European innovation initiative launched

The European Commission today tabled its ‘Innovation Union’ initiative, which sets out a strategic approach to challenges such as climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population. In a statement today, the Commission said it will use public sector intervention to stimulate the private sector and to “remove bottlenecks which stop ideas reaching the markets.” These barriers can include lack of finance, fragmented research systems and markets, underuse of public procurement for innovation and slow standard setting. Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said if Europe is not transformed into an Innovation Union, economies will “wither on the vine while ideas and talent go to…

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Ireland can be China’s investment ‘Gateway to Europe’ – Cowen

Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD said he believes Ireland can become the ‘gateway’ for Chinese investment into Europe. He made his comment yesterday in the wake of meeting a high level Chinese delegation in Government Buildings. The Chinese delegation was led by Mr Li Changchun , Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. It’s the highest level Chinese delegation to have visited Ireland in the last six years. In 2004, China Premier Wen Jiabao visited Ireland. Cowen said Ireland has important advantages, including being the only English speaking country in the Eurozone. He said that Irish trade with China had increased “six-fold…

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Nationwide UK named one of world’s 50 safest banks

Global Finance has published its 19th annual list of the world’s safest banks, and for the second consecutive year Nationwide UK is included on the list. Nationwide (UK) Ireland is due to open its first retail branch in Dublin this Autumn. It grabs the No. 47 slot. The only other UK banks to appear are HSBC and Barclays. Unsurprisingly, no Irish banks feature. The ‘World’s 50 Safest Banks’ 2010 were selected through a comparison of the long-term credit ratings and total assets of the 500 largest banks around the world. Ratings from ratings agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch were used to compile the list. Commenting on the results,…

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Minimum wage making Ireland uncompetitive – accountants

A new survey of Irish accountants conducted in the past week has shown that almost 60pc believe the minimum wage is making Irish business uncompetitive. The survey, carried out by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA), questioned more than 500 accountants employed in accountancy practices and across a wide range of industries throughout the country, with almost 85pc of those questioned working in SMEs. According to the CPA survey, almost 20pc of those surveyed said the introduction of the minimum wage had had a significant, or very significant impact, on their business. However, one in every two respondents said their organisation would not employ more people even…

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LinkedIn To Open Global Headquarters in Dublin

LinkedIn To Open Global Headquarters in Dublin

The social-networking service for professionals LinkedIn is to locate a new international headquarters in Dublin, joining Google, eBay, and Facebook among the bevy of internet giants setting up shop in the city. The headquarters, which will open on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in April, will create jobs in sales, marketing, finance and customer service. Details of current openings can be found on the LinkedIn website . LinkedIn’s offices in Mountain View, California will continue to serve as corporate headquarters with Dublin as the center for international growth. The company says it will manage its international expansion from Dublin, working with teams in London and the Netherlands. LinkedIn now has more than…

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eBay Creates 150 New Jobs at Dublin Operations

Internet firm eBay has today announced the creation of 150 additional jobs at its European headquarters in Dublin. The jobs expansion at the company’s European Centre of Excellence in Blanchardstown is supported by the Irish Government with the aid of IDA Ireland. The new permanent positions have been created in customer service, personal account management and process enhancement.  People can apply to eBay directly for the positions by doing Google searches for “ebay jobs in ireland” as the website created for this purpose is currently unavailable. eBay, together with its online payment company PayPal, already employs over 1,600 people at its Blanchardstown site. Dublin helping eBay grow The Taoiseach Brian…

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Mum of two creates iPhone App for autistic children

A Wicklow-based mother of two children with autism, Lisa Domican, has developed a new iPhone app that she hopes will help children with autism better build their communications skills. The app, which has already been successfully trialled in the Saplings School in Rathfarnham for children with autism, is called “Grace” (named after Lisa’s daughter) and is based on the principle of picture exchange communication. It was developed by Lisa in conjunction with software developer Steve Troughton-Smith, and with the support of Telefonica O2 Ireland. “As the mother of two children with autism, I know it works, I’ve seen the positive impact it has had on my own children, and therefore…

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Macro-messaging service Whispurr takes on Twitter

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A new social-networking player has entered the scene to take on micro-messaging player Twitter with a service that enables macro-messages of 300 characters. The Whispurr social-networking service promises to bridge the online world with the offline world. According to Conor Devine, director of Whispurr.com , macro-messaging is a 300-character message which can be sent online by a real-time ‘whisp’ or via Whispurr’s free SMS message to a mobile-phone service. But can the service take on Twitter, which last week achieved its 10-billionth ‘tweet’ and now boasts 60 million users around the world. According to Devine, Whispurr developers work around the clock to churn out new time-saving measures to make communication as easy as possible. As a…

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Jacob Fruitfield Hires Ogilvy & Mather To Create Ad Campaigns

One of the most trusted leaders in advertising, Ogilvy & Mather has been appointed as agency partner to the Jacob Fruitfield Food Group with effect from January 2010. The agency will be responsible for creating new advertising campaigns for brands such as Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Kimberly, Mikado and Coconut Creams.  It will also work on Jacob Fruitfield’s other brands, including Chef and Fruitfield. “We relish the exciting prospect of developing the truly iconic campaigns that these well loved Irish brands deserve,” said Gervaise Slowey, managing director, Ogilvy & Mather. According to Jacob Fruitfield, the company plans to invest heavily in building its top brands in 2010, “Advertising has always played a key role…

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Ireland seeks EU help to reskill redundant Dell workers

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Ireland’s Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, has made an application to the European Commission seeking support to reskill the 1,900 Dell workers in Limerick who will lose their jobs later this year. Earlier this year, the long-anticipated closure of Dell’s factory in Limerick was confirmed after spiralling costs in the Irish economy made its future untenable. The factory is being moved to a new location in southern Poland. Dell will continue to employ 2,000 people in Ireland engaged in higher-value activities. Today, Minister Coughlan submitted an application to the European Commission seeking support from the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) for training and other supports…

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