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Toys4Engineers 2018: A region on the rise in innovation and technology

04Toys 4 0 Engineers

“A vibrant expanding region” is how Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon described the South East as she opened the 2018 Toys4Engineers Conference & Expo, which was attended by over 1,500 engineering enthusiasts throughout the day.

Organised by Waterford Chamber and Waterford Institute of Technology, the event brought over 70 companies from across the country to WIT Arena for the national conference and expo.

Speaking to in excess of 200 conference delegates Ms Sinnamon outlined how there was a 17% growth in employment amongst Enterprise Ireland client companies in the South East over last three years, showcasing the strength of industry within the region.

This was further highlighted by Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely, who said the fact that the number of exhibitors at Toys4Engineers had increased by 50% from the previous year, showed a renewed confidence and determination by companies to showcase their innovations and talent.

“Networking, collaboration and sharing of knowledge is central to what Waterford Chamber is about. Toys4Engineers provides considerable opportunities for B2B networking, enabling companies to meet prospective customers, suppliers, collaborators or future employees.

“Also through the panel of expert speakers and exposure to the applications of innovation and technology across a wide spectrum of industry sectors, Toys4Engineers provides attendees with the opportunity to learn from others.”

That learning came from speakers Paul Brennan, BAM Ireland who addressed the delegates on one of BAM’s current projects, The Museum of the Future in Dubai, while Paddy Phelan, 3CEA spoke on renewables, electric vehicles and energy storage.

Cristian Olariu representing IBM gave an overview on cloud support for engineers, while Padraig McGarry offered an insight into Factory 4 Cobotics at Abbott Longford.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion, hosted by MC Laurent Borla of Senantra Ltd. Once the conference concluded, the doors were opened to the public to come and view the incredible ‘toys’ and technology on show – including live demonstrations of drones, VR headsets, robots, an exo-skeleton and 3D printers, while the event was also broadcast live on WLR with Geoff Harris.

According to Dr Ken Thomas, Head of School of Engineering at WIT, Toys4Engineers confirms that Waterford and the wider region is increasingly a centre of excellence in terms of engineering, innovation and technology. He was hugely encouraged by the large attendance keen to consider a career within these sectors.

“It is great to see so many young people finding out more about the high-tech toys being developed and used by engineers to make a better world. We are all aware of the skills shortages and terrific job opportunities, so it is really encouraging to see the next generation having a high level of interest. Our Jobs Board here today shows just how many good quality lives roles there are available right now and with a fantastic quality of life also on offer, Waterford and the South-East is a great choice for advancing your career and getting that perfect work life balance.”

Main sponsor for the event was Clem Jacob Hire, whose exhibition space proved extremely popular, as he presented hand-crafted wooden models of his machinery, which were created by artist and joiner John Murphy. 

“I have been to each of the engineering shows in the past and I have always enjoyed them. Having a stand at it this year was very productive for our business and so enjoyable.”

Toys4Engineers was sponsored by Clem Jacob Hire and supported by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Cobotics Skillnet and Bord Bia.


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