Winners of the 2011 it@cork Leaders Awards announced

25 Nov 2011

Anthony O'Mara, president EMEA Trend Micro; winner Sr Shelia Kelleher, Presentation Secondary School, Ballyphehane; Fergal Brosnan, MD, Berkley Recruitment

it@cork’s Leaders in Technology and Business Innovation in Munster were announced last night, recognising a panoply of accomplishments in the areas of IT in education, green tech, R&D, high-growth companies, start-ups and IT best practice.

Around 220 people packed the Maryborough Hotel & Spa in Cork last night.

“This is a unique event for tech companies,” explains Denis Collins, chairman of the it@cork board of directors.

“This is a unique event for the ICT industry and clearly demonstrates that Ireland Inc is open for business, driving global thought leadership, collaboration and value to the marketplace. This is just the start of further emergence onto the global stage. Our IT industry is alive and well and will continue to be an integral part of growth for Ireland Inc.”

John Wall, chairman of the 2011 organising committee adds: “We received over 100 nominations across seven categories and the standard was fantastic. The number of good projects with great people and strong aspirations should give us confidence that the future of the tech sector in Munster is in good shape.”

Excellence in Education

The Excellence in Education award was the first to be presented and the winner was Presentation Secondary School, Ballyphehane.

Fergal Brosnan, managing director, Berkley Group, and chair of the Excellence in Education judging panel explained: “The judging panel found the approach by the school, teachers and students was fully integrated, and progressive, with each participant pushing the other to bring the most out of technology. Engagement by all participants was superb, inclusivity of all students, from the use for special needs, to utilising technology within the extracurricular activities, such as their choir.

“The teacher based classrooms have benefited both the students and teachers, with each teacher effectively using technology as the new chalk.”

Green Technology

The winner of the Green Technology Award was 3 Pro Energy Watch Ltd. Noel Dillane, IT director, PepsiCo and chair of the Green Technology judging panel explains: “The winner of the 2011 Green Technology Award has shown great innovation in identifying a common energy and money-saving opportunity and addresses it with technical and motivational measures.

“Together, these provide a technical solution, that can be widely applied, and also draws the user’s attention to the wider need to consider energy use.”

Sustained Excellence

QUMAS won the Sustained Excellence Award. Brian Padden, regional manager, VMware, and acting chair of the Sustained Excellence judging panel said: “The standard was fantastic this year and this year’s winner, QUMAS, showcased consistent growth and strong contribution to the economy.”


The winner of the Research and Innovation Project Award was MPSTOR. Enda Murphy, CTO, Lincor Solutions Ltd and chair of the Research and Innovation project award judging panel, explained why they won. “The winner of the 2011 Research and Innovation Project Award has shown outstanding innovation in the development of their ‘Orkestra’ platform, which provides a unique approach to cloud data centre management.

High Growth

Wistek Solutions won the High Growth Category Award. Celine Fox, partner of KPMG and acting chair of the High Growth judging panel said: “In selecting Wistek Solutions as the award recipient from an excellent calibre of finalists, the judges felt they best personified a high-growth company.

“Their growth in revenues, profitability, employment, product throughput and international expansion into Asia all pointed to a company on a consistent growth trajectory. Their work in reverse logistics and recovering and recycling electronic waste back into the supply chain of multinational manufacturers is a real Cork IT success story deserving of recognition with this award.”

IT Best Practice

This year’s IT Dept Award went to the Cork Institute of Technology. Norma O’Callaghan, VP European Finance & Business Operations, Trend Micro EMEA and chair of the it@cork Leaders Award judging panel for the leading IT Department explained why the award recipient was chosen.

“While all entries provided excellent cases of the deployment of technology in industry, the winner of the Leaders Award stood out for the judges because of their exemplary and innovative approach to the delivery of cloud computing across their organisation.

“The IT department at CIT has revolutionised the use of IT on campus, and has adopted a new and strategic way of provisioning education through technology. Spearheaded by the head of IT, Gerard Culley, the activities of the CIT IT department has had enormously positive consequences for the students and the college, but as significantly for the region and the ability for academic and industry to work together.

“The adoption of this technology and the manner in which it was conducted (through close engagement with the students and staff), enables the college to be highly competitive in the provision of education, and provides a means for students, academics and the college administration to embrace technology in their day-to-day activities for the betterment of the college.

“The judges were very impressed by the vision and passion of the IT department at CIT, and believed they truly deserved to be recognised as leaders in their field, and worthy recipients of the it@cork Leaders Award for an outstanding IT department,” O’Callaghan.

High Potential Start-up

The winner of the High Potential Start-up Award was ePubDirect. Michael Fitzgerald, managing director of Abtran and chair of the High Potential Start-up judging panel, outlines the distinguishing merits of the winner.

“In choosing the winner of this year’s High Potential Start-up Award, it was important to give credit to a company who had made significant strides to identify a unique market where they could excel on a global scale. Strong leadership and a vision followed by strategic efforts to gain competitive advantage were key criteria for the winner to meet and in the final stages it was unanimously agreed that this company stood out above all the rest.

“The judges agreed that this company showed the greatest potential and, of all the finalists, his company was clearly the most entrepreneurial. It was apparent that his intuition and understanding lead to seizing a global opportunity for service and success. In a time when it is difficult for new businesses to succeed, this company has demonstrated a expertise, passion and dedication. It is expected this company will reach great heights in the future,” Fitzgerald said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years