Brendan Smith wins American Chamber Community and Sustainability Award

Brendan Smith of the SFI Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway
Jun 21 2019 Posted: 09:13 IST

Brendan Smith was honoured as winner of the Cairdeas Award at the inaugural American Chamber of Commerce West Northwest US Ireland Business Conference held at NUI Galway this week. Brendan Smith of the SFI Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway 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.

On accepting his award Brendan said: “I was so deeply honoured to accept the award as it was a recognition of how Insight, NUI Galway, SFI and the members of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland now value the importance of engaging with and empowering individuals and communities from all backgrounds, ages, traditions and across all regions, both in Ireland and across the world, in developing creative skills in and an awareness of science, technology, engineering and maths. I accepted the award in that context as I am only a small part of a new wider collaborative movement that wants to enable people to use STEM and scientific research to improve their quality of life and to solve the increasing problems caused by Climate Chaos.”

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.

The inaugural West-Northwest region Créafóg Award for sustainability was given to AbbVie Sligo.

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 of NUI Galway, Professor 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.”


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