Creativity and innovation was the theme of the night as the 2016 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards took place in the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel last night. Over 600 people were in attendance at the awards ceremony, to celebrate excellence in research innovation that has taken place on the island of Ireland as a result of US business investment. This is the second year of the joint initiative between the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy.
Speaking at the event, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor T.D., said: “I am pleased that the American Chamber and the Royal Irish Academy are tonight rightly celebrating world-class innovation achievements that are the direct result of US investment in Ireland. Innovation has rightly become a cornerstone of our enterprise strategy because of the strong links between it and job creation and growth. I now look forward to continuing the implementation of the Government’s Innovation 2020 strategy, which sets out a range of actions that will help us become a true global innovation leader.”
The Minister added: “US companies in Ireland have played a very significant role in our county’s strong economic performance in recent years. Continued American investment here has created tens of thousands of jobs and driven growth in exports, in particular. The US-Ireland economic relationship has never been better and I look forward to working to help those ties become ever stronger.”
Speaking at the event, James O’Connor, Vice President of the American Chamber said “Innovation is at the very heart of what inspires the 140,000 talented men and women working in US companies in Ireland. I am very proud of our member companies and their talented people and how they deliver amazing innovation through collaborations with the Irish business and research sectors.”
The winning entries for the 2016 US Ireland Research Innovation Awards were:
SME Award: Econiq
HEI Award: UCD
MNC Award: Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Each of the winning companies received a specially commissioned award by renowned designer Shane Holland - inspired by one of Ireland’s greatest ever scientists, William Rowan Hamilton who was President of the Royal Irish Academy (1837-46). His discovery of quaternion algebra in 1843 is used today by scientists to position satellites in space and in the most advanced computer graphics.
The US Ireland Research Innovation Awards 2016 are sponsored by KPMG & Ulster Bank.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Philip King
A special Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Philip King by the American Chamber.
President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, paid tribute to Mr. King saying:
“Philip King’s contribution to the cultural life of Ireland over several decades has been profound. He has a played a critical role in sustaining and enriching the musical tradition of our nation. This Lifetime Achievement Award is a recognition of Philip’s ongoing contribution to Ireland’s culture and music; a contribution for which we, as a nation, are greatly indebted.”
James O’Connor described Mr King as “… a guardian of our cultural and artistic heritage. He is a visionary and explorer who sees where our music and culture has come from and where they are going in future. His vision sees beyond artistic, cultural, and geographic boundaries. He has become a passionate advocate for STEAM – the fusion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) with the arts.”