IVI Webinar Series 2021

Thursday 18th February 2021


Accelerating SME Digital Transformation and Competitiveness through Collaboration and Partnership

SMEs form the backbone of the Irish economy. They generate more than 70% of all jobs in the non-financial business economy (Source: CSO). However, they generate only 37% of value added, 20 percentage points lower than the EU average (Source: Central Bank of Ireland). With the major implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit for Irish SMEs, and below average value realisation, the sector is ripe to be transformed. Digital is the key to success. In order to survive and thrive in a post-Covid world, many SMEs are seeking to transform their business, and have turned to specialised research centres like the Innovation Value Institute, Maynooth University’s ‘one-stop shop’ for businesses to access digital expertise and empowerment, enabling companies to boost their business activities, as well as innovate new products and services to grow their customer and market share. In this IVI webinar and panel discussion – in collaboration with our research partners Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, and ADAPT Centre, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for AI Driven Digital Content Technology, and with the Ireland Mid-East region’s newest Digital Innovation Hub, MERITS – we showcase Irish firms who have embraced Big Data, AI, and IoT to digitally transform for success. We will also introduce EIT Digital, Europe’s leading digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation. Hear their stories, and join the Q+A with our speakers to find out how your SME can accelerate for success in 2021 …and beyond.

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The Contributors

Facilitator: Joan Mulvihill

Digitalisation Lead, Siemens Ireland

As the Digitalisation Lead for Siemens in Ireland, Joan Mulvihill continues to be at the forefront of driving technology adoption in Ireland. Having held the position of CEO of the Irish Internet Association for 7 years, followed by 2 years as the Centre Director for the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce, her role at Siemens builds on Siemens’ and her deep commitment to and understanding of the needs of Irish business for their digital transformation. Digitalisation means working differently. Siemens will always work with their clients to meet their operational technology needs with world class products and services and now through Digitalisation, Siemens leverages its domain expertise with clients to transform and create the businesses of their future.

Professor Markus Helfert


Markus Helfert is the Director of IVI and Professor of Digital Service Innovation at Maynooth University. He is also Director of the Business Informatics Group at Maynooth University. He is a Principle Investigator at Lero – The Irish Software Research Centre and at the Adapt Research Centre. His research is centred on Digital Service Innovation, Smart Cities and IoT based Smart Environments and includes research areas such as Service Innovation, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Smart Services, Building Information Management, FinTech, Data Value, Enterprise Architecture, Technology Adoption, Analytics, Business Process Managem ent. Prof. Helfert is an expert in Data Governance Standards and is involved in European Standardisation initiatives. Markus Helfert has authored more than 200+ academic articles, journal and book contributions and has presented his work at international conferences. Helfert has received national and international grants from agencies such as European Union (FP7; H2020), Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, was project coordinator on EU projects, and is the Project coordinator of the H2020 Projects: PERFORM on Digital Retail.

Prof. Willem Jonker, CEO, EIT Digital

Prof. Willem Jonker is the CEO of EIT Digital (European Institute of Innovation and Technology). He has a broad background in ICT, both in industry as well as in academia. He studied mathematics and computer science at Groningen University, worked at Delft University of Technology, received his PhD from the University of Utrecht, and is a part-time full professor in computer science at Twente University. His industrial experience covers telecommunications (KPN), IT (European Computer industry Research Centre, Munich) and consumer electronics (Philips). He held several positions as researcher, international project leader, department head, sector head, and account manager. In 2006 he was appointed Vice President Philips Research. Prof. Dr. Jonker has served European ICT research in various ways amongst others as project leader, reviewer, and advisor.

Greg Chew, Founder, QPQ

QPQ is developing the network infrastructure to enable the “internet of economics” and unlock the programmable economy.

Greg is a financial & legal professional, technologist, futurist, conceptual architect and veteran entrepreneur with 20 years commercial experience in capital markets, physical commodities and emerging markets. Greg focuses on the emergence of new, globally scalable solutions leveraging distributed ledger technology and robust digital ecosystems that solve systemic problems.

Matt McCann, Founder & CEO, Access Earth

Matt McCann is an entrepreneur, web developer and software engineer. He is CEO and founder of Access Earth. Matt has achieved great success in developing the revolutionary web application through great support from Enactus Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Microsoft For Start-Ups.
Matt has Cerebral Palsy and has struggled with accessibility challenges his entire life but it wasn’t until 2012, when as a college student he booked a room at a hotel in London that marketed themselves as accessible only to discover upon arrival that it was not. Since then, Matt has made it his mission to minimise the risk of anyone having to go through such an ordeal.
Matt used his Masters in Software Engineering to create a platform that people could use to easily access accessibility information and upload their own feedback on places they had visited. He has dedicated the last 4 years to building Access Earth and it has since placed in the 2014 Microsoft Imagine Cup and the 2015 Enactus World Cup.

John Murat, Talent Cloud Media

International Executive Recruitment Leader, focused on promoting AI driven HR Technology solutions to augment Talent Acquisition.
20+ years in International Recruitment, I have spent the past few years on researching the most innovative and impactful AI driving technologies for HR, specifically to augment the talent acquisition industry. Customer Centric & Firm believer in having People at the centre of any operation, supported by innovative Technology and the right Vision.
Until 2018, I led and grew my multi-million-euro International Recruitment company to 70+ people from Ireland with a great international reach, opened and managed 5 European offices. Over time, I built relationships helping many of the World’s leading multinationals and start-ups, such as Google, Facebook, Salesforce.com, Western Union, Tesla, McAfee, Booking.com, Hertz and many more, in their set-up and expansion in Europe. I started a group of companies in the Talent space, focusing on the most innovative HR technologies available, to offer Employers the most efficient solutions. I created Talent Cloud Media, to bridge a gap, discovering Key Talent on Social Media, the World’s largest user driven database. We are currently building our software to provide Talent Insights and a Job marketing tool for Employers to find and reach the right Talent on Social Media.

Enda Keane, CEO, TreeMetrics Ltd

Enda Keane is the CEO and co-founder of Treemetrics Limited. He is responsible for the leadership, growth and strategic direction of the company. Enda has 25 years of experience working in both the technology and forest industries.  Over the past 15 years Treemetrics has successfully grown to become a globally respected forestry software product & consulting business with customers in over thirty countries around the globe. He is a frequent speaker at technology and start up related events and is an advisor to a number of technology companies.   Enda holds a degree in Forestry from University College Dublin and was a past winner of the Schweighofer Prize for forest innovation.

Louis Ryan, R & D Director, Ash Technologies

Ash Technologies “designs and delivers compelling digital vision and measurement solutions, designed and executed with beauty and simplicity.” Founded in 1994 to design and manufacture a range of award winning electronic magnifiers for the visually impaired, in 2013, Ash decided to apply its innovation and design skills to digital vision and inspection for industry, now the primary business focus.
Based close to Naas, Co. Kildare, Ash Technologies has built a reputation for agile innovation, designing and producing digital inspection systems that enable their target market businesses thrive in a complex environment where inspection, accuracy, tracking and traceability are intrinsic to their partners’ development and growth.
They have been recognised for their innovation and products design capabilities with national and international awards and the company continues to grow and evolve year on year as it exports over 90% of its inspection and measurement solutions to a broad range of industries and OEM/ODM partnerships. Their distribution network spans over 35 countries including UK, Germany, USA and China.

Alan Darcy, Global Chief Operations Officer, Anam Technologies

Alan has over 20 years’ experience delivering solutions to Mobile Network Operators globally. Starting his career in the Aldiscon Operations Group he supported the launch of the Iridium Satellite Network in Phoenix, Arizona. Alan spent 5 years for Logica in Boston working with Tier-1 customers in USA, Canada and Mexico. Now Head of Anam’s Operations and passionate about Innovation, Alan is a member of the Innovation 24*7 Board and also a member of the Institute of Directors.

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