Waterford News

WIT PMBRC Research Development Achievement AwardThe Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) won the Research and Development Achievement award at the 2017 Pharma Industry Awards, held in Dublin on 24 October.

This is the second time the PMBRC has won the R&D prize having previously won in 2017.

Celebrating 10 years of operations in 2019, the PMBRC research centre at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has established itself as a leading research centre in the pharmaceutical, chemical and biologicals sciences in Ireland.

The centre, one of 15 Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways, consists of an 800m2 state-of-the-art research facility. Situated on the main WIT campus, the centre supports R&D activities within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, while simultaneously cultivating an innovative research programme at WIT.

“We are delighted to win the Research and Development prize at the Pharma Awards” said Niall O’Reilly, PMBRC Manager, speaking after the awards ceremony on Thursday night. “It’s been a busy year for us with the major funding awards, patents, industry licenses and a significant growth in researcher numbers. We are celebrating 10 years of operations this year and it’s great to be recognised for our research capability in the pharmaceutical sciences that we have built up over the past decade”.

Since launching in 2014, the Pharma Industry Awards has established itself as the benchmark for excellence for those operating in Ireland's pharma industry. The Research and Development Achievement award recognises an individual or teams working in the pharmaceutical sector on the research and commercial development of new products or new processes.

LEO First FlightLocal Enterprise Office Waterford is inviting submissions from artists and small craft businesses to apply for the First Flight Enterprise programme at the Kite Design Studio in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle.

First introduced in 2013, this year’s First Flight programme will provide a professional workspace, mentoring and practical business advice to creatives in a bustling, collaborative co-working space for six months commencing in January 2020.

To date, dozens of small craft businesses, artists and graduates of Waterford VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme) have availed of First Flight placements, enabling them to develop their businesses commercially.

One such artist who recently completed a First Flight placement was Janine Kelly of Aliandi Designs, who specialises in making ecological friendly jewellery from recycled copper and sea glass picked from the beaches in Dunmore East. 

“It was a fantastic experience for me, both personally and professionally. I received assistance from LEO Waterford which got me focused on developing my business skills and, also gave me the confidence to meet and sell to the customers who visited the design studio.”

“There is a really energetic vibe to be found working with other artists in a bustling innovative hub. I was surrounded by creatives whose enthusiasm was infectious and I learned something new every day. It’s an extremely supportive community and one I’d recommend to any artist or small craft business wanting to take their business to the next level.”

Brid Kirby, Senior Enterprise Development Officer with LEO Waterford said, “We have seen some fantastic artists and small craft businesses come through this programme since it was developed.”

“Waterford is steeped in artistic talent, be it fashion designers, sculptors, jewellery makers or crystal craftspeople. The First Flight programme gives talented individuals the resources and assistance to cultivate their businesses and gain from the experience of their peers in a shared creative space.”

If you are an artist or small craft business and would like to avail of a dedicated workspace, mentoring and business advice, applications to the First Flight Enterprise programme are open until 4pm, Friday, November 29th and the successful applicants will be notified on or before Friday, December 13th.

To apply visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/ or call into Local Enterprise Office Waterford at 35, The Mall.

Talkn Lunch October 2019

Venue: Boxworks, 40 Patrick St, Waterford

Date: Wednesday, 30th October 2019

Time: 12.45pm–2.00pm

"IS YOUR FACEBOOK AD BUDGET GOING DOWN THE DRAIN... So many SME's and start ups are under-utilising advertising budgets on 'boosted' posts and loosely targeted ad campaigns. Join us to find out how your company can use Facebook to run targeted, measurable, and profitable Facebook advertising campaigns."

Do you know for certain if your Facebook ads are driving valuable traffic or sales for your company? Should you be more focused on conversions than impressions or engagement?

How much it is costing you to secure a sale with Facebook advertising? What type of ads or offers provide the best ROI for your company?

If you don't know the answer to these crucial questions, its very likely that your company is leaving a whole lot on the table... But you can easily fix this problem!

Join Kieran Bolger (Crackerjack Consulting) on Wednesday 30th Oct, at Boxworks Waterford, to learn powerful and actionable techniques to ensure your Facebook advertising budget is driving measurable results and positive ROI for your company.


  • Why you should be running 'Facebook Ads' instead of 'boosting posts'.
  • How to use messenger marketing to automate lead generation, customer service, and sales.
  • Learn when you need to 'engage' your customer and when you should 'sell' to your customer on Facebook - Hint: There's a big difference.
  • Walk away with the 3 'Must Haves' of Facebook advertising to ensure your budget and results are maximised.

So, stop running ads in the dark and wondering if engagement really does turn into sales - Join us to find out how your company can use Facebook to run targeted, measurable, and profitable Facebook advertising campaigns."

Bookings: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/TLOctober.html

Netlabs WIT West CampusThe Technological University of South East Ireland (TUSEI) consortium welcomed the announcement today of higher education landscape reform funding in support of the TUSEI project. Altogether €2m in dedicated funding has been allocated to take the project to the next stage of development. Overall, €11.8 million in funding was allocated to technological universities in a funding announcement from the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD.

President of IT Carlow, Dr Patricia Mulcahy stated “This funding comes at a critical time for the TUSEI project. It will enable us to move to the next stage in institutional change - further mobilisation of our 1,900 staff, our 17,000 students and our many stakeholders, in support of important integration activity. This is an essential part of our journey towards a unitary multi-campus technological university of scale and impact, within the regional, national and international context. We thank Minister McHugh and Minister Mitchell O’Connor for their continued support.”

President of WIT, Professor Willie Donnelly, said: “We warmly welcome this allocation of funding as an indication of confidence by government in WIT and IT Carlow to deliver a university for the south east. This funding allocation will allow us build on the momentum to date and accelerate the project to completion. Together with all our stakeholders across the region, we are impatient for the delivery of a much-needed university for the south east, a critical element in delivering on the government’s ambitions for the region as set out in Project Ireland 2040 and absolutely essential to secure the economic future of the region.”

The release of this landscape funding follows the announcement in Budget 2020 of €90 million in funding in support of Technological Universities for the period to 2022.

The funding allocated is earmarked for supporting the appointment of key personnel to manage and direct the TU project, specifically to complete the application process and oversee the validation of the application by an international review group. The funding will also be used to support staff involvement and engagement in the process through a detailed change management project.

Prof Donnelly added “We are very clear in our planning that the staff of the two institutes have to be central to the future organisation; after all, it is through the efforts of staff over decades that we are in a position to make a legitimate claim to be operating at university level.”

Dr Mulcahy added “Throughout all of our work towards the creation of TUSEI, we have remained deeply learner centred and inclusive. As we continue our important work, we acknowledge and thank all of our staff and our many supporters for their invaluable contributions and commitment.”

Winterval Santa ChildrenWaterford city will get a sprinkling of Christmas magic as Winterval presents a brand-new interactive Wizards and Dragons exhibition for its 2019 festival. Featuring animatronic dragons, Winterval, Ireland’s largest Christmas festival, will be the first location in Ireland to host the Wizards + Dragons exhibition. Attracting over 500,000 visitors each year, the programme for Ireland’s Christmas Capital will also see Santa’s Grotto returning to the enchanting 750-year-old Choristers Hall and Undercroft, located at Waterford’s Medieval Museum.

The announcements come as the eighth annual Winterval festival launches its jam-packed programme of over 60 free and ticketed events, running from 23 November to 23 December. For more details see www.winterval.ie.

This year’s magical festival kicks off on 23 November at 4.15pm, with Santa and the Mayor of Waterford City & County Council Cllr. John Pratt turning on the city’s Christmas lights at 5pm. WLR will broadcast the event live with music provided by Brass & Co at John Roberts Square.

On the announcement of this year’s action-packed programme, Festival Director Tommie Ryan said: “Christmas is all about magic, and what is more magical than mythical creatures and some wonderful wizardry. Wizards + Dragons, running from 29 November to 5 January at Waterford City Hall, The Mall will give visitors of all ages the chance to immerse themselves in another world, building an awareness of mythology and culture, and harnessing the power of imagination.

“We are also delighted to see Santa, Mrs Claus and the elves return to Choristers Hall, for what will be another magical experience. We always want to ensure all children can enjoy a visit to Santa and so, have created a dedicated autism friendly and sensory evening on Thursday, 12 December. This will see the Grotto specially adapted to create a calm and relaxing environment, providing a stress-free evening for all guests.” 

Further highlights include a never-before-seen free festive wonderland by Ireland’s renowned street theatre company, Spraoi. Spraoi na Nollag will be held during Winterval at Constitution Square. Further new events include a free Outdoor Cinema at The Applemarket, with The Polar Express on Saturdays and It’s A Wonderful Life on Sundays. There will also be a Star Flyer at the Tower Hotel for the first time.

Winterval On Ice, the 600sqm ice rink of real ice will be located at the new location of Bolton Street Car Park, while visitors can journey through the heart of Winterval on the Winterval Express Train and Horse Drawn Sleigh. The iconic big wheel, Waterford Eye, is at Merchants Quay and a brand-new 3D music and lights show for Winterval Illuminates takes place at Cathedral Square. There will also be Winterval Christmas Markets and pop-up shops at Arundel and Cathedral Squares, along with the Garter Lane Christmas Craft Fair at Garter Lane Arts Centre.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Winterval welcomes the Exploration Dome at Bolton Street Car Park, a fun and educational mobile planetarium with a brand-new show. Santa’s Giant Post Box is at The Applemarket, with special shows on Saturdays and Sundays during Winterval from Waterford Academy of Music & Art.

Favourite fairground rides return for 2019 with the Helter Skelter at Constitution Square, while the Vintage Ferris Wheel will be located at Arundel Square; the Golden Gallopers Antique Carousel at John Roberts Square, and for little visitors, the Mini Carousel at The Mall. A Circus Exhibition, full of miniature replicas of these Winterval favourite attractions, will be on display at George’s Court Shopping Centre.

For music lovers, Declan O’Rourke takes to the stage for a special evening at Theatre Royal, 23 December. The House of Waterford Crystal and Project Music presents Christmas Music Soirées with four jazz and classical concerts — jazz quartet Rough Edges (28 November); concert pianist, Peter Regan (5 December), soprano Valerie Leahy and pianist, Marian Ingoldsby (12 December) and soprano Orla Forristal (19 December).

Winterval 2019 also champions charitable events, with the Rotary Club Memorial Christmas Tree, in support of Waterford Hospice, at John Roberts Square. The Cartamundi Giving Tree at Georges Court Shopping Centre will donate a toy to St Vincent de Paul for every decoration made, while Christmas Busk Aid takes place in various locations across Waterford city, donating all proceeds to Tinteán Housing Association to help raise awareness of homelessness.

Tommie added: “Through the support of Waterford City & County Council, along with our sponsors, stakeholders, local businesses, volunteers and the general public, Winterval is made possible. We invite everyone to come to Waterford city during the festival and experience a truly magical winter wonderland.”

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

Facebook: @WintervalWaterford

Twitter: @Winterval_WAT

Instagram: @winterval_waterford

WIT main campusResearchers at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have secured funding of almost €300,000 to lead a two year pan-European research project ‘Student Stress Training e-Mobile Management (SSTeMM)’.

Research over the last five years and recent news reports have highlighted that there is a rise in problems of mental wellbeing amongst people attending college, and the most marked increase in the rise in work stress is in the age group 18 to 25. In Ireland, the Government’s recent announcement in the Budget 2020 to fund work in the area of student health and well being reinforces the concerns for this group of young people.

The SSTeMM project aims to develop an end-user accessible digital mobile platform providing work based education, competency training and practice based stress management support tailored to the immediate needs of student nurses whilst they are in their clinical placement.

It is anticipated that a minimum of 200 student nurses, as well as their internship mentors, will participate in this project across Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Kosovo.

Speaking at the recent project launch meeting, Project Co-ordinator, Professor John Wells, Head of the School of Health Science at WIT said “Mental distress amongst college students has considerably increased over the last 20 years or so. We also know that work-based stress is a major public health problem across Europe and that  the health care sector is one of the most significantly stressful employment environments. Student nurses have to attend college based and work in the health care environment to complete their nurse education. They are therefore subject to both college and work based stress at the same time during their education. The purpose of SSTeMM is to examine this potential double whammy faced by student nurses and develop supports for them to manage stress when it arises.”

SSTeMM will support student nurses to develop personal resilience to enhance their work engagement experience. It will equip these student nurses and the clinical staff who support them when on placement with stress management skills and competencies that will develop and support their personal wellbeing whilst in training and once they have qualified.

The School of Health Science, in collaboration with the Telecommunications Software Systems Group (TSSG) and the School of Humanities, at WIT is partnering UPMC Whitfield Hospital in Waterford; the University of Maribor Faculty of Health Sciences (UM FHS) in Slovenia; the School of Health Sciences Tecnocampus affiliated center, University Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Spain; IBK Management Solutions in Wiesbaden, Germany and the University for Business and Technology in Kosovo. SSTeMM is funded by Erasmus Plus - Strategic Partnership for Higher Education - through the Higher Education Authority (HEA) in Ireland - to the value of €297,000.

The School of Health Science at WIT has a significant expertise in the field of work related stress in the health care sector having already led two major EU funded projects focused on the issue. This expertise considerably informs the current project. It is anticipated that SSTeMM’s impact will extend beyond student nurses, providing lessons on student stress management and support for a range of disciplines where work placement forms a significant part of the curriculum.

Congratulating the team on their success, Dr Mark White, Vice President for Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies at WIT said “this Erasmus Plus project is another great example of how researchers at WIT are at the forefront of significant projects that seek serious solutions to important social challenges and as a result have considerable societal impact.”

Amplitude 2019 LaunchENTREPRENEURS and businesses of all sizes involved in the Precision Agriculture, Future Health, Smart Energy as well as the Manufacturing, Engineering and Design sectors right across the south east will come together early next month for an unmissable event which outlines the expert and financial supports available to bring their businesses to the next level.

Attendees gathered for the Amplitude www.amplitude.ie conference at five star Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny on Wednesday, November 6, will discover how to approach a research centre and foster a successful, collaborative R&D relationship. A key group of academic experts will also outline how enterprises can access funding from National and EU sources and offer advice on how to submit a winning proposal.

The annual event is led by the Technology Transfer Offices of Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow with the support of EI Technology Gateways and Research Centres. And all the big names in business, in research and in supports from the region will be on hand 

Leading figures from Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, Knowledge Transfer Ireland and the Department of Health will all address the day-long, unmissable Amplitude event which features great speakers, engaging workshops and an unmissable opportunity to network and make new connections.

Among the invited guest speakers are experts from UPMC International and Smart Agri Hubs Ireland, as well as Horizon 2020, VHI, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the National Development Research Centre (NDRC) and more.

This year, Amplitude is supported by Purdy Lucey and Kilkenny County Council and offers a unique opportunity for companies, particularly multi-nationals and SME’s, to understand how relatively easy it is to collaborate with an Institute of Technology (IOT) partner in the areas of research, innovation support and the sourcing suitable funding streams, according to Mark White, Vice-President for Research & Innovation at WIT.

“This year, the conference will focus on four key streams; Design/Manufacturing/Engineering, Smart Energy, Future Health and Precision Agri. Each stream will outline the ecosystem, the current state of the art and the opportunities as we endeavour to offer delegates a real insight into the impact research will have on their business.”

Amplitude is a must for business people who want a more direct route to research and funding, according to IT Carlow’s Vice President for Development & Research, Declan Doyle.

“Companies will discover how to approach a research centre and foster a successful collaborative relationship from academic and industry experts with a goal of boosting their company’s research and development capabilities in this uncertain international business environment,” he concluded.

For more, log on to www.Amplitude.ie

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.


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