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Funding boost for Galway medical devices firm



Founder...Sinead Kenny of DiaNia Technologies.

A Galway medical devices company is one of three Irish SMEs who were this week awarded €50,000 each for their innovative ideas.

DiaNia Technologies Ltd based in the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre was one of three companies selected in the latest round of Horizon 2020.

The companies will use the money to finance feasibility studies and can also request up to three days of business coaching.

Sinead Kenny, co-founder of DiaNia Technologies which was set up in 2013, expressed her delight at the news.

“This funding under the EU’s SME Instrument is for our project on Advanced Extrusion Technologies for use in Catheter Based Medical Devices.

“ExtruLub is an innovative, disruptive extrusion technology with the ability to change the surface of a catheter without affecting core device properties, thereby leading to cost containment for the manufacturer and profile reduction of the end product,” she explained.

DiaNia Technologies specialises in medical device materials technology.  Their vision is to be a world class technology company focused on customer-driven solutions – and this funding will help towards that aim.

“As well as the €50,000, which will help our company to commercialise this, our initial product offering, our selection by the EU also gives us access to a network of truly great mentors whom we look forward to engaging with,” said Sinead.

“It’s a great boost to our confidence to have been selected from amongst 1,569 other SMEs from right across Europe – we are one of 161 which were selected in this round and only one of three from Ireland!

“Once we had our ideas and vision clearly set out we set about applying to Horizon 2020.  It was a very straight forward application we submitted our application in March 2015 and heard the good news last week,” she added.

The other Irish companies to benefit this time were Aperilink Ltd in Dublin and IRIS Advanced Engineering Ltd in Kerry.

This brings to 30 the total number of Irish SMEs funded so far under the SME Instrument of Horizon 2020 – 25 Phase 1 receiving €50.000 each and five Phase 2 receiving up to €2.5 million each.

Across the EU, the European Commission announced 161 companies from 23 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1.

The European Commission received 1,569 proposals under Phase 1 by the first cut-off date of 2015 on March 18; 251 received an evaluation score above the application threshold and 161 or 60.1% have been selected for funding.

Spanish SMEs have again been particularly successful with 34 beneficiaries accepted for funding, followed by firms from Italy (25) and the UK (18). Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014, 816 SMEs have been selected under Phase 1 of the SME Instrument.

Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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