Waterford News

CALIN Tyndall SMEsIreland’s Tyndall National Institute is working with local businesses and individuals with novel research and development ideas under the Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) programme, a partnership between Irish and Welsh academic organisations. Becoming part of the CALIN programme enables start-ups and SMEs to access labs, knowledge and the expertise to develop, prototype and test new ideas at no cost. Through the CALIN programme, Tyndall has supported the delivery of new products and processes to 24 SMEs which employ more than 400 people, 350 of them in Ireland.

“CALIN is easy to access and efficient, which is especially crucial now as we get to work restarting the economy and supporting the SMEs who sustain employment in Ireland,” explained Tyndall Programme Manager Dr. Eamonn Hawe. “The application is just a few pages long, and it’s typically two months from initial talks to projects getting up-and-running.”

Explaining CALIN’s advantages, Hawe continued, “Perhaps most important to some of the smaller businesses we deal with, there is no cash or shares outlay. You can come to CALIN with an industry problem or a start-up product idea, and a partner like Tyndall will cover the costs through the ERDF-funded CALIN INTERREG project. With the funds, we can do a feasibility study and develop a rapid prototype for proof of concept. We’ll then link you to follow-on national funding supports such as Enterprise Ireland to develop your business.” CALIN clients are expected to contribute their time and their expertise, a contribution known as benefit in kind.

CALIN’s focus is on Life Science applications, and companies accessing Tyndall’s CALIN programme are primarily bringing together ideas and concepts that focus on human and animal health. However, the companies themselves span marine, construction, medtech, agriculture, software and more. One example is Dublin-based VRAI, a company using artificial intelligence and 360-degree virtual reality to improve safety in hazardous environments including war zones and off-shore wind farms.

Part of a programme for regional development, CALIN’s Irish team supports businesses in within the east and south of Ireland.

For a CALIN application, potential applicants can contact Dr. Hawe directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Waterford GAA Have Your Say

Waterford GAA have this week launched the biggest ever survey conducted in Waterford Sporting matters which will help shape the future development of Gaelic games within this great County. This survey is part of a major strategic plan that is currently being completed.

Do you support Waterford but are not directly involved in GAA otherwise?

Would you like to have a say to shape the future of Gaelic Games in Waterford?

Then HERE & NOW is your chance.

Over the next two weeks both GAA & Non GAA people within Waterford are being encouraged and urged to make their voices heard via the online survey.

Everyone is invited to have their say on the future of Waterford GAA.

There are 2 separate surveys being completed in conjunction with our title sponsors TQS Integration:

  1. An internal GAA Club Survey which has been communicated to all GAA Club secretaries over the last week and is underway this week.
  2. An external Survey which is encouraging people not directly involved with GAA clubs within Waterford to make their voices heard via an online survey which will be open from Thursday of this week.

The external survey can be accessed online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WGAA_EXTERNAL

It is the first time that such an approach has been taken across the entire Gaelic games community within Waterford. We want to improve our games at all levels, and we would welcome your opinion. This will allow us to better understand our games and for us to plan for the types of supports that we will be providing into the future. The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous, and confidential.”

As a result of this survey we be able to build a profile that we have across Gaelic games and understand their needs. The reports that we produce will be made available to every code and Club within the County, and because every response is anonymous, everyone can be as honest as possible. This is important as it will allow us to build a really accurate profile.

Tweak templatesAn Irish company has launched a new online initiative to help businesses of all sizes across the world to restart after the jolt they’ve gotten from Covid19. Tweak, led by entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly has been a pioneer of online design and has just made one million templates of its premium designs available, free of charge for businesses to relaunch and promote themselves. 

The designs include flyers, brochures, newsletters and large format display. Users can customise the designs online and download high-resolution artwork for use in print or digital marketing. The design templates are available in 45 different formats and across 350 different business types. Tweak CEO Jerry Kennelly said yesterday that the each of the one million designs are available in 7 languages - German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish and English.

“Tweak’s team of entrepreneurs, designers, software engineers, and technologists have a burning desire to make marketing more efficient. We’ve seen the devastation of business across the globe - and its impact on families and communities. Slowly, the world will recover. To mourn the dead whom we’ve lost. To restart with vigour and pump life into the economies of our villages, towns, and cities “ according to Tweak founder Jerry Kennelly.

Each template includes premium photography - and professionally written copy, which can be adapted easily. Artwork can be downloaded from Tweak.com - and can be printed on desktop printers or printed with local or online printers. “We urge local businesses to support their local printers. It’s important that everyone supports local business as we all seek to recover from the most serious economic impact of our times.”


Prof John Nolan Dr Marina Green GomezA new formulation can greatly increase the efficacy of nutritional supplements that are increasingly recognised for their value to eye health. That’s the key finding of research published this week by a team led by Dr Marina Green-Gomez at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) in the School of Health Science at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Titled COAST (Carotenoid-Omega Availability Study), the research compared bioavailability of key carotenoids when they were taken as microcrystals suspended in sunflower or omega-3 oil with a new method of delivery. In the innovative Micro-Micelle formulation, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin travelled more efficiently into the bloodstream, increasing the bioavailability and impact of these carotenoids.

Speaking about the research, Dr Green-Gomez said: “Previous NRCI research showed that these carotenoids – along with lutein - improve vision in the general population and those with age-related macular degeneration.

“This work set out to examine how best to achieve those positive benefits consistently for all those taking the supplements. 81 volunteers were recruited for the research which was funded by the WIT President’s PhD Scholarship Programme; Howard Foundation (UK) and Industrial Organica (Mexico). Now published in the Swiss-based, peer-reviewed open access journal Antioxidants, the findings provide high-quality evidence to the field supporting the role of targeted nutrition for human function.”

Commenting on the publication, Dr Mark White, Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies, Waterford Institute of Technology, said: “This calibre of research by a strong international team is something WIT and the wider community in Waterford and the southeast should be very proud of. This is work of real and enduring value that builds on an excellent track record at one of our most prolific research centres.”

Prof John Nolan, founder, NRCI and senior author on the paper, added: “This ground-breaking research really is disruptive science in the best sense where emerging technology and new knowledge are applied to boost the effectiveness of proven supplements. The real-world impact of this research is underlined by how the new formulation is being commercialised in the U.S. by MacuHealth and in Europe by MacuPrime.”

Along with Dr Green-Gomez and Prof Nolan, the research team also included Dr Alfonso Prado-Cabreror; Dr Rachel Moran, Tommy Power and Jim Stack from NRCI and Dr Laura Gómez-Mascaraque from the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Fermoy, Co Cork.


WIT External View 003 webWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) President Prof Willie Donnelly has welcomed the announcement that the new 12,800 m2 Engineering, Computing and General Teaching building on the Institute’s Cork Road Campus will go to tender in early 2021.

The announcement was made by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD.

The Waterford development is the largest of eleven new building projects at Institutes of Technology/TU Dublin in the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Sciences’ latest Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme.

The new building will include workshops, laboratories, classrooms, lecture theatres, research space, tutorial rooms, training rooms and administration offices and will provide students access to state of the art infrastructure and a modern student environment. The scale of the new building will also facilitate the relocation of the existing WIT Humanities departments and other activities from College Street to the Cork Road campus.

Speaking after the announcement WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly said “the facilities available in the new building will allow the Institute to continue to develop a multidisciplinary curriculum in science, engineering and humanities in line with the best international third and fourth level education.”

“The Government announcement today confirms the commitment to continual investment in the sector and in the development of the Technological University for the South East. The 12,800 m2 Engineering, Computing and General Teaching building on the Institute’s Cork Road Campus is an important and very welcome strategic investment in the educational needs of the region; it is the largest of the eleven new building projects and will be a cornerstone of the new university,” he said.

“The new building will not only provide students in the Schools of Engineering, Science & Computing and Humanities access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and a modern student environment, it will also support the strategic development of training, research and innovation with our regional and international industry partners enabling further economic growth in the region through these collaborations.

“The nature of third level education is changing rapidly with greater emphasis on personalising education to the needs of the student in the context of a lifelong learning experience. The state-of-the-art facilities will ensure that the new Technological University retains a greater number of students in the region as well as support continued economic and social regional development," Donnelly added.

The new facilities will be key to increasing graduate numbers at undergraduate and postgraduate level and flexible bespoke programmes to graduates in collaboration with stakeholders. The co-location of engineering, science and humanities supports the development of new multidisciplinary awards in line with the needs of industry stakeholders.

The building is included in the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Sciences’ Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme. The parties involved include the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, the Higher Education Authority, the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) and WIT.

Taylor McCarney Architects which specialises in educational buildings and also completed NUI Galway’s engineering building, has lead the multi-disciplinary design process in close collaboration with WIT’s capital projects office.

WIT IRC EPS Winners 2020Two research projects ‘bone health and safety and well-being of jockeys’, and ‘stabilization of biopharmaceuticals for parenteral use’ awarded funding

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD announced on 17 August 2020 an investment of €4.3 million in 50 enterprise-focused research awards under the Irish Research Council’s (IRC) Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

The investment in the two research projects at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) allows researchers work in close collaboration with partner enterprises Sanofi and Irish Injured Jockeys throughout the duration of their studies.

The two WIT projects awarded funding are:

Novel Processes for the Stabilization of Biopharmaceuticals which will be carried out by researcher Ashutosh Sharma’s project with Sanofi.

Strategies to promote bone health and body composition for the safety and well-being of jockeys which will be carried out by researcher Arthur Dunne with Irish Injured Jockeys.

Dr Mark White, VP Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies at Waterford Institute of Technology welcomed this great achievement of the successful Irish Research Council awards, stating “We value ourselves here in WIT with competing for and delivering high quality, relevant and impactful research projects for our community. Through schemes like the IRC Enterprise Partnership Schemes WIT creates linkages and partnerships with enterprises which are invaluable to embedding our research into the region. Receiving such prestigious awards reminds us and the higher education sector that WIT is ready to start our journey towards becoming the Technological University of the South East.”

Irish Injured Jockey Fund

The development and implementation of novel strategies to promote bone health and body composition for the safety and well-being of jockeys research is in partnership with the Irish Injured Jockey Fund. Arthur Dunne will work under the supervision of Dr SarahJane Cullen (WIT), Dr Giles Warrington (UL) and Dr Michael Harrison (WIT). This work aims to develop and implement novel strategies to promote bone health and body composition for the safety and well-being of jockeys.


Novel Process Strategies for the Stabilization of Biopharmaceuticals for Parenteral Use is in partnership with Sanofi and will see researcher Ashutosh Sharma focus on assessing novel processing technologies and their relevance to the commercial biopharmaceutical products that have never been studied before. The potential impact of these novel technologies will significantly reduce time, energy and costs associated with the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.

Covid 19 Restart GrantBusinesses throughout Waterford City and County are encouraged to apply for the COVID-19 Restart Grant Plus, through Waterford City and County Council. With an additional €300m funding made available by Local Authorities Ireland, the enhanced Restart Grant Plus is available to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 with the costs associated with reopening, reemploying workers and reconnecting with customers.

The €300m funding is in addition to the €250m previously committed and businesses that have not already applied, which have a turnover of less than €25m and less than 250 employees, were impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover between April 1st and June 30th, 2020 and intend to retain employees on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) can apply.

The Restart Grant Plus is the equivalent to the commercial rates bill of the business in 2019, and for first-time applicants under Restart Plus, the minimum grant is €4,000 and the maximum is €25,000. Businesses that are in a commercially rateable premises but not rate-assessed in 2019 or currently in arrears are still eligible to apply.

The Restart Grant Plus, with increased eligibility criteria, also means that rate paying sports clubs and trading charity shops can also apply.  Non-rateable B&Bs can apply through Failte Ireland.

Michael Walsh, Chief Executive Waterford City and County Council, said “The increased eligibility criteria means that across all sectors many more small and medium sized businesses will now be eligible for the Restart Grant Plus.”

“This direct aid will prove timely and beneficial to those businesses in helping with the costs of dealing with COVID-19. The costs associated with reopening, implementing health and safety measures, retaining staff, replenishing stock or ongoing fixed costs, such as insurance and utilities can be met in some way with the Restart Grant Plus.”

“Whether the business is up to date with its 2019 commercial rate payments or not, the Restart Grant Plus will help take the financial burden out of the costs associated with getting back up and running and the return to viability.”

The application process is quite straight forward, and businesses will need to submit their Council rates account number, bank account details, a bank statement header, and indication of reduction in turnover. Applicants will also be required to self-declare information.

Businesses that qualified for a grant under the original Restart Grant scheme are simply required to re-declare via email that the information supplied continues to be true.

Applications for the Restart Grant Plus can be made via www.waterfordcouncil.ie and the closing date for receipt of applications is September 30th, 2020.

WaterFood 2020 Harvest 10From the mountains to the sea and throughout the historic city streets, Waterford comes alive this September with food, entertainment and art! Waterford has always been a city of firsts - the first place to roast coffee in Ireland, the home of the rasher, and not to forget the humble blaa.

Known nationally for its festival and event scene, this year Waterford comes together to celebrate all of the things that make Waterford great, as well as some more firsts” - including the launch of Waterford Distillerys ground breaking new Irish whiskey, a brand new sea themed festival in Tramore - Vitamin Sea Festival, and Waterfords first Honey Show.

From September 4th to 13th Waterfords renowned international street theatre organisation Spraoi, will present Spraoi Time 2020, which is sure to lift peoples spirits, hearts and minds in traditional Spraoi style. This walk-through exhibition will take place across the city streets over ten evenings in September and will feature mesmerising sculptures, spectacles, circus, lights and sounds. For the first time ever Spraoi will also have a foodie element as it overlaps with the Waterford Harvest Festival to offer pre theatre menus in many of the restaurants in Waterford city. www.spraoi.com

Waterford Harvest Festival will then present A Harvest Celebration from the 11th to 13th of September! With a keen focus on celebrating the very best of local food and drink, this year's programme will be packed with dining events for every taste which will strictly adhere to social distancing and government guidelines. With online demos and chats, as well as events in cafes, restaurants, bars, distilleries, beaches and gardens theres a Harvest event for everyone. From guided tours, to bottomless brunches, to Ancient Food Feasts, basket making to the love of bread and butter. This year even sees the launch of the Waterford Honey Show! All of these events will have a side of the usual serving of Harvest fun, and while it may look different, Harvest 2020 will be one to remember. www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie

Moving into mid-September, the coastal town of Tramore launches its inaugural Vitamin Sea Festival. A weekend programme of sea inspired events featuring exciting foodie collaborations, guest hosts, coastal excursions, taste trails, online events, craft markets and much more celebrating the vibrant outdoor and food scene!  From freshly roasted coffee to Middle Eastern inspired falafels - Tramore has become a hive of artisan food producers and this will be showcased on 18th - 20th September. To keep up to date with this seaside foodie revolution check out Vitamin Sea Festivalon Facebook and Instagram. www.facebook.com/vitaminseafestival

And to conclude this county-wide celebration of Waterfords artisan food producers, creative chefs, and world-class produce, the West Waterford Autumn Festival of Food is holding two Festival weekends. Wild Weekend takes to the mountains, rivers, beaches and woodlands of beautiful West Waterford to discover the best wild food tastes, with picnics, foraging, cruises, barbeques and more. Join renowned chefs to make the most of the new seasons foods from September 25th to 27th. Then October 2nd to 4th sees the regions restaurants and chefs come together to showcase the best of local in Dining Weekend. www.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com

With 100km of sandy beaches, the Waterford Greenway, a 46-km off-road walking and cycling path stretching from Waterford City to Dungarvan, the 1,000 year old Viking history that emanates from Ireland’s oldest city and some of the tastiest food festivals in the country, Waterford is perfect staycation destination all year round.

For full programmes for all of the above see www.spraoi.com, www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie, www.facebook.com/vitaminseafestivalwww.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com or www.visitwaterford.ie

WIT Professor Denis HarringtonWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has announced it will host two online open events for prospective postgraduate students on Tuesday, 18 August 2020 from 6.30pm-7.30pm and again on 28 August from 12.30-1.30pm. Details will be posted at www.wit.ie/events.

WIT Business School has been delivering a range of executive programmes over many years including its MBS and MBS Internationalisation masters, MBA, Masters in Business in Lean Practice, and Doctorate in Business Administration.

Head of the Department of Graduate Business, Prof Denis Harrington says: “A specialist Masters is now a highly sought after qualification from those getting ready to launch their careers, or from individuals seeking to upskill to enhance their employment progression. At WIT Business School we offer our postgraduate programmes as a platform to build your own unique degree, based on your business interests, and career ambitions.”

The Department of Graduate Business has also announced its MBS programme (with specialisations in marketing, HRM, economics and finance and management) can now be taken flexibly in either a full or part-time mode of delivery.

“Previously students who sought to take this programme part-time would need to be on campus on more than one day. Now with new flexible delivery options, students who wish to take any of our specialist Masters courses on a part-time basis can do so by taking classes on one day per week at a time that suits their schedule. We will now facilitate delivery of the course from 2-9pm on Tuesday and Thursday for full time students and on for those taking the part-time option, they take the course on Tuesday over a two-year period,” he says.

The potential career paths for graduates from the Department of Graduate Business include opportunities in both the private and public sectors, namely in banking and financial services, international marketing, digital marketing, brand management, analysts’ roles and in the education sector.

The career path chosen by participants is enhanced through a practitioner seminar programme, an international study tour and in the close relationships that the department maintains with its past graduates and alumni.

“At our online open event students will have the opportunity to learn more about our range of full and part-time specialist postgraduate programmes and will also chat with staff who can answer questions regarding the curriculum, student life, and networking opportunities available at WIT School of Business,” he continues.

For students who choose to take these programmes (specialist MBS course and our MBS Internationalisation) full time, there will be a requirement to attend classes on two days per week from 2-9pm. For those who are interested in part-time options, the programmes can be taken on one day per week (2-9pm) over a two year period. In addition there may be occasional requirements for students to attend practitioner seminar sessions on Friday afternoons and these planned sessions will be co-ordinated as part of your overall timetable for the programme.

“This year in response to the pandemic, the School of Business will provide many of its executive programmes in blended mode with in-person classes complemented by online learning. While WIT’s students have taken programmes in the traditional manner in the past, the School of Business recognises that such a time commitment does not suit everyone or every business,” adds Prof Harrington.

For those interested in pursuing courses in internationalisation, WIT also offers the MBS Internationalisation course which is a double degree Masters programme with Brest Business School in France, which this year can also be taken in full or part-time mode.

For more about these events see www.wit.ie/events.

WIT Vikings Sport Jack LyonsWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has put the call out to sportspeople aged 13-17 to apply for the WIT Vikings Sport Rising Star programme.

The WIT Vikings Sport Rising Star is an award which can be given to students in secondary school between 13 -17 years old in the south east region who have already achieved highly or show great potential in any sport.

Some past Rising Stars include:

  • Maeve Williams - Women's Soccer - Ireland & Wexford Youths
  • Abby Flynn - Women's Basketball - Ireland & Waterford Wildcats

WIT Vikings Sport and the WIT Arena have teamed up to offer this amazing opportunity to young and upcoming sports stars in the south east.

Initially run through the WIT Arena as The WIT Arena Rising Star, the programme has since been brought under the bracket of the already established WIT Vikings sport scholarship programme to progress the award and create a link to the programme for young sports stars in the region.

Last year sports scholarship recipients represented 16 different sports include Surfing, Rowing, Badminton, Surf Lifesaving, Rugby, Hurling, Handball, Camogie, Gaelic Football, Soccer, Ladies Soccer, Boxing, Athletics, Boxing, Karate, and Thai Boxing.

WIT Vikings Sport and Scholarships Officer Jack Lyons believes the WIT Vikings Sport Rising Star is a fantastic opportunity for young people in the south east area.

“The programme is designed to give students a taste of what it is like to be on the WIT Vikings Sport Scholarship programme while they are still in school. Some young sports stars may show fantastic potential but with the support services we can offer on the programme, we can maybe take them to the next level,” says Lyons.

Recipients of the award will receive:

  • WIT Vikings scholarship gear
  • Free membership for the WIT Arena
  • Free 1 v 1 strength and conditioning coaching
  • High performance testing

Applications can be made on the WIT website and the deadline for entries is Monday, 31 August 2020. http://www.wit.ie/WITVikingsRisingStar


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