Highlights from the Second Progress Report
- A Bizfest Business Networking Event, organised by the LEOs in the region, took place in Kilkenny last October (Action 4 of SEAPJ.) This event was attended by over 270 businesses. The LEOs also launched the “Inspiring Success” video, which was developed to promote doing business in the South East at the event. This can be incorporated into the marketing collateral for the value proposition for the region.
- LEOs also launched the South East Micro Food Export Initiative aimed at assisting their client food companies to develop export markets. This is one of the initiatives being developed under Action 8 of the SEAPJ, and is also one of the 6 initiatives supported in the region under the EI Competitive Call announced last year.
- The ETBs have been involved in developing and rolling out a number of career traineeships, in conjunction with the South East Regional Skills Forum, to meet the needs of local industry and business. This is in line with Action 62 of the SEAPJ, namely addressing the continued need for upskilling in particular of the unemployed.
- There have been a number of jobs announcements from EI and IDA client companies since the last reporting period, including: Sanofi (pharma company based in Waterford announced last July that it is to create an additional 40 jobs); Se2 (life and pensions administrator announced last September it is to increase its workforce in Waterford with 65 new jobs); Netwatch Systems (digital security firm in Carlow announced last October it is to create 50 new jobs); IQ Pharamatek (pharma company announced in January, 2017 that it is to open a new plant in Clonmel, creating 200 new jobs); Red Hat (computer solutions company based in Waterford announced last February that it is to create an additional 60 jobs); and Lighthouse Studios (animation company also announced in February that it is to open new offices in Kilkenny creating 140 new jobs). Some of these announcements will contribute towards the IDA target to increase investments by overseas companies in the region by 30-40% by 2020 (Action 136 of the SEAPJ.)
- IT Carlow launched the Design+ Technology Gateway last October. Design+ will develop an inclusive design-led regional and national industry portal which will complement existing Technology Gateways (Action 71 of the SEAPJ.)
- Tourism Ireland is now actively promoting the Ireland’s Ancient East (IAE) brand across a range of platforms overseas, including TV, print and online advertising. A major integrated marketing campaign for the domestic audience was also conducted by Failte Ireland during 2016 to help increase awareness of the new brand and to inspire holiday makers to take short breaks and holidays in the region (Action 36 of the SEAPJ.) The consumer coverage of the IAE brand is estimated to have had a reach of over 15m in 2016. Since the launch increased overseas business is being reported across the South East region, for example at Cahir Castle, the Rock of Cashel, and Waterford Museum of Treasures. 75 County Boundary signs have been upgraded with IAE branding across the region and orientation signs have also been installed at 29 key attractions across the 5 counties.