Brendan Smith and Abbvie Sligo win American Chamber Community and Sustainability Awards

  • Release Date: 19/06/2019
  • American Chamber hosts inaugural West Northwest US Ireland Business Conference
  • Cairdeas and Créafóg Awards recognise community and environmental impact
  • Quality of life factors and cultural facilities vital to attract and retain talent in the region

Brendan Smith and Abbvie were honoured as this year’s winners of the Cairdeas (friendship) and Créafóg (Earth) Awards. The Awards were given at a dinner to mark the end of West Northwest US-Ireland Business Conference organised by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland and held at NUI Galway.

Brendan Smith of SFI Insight Centre for Data Analytics received the Cairdeas Award for his outstanding contribution to enabling people, in particular young people and minorities in the West of Ireland to develop skills in technology, coding and science.

The inaugural West-Northwest region Créafóg Award for sustainability was given to AbbVie Sligo. The Créafóg Award celebrates outstanding leadership from a US company on environmental issues. The award was accepted on behalf of AbbVie by Site Director Columba McGarvey.

Themes covered at West Northwest Conference included innovation, collaboration and macro-trends for the region. An emphasis was placed on furthering FDI collaboration in the region with the SME community, local government and the opportunity to innovative with third level institutions.

A highlight of the conference day was the second annual US-Ireland Business Series lecture given by James Lyons, VP Operations at  Boston Scientific.

Other areas of focus during the day included opportunities and scalable solutions for physical and digital infrastructure needs including road, rail and broadband. The requirement to focus on quality of life factors and cultural facilities to attract and retain talent in the West and Northwest was noted as a priority.

President of the American Chamber, Mark Gantly said:
I congratulate Brendan Smith on receiving his Cairdeas Award for outstanding community impact in the West-Northwest region and we present our Créafóg Award to Abbvie to honour the strong environmental impact of US companies, at a time when the Irish Government has  released its new Climate Action Plan 2019.

I can't overstate the value of bringing the wider regional membership of the American Chamber together here in Galway to discuss key business issues in inward investment, when the economic relationship between our two countries sits at an all-time high.

President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh commented:
“NUI Galway was delighted to host the American Chamber’s gathering of FDI leaders in our region at this event.  We were especially pleased to see our colleague, Brendan Smith, Insight recognised with the Cairdeas Award and we join with the American Chamber in congratulating Brendan and Abbvie on their awards.