Innovation key to continued growth in construction sector

Over 60 Companies from across the construction sector attended the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways Innovation in Construction conference in Dublin.

The event focused on the importance of innovation in this pre-Brexit era.

The conference brought together two clusters of Technology Gateways – A-IoT* and EMD Ireland**, providing specialised presentations and industry case studies from Technology Gateways involved in the Engineering, Materials and Design and Internet of Things (IoT) space.

Enterprise Ireland’s Stephen Hughes (Manager, Construction, Timber & Consumer Retail; Paper, Print & Packaging) said: “Construction sector activity in Ireland is strong and according to the latest Purchasing Managers Index by Ulster Bank, August marked the 47th successive month of increased activity. From an export perspective, construction exports by Enterprise Ireland clients are at an all-time high and many construction companies, who diversified during the downturn, are now well positioned to capitalise on global growth in key markets’’

Since 2013 the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways programme has provided assistance to over 900 Irish based companies in the areas of innovation and research totalling €23million.

Keynote speaker, Pat Gilroy, MD Designer Group, will share his insights on creating a culture to encourage innovation in what is a challenging but opportune time for the industry.

Relevant case studies

Company case studies were provided by John Condron of Condron Concrete, who discussed his collaboration with the APT Gateway (Athlone Institute of Technology) in developing a plastic piping and fittings processing capability. Whilst Rob Fox, MD of Site Passport, outlined his company’s innovative journey in creating a bespoke cloud-based site management system for the construction industry in conjunction with the IMaR Gateway (Institute of Technology Tralee).

In the final session, the audience heard an interesting talk from the NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland), Ireland’s official standards and measurement body. Their presenters, Paul Killeen (Standards Business Development, Research & Innovation) and Martin English (Senior Certification & Inspection Officer for the construction sector), discussed how standards and certification can help companies win in international markets.

Conference chair, Paddy Byrne (Technology Gateway Management Team at Enterprise Ireland) said:

“Whilst this is a challenging time for the construction industry, there is also great opportunity and I urge delegates to consider the many options available within innovation and R&D.”

Pictured above: Stephen Hughes (Department Manager Construction), Anne Lanigan (Head of Enterprise Ireland Brexit Unit) & Pat Gilroy (Keynote Speaker-MD Designer Group).

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*AIoT is an Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways Cluster within the Internet of Things space:

TEC Technology Gateway (Cork Institute of Technology)
IMaR Technology Gateway (Institute of Technology Tralee)
WiSAR Technology Gateway (Letterkenny Institute of Technology)
MSTG Technology Gateway (Waterford Institute of Technology)
COMAND Technology Gateway (Athlone Institute of Technology)

**EMD Ireland is an Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways Cluster within the engineering, materials and design sector:

APT Technology Gateway (Athlone Institute of Technology)
CREST Technology Gateway (Dublin Institute of Technology)
Design+ Technology Gateway (Institute of Technology Carlow)
MET Technology Gateway (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology)
PEM Technology Gateway (Institute of Technology Sligo)
SEAM Technology Gateway (Waterford Institute of Technology)