Aerogen Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Galway’s Aerogen win RSM Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Aerogen, CEO, John Power scooped the RSM Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the RSM European Business Awards last night in Milan.

This award goes to the outstanding individual who can best demonstrate exceptional vision and leadership in the establishment and development of an owner-led business.

The judges look for evidence of the identification of a market opportunity, the ability to organise and apply the resources, the ability to engage and inspire others and the commitment required to optimise the opportunity to achieve a very positive commercial outcome.

Aerogen, was one of 110 companies, from an original list of over 32,000 European countries, that was awarded the prestigious Ruban d’Honneur, as well as winning their category “Entrepreneur of the Year”. Of the 110 recipients of the Ruban d’Honneur,Ireland was represented by 10 companies, the highest number of finalists from any one European Country.

“I am proud to accept this award on behalf of the entire Aerogen team. It is their dedication and that of the care givers around the world who use our products to treat the most critically ill patients that has resulted in this success” said John Power.

Aerogen has grown from a small start up in Moycullen, Co.Galway to to become the world leader in the field of acute care aerosol drug delivery. Aerogen medical devices are today used to treat patients in over 70 countries around the world and over 3 million patients have benefited from their unique products.

For more information, visit

SeaFest, Ireland’s National Maritime Festival returns to Galway next month

SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival, takes place this year in Galway on Saturday and Sunday, 2nd/3rd July 2016.

Incorporating a series of marine-related business and research events, the annual Our Ocean Wealth Conference, as well as a maritime festival running at The Docks including seafaring family fun, a Seafood fair and On the Water activities, there is something for everyone to see and do at this year’s SeaFest Festival.

Central to the event is the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)/Bord Bia Seafood Extravaganza – a must attend seafood experience showcasing the very best of Ireland’s seafood with cookery demonstrations from celebrity chefs Martin Shanahan and Rory O’Connell. Michael O’Meara, author of the top selling Sea Gastronomy cookbook and acclaimed chef from Oscar’s Bistro will also share his extensive seafood knowledge and favourite seafood dishes. BIM’s Young Fishmonger 2015 winner Gerard Collier from The Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead will take the mystery out of preparing fish and shellfish at home. Visitors will also get to taste the best of Irish seafood from some of Ireland’s best seafood producers.

The Marine Institute have commissioned an interactive exhibition to showcase Marine Institute science in the wider context of marine science while also educating people about the value of the ocean, the fragility of ecosystems and human impacts on it. It will also showcase advanced oceanographic work as well as giving an overview of the nature and work of the Institute’s research vessels.

Now in its 3rd year, this years annual Our Ocean Wealth Conference takes place at NUI Galway as part of the 2016 SeaFest programme. The conference provides delegates to receive updates on the progress of Ireland’s integrated marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth and also hear perspectives from policy makers, industry leaders and researchers on the challenges and opportunities for Ireland in the marine arena.

Linking BIM’s Big Top on the old Topaz site and the Marine Institute’s Beneath the Wild Atlantic exhibition on the pier, will be a host of festival market stalls selling hot and cold snacks and beverages and some of Galway’s finest crafts.

Maintaining the Marine theme, the ISA, in partnership with the local Galway Clubs and Training Centres, will offer an Interactive Stand with an opportunity for participants to experience on shore what our Olympian Annalise Murphy will be doing in Rio, see and feel how boats sail using our Model Sailboats in the Docks and everyone will have an opportunity to enjoy the sea in Galway Bay – all free of charge.

Attendees will be able to find out from local club members how to try sailing or join a club in Galway and staff from the ISA will be there to update people on marine developments and links to the rest of Ireland for all their sailing needs.

For further information on SeaFest 2016, visit

ZELTIQ® Aesthetics, Inc. to establish European manufacturing facility in Galway, creating 60 jobs

ZELTIQ® Aesthetics, Inc., a medical technology company focused on developing and commercialising products utilising its proprietary controlled-cooling technology, today (Wednesday) announced that it is establishing a European manufacturing facility in Galway, which is expected to create circa sixty jobs over the next eighteen months.

The U.S.-based company is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, where it also has Research and Development, Finance, Marketing, Manufacturing and Distribution facilities, amongst other support functions.  In addition to Manufacturing, ZELTIQ will locate other functions in Galway to support the Manufacturing operations.  The company employs over six hundred people on a worldwide basis.  The project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through IDA Ireland.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD welcoming the announcement said “I am delighted that Galway will benefit from ZELTIQ’s decision to establish its European manufacturing facility with the expected creation of sixty jobs.  This is a really exciting development and I very much welcome ZELTIQ to Galway.  Ireland already has a dynamic and vibrant Medical Technologies sector and we are keen to expand its footprint into new areas and especially to see it develop further into regional centres. ZELTIQ’s new manufacturing facility and the valuable jobs and economic impact to be created will enhance Ireland’s attractiveness for further similar investments. One of the areas I will be focusing on as Minister is to encourage more job growth in our regions as only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for services needed to create a fair society. This will ensure a more inclusive prosperity for all. I wish ZELTIQ and its team all the best for the future.” “With millions of CoolSculpting treatments performed in more than 70 countries around the world, ZELTIQ is firmly establishing itself as a global leader in the noninvasive fat reduction market, which is the fastest growing segment in the aesthetics space,” said Mark Foley, President and CEO of ZELTIQ.  “We are very pleased to partner with IDA Ireland at this stage of the company’s growth, invest in Galway, and contribute to the local economy through the creation of new jobs.”

IDA Ireland’s CEO Martin Shanahan said “I’m delighted to see this innovative Medical Technology company establish a European manufacturing facility in Galway, adding to the growing number of medical technology companies here and further enhancing the region’s reputation as an excellent location for such business. I wish ZELTIQ every success with its new Irish operation.” For information on the new opportunities, visit, and click on Careers.  Then search current openings in the Galway, Ireland location.

Surmodics, Inc. To Invest €9.5m In R&D, €7.0m In Facility Development And Create 100 New Jobs In Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

June 13th 2016 – Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD has announced the creation of 100 new jobs by Lifesciences technologies company Surmodics.

It follows the company’s acquisition of Creagh Medical in Ballinasloe Co. Galway in November 2015.

Surmodics has headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA, and operates in two areas of the Lifesciences industry, Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostics. The company plans to develop the Ballinasloe operations, by investing more than €7M in facility development, including the recently acquired building, and creating 100 new jobs above the current base of 32 over the next five years. The company will invest a further €9.5M in two significant research and development (R&D) projects in its new Galway facility.

The development is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through IDA Ireland.

The company will continue to be located in Creagh Medical’s existing 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Ballinasloe. The R&D investment represents a significant step-up in R&D capability for the facility and will require a high level of engineering, chemistry and scientific skill.

Tom Greaney was previously CEO of Creagh Medical and has joined Surmodics as VP of Global Operations and General Manager of the Ballinasloe operation.

Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor said “This company is at the cutting edge of innovative Life Sciences Research and Development and the expansion of their newly acquired facility in Ballinasloe is very welcome news and a vote of confidence in the skilled Irish workforce. Companies like Surmodics help develop some of the next generation of Life Sciences products, thereby further enhancing Ireland’s position in this sector. 100 jobs for Galway is great news as one of my priorities as Minister is to ensure employment growth across the regions. Only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for services needed to create a fair society. This will ensure a more inclusive prosperity for all. I wish Surmodics and their workforce the very best for the future.”

“Surmodics is proud of our talented team of employees and our new state-of-the-art facility for medical device R&D and manufacturing in Ballinasloe.  “We are pleased to have established a presence in a location where we can hire and develop highly skilled medtech personnel as we continue to invest in our vision of developing highly differentiated product solutions. We value and appreciate the support we have received from IDA Ireland for those developments.”

Gary R. Maharaj, president and chief executive officer of Surmodics. 

CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan said: “Surmodics’ plans to develop its newly acquired operation in Galway is great news for Ballinasloe and for the region. IDA is focused on delivering investments into regions, and I’m delighted that Ballinsaloe has proved to be a suitable location for retaining and developing this new name in the Irish Medtech cluster.Its location between Galway and Athlone and their respective Medtech clusters and third level institutes will act as an excellent regional reference seller to other potential investors. I wish them all the very best.”

For more information on the new roles go to: or email for more information on specific roles.


Ernst & Young (EY) has had a presence in the West of Ireland for almost 70 years and, after closing their Galway office during the recession, Country Managing Partner Mike McKerr says they “always hankered after going back to Galway”.

The lure of Galway enticed the global accountancy firm back to the West and last week they announced the opening of their new office in Eyre Square with the creation of 25 jobs.

Mr McKerr says opening up an office in Galway was a “very natural thing”.

“Galway is a hub for business and innovation, with the county ranked as one of the top four incubator locations for medical devices worldwide, and the home to some of the world’s leading ICT and Life Science companies. As a leading advisor to Ireland’s top companies, we look forward to attracting the best talent to our new office so that we can provide our clients with the insight and advice they need to continue on this growth trajectory in the region.”

He stressed the company’s links with the West of Ireland, including their support of more than 20 companies from across Connacht over the past 19 years through the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme.

The Eyre Square office will be headed up by Galway native Paraic Waters, Director, Business Tax Advisory and Jamie Williams, Executive Director, Assurance.

Further reading: Working in Ernst, Galway Advertiser.

[Image via Keith Arkins]

20 Innovative new projects showcased at NUI Galway

20 new projects funded by the NUI Galway/NUI Galway Students’ Union EXPLORE innovation initiative were showcased on Thursday, 12 May 2016 in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway.

EXPLORE is a dynamic model for innovation delivery that has been piloted by NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union since early 2012. The first scheme of its kind in Irish higher education, EXPLORE facilitates NUI Galway students and staff to work as equal partners to trial new ideas. The EXPLORE process breaks down traditional hierarchies in higher education, and enables participants to work differently with each other.

To date, EXPLORE has seed funded over 100 new projects involving more than 600
NUI Galway students and staff, and off-campus partners. EXPLORE projects have gone on to secure prestigious external funding of over €290,000.

The EXPLORE projects showcased on 12 May span a diverse range of themes, including health, schools outreach, creativity, local history, mediation, digital skills and much more.

Tingyi Koh and Paul Choi, undergraduate medical students at NUI Galway, from the Do-It-Yourself Laparoscopic Trainer EXPLORE project talked at the event about how they developed a surgery simulation tool on a budget to improve the technical skills of undergraduate medical students with an interest in surgery as a career.

 Dr. Ray Butler from the NUI Galway Centre for Astronomy spoke about the Loss of the Night in Galway EXPLORE project, which aims to run Galway’s first light pollution/night sky quality measurement campaign, which may help Galway become Ireland’s first ‘dark sky city’, with improved lighting ordinances.

According to Prof. Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation and Performance, NUI Galway, EXPLORE is an ideal vehicle for students and staff to pilot new ideas and establish a proof of concept in a collaborative, low-risk environment. We are delighted that the EXPLORE programme won the Community Awareness Award at the National Student Achievement Awards 2016. These awards recognise the contribution of individuals and groups from third level education institutions across the island of Ireland.”

 NUI Galway Students’ Union President Phelim Kelly said: EXPLORE is a proven model for enabling innovation. We’re proud to have been the first higher education institution in Ireland to run a programme such as EXPLORE. It’s encouraging that two concepts central to EXPLORE, namely ‘students as partners’ and ‘students as co-creators’, feature as key principles in the new Higher Education Authority report on student engagement.” (

The keynote address at the event was given by Dr Easkey Britton, world-renowned Irish big-wave surfer, scholar and social change-maker. Dr. Britton is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Social Change at NUI Galway investigating nature-based solutions to health and wellbeing. She spoke about using one’s passion to bring about positive social change and the Waves of Freedom organisation that she co-founded ( and

Amber Walsh Olesen, EXPLORE Coordinator, NUI Galway Students’ Union said: “EXPLORE makes it easy for students and staff at NUI Galway to work together and bring new ideas to life. The wider community benefits from EXPLORE as many projects are specifically developed to address societal needs, and the reach of EXPLORE projects already stretches into the thousands both on and off campus.”


 Key themes: innovation, open innovation, social innovation, innovation in higher education, co-creation, partnership, change, collaboration, students as producers, students as co-creators, student engagement


EXPLORE was initiated in early 2012 by NUI Galway Students’ Union and NUI Galway.
It provides seed funding and support to NUI Galway students and staff partners to work in equal partnership to bring new ideas to life to benefit NUI Galway and the wider community. To date, EXPLORE has
funded over 100 new projects involving more than 600 students and staff, and these projects have gone on to raise more than €290,000 of additional funding.

EXPLORE is funded by NUI Galway, NUI Galway Students’ Union, the Galway University Foundation and Galway County Council.
For further information, please contact:

Phelim Kelly, President, NUI Galway Students’ Union
091 493570/086 3855502

Amber Walsh Olesen, EXPLORE Coordinator, NUI Galway Students’ Union
091 493570

Photo credit: Patrick Henaghan



West of Ireland Company N17 Brewery in the running to pitch to Sir Richard Branson

Virgin Media Business has launched its search for the most innovative and exciting new business with VOOM 2016 – the biggest and most valuable pitch competition in Ireland and the UK and Irish Company N17 Brewery is very much in contention.  In the last 36 hours the N17 entry has catapulted from 1005th position to 84th, shooting past entries that had been gathering votes since the 15th April! The top 80 companies progress to the next round so every and all vote counts.

The competition gives small – and medium-sized businesses the potential opportunity to pitch their ideas to Richard Branson to win a slice of a total prize fund worth over €1.2 million. It is open to business entrants from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK.

Sarah Roarty is the founder of N17 Brewery, a start-up business that is about to take the next step on their journey, setting up their own brewery in a wonderful cut stone building over 160 years old in Galway.

In addition to brewing, Sarah has qualified as Ireland’s first female Beer Sommelier and was the 3rd person in the country to be awarded the prestigious gold medal. As an international beer judge she has judged the Global Craft Beer Awards in Berlin last year and the Overall Best of British Awards in the UK a few months ago.

Craft beer is enjoying a rise in popularity, with over 70 breweries dotted around the country and their beers now accounting for about 2% of the market. N17 however is a craft brewery with a difference. Sarah says they “like to squeeze every last drop out of the brewing process and, in addition to award winning beers, we have already identified an additional 8 innovative products that can be produced, all from the by-products of the brewing process.

To support N17 Brewery in their bid to get in front of Sir Richard Branson, please log on to the following link and follow these simple steps:

  • Click onto the link below
  • Select the vote now red button
  • Select the Log In option and use either your FB or Linkedin accounts to access
  • Vote for N17 Brewery

For further information please contact Sarah Roarty on




The Community Enterprise Centres in the Western region are shaping up for growth.

This Tuesday, enterprise centres from Donegal to South Galway gathered in Claremorris, County Mayo where the WDC in conjunction with NACEC provided a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges of operating an Enterprise Centre in the region.  It was imperative this discussion took place as we are a region where many new jobs are classified as self-employed, demonstrating the entrepreneurial culture, mindset and opportunity to innovate in the region.  According to the WDC policy team, self-employment is a more important source of jobs in the region than elsewhere, with 1 in 5 working people in the region self-employed, compared with 1 in 6 in the rest of Ireland.     ‘People are having to create their own jobs,’ according to Ian Brannigan, CEO(a)WDC ‘and with 65,000 people working for themselves in the Western Region, we value self-employment as a source of jobs growth which is central to the region’s future.

With the opening of the Porter Shed in Galway City on Monday and this  regional enterprise centres meet up on Tuesday, there is an appetite to drive further support, energy and coordination across our network of top class regional facilities.  The Western Region provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to operate in a connected, smart, professional landscape as well as benefit from a rich quality of life, clean environment and where heritage is a valued.

“A network of purpose built and investor friendly property solutions for business across the Atlantic Economic Corridor is central to the growth of enterprise in the Western Region and future economic development” added Kevin Thompstone, Director of Shannon Chamber and economic development consultant.  Joe Kelly, Chairman of NACEC and Manager of IRD Kiltimagh added “Community Enterprise Centres offer a bespoke local and community led response to a job creation in a particular area.  Businesses can start-up, survive, develop and prosper in a low risk environment where self-employment and job creation is valued. With about 4000 jobs currently domiciled in the 120 NACEC Member Community Enterprise Centres nationally, these centres play a pivotal role in the regions ability to innovate and facilitate indigenous businesses with a significant job creation dimension.”




Clodagh Barry, Regional Development, Western Development Commission, 086 0424857

Pauline White, Policy Analyst, Western Development Commission, 086 832 8055

Food On The Edge returns to Galway for 2016

Following on for the huge success of the inaugural Food on the Edge symposium in 2015, a stellar lineup of speakers has already been announced for 2016. Last year’s event held in Eyre Square in the heart of Galway city in October, saw 40 of the best international chefs attend The Food On The Edge symposium listened to intently by over 350 people on each day. Audience members included food enthusiasts, chefs, restaurateurs and some of Ireland’s biggest names including Darina Allen, Dylan McGrath, Neven Maguire and a host of others who cited it as an unmissable and inspirational food learning event for anyone interested in food and how we eat. Sally and John McKenna of the McKenna Guides awarded Food On The Edge with Food Event of The Year 2015.

Symposium founder JP McMahon says that the inaugural Food on the Edge 2015 surpassed all his expectations, and “it was an incredible almost surreal experience. Each chef was given the opportunity to deliver topics that centred on the future of food – they discussed their ideas, shared their fears, their dreams, their dreads and regrets from their careers. There was a core theme, however, which resonated strongly across the two days and that was ‘responsibility’. Responsibility in the way we source food, waste food, fish for food and supply food was passionately debated”.

JP says that the speakers are chosen for their passion, drive, and their ability to inspire chefs around the world. “They are leaders that we look up to for inspiration. It is important for us to create a sense of continuity. Rather than only invite new chefs to discuss the future of food, each year a number of past speakers will return to reflect on their previous presentation and assess the change or development of their thought and practice”. The exciting line-up continues to build; more speakers are included this year with a new addition of Expert Panel Discussions. Speakers already confirmed for this year’s Food on the Edge include Daniel Burns, currently “one of the hottest chefs in New York city” who owns Luksus; Shaun Hill, who owns the renowned Michelin Star restaurant The Walnut Tree in Wales and Tim Hollingsworth who recently opened the three star Michelin restaurant Otium in Los Angeles.

The exciting and prolific Massimo Bottura, the Italian restaurateur and chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, Italy will also be speaking and giving a presentation on the future of food.

The two day event will take place again in Galway City, ticket price includes lunch on both days, entry to Monday night party where audience gets to meet and mingle with speakers. Early bird tickets available until July proced at €350, normal price €400 are Selling out fast at

Full List of Confirmed Food On The Edge Speakers for 2016: with many more to be confirmed.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara Announce ‘Landmark’ National Seafood Conference for Galway

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, today announced an exceptional line up of speakers for the ‘BIM National Seafood Conference – Global Insights, Irish Opportunity’ event at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway on the 30th June.

This full day conference and networking event will launch the annual Ocean Wealth and SeaFest events that take place in Galway from the 1st – 3rd July and brings together leading experts and global representatives from the national and international seafood and agri-business circuit, government and academia. It offers delegates the opportunity to hear first-hand expert analysis, on the thinking and the policies currently at the forefront of seafood development worldwide.

Moderated by experienced broadcaster and author, Olivia O’Leary; delegates can expect to take away valuable business insights from speakers including Mary Shelman, former Director of the Agribusiness Programme in Harvard Business School, Malcolm Beveridge, Head of Aquaculture, FAO Rome, Jean Jacques VandeHeede, AC Nielsen Europe and Aidan O’Driscoll, Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive of BIM said; ‘As the global demand for healthy protein continues to increase; seafood is in a unique position. It delivers on every macro driver from health, environment, and quality to convenience. This conference is about creating the long term vision for our seafood industry. It is an opportunity for all our stakeholders from fishermen to processors to play an integral role in shaping the future direction of the industry and that of their own company’

The Conference programme covers presentations and discussions on market intelligence, consumer thinking, the challenges facing the global seafood supply and insight into potential synergies within the Irish seafood sector, among other timely topics.

The afternoon programme offers a range of structured breakout sessions that will facilitate dialogue on transforming knowledge into action and finding workable solutions to today’s pressing challenges. The sessions will focus on the four key priorities for the industry: Sustainability, Competitiveness, Innovation and Skills. Each sector of the industry from fishermen to processors to fish farmers will find a session that appeals and is relevant to their business from ‘Fishing profitably with zero discards’, ‘Repositioning your company and products to maximise value’, ‘Demonstrate sustainability or be locked-out’ and ‘Working in seafood – a career for life’

After a busy and productive event, networking will continue in the evening at the prestigious Maritime Industry Awards in the hotel. The awards aim to recognise excellence across the Maritime Industry and BIM are proud to support two new categories this year – the ‘Seafood Sustainability Award’ and ‘Seafood Business Innovation Award’. To enter and/or attend the Maritime Industry Awards, please visit – the deadline for entries is the 6th May.

Registration for the BIM National Seafood Conference is free but early booking is advised as spaces are limited. Book now