Offaly hosts thought leaders on Innovation Management

Delegates from a wide range of backgrounds were in Tullamore to network and listen to different perspectives

Damian Moran


Damian Moran


Offaly hosts thought leaders on Innovation Management

Damien Costello; Eoin Kennedy; Tracey Tallon; Dr. Hugh Henry; Orla Martin; Ron Immink; Paul Killeen.

Delegates from a wide range of backgrounds - including from the educational sector, such as the Athlone Institute of Technology, the Public Sector and from the Midlands engineering and manufacturing industry, congregated in Tullamore last week to network and listen to different perspectives and case studies on Innovation Management by some of the leading experts on the topic.

Ron Immink, entrepreneur-in-residence for Sustainable Nation and founder of Bookbuzz and Smallbusinesscan (now, spoke about the increasing need to include the environmental costs as part of the bottom line. He underlined that the increasing resource scarcity and need for sustainability must be central to any innovation strategy and spoke about the need to appreciate major technological disruption of the industry 4.0 and beyond.

Damian Costello, Managing Partner at Decode Innovation (part of the Synecco Group), delivered some innovation management lessons derived from high-impact innovation and strategy experience in the Medtech Sector. He in particular emphasised the opportunities that complacency in industry can bring.

Eoin Kennedy, a serial entrepreneur with extensive background in digital platforms and communication, spoke about some of the highlights of this year’s CongRegation tech festival, where deep discussion and dialogue took place on the topic of Innovation. One of the major findings of these discussions was that nobody has all the answers or pieces of the puzzle, and that continued dialogue and collective learning leads to better understanding of innovation.

Dr Hugh Henry, the Director of Innovation at Bord na Móna, delivered insights on the company’s philosophy on innovation management and highlighted some of the cutting-edge projects the company is currently involved. He stressed the importance of collaboration and open innovation as means of achieving high-impact results.

Finally, Paul Killeen of the National Standards Authority Irelands (NSAI) spoke about the vital role standards can play in innovation, but also as part of a competitive strategy. Involvement in the standard development process was highlighted as an opportunity to be part of the process and stay ahead of the curve by becoming aware of upcoming trends before they hit the market.

The event was the 2nd in the series of Midlands Engineering Network events organised on behalf of Local Enterprise Offices in Westmeath, Longford, Laois and Offaly. The Network and the events form part of the Engenuity Programme, delivered by WestBIC and Almir Biz, which is an integral part of effort to promote market-led innovation, stakeholder collaboration, best practice transfer and product and trade development among the Midlands Engineering Cluster. This was identified as a priority in the Action Plan for Jobs and is funded by the Competitive LEO Fund managed by Enterprise Ireland.