The benefits of good design practice was highlighted to manufacturing companies across the south east at a conference held at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) today (Friday, 3 March).
The ‘Design for Manufacture’ conference was organised by the South Eastern Applied Materials (SEAM) Technology Gateway based within WIT. SEAM is part of the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network which consists of 15 Gateways in 11 Institutes of Technology delivering near to market solutions for Irish industry.
This industry-focused event was sponsored by eDigiRegion (an FP7 project initiative to increase regional competitiveness via research-driven clusters in the technology domain). The day-long event was aimed at enhancing the awareness and skills needed in the rapidly changing advanced manufacturing industrial climate. The highlight of the event was the Town Hall type meeting session where in the senior management from both indigenous and multinational companies discussed the training and skills requirements for the manufacturing sector in the region.
Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan was the keynote speaker. In his address to delegates, he said: “The SEAM Gateway is a great success story for the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network and for Waterford Institute of Technology. It has provided a fantastic resource not only for companies based here in the South-East Region, but also for companies all around the country. Global competition is stronger than ever and, as a small, export-oriented economy, Ireland must respond to this challenge. Research, development, innovation and a highly educated workforce will be the key points of differentiation for Ireland and the key drivers of our future economic success.”
Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director, who takes pride in organising similar industrial events every year said: “Our prime focus in SEAM has always been to advance the cutting edge of innovation by bringing in latest technologies that are useful to manufacturing sector with a view to transferring the knowledge acquired to Irish based industries. I am particularly thankful to Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway programme whose seed fund helps us strengthen our human resources and expand the services we continuously provide to manufacturing industries.”
Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland outlined the importance of Enterprise Ireland Gateways such as SEAM to regional development. “The 15 Gateways in the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network are a critical innovation support for Irish industry delivering near to market solutions for partner companies located both regionally and nationally. They have a proven track record of performance having completed in excess of 1,800 industry projects since 2013 at a value of €18million, and almost half of which (47%) has come directly from industry contributions. This activity is critical in supporting Irish companies develop new products, processes and services, enabling them to increase their competitiveness and exploit new markets with export potential,” he said.
Martin Corkery, Regional Director South & South East Regions, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Technology Gateways are open access points for regional based companies, particularly for SMEs and Start-Ups. They provide easy access to sectoral expertise locally but also to the research capabilities in the wider Technology Gateway Network. This is an invaluable resource for small companies with global ambition to fulfil their growth potential.”
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is calling on residents of the south east to get involved in Engineers Week 2017, a seven day programme of nationwide events celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland. The annual event is coordinated on a national basis by Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme - a strategic partner of Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Smart Futures Programme.
Taking place from 4th- 10th March 2017, Engineers Week encourages primary and post-primary students, their teachers and parents to explore the exciting world of engineering as well as highlighting the diverse career opportunities engineering offers.
WIT is delighted to host events during Engineers Week 2017 and looks forward to engaging with primary and secondary students.
Primary school events are booked out already with pupils from Co Kilkenny schools attending (Listerlin National School, The Rower NS, Kilkenny, St Michaels NS, Danesfort, Slieverue National School, Big Wood (St. Colmcilles NS), Kilmoganny N. S., and Ringville NS).
Pupils from schools across Waterford city and county in attendance include: St. Martin's Special School, Mount Sion NS, Ballyduff NS, St Saviours NS Ballybeg, Waterpark NS, St Paul NS Waterford, Scoil Lorcain, Waterford, Gaelscoil Portlairge, Gaelscoil na nDeise, Holy Family Mercy Primary School Waterford, Faithlegg National School, Passage East NS, St. Stephen's De La Salle, Butlerstown National School, Holy Cross National School, St John of Gods Waterford, Newtown School, Kilmacthomas, and Christchurch National School.
Pupils from St Peter & Paul's NS, Clonmel are already signed up for events.
Proposed secondary school events include Junior Cert Heat and its Applications in Engineering (Wednesday) and the Fundamentals of Electricity (Thursday). A highlight is the WIT RoboCar session which will tell the story of how eight third year WIT Electronic Engineering Students went from a miniature robot chasing a line to a full size car chasing a road.
On Thursday, 9 March a Table Quiz will run at WIT for secondary school students. The WIT Engineering Quiz is a fun quiz based on STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and General Knowledge. The quiz highlights the skills required to be an engineer (with rounds on science, maths etc.) A team from St Mary's (Mercy), New Ross will participate in Thursday’s table quiz.
Dr Ken Thomas, Head of the School of Engineering at WIT said that engineering offers a variety of exciting career options that are well paid. “One of the best ways for young people to discover that they’re suited to a future in engineering is to come along to our events during Engineers Week. We also welcome CAO applicants and parents to our CAO open evening on Tuesday, 4 April.
Commenting in advance of Engineers Week, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said: “Now in its 11th year, Engineers Week is going from strength to strength and we want to once again engage new audiences and showcase the exciting world of contemporary engineering in Ireland.
“Participation in Engineers Week not only benefits the community, it also yields benefits for the individual engineer, the organisation, and the profession as a whole. Engineers have a key role in society solving global problems in areas like water management, infrastructure development, environmental sustainability, energy security and food supply. A career in engineering offers great diversity and I strongly urge residents in of the south east to get involved and attend events in their locality,” she continued.
Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Strategy & Communications at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to partner with Engineers Ireland for Engineers Week 2017. By supporting this national initiative, we are enabling engagement with young people, prompting them to consider the science and engineering in their everyday lives and inspiring them to explore career paths in these areas. I would encourage everyone in the south eastto get involved in Engineers Week and experience this exciting world.”
To find out more about events taking place around the country or to register an event visit www.engineersweek.ie. As well as events organised by companies, third-level institutions and the public sector, teachers are also encouraged to run their own classroom-based activities, quizzes and competitions. A full list of resources and activities are available on the Engineers Week website and www.w.it.ie/events.
On 17th December, after four years of preparation and consultation, the Oireachtas finally passed the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill. In doing so they repealed the much criticised Lunacy Regulations Act dating from 1871, thus abolishing the system of Wards of Court and replacing it with a Decision Support Service.
This legislation will have implications for businesses, frontline service providers, public organisations, healthcare providers, legal professionals, voluntary and community organisations; in short anyone working with people whose capacity is called into question or may shortly be called into question, as the legislation will now involve more people having to engage with the challenge of determining the capacity of others to make decisions.
To explain the implications of the Legislation and to address questions arising from it, Sage will be holding a briefing in the Elva Auditorium, University Hospital Waterford, Dunmore Road, Waterford.
To book your place email
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is to benefit from two Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Infrastructure Awards that form a key part of implementing the country’s science and technology strategy – Innovation 2020.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD together with Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan, TD announced the investment by Science Foundation Ireland.
Commenting on WIT’s two awards of €904,985 and €248,290, Minister John Halligan said: “WIT is the only institute of technology in the country to receive funding under this Science Foundation Ireland investment programme. Today’s announcement will support the installation of world-class research infrastructure at WIT, which is essential for Waterford and the south east to attract investment and talent to our region and to train a highly skilled and innovative workforce.”
The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme provides research groups with necessary equipment and facilities for the performance of high quality, impactful and innovative research.
WIT’s VP for research, Dr Peter McLoughlin welcomed the research infrastructure awards. “The funding will facilitate the development of our research in areas such as smart sensor technologies and molecular ecology. This state of the art infrastructure will enable our researchers to develop the next generation of drug delivery devices as well as novel sensors with applications in smart agriculture and biomedical diagnostics. The availability of such world class infrastructure plays a critical role in supporting our industry partners and attracting high quality research talent into the region.”
The smart sensing systems development platform will be acquired with close to €1m in funding. Dr Joseph O’Mahony academic researcher explains that new infrastructure will be integrated with the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre’s (PMBRC) state of the art scanning probe microscope laboratory to create a new research facility. This national facility will further develop the PMBRC’s collaborative research actions with Irish and European academics and industries.
“The new facility will facilitate world class research in the areas of large area organic electronics and printable sensor technologies, enabling the further development of novel technologies for biomedical diagnostics, drug delivery, smart agriculture, smart marine and smart packaging. The new facility will attract a broad range of leading research talent to work in Waterford, further developing the regional knowledge base thereby attracting future economic investment in the economy of the South East,” he said.
Dr Niall O’Reilly, PMBRC centre manager explains: "This is a really exciting development for the PMBRC. The new infrastructure will allow us to integrate a range of technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, microfluidics and ICT into single miniaturised systems. This in turn will be used to drive our research in next generation biomedical diagnostics, drug delivery, energy harvesting and sensor development. There is significant commercial interest in these areas and we hope to collaborate with industry partners as we develop this research further.
The second lot of funding (€248,000) announced for WIT will benefit researchers in the Molecular Ecology Research Group and other researchers in the PMBRC and Eco-Innovation Research Centre who will use the equipment for a variety of pharmaceutical, health and environmental applications.
Dr Denise O’Meara explains how it will expand her wildlife research. "I study wildlife like pine marten and otters using traces of DNA from their hair and droppings. The funding from SFI will allow me to purchase a DNA sequencer that will analyse the DNA and provide information about the number of animals living in an area and insights into their genetic health and relatedness to one another.”
HEFSE has given firm approval to the statement by 245 General Practitioners from South east counties which has been published by the Irish Times Newspaper this weekend.
The statement highlights the concerns of regional GPs with HSE massaging of waiting list figures and the drive to optically reduce the waiting list profile in the South East region. The GPs have pointed to the delay in implementing a 24 / 7 cardiac care service as presenting additional and undue delay to necessary cardiac treatment and disadvantaging the most vulnerable in society as the waiting list is primarily composed of public patients without access to private healthcare. They have also highlighted the sub optimal or 'second grade' treatment options that these disadvantaged patients are being offered as a result of the failure to implement a 2nd Cath lab with the requisite supporting staff in Waterford.
HEFSE is calling on Government and the Dept of Health to address this service discrimination immediately. Professor Herity in addressing the Oireachtas Health Committee last week was forced to concede that Emergency PCI and elective cardiology procedures should not be carried out in a non 24/7 service and now primary care givers who are deemed responsible in the first instance for regional healthcare are joining in supporting of the 24/7 service.
HEFSE can see no reason why in light of these public reviews of ongoing healthcare policy from regional medical experts the South East population should be disadvantaged any longer and calls on Government to implement 24/7 cardiac care planning for the South east forthwith. This to include apportioning extra funding for a second Catheterisation Laboratory at University Hospital Waterford and announcing a recruitment programme for the additional staff required.
Waterford Purple Flag joined the celebrations in Carrick-on-Shannon this week as the Purple Flag Accreditation programme reached a milestone of 20 accredited towns and cities in Ireland since its inception in 2012.
Waterford was awarded the internationally recognised accreditation in 2015 and has just completed its renewal application and expects to be successful and retain the coveted status.
At the National Awards ceremony in Leitrim this week Limerick, Maynooth, Dublin One and Wexford received their accreditations. Dublin’s Creative Quarter and Dame District was one of the first to be awarded with the Purple Flag, showing a significant increase in footfall and decrease in vacancies as a result. Now, a second area on Dublin’s north side called ‘Dublin One’ which stretches from O’Connell Street to Capel Street has stepped forward and achieved the evening and night-time accreditation.
The Purple Flag status has been hugely beneficial to the evening and night time economy in Waterford. A recent survey conducted by the group has revealed that awareness of the initiative is on the up and that the majority of people would be happy to recommend Waterford for a night out.
Waterford Purple Flag Co-ordinator Nick Donnelly said: “If our towns and cities are to survive and thrive in the 21st century they must meet the expectations of both visitors and residents. To achieve that goal our town centres must be professionally managed and promoted. Cities and towns all over Ireland are proving their ability to do so with this accreditation and having now over 20 flag holding locations puts Ireland firmly on the map in terms of excellence in the evening and night-time.”
He continued by saying: “I would like to acknowledge the huge interest, work and enthusiasm that town and city representatives are making in creating a welcoming, safe and vibrant environment, which is a critical element of Purple Flag accreditation.”
Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the accrediting body Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) commented: “A new milestone has been reached for Purple Flag on the island of Ireland – over 20 Purple Flags is a great achievement, which shows the quality of the Evening & Night Time Economy (ENTE). I am delighted to say following the Purple Flag Panel meeting that all Irish applications have impressed the judges both in terms of quality of the night-time offering as well in the partnerships of the towns and cities that applied.”
‘Purple Flag’ is the highest award for a vibrant and well-managed evening and night time economy in Europe offering successful towns and cities a way to recognise, promote and further develop the evening and night-time economy, making places more attractive and vibrant for both locals and visitors alike.
The boundary commission has recommended an extension for Waterford into South Kilkenny.
The redrawing of the county boundary between Kilkenny and Waterford would see 20,000 acres transferred into Waterford. The final decision will be a matter for Minister Simon Coveney. South Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan has threatened to resign his Dáil seat if the boundary change went ahead and said Fine Gael would lose significant support in south Kilkenny.
Former Mayor of Waterford Cllr. John Cummins has called on the government and Fianna Fáil as the supporting partner to implement the recommendations as a matter of urgency. The recommendations of the three strong commission are to implement "a new Boundary between the Authorities that will move the entire Electoral Area of Kilculliheen and those parts of the Electoral Areas of Aglish and Dunkitt contained within the Area of Interest that lie south of the N25 bypass to the control of Waterford Council". [source: WLR FM]