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11 November, 2012

Inspiration trip to Dublin

On invitation only

Inspired by Ireland...

The beautiful medieval castle of Kilkenny was the setting for the first meeting of the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) from the Waterford Institute of Technology (www.tssg.org). Their technological research happens in close collaboration with companies, often start-ups that they help on the road to independence (also in the area of management, IP and so on, not just IT!). A few of these companies gave a detailed account of how they have developed new technologies with the help of TSSG and, thanks to the support of Enterprise Ireland as well, are expanding to become fully-fledged players on the (international) market:

The following day’s venue was the equally historic Trinity College, the place to be for a presentation by the Learnovate Centre. This is an initiative that brings together Irish eLearning companies, global companies based in Ireland and research teams from Irish higher educational institutions with the aim of producing “next practice” learning technologies (www.percolate.ie). Here too, the spin-offs that were present proved that the approach produces results:

The reception provided by the Belgian Ambassador in Dublin led to an international networking event between Irish companies, the organisations that we had met over the two days, a number of Belgian companies that are active in Dublin and the ADM team.

During the reception, the introduction to the concept of CoderDojo was for many an inspiring experience (www.coderdojo.com). This not-for-profit organisation operates in various places (nowadays outside Ireland too), with volunteers working with young people between the ages of 7 and 18 to give them the chance to experience programming as something that can be interesting and cool. An initiative that could well be replicated in Belgium after our trip!

The participants were impressed by the vision of the Irish government: they are trying to stimulate optimal innovation in areas where economic growth and employment are problematic. The research institutes do not limit themselves to creating technological innovation but also work closely with their spin-offs and other companies so that there is a fast return on investment from their joint efforts.

Besides offering a lot of inspiration, this trip also provided the participants with a number of new business contacts on the Emerald Isle and perhaps contracts soon as well. In addition, the networking within the group of participants itself should not be underestimated. Once again, ADM members got to know each other for the first time or in a different way. The art of professional networking at its best. An initiative that everyone would like to repeat.

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