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All roads lead to Ireland later this month when industry experts and senior executives from some of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers gather for the world’s first transatlantic forum on future mobility.

Representatives from ToyotaDaimler, Jaguar Land Rover, HondaMazda, Volkswagen, Faraday Future, Bosch, HitachiContinental, and Verizon will be among those attending CASE: Driving the Future on October 23 and 24. Hosted by Enterprise Ireland, the event will showcase the latest capability and disruptive trends in connected, autonomous, shared and electrified vehicle development.

Ireland might not seem the most likely setting for such an event – there are, after all, no Irish auto manufacturers or major assembly plants – yet driven by its strong tech sector, Ireland is fast becoming a go-to technology hub for the global automotive industry.

At CASE: Driving the Future, Irish companies at the vanguard of this sector will showcase the strategies they are using to develop innovative solutions for the automotive industry, while participants will also have opportunities to expand their network and meet more than 30 industry leaders from the United States, Germany, and United Arab Emirates.

CASE Technology

Day one of the forum at Dublin’s Convention Centre will feature keynote speeches and thought leadership sessions from industry experts covering a range of CASE topics.

Gahl Berkooz, VP of Data, Analytics, and Monetization at ZF Group, will talk about how data monetization and digital transformation can drive CASE. David O’Donnell, Global Head of Passenger and Light Truck Tires at Continental AG, will address how CASE technology can be applied to fleet management solutions. Frank Weith, Director of Connected and Mobility Services at Volkswagen AG, will speak about next-generation connected services in the US; and John Cormican, VP Engineering Jaguar Land Rover Ireland, will talk about the role played by connected, autonomous vehicles in enabling the digital transformation of Ireland.

Supply Chain Tectonics

There will be two executive panel discussions, the first on the realities of risk and regulation, and the second on how CASE disruption is impacting the supply chain tectonics of automotive manufacturers.

Capability is king in this industry and forming strategic partnerships and demonstrating an ability to innovate while solving exacting problems has provided many Irish companies with the opportunity to grow quickly.

Irish Capability in Future Mobility

Breakout sessions will provide opportunities for one-to-one meetings with more than 25 leading Enterprise Ireland-supported Irish technology companies. Several of these will also showcase their capability during Enterprise Ireland client company pitches.

One of them is software manufacturer Emdalo Technologies, whose artificial intelligence (AI)-based object and gesture recognition systems are providing solutions for powering the capability of autonomous and driver assistance systems in boats as well as cars.

Barry Napier, CEO of Cubic Telecom, will demonstrate how his company’s global connectivity platform allows more than 2.5 million drivers across 180 countries to enjoy internet capability, while also enabling manufacturers such as Audi, Skoda, and VW to collect data on vehicle performance.

Ronan Quinlan will explain how leading car makers can network their vehicles with the outside world using cutting-edge antenna and radio frequency solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) applications produced by his company Taoglas.

Center of Excellence

The highlight of day two at CASE: Driving the Future is a visit to the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Global Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Centre of Excellence, which opened in Shannon earlier this year.

Major auto manufacturers are investing in the capability of Ireland’s technology sector and both JLR and the French vehicle technology multinational Valeo are at the heart of an Enterprise Ireland-led cluster, which includes more than 70 indigenous companies involved in autonomous vehicle research and product development in the West of Ireland.

As well as Enterprise Ireland, the cluster, CAV Ireland (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles), is backed by IDA IrelandScience Foundation Ireland, the Department of Transport, and the Lero research institute.

The future of mobility is one of connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicles. It is as much about software as hardware, and at CASE: Driving the Future, industry leaders and experts will shed light on the opportunities that this presents.

Ryan J Shaughnessy, SVP Industrial Technology for Enterprise Ireland Chicago, said: “Ireland is quickly becoming a technology hub for the future vehicle. This is due to a combination of top Irish tech talent and an increasing global demand from automotive companies for new technology solutions.

“Many of the 70-plus Irish automotive tech companies supported by Enterprise Ireland are already doing business with major OEMs and tier-one suppliers across the globe.

“CASE: Driving the Future is an opportunity to showcase Irish technology to a large global automotive audience for the first time and further establish Ireland as the new go-to destination for automotive technology solutions.”

CASE: Driving the Future consists of a conference day at The Convention Centre Dublin on October 23rd, followed by a visit to JLR’s Centre of Excellence in Shannon on October 24thClick here to register.

Shorla Pharma is the latest innovator to benefit from Ireland’s national entrepreneurial honor.

Sharon Cunningham of Shorla Pharma, an innovator of oncology drugs, has been named Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. It’s a major accolade for the 34-year-old former accountant who co-founded it with pharma-regulatory expert Orlaith Ryan.

The annual IBYE competition is run by Ireland’s Local Enterprise Offices and supported by Enterprise Ireland, the trade and innovation agency. The 31 Local Enterprise Offices are Ireland’s first-stop-shop for anyone thinking of starting or growing a business in Ireland.

IBYE helps Ireland to nurture entrepreneurs

IBYE is open to entrepreneurs under 35 and offers three categories – Best Business Idea, Best Startup Business and Best Established Business. In the past five years, it has received more than 7,300 entries from ambitious entrepreneurs attracted by an investment fund of up to €2 million, which is divided up between county and national finalists.

IBYE also offers an intensive Entrepreneur Bootcamp, plus mentoring and pitch training.

The competition is now a major proving ground for businesses with innovative technologies that are looking to grow. Previous winners have gone on to become clients of the Government agency Enterprise Ireland, in many cases going on to secure millions of euro in investment funding to help them internationalize and scale.

Previous participants include Daniel Loftus of UrbanFox, which specializes in the development of anti-fraud technology, and former physiotherapist Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical, an innovator in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

It also includes Alvan Hunt of insect protein company Hexafly and Brendan Boland, co-founder of medtech start-up Loci Orthopaedics in Galway, whose InDx device is designed to help those suffering from arthritis of the thumb base joint.

Participating in the IBYE program helps “put you on the map from an investor perspective,” says Conor Lyden of Trustap. Its platform, which facilitates trusted transactions between strangers, is now used around the world.

Some of its current investors “reached out to me” as a result of the competition, he says. “There’s a clearly defined path from your local LEO to Enterprise Ireland and on to private investors.”

Shorla Pharma has identified a significant issue in relation to women and children’s cancer drugs. Its first product is the redevelopment of a children’s cancer drug, transforming a difficult to swallow capsule into an oral solution.

Its founders met while working at Waterford-based pharmaceutical firm EirGen, and were very much a part of its entrepreneurial journey before it was bought by US drugs company Opko Health in 2015.

The next stage for Shorla is to become a client of Enterprise Ireland. “The Local Enterprise Office helped us build stronger foundations,” says Sharon Cunningham. “The business is ready to grow and we look forward to working with Enterprise Ireland.”

Winning the IBYE will help it meets its international ambitions. “We are currently applying for NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding in the US, the equivalent of the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. Pharmaceuticals is a highly competitive sector. Being recognized as having Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is a huge differentiator,” Orlaith says.

Ireland’s strong track record in supporting innovative start-ups through the Local Enterprise Network, on into Enterprise Ireland and then out to the world, is increasingly recognized overseas, she feels.

“In North Carolina recently, a state representative said to us that Ireland is one of the most proactive countries in the world, in terms of supporting its companies to set up abroad and pursue their global ambitions,” says Orlaith.

“In our industry, Enterprise Ireland is well recognized internationally. They ask all the right questions, they do their due diligence on your business.” As a result, prospective clients and investors overseas “know you are coming with all this agency support behind you,” she says.

Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation and Sharon Cunningham of Shorla Pharma.

Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation and Sharon Cunningham of Shorla Pharma.

Ireland has a deep talent pool of talented entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, says Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Local Enterprise Office Network, who says the IBYE competition is an important part of its entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“It’s a very rigorous process and a very challenging competition. We are interested in cultivating businesses with strong export and growth potential. They may not yet have made that export leap yet, but have demonstrable export potential for the future,” he says.

The pathway from Local Enterprise Office to Enterprise Ireland is well established. “We are always looking to maximize the potential of Local Enterprise Office clients to grow and develop into Enterprise Ireland’s portfolio so that they can avail of the support structures that it has in place, including its network of overseas offices,” he says.

Knowing a person has won this important, State-backed competition should give any international business dealing with them a huge amount of comfort, he says. “Those international companies who are aware of the strong business support systems we have in place in Ireland will recognize this.”

Irish craft makers set to take over Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore

For one day only, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore will host Crafted in Ireland, showcasing traditional Irish crafts in the lead up to the 2020 Notre Dame game, taking place in Dublin.

In August of next year, Notre Dame and Navy will play their annual rivalry game in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. It’s an amazing experience for both teams and their respective fans to encounter the culture and craft of Ireland. The Crafted in Ireland store initiative will provide Notre Dame fans with a taster of what they can expect in Ireland in 2020.

The island of Ireland acts as a host to storytellers, artists, and craftspeople. On October 12, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore will display some of these creative works for a ‘Crafted in Ireland’ store event in which you can buy all sorts of individual pieces. From the bespoke tailoring of Hanna Hats, stunning signature pieces from Belleek, as well as inspiring gifts for the imagination from Wild Goose Designs, there is something for every lover of detailed, intricate handmade Irish craft.

Contemporary designs with an Irish twist will be available from companies like Solvar, along with the likes of JC Walsh bringing Connemara Marble to life in beautiful designs.

You can’t have a college football game without memorabilia! Trinity College Dublin will also be on-site for any game-goer wanting to be prepared for the Dublin trip next year, along with Traditional Craft who will be displaying their bespoke pieces.

As well as with college memorabilia, Trinity College Dublin will have exclusive Book of Kells merchandise available on the day. The Book of Kells is a historic magnificent manuscript that has been in the possession of Trinity College since 1661. Since 1953, the Book of Kells has been bound in four volumes with two of these volumes on display in Trinity College, Dublin.

All companies traveling to Notre Dame for the USC game are clients of Enterprise Ireland, the Irish State agency that partners with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate, and win export sales in global markets.

“We are delighted to support the Crafted in Ireland store initiative,” said Catie Riordan, VP Consumer Retail, Enterprise Ireland. “Notre Dame has been and continues to be a key partner to Irish retail companies. Each of the seven brands involved demonstrates the innovation and creativity of Irish companies in the retail industry.”

“The University of Notre Dame has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with both Enterprise Ireland and the many Irish companies participating in the “Crafted in Ireland” event,” said Tomi Gerhold, Director of Licensing, University of Notre Dame. “They help us celebrate the spirit of Notre Dame every day, and we are thrilled to have them on campus.  We look forward to a continued partnership in bringing authentic Irish products to the friends and family of Notre Dame.”

Over the past 18 months, SilverCloud Health and Microsoft have been working together to conduct research that combines Microsoft’s cutting-edge machine learning and AI technologies with SilverCloud’s expertise in real-world delivery of evidence-based interventions and mental health outcomes.

Mental illness is a significant disease and economic burden; one in four adults globally are affected by a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year but access to mental healthcare is often unavailable because of long wait times or understaffed care organizations. The delivery of care online helps to overcome these barriers.

SilverCloud Health enables healthcare organizations to deliver clinically validated digital health and therapeutic care that improves patient outcomes while reducing provider costs. The company’s multi-award-winning digital mental health platform is a result of over 16 years of clinical research with leading academic institutions. The platform continues to lead the industry with its effectiveness, engagement, and range of clinical programs that encompass the spectrum of mental health needs.

The company’s platform helps healthcare organizations deliver clinically proven, evidenced-based digital content, programs, and support within the area of mental health (depression, anxiety, stress, etc) and long term/chronic illness care (diabetes, CVD, cancer etc).

SilverCloud Health is one of the very few digital mental health platforms that has been deployed at scale in routine clinical care, and currently has the largest real-world patient user base of its kind,” said Christopher Bishop, lab director, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK. “The aim of this project is very much aligned to our ambition to empower healthcare workers and patients through access to effective, intelligent technologies.”

SilverCloud’s digital mental health platform is deployed globally in routine clinical care providing coverage to 65 million people today. With over one million hours of therapy delivered since spinning out from research in 2012, the breadth of this data provides a unique opportunity for this deep research collaboration. Today, SilverCloud is used by over 250 organizations globally to meet their populations’ mental health needs. Global experts have deeply validated the platform through full randomized control trials and real-world data from over 290,000 SilverCloud users. This important research collaboration with Microsoft is on target to further enhance SilverCloud Health’s online offer.

“Through this exciting research collaboration with Microsoft, SilverCloud Health will be able to leverage the latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning to further enhance our digital mental health platform,” said Ken Cahill, CEO of SilverCloud Health. “This truly is therapy for the 21st century; enabling more personalized treatment, earlier and easier access, and most importantly delivering ever-increasing clinical outcomes.”

Together, Microsoft and SilverCloud will explore the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to accelerate the understanding and delivery of personalized mental healthcare that responds to each patient’s unique situation, including early interventions to optimize clinical outcomes, thereby ensuring patients have access to the right support and content at the right time and in the right context. Further opportunities also exist in identifying successful patterns in therapist/coach behavior to improve therapeutic effectiveness.

SilverCloud is an evidence-based digital mental health platform that removes many of the barriers that prevent patients from accessing mental health services, including cost, access, clinical resources, and stigma, enabling healthcare institutions to deliver clinically validated digital therapeutic care that improves outcomes and lowers costs. The company currently offers a comprehensive library of 30+ programs supported by 16 years of clinical and academic research and backed by more than 16 published papers. The company works with over 250 organizations, with over 65 percent of their service users showing a clinically significant reduction in symptom scores.

Read Microsoft’s Blog for more information.

Source: SilverCloud press release 

Dublin’s importance as a global hub for business is increasing significantly, according to a highly regarded annual report by leading management consulting company AT Kearney.

The 2019 Global Cities Report ranks the world’s major cities on their attractiveness for businesses and employees, It includes the Global Cities Outlook Index, which ranks cities primed to be the next generation of global hubs. Dublin featured highly in 2019’s Outlook Index, jumping a huge 24 places to ninth position, behind London, Singapore, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo, Boston, and Munich.

Innovation pushes Dublin into top ten next-generation global business hubs

“The Irish city’s impressive performance is spurred by big gains in economics and innovation, reflecting Dublin’s rise as a global tech destination and its prospects for the future,” commented the report on Dublin’s meteoric rise.

Dublin increased its position significantly in every metric: personal wellbeing, economics, innovation, and government. In particular, the city jumped 33 places in the economics metric, to fifth place in the index.

Dublin increased its position significantly in every metric: personal wellbeing, economics, innovation and government.

“We view Dublin’s strong performance in the 2019 AT Kearney rankings as validating the commercial trends we can see on the ground,” said James Croke, a development advisor for BPO and IT Services at Enterprise Ireland. “Enterprise Ireland-backed companies in the ICT, fintech and services sectors, who invest in innovation and technological capability are continuing to accelerate their international growth. Underpinning this technical capability is Ireland’s innovative, well-educated and technically agile workforce.”

The yearly report reveals which cities are currently the most competitive in several key areas, including business activity, culture, human capital, political engagement, and information exchange. These are recognized as the factors that have turned cities such as San Francisco, London, and New York into bustling global hubs that attract people and businesses.

More than 800 executives from the global medical technology and healthcare sectors will attend Med in Ireland, a major international business event taking place in Dublin, Ireland, on October 10, 2019.

The invite-only event, which is open to expressions of interest, includes a full day’s conference with presentations from top executives and key opinion leaders from around the world. It provides an opportunity for international visitors to experience the future of medtech, in a country acknowledged as a global medtech hub.

Med in Ireland is a one-day event exploring how innovative Irish companies are transforming the future of healthcare and manufacturing. Discover the secrets behind the success of the Irish medtech ecosystem and meet the innovators changing what’s possible. The event brings together innovative Irish medtech companies with healthcare providers and manufacturing partners from around the world.

For many visitors, the primary attraction is the chance to participate in a tailored program of visits to some of Ireland’s most innovative medtech and healthcare companies, organized by Enterprise Ireland, the trade and innovation agency, for introductions to potential research, innovation, and manufacturing partners.

Med in Ireland provides a chance for visitors to experience first-hand Ireland’s highly innovative medtech sector and to understand how a small country on the western periphery of Europe is producing so many groundbreaking medtech companies.

Source: https://medinireland.ie/about/

The country’s achievements in the sector are rooted in a unique- government-backed, industry-supported, and research-led ecosystem, which helps to create, grow and scale Irish medtech innovators around the world. This approach has enabled Ireland to become internationally recognized as a location of choice for medtech activity, exporting $13.7 billion worth of goods to 100 countries each year.

That’s why at the last biennial Med in Ireland event in 2017, buyers from 43 countries visited the RDS in Dublin, at which 1,200 business partnering meetings took place. In addition, over 140 bespoke buyer visits to Irish company sites took place.

Medtech sales worldwide are forecast to reach $578 billion by 2024. It’s the most innovative sector in Europe, resulting in 13,795 patents filed with the European Patent Office. Digital health alone is forecasted to have sales of $17.2 billion by 2024.

Irish companies will make a significant contribution to this growth, helping to define the future of healthcare globally. The country hosts almost 300 homegrown medtech businesses supported by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, the biggest seed investor of start-ups in Europe.

“Med in Ireland is an opportunity for us to fly in top international customers from around the world so that they can see the medtech industry we have in Ireland,” said Deirdre Glenn, director of life sciences at Enterprise Ireland. “And for Enterprise Ireland client companies to do business across diagnostics, medical devices, digital health and the supply chain of precision engineering and component manufacturing.”

Med in Ireland 2019 will deliver opportunities to network with innovative Irish medtech companies transforming the future of the industry, and the chance to conduct on-site visits with exhibitors and arrange one-to-one meetings. Insights into medtech trends from inspiring keynote speakers and exciting innovations within the sector will help provide a deeper understanding of the collaborative medtech research taking place in Ireland’s Higher Education Institutes.

For more information on Med in Ireland 2019, please visit https://medinireland.ie/.

Bright ideas may come in a flash of inspiration but bringing them to market takes time. Ask any founder with an innovative idea and the story will usually be the same – a long journey that includes setbacks and pivots.
That journey requires resilience and a culture that fosters and supports innovators and disruptors so that they can bring strong ideas to market. While not all good ideas make for good business models, without an innovation ecosystem in which ideas can flourish, the chances of a new solution making it to market can be slim.

Ireland has a world-leading reputation for innovation, which is respected internationally in areas as diverse as medtechfintech, and agritech. In medtech alone, Ireland has become a global hub. It is home to some of the world’s most ambitious and dynamic medtech companies, a trusted and advanced manufacturing base, and 18 of the world’s top 25 medical device manufacturers. Hubs and knowledge clusters have grown up organically around the supply chain, notably in the cities of Galway and Cork, over the last 15 years.

How Ireland finds commercial applications for cutting-edge research

Enterprise Ireland, the country’s trade and innovation agency, provides a Commercialisation Fund that supports the creation of technology-based start-up companies, and the transfer of innovations developed in Ireland’s Higher Education Institutes and other research organisations to industry, as well as grant, seed and venture capital funding, and direct assistance through networking and mentoring.

Unlocking innovation at the earliest stage has seen Enterprise Ireland and Ireland’s universities and colleges partner in innovative ways, to not only unlock R&D but to center it on a pathway to commercializing new products, services, and companies.

By 2007, the Irish Government had funding in place to enable knowledge transfer at third-level institutions to partner with business. Since 2013, Knowledge Transfer Ireland has acted as the hub for this ecosystem supported by some €52m in state funding in its first three years alone.

University College Dublin was one of the first universities to realize the value of innovation and the commercial value of intellectual property created by research within its walls. As early as 2003, it opened its own center for innovation and knowledge transfer by partnering with private sector sponsors such as Xilinx, Ericsson, AIBArthur Cox, and Enterprise Ireland.

It created NovaUCD as its own incubator, and current Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation Tom Flanagan called the decision to back early-stage innovation one of “incredible foresight”.

“The intent was to coalesce out of research opportunities innovations that could be commercial and build new start-ups around them.”

Now in its second decade, NovaUCD has seen real results. From its bespoke building on campus, it has supported around 360 start-ups and early-stage ventures, which have raised around €760 million in venture capital funding, delivering jobs and exports across a range of disciplines, including data and analytics, cleantech, personal medicine, and cancer screening.

As a typical hub, NovaUCD is a physical home to start-ups, mentors, investors as well as key personnel who drill down early on into research to identify prospects and valuable IP.

“We have many programs to capture this knowledge even at undergraduate level,” said Flanagan.

The hub supports knowledge transfer in pragmatic ways, such as market research, prototype, and product testing, to help hone product fit and bootstrap the business.

“The innovation space is a great space to be in. It’s a great opportunity to witness the birth of something new and the opportunity to shape it for commercial success.” The entrepreneurs that work out of NovaUCD have had notable success but that is no surprise to Flanagan.

“The companies that start here all have global ambitions. They are high potential start-ups. The companies that bring in the inward capital are what I would call ‘rockets’, ones that are on the fast track to high growth. That would not be unusual.” That includes the likes of energy efficiency company Vivid EdgeOutput Sports, which is developing sports performance analytics wearables, and Manna, which is planning to deploy custom-developed aerospace-grade drones to deliver fast food to consumers’ homes, he added.

The global ambition of all of these companies that are harnessed by the innovation ecosystem across Ireland is clear. Meanwhile, NovaUCD continues its own expansion with its newly renovated and extended eastern courtyard allowing it to increase its capacity to house start-ups by over 50%.

Incubation and innovation will continue, according to Flanagan, with the rewards being real recognition of Ireland’s role as an innovation nation. “It’s a real joy to meet researchers, smart people who are onto something, and when you look at their work you realize ‘That could be something. They are onto something, something big.’’”

Something big, for Ireland and the world, indeed.

Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Minister Heather Humphreys, was in NYC to aid launch

American-Irish company UrbanVolt Inc has launched the first app of its kind which allows large companies to make data-driven decisions to tackle the climate crisis.

This app enables large, multi-site organizations to instantly calculate the scale of their opportunity in reducing energy consumption and cost for thousands of buildings globally. For the first time, businesses will be able to make data-driven decisions on where they should target their efforts in order to drive significant CO2 reductions.

As a Certified B Corp, UrbanVolt Inc developed Dataful to achieve its mission of helping companies do the right thing in solving our environmental problems. As a B Corp, UrbanVolt Inc meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

“Decisions without data is just guessing,” said Kevin Maughan, CEO of UrbanVolt Inc.” “One of the reasons large companies haven’t fully embraced sustainability is the data vacuum. Our Dataful app means that our clients can gather the data on hundreds of sites and move quickly to improve their efficiency. This is in contrast to the months or years of manual site surveys and data gathering which was previously the only option. Dataful is game-changing technology which gives executives the data they require to make a decision.

We offer this service to large companies who want to transition their organizations to a sustainable future but up until now, they didn’t know who to call.”

UrbanVolt Inc’s global clients include Pfizer, Zimmer Biomet, Seko Worldwide, PipeLife and more.

UrbanVolt Inc works with Enterprise Ireland, the Irish State agency that partners with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate, and win export sales in global markets.

“The United States is the second-largest individual export market for Enterprise Ireland supported companies, highlighting the strength of our economic relationship”, said Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland. “As we continue to work hard to further strengthen this relationship, Enterprise Ireland’s strategy is geared toward encouraging an increased number of early-stage companies to the US as their first or core export market, while also assisting more established companies to increase their foothold in the States. We are proud to support UrbanVolt Inc as they endeavor to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and aid them in merging their Irish innovations into new markets.”

In the past year two years alone Enterprise Ireland-supported companies opened 119 new offices in the U.S. Minister Heather Humphreys was in New York and Nashville this month to engage with key decision-makers in the healthcare, engineering and construction, agritech and ICT sectors to raise the profile of the innovative capabilities of Enterprise Ireland supported companies and the world-class solutions they provide.

“Market diversification has never been more important than it is now with Brexit on the horizon. Irish companies already make a significant impact to the US economy, but I want to see that footprint growing even further, said Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys.

Irish start-up accelerator Propeller Shannon draws entrepreneurs from across the world, delivering more business and insights to an already thriving industry.

“Ireland has a deep airline history, and the leaders of the Propeller Shannon accelerator, Brian and Clyde, are very well connected within the global airline industry,” says entrepreneur, David Hailey.

Hailey co-founded travel tech start-up Countalytics in Atlanta, Georgia, before traveling to Ireland to develop the business under the Ryan Academy accelerator program. Now his business has earned a place on the prestigious list of Top Travel Startups to Watch in 2019 by global travel industry intelligence service Skift, who describes it as “an inventory management platform with verve”.

Countalytics is just one of Propeller Shannon’s many success stories. Three of its start-ups — Airside ManagementOneAire, and Block Aviation — are all finalists for the Rolls Royce Innovation Challenge. Another, Trustabit, was selected by Plug And Play to present to Star Alliance at their Innovation Day.

So how does an Irish-based program like this draw applications from across the globe and propel its start-ups to the fore of the travel tech world?

Cycle of success

“If you provide good mentors and great programs, you get a good reputation and attract really good start-ups,” says Donal Brady, who was the Ryan Academy’s chief executive until August this year. “Fundamentally, what they are looking for is very early-stage companies with innovative services solving a definite problem. The success of this approach speaks to the quality of start-ups we’re getting.”

The Ryan Academy was founded in May 2005 as a partnership between Dublin City University and entrepreneur Tony Ryan. Ryan, who died two years after the program’s inception, was the Irish billionaire, philanthropist, and businessman who founded Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) and co-founded Ryanair. His accelerator program was one of the first in Ireland. In 2011, it provided the country with its first-ever angel fund. The partnership model is now recognized by the European Commission as a best practice case study in supporting entrepreneurs.

Brady believes that these roots play a part in making Propeller a very special accelerator. “One difference is the coalition with the university. There are a few critical elements to that — it means it was founded by a deep knowledge base, while the relationship with the Ryan family means we carry a deep entrepreneurship culture and we can leverage good industry connections.”

Propeller Shannon connects the dots

The Academy’s Propeller program commenced in 2011 with support from Enterprise Ireland. In 2018, it joined forces with the Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre to create Propeller Shannon, an International aviation and travel tech accelerator program.

Already, the program has helped numerous start-ups to achieve international success in areas as diverse as B2B travel tech, cybersecurity, and aerospace components.

An Irish specialty

Ireland is the birthplace of duty-free shops and a leader in aircraft leasing. Today it is home to a collaborative ecosystem comprising over 100 travel tech companies. Brady says:

“Ireland’s culture places us in a unique position to address gaps in the travel tech industry. Our history of emigration and the fact that, as a small island we immediately think of the bigger, multinational market in business, gives us a particular approach to business and travel.”

Accelerators like Propeller Shannon are essential to this thriving industry. “A lot of travel techs start off as one-man bands,” says Brady, “and need support to develop and expand.”

The right-thinking

The travel industry is rapidly evolving, with new priorities and customer expectations. “Today’s customers expect something more tailored, more personalized,” says Brady. “They don’t want to be just another tourist; they want authenticity and a unique experience.”

The kind of thinking required for a successful start-up – innovative, resourceful and adaptable thinking — is now more essential than ever for travel businesses. He adds:

“The accelerator helps speed things up, so that companies aren’t making the same mistakes as those that went before them. It speeds up the learning so the whole sector benefits.”

Building connections

“For Countalytics, the main benefit of the program was industry contacts,” adds Hailey, “The Propeller team was able to introduce us to industry leaders from many of the top airlines in the world, access we would not have received without it”.

Last June, Propeller Shannon start-ups attended the Future Travel Experience show in Istanbul, which attracted its largest attendance in Europe to date. Airlines, airports, suppliers, start-ups, technology giants and disruptors gathered to discuss the future of the travel industry and explore solutions.

The event was a unique opportunity for Propeller Shannon participants to showcase their solutions. Ten Cohort 2 startups — Countalytics, Drone Consultants IrelandFlightbuddyNavifly, OneAire, SAR, Trift, TrustaBit, WalkABit, and Wanda — exhibited their products and services and had the opportunity to participate in a dedicated pitch session, followed by a discussion with a panel of high-level experts.

With events like this, Propeller Shannon is a chance for the start-ups, not only to learn but to showcase their solutions and connect with the right networks. Many of Hailey’s fellow cohort participants have now moved their companies to Ireland, “mainly because of their experience and the way the country embraces the start-up culture,” he says. No wonder, then, that the cycle of success continues.

To learn more about how Irish travel tech innovators can help you, contact John.Magill@enterprise-ireland.com or Maire.Walsh@enterprise-ireland.com.

Irish Government Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation attends launch in New York.

Prodigy Learning, the Dublin-headquartered multi-award-winning education technology (EdTech) business recently announced the opening of its US headquarters located in New York City. The news builds on the company’s recent announcement of its entry into the US education market with the launch of ‘Coding in Minecraft’ – a revolutionary new computer science curriculum, skills assessment and credentialing program developed by Prodigy Learning.

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business and the leading global provider of online examinations and testing, was announced in July as the distributor of ‘Coding in Minecraft’ initially in the United States and then through the 12,000 Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide.

With existing offices in Dublin, London and Sydney, the recent development adds to Prodigy Learning’s international footprint and provides a global platform in the fast-growing EdTech sector.

Commenting, Prodigy Learning CEO, Andrew Flood, said: “We are delighted to establish our US presence in New York with ‘boots on the ground’ to support our great US partner, Certiport, and customers in the region. The United States education market is a massive opportunity for us. The sheer scale of the US school-going population with over 56 million K-12 students and the growing demand for digital skills, including coding, presents a deep market for our education products, including ‘Coding in Minecraft’ which we have just launched in partnership with Certiport,” he said.

Mr. Flood added: “The technology sector is global and without frontiers. Skills requirements, particularly in computer science, are also shared. Our future as an Irish technology firm is built around growing our international customer base and driving export-led revenue growth, but all from our core Irish management and product development base. Over 70% of our revenue is export-driven with the UK our largest market. This international expansion allows us to further diversify our business in the face of significant market uncertainties closer to home, principally surrounding Brexit.”

This Monday, September 9th, the Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys aided Prodigy Learning at the launch of their US presence. At the event, Minister Humphries along with Kevin Shery, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, discussed the impressive success of Irish companies in the U.S and the support they have had from Enterprise Ireland.

“The United States is the second-largest individual export market for Enterprise Ireland-supported companies, highlighting the strength of our economic relationship,” said Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland. “As we continue to work hard to further strengthen this relationship, Enterprise Ireland’s strategy is geared toward encouraging an increased number of early-stage companies to the US as their first or core export market, while also assisting more established companies to increase their foothold in the States. We’re proud to support companies like Prodigy Learning that are showcasing the innovative, efficient ideas that are emerging from Ireland and changing the landscape for educational technology.”

In the past year two years alone Enterprise Ireland-supported companies opened 119 new offices in the U.S. Minister Heather Humphreys was in New York and Nashville this week engaging with key decision-makers in the healthcare, engineering and construction, agritech and ICT sectors to raise the profile of the innovative capabilities of Enterprise Ireland-supported companies and the world-class solutions they provide.

RelateCare is a healthcare communications consultancy and outsourcing organization providing patient access and engagement solutions to leading healthcare organizations around the world. In October, RelateCare will exhibit at Med in Ireland, a major international business event that gives visitors an opportunity to experience the future of the industry in a global medtech hub.  

RelateCare’s solutions improve patient access, communications and engagement for healthcare organizations by simplifying and streamlining the ways in which patients communicate with their provider before entering and after leaving the hospital. From appointment scheduling to revenue cycle and post-discharge follow-up programs, its solutions ensure patients get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

The company has over 380 employees across the US and Ireland, with an approximately 50/50 employment split between both countries. Its Irish headquarters also operates a best-in-class contact center in Waterford, Ireland and it opened a second world-class Patient Coordination Centre in Cleveland, Ohio in 2016, to complement its Irish facilities.

How RelateCare solves clients’ challenges

Many of the organizations that partner with RelateCare operate in fiercely competitive regional marketplaces and aim to differentiate themselves from local competition by providing exceptional patient access and communication solutions. The improvements RelateCare implements often result in immediate gains in appointments scheduled and patient satisfaction. Some changes are operational, for example, allowing phone calls to be answered in a timely manner. Other solutions are more strategic and long term, such as rolling out digital health and omnichannel patient communication strategies to drive efficiencies across an entire health system.

RelateCare’s success and track record in managing small, niche projects have often led it to be retained to provide further support and solutions. This includes working on a consultative basis, such as completing a diagnostic assessment of operation and then being engaged later to provide strategic outsourcing and remote support service management.

One notable project that followed this approach was with a large healthcare system in California. RelateCare initially supported the hospital’s appointment scheduling services, resulting in an 18% increase in scheduled appointments, thanks to process improvements and strategic investments in technology and people. The strength of this partnership has evolved to see RelateCare become a service provider of choice for other areas and requirements.

Meet RelateCare at Med in Ireland

RelateCare has attended Med in Ireland, an event organized by Enterprise Ireland – the trade and innovation agency – several times, and sees it as a must-attend event for those interested in the innovative healthcare technology solutions emerging from Ireland.

Conor O’Byrne, CEO, advises “We use Med in Ireland as the focal point for a number of client relationship events. We invite many of our US-based and international clients to Ireland for Med in Ireland to showcase what the country has to offer in medtech services and to bring them to our offices to introduce them to Irish culture.

The Med in Ireland team has always supported us in this initiative. It is great to show our clients how Ireland is at the cutting edge when it comes to healthcare technology. It demonstrates that we are part of a greater ecosystem of healthcare technology and services that can support their mission. We also view it as an opportunity to introduce other Irish organizations to our international buyers to explore synergies that exist.”

RelateCare believes the main value of Med in Ireland lies in the networking opportunities it creates. The caliber of speakers, opinion leaders and exhibitors is always extremely high, including representatives from the biggest and most innovative healthcare systems in the world. This provides an invaluable opportunity to learn from peers who are setting trends for the future of healthcare delivery, helping attendees ensure they have a finger on the pulse of what is coming down the line.

RelateCare also values the opportunity Med in Ireland presents to participate in one-to-one meetings, enabling the company to meet key decision-makers, and to understand the precise nature of their challenges and the problems they face. The company uses the opportunity to discuss tailored solutions to the challenges of these potential partners.

While many industry events are so big that it becomes difficult to find relevant contacts, Med in Ireland’s invite-only system guarantees quality exposure to leaders and decision-makers in global healthcare.

Conor O’Byrne advises those considering attending Med in Ireland to: “Take time to focus on and think about your patient access and patient communication operations. Often these can be left low down the priority list. This is understandable when there are so many competing issues for attention. We urge healthcare leaders to realize that the healthcare contact center and patient communication operations of your health system are essential to delivering an excellent patient experience.

If you are about to embark on a journey of evolving how you communicate with your patients, please talk to us.”

Register your interest in attending Med in Ireland.

Popular in Ireland and the UK, Surf Accounts to officially launch cloud-based bookkeeping solution in the U.S.

Surf Accounts is a cloud-based bookkeeping solution built by CPAs and bookkeepers to automate 90 percent of their bookkeeping tasks. The subscription-based platform (starting as low as $5.95 a month) offers a wide range of features as standard including unlimited transactions, bank statement OCR, 1099s, inventory, CRM and much more.

Surf Accounts recently opened offices in both New York and Los Angeles and will be exhibiting at Accountex 2019 to officially launch into the U.S. market. The solution will help CPAs and bookkeepers to experience the same benefits that have seen firms in Ireland and the UK thrive with the adoption of Surf Accounts.

“We are excited to be attending Accountex in Boston with our new U.S. team. We have been working on our U.S. solution for a number of years and we have everything in place to expand into the market,” said Surf Accounts CEO Ray Rogers. “We work closely with CPAs and bookkeepers to increase efficiencies and reduce time and costs for their clients — we are beyond excited to set up business across the Atlantic.”

In an extremely competitive market, Surf Accounts has experienced growth of over 340 percent in 2019, as they aim to help streamline processes for firms around the globe. With over 25,000 users, serviced by over 120 staff on three continents, the company’s mission is to help CPAs and bookkeepers automate their data entry so that they can save significant time and increase profitability.

“Surf Accounts is another example of an innovative Irish company delivering leading-edge technology to the global accounting services industry,” said Paul Burfield, SVP, Head of Western United StatesEnterprise Ireland. “The industry is rapidly migrating towards the cloud and the Surf Accounts platform is ideally positioned to capitalize on this trend. We are delighted to support Surf Accounts as they expand into the US market.”

Following a hugely successful period of growth, Surf Accounts has recently agreed to a deal on a new 10,000+ square-foot headquarters facility in Dublin, Ireland. The new space will enable Surf Accounts to successfully service all their growing markets.

They will be on-site at Accountex, September 5 & 6, located at booth #526.

Surf Accounts works with Enterprise Ireland, the Irish State agency that partners with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate, and win export sales in global markets.