16 May 2016
By David O’Sullivan
Ibec, in association with Electric Ireland, will host a free business seminar in Cork this Thursday (19 May) to show how local companies have used state supports and worked with higher education institutions to grow their business through research, development and innovation.
The event, entitled ‘The Innovation Imperative’ will take place in the Maryborough House Hotel from 11am to 1pm on Thursday 19 May and is part of a series of events taking place around the country to show how companies can engage in research, development and innovation.
Speakers at the event will include Senior Customer Relationship Manager, Electric Ireland John Drinan; Ibec Senior Innovation & Education Policy Executive Conor Minogue; Head of Research & Development at Dairygold Dr. Paul Bouchier; Vice President, Customer Solutions & Qualification Labs at EMC Des O’Sullivan; VP of Research and Innovation at UCC Anita Maguire; VP of Research and Innovation at Cork IoT Niall Smith; Programme Manager, Knowledge Transfer Ireland Dr. Barry Fennell and CEO, Irish Mainport Holdings David Ronayne.
Speaking in advance of next week’s event, Ibec Cork Regional Director Peter O’Shaughnessy said: “There are many great companies in and around Cork using new technology and cutting edge innovation to improve how they work. But we need to ensure that all companies have the skills and support needed to get ahead.
“The ability to innovate is essential for all companies regardless of size, sector or business activity. It is through innovation that businesses create a competitive advantage, enhance their productivity and increase profits. It also underpins the growth and dynamism of a region. Innovation comes in many shapes and sizes. It extends beyond science, technology and product development to firms that try new ideas, technologies and business models to help them increase market share.
“While Ireland has taken great steps over the last sixteen years to become a more knowledge and innovation-intensive country, internationally we have some way to go. A high proportion of Irish companies still do not undertake any R&D activities. CSO data shows the heavy concentration of investment in a small number of large companies, with 100 firms accounting for 70% of all R&D spending.
“The Ibec event in Cork is an opportunity for companies across the region to meet with their peers, learn how to collaborate with higher education institutions and avail of state supports. Participants will also get insights on how HR practices can help embed a company-wide culture of innovation within a business.”
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