27 September 2018 News
The economy in Newry, Mourne and Down is cementing its growing reputation on the world map as a hub of innovation with the help of some fast-growing indigenous businesses and an energetic tech ecosystem.
That was the message from the first ever Innovation Nation conference held today in Newry where some of the district’s most prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders told how they have grown globally recognizable businesses.
Innovation Nation 2018 heard from Brian Conlon, Founder and Chief Executive of First Derivatives plc; Norbrook Laboratories Chief Executive Liam Nagle and STATSports Chief Commercial Officer Sean O’Connor, as well as inspiring entrepreneurs and tech leaders from elsewhere.
Keynote speaker and serial entrepreneur Mark Little addressed the conference on the opportunities in the digital age for companies from all sectors of the business world and told his story of starting successful technology companies and working for one of the most well-known social media firms, Twitter.
He said: “It has been hugely inspiring to see first-hand the brilliant energy which is to be found in the businesses we’ve seen from in and around the Newry, Mourne and Down District. Some really exciting global companies have emerged from the area and if the talent from the start-up community is anything to go by, there will be many more to come in the years ahead.”
Mark Murin, Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said: “Innovation Nation 2018 has shone a light on the vibrant ecosystem of innovation and technology which has been building in this district for some time. It is great to hear the stories of how some of our local companies have got to where they are and to get the input from experts in the technology field.
“As a council we want to see the economy here flourish and we’re determined to make sure we do all we can to encourage even more innovation, more energy and more entrepreneurial spirit in the coming years. We want to work in partnership with our businesses and other key stakeholders to turbo boost the district and ensure it can take its place as a pivot city between Dublin and Belfast whilst building a connected web across the world.”
Other speakers at the event included Secure Broadcast founder Helen Lennon; Queen's University Belfast Director of Operations Claire McAlinden; INCISIV founder Dr Cathy Craig; Peter McCaul, Chief Executive Officer at Péarlaí; Adrian Toner, Chief Operating Officer at First Derivatives; Matthew Scott from Navada Studios and Steve Pette, Co-founder at Ormeau Baths.