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For the third consecutive year the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway has partnered with local businesses to provide students with the opportunity to learn real-life business through an 'Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise’(ICE) initiative.
ICE is a module available to all final year students of Commerce and Business Information Systems programmes. As part of their final year of studies, over 400 students are given the opportunity to innovate in all aspects of business and community enterprise with the support of 30 mentors from local business and community leaders. The students engage in group-based projects requiring them to devise a unique enterprising idea. Each of the mentors are assigned a project group and in turn required to advise the students with the development of each idea.
Michael Campion, ICE Module Director at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics said: "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."
As a competitive part of the module, groups of students were required to present the innovation projects to mentors through a number of judging stages, resulting in the selection of five finalist groups who competed for a prize fund of €4,000, sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
The overall winners were Bruce Brady, Oranmore, Co. Galway; Gerard Harlow, Roscommon; Leszek Majewski, Galway and Kevin Moylan, Galway. Their project 'On Time System’ – is a new mobile software application that alerts users to impending library fines.
Commenting after the final, Norman Black of JFC Manufacturing and one of the final adjudicators, said: “The calibre of presentations, research, innovation, entrepreneurial ability and presentation of business plans far exceeded my expectations. Different teams excelled in presentations, market research, product concept and idea generation. As a result it made the task of judging very difficult as there was so little to separate all of the finalists.”
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.