In the run up to my big 4-0 next year, I have decided to have a year of positivity about Ireland. Each day I will have a new fact or reason to be positive about Ireland and doing business here. You can follow the journey on my Facebook page.
Day 190 Helping in the fight against Ebola
Dr Damien Thompson a lecturer in the department of physics and energy at the University of Limerick along with colleagues at MDEA-Nanoscience in Madrid and IBM Zurich are developing a new medical senor that can detect infectious diseases such as Ebola and HIV down to the molecular level. This will allow the cheap, quick and reliable testing of Ebola to allow for management in outbreak situations. His work has just been published in the prestigious Nature Materials Journal. The team are hoping to start using the sensor clinical samples shortly to allow the device to be use as a diagnostic tool. Read more here.
Day 189 Ireland in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 to visit
Ireland has taken the 5spot in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015. The guide states “Ireland is stunningly scenic, its traditions – music, dance, whiskey and beer – firmly intact and the cosmopolitan, contemporary Irish are just as friendly and welcoming as their forebears were known to be”. The guide judges countries on if something special going on that year, if that there’s been recent development and a lot of buzz about the place, or that we think it’s up-and-coming and suggest travellers visit before the crowds do. Read more here.
Day 188 SFI invest €250M in 5 new research centres
Science Foundation Ireland will initially invest €155M with additional €90 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners such as Intel, Google, Microsoft, Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd, Xilinx, Huawei and others in developing world class research centres. These world class research centres include:
ADAPT Global digital connectivity
CONNECT Centre for Future Networks & Communications
CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices
iCRAG Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences
LERO The Irish Software Research Centre
Further information can be found here.
Day 187 Tomi Reichental wins Voxpro Diplomat Global Achievement Award
Tomi Reichental holocaust survivor and reconciliator has won the inaugural Voxpro Diplomat Global Achievement Award. Tomi is one of two remaining holocaust survivors in Ireland and been deeply involved in reconciliation work in Irish schools promoting tolerance, respect for difference and the rejection of racism and discrimination. Tomi has been an author and documentary maker. He was chosen for the award from a shortlist suggested by up to 100 ambassadors and honorary consuls in Ireland. Read more here.
Day 186 SiSaf, Belfast Biotech with Global Ambitions
SiSaf is innovative biotech which uses bioactive nanosilicon to allow active compounds penetrate deeper into skin layers. Their lead treatment for Acne was shown have a 95% improvement of Facial Acne in a clinical trial. The global acne treatment market is worth estimated $3.5bn. The company which is a ‘spin in’ of the University of Ulster has also a base at the Irish Innovation Center in San Jose and has attracted investors from both sides of the Atlantic.
Day 185 Digital DNA boosting N.Ireland’s Digital Economy
This November will see the second running of Digital DNA, a weeklong series of events from 4th to 7th focusing on boosting the emerging Digital Economy in the North. The showcase event will be a business conference held at the Titanic centre in Belfast on 6th featuring networking and keynote speakers such as Shane Nolan, Director UK & Ireland SME, Google, Colm O'Neill, CEO, BT in Ireland, Dennis Bree, UKI Sales Manager, Twitter, John Conway, Meteor Electric, Edgardo Savoy, Head of Retail Technology, Paddy Power, Rich Dale, CEO, Flowlens, Niall Harbinson, Founder, Simply Zesty, entrepreneur and author. Further information and tickets can be found here.
Day 184 Drop gets funding to scale
Dublin based internet of things startup, Drop has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Frontline Ventures and Innovation Works, with additional investors including PCH, Vegas Tech Fund and WI Harper Group. Drop has created an iPad-connected kitchen scale that guides users through recipes. The Bluetooth connected scales allow adjustments to recipes in real time according the stock cupboards of the user.
Day 183 Cork Young Scientists on Time’s most influential teen list
Time’s list of The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014 includes Cork teenagers Ciara Judge (16), Émer Hickey (17) and Sophie Healy-Thow (17) from Kinsale Community School in County Cork, added this accolade their other achievements including the 2013 BT Young Scientist award, Biology Prize at European Union Contest for Young Scientists and the Grand Prize at Google Science Fair, for their research project on Combating the Global Food Crisis: Diazotroph bacteria as a cereal crop growth promoter. Read more Ireland’s top young scientists named among world’s most influential teens.
Day 182 GenCell, another bio-instrument winner from Limerick
GenCell Biosystems was set in 2011 to develop instrumentation for next generation genomic sequencing. The Limerick based firm developed a robotic system for processing DNA using “liquid-cell technology”, which involved synthetic cells mimicking nature. After only 3 years, the company has been acquired by US multinational Becton Dickinson. GenCell was founded by researchers from a previous Limerick bio-instrument success story, Stokes Bio which was acquired by BioRad in 2010. Read more here.
Day 181 Techstart Supporting NI’s Tech Start Ups
Techstart NI is an INVEST NI initiative run by Pentech Ventures to provide support for early stage tech businesses and university spin-outs. The £23.6M initiative is made up of £13M SME equity fund, two university funds of £1.5M and a proof of concept fund of £7.6M. The fund has already made a £300K investments into Brewbot and Inflyte. Read more here.
Day 180 Wild Atlantic Start-Up showcasing West Coast innovation
The Wild Atlantic Start-Up (#WASup) was the brainchild of BlueChief’s CEO, Shane McCarthy to create a start-up network to showcase and promote the technology, innovation and start-up along Ireland’s West Coast. WASup hopes to demonstrate that the west coast is not just for tourist but a great place for people to be inspired by technology and start ups and live the Wild Atlantic lifestyle. The group held a successful event in Limerick in May and will be hold there next event in Tralee on 17th Oct. For tickets and information see here.
Day 179 Cork producing the next generation of entrepreneurs
Over the year, has seen the emergence of exciting young entrepreneurs from Cork. Sarah Dineen from Uniwink.com , has seen her company rapidly grown out UCC Ignite programme to be Ireland’s leading Student peer to peer learning platform. Another successful young UCC Ignite alumni, Richard Barrett together with his business partner Ross O’Dwyer founded Pundit Arena, a media platform which empowering aspiring journalists and articulate sports fans to write about the sports they love. Pundit Arena now has a fanbase across the world and is in the premier league of content producers. Both Sarah and Richard were recognised this week as Cork City and South Cork Young Entrepreneurs of the Year.
Day 178 Accenture opens FinTech Innovation Lab in Dublin
Accenture have announced that will be giving six start ups the opportunity to be a part of 12 week accelerator focusing on early stage tech companies looking to sell products and solution in the financial sector. The Fintech Innovation Lab has been previously successfully run in New York and London and will involves mentorship and interaction with AIB, Bank Of Ireland, Ulster Bank State Street, Fexco, Realex, Paypal and Google.
Day 177 LinkedIn doubles workforces and builds new HQ
LinkedIn is set to double its workforce in Dublin to 1200 staff. The company has just purchased a new site in Dublin to expand its international headquarters in the city. "Dublin is now home to a very vibrant digital technology sector and with that comes an important ecosystem for companies like ours as well as the strong pool of talented digital professionals that we need access to in order to further grow our operations in the future," said Sharon McCooey, senior director with LinkedIn Ireland. Read more here.
Day 176 5.3% GDP Growth predicted
Influential Irish independent think -tank Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) have produced an upbeat forecast of Irish economy with expected 5.3% growth in GDP suggesting further budget cuts may now be necessary. The ESRI also were upbeat on future unemployment figures. Read more here.
Day 175 Celebrating Women in Business
Yesterday saw Women Mean Business awards in Dublin. Celebrating the leading lights and role models in Business. This year saw Anne Heraty, CEO, CPL Resources, named Businesswoman of the Year 2014. Ramona Nicholas of Cara Pharmacy received the Female Entrepreneur of the Year award, while To Russia With Love founder Debbie Deegan won in the Social Entrepreneur category. Other award-winners included Paula Fitzsimons of Going for Growth, who received the Empowering Women award and Pharmapod founder Leonora O’Brien, took the Woman in Technology Award. Read more here.
Day 174 SmartInvest to fund StartUp Growth
A $70 million transatlantic investment fund, SmartInvest is hoping to fund 30 startups to help them accelerate their growth and job creation. The fund based out of Meath and Philadelphia will target companies that our looking to expand in US Markets. Two of the funds early investments have already seen the generation of 50 jobs. Read more here.
Day 172 Plotbox – Google Maps for Cemeteries
Plotbox is a Co. Antrim based start up which aims to provide cloud based software management solution for cemetery managers to help the efficient running of their plots. Other features include a “Google Map” feature which allows for high resolution photograph of individual plots. This will allow for relatives to pinpoint here ancestors and generate revenue through the booming genealogy industry. This week the company was award Northern Ireland Science Park Invent 2014 award. Read more here.
Day 171 OxyMem leading Irish Innovators
UCD spin out OxyMem have added the Overall Excellence award from the first ever IP awards to their bulging trophy cabinet. OxyMem was co-founded in 2013 by Prof Eoin Casey and Dr Eoin Syron as spin-out from UCD’s School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering. The company has developed a breakthrough technology for wastewater aeration. They have already won ‘Innovation of the Year’ Award at the 2014 Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards and the first Water Innovation SME Award in Europe for Membrane Technologies and have been nominated for Sustainable Innovation category in the 2014 Platts Global Energy Awards.
Day 170 InterTradeIreland creates SME Ambassadors
InterTradeIreland was set up under terms of the Good Friday Peace Agreement to assist in encourage cooperation, commence and trade between small companies in both the North and South of Ireland. Since their launch, they have assisted 25,000 companies leading to the generation of £650 million of trade and 3000 new jobs. 63 SME companies have now been identified as Business Ambassadors status for their innovation and trade which benefits the whole island. Read more here.
Day 169 Giving sports grounds some Irish Green
Sligo firm Support In Sport (SIS) is one of the world’s leading suppliers of natural and artificial turf. They have supplied pitches for Africa Cup of Nations, World Cup finals, the European Champions League and Six Nations Rugby. SIS were responsible for the returfing of Barcelona’s Nou Camp and Real Madrid's Bernabeu. They posted revenues €37 million this year and hoping to supply the pitches for the next world cup in Qatar.
Day 168 Tourism soars with new highs
Fáilte Ireland have released survey results showing positive sentiment within the Irish tourism industry is at a new high with levels returning to pre-crisis levels. Operators have seen large increase in visitors coming from US and Germany. The Wild Atlantic Way marketing campaign has been cited as a major factor in attracting German visitors.
Day 167 Sigmoid Pharma soars on new investment
Dublin City University Invent centre based, Sigmoid Pharma has just announced a further €5million from Pendopharm, a division of the Canadian Pharmascience Inc. Sigmoid are the pioneers of SmPill® technology which allows for safe drug delivery of previously problematic compounds. The company is currently in late stage clinical trials of a drug for treatment of Ulcerative Colitis and the partnership with Pendopharm will allow for the commercialisation of this product in Canada and potential the whole of North America.
Day 165 Home to the World’s Oldest Licensed Whiskey Distillery
Bushmills Whiskey based in Bushmills, Country Antrim, Northern Ireland is the World oldest recorded Whiskey Distillery. Originally licensed by King James I to Sir Thomas Phillipps in 1608 using the waters of Saint Columb's Rill which is a tributary of the River Bush. The still is depicted on the Bank of Ireland £5 notes and the visitor centre seeing over 120,000 visitors. Bushmills is one of Diageo’s strongest growing brands with last year seeing 7% increases in sales with strong growth in Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe.
Day 163 Fountain Healthcare scores another success
Irish Venture Capital firm, Fountain Healthcare have continued their winning streak with the acquisition of their portfolio company, Civitas Therapeutics by Acorda Therapeutics for $525 million. Civitas was a spin out of Alkermes, which acquired Elan Drug Technologies in 2010. Civitas is developing an inhaled form of the drug levadopa that is used by Parkinson’s patients in tablet form and was expected to have an oversubscribed IPO this year leading to the firm becoming one of the top lifesciences firms on NASDAQ. Fountain Healthcare already had a successful IPO with the Swords based Mainstay earlier this year.
Day 162 Producing world class young scientists
This week has seen young scientists from Ireland compete successfully on the global stage. Cork school girls Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow, and Émer Hickey, Fifth Year students at Kinsale Community School in Co Cork took home the top prize at the Google Science Prize with their work on bacteria in cereal crops. While Paul Clark, Winner of 2014 BT Young Scientist competition tooksecond place in Mathematics at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists. Read more here.
Day 161 Annual Ploughing Pilgrimage
Today sees the launch of the 83rd Annual National Ploughing Championships at an 800-acre site at Ratheniska, near Stradbally, Co Laois making it Europe’s largest outdoor exhibition and agricultural trade show . President Michael D Higgins will formally open the three day event which is expecting over 200,000 visitors spending almost €40 Million. Read more here.
Day 160 Agri-Food Exports booming
Irish Agri-Food exports have been surging recently seeing 40% increase from 2009. Total value of these exports topped €10 Billion last year and the expectations that this year will see a further 20% increase or €12 Billion in value. This period has seen over 4000 new jobs created within the sectors with Diary and Whiskey becoming strong performers.
Day 159 All-Ireland Experience of a Lifetime
Today will see the men from Kerry and Donegal battle it out for the All-Ireland Senior Gaelic Football Championships or the Sam Maguire Cup. The competition started in 1887 has recently been described by the National Geographic magazine as in Top 10 experiences of a lifetime. So the best of luck to both teams but especially the guys in green & gold!
Day 158 Combining forces to be a global force in IOT
Two of Ireland’s most successful institutes, Tyndall National Institute and Waterford Institute of Technology’s Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) have come together to target €82M Horizon 2020 funding to create 10 new start up focusing on Internet of Things (IOT) across several industry sectors. This funding will allow Ireland to global leaders in the new wave IOT technologies and companies. Read more here.
Day 157 A warm welcome to Kevin O’Malley
Last night the US Senate approved the appointment of Kevin O’Malley as the new US Ambassador to Ireland. His Excellency is an Irish-American lawyer from St Louis, Missroui, with his grandparents hailing from Westport, Co. Mayo. He will be taking up residence in Deerfield Residence in the Phoenix Park shortly.
Day 156 Nutria, using family to inspire innovation
A University of Limerick student, Darren Lehane has just won the Irish leg of the James Dyson Award and will now go through to the international finals. Darren developed the Nutrica feeding tube system for patients who can’t ingest food properly after witnessing the issues his newly born niece had keeping the feeding tube in place. Darren developed a system to ensure that feeding tubes can be keep in place so prevent complications or skin irritation from using adhesive tape. By winning the award Darrren is hoping to initiate the commercialisation of this product. Read more here.
Day 155 USofIreland-connecting Irish Diaspora with Irish Makers
Former MD of JustEat, James Galvin and his co-founder Miriam Cassidy set up USofIreland to allow the best Irish makers, artists and designers to be represented and marketed within a single online platform. By targeting Ireland’s large global Diaspora, USofIreland will allow creative art & crafts makers sell to new markets far from their often rural and limited local market.
Day 154 Digit Game Studios-Kings of their Realm!
Digit Games Studios is responsible for the biggest budget Irish mobile game. Their game called ‘Kings of the Realm’ transports players back to a medieval world. The game cost over one million Euros to produce and the company is confident that they will reach one million downloads on their first month after the launch a couple of weeks ago. They have also signed a book concept deal with Penguin to further develop their fantasy story. Digit Game studios currently employs 20 people and recently received €2 million in venture funding from Delta Partners.
Day 153 Cristina Luminea & ThoughtBox leads the way with European Pioneers
E-learning platform, ThoughtBox and Cristina Luminea have selected to be the UK & Ireland partner for European Pioneers. This is a virtual accelerator with €4.5M funding focusing -learning, pervasive gaming, smart city services, and socially connected TV using technology already available in the European Comission. Companies over the 8 month programme will receive between €50,000-€250,000 equity free funding and access to state-of-the-art European FIWARE and FICONTENT platforms as well as business mentors. 5 Irish companies will be selected this year with further 20 next year. Read more here.
Day 152 FCR Media innovates with StartLocal
FCR Medical, the well known publisher of Golden Pages and Europe’s leading provider local search and advertising across 12 countries has as set up a start-up incubator at its Dublin offices aimed at supporting start-ups focused on creating innovative tech solutions for local merchants called StartLocal. The company will provide a collaborative space for up-and-coming tech start-ups to grow their businesses over six months. The companies will also be able pitch to all of FCR Media 12 European CEO as we as receiving sales and marketing advice from members of the Dublin Team. So far the incubator is home to Bizimply, Fonesense, PopDeem, Spruced.ie, Open WiFi and Holvi.
Day 150 Ireland leading Europe in industrial output recovery
Latest figures released by Eurostat have saw Ireland having the largest rise within the Eurozone of 11.3% in industrial output. This rise was led by a surge in Pharma exports. Across the Eurozone the industrial output increased by 2.2% in July. Read more here.
Day 149 World Sport Team - You’re still part of the team
World Sport Team was set up in 2012 by Eamonn Sayers, with the ambition to create the world’s first all inclusive sporting community to bring sportspeople together – regardless of age, skill level, profession, country, language, religion or race. With their motto “Sport has not forgotten you. You’re still part of the team.” they are seeking to provide first rate services to any person who suffers catastrophic injury while playing sport. By organising new events such as International Sports Day and World Sports Week they hope to strengthen the bonds within the Global sporting community. So click here to be apart of the world’s largest team!
Day 148 Turning Ireland into Makers
This weekend will see the first Hardware Hackthon for the Internet of Things hosted at Dublin City University. Hardware innovators will form teams to devise hardware that will make an impact on people’s lives and their efforts judge at the end. The event is sold out and has been strongly supported by PCH’s Liam Casey, who sees events such as this Hackthon as essential in developing the Maker economy in Ireland’s tech and hardware sectors. Read more here.
Day 147 Welcoming Dublin’s new Start Up Commissioner, Niamh Bushnell
Niamh Bushnell has been appointed to the role of Dublin Commissioner for Start-Ups. This was created due to the recommendation of the Activating Dublin Initiative spearheaded by Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Dublin City Council. Niamh will work Dublin City Council, DCU Ryan Academy, Enterprise Ireland and local enterprise board to ensure strategic responsibility for making Dublin the best place in Europe to start and grow a tech and innovative business. Niamh has a strong background as serial entrepreneur both in Ireland and US and was recently appointed Entrepreneur in Residence at Talent Tech Labs in Manhattan.
Day 146 Disaster Tech Labs using Drones to save lives
Galway based firm, Disaster Tech Labs specialises in developing the latest technology to assist in disaster relief work. Set up my husband and wife aidpreneurs Kate and Evert Bopp, they have recently announced a collaboration with US drone manufacturer, Sentinel Air to co-develop an airborne wireless sensor which drones can use to detect mobile phone signals belonging to disaster victims. This will allows drones to cover large search and enable rescue team to get to trap people and community quicker. These sensors will also allow team to identify areas with functional WiFi infrastructure. Read more here.
Day 145 Creeper Crawlers bringing Innovation to baby clothes
Dublin based Creeper Crawlers was set in 2011 by Ollwyn Moran, a mother of two young boys and a leading Neurological Developmental Therapist to develop products that support and enhance the natural developmental stages of infants by creating healthy body and brain connections. Their first product- Easy Grip Crawl Suit, helps babies get ready to crawl or infants trying to crawl by use of specially designed grips on the baby’s clothing. The company is currently up for several innovation awards for this product and hoping to bring more on stream soon.
Day 144 Trustev lands RadioShack
Trustev, is leading the pack of the new generation of Irish start ups. After winning start up competitions SXSW, EU Commission and START TLV and landing one of Europe’s largest seed rounds. The company with uses data fingerprinting technology to verify a transaction’s validity and the user identity. Run out of Cork and New York, the company has just announced a mass multi-million deal to deploy its platform across all 4,000 RadioShack stores in the US. Read more here
Day 143 UCD ranks 5th in Europe for VC-backed entrepreneurs
The PitchBook VC database showed that University College Dublin came out 5th in Europe for graduates gaining venture capital funding. Between January 2009 to August 2014, 31 UCD graduate entrepreneurs established 26 companies that raised US$112m in funding.
Day 142 Frontline Ventures leads the way with €40 million fund
Frontline Ventures has closed a €40 million fund to fund software start ups. Based in Dublin and London partners Shay Garvey, Will Prendergast, William McQuillan with platform manager Kim Pham invests up to €2 million in early stage software-only companies. The firm has previously invested in 7 companies (CurrencyFair, Boxever, Qstream, Raising IT, Drop, BoxFish, Orchestrate and Logentries) and these companies employ 200 in Dublin, London and Boston and Silicon Valley. Read more here
Day 141 Climote takes on Google’s Nest and wins!
Dundalk based smart metering start up, Climote has won a major contract to supply Scottish Power’s 5.6 million UK customers with smart meters allowing them to control their energy consumption remotely. The contract is worth in excess €10 million and in true David and Goliath style, Climote took on biggest players in field such as Google’s Nest to win the contract. Climote was created by ex-Honeywell Ireland boss Eamon Conway and connected homes innovator Derek Roddy and was a spin off out of Sean Gallagher’s Smarter Homes firm. Read more here.
Day 140 Nephin Whiskey seeks to break crowdfunding records
Nephin Whiskey Company is seeking to break the Irish crowdfunding record with a campaign with the Indiegogo platform. The family run distillery based in Lahardane, Co Mayo is seeking to raise $150,000, the largest crowdfunding project in Ireland to date. These funds will be used for the purchase of three to allow production to begin in 15August 2015, the same day as Lahardane’s fair. Funders will be able to reserve special edition bottles and other perks. See https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nephin-whiskey-company-ireland for further details
Day 138 N.Irish made seats rule the air
30% of the world airplane seats are manufactured by B/E Aerospace based in Kilkeel, Co. Down. Employing 800 people, the firm makes a large proportion of the world's first class and business class aircraft seats and with total market for airline seats is well over $4 billion it’s a lucrative business. So the next time you are on a plane you could be sitting on an Irish made seat.
Day 137 Record Whale Sightings to help the economy
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have recorded record sightings of three separate whale species this year. Large numbers of humpback, fin and minke whales have been reported around the Irish coast. The IWDG predicts that there may be up to 300 humpback whales feeding around the Irish coast. These numbers are cementing Ireland’s reputation as one of the world’s best places to watch whales. Whale Watchers and tourists will bring much needed income to coastal communities. Read more here.
Day 136 Over 20,000 Americans flock to Dublin for Croke Park Classic
Tomorrow will see over 20,000 Americans in Dublin to watch the American football team of Penn State take on the University of Central Florida. The event will bring all the razzmatazz of cheerleaders, matching bands and halftime shows expected of a big college game. With attendance of over 60,000, the game is expected to bring over $35 million to the local economy.
Day 135 Celebrating Irish Craft Beers & Ciders
Next week sees the 4th Annual Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival being held at the RDS. Over 200 craft beer & ciders from all over Ireland will be on display and sampled by the expected over 10,000 attendees. Irish craft beers have seen a real revival in recent years and now own 0.4% of the market and this figure is set to increase as the industry is booming.
Day 134 Lisdoonvarna’s Matchmaking Festival, find love Irish style!
Europe’s largest matchmaking festival kicks off this weekend. Over 50,000 people are expected to flock to the small County Clare town to find their true love through a month long series of dancing, horse racing and traditional matchmaking. The potential couples are matched by fourth generation matchmaker Willie Daly. This year will also see the second running of ‘The Outing’ on 3-5th October for members of the gay community.
Day 133 CoderDojo, a global phenomenon from Cork
CoderDojo is a global non-profit movement. CoderDojo began life in Cork in 2011, when James Whelton set up a computer club at PBS Cork to help his fellow pupils to learn to code. Later that year, Bill Liao, the entrepreneur and philanthropist helped the organisation to expand nationally and international. At each Dojo, young people between 7 and 17 learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and much more. It is open source, volunteer led organisation and has now expanded to 480 Dojos across 48 countries.
Day 132 Welcome to Udemy
Udemy the world’s largest destination for online courses is setting up its European in Dublin at the Digital Hub. Their online learning marketplace currently has more than 10,000 instructors teaching 18,000 courses and company has raised over $48 million in venture capital and is headquartered in San Francisco. Read more here.
Day 131 Irish SMEs are most successful in obtaining Horizon 2020 EU funding
European Commission has announced the first round of its new €3 billion SME Horizon 2020 funding. The funding is targeted for innovative small firms to get their ideas to the market. 10 Irish SMEs out of a total of 155 SMEs from 21 countries will each receive €50,000 and business coaching to finance feasibility studies to develop their innovation strategy. 20% of applicant Irish companies are successful and we have the highest funding rate compared to size of population.
Day 129 Irish Bond Yields hit record lows
The yield on the State’s benchmark 10-year bonds dropped to 1.858%, the lowest since Bloomberg started tracking the bond data in 1991. Ireland’s borrowing costs are now below that of the US and UK. This shows the massive turnaround from the record highs of 14% in mid-2011.
Day 128 Statcounter, from teenager’s project to taking on Google
Statcounter was founded by the 16 year old Aodhan Cullen in 1999 now employs 10 people in Dublin. The company is taking on Google by becoming one of the world’s most respected web analytics firms. By tracking 15 Billion web views per month, the company provides an independent service assessing website performance and adword effectiveness. The company also has a free global statistics service and recently launched a feature integrating Google Webmaster Tools keyword data into its reporting. From Dublin, Aodhan and his team have created a global business with 60% of their customers being US based.
Day 127 The Little Milk Compnay, award winning organic cheeses
The Little Milk Company is a cooperative of 11 Irish organic dairy farmers which came together in 2011 to make organic farmhouse cheeses from their superior quality organic milk. After entering their first competition in 2013 they have gone on to win 17 titles including ‘Best Organic Cheese’ at the 2013 British Cheese Awards and ‘Best New Cheese’ at the 2013 International Cheese Awards. The cooperative aimed to sell €500K of their cheese in UK & Ireland last year and hoping for expansion this year.
Day 126 Viatel, Irish Telecom Co with Global ambitions
Viatel has just secured €125 million investment from Proventus Capital Partners to fund an acquisition spree of companies in Europe and far afield. Viatel has one of Europe’s largest networks of transcontinental duct and fibres as well as having an extensive portfolio of data centres. Headquartered in Dublin, the company employs over 170 staff in Ireland and has revenues over €100 million.
Day 125 Heartsine, saving lives
Belfast based medtech firm, Heartsine have been manufacturing automated external defibrillators since 1970s. The company’s portable devices can increase the chances of survival of a sudden cardiac arrest from 10% from using CPR alone to 70% by using CPR and Heartsine defibrillator. The devices can be found at sports fields across Ireland and their international customers include Los Angeles Lakers, the New South Wales Police Force and the US government. The company recently announced plans to double their workplace adding £1.3 million a year in salaries to the local economy.
Day 124 Broighter Gold brings in 2 hoards for N.Irish Farmer
Broighter Gold is the brand name of the Limavady based farmer producing award wining grapeseed oil. Their range has received several awards and has been selected to be stocked at La Grande Epicerie, one of Paris leading food stores and is part of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, the world's first department store. The name Broighter Gold comes from Iron age (1st Century) hoard of Gold artefacts found in the townland of Broighter on the shores of Lough Foyle. The hoard included a 7-inch-long (18 cm) gold boat, a gold torc and bowl and some other jewellery. A design from the hoard has been used as an image on British one-pound coins.
Day 123 Galway, home to new start up tribes
Galway is emerging as the new Irish hotspot ecosystem for Startups. The city allows for the mixing of big name multinationals with local Startups with Global ambitions. The lifestyle, infrastructure, access to stunning landscapes and culture is seen as a big pull. Barry O’Sullivan, former SVP at Cisco and now CEO at Galway software start-up Altocloud suggests that “If Ireland is Europe’s new Silicon Valley, Galway is its San Francisco”. Other successful Galway Startups have included Creganna, OnePageCRM, Duolog and Element Software. Recently, Game Golf based in San Francisco and Galway saw President Obama use their device on a golfing trip.
Day 122 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann lights up Sligo
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann or the Music Festival of Ireland is a weeklong festival happening this week in Sligo. A mixture of musician competitions and live performances of Irish traditional music will see over 400,000 flow into Sligo and bring over €40 million to the local economy.
Day 121 Rapid and Inexpensive Heart Attack Test
The Northern Irish lifesciences firm, Randox has came up with a cheap & rapid test for detecting heart attacks in A&E unit. The test is based on detection of HFAP (heart-type fatty acid-binding protein) in patients’ blood. This protein is released in patients’ bloodstream at the early stages of a heartattack. It can be detected after 30 mins after an attack while traditional test can take 6 hours. The test is likely to cost £10 ($17) and has already made it through its initially trials.
Day 120 ALISON – the world’s leading provider of free online learning
The Galway based firm ALISON (Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online) is the world’s leading provider of free online learning and certification for basic education and workplace. Offering over 600 courses, the platform has 3.5 million register uses and has seen 350,000 graduates worldwide. Using a free platform for users, ALISON has found that 14% of its graduates had found a job, received a promotion, or been offered a college placement after completed a free course. Read more here.
Day 119 Dublin’s Spire, the world’s largest sculpture
Dublin Spire is a steel artwork designed by architect Ian Ritchie and is the world’s largest sculpture located on Dublin’s O’Connell Street. Completed in 2003, it stands 120 metres high (400 feet) and 3 metres wide (10 feet) at the base and tapers to a 15 centimetre wide with a light beacon at the top. Like many of Dublin’s statutes and monuments the locals have given the Spire several nicknames such as “The Stiffy at the Liffey” and “The Erection at the Intersection” and “The Stiletto in the Ghetto”. Read more here
Day 118 Francis Ford Coppola’s underrated location
In a recent interview in the Wall Street Journal, Francis called Ireland the most underrated destination, stating “beautiful country, and the people are extraordinary. They have such a wonderful literary tradition, one of warmth and humor. Also, Irish ice cream is among the best in the world, which no one knows. Read the full interview here.
Day 117 Irish Women’s Rugby Abú
The Irish women’s rugby team are having a historic world cup in France. After been the first team to beat New Zealand in a world cup match since 1991 they now face England on Wednesday. The Irish team was formed in 2003 and over 3000 woman are involved nationwide. Read more here
Day 116 Dublin, 5th Friendliest City in the World
Dublin has proven its céad míle fáilte credentials by coming in fifth in Conté Nast Traveller list of friendliest cities of the world. This is vast improvement from last year’s 13th. The magazine describes Dublin as a green, lush, and vibrant city. Very walkable and the “kind of place you stop in for a drink in a local pub, only to end up chatting with the locals for the next five hours”. Read more here
Day 114 Home to the ‘Hottest’ male tourists
As the Irish holiday season is in full swing its worth noting for all those single men travelling abroad, a survey of 11,000 tourists by travel booking website HostelBookers has shown than women tourists find Irish men the most attractive with a 79% approval rating. Read more here.
Day 113 Ireland is Apple’s European core
Apple’s annual figures show that a quarter of its European workforce is based at its facility in Cork. 4000 staff employed directly with further 2500 indirectly. The Cork site was one of Apple’s first international offices opening in 1980. Orignally manufacturing the site now focuses on finance, supply chain management and customer support and is Apple’s only global corporate HQ outside the US. Read more here
Day 112 Companies are hiring at fastest rate since 2007
A KBC bank and Chartered Accountants Ireland report has shown that Irish companies are hiring has returned to levels last seen in mid-2007. The survey was carried out on 397 responses of chartered accountants working in senior positions in Ireland’s leading companies. Read more here
Day 111 Carlyle Cardinal to invest $350 million in Ireland
Dublin-based partner of the US equity firm Carlyle has raised €292M, including €125 million backing from the National Pension Reserve Fund, to invest in Irish projects. Their focus will be on technology, media and telecommunications sector, healthcare, clean-tech and consumer brands. Earlier this year the firm invested a reported €15M into the Kildare-based chocolate manufacturer Lily O’Brien’s.
Day 110 Dublin Whiskey Company, reviving spirits in the Liberties
Dublin Whiskey Company is opening the first whiskey distillery in the city for 125 years. Thirty jobs are expected in the distillery construction with a further 25-30 permanent jobs staffing the new distillery, visitor’s center, café and local gallery. The distillery was set up in 2012 by dentist Ed O'Flaherty and accountant Maria O'Brien and is currently aiming to raise funds from investors, check out their website for further details.
Day 109 Seesearch bringing libraries to your mobile
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) lecturer, Dr Hilary Kenna working with lead developer lead David Garvan have launched See Search (www.myseesearch.com), online search tool with an advanced function allowing library customers 24/7 access to the libraries' resources from home or mobile. See Search have secured investment from leading start-up accelerator WAYRA and Enterprise Ireland and seen their product launched in Dublin libraries and hoping to expand their market in the coming months. Read more here.
Day 108 IBEC upgrades its growth forecast
IBEC now predicts the Irish economy will now grow by 3.1% (up from 2.9%) due to stronger than expected exports and show the recovery in the Irish economy is starting to gain momentum. IBEC also suggest that the only €200M of the €2BN of taxes and budget cuts are now required. Read more here.
Day 107 Disruptors gathering in Dublin
Many analysts believe that over 50% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will have disappeared in 10 years time. To see how companies and individuals can respond global leaders in innovation, business and technology will gather this September in Dublin for the Disruptors conference. This will be a one-day business conference that will examine how virtually every industry in the world is being disrupted. Speakers include Margaret Molloy (Siegel & Gale), Raomal Perera (Insead), Kelly Hoey (Cuurio), Clay Herbert (Spindows). Tickets and further info can be found at www.disruptors.biz
Day 106 Clonakilty Black Pudding turning tradition into sucesss
In recent years, Clonakilty in West Coast has became renowned for its Black Pudding. Using Johanna O’Brien’s recipe back in the 1800’s. Colette Twomey started to revive the recipe and tradition after taken over the family butchers in 1977. The firm has taken advanced of researchers at University College Cork to develop new products to allow the company’s products to be stock nationwide in retail giants such as Tesco and 10% of the puddings made are exported. Through Colette’s leadership has led to turnover of €13M and the employment of 42 staff. Read more here.
Day 105 Saying Fáilte to more visitors
Ireland has seen the best year since the recession in term of visitors a CSO survey has revealed. Stats for the first 6 month show visits from UK which grew by 13.6% (1.4 million), 10.6% increase in the number of visits by North Americans (574,500), a 6% (1.2 million) increase from mainland Europe and a 13.6%(425,000) jump in visitors from elsewhere. All major tourist centres are report a lift in activity. Read more here.
Day 104 Irish BioSalt: Healthy alternative to Salt
Entrepreneur John Thornton has came up with a low Sodium Salt alternative by mixing salt with Organic seaweed (kelp). Working with Bord Iascaigh Mhara researchers in Clonakilty, Cork they have came up with a formulation with 68% less Sodium. The company is looking to be able to market the product nationwide early next year.
Day 103 Bringing wearable technology to Golf
John McGuire founded Active Mind Technologies when he moved from Ireland to San Francisco in 2010. Their leading product Game Golf allows through a wearble device for players gather stats on their location of shots, the distance the ball travelled, and club used. This data can be loaded on the cloud and shared with friends. The firm recently had very successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and they also have gained investment from Adidas, Chamath Paliphaitya, Jerry Yang, Ed Colligan, Hosain Rahman, Seagate Technology, ACT Ventures, Enterprise Equity, Cross-link Partners, Moroda Ventures. Sports stars Graeme McDowell and surfer Kelly Slater have also invested. The company still maintains its Irish roots by having its R&D and manufacturing based in Galway.
Day 102 Linked Finance: giving SMEs a helping hand
Linked Finance is online crowd funding platform set up in 2013 in Dublin. Their platform allows person to person lending to Irish SMEs, allowing them access to capital while vetted companies to allow investors some comfort on the return. Some of Ireland's leading entrepreneurs have backed LinkedIn Finance such as Bobby Kerr, Senator Feargal Quinn, and Kingsley Aikins, as well as Irish American businessmen Carl Shanahan and Peter Hooper. The firm predicts that by the end of 2016, they will have lent €100M translating to 3,500business loans, 10,000 Jobs and €220M to the Irish economy.
Day 101 Keeping the world looking young
All the world supply of Botox is manufactured in Ireland. Allergan Pharmaceuticals employs 800 people at the Westport plant in Co Mayo and is responsible for manufacturing 100% of the global supply of Botox. The net worldwide sale of the treatment was worth £1.3billion last year.
Day 100 Confidence Surges amongst Irish CEOs
PwC's 2014 CEO Pulse Survey has shown a threefold increase in confidence in the Irish economy by Irish CEOs (86% up from 31% last year). The report also showed 9 out of 10 Irish CEOs of multi-nationals plan to maintain or increase their investment of the next year. Added to this 58% of companies are planning to increase their workforce.
Day 99 Ballymastocker Bay, Donegal 2nd most beautiful beach in the world
During this hot weather its best to head to Ballymastocker Bay, PortSalon on the Fanad Peninsula in Co. Donegal, which was selected as the world’s 2nd most beautiful beach by the UK’s Observer Magazine.
Clyde Hutchinson has a passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and early stage enterprises. With his company NASC Connect (www.nasc.ie), he works with venture capital/investors, early stage entrepreneurs, incubation centres and universities providing mentorship, organisational development and business development services. He is also involved in developing strong links between Ireland and Israel through the leadership of the Ireland Israel Business Network and FWD Ireland, an organisation connecting Irish companies to top Israeli talent. Clyde is also the Chairman of Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (www.wri.ie), a professional body that represents wildlife rehabilitators and the welfare of wildlife in Ireland.
Day 98 Supporting LIFE App, saving lives in rural Africa
Supporting LIFE is a project led by a team at UCC. Focusing on providing low-cost, effective and targeted information using mobile phones in remote & resource-poor areas allow local health professionals access to information. Siobhán O’Connor, a PhD student at UCC, recently has won a prestigious TEDMED Frontline Scholarship, US-based community of researchers, academics and entrepreneurs focused on using information and technology in the service of medicine and health (www.tedmed.com) for a smartphone app which gives “lifesaving support” to medical professionals in remote Africa and present the app at a conference in Washington DC in September.
Day 97 Shimmer, leading partner in wearable technologies
Dublin firm Shimmer Technology is focused in developing applications wearable wireless sensor technology. Use technology originally developed by Intel the company has been developing application for its sensor platform, which monitors movement and biophysical readings. The company focuses on using its technology for medical devices, neuro-marketing, and sport performance. It has been working in collaboration with companies such as Emerge Diagnostics, Kinesis and Telefonica. Shimmer is expecting its revenue to triple next year.
Day 96 Shellfish Butter, iASC provides a World First
Cork based, Atlantic Seafood Company of Ireland – iASC have launched the world’s first Shellfish butter made from Irish mussels, crabmeat and wild seaweed. Using patented pressure technology & process the company has been able to maintain protein structures allowing for the elusive umami flavour to be maintain. This will allow chefs and eager homecooks to enhance the flavour of dishes.
Day 95 Irish Film Industry, the emerging economy & Ardmore Studios
The film production industry is worth ~€170M to the Irish economy and saw 27,000 working on projects last year. Ireland has seen an increase from individual investors in films rise by a quarter, going from 3,372 to 4,217. The Irish government over the last year has given €73.1m in tax relief via its Section 481 vehicle. Ardmore Studios has been one of the key sites with Penny Dreadful, Tudors and Camelot being filmed there.
Day 94 Thinkvisual, a picture can be 1000 words
Cork based, Thinkvisual, led by Naomi Fein and her team of graphic harvesters are changing how companies learn and innovate. Using the art of doodling, they can help team’s visual learning and develop ‘crowd intelligence’ which can transcend differences cultural and language within team. Their clients include KPMG, Trend Micro, Qualcom, Amdocs, Stryker, IDA, Silicon Republic, Smarter Egg and SOS Venture Capital, plus numerous law firms and pharmaceutical companies.
Day 93 DotMed, interface of medicine, technology and the humanities
DotMed conference to be held in Dublin this December will bring together up to 175 healthcare, business and technology professionals, entrepreneurs and investors to expose them to ideas that take place at the interface of medicine, technology and the humanities. DotMed will also have a Start Up competition for early stage medtech companies pitch their business ideas to a global panel of experts and investors later for a €1,000 cash prize.
Day 92, PropelAd, democratising how stores advertise on Facebook
Irish startup, PropelAd has secured seed investment of $650K from Tribal VC and former Facebook vice-president of global operations, Colm Long. The company allows stores to easily and professionally advertise on Facebook allowing eCommerce access to all. They have currently 1,200 clients, including fashion retailer Laci Street, The Net Return and The Loop Loft. With bases in Dublin and Palo Atlo the company is looking to increase its staff from 7 to 15 over the next few months.
Day 91 Cork Foundation, empowering Female Entrepreneurs via using US Diaspora
The Cork Foundation, a unique fund dedicated to supporting local enterprise and communities focused on driving job creation and developing Cork as the best region in Ireland to start, locate, and grow a business. This December, they will bring together women from both sides of the Atlantic to assist collaboration and networking. Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland, will be the keynote speaker and the event with host of female leaders from multinational and indigenous companies as well as a delegation of entrepreneurs and business owners from the US.
Day 90 Ceramicx, keeping innovation in the family
Ceramicx, West Cork company founded by a family of innovators focused infrared heating, has now developed an Infrared energy mapping instrument aimed at the aviation, automotive, plastics and composites industries via its new Center for Infrared Innovation. This Center was set up by the founder’s son, Dr Cáthál Wilson and has successful established a partnership with Trinity College Dublin.
Day 89 LikeCharity, the startup which raised €2.5M for charities
LikeCharity was set up in January 2013. It provides a service where people can donate to charity by sending a text message and enables 100% of the donation to reach the charity. Over 150 charities already use its service to raise money. The company has helped Irish charities raise €2.5m over the last 18 months.
Day 88 SFI Attracting the World’s Top Research Talent
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has launched a campaign to recruit top international research professors to each of the country’s seven universities. The Targeted SFI Research Professorship Programme 2014 will provide research funding of approximately €5m for each successful candidate across a potential 47 research thematic areas. SFI director general, Prof Mark Ferguson sees “Attracting top-tier researchers will further enhance Ireland’s reputation as a destination of choice for world-class researchers, industrial partnerships and as a location for securing additional international funding,”
Day 87 Gaelic Escargot, Ireland’s only Snail Farm
Did you know there is a global edible snail shortage? In France, Italy and Spain appetites for Snails has created an industry worth ~€0.5BN as snail is low in fat and high in nutrients. Eva Milka from her small holding in Garryhill, Co Carlow is hoping to the first of many Irish snail farmers by exporting 95% of her 10 Tonnes of snails every year as she see Ireland’s climate as perfect condition for growing this delicacy.
Day 86 Translating your World Cup
Researchers at Dublin City University’s Centre for Global Intelligent Content (CNGL) have developed at automated Twitter language convertor which translates English tweets from 12 languages: Irish, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Croatian, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Farsi. Tweets in English can also be translated into these languages. The team have launched this service called Brazilator, in time for the FIFA World Cup’s final stages.
Day 85 Connecting Northern Ireland’s Diaspora powered by IDIRUS
Northern Irish Connections (www.niconnections.com) have launched a new initiative to connect its Global Diaspora to allow for Northern Ireland to take advantage of mentorship, opportunities and to build partnerships. This networking is made possible by new startup, IDIRUS. The company was formed last year by US-based Irish entrepreneur Niamh Bushnell and focuses on mentor matching solution that optimizes what's already in house: talented individuals with the skills, knowledge and motivation to help one another. Read more here
Day 84 Lauchbox.ie, Student Incubator with Global Impact
Today sees the launch of LaunchBox, a 3-month accelerator programme for teams of Trinity College Dublin students with an early-stage business idea. This unique incubator provides coaching, expert advice, seed funding and access to space and facilities needed to test out and launch new ventures. Now in its 2nd year, the programme is seen one of the Top 3 “Challengers” in the UBI Global Ranking of incubators.
Day 83 Best Golf in the World!
Ireland is home of some best Golf courses in the world with Royal Portrush, Royal County Down and Ballybunion regularly featuring in the Global Top 20. Ireland has >400 courses and has 30% of the world’s links courses. The Golf sector accounts for overseas spend of €202m for the Irish economy.
Day 81 Irish Peking Duck, SilverHill Farms, Europe’s largest Duck Exporter
Apart from Tommy Bowe, Emyvale, Co. Monaghan's other famous export is Duck. Silver Hill Farms have been operating for 50 years and employ over 150 people and produce over 60,000 ducks every week as well as duck related products. They have their own breed known for quality and taste allowing them to become the top exporter supplying 98% of all the Chinese restaurants in UK & Ireland.
Day 80 Happy 4th
The Ireland Funds founded originally as The American Irish Foundation in1963, by John F. Kennedy and Éamon de Valera and merged with the Irish Fund in 1987, it has became the world's largest private organization funding constructive change in Ireland and has raised over $450 million for worthy causes in Ireland and around the world. So on Independence Day we celebrate the help and support from our American cousins.
Day 79 Bank of Ireland Accelerator
Bank of Ireland has launched a new National Accelerator Programme based in Cork starting September 1st 2014. The programme ran as nont for profit by Start Planet will offer up to ten Start-ups, nationwide & internationally, €10k funding, access to Europe’s leading mentors and coaches from a network including Bill Liao and Sean O’Sullivan from SOSventures and Gavin Duffy of Dragon’s Den as well being involved in the new Founders’ Co-op initiative. Application due by 25th
Day 78 Ireland in the Top 10 Global Cleachtech Innovation Index
Ireland has enhanced its reputation in Cleantech by maintaining its Top 10 position in the WWF index. This index highlights Ireland early-stage investment and high-impact cleantech start-ups with companies and organisations such as Mainstream and The Green Way being shining examples.
Day 77 Lusca, Ireland’s only Wine producer
Lusca, Irish for Lusk, meaning 'vault' or 'cave' is a suitable name for Ireland’s only wine produced in Lusk, Co. Dublin. Growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Dunkelfelder, and Rondo grape for red wine, and Sauvignon Blanc, Schoenburger and Gewuerztraminer grapes for the white. At present they have a very tiny total production of around 350 bottles per year, and they are hoping to increase that to around 1000 bottles over the next few years.
Day 76 Investing in Diversity, Female Founders Forum
A study by the Kauffman Foundation has found "Women-led private technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35pc higher ROI, and, when venture-backed, bringing in 12pc higher revenue than male-owned tech companies.". Today in Dublin will see a sold out Female Founders Forum organised by Silicon Republic, looking at the future of investment in female-led high-potential start-ups in Ireland. Speakers include Julia Hartz, co-founder and president, Eventbrite, Anne Ravanona, founder and CEO, Global Invest Her and Grainne Barron, CEO and founder of Viddyad.
Day 75 Second home to Silicon Valley companies
Dublin is twinned with San Jose and increasing numbers of Silicon Valley companies are finding their second home in Ireland. Companies such as AirBnB, Zendesk, Yelp have all step up shop in the last year. Attracted by the young, educated English speaking population based within the Eurozone.
Day 74 Celebrating Diversity, 31 years of Dublin Pride
Over 40,000 people are expected to match and join the Dublin Pride festivities today. The organisers see the parade as “a celebration of the rich diversity of the LGBTQ community in Dublin, Ireland and the world, with an expanded arts, social and cultural content”.
Day 73 NDRC, leading incubator on a global scale
The NDRC has been listed in top 25 of global business incubators on the UBI Index. NDRC is in the top 2.5% of the 800 incubators across the world. The NDRC was also named last year as World’s Top IT University Business Incubator proving to live up to its logo #bestplacetostart. They are currently seeking Female Founders for their next programme. Read more here
Day 72 Brown Bag Films carries off 3 Emmys
Dublin based animation company; Brown Bag Films has just received 3 Emmys for its Peter Rabbit animation series shown on Nickelodeon. Brown Bag was established in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O'Connell and have successful gathered a number of awards, including nominations for Academy Awards and a host of BAFTA, Emmy and Annie nominations for their shows.
Day 71 Irish Diary Board –Ireland largest food exporters expands
Irish Diary Board (www.idb.ie), Ireland’s largest food exporter. IDB is headquartered in Dublin, the board employs some 3,100 people globally. It is responsible for exporting >60% of Ireland’s dairy products to over 100 countries. The company has just announced further US expansion by opening a new $12 million cheese manufacturing facility in Wisconsin.
Day 70 Most entrepreneurial country in Europe
In a survey, Oracle Capital Group shows that Ireland No.1 in Europe and is the seventh most entrepreneurial country in the world. The survey focused on measuring opinions, attitudes, experiences and acitivities that contribute to entrepreneurial activity.
Day 69 Irish firm scores at World Cup
Despite not qualifying for the World Cup Finals, one Irish firm has ensured an Irish presence at the finals. Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath based Mergon have supplied the seats for Rio's Maracana stadium, where the World Cup Final is to be played.
Day 68 Irish Beef, Everyone’s Sunday Roast
Ireland is the world’s 5th largest Beef exporter. With over 100,000 Beef farms with significant number of specialist suckler beef herds, the industry is worth almost €20 Billion to the Irish economy. It is predicted this week, that the US government will overturn its export ban brought in using the BSE crisis.
Day 67 Most generous country in Europe
Despite economy crisis Ireland has remained the most generous country in Europe and 5th The World Giving Index looks at three measures of giving: the percentage of people who give money to charity, volunteer their time or help a stranger in a typical month.
Day 66 Go on, have a 99!
Irish people are in the top 10 global consumers of ice cream at 8.4L per person per year which is higher that the ice cream loving Italians. This makes the industry worth approx €200M and increasing numbers of artisan Irish producers such as Murphy’s and Boulabán Farm. So during this hot weather go on have a 99! Read more here
Day 65 Chuck Feeney, My Hero
Chuck Feeney, the Irish-American businessman and philanthropist was presented with the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Warren Buffett. Warren cites Chuck as his hero and example for future generations. Through his Atlantic Philanthropies organisation, Chuck has pledged more than $6.5 billion in grants to good causes in Ireland and internationally.
Day 64 Harnessing our Ocean’s Wealth
As an island nation surrounded by ocean, Ireland can use this resource for economic recovery and sustainable growth. Conference today in Dublin has 3 goals in developing strategies for thriving maritime economy, health ecosystems and engaging with the sea.
Day 63 Leading Europe in Entrepreneurship
Ireland has come 2nd in Europe for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs have increased by 9.2% up from 6.1% in 2012 according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report. Also the gender gap has decreased and levels of Women starting businesses in Ireland higher than the EU average.
Day 62 Happy BloomsDay!
Every 16th June, Ireland celebrates the literary legacy of James Joyce. The date was chosen due to Joyce’s character, Leopold Bloom, the central character in Ulysses, who spends 16th travelling through the characters and sites of Dublin. This year is of particularly significance due the 100 year anniversary of the publication of his novel, Dubliners.
Day 61 Special Olympics Ireland
The Special Olympics Ireland Games 2014 draw to close today in Limerick. Special Olympics Ireland is a year-round sports training and competition programme for people with an intellectual disability. Over the last few days, 1500 athletes have competed in 14 different sports aided by their 500 coaches and 3,000 volunteers. Read more here
Day 60 Irish Medtech cluster: 2nd
Ireland has the 2nd highest number of 15 Top medtech firms and over 250 firms in total employing 22,000 people.
Day 59 Wyldsson, turn adversity into success
Dave McGready has overcome unemployment and cancer to succeed with his sports nutrition start up, Wyldsson (http://wyldsson.com). Solving the problem of snacking for athletes, the company now has contracts with LA Lakers, Munster, Leinster and the Irish and Scottish national rugby teams, and professional golfers Shane Lowry, Thor Bjorn Olefen and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano as well as Rory Mcllory has been photographed with their products.
Day 58 Open Innovation 2.0
Dublin will host today the second Open Innovation 2.0 Conference. The European Commission/Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group - OISPG, Intel Labs Europe, and Dublin City Council are jointly organising the conference. The conference focus on encouraging innovation through integrated collaboration, shared value, new innovation ecosystems and rapid adoption keynote speakers include Martin Curley, Bror Salmelin and Dan Marom.
Day 57 Ryanair-the world’s favourite airline
Ryanair carried more international passengers than any other airline globally. IATA figures show Ryanair had 81.4 million passengers last year which was nearly 30 million more than its closest rival Easyjet. This makes Ryanair the world’s most popular international airline.
Day 56 Eco-friendly 3D printing technology firm MCOR raises investment
MCOR Technologies is a Co. Louth based manufacturer of eco-friendly 3D printers. Set up by the McCormack brother in 2005, the company has an alliance with retail giant Staples to provide 3D printing services and has just secured €6.6M equity investment from London and Munich-based WHEB Partners.
Day 55 Irish Seaweed is Big in Japan
Donegal based firm Algaran Seaweed has taken advantage of clean waters surrounding Ireland to produce seaweed for the Japanese food market. Even since the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, Japan’s production of this foodstuff stable has been seriously affected.
Day 54 Slieve League, Europe’s highest marine cliffs
Often forgotten, Slieve League in Co. Donegal has the highest marine cliffs in Europe. At a elevation of 601M the cliffs face the Atlantic Ocean in West Donegal.
Day 53 Europe’s only Toy Soldier Factory
In the village of Killnamartyra in Co Cork, Prince August, Europe’s only Toy Soldier factory has been operating since 1976 and specialises in the production of cast metal toy soldiers. The company’s visitor centre received Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the second time. Read more here
Day 52 Yelp rates Ireland
Yelp is following the growing list of companies setting up their European Headquarters in Ireland. The “online urban guide” is planning to create 100 jobs when the open their offices in Dublin.
Day 51 Jameson and rise of Irish Whiskey
The value of Irish whiskey exports will double over the next five years and Irish whiskey accounts for 6% of the global whiskey market. Jameson sales are set to reach €1bn by 2020 with the number of cases sold worldwide each year having risen 1,000% since 1988 and Jameson accounts for almost seven out of every 10 bottles of Irish whiskey sold worldwide.
Day 50 Booming Digital Economy
150,000 jobs are predicted to be created with a value to economy of €22BN by 2020 according to a second UPC Report on Ireland’s Digital Economy released today. This is a massive increase from the current €8.4BN.
Day 49 Year of Manufacturing Growth
Irish manufacturing activity has grown for every month for the last year and companies are taking on staff at the fastest rate in 15 years according to Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index. Manufacturing accounts for about a quarter of Irish gross domestic product, according to World Bank figures.
Day 48 Nation of Tea Drinkers
Ireland drinks more tea than any other EU nation and has the 2nd 4.83Kgs per person. The industry is worth €78 Million in retail sales and is dominated by two iconic brands, Barry’s and Lyon’s. Read more here.
Day 47 Aircraft Leasing- Ireland's flying advantage!
Ireland is the global headquarters of the aircraft leasing industry with 9 out 10 of the largest companies being based here such as AWAS. Over half of all aircraft leased globally are managed out of Ireland and the industry employs over 2000 people in Ireland.
Day 46 Only the 80th
On a bank holiday weekend it’s good to point out that Ireland is only the 80th wettest country the world and due to the Gulf Stream we are able to enjoy a temperate climate all year round. For further facts on the Irish climate read here.
Day 45 AirSpeed: European Entrepreneur of the Year
AirSpeed Telcom, the business broadband services provider with a focus on rural areas has scooped up the Entrepreneur of the Year at the European Business Awards. AirSpeed founder, Liam O’Kelly will fly to Athens to accept the award after being selected over 17,000 applicants and 17 finalists.
Day 44 Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI), first in Europe!
The Irish Government has launched Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) online programme, the first programme of its kind in Europe - aimed at commercialising state-funded research from all third-level institutes across the country and the Irish Government has committed €22m up to the end of 2016 to increase the capacity of the knowledge transfer infrastructure.
DAY 43 Come & See 5 Nobel Prize Winners in Dublin!
This July will see 5 Nobel Prize Winners speaking in Dublin. This will be a part of the first Joint Symposium of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute and The Weizmann Institute of Science with the focus Medical Research at the Cutting Edge Progress in the fight against Inflammatory Diseases and Cancer.
DAY 42 FoneSense and Sedicii –Flag bearers for Irish Start Ups at SV Forum
The World Cup Tech Challenge, organised by the SVForum took place in Microsoft’s head offices in Silicon Valley last week, with 30 companies from 15 countries represented across five categories including medical, educational and mobile technology. Ireland was represented by two exciting start ups FoneSense and Sedicii as examples of the emerging startup ecosystem here in Ireland.
DAY 41 Castle Martyn, welcomes celebrity honeymooners
Irish hotels are renowned with celebrities for their high degree of privacy. This week sees Castle Martyn in Co. Cork welcomes the celebrity honeymooners of Kim Kardashian as they spend this week in Ireland.
DAY 40 Decawave, EU top Angel investment
Startup company, Decawave, producer of location chips which allows for the precise device detection within 10cm has been selected as EU top angel investment. Decawave received over €25M from since its founding in 2007, from US and Irish angel s and investors including Dermot Desmond's IIU, Kernel capital and Enterprise Ireland. The company is expected to have a value of €250M when it goes public in 2017.
DAY 39 Enduring Appeal of Riverdance
Over 23 million people have watched the Riverdance stage show since 1994 when it was shown as a Eurovision interval act. The creative team of McColgan and Doherty behind show have earned €75M alone since 2000.
DAY 38 Ireland’s Strong Culture of Corporate Giving
Employees of Ireland’s Top 50 firms clocked up 166,000 hours of volunteering and raised over €3M for local causes. Microsoft was the most generous with a total of €8.8M in cash and other service donated to the voluntary sector. Both MSD and Bank of Ireland workers brought in €1.8M each, while Intel workers donate over 66,000 hours.
DAY 37 Ireland moves up to 15th
Ireland has had another strong showing moving up 2 places to 15th in competitiveness. Ireland outranks the major European economies such as Germany, France and UK.
DAY 36 Welcome to Lightstone Ventures
US venture capital firm Lightstone Venture to set up a €125M (€170M) lifesciences fund for novel breakthrough medical devices and biopharmaceuticals. The company will open their European operations office in Dublin this summer.
DAY 35 Go nude on some of the world’s top beaches
Despite less than tropical weather, several of Ireland’s beaches are amongst the top global nudists beaches in the world.
DAY 34 Cider, the national drink?
The Irish drink more cider per capita than anyone else in the world (16L per person). Ireland is home to a number of internationally recognisable brands such as Bulmers/Magners as well as a growing number of artisan and craft ciders. The industry in Ireland is worth >€80M in excise duty alone.
DAY 33 TAYTO, the world’s first flavoured potato crisp
Potato crisps were unflavoured until Joe "Spud" Murphy, owner of Tayto, developed a technology in 1950’s to add seasoning during manufacture leading to the production world's first seasoned chips: Cheese & Onion, Barbecue, and Salt & Vinegar. This led to this innovation to be licensed to other manufacturers.
DAY 32 Moody’s gives Ireland its second upgrade of 2014
Moody’s has upgraded Ireland’s credit rating by two notches to Baa1 from Baa3, with a “stable outlook” and this comes after returning Ireland’s credit rating to investment four months ago.
DAY 31 Ireland’s Sport Tourism set to double to €600M
Former rugby player Keith Wood is spearheading a campaign to double sport tourism from €300M to €600M. The sports tourism industry is worth an estimated €450bn globally – and is the fastest growing tourism sector.
DAY 30 Radisens, Space Age Diagnostics
Cork firm, Radisens has just signed another deal with the European Space Agency to develop blood testing kits for use by astronauts. This is the second deal with the ESA and allows for the further development for real time testing of astronaut’s blood in space.
DAY 29 Ireland’s Geospatial Information Industry
There’s money in maps! 1677 people are directly employed in the Geospatial Information and it’s an industry worth €280M in Ireland alone. With the increasing digitalisation of the industry its is expected to continue to grow.
DAY 28 Sonru, Disruptive Technology for Talent Wars
Wexford based Sonru (www.sonru.com), uses disruptive technology to allow candidates based anywhere in the world to complete automated video interviews using their own computers. Popular which many multinational and recruiters alike, the company has offices around the world and has been recently covered by Forbes Magazine.
DAY 27 Best for Angel Investment
Ireland has a sophisticated Angel Investment network for the investment and European Business Angel Network last year selected HBAN as the top federation. HBAP has seen notable returns of up to 700% from the recent exits of ActivationEnergy, Storyful and 20 20 Insights.
DAY 26 Giro d'Italia and the World’s Largest Online Bike Retailer
This weekend saw the launch of Giro d’Italia premier cycle race in Ireland for the first time. Making its path from Belfast to Dublin, the race will pass the HQ of Chain Reaction Cycles (www.chainreactioncycles.com), the world’s largest online bike store in Antrim.
DAY 25 Masters of the Eurovision
Despite not qualifying for the finals this year. Ireland is most successful nation in the Eurovision Song Contest winning the competition 7 times and Johnny Logan winning 3 times (twice singing and once as a writer).
DAY 24 World’s Sexiest Accent
OnePoll of 5,000 women from around the world revealed that Ireland has the sexiest accent.
DAY 23 MasterCard’s opens new European Commerce Startup Accelerator in Dublin
MasterCard has launched a commerce focused accelerator for innovative early stage European startups with direct involvement from leading partners including ASOS, Capital One, amongst others. Application close 16th May.
DAY 22 Global FDI Centre
Ireland is ranked 10th in world by UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) think tank, with total of $46B invested here last year.
DAY 21 Service Industry back on track
The Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of activity in the services sector shows highest employment in the sector since 2006 and highest output since 2007.
DAY 20 Wild Atlantic Way
Ireland is home to the World’s Largest Designated Coastal Route. A 2,500KM route running from Cork to Galway and up to Donegal. Taking in all the natural wonders of Ireland.
DAY 19 Dublin and Limerick leading investible cities in Western Europe
As Ireland retains its position in Site Selection magazine’s Best Place to Invest in Western Europe. Both Dublin (3) and Limerick (9) are in the top 10 investible cities making Ireland the own country to have 2 cities represented.
DAY 18 Rapid Expansion of Irish Tech Start Ups
Over the last year, there has been 122 new tech start ups or a 47% increase. This is further evidence of Ireland’s place as a leading global hub for technology.
DAY 17 Dublin, Global Hotspot for Human Capital
Dublin according to the Economics Intelligence Unit is the top global hotspot for human capital.
DAY 16 Largest Pool of Graduates
Ireland has the highest proportion of young people who have successfully completed third-level education in the EU with almost 36% of young people completing a 3rd level qualification. Read more here
DAY 15 Funding World Class Research
Irish Government through Science Foundation Ireland will pump €47m into scientific research to support 200 researcher positions across 36 research positions involving over 62 companies. This will help ensure Ireland’s place as one the leading Horizon 2020 participants. Read more here
DAY 14 Google’s continued faith
Google will create up to 350 new construction jobs as it is building a second data centre at Grangecastle, Dublin. Read more here
DAY 13 Anatomy in your pocket
Galway based medical education software application, Pocket Anatomy has won the “Boost” award at the The Next Web (TNW) Conference. The app allows for both professionals and the public have a better understanding of the body and healthcare. Read more here
DAY 12 Munster Abú
Ireland shares the most wins in the Heineken Cup with England & France but considering our population we are leagues ahead! Munster Abú! Read more here
DAY 11 Dream Destination
In a TripAdvisor poll of over 60,000 Americans, Ireland has came in the Top 3 Dream Destinations. Read more here
DAY 10 Best place to Invest in Western Europe
Site Selection magazine stated in 2011, that Ireland is best European location to invest measured in terms of business environment, business risks, foreign direct investment and infrastructure. Read more here
DAY 9 Warm welcome to International Skilled Workforce
Ireland has now streamlined its work permit system to allow the country to access top international talent to allow the country to become the “internet capital of Europe”. Read more here
DAY 8 Return of Employment
Ireland now has the fastest OECD growth rate of employment with 60,000 jobs created in the last year. Read more here
DAY 7 Dublin, visit by yourself
The Huffington Post rates Dublin as one of the top destinations for solo travellers due to the friendly pubs and helpful to tourists. Read more here
DAY 6 Fine Horses
To celebrate the Irish Grand National! Ireland is the third largest breeder of thoroughbreds in the world. In excess of 40% of the EU output of thoroughbreds and 11% of the total worldwide are produced in Ireland. Read more here
DAY 5 The Land of Chocolate Lovers
A nod to all those enjoying their Easter Eggs today. Ireland is the land of chocoholics; we have the highest consummation per capita, with 11.2 Kg consumed per person/year. Read more here
DAY 4 The World’s favourite butter
Kerrygold sold over 350 million packets last year. It’s the Number 1 brand in Germany and the top imported butter into the US. Read more here
DAY 3 Irish Biotech leads the way
Heart Metabolics completes $20M Series A funding to bring drugs on the market for Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and other cardio-metabolic diseases. Read more here
DAY 2 Has the World’s Most Flexible and Adaptable Workforce
The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012 ranked Ireland in having most flexible and adaptable workforce with is seen as key in attracting the FDI and companies to set up their bases here. Further info here
DAY 1 Best Place in the World to do Business
According to Forbes Magazine article published in Dec 2013, we are leaders in terms of property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. Read the article here
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