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The RDC's Winter 2011 edition of the Link Magazine

The RDC's Winter 2011 edition of the Link Magazine

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  • 1. Regional Development Centre & Research Officethe linkIonad Forbartha Réigiúnach & Oifig Taighde Issue Nine winter 2011 Newgrange: What lies beneath Exit Strategy: Success Through Succession Renewable Energy: The future begins nowWhere Research & Innovation Meets Enterprise
  • 2. Réamhrá / Foreword Ag druidim dúinn ar dheireadh na bliana agus sinn ag tnúth leis As we approach the end of one year and look forward to the an mbliain seo chugainn, tá mothú cinnte dóchais i DkIT. Ní raibh next, there is a definite sense of optimism at DkIT. Enterprise forbairt fiontair, agus freisin naisc níos dlúithe a chruthú idir lucht development and forging closer links between academia and acadúil agus lucht gnó, riamh chomh tábhachtach don tír. Leis an business has never been more important for the country. With Institiúid suite i ngach ceann de na réimsí sin, tá 2012 geallta a the Institute embedded in all of these areas, 2012 promises to be bheith spreagúil agus torthúil. exciting and fruitful. Is é ár bhfócas san dá mhí déag romhainn ná forbairt fiontair, Our focus over the next twelve months is enterprise development, nuálaíocht, T&F agus tráchtálú taighde, mar iarracht ar an réigiún a innovation, R&D and the commercialisation of research in our effort dhéanamh iomaíoch agus láidir. to make the region competitive and strong. Tá an sórt sin oibre T&F á dhéanamh ag Ionad um Fhuinneamh The Centre for Renewable Energy at DkIT (CREDIT) is doing such In-athnuaite i DkIT (CREDIT). De réir mar a thránn ár n-acmhainní R&D work. As our natural resources begin to ebb the only logical nádúrtha, is é an t-aon chéim loighciúil ná gach iarracht a step is to put our efforts into developing renewable and sustainable dhéanamh ar mhodhanna ghinúint fuinnimh a fhorbairt atá in- methods of generating energy. Ireland can be a major world player athnuaite agus inbhuanaithe. Is féidir le hÉirinn bheith ina imreoir in this field and CREDIT is certainly playing its part in pushing this domhanda sa réimse seo agus tá CREDIT go cinnte ag déanamh a country’s profile upwards as it plays a key role in Ireland’s transition chuid chun próifíl na tíre a bhrú in airde agus ról lárnach á imirt le to renewable energy. linn trasdul na hÉireann i dtreo fuinnimh in-athnuaite. The Success Through Succession (STS) programme is another Is tionscnamh eile é clár Rath Trí Chomharbas (STS), dírithe ar initiative aimed at assisting and coaching businesses, all family- chabhrú le gnólachtaí, atá uile faoi úinéaracht clainne, leanúint ag owned, to keep on operating successfully as the reins are passed feidhmiú go rathúil le linn stiúir ag dul ó ghlúin go chéile. Le mórán from one generation to another. With many family businesses gnólachtaí clainne ag dul faoi i láthair na huaire, is féidir leis an going under at the moment, the STS programme can guide gclár STS cuideachtaí a threorú thar fhadhbanna comharbais agus companies through the pitfalls of succession and help to keep the cuidiú leo leis an ngnó a choimeád beo. business alive. I measc na bpríomhtheachtaireachtaí i dtuarascálacha le déanaí, ar Entrepreneurship and its effect on the economy and the nós Hunt agus an Geilleagar Cliste, bhí fiontraíocht agus a tionchar intertwining of academia and industry were key messages that ar an ngeilleagar agus sníomh réimse acadúil le réimse gnó. Le 21 spun out of recent reports such as Hunt and the Smart Economy. bliain anuas tá an tIonad Forbartha Réigiúnach (RDC) ag tacú le For 21 years the Regional Development Centre (RDC) has been fiontraithe, trí mheán a chlár cothaithe agus trí cabhrú leo teacht ar supporting entrepreneurs, through its incubation programme and shaineolas T&F ar an gcampas. Tá mórán cúiseanna le go dtagann helping them to access R&D expertise on campus. Entrepreneurs fiontraithe chuig an RDC agus in eagrán seo The Link buailimid le turn to the RDC for many reasons and in this edition of The Link we roinnt de na fiontraithe agus cuirimid aithne ar a gcúiseanna. meet some of those entrepreneurs and discover their reasons. Is léir go bhfuil éifeachtaí dearfacha tráchtála ag iarrachtaí DkIT, Clearly, DkIT’s efforts with research and enterprise is having positive i dtaca le taighde agus fiontair, ar na cuideachtaí lena oibríonn commercial effects on the companies it works with, which in turn sí, rud a chuireann go mór le toradh eacnamaíochta. Agus ag boosts economic return. With that in mind, 2012 promises to be meabhrú ar an méid sin, tá 2012 geallta a bheith ina bhliain an- a very good year for the RDC at DkIT and The Link will keep you mhaith ag an RDC i DkIT agus beidh The Link ag coimeád ar an informed each step of the way. eolas tú gach céim den bhealach. Finally, we’d like to wish our readers a very merry, peaceful Mar fhocal scoir, ba mhaith linn Nollaig shona, shíochánta agus Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year. Ath-Bhliain faoi shéan agus faoi mhaise a ghuí ar ár léitheoirí. We hope you enjoy this edition of The Link. If you have any Tá súil again go mbaineann tú taitneamh as eagrán seo Link. Má comments or suggestions regarding content, or would like to be tá tuairimí nó moltaí agat faoin ábhar, nó más mian leat bheith ar included on the mailing list, please email liosta na seoltaí, cuir rphost led thoil chuig anne.tinnelly@dkit.ie. anne.tinnelly@dkit.ie. Irene McCausland, External Services Manager, RDC Irene McCausland, Bainisteoir Seirbhísí Seachtracha,IFR Dr Tim McCormac, Head of Research, DkIT Dr Tim McCormac, Ceannasaí Taighde, ITDD  Cover Photo “New Dawn Rising” light enters the passage and chamber of Newgrange at dawn on the winter solstice. Photo by Newsfile. The Regional Development Centre (RDC) is a centre to promote innovation, technology transfer and enterprise in the wider region and is based on the DkIT Campus.RESEARCH Great care has been taken to ensure that this information is accurate, but the Regional Development Centre, including its subsidiaries does not accept responsibility or liability for errors or information which is found to be misleading. Regional Development Centre Dublin Road Dundalk Co Louth Written & edited by Eamon McGrane T +353 42 9370400 F +353 42 9370499 T + 353 86 8343053 W www.rdc.ie E info@rdc.ie 2 LINK Issue 9
  • 3. ENTERPRISE 3 LINK Issue 9Get ready! Get support! Go!It has been a busy fewmonths for participants on Student to Peter Carroll was a student in DkIT and president of DkIT’s Surf Society when hethe Novation Enterprise Entrepreneur asked the question “Why is there no major Irish surf brand serving cold water surfers?”Platform Programme. His second question “How can I create one?” led him to the RDC. With some funding fromIt’s no exaggeration to say that the Student Innovation Fund,the past few months have been provided to DkIT students by Dundalkparticularly busy on the Novation Credit Union, he conducted a feasibilityprogramme. We’ve had product study. The results were encouraging and withand business launches, Seedcorn a realisation that he had to work onCompetition finals to prepare for, his business acumen he applied for theTV programme schedules to adhere NEPP programme. Just over 15 monthsto along with other business issues have passed and Carroll is now awaitingto attend to such as suppliers to be delivery of his first range of productsselected, clients to be supported and designed for cold water surfers. With asales to be won. Yes, it has been busy! comprehensive range of innovative products in the pipeline, Mara Surf is well poised forSince the last edition of The Link the  Mara Irish Surf growth in home and international marketscollaboration between DkIT and DCU w www.marasurf.ie over the coming years.on the NEPP programme has grownstronger with participants benefitingfrom the wide range of supports onoffer from both campuses. Serial When John Delany first approached theThis year has seen participants avail of RDC for support for his latest venture itEnterprise Ireland supports at almost Entrepreneur was hard to refuse. Experienced he mostevery level: Innovation Vouchers, certainly was but even experience needsFeasibility Study Grants, CORD support to flourish. The NEPP programmeGrants and we expect at least one provided Delany with focus, access toInnovation Partnership agreement expertise resident in DkIT’s research centresto be signed in the coming months and a sounding board along each step ofas well as match funding under the the journey to producing an investor-readyHPSU scheme. business plan.We’ve also seen our first student A fruitful few months has seen the Orielentrepreneur (Peter Carroll–Mara Sea Salt company win the regional final ofSurf) take his idea from the napkin to InterTrade Ireland’s Seedcorn competitionthe marketplace and he has recently in the Leinster Connaught Region with thebeen approved for incubation in the  John Delany Founder Oriel Sea national finals taking place at the end ofRegional Development Centre (RDC). Salt Co. November.The job of supporting entrepreneursfrom diverse backgrounds and arange of sectors is a challenging oneand the programme has evolved to First Time Sarah Jane Lynch is currently on the 2011/12provide a comprehensive suite ofsupports to meet each individual’s Entrepreneur NEPP. She joined with a product that was well defined, specified and near to market.needs as the following case studies Lynch had the business destination identifiedillustrate. but needed the support and the plan to get there.For further information or to applyfor the Novation Enterprise Platform A very polished pitch has seen the DesignProgramme and other Enterprise Basket receive CORD funding fromSupport Programmes available from Enterprise Ireland and also an appearancethe RDC please email garrett.duffy@ on RTÉ’s “Local Heros-A Town Fights Back”dkit.ie or call 042 9370400 programme where Lynch has benefited from additional mentoring from Jerry Kennelly. The Design Basket was launched in November and over the coming months  Sarah Jane Lynch The Design Basket Lynch aims to use the programme supports w www.designbasket.com to secure round one investment.
  • 4. international and local companies in Northern Ireland to improve their manufacturing processes and increase their bottom line. He presented a case study from Rapid Engineering Ltd one of the companies he has worked with recently. Kieran Fegan ICE programme manager commented, “It is important to put processes in place to identify, capture or generate and effectively assess ideas so that those with potential can be implemented effectively.” ICE Group Innovation ICE has received approximately €2.49 million of support under the EU’s INTERREG IVA programme, with Workshop assistance from Scottish Enterprise and is spearheaded by Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT). Representing a truly collaborative approach, DkIT is The Innovation for Competitive The workshop was practical and implementing the project alongside Enterprises (ICE) programme has interactive and there was an the University of Ulster, the University recruited its second cohort of 31 opportunity to put the theory into of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian, companies and will be working with practice through a group exercise University. these businesses to enhance their where some owner-managers innovation capability through the presented their own real business ICE is designed to enhance the intensive twelve month ‘learning by issues. Meanwhile, others carried on innovation capacity of local businesses doing’ programme. brainstorming in addition to creating through an intensive twelve month and evaluating ideas on the issues and ‘learning by doing’ programme. The The companies were brought together offering potentials solutions. These three year project will enable 90 for a first Group Innovation Workshop solutions were also assessed through companies participating to develop new which was held on 26 October 2011 an ideas assessment toolkit. business models, products and services. in the Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown, Northern Ireland. The theme of this The day closed with some real live For further information on ICE contact first workshop was ‘Ideas in Business’ case studies presented by Professor the Regional Development Centre at – this looked at how to introduce Dennis McKeag former Professor DkIT on t +353 42 9370425 or contact creativity into a business, capturing of product development at the Kieran Fegan directly on +353 87 ideas from employees and customers University of Ulster. For over 20 years 4174681. The ICE website can be found and assessing and evaluating new Professor McKeag has been helping at www.iceprogramme.com ideas before preparing the roadmap. Microtech grows its business thanks to ICE Microtech Support is a professional IT Microtech Support can offer customised concepts and products that will be support and maintenance company based support solutions for small and large eligible for support funding in the in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, in the west of companies from installing applications, areas of innovation Scotland. Founded in 1986 Microtech networking and security to total cover • The pursuit of Scottish enterprise serves a wide range of clients in the private maintenance. investment to support the company’s and public sectors. expansion activity The Innovation for Competitive Enterprises • The technology transfer of an Irish Microtech Support has experienced (ICE) programme has been supporting software product from Galway-based significant growth in the last few years to Microtech over a 12-month period in company Retail Solutions to be used become one of the largest companies in the area of innovation management. by Microtech as a foundation solution its field. This process has led to a number of for the retail sector in Britain. key changes and developments within • A legacy of knowledge and skills so It is the sole Scottish distributor of the Microtech. that these innovation activities are document management system DocMan. repeatable by the company And it has now installed and currently These include: supports this software in over 1,000 GP • The creation of a marketing function to The company now has a platform toENTERPRISE practices. In addition to this Microtech also foster growth activities develop and market its own added value provides IT support services to 10 of the • The gradual transition of Microtech software concepts and has positioned 15 health boards throughout Scotland. from being a software provider to itself so that it is now eligible for support The company’s expansion has led to heavy becoming a software developer, which funding and investment. It has also seen investment in support facilities and staff is adding and creating more value for the benefit of partnering with other and they now have over 15 field engineers the company developers and technology providers to who can attend sites throughout Scotland. • The development of emergent software meet its customer needs. 4 LINK Issue 9
  • 5. ENTERPRISE 5 LINK Issue 9Launch of ICE overview of ICE and highlighted how it is helping SMEs from across the region become more innovative by developing new and improved products, services, processesbenchmarking survey and business models. Michel Fitzpatrick, business development manager of Newry based ICE participant company FM Environmental Ltd said how innovation and business partnering has been instrumental in helping a 21st century business succeed internationally. Michel also talked about how his company is benefiting from ICE support and how the programme is helping the company become more innovative. Speaking at the launch Fegan stated “ICE is designed to enhance the innovation capacity of local SMEs through an intensive practical twelve month ‘learning by doing’ programme. The three year project will enable 90 SME company participants to develop new and improved business models, products and services. The ICE Innovation Benchmarking Report validates the need for the unique approach being adopted by ICE which is currently helping SMEs from across the regions become more (L-R) Tim Brundle, University of Ulster, Jonathan Bell Northern Ireland Junior MinisterOFMDFM, Report Author Professor Richard Harris University of Glasgow and Kieran Fegan innovative”ICE Programme Manager Dundalk Institute of Technology. ICE has received approximately €2.49 million of support under the INTERREG IVAJonathan Bell, Northern Ireland Junior shows that companies who innovate Programme, with assistance from ScottishMinister at the Office of the First Minister are much more likely to have higher Enterprise; the partnership is spearheadedand deputy First Minister, launched the ICE productivity, and that this leads to greater by Dundalk Institute of Technology.(Innovation for Competitive Enterprises) prospects for long term growth and Representing a truly collaborativeproject Innovation Benchmarking Survey survival”. approach, Dundalk Institute of TechnologyReport recently at the University of Ulster’s is implementing the project alongsideBelfast campus. “This report provides further confirmation the University of Ulster, the University that certain company-level characteristics of Glasgow and Glasgow CaledonianICE, a project funded by the European (such as size, selling to international University.Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, is markets, adopting a culture based ondesigned to enhance the innovation ‘product design’, as the most important Welcoming the report, Howard Keery, acapacity of local small to medium sized factors in determining competitiveness) are director of the Special EU Programmesenterprises (SMEs) through an intensive clearly important in determining whether Body, said: “This EU funded report istwelve month ‘learning by doing’ to invest in innovation-related activities.” a useful barometer in gaining a betterprogramme. The three-year project is The report’s findings are available to understanding of the value that ourenabling 90 SME company participants download at www.iceprogramme.com/ businesses place on innovation. It highlightsto develop new and improved business research-and-publications the pressing need for the private sector,models, products and services. on a cross-border basis, to fully embrace At the launch, Kieran Fegan (ICE innovative working practices and productA core part of the programme for the programme manager) provided an development.”partners, involved carrying out a survey ofa representative sample of 200 companiesfrom each of the INTERREG eligible regionsof Northern Ireland, the border region ofIreland and western Scotland. MacCausland External Services Manager, DkIT.Six hundred and six companies weresurveyed. Professor Richard Harris of the Mr John Simpson, Economist and Ms IreneUniversity of Glasgow compiled, analysedand detailed the results in an extensivereport. This information has been endorsedby European Commissioner for Research,Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.Professor Harris gave an overview of thereport at the event and said, “Evidencefrom academics and businesses alike clearly
  • 6. Exit Strategy: ‘success through succession’ programme reaches a milestone The ‘Success Through Succession’ (STS) and has concluded its first group of hosted a tri-regional meet and greet event programme is a three-year course with companies while starting a second group for the participant companies at Stormont total project funding of €1.74m and is a on the STS journey. To date ten companies Hotel Belfast during October 2011. collaborative partnership between Dundalk across the six southern border counties This two-day event offered interactive Institute of Technology (DkIT), Glasgow from sectors including engineering, workshop sessions, keynote speakers and Caledonian University and led by the medical devices, construction, crafts, and networking opportunities for participating University of Ulster. It aims to strategically transport have been successfully brought businesses throughout the three regions of assist family-owned SMEs throughout through Cohort I of the STS programme. Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Northern Ireland, the six border counties and the West of Scotland to manage the Throughout their journey each company Eleven companies from Ireland, eight from challenges of succession using a series of has been supported in their succession Scotland and six from Northern Ireland interventions. planning with intervention mechanisms attended the event with a total of 54 that have included one-to-one mentoring delegates and a generous mix of both The findings of the STS programme concur and consultation and group activities, senior and younger generation from each with the generally accepted notion that such as themed workshops and training of the companies. Commenting on the poor attention is given to succession seminars. In conjunction with the STS significance of the STS programme Aidan planning within the majority of family team each participant company of Cohort Browne, project manager for STS Ireland business SMEs in Ireland. It also underpins I has developed and documented bespoke said, “The programme has a significant the value of adopting a psychology-based succession plans that provide a framework consequence not just for family businesses enterprise support and intervention and action plan to realise their family but for the economy as a whole. approach in order to identify solutions and business succession goals. options to the challenges faced by family “If we consider that family-owned SMEs. businesses make up the majority (estimated at over 65%) of the SME sector The programme adopts an intervention STS Cohort II in Ireland and yet statistics show that only Following a robust recruitment drive methodology that couples a psychological 30% make the transition to the second twelve companies were accepted onto approach with legal, financial, tax and generation successfully, while only 10% the Cohort II of the STS programme. The general business mentoring, advice and make it through to the third generation.’ sectors Cohort II companies are from support; and does it in an integrated way. range in diversity to include retail, textiles, For further information see www.Enterprise arts and crafts, construction, light and This approach emphasises the role of successthroughsuccession.com where heavy engineering, memorials, ground the founder, the perspectives of the next the STS Workbook and other pertinent drilling, and hospitality. generation and the remit of the family information can be accessed by both the to realise their succession plan in an participant companies and other family In conjunction with our project partners, optimal manner and delves into a multi- owned businesses. University of Ulster and Glasgow level analysis of the business. The STS Caledonian University, the STS programme programme has now reached a milestone And/or contact Aidan Browne, STS Project Manager for Ireland on +353 42 9327455 6 LINK Issue 9
  • 7. ENTERPRISE 7 LINK Issue 9 Other comments STS Programme Testimonial from STS“ mentoring and coaching we received participants “ We started our business in 1995 and from all aspects of our business was grew it to a level where we set up second to none. The STS programme opened a high frequency commuter service between Dundalk, Drogheda and Dublin.“ Unfortunately the company structures “Ok, we have a long way to go, but at least now there are direction indicators leading us in the right direction and we have a plan. It takes communication channels for us. The workshops were interesting and enjoyable with the ones targeted at the younger “ generation particularly helpful. did not take off as quickly as the a lot of commitment and dedication “ service, and for many years we have to follow through on the plan, but been playing catch up. step by step we are getting there. It was helpful from the point that Day by day as I see the changes the best expertise was available to “I was interested in succession occurring, it makes me wonder us at all times to guide us on all planning and attended the STS launch what would be the result if I had and had no idea what lay in store for me. I had a nice business, profitable and growing but no structure. It never heard of STS. So as I watch the structures being put in place and the whole jig-saw coming together I experience as we met people who had gone through the succession “ issues. It was also a very enjoyable in a very smooth way, allowing us would be a nightmare for anyone to consider taking it over. I with my sons “ can relax in the knowledge that the company my family and I created will to realise the benefit of STS. “ Noel and Paddy Jnr attended all the carry on into the future and continue different sessions and found them all very educational. Through dialogue with the STS team, we identified weaknesses in our organisation. It to create secure employment for my workers and their families, as I plan my retirement. “ I wouldn’t have known where I was if it wasn’t for the programme. . . it was a great help was no problem finding the cracks, to me. “ “ Paddy Matthews Snr but the key was the STS program Matthews Coaches had the tools to fix the cracks. The I found it invaluable. . . our company has changed as a result. “  Hopes and Concerns workshop for the Business Successors . . . without the STS programme we would have been lost and the “ company would not have survived into the future because the family, the business, the staff and I were not prepared for the succession “ challenge. “ . . . everything discussed was very “ relevant and helpful. “ . . . it was fantastic, I learned new things. “ “ It gave us great direction. . . we weren’t sure how to go about “ succession before STS. “ Meeting people with similar hopes and fears. . . “ “ Meeting up with other families and sharing views and experiences. Being able to talk openly about the challenges ahead. “ “ . . . identification of common issues during the breakout discussions.
  • 8. Incubation: A journey not a Diaceutics – The latest business destination to commence The nature and scale of incubation has come a long way since the RDC was first established in 1989. So trading in what are the trends, developments and the likely the RDC future of this important campus-based activity? Diaceutics is a highly focused business The main focus of the Regional Also required is an endless supply consulting and software application Development Centre (RDC) since its of energy and determination, not firm specialising in personalised establishment over 21 years ago has to mention resilience in the face of medicine for the world’s leading been to enable technology entrepreneurs adversity. “I always have concerns when pharmaceutical companies. to get up and running and in particular the promoter is attempting to develop to support their early stage efforts to the perfect mouse trap and is reluctant to The company is led by Belfast-born develop a viable product and secure show an early prototype to a prospective entrepreneur Peter Keeling who, after that all-important first customer. The buyer – often out of a fear of rejection. 26 years in the pharmaceutical industry, centre went through a major expansion If the need is for cats and not mouse has built and run companies in the US, in 2005 and in the same year opened a traps it is better to know this as soon as Europe and Asia. satellite incubation centre at Millmount, possible rather than when the ‘kitty’ (pun Drogheda. Over the past 10 years intended) is almost empty,” said Mac Founded in 2005, Diaceutics’ mission over 30 companies have successfully Entee. is to improve overall return on graduated from both centres – having investment in personalised medicine by completed a three year residency here. The RDC has had a notable track record, providing pharmaceutical development During their time in incubation, most of especially over the past 10 years in teams the personalised medicine them benefited from participation on the helping to establish many well-known specific knowledge, evidence, tools Novation Enterprise Platform Programme and successful companies such as and operational structure to effectively which to date has supported a total of Digiweb, Redmere Techologies, Brandt commercialise and successfully launch 110 entrepreneurs. Furthermore, many Technologies, Mobium, Barracuda Fx, targeted therapies. It currently employs have benefited from links to DkIT’s BlueAcre Technology, Armac Systems , around 20 leading experts in various diverse research and development Movidius, Oriel Windfarm, Vennetics, locations across the globe. capability through innovation vouchers, Mcor Technology etc. Indeed the RDC innovation partnerships and other has also had a strong involvement with Speaking about the establishment of collaborative arrangements. InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Competition its new software development centre boasting regional winners in seven of in the RDC, Peter Keeling said: “To The concept of incubation is often each of the last eight years; with four integrate and accelerate personalised misunderstood. Many people mistakenly of these regional winners going on medicine planning within our pharma see it as a place (incubator) when in fact to land the overall prize of €100,000. clients we have developed and recently it is a process (incubation). The key to Total winnings to date are estimated at launched an expert, content based, IT effective incubation lies in the provision €500,000. platform called Diaceutics Fusion. of soft supports to entrepreneurs and embryonic ventures. These supports can Finally, there is evidence to suggest “This is already being installed with be mentoring, networking, technical that research centres such as Casala two leading pharma companies. To advice, sign-posting, validation or a (Independent Living) are beginning to continue to evolve the IT platform combination of several of these. act as a magnet for would-be enterprises and expert content we are delighted Experience has shown that the most and commercial activity related to Ageing to open an office within the Regional successful incubated companies see in Place as well as Seniors Technology. It Development Centre. This will be the themselves as continuous learners, always is expected that as entrepreneurs begin new base of an IT and innovation team, looking for information which will lead to realise the scale and potential of this with plans to grow the team from to greater insights and better solutions emerging market. New ventures will three to 20 people over the next few to customer challenges. Sean Mac Entee, be established and several of these will years.ENTERPRISE Incubation Centre manager since 2004 want to locate as close as possible to the says, “The one personal trait that sets the facilities and research capabilities offered “We hope to use our base in Dundalk really successful entrepreneurs apart from by Casala –and similar ‘close to market ‘ to link with academic and commercial the mainstream is a sense of curiosity research centres at DkIT. enterprises across the island to more along with an innate ability to identify a actively develop the expert content for customer need.” Diaceutics Fusion.” 8 LINK Issue 9
  • 9. ENTERPRISE 9 LINK Issue 8Hanley Energy celebrates one year in businessEstablished by Clive Gilmore and Denis Nordon in 2010, Millmount-based Hanley Energy has made major strides in its first year inbusiness. With the aim of assisting companies to become more energy aware and efficient, the company’s customer list is indeedimpressive. Names such as Baxter Healthcare, Glanbia, Hollister, Largo Foods, CRH, Leo Pharma, and Alcan Packaging all suggestedthat Hanley Energy has truly found its niche in what is often a crowded and confusing marketplace.Denis Nordon said ‘We provide energy metrics and in some cases control of energy consumption through customised automationand building energy management systems (BEMs). Our energy monitoring system now forms an integral part of a company’s “EN16001/ISO5000 energy management system.”With sales turnover of almost €1million in year one, the company has very quicklybecome an established player in the energy management sector. Clive Gilmore added We hope to forge “ closer links with DkIT“We have recently started working in the UK providing intelligent monitoring and in the future.control systems for social housing schemes. We have also been shortlisted for a major Denis Nordonproject in the medical care sector and hope to start on this in January 2012.”“Millmount has been good for us,” said Nordon. “We are surrounded by like-minded professionals. We have also benefited from theadvice given by the centre manager. We hope to forge closer links with DkIT in the future.”Louet Woods has designs on innovative products with an established route to market. Large distributors such as Draper Tools, Boots, Home Depot, QuinnCo and so on are always seeking innovative and exclusive products to add to their product range but do not have the design or engineering capabilities to do this. LWP provides these new products from concept to production. Examples of new products they are currently introducing to distributors are golf training aids, digital touch screen hand sanitisers, holographic point of sale displays for the beverage market, digital medical vaporisers, dog grooming  Darren Louet Louet Woods Products products and numerous DIY products. It takes years to get a product from concept to market and only five perThe story of Louet Woods Products in the market for bringing products cent will make it, but if however youbegan ten years ago; Ronan Woods from design through production and to have a good team to focus on R&D andstarted work in China for RT Sourcing. market. LWP started designing battery marketing then this percentage willThere he gained valuable engineering powered soldering irons and their gas improve significantly. and manufacturing experience, as well powered vaporisers in 2007. The uniqueas building relationships with many design of the soldering iron interested LWP has two design and engineeringsuppliers. Draper Tools (A key tool distributor in staff in Ireland, one sales and logistics Britain and Europe) and they invited LWP staff in the USA and four engineeringDarren Louet graduated from NCAD in to supply them and to expand the battery and merchandising staff in China. Seeproduct design in 1999, and worked as a powered soldering iron into a range to be www.sourcingproductdesign.com/product designer in the UK and Australia distributed under the Draper Brand in theon major brands such as P&G. Louet UK and Ireland. Draper Tools also opened Finally LWP has a new dog groomingreturned to Ireland in 2006 and started the doors to other distributors in Asian product finishing its first 1,00 unitworking as a freelance product designer. and US markets for LWP products. production run mid November 2011. This product will hit the US, UK andIn 2007 they formed Louet Woods LWP’s ambition is to develop and Irish markets early 2012. http://Products Limited. They identified a gap supply its own products to distributors thegroomingkennel.com/
  • 10. Renewable energy – the future begins now As our planet begins to run out often located in difficult to access places deployment of technologies which can of its natural resources, Dr Niall and they usually belong to somebody access fragmented gas supplies remain else. This is what people mean when they poorly understood. McMahon, director of the Centre talk about security of supply: we don’t for Renewable Energy at DkIT, own it and it’s hard to get. These are the main difficulties facing asks what now? And where does energy planners: finite resources, Ireland fit in? Another, most serious, difficulty is security of supply, climate change and carbon dioxide. Burning fuel releases environmental damage. The underlying On earth we have a limited supply of it; fossil fuels are essentially stores of need is to do better, to make the world fossil fuels. These fuels have been formed carbon dioxide, among other things. a better place. One solution, which we over tens of millions of years from dead It’s been shown to be true that world believe to be the answer, is to power the organisms. It’s not hard to imagine that temperatures increase with carbon world using only renewable energy. such fuels can’t last forever. At the same dioxide concentration and, also, time, much of the world’s electricity and that carbon dioxide concentration is Renewable energy sources are indefinitely heat is obtained from burning coal, oil increasing as a result of human industrial renewable, for all practical purposes. and gas. Nuclear energy sources are finite activity. While actually finite, the sun’s energy is, as well. Clearly, we have a problem. practically, infinite from a contemporary What exactly increasing carbon dioxide human perspective. As Lawrence Staudt, the founding and global temperatures mean for the director of CREDIT (Centre for Renewable future is unknown. Yet, at the very least, At time of writing, it is possible to say Energy at Dundalk IT) put it, “We live this uncertainty about the future effects that a transition to renewable energy in a time that is unique in many ways. of this global warming forces us to think will almost certainly happen; there are One thing our distant descendants will carefully about what we’re doing. As a no sensible alternatives. When exactly, is wonder about is what it was like to live first step, we must stop releasing stored another matter.RESEARCH during that brief period of human history carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. when fossil fuels were available.” Finally, our environment suffers, often, Ireland has abundant renewable energy as a result of accessing the Earth’s fossil sources: primarily from wind, biomass, To compound the difficulty, fuels. Currently in the news, the effects water and the sun. Yet Ireland needs contemporary fossil-fuel supplies are of the relatively recent, and rapid, energy research and teaching, now10 LINK Issue 9
  • 11. RESEARCH 11 LINK Issue 9 in savings. The turbine has become a until appointment as project manager symbol of modern Dundalk. It is the first to CREDIT in 2006. He holds a Ph.D. urban turbine in Ireland and we hope in physical chemistry from UCD. His that many Irish towns will follow this research interests include energy example, sourcing energy locally. extraction from marine algae and he leads our component of the BioMara Since 2009, the centre has operated the project. world’s first electricity storage system of its kind coupled to a large, stand-alone, Raymond Byrne joined the Centre in wind turbine. Funded by Enterprise 2005. After working in industry in Ireland, the system’s core is a flow battery Ireland and overseas, he completed a rated at 125kW and 500kWh. It was M.Sc. in renewable energy systems from installed primarily as a research platform. Loughborough University in England. He Dr Paul MacArtain, Dr Niall McMahonand Mr Ray Byrne of CREDIT This year, CREDIT, together with IWEA, holds a degree in applied physics and Wind Skillnet and corporate sponsors, electronics from NUIG. delivered Europe’s first KidWind teacher-more than ever. Academic research is training course. The American KidWind Byrne is interested in electricity storagebound up with teaching and with future programme trains teachers to teach their for large, stand-alone, wind turbinestechnological capability. Good researchers own students about wind energy and to and is responsible for the flow batterywill often be good teachers. And good understand wind development. and managed its installation. He’s also inteachers are required to train good In addition to wind energy and electricity charge of the operation of the large windengineers and other employees. With storage, the centre’s research interests turbine.well-educated workers and an excellent also include biomass energy and oceanrenewable resource, Ireland can capitalise energy. Byrne represents Ireland to themore than superficially from its natural International Energy Agency’s small windresources. CREDIT, was established to As an example, CREDIT is one of six turbine standards task group as wellassist Ireland’s coming transition to this partners that make up the BioMara as to the International Electrotechnicalrenewable energy-based future. project, a European-funded collaboration Commission’s small wind standards investigating the development of development committee. This work isThere’s an often discussed gap between sustainable fuels from marine biomass critical for the small wind industry inthe work of academia and industry ‑ (such as algae). We have four staff Ireland and abroad.work that’s too applied for academics members dedicated to researching routesbut too academic for many companies to biogas and bio ethanol from these Our people are everything. We areto undertake profitably. Applied research organisms. This work involves mapping actively encouraging enthusiasticis a broad term that can be used to the marine biomass available around academics throughout the institute todescribe this missing work. Irish, Northern Irish and Scottish coasts; take part and work with us. the Scottish Association for MarineIn the United States and elsewhere, Science in Scotland coordinates the Ireland requires high quality renewablevarious organisations fill the gap ‑ the overall project. energy research. Apart from the intrinsicnational laboratories, start-up companies value of research to a society, this isand autonomous industrial research and Earlier this year, I was appointed to clearly important at both nationaldevelopment teams are all on a spectrum take over as director of the centre. One and international scales. Researchbridging academia and industry. of my first decisions was to formally supports the teaching of new engineers create a joint management team with and scientists, it underpin futureAt the academic end of this gap is Paul MacArtain and Raymond Byrne. technological development and enableswhere CREDIT works in Ireland. CREDIT Practically, this means that the three of us effective representation on internationalis an applied research centre but with manage CREDIT on a day-to-day basis. committees. In the end, the effects ofa significant teaching and training In the recent past, I’ve worked as the good research work and teaching willcomponent. senior mechanical engineer with Ampair, endure. England’s oldest surviving wind turbineSince the centre was established in 2002 manufacturer, as well as Dublin City CREDIT’s mission is to help with Ireland’sit has achieved a string of innovative University. transition to renewable energy: to createfirsts. ideas and to teach people. There’s a lot My current technical interest is building to be done.In 2005, the centre led the installation modular computer models of small andof the world’s first large commercial medium-sized wind turbines. These We’re looking forward to the adventure.wind turbine on a college campus, a tools can be used to better understand You can find out more about our centreVestas V52 850kW machine. The turbine important aspects of turbine system at www.credit.ie/ or e-mail niall.provides half of the electricity used on- design, especially over-speed control. mcmahon@dkit.ie.campus and has already paid for itself Paul MacArtain worked in industry
  • 12. DkIT at GLEON 13 by the Marine Institute’s Burrishoole a well established environmental research facility under the leadership programme with platforms in place of Dr Russell Poole. to continuously monitor essential Eleanor Jennings has been climate and aquatic variables in lakes, collaborating with the Marine rivers and streams. Vicky Veerkamp, Institute since the late 1990s on a who is co-supervised by Suzanne series of EU and nationally funded Linnane and whose work is funded projects which have used the data through a DkIT internal masters from the Lough Feeagh platform scholarship, is investigating options to assess historical changes in for controlling phosphorus loads to the catchment and to model the Milltown Lake, Co Monaghan, using possible effects for future climate a combination of field work and change. The involvement in GLEON computer modelling. Milltown Lake is a continuation of this relationship has been the site of the Irish National and is leading to new and fruitful Source Protection Pilot Project since collaborations. 2005.  Liz Ryder, DkIT and Marine Institute (front 2nd from left) and Both DkIT students presented A major theme of the Sunapee Eleanor Jennings (front 2nd from posters on their own research work meeting was the effective right) GLEON delegates at the at the meeting. Liz Ryder, who is communication of science to the US National Science Foundation, co-supervised by Dr Elvira de Eyto general public. Liz Ryder is the Washington (Marine Institute) and Dr Suzanne current chairperson of the GLEON Linnane (CFS, DkIT), are investigating Graduate Student Association and Dundalk Institute of Technology how changes in the quality and was responsible for organising a (DkIT) was well represented at the quantity of the carbon which is postgraduate and postdoctoral recent thirteenth international exported from peat soils in the student workshop which was held Global Lake Ecological Observatory catchment are affecting the food web concurrently with the main GLEON Network meeting (GLEON 13) in in Lough Feeagh. The study will also meeting. The title of the workshop Sunapee, New Hampshire, USA, use computer models to assess the was ’Communicating Science’, and by Dr Eleanor Jennings, from the potential impact of climate change it highlighted the importance of Centre for Freshwater Studies (CFS), on these processes. effective communication of science along with two of her postgraduate both across disciplines and to research students, Liz Ryder and Vicky The Burrishoole Research facility stakeholders and the general public. Veerkamp. has been a sentinel site for fisheries research in Ireland since Communicating research is an GLEON is an international grassroots the mid 1950s. Today, the site has integral part of every student’s work network of lake scientists, information technology experts, and engineers, who have a common  Eleanor Jennings, Liz Ryder and Vick Veerkamp from DkIT at the GLEON goal of building a network of 13 meeting in Sunapee, New Hampshire, USA instrumented lake platforms across the globe. The 300 members of the network use high resolution data from the instruments mounted on these platforms to continuously study more than 60 lakes across six continents and 34 countries. Data from these global observatories are being used to obtain a better understanding ofRESEARCH key processes in lakes, such as the effects of changes in climate and land use. GLEON sites include Lough Feeagh in Co Mayo, and its sister lake Lough Furnace, which is managed12 LINK Issue 9
  • 13. ac Deirdre M Sean Gall agh s • Te chnologie al es • Miché SmarthomN V mac SyI tems Ig, Ar I TAT sO N a Armstron edmere • B h, R P eter Smyt Loco • Co eco Cze rwinski, G i Da iwe b • Ruair ercey, Dig ve Pi Eric Daly, Evol Daltech • Fitzpatric k, M K eran obile C•e lie b r at ingian Flyn over dr 10 •A Barr acuda FX i yste ms • Dav Aq uaFarm S log Ac re Techno G illen, Blue ng G ant , E-Learni Darren Gr Venn etics • yearsand the aim of the workshop was to •Joh n Hamill, of the GoEuro has been undertaking. The NSF a, ch Kuleszfacilitate the development of skills has been very supportive of the Wojcie Novation eisser, Louethat will be used to distil laboratory organisation to date and, together with the Gordon and Betty Moore et FEnterpriseand field research into the bigger arren Lou Programme Mscience picture. Eleanor Jennings Foundation, has provided financialwas also part of a panel of four D Platformcts • Colm support for meetings, international u oods Prod of past andatthewinternational speakers who gave student site exchange visits and W student training initiatives. Recent iobhan Mpresentations and participated in A showcase collaborative research projects present IGen • Sa panel discussion on global water participants’ businesses cDo from the network include a paper • Niall Mquality issues at a meeting hosted in the journal Freshwater Biology gby the Lake Sunapee Protective Processin on on the effect of episodic climatic ess SolutiAssociative for the general public and events on lakes, which Eleanor sinGLEON members. on Utopia Bu Jennings is first author. Work from Thursday, 19 Jan 2012 Pa a • th ee, MeedjIn addition to a productive and GLEON members, on a restoration Peter Mengaging research meeting, a project in Lake Taihu, China, and Energy Sodelegation of ten GLEONites on the management of harmful y, New algal blooms, has also featured in in MooneRegional Development idry(including Liz Ryder and Eleanor Brie DkIT r September and October 2011 issues ’Centre n, ObJennings) was invited to present of Science Magazine. • Colin Oan overview of GLEON and its rem ’Shea, Adresearch to a group of program The next GLEON meeting, GLEON • Danny O Savur Foodofficers at the US National ScienceFoundation (NSF) in Washington on 14, will be co-hosted by DkIT and the Marine Institute in Co. Mayo in registration at er,the Friday following the GLEON 13 Paul Sadli 1.30pmy, Taskmameeting. The delegation spoke to October 2012. The meeting will be a wonderful opportunity for both dleNSF representatives from a range abriel Bra RSVP rmack, Mof programmes including biology organisations, and for other Irish G scientists, to showcase ongoing Co(Ecosystems cluster and NEON/ irdre MacMacrosystems biology), geosciences lake research in Ireland on a global stage. De joanne.kearns@dkit.ie ean G 042 es • S(Earth and atmospheric systems), i TechnologInternational programmes (China, 9370400 al es • MichéScandinavia, South America), and the Smarfullhom details macthe ysOffice of Cyberinfrastructure. t S programme Ar including nand,speakers please visit e gThere was tremendous interest in thenetwork and the work that GLEON For stro Armof exhibitors r th, Redme list Peter Smy www.rdc.ie oco Czerwins ki, Geco L web • Ru
  • 14. and the Office of Public Works (OPW). The survey focused on the area of the known passage and chamber at Newgrange in the Brú na Bóinne world heritage site to test how well the technique would perform in identifying the cavities there. The availability of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data for the site has, for the first time, allowed a very detailed terrain model for the mound and surrounding area to be calculated. This model is being used in the data processing. The good news thus far is that the survey was successful in identifying the existing, well-known chamber. For the romantics among us, however, there is no grand announcement of a new chamber of the same dimensions to the existing one. Nevertheless, this does not mean that there is no chamber there. First of all the results are not fully processed. Furthermore, it was not possible to extensively inspect the rest of the mound because of the short time available to carry out the survey combined with the very difficult weather conditions. There were What lies beneath? storm force winds blowing on several days which put an end to the fieldwork during that time – this reduced the available investigation time even further. A more New technology is helping archaeologists to unlock detailed systematic survey of the entire the secrets of Ireland’s most famous archaeological surface of the mound might reveal a second passage or chamber feature if it site at Newgrange, writes Dr Conor Brady exists. One of the most exciting discoveries in the tomb using a new method called Processing of the data gathered is of the modern archaeological age was Microgravity that had never been tried underway and additional information arguably Howard Carter’s unearthing of on any archaeological site in the country. relating to the location and extent of the Tutankhamen’s tomb. Carter detected it Microgravity records anomalies in the original excavations in the 60s and 70s by chance after five years of work in the Earth’s gravity field and the density of by Professor MJ O’Kelly as well as the Valley of the Kings had yielded nothing. the ground beneath, the technology has nature of the subsequent conservation Modern-era archaeology is usually already been successful when utilised on and reinforcement works remains to be not so haphazard and left to random the Egyptian pyramids where it was used factored into the models. circumstance, particularly when to locate passageways and chambers. It technology can help to uncover the has also been deployed to detect crypts In conjunction with the microgravity survey location of important structures and beneath medieval churches. other small-scale geophysical surveys were artefacts. carried out and the results will be used to The project was a joint effort between inform the final gravity modelling process. Often referred to as “The national Comenius University, the Slovak monument of Ireland” Newgrange is our Academy of Sciences and the University Following completion of the data best known, and one of Ireland’s most of Technology from Bratislava, Slovakia processing, we hope to understand just visited archaeological treasures and is with support from the Slovak Scientific how useful the microgravity techniqueRESEARCH world-famous for the flooding of light Academy (VEGA; Dundalk Institute is likely to be in identifying cavities in into its chamber during sunrise on the of Technology (DkIT), Landscape and unexplored mounds. Hopefully, it will be winter solstice. Recently, a survey was Geophysical Services (LGS); the National possible in the future to look at some of carried out there to see if there were Monuments Service of the Department the many unclassified mounds in the Brú any hidden passageways and chambers of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht (NMS) na Bóinne area.14 LINK Issue 9
  • 15. RESEARCH 15 LINK Issue 9 Brief history of Newgrange Newgrange was built around 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period. It is clear that Newgrange functioned as much more than a simple tomb. Its landscape was the focus of settlement, ritual and ceremony for centuries. This is highlighted by the winter solstice sunrise alignment when, weather permitting, the rays of the rising sun illuminate the chamber. Newgrange is also noted for its art carved onto the structural stones of the tomb and the entrance stone represents a major cultural achievement. Newgrange is alsoFunding Microgravity older than Stonehenge in England and the pyramids of Giza in Egypt.The microgravity survey at technical infoNewgrange was originally a It is in fact just one monumentcomponent of a joint funding Microgravity’s state-of-the-art relative within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinneapplication to the Irish National gravity meters, such as the Scintrex CG- complex, alongside the similarStrategic Archaeological Research 3M, CG-5 and ZLS Burris can measure passage tomb mounds of Knowth(INSTAR) programme administered the changes in the gravity field with and Dowth, and as such is a partby the Heritage Council. The a precision of approx. ±5 microGals (1 of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCOproject proposed the large-scale microGal = 10-8 m·s-2), so cavities with World Heritage Site.application of multiple remote anomalous gravitational effect abovesensing and geophysical surveys 10 microGals (taken in absolute value) The entrance to Newgrangein the Brú na Bóinne site in can be detected. was sealed for several millennia,order to comprehensively map subsequently gaining severalthe low-visibility and subsurface The potential for detecting gravity associations in local folklore andarchaeology of the area. The anomalies when using the microgravity mythology.proposal received very favourable method is of course dependent on thereports but was not funded due to depth of the target - cavities with a It first began to be studied asa drastic cut in the INSTAR budget volume of several cubic metres can be a prehistoric monument byfor 2011 which saw only one recognised at shallow depths of the antiquarians in the seventeenthapplicant project being funded. order of a few metres (depth is taken to century and over subsequent the top of the cavity). centuries various archaeological excavations took place at the site before it was largely restored to an interpretation of its original Neolithic appearance by conservators led by Professor Michael J O’Kelly in the 1970s. Today, Newgrange is a tourist site and is renowned as one of the most important megalithic structures in Europe.
  • 16. DkIT joins international The management and staff of partnership for environmental the Regional research and innovation Development Dundalk Institute of Technology has been accepted Centre would like for membership of a prestigious environmental to wish all our research and innovation partnership that brings clients, colleagues together specialists in Canada, China, Germany, and partners a very Ireland, UK and USA. Happy Christmas QUESTOR is a global environmental research network established in 1989 at Queen’s University Belfast and is the only centre outside of the United States to be included and a Prosperous in the National Science Foundation’s programme for industry-university cooperative research centres. New Year. With some of the most advanced research facilities available globally, QUESTOR’s research covers four areas – water and wastewater; waste and remediation; environmental monitoring and energy from biomass. Aside from Queen’s, the academic partners that Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) now joins in the network are Cranfield University and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (both UK); Dublin City University; University of Duisburg-Essen and IWW Water Centre (both Germany); Stevens Institute of Technology (USA); Dalhousie University (Canada); Liaoning Shihua University and Dalian University of Technology (both China). Dr Wilson McGarel, director of QUESTOR, said: “I’m delighted that Dundalk Institute of Technology has become the latest academic partner to join the QUESTOR network. Research expertise QUESTOR is part-funded by the at DkIT in areas such as freshwater and renewable European Regional Development energy will further increase the skills and resources Fund under the European available to our industrial members and will add Sustainable Competitiveness considerable value to the centre. With academic Programme for Northern Ireland. partners in Dublin, Belfast and, now, Dundalk, Further information is available at I’m confident the network can play a lead role in http://questor.qub.ac.uk the development of green technologies that will contribute to the success of the Dublin-Belfast economic corridor.” Dr Tim McCormac, head of research, DkIT, added: “We’re delighted to join the QUESTOR network which has won a strong reputation over more than two decades for research, development and innovation in the environmental arena. This is a discipline that we have also built up considerable expertise in at Dundalk through our Centre for Renewable Energy at Dundalk Institute of Technology (CREDIT) and Centre for Freshwater Studies. “Active involvement with QUESTOR will allow us build further on that base and to collaborate with academic and industry partners in Ireland and overseas. The fresh perspectives gained will also allow us strengthen our ability to see our research outputs applied in a commercial context through technology and knowledge transfer. One of the particular features of QUESTOR is an industrial advisory board that brings togetherRESEARCH member companies and organisations in Europe, north America and Asia.” element design t 042 9327943 e info@elementdesign.ie16 LINK Issue 9