival brings world renowned scientists and science presenters to the south east region of Ireland.

This popular festival will be going ahead despite Covid restrictions and this year all events will be online. Details can be found at http://www.calmast.ie

Events will take place throughout the week, with unique shows and workshops for primary and secondary schools. A key feature of the festival will be the TY Science quiz, where schools from across the south east can compete against each other to win our first ever TY science quiz – sure to be a lot of fun. Science in Elite Sports Performance will allow schoolgoers to discover the science behind elite sport with and how it has helped athletes such as Carrick-on-Suir’s own Sam Bennet improve their performance.

A family Science Fun Day will take place on Saturday, 14 November and will bring science directly to homes with a series of creative, fun and experimental science workshops. –

Learn about exotic animals with Dave’s Jungle, the science of bubbles, how to make slime, and a lot more.

According to Dr Sheila Donegan, coordinator of the festival “Now, with this Covid pandemic, we have seen that science is now more important than ever. With that in mind, we have designed a festival with events for everyone to get involved in, there is something for everyone!”

The Southeast Science Festival will host a special event in partnership with local companies joining together to encourage and inspire girls to become involved STEM, it will highlight the many career opportunities available in the STEM area, taking place on Tuesday, 10 November, facilitated by award winning science communicator Niamh Shaw.

Prof Willie Donnelly, President of Waterford Institute of Technology said “We are delighted to be bringing this exciting festival to the Southeast. Our STEM Engagement Centre, Calmast have developed an exciting programme, and Calmast continues to prove that science is fun and can be enjoyed by the whole family.  So leave the Covid-19 lockdown behind by engaging in one or many of the fantastic events and workshops."

The festival will featured a Family STEM Scavenger Hunt (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) running Saturday 14 November and Sunday 15 November. This is a chance for all of the family to work together to take on other families in a hysterical Science-themed scavenger hunt.

The full programme of events, and booking details can be found at http://www.calmast.ie

The festival is coordinated by Calmast , the STEM Engagement Centre at Waterford Institute of Technology. The centre is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, as the STEM hub for the South East region, and is working with local industry in Waterford and Clonmel/Carrick-on-Suir area to roll out STEM engagement activities throughout the year through a STEM Hub and Cluster model.

Waterford Food Bank

What’s your company doing for Christmas?

Waterford Food Bank is asking companies, organisations and social clubs to consider helping the food bank this Christmas. Demand for the service has more than doubled in the past eight months and we are now supplying basic food to over 1100 people per week in the Waterford area. 

This last year has been unlike any other; Covid-19 has challenged us and we are grateful for the wonderful support we have received from individuals, suppliers, funders and sponsors. Your generosity truly makes a difference. We welcome any organisations, businesses or individuals who would like to contribute to make someone’s Christmas a bit brighter.

We are seeking sponsorship of seasonal items for our food parcels, such as turkeys, hams, puddings, and mince pies. We also need supplies of tea and coffee. Please get in touch by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if your company can help.

Big Bertha at NightTWO world-renowned research teams with expertise in areas such as cybersecurity, telecommunications, quantum communications and more have joined forces to establish Ireland’s first ever ‘Space Region’ and ‘boldly go where no one has ever gone before’.

Cork Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology have come together to form the Society, Economy and Environment (SEE) Space network, an exciting new partnership which builds on their reputation as centres of leading-edge research and innovation with the potential to build links to international space organisations such as the European Space Agency.

The SEE Space Network is a landmark pool of decades of talent, knowledge and expertise and the new team is ideally positioned to take advantage of the educational, economic and societal benefits of the global space industry which is projected to be worth €2 trillion by 2030.

Space 4.0 is a major focus for companies and institutions from the very small to the very large and now is the perfect time to take advantage of the two institutions’ expertise in areas such as cybersecurity, telecommunications, quantum communications, materials science, photonics and advanced manufacturing, those behind the SEE-Space Network say.

Working together, the new research team, headed up by Dr Niall Smith in Cork and Dr Mark White in Waterford, will use space to solve problems that are relevant to the region and the country, building the Irish Space Coast and attracting inward investment from national and international sources.

CIT President, Dr Barry O’Connor, said: “Working together, we will use space to solve problems that are relevant to us in our region and nationally, building the Irish Space Coast and attracting inward investment from national and international sources. On our journey, we will engage with leaders in their respective domains and help them to see space as an opportunity to grow their businesses.

“We will work with communities to see how best to use space to solve their issues, to increase their sustainability and improve their competitiveness. We will work to inspire the next generations of scientists and engineers. 

“The SEE Space network is built on CIT's and WIT's long track record of achievement in research, innovation and outreach with an annual research expenditure of almost €40m. CIT operates the Blackrock Castle Observatory which has been a leading advocate of Space 4.0 and represented the Higher Education community in the development of the National Space Strategy for Enterprise, 2019-2024,” he added.

Speaking about the initiative, WIT President, Professor Willie Donnelly, highlighted the potential impact that this collaboration will have regional economic development. “Bringing together two of Ireland's top performing research institutions to conduct multidisciplinary research and innovation in space will create exciting new funding opportunities particularly in the European Framework which will in turn deliver a new generation of advanced technology companies for Ireland and the Southern region. This in turn will provide exciting research and employment opportunities for our students.

“This initiative will create regional expertise, competence and ‘readiness’ for many businesses in the South of Ireland who are looking at the developing space and low-orbital environment and wondering how they will migrate their current operations, products or R&D from or through space. Low orbital operations are rapidly becoming the new business frontier and WIT and CIT want to be at the forefront of all developments. Breaking ground in this domain will serve both WIT and CIT extremely well as we both separately mature into our respective technological universities.”

Over the course of the initial three-year agreement, the SEE Space Network will focus on education and research in Quantum Communications and Cybersecurity, Earth Observation and Space 4.0 in general, with Low Earth Orbit Satellites (LEOs) a particular area of interest.

They will explore potential areas of cooperation and collaboration such as co-funded PhDs offering students an opportunity to engage in research related to this exciting, cutting-edge area. They have also agreed to investigate options for applications to existing scholarship programmes, including internal competitive scholarship programmes. Two co-funded PhDs have already been established.

The team will also investigate, more generally, opportunities to collaborate on relevant research activities and to work together to develop the following: a three-year strategic outline; a roadmap of national and regional benefits; a high level work plan and work streams; identification of potential European grant calls that will be targeted and a high level communications and marketing plan.

The impact of the collaboration will include broadening the career opportunities for students; strengthening the capacity of industry sectors with which CIT and WIT collaborate currently and developing roadmaps for exploiting Space 4.0. They will also team up on the development of new technologies, products and processes, enhancing the reputation of CIT and WIT as centres of leading-edge research and innovation and building stronger links to international space organisations such as the European Space Agency.

Signature AppsJordan Casey, Waterford based developer of SCNE and Tablepay is delighted to announce a new collaboration with Stephen Power of Signature Media marketing: Signature Apps

Signature Apps is a new, local App Development agency based in the heart of Waterford City. We are offering an extremely competitive service for all app development needs for small and medium businesses alike. 

We assist in the entire app development process, from Concept and Design to distribution, and can do so in as little as 2 weeks.

We have a combined experience in App Development and Digital Marketing, as seen from our combined collaboration on the recent development for NYCD in Railway Square and the Pinks Cantina app, which was consistently ranked as one of the most downloaded apps in Ireland for the month of September.

What's more is that our offering is eligible under the LEO Online Trading Voucher Scheme which will allow businesses to claim the full cost (exclusions apply incl. VAT) of their development project and we fully assist in this process.

Our offerings include:

*Fully Native iOS and Android App Development and Distribution*

*Full Loyalty System (great for hair salons, barbers, coffee shops and restaurants)

*Full Tablepay System and Click-and-Collect service (perfect for shops, off licenses, restaurants, cafes and bars)

*Full GPS Integration*

*Custom State-of-the-art Design*

*Integration with Booking Systems*

*E-Commerce Integration*

*Website Development

We really hope to tailor work for small local businesses who could benefit from utilising a technology like this. For more information, contact Jordan: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +353-83-133-9542

Elaine Fennelly bookWaterford native Elaine Fennelly is delighted to release her new book NUDE RUDE LEWD CRUDE SCREWED & SUED, 50 HR Stories from the Modern Workplace.

It’s available in Print and eBook and shortly on Audio book (self narrated) on Amazon. 

"On Paddy’s weekend I had over 1,000 people registered for my Jobs Fair - Back for the Future (promoting Southeast jobs ). I had to cancel it a few days beforehand thanks to COVID-19 and found myself in lockdown. 

"So, I figured I would write a book. It was and is extraordinary times so I wanted to do something challenging. It’s been great fun and very exciting to figure out how to publish Print, eBook and audio book.

"Thank you so much to my friends for giving me quotes for the book preface Sandra Whelan, Ciaran Cullen, Dr. Mark Rowe, Tom O'Keeffe, Willie Donnelly, Ann-Marie Mc Sorley & Barry Downes.

"I hope you enjoy the book, it is stories from my career & careers of many of the CEOs I meet every day and it is an eye opener, showing how the usage of mobiles & technology spills over into work, sometimes disastrously and hilariously! 

"Not Surprisingly I promote Crystal Valley Tech and Waterford throughout it."

The book is now available on Amazon.co.uk

WIT Research Innovation Graduate Studies TeamResearchers in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have welcomed the recent announcement by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, of almost €1million to support contract researchers and research students whose work has been seriously disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding was secured by the Minister as part of the €168 million package for further and higher education in light of the COVID-19 pandemic of which €47 million will be provided to the higher education institutions by the Higher Education Authority to support researchers whose work has been affected by COVID-19.

Dr. Mark White, Vice President of Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies in WIT welcomes the funding as a means to support the researchers and research students in greatest need, in particular, those researchers who are coming to the end of their contracts before the end of 2020.

“The COVID19 pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of research and innovation. The ecosystem of multidisciplinary research in WIT has afforded us the opportunity to become pioneers in various fields and this additional funding from Government will allow us to continue our research and nurture researchers of the future”.

Prof. Willie Donnelly, President of WIT thanks the research community for their valued commitment and dedication in recent months. “I would like to recognise and thank our research community for their continued support to our postgraduate students and stakeholders throughout this difficult period. They continue to work with our international partnerships to deliver world class research and innovation to underpin the economic and social wellbeing of the region.  We are delighted to see our research and innovation being recognised by the region. The funding provides a level of continued security for our research community who otherwise may have had to seek alternative opportunities outside of the region and Ireland” he continues.

Knowledge Transfer Ireland’s latest Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey (2019) confirms the positive impact on society and the economy of research and innovation work carried out in the sector, including in the fight against COVID-19.

The funding will help to protect both people and projects at a critical moment for Ireland’s national research system as HEI’s look towards the next national research and innovation strategy (the successor to Innovation 2020) and the next European funding programme (Horizon Europe).

The funding will allow researchers to continue to pursue all other avenues for project completion, for example in the form of budget re-allocations and will begin engaging with relevant funders to agree the extension of appropriate activities.

WLR Christmas Appeal

‘Red to Work’ day is now an annual event in Waterford’s work place calendar with hundreds of businesses and work places encouraging staff to wear red and show support for the annual WLR Christmas Radio Appeal.

We are completely aware of the sacrifices people have made for the good of our community and the impact these sacrifices, financially, emotionally and physically have had on the people of Waterford. ‘Red to Work’ Day is just one of the many events hosted as part of the WLR ‘Be a little Star’ Christmas Appeal this December for the St. Vincent de Paul. Please help us paint Waterford Red on Friday 18th December. 

For more information or to register your business for ‘Red to Work’ Day see the website www.Christmasappeal.ie or contact WLR Christmas Appeal Coordinator Sarah Jane O’Brien on 051-846112/ 0831125667

WIT additive manufacturingTwo projects led by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have been approved under the Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3 (Innovation and Agility).

The Human Capital Initiative (HCI) will deliver an investment targeted towards increasing capacity in higher education in skills focused programmes designed to meet priority skills needs.

One of the WIT projects has the funds industry in its sights; while the other is in the engineering sphere (additive manufacturing, frequently referred to as 3D printing).

The WIT-led AMASE: Additive Manufacturing Advancing the South East is in collaboration with partners IT Carlow and industry partners has been awarded €2,152,349. The WIT School of Engineering through its SEAM Research Centre is a leader in the development of Additive Manufacturing, frequently referred to as 3D Printing. The funding will enable the development and implementation of a new and unique degree programme in Additive Manufacturing.

Dr Ken Thomas, Head of the School of Engineering, WIT said: “Additive Manufacturing is both the present and the future for many of the companies in region. Not only is very significant investment in new technology required, it is also absolutely vital to have personnel with the new knowledge and skills. This funding will lead to a higher-skilled workforce, sustainable employment, more and better jobs.

The WIT-led Strengthening and Protecting the Funds Industry in Ireland in collaboration with partners Cork Institute of Technology, State Street, and BNY Mellon  was awarded €2,048,180.

The funding will permit the establishment of an Academy for Investment Fund Executive Education and Development at WIT. Dr Thomas O’Toole, Dean of the Business School, said:

“The funding will be of benefit to all those working in the industry who are interested in developing their careers further. Current events have shown that, perhaps, there is now an alternative skill set required so that people can operate effectively in under new and evolving circumstances. Concepts such as ‘adaptability’ and ‘resilience’ have now entered the normal discourse: these are the types of concepts, amongst others, that participants will explore on the programmes developed by the Academy.”

Neil Quinlan, Head of the Department of Lifelong Learning at WIT welcoming the funding said: “WIT is delighted to lead initiatives in two key industry growth sectors for the South East – Precision Manufacturing Engineering and Financial Services. WIT is also working on further HCI projects including with IT Carlow on facilitating adults access higher education through Recognition of Prior Learning, and on developing future entrepreneurs with Technological University Dublin.”

Quinlan further outlines the importance of the funding tranche: “UNESCO’s recent expert report on lifelong learning emphasised the need to build people’s capacity to deal with change and profound importance of this given the disruption and uncertainly being felt across society from demographic change, the climate crisis, the rapid advance of technology and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Ireland showed great vision in developing the Institute of Technology sector 50 years ago to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society at that time. Meeting current critical need for greater and better lifelong learning opportunities requires a similar step-change in public policy and the Human Capital Initiative is a very welcome development in this regard.”

BoI Tramore

Tuesday, October 6th was a day for celebration in Waterford city and county, as Tramore was announced as winner of the Bank of Ireland Overall Local Business and Community Response Initiative.

Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Awards, now in its fifth year, recognise the spirit of enterprise and resilience in towns and cities across the country.  Tramore, as winner of the Overall Local Business and Community Enterprise Initiative impressed the judges with its display of true community spirit by looking after the vulnerable in the community and developing a series of business and community initiatives that helped overcome some of the challenges of COVID-19.

The prize fund of €20,000 will be put to good use as €5,000 will go towards the development of the town’s new Sensory Garden and €15,000 will act as a Community Contribution lever towards a larger town project, in partnership with Waterford Council and Waterford Chamber.

The award was announced by former Ulster and Irish International rugby player, Tommy Bowe, who commented that the “winning entry demonstrated through a powerful visual presentation, with an excellent panel, how the whole town responded to the many unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.”

“Overall, the town demonstrated exceptional initiative and leadership by businesses and the community in their response to COVID-19.  The judges also noted that many town improvement initiatives are being developed at this time.”

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford said that the winning presentation captured the true essence of Tramore.  “Tramore is an excellent example of a town where local authority, business agencies, community organisations and people on the ground work together for common purpose in creating a new shared sense of what the town can be and should be.”

“A place which is innovative and entrepreneurial on the one hand but equally is mindful of all its citizens and their welfare on the other, as well as warm and welcoming to its visitors. The kind of a town that you would like to live in, work in, invest in or visit”

“It is a credit to all those who put so much hard work and effort into the submission and gave the wider public the opportunity to see just how special Tramore is.”

The winning submission and presentation was a collaborative effort between Waterford Chamber, Waterford Council and Local Enterprise Office Waterford, that encapsulated and practically showcased the mammoth efforts by local businesses and the community in making Tramore a deserving winner of the Begin Together Local Business and Community Response Initiative.


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