Business News

Bitesize Business: STEM education, IoT and expansion

By Business & Finance
24 November 2016
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Business & Finance brings you the day’s Irish business news in brief.

Government must act to reform STEM education


A new report of the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) Education Review Group contains important proposals to improve the quality of STEM teaching and the pupil experience.

Speaking following the launch of the report, Ibec senior executive for Innovation and Education Policy, Claire McGee, said: “To achieve Ireland’s ambitions to provide a high-quality and engaging education in these critical areas, we need to change how these subject are taught.

“The introduction of computer science as a leaving certificate subject would expose students to this important subject at an earlier stage and better equip students to make third level choices. It would also help Ireland develop as a digital and innovative economy. The recommendation to incorporate more inquiry and experiential based learning is also very positive.

“Irish businesses increasingly need graduates with key STEM skills. Ibec looks forward to working with Government on the proposed STEM 2020 Partnership to harness the enormous potential that exists within the education system.”

40% of Irish businesses to boost IoT deployment in 2017


Global interconnection and data centre company Equinix today announced the results of an independent survey of senior IT decision-makers in Ireland, which found 40% of Irish businesses will increase their IoT deployment in 2017.

The study found that while almost three-quarters (74%) recognise that IoT will play a role in their business in the next five years, many are yet to implement a specific IoT strategy.

Almost half (47%) of companies admitted that they don’t have a specific IoT strategy and don’t expect to implement one in next five years. However, an additional 28% of companies don’t currently have an IoT strategy but do plan to implement one by 2021.

Currently, 33% of Irish enterprises deploy IoT technology within their business. Leading the way are retail (67%), education (60%) and healthcare (50%).

Asked about the benefits that IoT can bring, more than half (55%) of Irish enterprises listed operational efficiency as the greatest benefit, while 37% cited a reduction in maintenance and operations costs.

EIB confirms record education investment in Ireland


Teaching, research and student accommodation at Trinity College Dublin will be transformed over the next two years with the backing of a €70m long-term European Investment Bank (EIB) loan.

This will include the new Trinity Business School, which is currently under construction, the development of campus student accommodation at Oisín House, and new premises for Trinity’s Institute of Population Health in Tallaght.

The 30-year loan from the world’s largest internationally owned public bank will be used by Trinity alongside other sources of financing, including philanthropic donations.

Aldi opens new Swords store creating 25 new jobs


Aldi has further increased its presence in Co. Dublin with the opening of its latest store in Swords. A total of 25 new jobs have been created at the new store.

Speaking at the store opening, Patrik Polak, manager of Aldi’s new Swords store, said: “Buying fresh, quality Irish foods in Swords just got easier thanks to the opening of our new Aldi store. Each Aldi store we have opened so far has been a fantastic success and we are really looking forward to serving the local community.”

In the last five years Aldi has recruited over 70 new Irish suppliers, meaning Aldi now partners with more than 175 Irish producers.

€1m expansion investment for leading tech firm


Heavey RF will begin a €1m expansion investment in its company over the next five years.

The company, which is an Irish-owned provider of advanced technology solutions to the warehouse and logistics sector, has taken the first steps of the expansion by signing a five year lease of an adjacent premises to its office in Parkwest Industrial Estate. As part of the investment, Heavey RF will also expand its team by 20% with the recruitment of six new employees bringing its workforce to 36 people across its offices in Ireland and the UK.

According to Ciarán Lavelle, sales director with Heavey RF, significant new client wins such as Musgrave, United Drug and the Ardagh Group have contributed to the company’s growth.

“We’re delighted to be in a position of growth and while we remain ever cautious of the market and economy, we are responding to the needs of our clients who themselves are growing and investing in technology solutions.”

J&P Fleet signs contracts worth €1.2m through new contracts


Johnson & Perrott Fleet has finalised two new substantial contracts, worth €1.2m, which are linked to pivotal road building projects around Ireland.

J&P Fleet, a fleet management provider, recently finalised the contracts with BAM Civil Ltd and Dragados Ireland Ltd to provide a total of 70 lease vehicles over the next three years.

The vehicles will be used in the projects to construct the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy PPP Road Scheme, a joint venture between BAM Civil Ltd and Dragados Ireland Ltd, and the M25 New Ross project.

To date, 80 vehicles have been leased across the two projects over three year terms with further units scheduled for 2017.

Dublin-based J&P Fleet, whose clients range from blue chip companies to SMEs, is part of the Johnson & Perrott Motor Group.