NUI Galway Expands Partnership with Business to Drive Innovation with Students

Monday, 4 April 2011

Building on its introduction and success last year, the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway continues to partner with local businesses to challenge its students through its Bachelor of Commerce and B.Sc. in Business Information Systems 'Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise(ICE)' module. For their final year of studies, all students of the School are given the opportunity to innovate in all aspects of business and community enterprise. Michael Campion, ICE Module Director at the School stated: "The overall objective of the Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise course is to encourage self-confidence in students of business in their ability to be creative and innovative in whatever future business and/or community settings that they are working in." With the support this year of an expanded number of 33 local business and community leaders who have mentored the students since January, this module provides opportunities for over 360 students to engage in group-based projects requiring them to innovate with the community in a variety of interest areas. The Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise module is part of a wider initiative within the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, supported by funding from the NUI Galway Students Projects Fund, to focus on student personal development planning, and employability skill development. As a competitive part of the module, groups of students from the class were required to present their innovation projects to mentors through a number of stages of judging, resulting in the selection of five finalist groups to compete for a prize fund of €6,000, sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants(CIMA). On Friday, 1st April, these groups presented to the final judging panel consisting of Denis McCarthy, Regional Director CIMA, Michael Corless, Chairman of Galway Airport and Judy Greene, Managing Director Judy Greene Pottery. The overall winners were James Kenny from Mullingar, Co Westmeath; Patrick Flanagan and Mark Ruane, both from Sligo. Their project was 'Pipe Protect' – a new product which makes use of mobile phone technology to monitor and control pipes during freezing weather. Denis McCarthy, Divisional Director, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) said: "CIMA is forging strong linkages with NUI Galway and in particular the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics. This bursary is designed to support students in a practical way that underpins the importance of bringing real time expertise to learning which is at the core of the CIMA qualification. I am delighted to congratulate all the finalists who demonstrated their entrepreneurial skills in what was a competitively contested final." Michael O'Keane, Industry Mentor of the winning group commented: "I was delighted to be involved as a mentor on this year s ICE programme. Michael Campion and his colleagues in NUI Galway offer a very unique programme and their drive and enthusiasm is much appreciated by the students. The quality of ideas which emerged is clear evidence that entrepreneurship is alive and well and now more than ever this needs to be exploited to help get our economy back on it s feet."
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