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  • Connecting Cork with UK - Joining the Dots

    Irish Business Delegation Travels to the UK to Grow Economic Co-Operation

    Written by: Katherine Fitzpatrick

    Major global companies and innovative manufacturing, agri-tech and financial companies take part in the next phase of the joint UK/Irish Joining the Dots programme.   

    An Irish business delegation of over 45 companies and organisations, travelled today (03 July) to the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry for the UK launch the British Embassy led programme Joining the Dots. The report identifies areas for growth and offers concrete recommendations on how to promote stronger business partnerships and collaboration between the UK and the south west of Ireland. 

    The delegation, comprising of global companies and innovative firms, spanning manufacturing, agri-tech and financial services, as well as senior business and government representatives, are attending a two day programme to develop close economic relationships with their counterparts in the UK. The programme began with a tour of the world class Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, followed by the report launch and panel discussions (full details in notes to editor).

    Launching the report, the British Ambassador to Ireland, Robin Barnett, said that the large Irish delegation shows the strong appetite for economic cooperation and partnership. 

    “Today’s report launch is the next stage in our Joining the Dots journey and builds on the enthusiasm shown at the Irish launch in Cork last year. For companies in the South West of Ireland, the report highlights that the UK remains a key target market with untapped opportunities. Similarly, Ireland is seen as a logical first step for many UK companies seeking to test their capability in overseas markets. 

    “We are also celebrating a new collaboration, highlighting the appetite for partnership and innovation. I’m delighted that, today, Irish Manufacturing Research and the UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre signed an MoU agreeing to work together to help companies with new technologies apply them industrially and commercially. 

    “Today’s launch and the new partnership between the IMR and MTC, further demonstrate not only our commitment to deliver on the report’s practical recommendations but a keen enthusiasm, with continuing momentum, to grow and boost economic links between the Ireland and the UK.”   

    Commenting on the visit, Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber said:

    “We were delighted to partner with the British Embassy last year to carry out the research for the Joining the Dots report. Through a series of surveys and in-depth interviews with stakeholders in Ireland and the UK, we established that there is room for more in-depth collaboration between business and academic institutes across different regions. Activities such as this delegation visit to the UK Midlands provide a perfect opportunity to exchange best practices and look for common areas for further growth and collaboration.”

    On Thursday 4 July, day two of the programme, the delegation will take study tours of Harper Adams University, focusing on AgTech, Malvern Science Park, focusing on Cyber and Birmingham City, focusing on economic development.


    Notes to Editor:

    About Joining the Dots
    Joining the Dots is a British Embassy led programme that promotes economic links and opportunities between regions of the UK and the South West and West of Ireland.  Launched in Ireland in November 2018, in partnership with Cork Chamber of Commerce, the report identified untapped opportunities to connect business, researchers and academia to promote UK–Irish economic growth. Since its launch in November, the Embassy has been working with partners including Cork Chamber and the Department for Foreign Affairs on an agreed programme including today’s event and study tours with partners in the UK Midlands. Joining the Dots is extending to encompass Kerry and Limerick with activity being planned in late 2019 and early 2020.

    Panel Discussions
    1. Creating thriving regional economies.

    Moderator: Katherine Fitzpatrick, Director of International, Cork Chamber                            


    •  Moira Murrell, CEO, Kerry County Council
    • Adrienne McDonnell, Senior Med Tech Executive, IBEC
    • Seamus Nevin, Chief Economist, Make UK
    • Andrew Carter, CEO, Centre for Cities
    • Professor Martin Levermore

    2. Doing business in the Midlands and South West of Ireland

    Moderator: Mark Goldby, Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing Specialist, Dept for International Trade


    • Mike Cantwell, Innovate Limerick
    • Pat O’Leary, MD, Liebherr
    • Sue Taylor, National Sales Manager, JFC Agri
    • Parmjit Chima, Head of Engineering, Harper Adams
    • Brendan Tuohy, Chairman of the Governance Committee, Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy

    About MTC:

    The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers. The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.

    About IMR:

    IMR is headquartered in Rathcoole, and has a European Digitisation for Manufacturing Pilot Facility in the National Science Park, Mullingar. Their research aims to improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability, positioning Ireland to achieve global leadership in advanced manufacturing through applied relevant research. Together with their industrial members and academic partners, they are engaging in some of the most exciting research into advanced manufacturing methods and processes being carried out globally.