Industry can save 20% in energy costs

Business | Tue 4 Feb | Author – Business & Finance

Businesses from the Mid-West region attending a recent seminar in Limerick learnt how waste prevention and renewable energy can be a major contributor to cost reduction in enterprise.

Following on from the very successful two-day ITLG event held at the University of Limerick, and also linked with Limerick CleanTech Cluster, the seminar and associated exhibition, which took place at the Millennium Theatre in Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), focused on resource efficiency and cleantech in industry. It was organised by Supply Network Shannon (SNS) in conjunction with the Acorn Research Centre at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).

The seminar was one of a series of events being run by SNS as part of its Promoting Resource Efficiency project, which is grant-aided by the Environmental Protection Agency under the national Cleaner Greener Production Programme.

The combination of key practical speakers in different fields of expertise, and the number of exhibitions relating specifically to the event’s theme, meant that attendees had a veritable one-stop shop for learning more about resource efficiency and cleantech. Attendees are now better positioned to apply this new knowledge to their own operations, in order to achieve the ultimate bottom-line cost savings through sustainable practices.

Emphasising the importance of the links established through this event, between key business organisations and through networking between individual companies, SNS chairperson Mark O’Sullivan said: “The event has been one of our most successful to date. The range and calibre of speaker was absolutely excellent and SNS could not be happier with our event partner, LIT’s ACORN Research Centre. The mix of industry experts with SME and multinational exemplar companies really brought the event together. I was delighted for SNS member company, Prolimax, and its co-founder,  Tom Helebert, who gave an insightful talk on product lifecycle and how Prolimax can assist companies in this field.

“There was an attendance of 85 companies at the event and we also had several walk-in companies. It was great to see Dr Fergal Barry from LIT, as well as Frank Murray, Piercom, and chair of the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership and Dr Pat Daly, Limerick City & County Council, in attendance.

“It is a great compliment to SNS that companies are supporting networking events and I am confident that the SNS Manufacturing Exhibition – SME 2014, which takes place on 14th May in the South Court Hotel, Limerick will be even more of a success. Business in the region is really starting to recover and SNS is delighted to be part of this recovery.”

John Cosgrove, leader of LIT’s Acorn Research Centre, noted the significance of energy efficiency in helping a business to be more competitive and achieve the edge that a company needs to get and stay ahead.

“The presentations from industry on energy efficiency clearly showed that up to 20% of the cost of energy can be saved through low-cost changes to operations and processes. I particularly enjoyed the presentation from DePuy where LIT have a full-time researcher working on an energy project. Their installation of a 3MW Wind Turbine clearly shows the potential for the integration of renewable energy on industrial sites.”

Dr Frances Hardiman of LIT’s Acorn Research Centre added: “Industry/research collaborations are a primary focus of the Acorn Centre and I would encourage any company that may want to further develop an idea or participate in research to engage with the centre either directly or through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher or Partnership schemes.”

The format of the event where attendees could hear the experts and also network and mingle with the exhibitors lead to useful contacts being made, whether with a view to generating more business and/or helping participants to increase efficiencies in their own processes.