New WDC Publication: WDC Policy Briefing No.7 e-Working in the Western Region: A Review of the Evidence

The Western Development Commission (WDC) has published its latest Policy Briefing WDC Policy Briefing No.7 e-Working in the Western Region: A Review of the Evidence, which is now available for download at the following link here.

e-Work is a method of working using information and communication technology in which the work is not bound to any particular location. Traditionally this has been understood as working remotely from the office, usually from home, whether full-time or for a period during the working week. e-Working can provide particular opportunities in regions like the Western Region where many are living some distance from key employment centres.

The WDC Policy Briefing, which includes case studies from companies and individuals, examines:

  • The extent of e-Working.
  • The way in which weaker broadband access in more rural locations impacts on the rate of e-Working.
  • Factors driving e-Work.
  • Recommendations on how e-Working can be further promoted.

This Policy Briefing shows that e-Working is a widespread practice but somewhat hidden from official statistics. It also shows that while there is demand for greater e-working, broadband speeds need to be improved.

The WDC Policy Briefing contains recommendations to support more e-Working, including priority rollout of the National Broadband Plan to those counties with the lowest broadband speeds. Additional case studies are also available for download from here.

Deirdre Frost

e-Working – the future of work in the Western Region?

More e-Working possible with the National Broadband Plan

One in four broadband users in rural Ireland use the internet at home in relation to their work. That is according to a new WDC Policy Briefing e-Working in the Western Region – A Review of the Evidence, published today.

e-Working means using information and communication technology to work remotely, usually from home, whether full-time or for a period during the working week.

“Statistics on e-working are limited” noted Deirdre Frost, WDC Policy Analyst “but the research does suggest it is very extensive in the Western Region and could be even more important in the future. This is important when thinking about future living and working patterns, which the current National Planning Framework is considering”.

The benefits of greater e-working – compiled from a variety of research sources – even for as little as one day per week, can include:

·        Improved productivity of workers living in rural areas and commuting to jobs in urban areas (estimated at €1,342 per worker per annum).

·        Individual households benefitting from journey time and fuel cost savings (estimated at €89.00 per household per annum).

·        Reduced transport demand, improving congestion and lowering transport emissions – important benefits for climate change mitigation.

·        Better employee work-life balance.

The WDC Policy Briefing looks at e-working in the Western Region and includes case studies from companies and individuals showing how e-work operates in practice.

Deirdre Frost, WDC Policy Analyst noted “While there is demand for greater e-working, broadband speeds need to be improved.  The WDC Policy Briefing notes that according to a study by Vodafone a quarter of those who work from home – or nearly 100,000 adults – say their current broadband service is not sufficient to meet their requirements for e-working, and that it limits the work related activities they can do from home”.

The WDC Policy Briefing recommends the following to increase e-working:

·        Rollout under the National Broadband Plan should start in counties with the lowest broadband speeds, for example, Mayo, Leitrim and Roscommon.

·        Employers’ bodies should highlight best practice and help create a greater awareness of the rights, regulations and responsibilities of e-workers.

·        Government needs to prioritise e-work as a policy objective with co-ordinated action and targets, recognising the benefits it can bring including climate change mitigation and employee well-being.

For further information please contact:

Deirdre Frost, Western Development Commission, 094 986 1441 or 086 605 3317

The full report is available at

http://www.wdc.ie/wp-content/uploads/WDC_Policy-Briefing-no-7.pdf

 

Note on WDC Policy Briefings:

This Policy Briefing ‘e-Working in the Western Region- A Review of the Evidence’ is the seventh in a series of WDC Policy Briefings to highlight and provide discussion and analysis of key regional policy issues. It is an objective statistical resource for people and organisations who are interested in the Western Region’s future.

 

 

FREED project Invitation to Tender,€30,000 available to support Energy Innovations

 

Western Development Commission

FREED project Invitation to Tender,€30,000 available to support Energy Innovations

The Western Development Commission (WDC) are a partner in the FREED Project, established to support the development of innovation in energy technologies currently unavailable within the Northern Periphery & Artic regions, which runs until the end of 2018. This will be achieved by selected companies, SME’s or start-ups, collaborating with private finance to bring technology transfer of IP to create products and bringing them to market.

The FREED Project invitation to tender call is now inviting applications from companies, SME’s or start-ups to develop innovative energy technologies. The WDC are using the etenders platform and the tender documents are available at http://www.freedproject.eu/itt-call-ireland-2/, the closing date for applications in March 15th 2017. Aimed at businesses that are currently active in the Energy Technology sector, FREED is offering financial support to develop and take innovative energy technologies to commercialisation. A total investment sum of €30,000 is available for this call together with in-kind support offering incubation capabilities, market access and unique access to private investment. The innovative technology selected will be promoted through the project across the partner region in the NPA area and beyond.

Ian Brannigan (CEO) of the Western Development Commission said: ‘’The West of Ireland Region continues to develop a strong bio-economy and with this support for innovation the WDC seek to grow the regions capacity and evolve to the next level of sustainability.’’

Candidates are to submit technology innovation proposals, which address identified challenges in the following four thematic areas:

  • Intelligent grid (IoT
  • Energy storage
  • Smart and efficient buildings and environment
  • Renewable energies

A condition of being awarded the contract is that technology development and the commercial development of the output must take place in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region, as defined by the European Union Interreg Programme.

The FREED Project has seven full-partners from across and outside the NPA region:

  • University of Oulu, Finland
  • South-West College, Northern Ireland
  • Western Development Commission, Ireland
  • Green Angel Syndicate, Scotland
  • Narvik Science Park, Norway
  • Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland
  • European Institute for Innovation, Germany

Associate-partner: Sustainable Venture Development Partners Ltd, UK

The FREED Project is funded under The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020 (NPA) which is a cooperative programme between nine partner countries of: Finland, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland) in cooperation with the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Norway.

ENDS

For further information please contact –

Mary Keaveney, Project Officer

Western Development Commission

PH:00353-9498-61441

Email: marykeaveney@wdc.ie

Website – www.freedproject.eu

Facebook – www.facebook.com/FREEDproject/

Twitter – @Freedproject

Notes to Editor

The Western Development Commission (WDC) is the statutory body promoting economic and social development in counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway and Clare.

The WDC’s five strategic goals are:

  1. Contribute to balanced regional development by ensuring that the Western Region maximises its full potential for economic and social development.
  2. Promote the benefits of living, working and doing business in the Western Region.
  3. Support the sustainable economic and social development of the rural economy.
  4. Provide risk capital to SMEs and social enterprises.
  5. Operate the WDC as a competent and effective organisation.

How is the Western Region doing?

On 31 January, the WDC was invited to give a presentation to officials of the Department of Social Protection working across the Western Region. The objective was to give an overview of the WDC’s analysis of data across a range of socio-economic issues.

Analysing regional data provides information on the areas for which we are responsible and highlights the multi-dimensional nature of the concept of regional development.  A regional perspective is necessary since changes and inequalities not only occur among individuals but also the places where they live

This (very) comprehensive presentation analyses the following indicators:

  1. Population: Preliminary Census 2016 Results
  2. Labour Market: QNHS Q1 2016, special run
  3. Income: County Incomes & Regional GDP, 2013-2014
  4. Enterprise: Business Demography, 2014

These are some of the key points emerging from the analysis.

Population

  • Population of Western Region grew +0.9% 2011-2016 compared with +3.7% growth nationally.
  • Three counties in the Western Region showed population decline 2011-2016 –(Donegal -1.5%, Mayo -0.2% and Sligo -0.1%) – only counties in Ireland to do so. In addition Leitrim and Roscommon had the lowest growth.  Galway city had 5th highest population growth in Ireland.
  • Every county in Ireland had a positive natural increase (more births than deaths) during 2011-2016. Donegal, Sligo and Mayo however had enough negative net migration to lead to population decline.
  • All western counties, and all but six areas nationally, had negative net migration between 2011 and 2016. Donegal and Sligo had the two highest rates of negative net migration.
  • Male out-migration considerably higher than female leading to a +1.5% increase in the female population of the Western Region and only +2% growth in the male population.
Figure 1: Percentage change in population by administrative area, 2011-2016. CSO (2016), Preliminary Results Census 2016

Figure 1: Percentage change in population by administrative area, 2011-2016. CSO (2016), Preliminary Results Census 2016

Labour Market

  • The Western Region’s labour force declined marginally (-1.2%) between 2007 and 2016. Within this the male labour force fell by -6.1% while the female rose by +5.7%.
  • The Western Region has a lower share of its labour force aged under 35 years and a higher share aged over 44 Its labour force participation rate is lower for both men and women, and across all age groups (except 65+).
  • Total employment in the region fell by -5.8% 2007-2016 compared with a -6.5% decline in the rest of the state (all counties outside Western Region)
  • There has been exceptionally strong growth in self-employment in the Western Region since 2012, increasing by +31.1% in the region compared with +7.2% in the rest of the state.
  • Growth of self-employment tied to sectoral pattern of growth with strongest jobs growth since 2012 in Agriculture, Construction, Accommodation & Food Service and Wholesale & Retail, all with high self-emp
  • Since 2012 the Western Region has had jobs decline in 7 out of 14 sectors, in the rest of the state there was only decline in 1 out of 14. Jobs recovery in the Western Region is not as diversified across the economy as elsewhere and more concentrated in domestic sectors
  • Unemployment numbers declining steadily in region, but share of long-term unemployment growing. Western Region has higher unemployment rate in all age groups (except 65+ & 25-34) and particularly among youth.
Figure 2: % change in employment by sector in Western Region and Rest of State, 2012-2016. CSO, Quarterly National Household Survey, Q1 2012-2016, special run

Figure 2: % change in employment by sector in Western Region and Rest of State, 2012-2016. CSO, Quarterly National Household Survey, Q1 2012-2016, special run

Income

  • Disposable income per person in the Western Region was €17,260 in 2013 (92.3% of State). Provisional 2014 figures show some growth (€17,768) but still well below the 2008 peak (€21,167).
  • Longer term, the gap is narrowing, the Western Region had disposable income of 84.3% of State in 1995, 92.3% of State in 2013.
  • Within the Western Region, Roscommon had a significantly lower income relative to the State in 2014 (87.2%) compared with 2005 (95.8%). Clare has also fallen relative to the State starting at 95.5% in 2005 and dropping to 93.3% in 2014. Sligo, Galway, Mayo and Donegal have all improved their position relative to the State since 2005, albeit with some variation. Galway and Sligo had greatest improvements.
Figure 3: Index of disposable income per person in western counties, 2005-2014 (Index State=100). CSO, County Incomes and Regional GDP 2013, provisional 2014

Figure 3: Index of disposable income per person in western counties, 2005-2014 (Index State=100). CSO, County Incomes and Regional GDP 2013, provisional 2014

Gross Value Added

  • Dublin region is the only region where the preliminary 2014 GVA per person figure is higher than the peak GVA per person in 2007. None of the other regions have recovered to the 2007 level, though the difference in the West region is slight.
  • Dublin and Mid-East and South West, only regions with a greater share of national GVA than share of persons at work.
  • In 2005 there were 60.6 index points between the lowest GVA per person in a region (Midland, 65.4) and the highest (Dublin and the Mid-East, 126.0).  In 2014 the difference between Midland (59.2) and Dublin and the Mid-East, (130.6) was 71.4 index points (71.3 in 2013).
Figure 4: Index of GVA per person by region, 2005-2014 (Index State=100). CSO, County Incomes and Regional GDP 2013, provisional 2014

Figure 4: Index of GVA per person by region, 2005-2014 (Index State=100). CSO, County Incomes and Regional GDP 2013, provisional 2014

Enterprise

  • The share of enterprises nationally that are based in the Western Region is declining and was 17.1% of the total in 2014.
  • Construction, Wholesale & Retail, Professional activities and Accommodation & Food Service are the largest enterprise sectors in the region. Less than 5% of the region’s enterprises are in Financial & Insurance and Information & Communications combined.
  • There has been a far greater decline in enterprise numbers in the Western Region than the rest of the state since 2008 and the region had a weaker performance – greater decline or lower growth – in every sector (ex. real estate).
  • The enterprise base differs across more urban and rural counties. Highly rural counties of Roscommon, Mayo and Donegal have 34-36% of enterprises in Industry and Construction but in more urban counties of Clare and Sligo it is around 30%.  A higher share of enterprises in Galway and Sligo are active in knowledge services sectors, though even Galway is below national average. Local services play a larger role in more rural counties.
  • Western counties had among the greatest losses of enterprises since 2008. Donegal lost more than 1 in 3 of its Construction firms; Wholesale & Retail declined most strongly in Donegal and Clare; Accommodation & Food Service declined across most counties.
  • Knowledge services performed best, though from a low base.
Figure 5: % change in number of active enterprises by sector in Western Region & Rest of State, 2008-2014. CSO, Business Demography, 2014

Figure 5: % change in number of active enterprises by sector in Western Region & Rest of State, 2008-2014. CSO, Business Demography, 2014

The full presentation can be downloaded here  (PDF, 2MB)

 

Pauline White & Helen McHenry

2017 – A very important year for Broadband and the National Broadband Plan

2017 – Contract Signing and Build Commencement

2017 is the year when contracts are to be awarded to one or two telecommunications companies to rollout a high speed broadband network as part of the much awaited National Broadband Plan.

For those companies and citizens across regional and rural Ireland trying to operate with very basic broadband services, this is a really important milestone. Not only will it signal the start of an actual physical build out of the network, it will also provide some reassurance that Government policy is actually starting to deliver.

It had been expected that contracts would be signed in June 2017, though late last year the bidders (there are three), indicated they may need more time to prepare their bids. See Dáil Q&A.

Notwithstanding the scale of the project and process, the bidders have had years to prepare for this bid and it is imperative that contracts are awarded and the build commences. Rural businesses have had to endure poor services for too long and in a global marketplace where online connectivity is a basic pre-requisite, rural businesses have to work harder than their urban counterparts to stay in business. Recent research highlights the significance of broadband infrastructure compared to other infrastructure in supporting local enterprises and their development.

Report of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce

In the meantime, just before Christmas 2016, the Report of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce was published. This report seeks to address the gaps in the current delivery of telecoms infrastructure and is focused more on addressing improvements in the short term, in addition and separate to the National Broadband Plan which is over a longer time frame.

This is a very welcome initiative, not least because there is a lot of dissatisfaction with mobile phone coverage, especially in rural areas. Also, anything that can ‘fill gaps’ in existing broadband provision should be progressed, as even when contracts for the NBP are signed, some will be waiting years for the planned new broadband infrastructure.

There are 40 actions aimed at assisting the rollout of mobile services and high speed broadband, to homes and businesses. These include measures to streamline planning procedures for telecoms infrastructure, actions to build out new ducting along the M7/M8, and measures to help consumers directly.

Key actions include:

  • The Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment will work with telecoms operators and ComReg (Commission for Communication Regulation) to identify mobile blackspots and come up with measures to address these blackspots.
  • All local authorities are to assign a Broadband officer who will act as a single point of contact for engagement with telecommunications operators building out infrastructure.
  • ComReg will develop and publish a new network coverage map, and develop a testing regime to measure the performance of mobile phone handsets which will help people to make informed choices on products and services they purchase.
  • There will be a new licensing regime to allow people to install high quality signal repeaters on their buildings – homes and businesses, which will boost their connectivity.
  • Work on building 95km of duct along the M7 / M8 Motorway, which will complete the ducting on the Cork-Dublin route is being undertaken by Transport infrastructure Ireland.
  • From Q1, 2017, all Local Authorities will apply waivers in respect of development contributions for telecoms infrastructure developments.
  • Other key actions include the review and updating of the relevant statutory planning guidelines to ensure consistency by local authorities, and the introduction of an online system to streamline the planning application process.

Spectrum Developments

  • ComReg expects to allocate spectrum in the 3.6GHz band in 2017. This will release an additional 86% of spectrum capacity, allowing fixed wireless and mobile operators to deliver services.
  • It is expected that by 2020 the 700MHz spectrum band is to be made available for use by the telecoms sector which will be particularly important in rural areas.

Finally, there is to be an Implementation Group established which is to drive and monitor the implementation of these actions.

 

For rural users, in the Western Region and across the country, lets hope 2017 will see delivery of these actions, that NBP contracts are awarded and the building of the National Broadband Plan Network commences.

Deirdre Frost

WDC Policy Analysis 2016

Happy New Year to all our WDC Insights blog readers!  As we start into 2017 this is a good time to reflect on what we’ve done over the last 12 months.

2016 was a busy year for the Western Development Commission’s Policy Analysis team and this infographic summarises some of our key work throughout the year.

twittergraphic16_12_16hi_res-01

 

Highlights include:

  • 42 posts on our WDC Insights blog on topics ranging from self-employment and eWork to county incomes, local government finance, rural development and broadband roll-out
  • 6 WDC Insights publications highlighting key findings of our analysis of rail freight, labour markets, enterprise and Census 2016
  • A detailed report on the Preliminary Results of Census 2016 for the Western Region
  • 5 submissions (public and private) to national policy consultations on the viability of rural towns, development plans for both the natural gas and electricity transmission networks and Census 2021
  • 6 presentations regionally and nationally, as well as chairing and participating in conferences

And at the end of the year, we produced our first infographic ‘This is the Western Region’ highlighting a variety of statistics about the Western Region.

2016 also saw us (finally) join the Twittersphere @WDCInsights

Looking forward to 2017.

 

Deirdre Frost, Helen McHenry & Pauline White

 

If you want to take a closer look at our ‘WDC Policy Analysis 2016’ infographic you can download the pdf here.

This is the Western Region

For the year end the WDC policy analysis team has produced an infographic of the Western Region highlighting key statistics and important elements that contribute to the economy and life of the region.

We have included population and population changes for our seven counties (on a handy little map reminding you of where we are) as well as key employment, unemployment and self-employment statistics.  Alongside these we have income and enterprise statistics for the region and we looked at connectivity and highlighted other regional characteristics including rail freight use and wind energy.

wdc_infographiclow_res-01

 

 

We hope you enjoy it, if you want to take a closer look, download the pdf here (1.4MB) and, in case you are wondering where it all came from, the data sources are listed on the second sheet

 

Helen McHenry

So much data. So little time.

Feeling overwhelmed by all the data and analytics from your social media and website? How can you tell who’s genuinely interested and who’s just browsing? How do you know if your online promotion and paid posts/tweets are effective?

The Western Development Commission (WDC), through ‘a creative momentum project’, is organising a free seminar in Castlebar at 9.30 on Tuesday, 29 November to try to answer some of these questions. ‘So much data. So little time: Using your online data to grow your creative enterprise’ is open to anyone working in the creative industries sector including arts, crafts, design and media & technology. Visit www.MyCreativeEdge.eu for more information.

This half-day event will include expert presentations, business stories and an interactive workshop. Kevin Neary of Connectors Marketplace is among the speakers. Modern buyers are socially connected, digitally driven and very mobile. Kevin will show how creative enterprises can identify and engage with the modern buyer. Joanne Casey of Belfast-based GlowMetrics will discuss developing a digital marketing strategy suited to your creative business. She will also run a Google Analytics workshop on setting goals to measure your digital activity.

Kevin Neary, Connectors Marketplace

Kevin Neary, Connectors Marketplace

Two West of Ireland creative enterprises with a strong digital presence will share their experiences. Dina Coughlan of Leitrim-based Tremolo Music Publishing will show how they connect with and sell to clients worldwide. While Ainslie Peters of Galway’s Nádhúra design will outline the experience of a business providing customisable furniture and bespoke design services.  Nádhúra are one of the companies who have previously received a WDC Micro-Loan: Creative Industries.

Ainslie Peters, Nádhúra

Ainslie Peters, Nádhúra

Attendees can also book 1-2-1 mentoring sessions in the afternoon on digital marketing/online sales. They will also have a chance to book a session with a WDC Investment Executive to discuss the WDC Micro-Loan Fund: Creative Industries. The seminar takes place in the Breaffy House Resort at 9.30 on Tuesday 29 November. Attendance is free but as places are limited registration is essential. Book here

a creative momentum project is co-funded by the EU Interreg Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) Programme 2014-2020.  It supports the development of the creative industries sector in five countries across Europe’s Northern Edge. The project operates the www.MyCreativeEdge.eu website and in the West of Ireland is implemented by the WDC and NUI Galway.

acmp_logo_full_landscape

Enterprise in Western Counties

Last week the WDC published two new WDC Insights publications.  They were both based on our analysis of the CSO’s Business Demography 2014 data which measures active enterprises in the business economy.[1]  The publications were:

In a previous blog, I outlined our analysis of the data for the Western Region.  In this blog the focus will be on the analysis at county level. It should be noted that in this CSO dataset, enterprises are assigned to the county where they are registered with the Revenue Commissioners. A business with multiple locations (e.g. chain stores, multinationals) is counted once.  Although this limits the data somewhat, and tends to increase the numbers for Dublin, it is a good reflection of local business activity.

Change in enterprise numbers in western counties since 2008

There were a total of 40,797 active enterprises in the Western Region in 2014.  Galway had the highest number at just over 13,000, while there were 1,750 registered in Leitrim (Table 1).  All western counties experienced a decline in enterprise numbers between 2008 and 2014 that was greater than the national average (-2.4%).  At -13.4% Donegal had the second highest decline in Ireland (after Monaghan).

table-1-percentage-change-in-enterpises-in-western-counties-2008-2014

Not surprisingly, the sector which declined most in all counties was Construction.  Wholesale & Retail also declined across all counties and most strongly in Donegal and Clare – possibly influenced by their proximity to other large retail centres.  Accommodation & Food Service declined across most counties, especially Clare.  Combined with a large decline in Transportation & Storage, this may be due to reduced flights into Shannon airport.

In general the knowledge services sectors performed best.  ICT, professional and financial services grew strongly in all counties (with only Clare having a decline in ICT services).  Despite this growth however, these sectors continue to play a relatively small role in the enterprise base of most western counties.

Enterprise base of western counties

Construction and Wholesale & Retail are the largest enterprise sectors in every county (Fig. 1).  In the highly rural counties of Roscommon, Mayo and Donegal 34-36% of enterprises are in the traditional sectors of Industry and Construction, while in the more urban counties of Clare and Sligo it is around 30%.  In Donegal and Leitrim over 40% of enterprises are in the local services of retail, accommodation and transport which rely on domestic spending and tourism.  These activities play a key role in the enterprise base of all counties, though Galway’s more diverse enterprise mix means it is least reliant on them.

fig-1-percentage-of-enterprises-in-western-counties-2014

Galway city and Sligo town are strong regional centres for knowledge service firms and this is clear from the quite high shares of their enterprises in professional, financial and ICT services.  In contrast, these sectors account for only 17% of registered enterprises in Roscommon.

A few examples of particular sectoral enterprise strengths stand out, such as Administration & Support Services in Clare which includes aircraft leasing activities around Shannon and Information & Communications and Financial & Insurance in Galway.  Construction remains hugely important to the enterprise profile of the largely rural counties of Roscommon and Mayo.

Conclusion

There is considerable variation across the seven western counties in terms of their enterprise base.  In general, counties with a higher share of their population living in urban centres (Galway, Clare and Sligo) tend to have a greater share of knowledge services firms and lower reliance on traditional sectors.  The general pattern since 2008 has been one of growth in knowledge services but decline in Construction and local services, a similar pattern to employment trends.  This pattern has a spatial impact as the former tend to concentrate in urban areas while the latter are more important to rural economies.

Pauline White

[1] It excludes Agriculture, Health, Public Administration and Other Services, as well as activities of holding companies.  It includes data on Education but this is not counted in ‘total business economy’ as many of the enterprises are publicly owned and is not analysed here.

Camilla Meegan (DNK Media Productions), David Pierce (Black Hole Studio) & Lars Persson Skandevall (Bron Innovation, Sweden) at the AmmA Centre. Photo Credit: Kristina Jeppson

‘a creative momentum project’ supports four West of Ireland digital enterprises to attend Digital DNA in Armagh

Sligo’s Reddin Designs, Roscommon-based Black Hole Studio, Happy Marketing & Media from Castlebar and Letterkenny’s DNK Media Productions were among ten creative companies from Ireland, Sweden, Iceland and Finland supported to attend the Digital DNA @ The Planetarium conference last week in Armagh.

‘Digital DNA was an excellent event with a strong focus on innovation within businesses,’ says Gary Reddin of Reddin Designs. ‘Thankfully for us, one of the messages I kept hearing was that ‘content is key’. One of the speakers said “Static images don’t have the same affect anymore, you need to make things move”, so as a recently established video production company, we were delighted to hear that!’ added Camilla Meegan of DNK Media Productions.

Fergal O’Connor (Happy Marketing & Media), Silvia Guglielmini (WDC), Gary Reddin (Reddin Designs), Kieran Kelly (DNK Media Productions) with staff of the AmmA Centre. Photo Credit: Kristina Jeppson

Fergal O’Connor (Happy Marketing & Media), Silvia Guglielmini (WDC), Gary Reddin (Reddin Designs), Kieran Kelly (DNK Media Productions) with staff of the AmmA Centre. Photo Credit: Kristina Jeppson

As well as attending the Digital DNA conference, the four enterprises took part in a Creative Exchange event discussing how to grow a digital business. This was a great chance for graphic designers, video makers, digital marketing experts and others working in the digital field, from five different countries, to connect. The group also visited the AmmA Centre, one of three Creative Learning Centres in Northern Ireland, where they had a chance to experiment with green screen technology.

‘The knowledge I gained here can help us to realise better results for our clients in the future. It confirmed for me that we are heading in the right direction,’ according to Fergal O’Connor of Happy Marketing & Media. ‘It was a great networking situation. The businesses from the other regions are all working in the creative industries and, with some of them, we will hopefully meet up in future and do some work together,’ added David Pierce of Black Hole Studio.

David Pierce (Black Hole Studio) practicing green screen technology with Niina Karvinen (Soma Media Ltd, Finland) at the AmmA Centre. Photo Credit: Kristin Jeppson

David Pierce (Black Hole Studio) practicing green screen technology with Niina Karvinen (Soma Media Ltd, Finland) at the AmmA Centre. Photo Credit: Kristin Jeppson

The ten digital entrepreneurs from Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Iceland were funded to participate in Digital DNA @ The Planetarium through ‘a creative momentum project’. The project is co-funded by the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme (NPA) and supports the development of the creative industries sector across Europe’s Northern Edge. The project operates the www.MyCreativeEdge.eu website and in the West of Ireland is implemented by the Western Development Commission and NUI Galway.

Note for Editors:

Contact: Pauline White, a creative momentum project co-ordinator, WDC, 086 832 8055 or 094 986 1441

a creative momentum project is co-funded by the EU Interreg Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) Programme 2014-2020.  The NPA is a cooperation between nine programme partner countries; Finland, Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. The NPA 2014-2020 is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ERDF equivalent funding from non EU partner countries.

 a creative momentum project will be operated by six partner organisations across five regions:

  1. Western Development Commission (WDC), Ireland
  2. National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Ireland
  3. North East Iceland Cultural Council, Iceland
  4. Armagh City, Craigavon and Banbridge Borough Council, Northern Ireland
  5. Technichus Mid-Sweden Ltd, Sweden
  6. Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Finland