Brosnan Angry at Inaction on Dell Taskforce findings

There is some interesting research being done in UL - it needs support - political & financial and a new niche industry could take root around Limerick…

Know a guy who is developing plans for harnessing wave power, needs funding to build a prototype

I clicked on that with full cynicism-mode employed but it was an interesting watch. I don’t know enough about it to see if there’s major flaws though.

I didn’t watch it all; but does it get to a point where it says why this idea would be particularly suitable for the Mid West region? I mean, why not do this in Waterford? I don’t particularly see the Limerick connection, apart from that lecturer being from UL.

Naw, it should be nationwide - but if the team are sitting on your doorstep, it would seem like a good place to start

Just finished watching the whole video. Not light entertainment, but interesting, and I see they have their own website with more research material.

But, for purposes of this discussion, I was left with much the same feeling of disgruntlement. Because I was thinking about your comment that this needed political and financial support. And it occured to me, but UL is a publically funded university. Plus, in fairness to them, (and I don’t like having to say ‘in fairness to FF’) our present Government have given R&D both airtime and money. I haven’t checked, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this research in UL is benefiting from that.

There’s plenty of State support for innovation out there. If Enterprise Ireland can give a quarter of a million to Drumshambo Community Council I’d expect you’d find they’ve resourcing for anyone who saw commercial applications for that UL research.

So, do you understand, when I see all that support already out there and then I read this article in that Limerick paper where you’ve Brosnan depicted as (whether he did or not) coming out with the samo samo “De Dublin Gubbermint needs to Take Action Fast”, I really wonder what’s the point. What’s the point in funding research in UL if the local punters still expect central government to spoonfeed them jobs in multinationals?

What’s meant to be happening is that people, having been exposed to how major global companies operate through their experience working for firms like Dell, pick up on stuff like the research in UL, get advice and even financial support from Enterprise Ireland, and get on with it.

So why isn’t it happening? Why aren’t the highly esteemed allegedly self-financing Shannon Development getting behind this thing?

Enterprise Ireland :angry:

I do deserve to be pilloried as a smart-arse, but when I read your other post here, I just had to link the two statements.

You put it considerably better than I did.

Do you feel that the Unions are alone in having this kind of blind spot?

And I’ve no doubt they’ve also funded stuff that went nowhere. The point is simply that such funding is available.

tbh, would you be astonished at two teenagers not getting funding? I’d guess (but don’t know) that Enterprise Ireland funding requires a paper trail. Now, maybe these two guys had an impeccable business plan. But I’d take it I don’t have to labour the point any more.

Working with Enterprise Ireland at the moment on my own Business Plan - There funding has been slashed this year

The very best of luck with your own initiative - and I’ve no doubt that practical action is of more value than my rantings here.

But, as regards our discussion, you’ll understand that if Enterprise Ireland found in the past that they had so little to do with their funds that they were giving a quarter of a million to Drumshambo Community Council, I’m not immediate convinced any cutback will automatically mean less for useful enterprises.

Plus, you’ll understand, I’m only mentioning them as an example of the support out there. The Western Development Commission also offer financial support for enterprises. Shannon Development have already been mentioned. Plus, presumably, whatever research UL are doing is a pre-funded resource.

I’m really just trying to dispel the notion that nothing is done.

But this is what EI are supposed to do, no? Take people with ideas and put them in a structure where they can get going. It is supposed to work like a venture capital company, I thought.

Can I head you off at the pass, on the assumption that I have the gift of telepathy and can tell where you are trying to take this? Apologies if I’m misreading you.

Indeed, I understand EI’s job is to encourage local enterprise. In this case, EI seemed not to fund something that some US crowd are buying instead.

Maybe that proves EI are wrong in this instance. Maybe the US crowd are wrong. Maybe EI are wrong to give funding to the Leitrim “Food Hub”. Or maybe in five years time we’ll be shown to be wrong. That’s not especially the point.

The point is that there is support and funding available for enterprise. I don’t doubt that, like any process, it has pitfalls. I’d guess those pitfalls (or many of them) grow out of the simple fact that the State can’t just hand free money over to anyone who claims to have a viable business. So, like, if two teenagers arrive in with something that sounds like eBay’s existing free turbolister, I’m not amazed if they don’t leave with a cheque for three million.

Does that address your concnern?

Nope. And your telepathy is letting you down.

My concern is not this individual case that it is our policy to not talk about. My concern is the general lack of discoveries of companies that EI has made. I agree that Nokias don’t grow on trees. There should, though, be one EI supported company that is world famous in Ireland, no? Perhaps there are such companies and because they supply widgets and services to MNCs, we don’t hear about them? In which case, why do we have both the IDA and EI?

It is possible that the problem illustrated here is the pointlessness of the State trying to create innovation? I mean, was Nokia created by Enterprise Finland?

If the State gets involved in enterprise development, does it inevitably mean that they’ll just wander across a barren landscape funding food hubs in Leitrim?

Maybe, I honestly don’t know. My point was simply to confront the ‘Gubbermint should lead this research to produce a new industry’ by pointing out that its quite likely that Gubbermint is leading and funding that research, just as Gubbermint is leading and funding agencies with the avowed aim to creating new industries based on (but not limited to) that research.

I can’t think of any. In fact, the only thought that occurs is that the State has really only been successful when it just went out and set up a great big company - like ESB or Aer Lingus. (Is Aer Lingus successful? I really just mean in the sense of flying planes that rarely crash, I’m not suggesting these companies are wonders of the world).

I don’t quite follow the point here. My picture of the split between IDA and EI is that IDA do the smoozing ove FDI companies, whereazs EI are actually tryin to grow expertise. So, it would stirke me, if I wanted to sell Global Best PRactice widges to FDI companies, IDA probably wouldn’t know what to advise me to do.

To take your last point first, my point is that the IDA can more easily get from the MNCs what need to be supplied with locally, so, with a ready market, setting up a company isn’t so much an ‘enterprise’ function as a logistics function, i.e. the sort of thing the IDA already do for the MNC.

ESB and Aer Lingus are good examples. Bord na Mona would be another, or was in the past anyway. Some of the coops did very well setting up agriculture stuff in the arab world, I believe. But, from what I understand, they did it themselves. There wasn’t EI involvement. Maybe there should be? Or it should just be a ‘monetisation’ department of government? Certainly the French do quite well with this?

From the private sector argument, the world is simply too big and bad to get into international markets easily. MITI did the heavy lifting for Japan Inc. I don’t expect that Nokia operated in a vacuum - it is interesting to note that the latest NCC report finally called for the universities to target more courses for specific industries, so instead of producing just web-enabled IT people we might produce people who understood banking back office, transaction processing, CICS and Cobol… I imagine part of the success of Nokia to be the ability of the government to produce ready-made people for them.

I think I get the point - that if that MNC wants banking services, its a question of sourcing that service rather than (say) the job of encouraging domestic banks to expand abroad (say). For current purposes, do I take it that what we are both interested in is just evidence that EI have contributed in some respect to the development of domestic enterprises.

Indeed, I’m not aware of EI involvement. But there presumably was heavy State involvement, as ESB etc were State companies. In agriculture in particular, hadn’t we EU export subsidies plus bodies like Bord Bainne to market the products. To say nothing of Coras Tractala.

Tbh, the weakest link seems to be just anything to do with fostering Irish private sector companies. The basis for a Nokia, to which Government could add bits, doesn’t see to be there. I don’t know, but that might even have been why IDA and EI were split. Because, as we know, the overwhelming bulk of our exports is from IDA companies. Maybe the decision was just to corral all the Leitrim food hub type stuff, as it was so unpromising.

I simply don’t know.


What does it do that is distinct from all the other organisations? Could they be combined into a more general organisation?

I did have an idea a good while back for a quango to replace some of the existing ones. It would operate as a resource centre with language, legal, customs, cultural services for the other EU/EEA nations - a method for small businesses to easily export at low cost or even at no cost - if you are not sure that there is a market for your goods or services, you don’t want to spend a fortune exploring where and how.

Perhaps - I really don’t know. But isn’t that what Forfas is meant to be?

I’m no expert, and I’m mostly just trying to remember press coverage from the last re-organisation of industry promotion bodies. But my feeling was that Forfas was meant to provide the overall coherence. IDA was to concentrate just on FDI, and forget about domestic firms. I’d take it the logic was that Dell didn’t need Irish public servants advising them on how best to sell PCs.

On the other hand, EI was to concentrate on the domestic sector, which would need a broader array of supports - from what a start-up might need to get going at all to what an existing firm might need for its first move into exports.

Maybe the configuration could be changed. I suppose whats on my mind is the current configuration is the outcome of reflection. In other words, its very much not that we’re the first people to wonder how the State can support industry. The State has been doing that in various ways all along, and where we are now is just another step on that long road.

To be fair to Enterprise Ireland, the Collisons have said (including on the Late Late show) that when they applied they didn’t really have their act together and the response was they got wasn’t “F**k off ginger” but hmmm interesting but to be fair to other applicants you have to apply in this format so we can compare (in case we one day get FOIed).