Engineering innovation key to economic recovery

14 Apr 2010

The theme of this year’s Engineers Ireland Annual Conference is innovation and its director general John Power is stressing the point that due to the diversity within this field engineering can lead the country’s economic recovery.

“Innovation is key to Ireland’s recovery and engineers are at the heart of this,” said Power.

“Engineering is a career that allows you to diversify among so many different sectors from chemical, civil, environmental, computer and biomedical to name but a few.”

The two-day Engineers Ireland Annual Conference, said Power, is the single most important event taking place in 2010 for engineers and the main focus centres on Government innovation policy and where engineers fit into this.

Speaking today on at the launch of the conference, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD, echoed Powers’ assertions: “Our economic success depends on increasing levels of innovation across the enterprise sector, including in large Irish-owned companies like Bord Gáis, foreign multinationals located here such as EMC, and existing companies and start-up firms.

“Businesses like Bord Gáis and EMC are the kind of innovation-intensive companies that we want to see prosper across the country, employing high-calibre engineers, scientists and technologists focused on research and development and turning ideas into commercialised products and services,” he added.

Engineers’ annual conference

The Engineers Ireland Annual Conference entitled ‘Engineers – Leaders For The Next Decade’, takes place on 22 and 23 April with the opening address to be given by Dr Craig Barrett, former CEO/chairman of Intel.

Barrett, alongside Engineers Ireland president Chris Horn, is going to discuss the Irish education system in the context of producing a highly skilled workforce for the engineering sector.

There will also be a talk from Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan TD, as well as John Mullins, CEO, Bord Gais, Prof Roger Whatmore, Tyndall National Institute, Ian Quinn, Creganna, Tom Costello, John Sisk & Son Ltd, Terry Nolan, Shell and John Lynch, Depuy.

Photo: (L-R) Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD; Bob Savage, vice-president and managing director, EMC Ireland and John Power, director general, Engineers Ireland