Friday, 26 August 2016

Silicon Valley “Smart City” project to be announced for Galway at NUIG Summer School

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics based at NUI Galway and supported by Science Foundation Ireland will launch a new “Smart City” project for Galway City in partnership with Silicon Valley, CA, USA based Company, DEW Mobility at the Internet of Things summer School in NUI Galway on Tuesday 13th September.

The Galway Smart City: Light Pollution, Air Quality and Noise Monitoring project which was successful against stiff competition from across the world was accepted as part of the Global City Team Challenge (GCTC) launched in 2015 by US Ignite and the US National Institute for Standards and Technologies (NIST) and is being developed in partnership with Silicon Valley, CA, USA based Company, DEW Mobility.

According to project leader Dr Martin Serrano of Insight at NUI Galway,
“This project adds an international dimension to Irish-based IoT expertise and is a recognition of the success of Irish-based scientists in the development of “Smart City” data solutions and particularly “Smart City” best practices for transforming open source knowledge into industrial solutions".

"We are very proud to participate in this project involving Galway City Council in the West of Ireland, supported by a Silicon Valley, CA, USA based Company, DEW Mobility and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics to drive the technical design and development based on our scientific trajectory and expertise on smart technologies and the Internet of Things”, Dr Serrano said.

Dr Martin Serrano and former Mayor of Galway, Niall Ó Brolcháin from Insight participated in the GCTC kick-off event in Austin, Texas, USA for this project together with other selected Smart City teams from many parts of the world to demonstrate their solutions and plans to promote the best smart city practices. The endorsement of NIST and US Ignite, ensures that best practice from Irish-based smart city architects and scientists will position Ireland at the very highest international level in terms of creating Smart City solutions and initiatives.

In the context of Global Initiatives for Smart City Solutions to identify best practices, emerging technologies and to motivate knowledge transfer to industry and to promote open source solutions to the city.

Dr Serrano said,
“The GCTC is an effort to bring together two key groups—communities with challenges and innovators with the technology to overcome them. The GCTC was announced at the White House Smart Cities Forum as part of the US Administration's New Smart City initiative on Sept. 14, 2015.”

The Galway Smart City: Light Pollution, Air Quality and Noise Monitoring Smart System, an IoT Based project has been evaluated and selected to showcase and demonstrate the capacity to pioneer IoT technology for smart city solutions.

Technically led by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics the project focuses on the design of external monitoring for air quality, incidence of light pollution, glare and spillage into the surrounding environment and noise levels giving due regard to the commercial and residential amenities of surrounding areas.

The core technology proposed behind this project is VITAL-OS, which is the open platform for connecting city data and analysing the performance of IoT related smart city systems and is promoted as the reference Operating System for Connecting Smart Cities, VITAL is a European funded project that follows the principles of the Open Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Entrepreneur Co-Founds Ireland’s Only Health, Fitness and Wellness Festival

Image result for wellfest ireland

Entrepreneur Anthony Kelly is one of the founders of Ireland’s only health, fitness and wellness festival, which returns to Herbert Park in Dublin 2 for its second year next month.

The WellFest festival takes place on 17th and 18th September, and will feature some of the world’s best-known health and fitness experts, alongside homegrown talent such as Kathryn Thomas, Bressie, The Happy Pear, Pat Divilly, Roz Purcell and Alison Canavan.

Mr. Kelly founded WellFest last year, along with a team of three others, after noticing a gap in the market for such an event. He points out that while there were health and fitness exhibitions taking place already, they included very little activity and audience participation – this is what sets WellFest apart from the rest.

A former solicitor, having qualified and worked in Matheson until 2013, Anthony always had an interest in events and knew it was something he wanted to get back involved in. He served as Entertainment Officer during his time at UCD and was involved in setting up the first UCD Ball that took place on campus in 2005.

This is Mr. Kelly’s second business venture, having set up Glofox, a business management solution system for gyms and studios, where he now works as Head of Marketing and Business Development.

Commenting on how Glofox contributed to the development of WellFest, he said: “ Glofox capitalised on group exercise and boutique fitness studios, which is a big trend in fitness at present and over 80% of our customer base are group exercise businesses. This customer base includes diverse businesses that specialise in many different fitness styles, such as: Yoga, Pilates, Crossfit, Spin Studios and Fitness Studios (offering a selection of different exercise classes).

“At Glofox, we provide these customers with the software they need to create their classes and memberships packages. Customers can then purchase the services through their own website and through a custom mobile App that we create for each customer.

“I could see the opportunity in group fitness every day in Glofox but it became apparent that there was not one single event around that brought everything together. Through Glofox I knew some of the country’s top fitness coaches and trainers and it’s because of this that I was able to get them involved in WellFest. ”

The line-up for WellFest 2016 includes:

The Pure Results Bootcamp Challenge, hosted by Kathryn Thomas, which will take place on both days.

Fun and unique Voga sessions with the House of Voga team on the main stage, where classes are set to energetic 1980s aerobics beats and combine traditional yoga poses with “voguing”, a dance style originally popularised by Madonna.

Cooking demonstrations by famous foodies Roz Purcell and The Happy Pear.

Workshops with The Skinny Bitch Collective’s Russell Bateman – the fitness movement that counts Ellie Goulding and Laura Whitmore as celebrity fans.
Musician and mental health campaigner, Bressie with his movement for wellbeing A Lust for Life.
WellBeing workshop with Morgan De Young (The Southern Yogi), an Instagram yoga phenomenon with 220,000 followers.
Digital mindfulness maestro Chris Flack of
Health and wellness coach, and author / model / presenter, Alison Canavan.

Weekend tickets for WellFest cost €65, while day passes are available for €40 (plus booking fee). Tickets can be purchased They include unlimited access to classes, talks and workshops on health, fitness, nutrition, cookery, yoga, pilates, mindfulness, and more.

WellFest 2016 is sponsored by Glenisk, Gourmet Fuel, Pure Results, Reebok, Vita Coco, and Berocca.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

New Chairman for Irish Venture Capital Association

Michael Murphy, partner of Investec Ventures Ireland, has been elected chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA). He succeeds Brian Caulfield, managing director, Draper Esprit, who has completed his term of office.

Mr Murphy, who also chaired the IVCA in 2003, has over 25 years’ investment experience in the venture capital industry. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, he founded Investec Ventures (formerly NCB Ventures) in 1997.

The Investec investment team has raised three venture funds with the backing of Irish institutional investors. Fund investments include AMCS, Britebill, Blue Tree Systems, Davra Networks, Diona, Fenergo, Ferfics, Gridstore, Helix Health, Mick’s Garage, Silvercloud Health and Rapt.

The Irish Venture Capital Association ( is the representative organisation for venture capital firms in Ireland. Since 2008, in excess of 1,250 Irish SMEs have raised venture capital of €2.8bn.

These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers who during this period supported the creation of over 20,000 jobs; attracted over €1.25bn of capital into Ireland and geared up the State’s investment through the Seed & Venture Capital programmes.