Lero backs Kelmac with €280,000 R&D and hiring deal

8 Feb 2017

From left: Gerard Kelly, CEO of Kelmac Group and Dr Noel Carroll, research fellow at Lero. Image: Sean Curtin/True Media

Limerick-based Kelmac Group is partnering with Lero in a €280,000 R&D deal to build up its enterprise and increase its staff count.

Standards and compliance company Kelmac Group is planning to boost its technology expertise in the coming months, with a Science Foundation Ireland-backed partnership with Lero now in the works.

As part of the €280,000 plan, Kelmac will double its Irish workforce to 12 and open an international R&D technology centre at the National Technology Park in Plassey, Co Limerick.

“To date, we have operated as an audit, training and management consultancy company specialising in helping customers maximise ISO [International Organisation for Standardisation] certification, compliance and performance management,” said Gerard Kelly, CEO of Kelmac.

“Over the last 20 years, we have built up a customer base in 46 countries. In order to service both our local and global customers better, we are embarking on a technology strategy to develop cloud-based products, services and tools to position ourselves for the future.

“The need to be constantly on customer sites across the world is not sustainable if we want to grow the company, as well as achieve a work-life balance for our consultants,” said Kelly.

“As a result, we are collaborating with Lero on this major research programme to develop our services as a global online offering. This will transform the delivery of our products, services and tools into an independent global professional services practice.”

Lero’s interest in its Limerick home is obvious. In October, the city was chosen as a test bed for smart city studies. Backed with €500,000, the focus of the study will be on facilitating an internet of things infrastructure to facilitate data capture from thousands of sensors and devices; from water, soil and air quality to traffic, cycling and pedestrian movement.

Last year, an initiative to provide significant research opportunities to start-ups in the mid-west region was set up by Lero and the Nexus Innovation Centre based at University of Limerick (UL).

At the time, there were already 30 start-ups hosted at Nexus, employing around 135 people on the back of a combined €9.4m private funding.

Founded in 1996, Kelmac’s customer base covers life sciences, financial services, engineering,  technology, and food and beverage, with Lero researcher Prof Ita Richardson of UL lauding her organisation’s new partnership with the company.

“While we may be better-known for our work with multinationals, an important part of our role is to help small, indigenous Irish companies implement R&D to help them grow and compete internationally,” she said.

“The broad impact of this research will be to ensure that Irish training companies will benefit, giving them the opportunity for them to fit the process model to their specific domains and areas of expertise.

“This will have a significant impact on job retention and competitiveness in the Irish market, as companies meet growing demands in complying with international standards and regulations.”

Only last month, Lero revealed that Prof Mike Hinchey will step down as director of the Limerick-based software research centre after an eight-year term, to be replaced by Prof Brian Fitzgerald.

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Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic