As a result of a successful year of partnerships with local businesses, the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway will continue to partner with local businesses this year to challenge its students through its Bachelor of Commerce and BSc in Business Information Systems ‘Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise(ICE)’ module.
All students in their final year of study are given the opportunity to discover all aspects of business and community enterprise.
“The overall objective of the Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise course is to encourage self-confidence in students of business in their ability to be creative and innovative in whatever future business and/or community settings that they are working in,” said Michael Campion, ICE module director at the school.
Thirty-three local business and community leaders have mentored more than 360 students since January, enabling them to participate in group-based projects requiring them to innovate with the community in a variety of interest areas.
The Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise module is part of a broader initiative within the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, supported by funding from the NUI Galway Students Projects Fund, to focus on student personal development planning, and employability skill development.
The project adds a competitive edge, with students presenting their innovation projects to mentors through a number of stages of judging, resulting in the selection of five finalist groups to compete for a prize fund of €6,000, sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). On Friday, 1 April, these groups presented their projects to the final judging panel consisting of Denis McCarthy, regional director CIMA, Michael Corless, chairman of Galway Airport and Judy Greene, managing director Judy Greene Pottery.
The overall winners were James Kenny from Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Patrick Flanagan and Mark Ruane, both from Sligo. Their project was ‘Pipe Protect’ – a new product which employs mobile phone technology to monitor and control pipes during freezing weather.
“CIMA is forging strong linkages with NUI Galway and, in particular, the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. This bursary is designed to support students in a practical way that underpins the importance of bringing real-time expertise to learning, which is at the core of the CIMA qualification. I am delighted to congratulate all the finalists who demonstrated their entrepreneurial skills in what was a competitively contested final,” stated Denis McCarthy, divisional director of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Michael O’Keane, industry mentor of the winning group commented, “I was delighted to be involved as a mentor on this year’s ICE programme. Michael Campion and his colleagues in NUI Galway offer a very unique programme and their drive and enthusiasm are much appreciated by the students. The quality of ideas which emerged is clear evidence that entrepreneurship is alive and well and now more than ever this needs to be exploited to help get our economy back on its feet.”