Bitesize Business: mobile payments, Belfast jobs, construction sector boost

Business, Employment, Finance | Wed 19 Oct | Author – Business & Finance

Business & Finance brings you the day’s Irish business news in brief.

Limerick selected as national case study for €500,000 smart city project


Irish Software Research Centre, Lero, is investing €500,000 in a Science Foundation Ireland funded research project designed to develop the IT and enterprise architecture needed to create smart cities of the future.

As part of the case study, researchers from Lero at Dublin City University together with Limerick City and County Council will develop a new digital service (Insight Limerick) which will offer citizens a portal for information sharing, open data and data visualization, while analytics will be used to gain insights leading to better services.

The internet of things will facilitate data capture from potentially thousands of sensors and devices from water, soil and air quality, traffic, cycling and pedestrian movement, parking event management and other sources. For people and businesses in Limerick to maximise the benefits from these new sources of information the data needs to be connected, shared, analysed and protected in a coherent and consistent way.

Mobile payments soar as Irish embrace new ways to pay


According to Visa’s 2016 Digital Payments Study, the number of consumers regularly using a mobile device – whether a smartphone, tablet or wearable – to make payments has tripled in the past year.

Currently, 54% of European consumers surveyed regularly use a mobile device to make payments for a range of activities, compared to just 18% who were asked whether they used mobile payments to pay for everyday goods and services when the same study was conducted last year.

The study, which surveyed more than 36,000 online consumers in 19 European countries, reveals how consumer adoption of digital payments has shifted dramatically in the last 12 months.

One year ago, 38% of the people surveyed said they had never used a mobile device to make payments and had no plans to do so. Today, that number has dropped to 12%.

Almost 40% of people in Ireland investing to secure their financial future


New research from Irish Life has revealed increasing dissatisfaction with interest rates on deposit accounts, with two-thirds of adults in Ireland reporting they are unhappy with the rate of returns they are receiving. This is up 10% on figures from March 2016.

There also seems to be a lack of awareness around interest rates on deposit accounts, as over a quarter of those with deposit accounts believe they are getting greater than 2% returns.

The research also found that close to 40% are now investing their money in order to secure their financial future, with a quarter of adults who invest stating that they put 6% or more of their annual income into investments.

Of those that do invest currently, the most popular investment types are shares (43%) and investment funds (29%), with gold (6%) a less popular option.

Irish company invited to pitch at Google Demo Day in Silicon Valley


Dublin-based start-up Beats Medical has become the first Irish company to be invited to pitch at the prestigious Google Demo Day in Silicon Valley on November 2nd, which will see 12 female-led start-ups from around the world pitch their businesses to over 100 investors, venture capitalists and judges at Google headquarters.

Ciara Clancy, CEO of Beats Medical, who is a finalist in this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme beat out more than 800 applicants from over 65 countries to secure her place at the Demo Day alongside female entrepreneurs from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Kenya, the Netherlands and the US.

Beats Medical was founded in 2012 and treats mobility, speech and fine hand movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease which affects almost 10 million people worldwide.

Over €17bn in construction projects planned for 2017


With an excess of €17bn in major construction projects already scheduled for 2017 in the construction sector, the opportunities are plentiful for all companies that wish to take full advantage of continued growth in the Irish construction Industry.

Construction Information Services (CIS) have launched their much sought after Annual Report entitled ‘Construction Opportunities 2017’.

This single hardcopy volume includes comprehensive descriptions and contact details of over 400 key and major projects that will commence on-site, significantly progress or be completed in 2017.

60 new Belfast jobs fits the bill as Black Duck announces new group


Automated solutions for securing and managing open source software, Black Duck, today announced the formation of its Belfast-based Open Source Security Research Group during an event at Invest Northern Ireland’s headquarters in Belfast.

The company said it expects to add almost 60 jobs in Northern Ireland over the next four years.

Black Duck CEO Lou Shipley said: “Since creating COSRI earlier this year, we have been increasing our strategic investments in open source security research and innovation worldwide. Northern Ireland has the depth of security research talent to meet many of our needs in the near term and in the future.”