2,000 innovators gather in Dublin for Ireland’s first National Innovation Showcase

2 Dec 2014

Some 2,000 entrepreneurs, investors and researchers are to gather in Dublin today for Ireland’s first National Innovation Showcase.

The event is part of a drive by the Irish Government to open up the innovation, research and development infrastructure to business.

The main feature of the event at the National Convention Centre are exhibits from the 38 research centres, technology centres and national research institutes and facilities which are delivering solutions for industry in six key areas; energy, food, health and medical technologies, ICT, manufacturing & materials and services and business processes.

The showcase is the brainchild of Enterprise Ireland on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and is being held in close cooperation with IDA Ireland and SFI.

“We are determined to open up our research system to industry so that companies can develop new products and services and ultimately create jobs,” Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said.

“There are a range of ways in which businesses can benefit from our national innovation system – including plugging into existing relevant research, forming partnerships with Centres, placing a post-Doctoral student in their company and availing of an Innovation Voucher from EI. In this way we can ensure that our innovation spend is focused on commercial outcomes – and we can turn good ideas into good jobs.”

Big ideas for investors

At least 13 investor-ready “big ideas” from new companies that have been spun-out of higher education institutes with the support of Enterprise Ireland will be presenting at the event.

Companies presenting include Artomatix, Dairy Concepts, Kineses, Obeo, Trinsights and WCMS.

Key speakers at the event include Stefan Lindegaard, an internationally renowned expert on the topic of open innovation and Dr. Nicola Millard, a customer experience futurologist who currently works with BT’s Global Innovation Team.

The European Space Agency, which is celebrating its 50th birthday is also exhibiting at the showcase.

“These Research Centres are already delivering excellent scientific research and impactful technologies to industry in Ireland,” the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English said of the event.

“This showcase provides companies of all sizes the opportunity to meet representatives from each of the 38 Research Centres across the country to discuss potential collaborations. I want this event to build more partnerships to help maximise our engagement in the €80bn Horizon 2020 EU fund for research and innovation,” he added.

Dublin image via Shutterstock

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