Jobs Expo

The West’s leading employers to exhibit at Jobs Expo Galway this Saturday

Almost 40 of the West’s leading employers are to exhibit at the inaugral Jobs Expo Galway this Saturday. Employers include those from multiple sectors including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), ICT, Medtech, Retail, Insurance, Hotels, Recruitment, Training and Pharma as well as local employment networks and the Western Development Commission. Meanwhile, international employers exhibiting include Immigration Northwest Ontario, the Isle of Man Government, Motor, Local Employment networks

The event will take place on Saturday 11th February at the Radisson Blu on Mt. Atalia Road from 11am to 4pm and will showcase some of the region’s most highly-regarded companies, both Irish and multinational employers. It is the first time Jobs Expo has taken place in Galway; the event takes twice-yearly in Dublin and Cork and is regarded as Ireland’s leading jobs fair.

It’s aimed at people in Galway and the wider western region seeking opportunities or a career change and is free to attend.

“We have had a tremendous response from companies and jobseekers for this Saturday’s event”, says organiser Kevin Branigan of Careers Unlimited. “The job market in the West has heated up substantially and companies are looking to recruit and expand. This Saturday’s expo features employers from a wide range of sectors, seeking to meet skilled professionals for the West of Ireland.”

As well as the wide array of employers, Jobs Expo Galway will feature a day of seminars and talks and also free career advice in the ‘Career Clinic’, a dedicated area staffed by experienced career coaches. ”The Career Clinic is one of the most important and popular aspects of Jobs Expo, and it’s totally free of charge to attendees. Our team of coaches will help jobseekers with practical advice, such as CV preparation and interview skills. They can also assist people who want a career change,” says Branigan. Meanwhile, the Seminar Zone will offer free, topical talks given by industry insiders. “We have some very interesting talks lined up for this Saturday’s Seminar Zone event” he says.

“Our aim is to ensure that Jobs Expo has something for everyone, from entry-level positions to senior management roles and everything in between,” explains Branigan. Our main sponsor, Mathworks, will talk about opportunities at their new Galway office, while MetLife will tell us all about their new Global Technology Campus, Immigration Northwestern Ontario will explain why you should consider moving to this part of Canada, and for unemployed people thinking of retraining, FIT will discuss their ICT Associate Professional Apprenticeship Style Programme. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg”, he says.

“In addition, the West is a STEM, medical technology and ICT hub, and many companies taking part in Jobs Expo Galway reflect this. There will be no shortage of high-end roles at Jobs Expo this Saturday”, says Kevin.

Acorn Life; Advant Medical; Alkermes; Ashford Castle; Alere; BCS Sales Recruitment; BD; Boston Scientific; Coaching and Mentoring Excellence; Cpl Resources plc.; Creganna Medical; FIT; Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board; Immigration Northwestern Ontario; Innopharma College of Applied Science; Isle of Man Government; LotusWorks; MathWorks; Matrix Recruitment Group; MetLife; Military Autosource; Nightcourses; NUI Galway; Obair, the Local Employment Service Network; PhoneWatch; SmartBear; SiteMinder; SOLAS; SL Controls; Surmodics; Transitions Optical; Trinzo; Virtual Expos; Western Development Commission; Workplace Relations Commission; ZELTIQ Aesthetics and more.

Companies giving talks and seminars at Jobs Expo Galway include Siteminder; Boston Scientific; MetLife; Innopharma College of Applied Sciences; MathWorks; FIT; NUI Galway; Immigration Northwestern Ontario; and Career Coaching Ireland.

Career coaches taking part in Jobs Expo Galway include Helen Phelan, Coaching and Mentoring Excellence; Deirdre Dowling, Dowling Coaching; Ger Colleran, Talent Fusion; freelance coach Gráinne Hurley; careers advisor Laura Greene; Marie Devane, Devane Careers; and Pat Cregg, Career Coaching Ireland.

Admission is free for all wishing to attend Jobs Exp Galway. Those interested can register by visiting

Dates: Saturday 11 February 2017
Time: 11am – 4pm
Location: Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Lough Atalia Rd, Galway
Entrance fee: FREE
Full details at:

More information
Kevin Branigan
Jobs Expo 2016
Tel: (01) 5311 280 / 0872679047

Ireland West Trade Centre

New platform to support West of Ireland companies targeting US market

With a population of over 300 million America is the largest developed market place in the world. The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy, with a per capita GDP of $46,900. The ‘Ireland West International Trade Centre’ , which is located in Providence, Rhode Island, is now offering a soft landing platform for companies looking to explore new markets on the US east coast accessing New York and Boston.

Ireland West ITC will focus on providing support for the market entry or market enquiry by:

  • Providing professional support in sourcing clients, networks, distributors and sales.
  • Providing showcase, professional meeting & conference facilities for company products & services
  • Professional address for Irish businesses exploring new markets.

The Ireland West International Trade Centre provides a programme, structure and office space for you and your company to test new markets.

At this time, there are three programmes open to support you accessing the US market.

How To Apply

Download the Ireland West Trade Centre Leaflet here or download the Application Form here.

This project is being managed by the Local Authorities in the West of Ireland, The Western Development Commission and Ireland West Airport Knock.

A training programme commencing on March 9th will deal with ‘US Market Entry’, ‘Generating Leads’ and ‘Tax and Company law’. 


More information from

Top Business Leaders Guide Ireland’s Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

The Radisson Hotel, Ballincar, Rosses Point, Sligo
26-27 November 2015

About The Exchange

The Exchange aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experience and learning between small and medium-sized enterprises and Ireland most experienced Entrepreneurs. The event is an opportunity for businesses, ready to take the next step, to gain invaluable advice from some of the biggest names in business, who will share their knowledge and experience of developing a business on a global stage. Meet The Entrepreneurs 

The programme provides entrepreneurs like you the opportunity to have formal one-to-one sessions with these successful business leaders as well as numerous informal networking opportunities.

Are you: an established business that is seeking to scale?

Join us on November 26th and 27th to become part of The Exchange. Apply Now

This full day experience includes one to one mentoring, group breakout sessions, leadership advice, and networking opportunities.

If you are facing challenges in growing your business, don’t miss this unique opportunity to benefit from the insights and experiences of successful entrepreneurs in an inspirational, high energy and supportive environment. Fergal Broder CEO, LotusWorks

Get focused on growing your business; its events like these that will give emerging entrepreneurs the competitive edge. There has never been a greater need for the Entrepreneur in Ireland. George Mullan CEO, SIS Group



JenaValve initiates heart valve manufacturing capabilities in Sligo

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD welcomed the announcement that medical device manufacturer JenaValve Technology Inc. has begun establishing manufacturing capabilities in Sligo to create its next generation heart valves. JenaValve will be the first company to produce structural heart valves in Ireland.

This development is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

It is a significant addition to the Life Sciences sector in the North West and Ireland’s Medical Technologies cluster generally. The news is a significant boost for employment in Sligo and the regional economy.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Richard Bruton said: “This announcement is a great boost for Sligo and the North West. Manufacturing is a sector which we have specifically targeted as part of our Action Plan for Jobs – this is an area which has been neglected in recent decades, but which offers huge potential for employment particularly in regional locations. Today’s announcement that JenaValve, a highly innovative company in this area, is establishing a facility in Sligo is a great example of what is possible in this area.”

John Migliazza, Chief Operations Officer, JenaValve commented: “We are very excited to initiate heart valve manufacturing capabilities in Sligo, Ireland. We are impressed with the support and enthusiasm that we have seen across the Irish system and look forward to being a part of the well-established medical device industry in Ireland.”

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said: “IDA Ireland has partnered with JenaValve and our partners in education and Department of Social Welfare to bring this project to fruition. Medical device manufacturing is a key component of the Irish economy – and Ireland provides leading global companies with a terrific offering based around talent and track record in the sector. The cardiovascular segment has delivered tremendous sustainable employment across Ireland over many years – the addition of aortic valve or structural heart manufacture demonstrates Ireland’s ability to understand sectors and clients and to deliver on their needs. The innovative nature of the company is complemented by the innovative approach taken by IDA Ireland and our stakeholder partners to enable this investment.”

About JenaValve

JenaValve Technology Inc., based in Irvine, California and Munich, Germany develops, manufactures and markets transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) systems to treat patients suffering from aortic valve disease. The Company’s transapical TAVI system is CE marked and currently marketed in Europe and other markets worldwide. JenaValve has a pipeline of novel Transapical (TA) and Transfemoral (TF) products which are designed to treat both Aortic Insufficiency and Aortic Stenosis. JenaValve is partnering with the FDA on a Fast Track designation. The FDA reserves the Fast Track designation for innovative technologies which meet unmet clinical needs. Additionally, JenaValve plans to commercialize it new TA and TF products in Europe during 2016.


Galway med tech firm ArraVasc wins multi-million euro contract in China

Med tech firm ArraVasc Ltd., based in Galway, has signed a new contract with a leading medical device distributor Shanghai Micro Medical, based in Shanghai, China. The announcement was made during the Enterprise Ireland Trade and Investment Mission to China led by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD.

ArraVasc CEO Jonathan Akehurst commented: “We are delighted to be working with our distribution partners here in Shanghai – this contract is worth at least $3.5m of business for new peripheral vascular products and is an important part of our global expansion which is planned to create at least 20 new jobs over the next 2-3 years”.

Speaking from Shanghai, Minister Bruton said: “At the heart of our Action Plan for Jobs is the development of a powerful engine of Irish enterprise alongside the strong base of multinational companies we have in Ireland. ArraVasc is a great example of what we are aiming to support – here is an Irish company, operating in a sector of traditional strength for Ireland, manufacturing products to the highest international standards, winning new contracts in fast-growing foreign markets, and creating jobs in Ireland. Today’s announcement of a multi-million euro deal with Shanghai Micro Medical, which will result in the creation of 20 new jobs, is very welcome and represents a great achievement for ArraVasc. I wish them every success on this project”.

ArraVasc is the new name for Cappella Medical Devices Ltd, which has been based in Galway, Ireland since 2007.

More at

Image Caption: Jonathan Akehurst, CEO ArraVasc with Tony Liu, President Shanghai Micro Medical Devices Co. Ltd., and Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the Distribution Contract signing between the two companies which took place during the Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission to Shanghai in June 2014.

Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, Michael O’ Dwyer.

NUI Galway researchers identify enzyme which plays key role in spread of blood cancer cells

Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, Michael O’ Dwyer.

Groundbreaking research being carried out at NUI Galway could lead to new ways of overcoming resistance to treatment for the blood cancer multiple myeloma.

Researchers at the university have identified an enzyme that plays a key role in the spread and survival of blood cancer cells.

The discovery, which focused on multiple myeloma, was published recently by the internationally acclaimed journal, Blood.

The condition results from an overproduction of plasma cells, the white blood cells which produce antibodies. It leads to problems such as anaemia, bone damage, kidney failure and elevated calcium levels. There are about 240 new cases of multiple myeloma diagnosed each year in Ireland.

The research team was led by Health Research Board (HRB ) clinician scientist, Professor Michael O’Dwyer and Professor Lokesh Joshi of the university’s Glycoscience Group, which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

The group studies the complex sugars which cover all cells in the human body and many of the proteins in the bloodstream. Dr Siobhan Glavey, a medical doctor funded by the HRB, also had a key role lead in the study and was lead author on the paper.

Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, Michael O’ Dwyer, says while treatments for multiple myeloma have improved over the last decade, and most patients are living longer, there is no cure.

“Our research is crucial because it sheds new light on the biology of multiple myeloma which could lead to new strategies to overcome resistance to treatment.

“Working in close cooperation with Dr Irene Ghobrial from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard in the US and colleagues from the Institute of Cancer Research in the UK, we focused on alterations in a process called glycosylation, a process whereby proteins and lipids are modified by specific sugars, because of its role in cell-cell interactions and the spread of cancer cells in the blood.”

In essence we have linked the overproduction of a specific enzyme called sialyltransferase to disease progression and worse outcomes in multiple myeloma, he explains.

“The increase in this enzyme activity causes a series of knock-on effects; increasing glycosylation, which in turn increases the interaction of the cancer cells with receptors on the walls of blood vessels called selectins which then encourages their circulation, spread and retention in the bone marrow.

“Our aim now is to prevent these interactions that cause the spread using specific enzyme and selectin inhibitors.”

Dr Graham Love, CEO of the HRB, commented on the importance of the research: “Understanding what causes multiple myeloma to progress, or generate worse outcomes, is the first step towards improving treatment. This discovery reinforces the transformational role our clinician scientists have in bringing real clinical questions to a research environment and delivering results back to the bedside.”

Original Article via The Galway Advertiser here



Sligo-based engineer looks to improve manufacturing for medical implants

Sligo-based engineer looks to improve manufacturing for medical implants

Sligo-based engineer looks to improve manufacturing for medical implants

Dr Marion McAfee is looking to monitor and improve the manufacture of materials for devices that the body can resorb when their work is done.

If you have a clogged artery or a damaged joint, your body may be in need of some help to fix it. And if that help comes in the form of an artificial implant, wouldn’t it be ideal if the implant could simply break down over time and get safely absorbed by your body?

Such bioresorbable materials exist and are used, but making them for medical implants can be tricky and expensive. That’s why McAfee and colleagues at IT Sligo are seeking to make their manufacture more efficient.

Implants that don’t outstay their welcome

“Bioresorbable materials have been used for a whole host of different devices, such as stents, and they are increasing in popularity,” says McAfee, who is a lecturer in IT Sligo’s department of mechanical and electronic engineering. “Over time the material breaks down into carbon dioxide and water and lactic acid and we excrete it.”

Implanted materials can be used to deliver drugs in hard-to-reach places, such as inside arteries or in the eye, and they can also be used in bone-fixation screws, she explains.

“Bone needs loading to heal, so if you have metal in there it is taking the load and the bone doesn’t really regenerate with the same strength. But with resorbable implants the bone takes over the strain as the implant is resorbed. Also you don’t need more surgery to take out the implants afterwards.”

More efficient manufacturing

The downside of bioresorbable implants is their expense, notes McAfee, who is a researcher at the new Centre for Precision Engineering and Manufacturing at IT Sligo.

“These materials are very expensive to manufacture,” she says. “They are used for packaging, and in that application they are quite cheap, but to go into the body they need to be highly purified and that costs. They can also be difficult to process, too – to turn them into screws or fibres they are exposed to heat and pressure and they break down.”

McAfee is the co-ordinator and principal investigator on the EU-funded Bio-PolyTec project, which is figuring out how to keep a rein on those costs by monitoring quality during manufacture.

“We look at the degradation of the polymer and the dispersal of fillers,” she explains. “We are developing sensors that we can use during the manufacturing process to tell if degradation is occurring and also, if drugs or other bioactive particles are being added, we can see if they are being well dispersed. In the extrusion machine we shine a light source onto the melt and collect the light coming back – changes in light scattering can tell us about the structure of the material.”

The €1m project, which IT Sligo co-ordinates, kicked off last December and involves several partners, including Scaffdex, which makes resorbable ‘spacer’ devices to implant into joints in the hands and feet of people with arthritis – the device is gradually replaced by the patient’s own cells and tissues.

“They are soft discs of knitted fibre that go into the joint,” says McAfee. “They want to bring down the scrap rate of material so the implants can be produced more cost effectively, so we are working with them on that.”

The work should translate into other implants that use polymer-based materials, such as PLA, she notes.

“Different polymers or fillers might need some modification to the approach, but in this project we want to crack the physical hardware and analysis of the spectral data.”

Getting a kick out of research

McAfee liked physics and maths in school in her native Belcoo, Co Fermanagh, and she still gets a kick out of solving problems today.

“I love learning in research and trying to piece things together in your head, solving problems,” she says.

Her career saw her travel to England after A-levels, when she was awarded a scholarship with chemical company ICI. That whetted her appetite for engineering so she studied at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), going on to do a PhD there in improving the efficiency of plastics processing.

When she got a lectureship position at QUB she was the second woman in her department. The other was Prof Eileen Harkin-Jones, whose success in academia McAfee found encouraging.

Engineering solutions to big issues

For the last five years, McAfee has been lecturing and researching at IT Sligo, and she encourages a wider view of engineering and the kinds of problems it can tackle.

“There are so many future challenges in the environment and transport and medicine, and personally I find it rewarding to be doing research to help make medical devices more available,” she says. “People think that engineering is heavy and dirty, but it is the exact opposite of that, it is trying to make our environment and our lives and health better.”


Original Article via Silicon Republic here