My Department is ready for challenges and opportunities of Brexit

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor has given assurances that challenges and opportunities for enterprise posed by Brexit are a priority for her Department and Agencies.

The Minister was speaking in advance of a major stakeholder engagement event she is hosting in Carrick-on-Shannon on Monday 30th January. The purpose of this event is to facilitate a dialogue with stakeholders about the impacts, challenges and opportunities arising as a result of the UK decision to leave the EU, across the broad range of policy areas for which the Department is responsible.

The Minister also announced 39 extra staff for Enterprise Ireland’s overseas offices and in the Irish based team to support exporting companies in the context of Brexit. Staff will be assigned to:

§ Markets that are growing and have scale (including China, India, Latin America, Africa);
§ Markets where we are already well established but with potential for further growth (including UK, France, Benelux, Germany, USA, the Nordics).
In addition, IDA Ireland will hire 9 additional staff and relaunch their Graduate Programme.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor outlined a range of activity already undertaken by her Department and Agencies, including:

§ Regular Ministerial engagement with companies exporting to the UK to hear directly how Brexit impacts on them. Immediately following the result of the UK vote, the Minister began a series of meetings with key stakeholders, including representative bodies such as SFA, ISME, Chambers, the Irish Exporters Association, IBEC and the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, among others.
§ Completion of a contingency risk assessment of the potential impacts of Brexit across policy areas of the Department – this was undertaken in advance of the referendum result ,and work continues since then to refine these assessments;
§ Establishment of a Coordination Group on Brexit, which the Minister chairs consisting of CEOs of IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, and relevant enterprise, single market and trade officials from the Department to oversee implementation of our response;
§ Establishment of a Senior Officials Group on Brexit to support the Management Board in ensuring a coherent and coordinated approach to Brexit across all areas of the Department.
§ Creation of a dedicated Brexit unit to coordinate the Department’s policy response, including the Department’s approach to negotiations within the EU and bilateral relations with the UK;
§ Minister Mitchell O’Connor participates in the Brexit Cabinet Committee, chaired by the Taoiseach.
§ The Minister has also met with her UK and a number of EU counterparts to stress the unique impact of Brexit on Ireland and plans to continue that engagement. In the coming months, with a series of visits to European capitals to meet her Ministerial counterparts in the coming months
§ Securing of an additional €52 million in Capital funding to support further job creation, innovation and support Irish companies to respond to the challenges and opportunities from Brexit. This represents a 10 % increase in the Department’s capital budget.

Speaking about the important role being played by the Development Agencies, the Minister said: “I have tasked my Department officials with making Brexit their number one priority. Since the UK vote last June I have had particularly intensive engagement with the CEOs of the Agencies to ensure that they are responding to national, UK and EU developments to maximum effect for business. We have a clear plan of action and are fully committed to supporting business to deal with the challenges and opportunities posed by the UK exit from the EU.”

The Minister continued, “Enterprise Ireland and the LEOs are working steadily with companies to ensure they are prepared to respond to challenges. I have put in place a structured dialogue with companies of different sizes, across different sectors and regions. This involves focus groups and a survey of a thousand businesses. I expect the results of this comprehensive survey to be with me in the next week. This will give me a clear evidence base in terms of what SMEs want and need”.

The Minister said it is important not to lose sight of, and capitalise on, opportunities emerging for Ireland as a result of UK withdrawing from the EU: “Ireland’s value proposition remains strong including, in particular, our continued membership of the EU and access to the Single Market. We are very much open for business. I’ve secured additional funding to IDA Ireland to help them target key markets and secure investments.”

John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, will also attend the event and address the challenges in the research, development and innovation space as a result of Brexit. Minister Halligan said, “Investment in innovation is critical to creating and sustaining a knowledge economy. Ireland is one of the leading Research, Development and Innovation locations in the world. We offer an ideal commercial, political and social environment for companies to carry out successful and profitable RDI activities. The Government has committed to a target of investing 2.5% of GNP in R&D and delivering on this will be even more critical in the context of the UK decision to leave the EU.

There is no doubt there are challenges associated with Brexit but I believe there are also opportunities. While the UK is an important partner for us in Horizon 2020(the EU Framework Programme for Research & Innovation), we are well diversified in international collaboration through Horizon 2020 having strong partnerships in particular, with Germany, Spain and France. There are opportunities for us to build stronger alliances with other Member States as well as continuing bilateral research collaboration with the UK which we do outside our EU membership.”


Stakeholder Event
As part of the Government’s ongoing dialogue with stakeholders in relation to the impacts of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation is organising this event to engage with stakeholders across the broad range of policy areas for which the Department is responsible.

This event, which is being held in the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon on 30th January 2017, is an important element in the Government’s preparations to meet the broad range of all-island challenges arising from Brexit. It provides an opportunity to hear the voices of people affected by the vote, both directly and through representative groups.

This event is part of a series of All Island Sectoral Dialogues which are being held across the country as part of the Government’s consultative work on Brexit, and to facilitate a more detailed consideration of its impact across a range of key sectors.

The key outputs and learnings from this event will form an input to the second All Island Civic Dialogue, due to take place on 17 February in Dublin.

Brexit Update Service
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Element Six announces 100 job expansion as part of €7million investment

Investment will see employment levels more than double to 550 since implementation of 2009 restructuring plan

Investment welcomed by Ministers Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Pat Breen

Element Six, a world leader in synthetic diamond super-materials and member of The De Beers Group of Companies, has today announced the creation of a further 100 jobs at its Shannon facility as part of a €7million investment at the plant this year.

The investment – officially announced today at a briefing at the plant hosted by Element Six Executive Director of Operations Ken Sullivan and attended by Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Pat Breen and the company’s global CEO Mr. Walter Hühn – will bring to €40million the overall spend by Element Six at Shannon over a four year period.

The positions are in the areas of supply chain, engineering and manufacturing, with recruitment already underway and all posts set to be filled in the first half of this year. It is the latest round of recruitment at the company and will bring overall employment at Element Six in Shannon to 550.

The company has invested heavily in infrastructural projects at the plant over the past three years, including the installation of large-scale diamond synthesis presses to produce diamond materials for industrial use. In addition, high end CNC machines have been designed and installed to process these materials. Today’s announcement signals another round of investment that will enable the synthesis and processing of diamond materials at the Shannon plant for use principally in the Oil and Gas industry.

Announcing the investment and job creation at the plant this morning, Mr Hühn said: “This is a significant moment for Element Six and its staff in Shannon as it is validation of the hard work of our management and staff here in turning the business around. Thanks to a culture of continuous improvement, the use of world-class manufacturing techniques and efficiency and quality gains, our Shannon operations have now taken on additional, global cutting-edge processes, leading to this investment and considerably enhanced employment levels.

“Oil and Gas is a volatile industry but the improvements and investment here at Shannon ensures we are as future-proofed as possible going forward. A key influencer is the operating environment, which is considerably better now in Ireland. In return, we have invested heavily and created high-value jobs for the region.”

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, said: “Today’s announcement by Element Six is further evidence of the very competitive operating environment we have in Ireland, including in the regions. In 2009 the company cited the ‘high cost of operating in Ireland’ when it was on the brink of closure. But a combination of the improved operating environment and commitment of staff has transformed operations to a level that the company has more than doubled its employment here since. The addition of 100 extra jobs is a great vote of confidence for the region which has much to offer companies who wish to grow their businesses in Ireland. I wish Element Six and the team every success in the future.”

Speaking at today’s event, Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen stated: “This is a very important day for Element Six, for Shannon and, indeed, the wider Clare and Mid-West area. This announcement is a very strong endorsement of the Shannon Free Zone as a leading destination for innovation and job creation.

“With an international airport on its doorstep, a highly competitive operating environment, available talent and excellent and ever-improving infrastructure, we believe the future is very bright for Shannon as an inward investment location. Element Six’s commitment, not least through its very significant investment in high-end, innovative processes at the plant is very welcome and I wish the team the very best for the future.

“It also highlights the commitment of staff and management here over the years. In 2009 we all feared that this very significant employer would be lost to Clare but thanks to the collective determination, from the management and staff and agencies like the IDA, Element Six’s operations here are entirely reenergised and it is today one of the county’s largest employers with 550 high-value jobs set to be in place by the second half of the year.”

IDA Chief Executive Martin Shanahan said: “Element Six is a global leader in its field and for it to make this level of investment in cutting edge processes in Shannon and have the footprint it now has in Shannon sends a very positive message around the globe about this area as an attractive inward investment location. We have worked closely with Element Six over the years and look forward to continuing that relationship and the company’s continued and valued impact on the Mid-West regional economy here into the future. The Mid-West has been a significant beneficiary of FDI over the past 2 years.”

Ken Sullivan, Element Six Executive Director of Operations said:  “Element Six has a 60 year history at Shannon and today’s announcement very much signals that we have entered a new era in terms of our operations here.  A strong spirit of partnership has sustained us through a very challenging period and, in no small part thanks to the commitment of staff to this partnership approach, we have emerged as one of the biggest and best employers in the Shannon region.

“Element Six is a really exciting place to work and remains one of the best employers in the region. We have many opportunities for career progression at all levels and across multiple disciplines. Given that many of our improvement projects are shop-floor led, strengthens the spirit of partnership and continuous improvement.”

Almac Group Announces Further Global Expansion as it Secures New Premises in Dundalk

Craigavon based global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organisation, Almac Group, has secured new premises in Dundalk, County Louth to support its ongoing global expansion plans in response to increased client demand.

Almac will make a £ multimillion investment in the new facility at IDA Business Park. The expansion has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland, Ireland’s inward investment promotion agency.

The facility will be utilised by Almac Pharma Services and Almac Clinical Services, both of which are registered to operate in the Republic of Ireland. The new premises increases the Group’s European footprint by 32,000sq ft and provides continued presence within the European Union in the long term.

This investment comes just weeks after Almac confirmed ambitious plans to expand its operations at its global Headquarters in Northern Ireland with the construction of a new laboratory and additional office facilities. The company simultaneously announced investment at its North American site creating an additional 300 new, full time jobs. These investments will see an increase of Almac’s global headcount to over 5,000 by the end of 2017.

Alan Armstrong, CEO Almac Group commented: “This latest investment in Dundalk is a further example of Almac’s ambitious global expansion plans and will deliver up to an additional 100 new jobs within the first two years. This news comes in addition to our recent announcement of a £27m investment at our global Headquarter site in Craigavon, our US operations and our European facility in Athlone. All of this is evidence of Almac’s commitment to provide best-in-class products and services to our clients across the world and we would like to thank all those who have supported us to date.”

Welcoming the investment by Almac, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “This is a very exciting project for Dundalk and builds on the strong cluster of multinational companies who have very successfully located in that town in recent years and who have found it a great base from which to promote their sales into other EU Member States. Ireland’s expertise in the Pharma sector is unrivalled, with virtually all the major international players having operations here, thus generating synergies and opportunities for new companies investing with us. These additional 100 jobs to be provided are very welcome and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial engagement with Almac into the future”.

Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland said “Almac’s decision to expand into Dundalk provides the company with certainty of access to the European Union in the long term– this certainty of access is an increasingly important selling point for Ireland as we look to win business for Ireland. IDA Ireland will continue to promote Ireland as an ideal location for companies from a range of sectors including pharmaceuticals, IT and financial services that are looking to ensure that they have a presence in the European single market.”

This investment strengthens Almac’s existing presence in the Republic of Ireland following the acquisition of Arran Chemical Company facility in Athlone in 2015. The facility has expanded the company’s biocatalysis services, which is part of Almac’s Sciences Business Unit.

Deloitte opens new blockchain lab in Dublin to serve Europe and the Middle East

Deloitte, which works with 90 per cent of the world’s largest financial institutions opened its new EMEA blockchain lab at Whitaker Court in Dublin’s “Silicon Docks” district earlier this week.

This new bespoke designed lab builds on Deloitte’s global fintech and innovation practice which involves a network of labs around the world including a major lab on Wall Street. Blockchain is an evolving technology which has the capacity to change the way digital services are provided globally in all sectors of business.

The Dublin based blockchain team will now move from its current location at Deloitte Ireland HQ, with the highly skilled design and development team growing from 25 to 50 during 2017.

Speaking about the opening David Dalton, Financial Services Partner, Deloitte said:

“We are still at the early stages of the adoption of blockchain technology. But it is becoming increasingly clear that this technology is transforming the infrastructure underpinning financial services and other industries. It is bringing dramatic improvements in efficiency and customer experience.”

This Dublin located blockchain lab is located in the Silicon Docks area among neighbours including Google, Facebook and others. It opens with the existing team of more than 25 blockchain developers and designers and this team will be joined by 25 more by year end.

The team’s mission can be seen as a “concept to product” one. It first develops strategic blockchain capabilities and proofs of concept; these concepts are then developed into functioning prototypes, and these ultimately become “ready-to-integrate” solutions for Deloitte clients.

In addition to the official opening of the new lab, Monday also marked the launch of a number of products which have been built by the Dublin based team.

Lory Kehoe, Consulting Director and EMEA blockchain lab lead, Deloitte said:

“Our Dublin blockchain lab is part of Deloitte’s global approach dubbed “The Grid”. Through this our team here work alongside specialist teams from other countries and also with Deloitte’s network of more than a dozen preferred technology companies. We look forward to being a key element of the continued growth of Blockchain.”

Speaking about the official opening of Deloitte’s new Blockchain Lab, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said; “I am very pleased that Deloitte is expanding its Blockchain research activities in Dublin, as part of the company’s worldwide research in this area. The Financial Services industry has been a huge success story for this country and we need to be engaged with new and emerging technologies in that sector. Blockchain is attracting significant worldwide attention due to its range of potential applications in the wider Financial Services area and it is great news that Ireland will be at the heart of this exciting development, helping to push out the frontiers, for our mutual benefit”.

Deloitte’s global blockchain team, consisting of more than 800 professionals across 20 countries, works with international organisations looking to introduce blockchain-enabled solutions. To date, Deloitte has developed more than 30 blockchain-related prototypes, covering a uses such as digital identity, digital banking, cross-border payments, trade finance, and loyalty and rewards solutions, as well as distinct efforts for the investment management and insurance sectors.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor Welcomes launch of Rural Development Action Plan

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D. welcomed the publication of “Realising our Rural Potential – Action Plan for Rural Development”, by her colleague, Minister Heather Humphreys.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “A vibrant and competitive rural Ireland is important, not just from an economic perspective, but also from a societal point of view. This Action Plan is an ambitious initiative which contains a strong focus on the creation and retention of jobs in rural areas and is very much aligned with the Action Plan for Jobs and the Regional Action Plans for Jobs under the remit of my Department.”

“My Department has worked closely with the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs on the development of the Plan, particularly on the Enterprise & Employment theme, where key actions include:
· implementation of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs;
· roll out of competitive regional funding of up to €50m from Enterprise Ireland;
· delivery of an increase in FDI of 30-40% in each of the 8 regions, and
· strengthening local enterprise development and job creation through the LEOs and Enterprise Ireland.”

The Minister added, “Broadband is an essential infrastructure for economic and social activity in so many areas and is absolutely essential for enterprise development and growth. Its importance for regional development cannot be underestimated. I welcome, therefore, the fact that a key focus in the Rural Plan is to address Ireland’s connectivity challenges, including the acceleration of broadband roll out and improvements to mobile phone reception in rural areas.”

The retail sector within towns and villages throughout Ireland will also benefit from the roll out of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and this will contribute to making rural Ireland a better place to work and live.”

The Minister concluded, “I look forward to working with Minister Humphreys in the future in the implementation of the Rural Action Plan.”

Ministers Mitchell O’Connor, Ross and O’Donovan launch public consultation on resale of tickets for entertainment and sporting events

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D. and Minister of State Patrick O’ Donovan, T.D. today launched a public consultation on the resale of tickets for entertainment and sporting events.

The consultation is being undertaken in response to public concern at the resale of tickets for major entertainment and sporting events at a price often well in excess of their face value. It seeks the inputs and views of interested parties – consumers, performers and their representatives, promoters, sporting bodies, primary ticketing services providers, secondary ticket marketplaces and others – on possible measures aimed at securing fairer access to tickets for consumers.
The consultation paper looks in detail at a number of relevant aspects of ticket resale, including –
· the workings of the primary and secondary ticket markets for entertainment and sporting events,
· how tickets sold or allocated through the primary ticket market end up for resale on the secondary ticket market and who puts them for resale,
· the legislation regulating ticket resale in Ireland, other EU member states, the US and other countries, and
· what different stakeholders do, or do not do, to address the issues and concerns raised by ticket resale.

The paper further sets out, and seeks views, on a number of possible measures that might be taken by the parties involved in the organisation of entertainment and sporting events and in the primary and secondary ticket markets, and by Government, to ensure that fans who wish to attend major entertainment or sporting events do not have to pay exorbitant prices to do so.

Commenting on the launch of the consultation, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said; “We share the public concern at the resale of tickets for major events at inflated prices as seen most recently with tickets for the concert by U2 in July. While the resale of tickets for events characterised by high demand and limited supply is not new, the forms it takes have been transformed by the growth of online selling, including through secondary ticket marketplaces linked to primary ticket sellers. Though ticket resale has been the subject of considerable comment, there is a lack of reliable information about important aspects of the practice, including its incidence, the sources of tickets put up for resale, and the prices achieved, as opposed to advertised, on the secondary ticket market.”

Minister Ross said: “We have huge sympathy for the frustration experienced by genuine fans who feel they are being short changed by the resale of tickets, often at exorbitant prices, to popular events. While we most certainly need to consider legislation that will regulate ticket resale, we also need to be sure that any such legislation will be effective and targeted and will not give rise to unwelcome unintended consequences such as driving ticket resale underground or diverting it to other countries.”

Minister O’Donovan added: “Given that we are hosting some of the UEFA 2020 games and hope to win the bid for hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup, it is vital we examine the issue of ticket touting at this time. Ultimately we want to ensure that sport and music fans get fair access to tickets, without any unintended consequences which may impact on the events or the economy. So I’d encourage all those interested to make submissions by the closing date of 31st March”



Tickets sold by venues, promoters and sporting bodies or by ticketing service providers authorised by them constitute primary ticket sales and the arrangements by which such tickets are sold constitute the primary ticket market. On the secondary ticket market, tickets previously sold or allocated through the primary ticket market are sold or offered for sale.

Ticket resale is now increasingly conducted on specialist ticket marketplaces which do not sell tickets or set their prices but facilitate sales between sellers and buyers for which they receive a fee from one or both parties to the sale. The main secondary marketplaces operating in Ireland are Seatwave which was acquired by Ticketmaster in 2014, StubHub which was acquired by eBay in 2007, and viagogo, a European based platform founded in 2006 by a former co-founder of StubHub. Tickets for entertainment and sporting events are also commonly offered for secondary sale on general online platforms or advertising websites such as DoneDeal, Gumtree (owned by eBay) and eBay itself as well as on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

Though ticket sale and resale are subject to general consumer protection legislation, there is no statutory prohibition of ticket resale in Ireland or regulation of the mark-up over the face value of tickets offered for sale on the secondary market. Ticket resale is also permitted in the UK and most European Union member states. Though a number of US states enacted legislation on ticket touting or ‘scalping’ as far back as the 1920s, the trend, until recently at least, has been for these restrictions to be repealed or curtailed. In December 2016, however, provisions aimed at combating the use of ticket purchasing software were enacted by the US Congress.

EVO Payments International to add 50 new jobs in Dun Laoghaire as part of €9.1 million investment

EVO Payments International, a leading card payment service provider operating throughout North America and Europe, has announced the creation of 50 new jobs and the opening of a new Irish headquarters as part of a €9.1 million investment in the Irish market.
The new full-time positions, spanning sales and marketing, customer support and administration, will be based in the company’s new head office in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

EVO has begun recruiting for the new positions and expects to fill all roles this year. With extensive operations in North America and Europe, EVO employs over 2,000 professionals today.

The announcement was made by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor at an event in the company’s new headquarters today.

Operating under the BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) brand name in Ireland, EVO established a presence here in 2014 and works in partnership with Bank of Ireland in providing innovative card point of sale and online payment solutions for Irish SME and corporate businesses.
The company has played a central role in the accelerated growth of card and contactless payment adoption in the Irish market.

In just two years, the company has grown from five to 70 people. The addition of 50 new people will bring the Irish workforce to 120 people in 2017.

Announcing the new jobs and additional investment in the company’s new offices in Dun Laoghaire, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor warmly welcomed the expansion, saying:

‘This is a great success story with a further 50 jobs being announced today. The alliance between EVO Payments International and Bank of Ireland brings together a world leading international payments technology company and a major Irish financial institution, and the result is a great win for Ireland. I am confident the company will get the required skills from our talented workforce, and I look forward to the business going from strength to strength in the future.’

Debit card spend in Ireland last year was over €30 billion, a 20 per cent increase year-on-year. Total card spend in Ireland is over €40 billion with an additional €13 billion spent online.

Speaking at the announcement today, Mr Brian Cleary, Managing Director of BOI Payment Acceptance Ireland and UK said:
‘We’re delighted to announce our additional investment and expansion in Ireland today. We’ve experienced rapid growth here over the past two years, driven mostly by the increasing use of card payments by Irish consumers, the adoption of new card payment technologies by Irish businesses to meet that demand, and a growing Irish economy. Equally, our strategic partnership with Bank of Ireland means we continue to deliver for more Irish businesses and consumers.

‘With over six million debit and credit cards in the market, debit card spend on the increase year-on-year and with over 35,000 Irish businesses offering contactless payment facilities, this number continues to grow. Our additional investment reinforces our commitment to rapidly expanding our presence in both the Irish and UK markets and will ensure we are well positioned to meet the demand for new and innovative payment solutions among consumers and businesses in Ireland,’ he said.

The project has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA.

Congratulating the company on its expansion, Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland said: ‘Ireland is well positioned as a ‘payments’ hub within Europe and today’s expansion by EVO Payments International further strengthens this. There are huge opportunities for growth in this area as consumers continue to embrace technology in their daily lives. IDA Ireland is focussed on winning more business in this area in the coming months.’

SilverCloud Health raises $8.1 million to accelerate delivery of evidence-based digital mental health and behavioural healthcare solutions

Digital Health company SilverCloud Health, the leading provider of evidence-based online mental health and behavioural healthcare solutions, announced that it has raised $8.1 million in Series A funding. Venture capital firm B Capital Group – founded by Raj Ganguly and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin – led the investment round with significant participation from ACT Venture Capital and returning investors, Investec Ventures and AIB Seed Capital Fund managed by DBIC, NDRC and Enterprise Ireland.

SilverCloud Health is a multi-award winning global health tech company providing online therapeutic solutions to improve behavioural health and mental wellness; since launching in 2012 it has gone on to support over 80,000 patients across it’s global customer base, delivering clinical results that are on par with face-to-face therapy.

SilverCloud Health chief executive and co-founder Ken Cahill said the company is defining a new healthcare model to meet the demand of the rapidly growing behavioural healthcare market, which in the US alone is estimated to be worth $440 billion. “This new investment enables us to drive forward with our commitment to evolve our health platform and address the ever-increasing global need in behavioural healthcare. We believe that technology is the enabler to address the biggest healthcare challenge of this century, maximising clinical delivery while enhancing patient access and choice, through the ability to engage with therapy at a time that fits into diverse lifestyles and through devices that are a part of our everyday lives.”

“We chose B Capital to lead our Series A because of their healthcare knowledge and relationships, and due to their partnership with the Boston Consulting Group, which has opened doors for us to new commercial partners in the US,” he added.

“SilverCloud Health’s mission is to make people healthier by providing effective, accessible and affordable behavioural healthcare opportunities, filling a massive void in the market today. B Capital Group is excited to back Ken and the team at SilverCloud Health, as they continue to change the way behavioural healthcare is delivered,” said Eduardo Saverin, Co-founder and Partner, B Capital Group. “Our investment in SilverCloud Health is driven by our confidence in its team, its proven track record working with global health organisations and its esteemed partner network. This new capital will enable SilverCloud Health to continue to innovate, expand and broadly deploy its programmes to the millions of individuals who need them.”

This funding round comes as SilverCloud Health is growing rapidly with an expanding research pipeline that continues to show the clinical effectiveness of the company’s behavioural health platform. The SilverCloud Health platform is currently used by over 120 healthcare organisations across Europe and North America. Within the UK National Health Service (NHS), the company has seen an exponential growth of clients—from supporting 1 percent of NHS mental health services two years ago to over 45 percent today. More broadly within the UK SilverCloud Health works with other organisations including universities and employers. The new capital will be used to meet growing demand in Europe and North America, build out it’s commercial, development and clinical teams and drive its strong clinical research and publishing agenda.

Speaking at the announcement Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said, “Today’s announcement that SilverCloud Health, an Irish company providing outcomes-focused online behavioural health solutions has secured significant investment is very welcome. It is testament to the vision and hard work of everyone in SilverCloud that the company has grown from a small start-up into a highly innovative scaling company and with this investment has the potential and the ambition to continue to successfully scale its operations into a global company. The Government through Enterprise Ireland looks forward to continued engagement with SilverCloud Health to support their business development. I wish Ken and his team every success with their future.”

Ireland continues to rapidly grow as a leading global health tech hub. Kevin Sherry, Executive Director Global Business Development for Enterprise Ireland said “SilverCloud Health is a world-class health tech company with global ambition and we are delighted to see the continued growth and impact SilverCloud Health is having in international healthcare markets. SilverCloud is a good example of how Irish companies are supplying the global healthcare market with leading innovative, effective, scalable products and services.  We look forward to working with the company to achieve further growth and success as it enters new markets.”

With proven results in major health systems globally, this investment will allow expansion into new areas such as integration with personal health and activity monitoring devices to give a more integrated personalised context across physical and behaviuoral healthcare.

Gavin Teo, Partner at B Capital Group said, “SilverCloud Health is redefining access to quality, outcomes-based care for hard-to-treat and high cost behavioural health populations. Their digital health platform is enabling new ways for provider systems and pharma companies to personalise therapeutic delivery to the individual patient, which is a building block for clinically validated, value driven care. B Capital is thrilled to be the lead investor in SilverCloud Health at such an exciting time in their growth.”

‘’We’ve seen SilverClouds impact on patients and clinicians. Patients have seen it transform their daily lives , with a therapy they can control, and clinicians have been able to rapidly integrate it into clinical pathways.’’ Says John O’Sullivan, General Partner at ACT Venture Capital. ‘’ The efficacy data is compelling and is evident across a very large and diverse range of cases. We are delighted to be working with the SilverCloud team to positively impact and change many more lives and transform the economics of healthcare delivery’’

Today SilverCloud Health offers 22 evidence-based programmes addressing conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress as well as for long-term chronic conditions (diabetes, COPD, and cardiovascular disease). SilverCloud Health has spun out from the NDRC in 2012 and has been built on over a decade of academic and clinical research. Clinically led full randomised control trials (RCT) have demonstrated that SilverCloud Health’s programmes are extremely effective, engaging with patients and provide positive clinical outcomes that are on par with face-to-face therapy.

In 2016, SilverCloud Health was highlighted in Accenture’s Digital Health Tech Vision 2016 report. The report listed 5 key innovative companies taking charge of healthcare delivery including Apple, Uber, United Healthcare, Philips and SilverCloud Health. In November 2016, SilverCloud Health was listed in the Top 100 Global Disruptive Companies in Healthcare, a report compiled by The Journal of mHealth which provides insight into the key sector trends that are emerging from across the healthcare continuum when it comes to the adoption of technology-led products and services.

In the UK, clinical and financial benefits of online mental health services are being increasingly recognised, with Prime Minister, Theresa May, announcing £67.7 million funding for its expansion earlier this month.


Nostra announces 50 new jobs and unveils new facility

Nostra, an independent, Irish owned and managed ICT company based in Lucan, Co. Dublin has today announced 50 new jobs. The company was established by Laois natives, Kevin and Barry O’Loughlin along with Gary Byrne and Senan Finucane in 2006 and has grown rapidly in the last number of years. The business has grown from just four staff in 2006 to 75 people in 2016 with 50 new positions to be filled over the next three years.

Recruitment for the new positions, with the support of Enterprise Ireland will begin immediately and includes roles for computer engineers and sales personnel who will be required to service recent client wins and support the growth of new international business. The company supports well-known brands including BoyleSports, Dawn Farm Foods and aerospace giant Avolon which now has a requirement for international ICT supported and managed by Nostra.

In addition, as part of its five year plan, the company aims to expand to employ a total of 147 people by 2020. To meet this expansion, Nostra recently extended its headquarters and has just completed a full renovation and state-of-the-art 9,000 sq. ft. facility which was unveiled today by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell, O’Connor T.D.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, “SME’s are the backbone of our economy and are creating jobs right across all regions of our country. They are filled with innovative, hardworking entrepreneurs. I am delighted that Nostra, an Enterprise Ireland supported company which started its life with just four people working out of what was essentially a shed in an industrial estate has now grown to be an international player on the world stage. I would like to congratulate Kevin O’Loughlin and his team for their hard work and vision and wish them the very best in their endeavours.”

Kevin O’Loughlin, CEO of Nostra said, “We are really grateful for the support we received from Enterprise Ireland which has allowed us to grow and expand the company. Our international business has really taken off and the support from Enterprise Ireland has been a game changer for us. It has helped Nostra to take on new business and create new jobs. We are very focused on reaching our goals and are currently working on building our business in North America and Europe”.

As part of the current expansion, Enterprise Ireland is supporting the recruitment of export focused positions in the company. Leo McAdams, Divisional Manager ICT & ITS, Enterprise Ireland said, “Enterprise Ireland’s mission is to partner with innovative Irish businesses looking to scale internationally. Nostra is a great example of an Irish internationally traded services company with global ambition, competing and winning sustained business in overseas markets. Enterprise Ireland looks forward to continuing to support Nostra’s growth ambitions as they expand their global footprint, strengthening their customer base internationally and continuing to create jobs here in Ireland.

The new look facility at Nostra’s headquarters in Lucan, Co. Dublin includes new office spaces, a 24-hour helpdesk, a state of the art IT Build Room, boardrooms, meeting rooms, a dedicated field and internal sales team area and a café.

For more information on Nostra visit



Steeltech Sheds Ltd. announces €5 Million Investment and New Jobs for Tuam

Galway based steel shed manufacturing company, Steeltech Sheds Ltd., today announced a major investment of €5million over the next three years and 43 new jobs in the next 12 months. The expansion is due to the major growth of the company domestically in the last year, following the creation of 50 Jobs in 2016 and the decision to further expand and export into the UK Market.

Headquartered in Tuam, Steeltech’s business involves the design, manufacture, delivery and installation of garden sheds, workshops, home offices, garages, garden rooms, garden studios and chalets. All products are made from steel and custom made on request.

The €5million investment over the next three years by the company will see funding in capital, people, IT, innovation, R&D and sales and marketing allowing Steeltech Sheds to scale significantly over the next five to ten years.

Speaking at the announcement in Tuam today, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said: “As Minister my priority is to ensure an environment exists that nurtures development and job growth across the country and in particular the regions of Ireland. Today’s investment announcement by Steeltech Sheds, with the support of Enterprise Ireland, creating over 40 jobs here in Tuam is hugely welcome and of great significance to the local economy. Galway is a region with valuable resources, infrastructure and community – all the fundamentals required to scale a successful business. I warmly congratulate all the Steeltech team and wish them every success for the future.”

Sean Brett, Founder & CEO of Steeltech Sheds Ltd., said “This is a very exciting time for Steeltech Sheds. Since relocation to the new Tuam manufacturing plant in 2015, we have increased productivity by 90 percent, created 50 new jobs in 2016, and have expanded our export reach and operations into the UK and Northern Ireland market.

Over the last three months, we have set up sales show rooms in five locations in the UK and all manufacturing from UK sales will take please here in Tuam. Steeltech is thankful for the support Enterprise Ireland has given to date and I look forward to working with them as we expand and grow in the UK and Europe,” he continued.

Barry Egan, Director, West Region, Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with Steeltech over the past year and seen first-hand how the company has gone from strength-to-strength in a relatively short time period. This is a great example of how a rural location like Tuam can become home to a thriving business with the drive, commitment and global ambition to create 50 local jobs within a year with over 40 more to follow. Enterprise Ireland looks forward to continuing to support Steeltech as they enter into new markets and continue to scale creating jobs here in the West of Ireland.”