A series of important collaborations were formed and maintained by the IDA during 2014 which will help grow Galway’s profile as a hub for some of the world’s biggest companies.
In November, NUI Galway was announced as the lead in a new national medical device research centre, CÚRAM, which will design and create implantable ‘smart’ medical devices to deliver therapeutic agents where needed.
Cutting-edge science will develop the very latest research from biomaterials, stem cells and drug delivery. Devices will be developed with strong clinical collaborations and with industry partners and hospital groups and will strengthen Ireland’s standing as a major global hub for medical device sector research and development.
CÚRAM brings together researchers from NUI Galway, UCD, DCU, UL, UCC and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The centre will include almost 40 industry partners and support product development and the creation of new spin-out companies.
“We work very closely with NUIG and it is especially significant that CÚRAM will be led by NUIG and based in Galway which is the centre of a very advanced globally competitive medical device hub and which can only be strengthened by the presence of this new world class research centre and this is very welcomed by IDA,” said Catherina Blewitt, the IDA’s Head of Regional Development, West Region.
In November, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister, Richard Bruton, visited Galway as part of an Irish Trade and Investment Mission – the first of its kind in Ireland.
“The objective was to maximise procurement opportunities for Irish companies with Ireland-based multinational companies. As part of the Action Plan for Jobs, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland are working together to deliver more sales for Irish companies out of the global supply chains of multinationals based in Ireland.
“The Galway event was a huge success and gave a number of Galway/West Region Irish companies the opportunity to engage directly with Irish-based multinational companies,” said Ms Blewitt. She went on to stress the importance of the Galway Science & Technology Festival, which takes place each November.
“IDA along with a number of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) companies such as Medtronic, Cisco, Fidelity etc are sponsors of this along with other bodies and very much support this festival as it brings shows and workshops to primary and secondary schools throughout Galway City and county engaging the students and nurturing their interest in the STEM subjects.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
More than one third of adults have no pension
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published new research outlining Irish adults’ preparations for their retirement.
The research findings show that a high percentage of consumers do not have any pension plan in place. When asked their reasons for not having a pension in place, 32% stated that they have yet to get around to it, 20% feel they are too young and a further 20% don’t feel they can afford it.
Almost a quarter (23%) of those in the 55-64 years age group – those who may expect to retire in the next decade – reported that they don’t currently have a pension in place. 77% of this age cohort expect to qualify for the State Contributory pension as one way of funding their retirement.
Of the 735 adults who took part in the research, two thirds (66%) stated they would be using the State Contributory pension to help fund their retirement. The research also shows that 32% of those questioned were unaware of the amount of the State Contributory pension payment (currently €253 per week).
Respondents intend to supplement their pension plans with a variety of other forms of retirement funding, including, selling a property (24%), rental income (23%), equity release (15%) and selling a business (14%). One third of those aged 25-34 expect to use funds from the sale of a property or income from a rental property as a source of funding in retirement.
Kevin O’Brien, Member of the CCPC, said: “This research suggests a lack of provision for adequate retirement income among a considerable cohort of Irish adults.
“It raises concerns therefore around the long-term financial well-being of consumers, with 38% having no pension in place.
Of those surveyed, many cite the time to set up a pension or being too young as barriers to making pension provisions.
“Pension planning is key to maintaining financial well-being in retirement and it is evident from this new research that many Irish adults do not have the necessary provisions in place to provide for a secure retirement, despite the significant tax reliefs available on pension contributions.
Local Ireland welcomes move to 0% VAT for news publishers
Local Ireland, the association representing 32 weekly paid-for newspapers around the country, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to remove VAT on newspapers.
President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said: “This is a very important move for news publishers.
“Zero per cent VAT will allow local newspapers around Ireland to invest in journalism and in the transition to new digital business models.
“News publishers have faced a series of major challenges over recent years, most recently the huge increases in the cost of newsprint. This move will help support jobs in the industry and sustain the quality of our service to readers.
“We very much appreciate this endorsement by Government for the valuable role we play in our communities and the public service content we provide.
“I would like to thank the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and all the Ministers, TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum who have given their support to our campaign to end VAT on journalism.”
Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said: “Local news publishers are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. Along with our national colleagues represented by NewsBrands Ireland, we play a vital role in Ireland’s democracy.
“Today’s decision will protect the future of trusted, professional journalism in Ireland against the tide of global disinformation that threatens to undermine healthy democratic debate and analysis.”
Galway call-out with entries now open for Guaranteed Irish Business Awards
Guaranteed Irish has announced the launch of the 2023 Guaranteed Irish Business Awards, celebrating the best of locally based businesses in recognition of their contribution to business in the country.
The Awards – back after their inaugural year – aim to put the spotlight on local businesses that have made a commitment to support local jobs and contribute to local communities across the country.
The event, which will be MCed by broadcaster Anton Savage, will take place at an awards luncheon in The Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday, March 14 2023.
“Guaranteed Irish has been supporting businesses in Ireland for almost 50 years and is recognised as the national symbol for trust in business and provenance,” explained Brid O’Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish.
“It’s important to celebrate the best of homegrown businesses as well as firms that have chosen to operate locally here in Ireland. Through the Guaranteed Irish licensed symbol, consumers identify businesses that build local supply chains, support local jobs, and embrace sustainable business practices.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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