Cork 29-09-2019

2 Galway 2019 Galway’s successlies initspeople andbusiness community KennyDeery, thenew chief executive of Galway’s Chamber, has highhopes forGalway city and county, writes SiobhánMaguire

The Sunday BusinessPost September29, 2019

from around the world. Cel- ebrating its 31st birthday in 2019, the central goal of the fleadh remains to bring to- gether audiences, film buffs andfilmmakersinanintimate environment toshareacom- monexperience, thewonder of cinema. Festival guests over the years have included such stars as Martin Sheen, Bren- dan Gleeson, Anjelica Hus- ton, Michael Fassbender, Peter O’Toole, Jessica Lange, Bill Pullman, Jeremy Irons, Kathy Bates, Woody Harrel- son, Richard Attenborough, Michael Moore, Oliver Reed, JimSheridanandNeil Jordan. Screenings include feature and short-length fiction and documentarycinemaaswell asshowcasingnewworldcin- ema features. “Galway Chamber, in col- laboration with Chambers Ireland, has signed up to five sustainable development goals under the headings decent work and econom- ic growth, sustainable cities and communities, industry innovationandinfrastructure, climate action and gender equality.” TheBoardofGalwayCham- ber has a vision that Galway will be the best place to live, to work, to learn and to vis- it. The adoption of the SDG’s willwithoutdoubthelpinthe delivery of that vision.  “Galway is known as a proud ‘city and county of festivals’, and rightly so. The incredible talent that has been harnessed across all spectrums is spellbinding,” said Deery. It is no surprise that Gal- waywasselectedasEuropean Capital of Culture for 2020. That proud accoladewas not bestowedbyaccident, but on foot of a tremendous work effort over years by arts and cultural organisa- tions supported by the months are going to be very special as Galway showcases its truecapa- bility.The teamat Galway Chamber looks forward to supportingthebusinesscom- munity and collaborating with all partners to ensure that the year of 2020 will be oneof continued innovation, projectdeliveryandcollabo- ration.” business community and the local authori- ties among others.  “The coming 18

Galway city from the air; inset: Kenny Deery, chief executive, Galway Chamber

J ob announcements, new business open- ings and hosting visit- ingdelegationslooking to learn fromGalway’s achievementsmakeup the working week of new Galway Chamber chief executiveKennyDeery. After twodecades in tourism andretailbanking,Deerytook up the new role at the end of July and is excited by what lies ahead. “The success of Galway has not happened by acci-

Galway Chamber of Commerce/Andrew Downes, Xposure

dent, but asanoutputof great collaborationbetweenmany organisations ranging from supportivearmsofthestateto small voluntary groups with big ideas for the future,” he said. Galway Chamber has played a proud role in sup- porting the development of The PorterShed through the Galway City Innovation Dis- trict and Galway Technology Centre alongwithWESTBIC. Thecombinationofboththese spaces are housing 80 com-

panies, employing 460 tech- nologists and innovators in high-value jobs that arecon- tributing to Galway in terms ofregionalspendandcreative capacity,andinattractingand stimulating furtherentrepre- neurial talent. “Galway Mayo Institute of Technology,NationalUniver- sityof IrelandGalway,Udaras and SCCUL enterprises are also investing considerable resources, time and energy intocapitaldevelopmentsand enterprise stimulation activ-

ities,” said Deery. Galway’s achievements, particularly in the medtech space, have been phenom- enal, added Deery, and are a key driver of growth in the West of Ireland. Some signif- icant developments are un- derwaythatwill bewelcome additions to the commercial landscapeinGalwaycitycen- tre and in the Port.  Housing, however, contin- ues to be a challenge, with 4,200 people on the housing waiting list withGalway City

to school or people try- ing to make a hospital appointment. All day- to-dayactivitiesrequire movement, and that is impactedbycongestion.” Deery said there were twoparticular projects that couldhelp: thesupport of the Galway City Ring Road and the implementation of the Galway Transport Strategy.  “We as a chamber under- stand and accept that a key part of the Transport Strat- egy will need considerable

Council as of this week. “This is a challenge that has tobeaddressedand, asof yet, anadequateplanisnot in place toreduce thisnumber,” said Deery. Every scaling city has growthpains: thepinchpoint ofGalway’sscalingistrafficat peak hours. Galway Cham- ber has this week launched acampaigninLeinsterHouse entitled Get Galway Moving.  “Trafficproblemscanham- per attendance at cultural events, delay kids in getting

conversion to public trans- port, and we welcome this, given that the use of public transporthelpsreducecarbon footprint,” he said.

Engineeringgrowthin Galwayasamedtechhub

Behind the scenes, Galway FilmFair strikes the right deals

BY SIOBHÁNMAGUIRE T he Galway Film Fleadh needs no introduction, with itsglobalreputation for showcasing the wonderof cinemaandwow- ingmovieaudiences.What is less well known is the enor- mous amount of work and planning that goes into the movieindustrytoensuregreat filmprojects happen. That’s where the Galway FilmFair comes into its own. The Film Fair, namely the business side of the indus- try, runs alongside the Film Fleadh where hosts of inter- nationalfilmfinanciersgather to meet with producers. The 24th Galway Film Fair wrapped up on July 15 after a successful week of market- place meetings, seminars, masterclasses and industry events. “Thefairistheindustryarm of the Galway Film Fleadh, and mirrors the festival’s uniquely intimate, informal andaccessibleatmosphere to actasakeyindustrynetwork- ingeventonthe international filmcalendarandalaunchpad for projects at various stages of development through its vibrant marketplace,” said Miriam Allen, chief execu- tiveoftheGalwayFilmFleadh. This year’s Marketplace at the Galway Film Fair, one of many components of the week-long meet-and-greet, scheduled over 700 one-on- one meetings between pro- ducers, international sales agents, distributors, broad- casters, filmfunds and talent agents.TheMarketplaceevent alsohostedmeetingswithkey players including BBC Films and Film4. This year also saw the in- augural presentation of the Galway Film Fair Award for best Marketplace Project, in association with Bankside Films.Theaward, acashprize of€3,000towards thedevel- opment of the project, was awardedtoWatermelonSeeds byKateSwanofBonnieFilm. “It is an honour to be sup- ported inthiswaybytheFilm Fleadh, Fair and Bankside Films,” said Swan, a Scottish producerwhoisbasedinBris- tol. “It’s been inspiring to be among so many great Irish andinternationalfilmmakers and this couldn’t be a better startingpointforWatermelon Seeds.” In addition to the Market- place and Forum, therewere masterclasses in screenwrit- ing, directing and acting. “Galway is an intimate city and an intimate festival and marketplace, providing easy access to major internation- al financiers andfilmmakers that would not be possible at largergatherings,”saidAllen. * * * 5

BY SIOBHÁNMAGUIRE I n recent years, Galway has welcomed a signif- icant cluster ofmedtech companies, with the county now accounting for almost 40 per cent of all regional distributionofmed- ical device companies. Enabling this success story isKirbyGroupEngineering,an award-winning engineering and construction company. The firm has worked closely withleadingmedtechcompa- niessuchasBostonScientific, Medtronic, Zimmer Biomet and Merit Medical. “We are proud of the part wehaveplayedinestablishing Galwayas somewhat of aEu- ropean hub for the medtech sector,” said Mark Flanagan, group operations director, Kirby Group Engineering. “Galway and the West have

edge-intensivecompaniesare drawn to the area due to the skilled, multilingual work- force and local expertise in business,science,engineering andmanagement.” Kirby Group Engineering is a people business that has grown steadily over the last 50years, deliveringelectrical andmechanical solutions for clients. Over this period, the company has experienced growth in staff numbers and been at the forefront of lead- ingengineeringandconstruc- tion projects in the region. “Our success has been based upon an unrelenting focus on safety, quality, cre- ationof value andexcellence in delivery,” said Flanagan. “We don’t chase growth-we chase opportunities for col- laborativevaluecreationwith our clients. This is at the core of our culture.”

The firm’s work has been recognised for its excellence, winning numerous interna- tional awards for itsmanage- ment of safety and quality. Kirbywasnominatedforbest employerbytheInternational Standard Investors in People in 2018, where they already holdGoldLevelaccreditation. “Our people come, stay, stretch, learnand grow,” said Flanagan. “We employ over 850 people and have a turn- overinexcessof€200million. Being from Galway myself, I am proud of the growth our company has seen in this region. We first opened our Galway offices in 2002 and sincethenwehavegonefrom strengthtostrength.Galwayis agreatplace to live,workand do business. “We are positive about the future and we are proving this by investing in our peo- ple and technology. We have also built competence and partnerships in Galway and our people are leading right across our businesses in our international hubs.” Flanagan said the future is bright for both Kirby and Galway, with growth and ex- pansionexpectedtocontinue. Hehighlightedspecificallythe natural advantages and op- portunityfortheregioninthe development of data centres. Kirby has deep experience in the delivery of such proj- ects for major clients across Northern Europe. “Galway continues to be a preferredbaseforglobalcom- panies investing in Ireland,” he said. “There is a wealth of careeropportunitiesavailable in the Galway and Western region. We need to promote Galway as a place of sustain- able employment that offers good work-life balance. “Galway isauniversitycity withahighlyeducatedwork- force. Aswith all major cities in Ireland, Galway is not im- mune from accommodation shortages and soaring rents. We need to see action in this area, in order to ensure con- tinuedinvestmentandgrowth in the region. “Due to a significant num- ber of projects in the west of Ireland in recent times with more in the pipeline, Kirby is looking to recruit more staff. We are looking for en- gineering, construction and commercial professionals to joinourcompanyandhelpus todeliver these leading-edge projects. We invest heavily in our people and in their training and development. Working with us is an excel- lent opportunity to excel in a collaborativeand industrious environment.”

Galway Film Fleadh: celebrating worldwide cinema

“Long-termrelationshipsare forged through meetings in theMarketplacebutalsoatthe numerous industry and net- workingevents including the co-production dinnerwhere over 180delegateswere stra- tegically seated which helps ‘break the ice’ in advance of thepre-scheduledmeetings.” Project2_Layout 1 08/05/2019 14:56 Page 1 *

The Galway Film Fair is supportedbyCreativeEurope, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and theBroadcastingAuthorityof Ireland. The Galway Film Fleadh is a six-day international event, held every July and welcomesadiversityoffilms

Mark Flanagan, group operations director, Kirby

Project2_Layout 1 08/05/2019 14:56 Page 1

been continuously endorsed by global brands in life sci- ences,softwaredevelopment, telecommunications and the gamesindustry.Theseknowl-

For more information, see galwayfilmfleadh.com

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