The Irish dairy processing sector continues to ramp up its preparations for the end of milk quotas with the announcement of an innovation investment of €35 million today. The investment by Government and industry will position Ireland as a world leader in dairy innovation, and help to maximise the long term growth opportunities created by anticipated increase of 50% in the Irish milk pool by 2020.
The Government today published the Action Plan for Jobs 2015, the next step in the multi-annual process aimed at delivering full employment by 2018. The Plan is the fourth annual plan in a multi-year process which started in early 2012, and sets out in detail the 382 actions to be taken by 16 Government Departments and over 60 State Agencies during 2015 to support job-creation, with deadlines and lead responsibility assigned.
Bord Bia today announced a new financial support, entitled the 'Step Change Programme', for small food, drink and horticulture businesses. The details of the €400,000 fund were shared with over 170 small businesses gathered in Dublin today for Bord Bia's fifth annual Small Business Open Day. The grant scheme is aimed at companies, with a turnover between €100,000 and €5 million, embarking on a new project to take their business to the next level. In 2015, Bord Bia expects the 'Step Change Programme' will benefit at least eight high potential Irish businesses with individual grants of up to €50,000.
ICON plc, a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, today announced a new global innovation hub which will create 200 new jobs in Ireland. The hub will foster the development of new technologies and clinical trial processes that will enable faster access to large volumes of clinical data and will enable clinical trial personnel to derive better insights from the data. The 200 new jobs will include roles in IT, Data Analytics, Clinical Science, Project Management, Finance and Human Resources.
2013 saw a marked increase in the level of engagement between companies and all Irish publicly-funded research performing organisations (RPOs), including universities and the institutes of technology, according to Knowledge Transfer Ireland. The first KTI annual report published on the23 October 2014 shows a 15% increase in the number of external clients that engaged with research performing organisations in 2013, resulting in 1,598 engagement agreements, up 9% on the previous year.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD has launched the Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards 2015. This is part of a major drive aimed at tapping into the potential for students and young people to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into commercial businesses. This is a great opportunity for ambitious and enterprising third level students to build a real-world business venture and at the same time be in with a chance to win a prize from the overall €35,000 cash prize fund, which includes a €10,000 first prize, as well as a €30,000 consultancy fund.