This November a convergence of minds, ideas and business will take place on the rugged west coast of Ireland for a unique technology event - one of the world’s first conference dedicated to drones. Some of the world’s leading tech innovators will be visiting Mayo for the weekend of November 7th. The conference kicks off with a seminar in Castlebar exploring how Mayo can harness future opportunities associated with design, testing, manufacturing and construction of leading technological sectors with a particular focus on ‘Drones and Data’.

“Ireland has a great opportunity to position itself as the best country in Europe to test new technology and utilise new trends in the storage of data.” according to event founder, Philip McNamara. McNamara, based in San Francisco, is Head of Business Development for Irish company VoxPro has organized similar tech events in the past few years and got the idea for the content from watching the State of Nevada attract drone startups from California to relocate to avail of lots of space available to road test new technologies and products.

McNamara continues “The west of Ireland has lots of space to test out some of these technologies. Ireland can really establish some early expertise in these new sectors and trends and become a great place for next gen companies to use Ireland as a base.”

According to one of the sponsors, Peter Hynes, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, ‘Having leaders such as these in Mayo for a weekend, telling their story can only motivate our graduates and young innovators. It also gives us the opportunity to leverage their knowledge and requirements for a modern economy. It is up to us then to deliver it’.

Mayo aims to lead the way in associating itself with these new sectors and trends. By collaboration and networking, Mayo intends winning future employment and business from these sectors by creating an attractive environment.

In addition to this day long seminar, attendees will enjoy the Wild Atlantic Way and some of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches. On Achill Island itself they will be treated to some of the best biking, surfing and kitesurfing in the world.

This event is building on the success of previous events hosted in Achill, such as the StartApp competition and MaiTai Global. Achill Island provides the perfect platform for this mix of adventure sport and technology entrepreneurs. This initial concept piloted 18 months ago has grown in demand and Mayo (Achill) is now becoming synonymous as the perfect getaway for young innovators and entrepreneurs looking for the authentic ‘Wild Experience’.

Event founder McNamara said, ‘We are pushing for a convergence of innovation and commercial investment into Mayo and Achill. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs are now visiting Mayo at least once a year. It is our job to show them what is available here’.

The participating companies include:

- Joby Aviation want to rid us of traffic by building a battery powered VTOL plane.

- Skycatch are developing drone robots that can automatically land, re-energise and take high altitude photos for logging companies and construction companies to track progress

- DJI is a company that produces the world's most popular drone, the Phantom.

- Small UAV Coalition is the group that represents small unmanned aerial vehicles. They work with local government to help ease regulation to allow drone companies to fly, test and develop drone technology.

CEO of Hailo Jay Bregman is starting a new company based around Drones.

After the seminar on Friday 7th of November, the speakers and invited guests will decamp to Achill Island, for kitesurfing, cycling and technical talks. This follows the same format as McNamara’s other events. The cycling will tour the Achill coast, and is sponsored by Turas bikes. Supporting this initiative is Mayo County Council, IDA and GMIT. 

Tickets are very affordable with $25 day passes available for the one day seminar. Check it out.