Archive for December, 2009

The Munster Institute of Technology

December 11, 2009

John Jennings, Mike Kiely, Liam Noonan and Bernie Goldbach. These are just four of the staff at Tipperary Institute who have been regulars at OpenCoffee Limerick since the networking event begun a few years ago. Not to mention the large number of Creative Multimedia students who have joined them on long journeys to the Absolute Hotel to mingle and discuss ideas with the entrepreneurs in attendance.

Its excellent outreach programme is just one of the things that makes Tipperary Institute special. So it saddens me to read that this element could be diminished in a re-organization that may see Tipp Inst combined with Limerick Institute of Technology in a single organization. Bernie Goldbach would call this new entity the Shannon Suir Institute of Technology but I'd prefer the name suggested by Stephen Houze in a comment to Bernie's blog post; The Munster Institute of Technology

"With the
success of the Munster rugby team in particular, there is a resonance
of success on the name as well the feel of an international brand, and
it's all ready to go. The name also kills off any of that inter-county
rivalry nonsense."

I'm a big fan of the user-generated 'barcamp' style of conferencing but the best event I attended this year was ICT in Education at Tipperary Institute. It made for a refreshing change to get outside of the usual echo-chamber and listen to the most highly motivated educators in the country. I came away from the day with a new found respect for the teaching profession and their hunger to incorporate the technology that can deliver the best education possible to our young people. And I don't believe there's another Institute in the country that could have made the day a better annual success story.

There's something very special about the culture of education at Tipperary Institute. Perhaps we can afford to change its name but we can't afford to lose its essence.

Outvesting winner –

December 7, 2009

Outvesting has come to a conclusion and is the winner of the €5,000 fund. Head on over to take a look and see why so many of our donors voted for a service which a number of them said "is vital for democracy in Ireland".

Well done to them and indeed all the applicants, donors and in particular John Keyes for helping to make it happen.

Tanaiste launches entrepreneurship education report in 3rd level sector

December 6, 2009

Key findings of the report suggest that:
– 78% of undergraduate students surveyed expressed an interest in starting their own business at some point in future;
– Entrepreneurship education is not readily available to all students, is fragmented and delivered mainly only in business schools;
– There is a lack of communication about, and visibility of, entrepreneurial supports and policies;
– There is insufficient joined-up thinking between institutions, academics and practitioners;
– Despite some initiatives, industry engagement with the third level sector is neither widespread nor intensive;
– Entrepreneurship education is under-resourced and lacks an articulated strategic policy;
– Higher education institutions need to adopt a framework to embed entrepreneurship education across all disciplines;
– Experiential learning, not theory based lectures, will most benefit entrepreneurial students.


Well at least that 78% figure is encouraging, although it's very easy to 'be interested' while a whole lot more difficult to actually take the steps towards doing.

December 1, 2009

Sugru is definitely one of the coolest products I've seen in years – a new type of silicone developed especially for hacking. Oh, and it's got Irish pedigree.