New Ideas Campaign and Conferences

Posted by Alan Kelly on March 07, 2009 at 10:21 PM

New Ideas For Innovation
New Ideas For Innovation

Over the last couple of months I have been working on a concept to help stimulate jobs. It is time to be pro-active and I have been looking at ways to promote innovation and give people with new ideas a voice. With this in mind I developed a website called This site is aimed at encouraging new ideas, new concepts, new thinking that will help stimulate new enterprises that will develop the Irish economy and create jobs. This site is dedicated to providing a platform for people with innovative ideas or concepts that are currently finding it very difficult to get support. It will also look at the finance and infrastructural needs of businesses that are trying to get into or compete in sectoral areas where there will be future economic growth.

The aim of the site is twofold. Firstly, it aims to act as a platform for people to submit their ideas under four distinct headings:

  • Defending current jobs
  • Creating new jobs
  • Strengthening Infrastructure
  • Financing Innovation
  • When they have done this, I will be bring together a panel of experts to evaluate these ideas and suggestions and package them together. They will then be prioritised by this panel and presented to decision makers at national, regional and local level.

    Secondly, I am holding two conferences about innovation and the need for new ideas. These will be held in Limerick and Cork on March 25th. I have been working for some time in order to put the panels of speakers together for both events and I am delighted with what we now have in place. Both these conferences are non-political events and are free of charge. If you wish to attend, please click here.

    The ultimate goal of the initiatives is to provide a platform for local businesses, leading economic thinkers and third party advisors, as well as community organisations and members of the public to offer their thoughts on new ways to regenerate our economy in the midst of the current economic problems that the region is experiencing.

    Since I began developing this concept and these conferences, I (along with some volunteers) have been greatly enthused by the support and help we have been getting from business groups, the chambers of commerce, academics, voluntary groups and journalists. On Thursday (Feb 26th), while speaking at a function in Limerick, I announced this initiative and the conference planned for that city and I was greatly encouraged by the ethusiastic reception I received. In the Mid West area I aim to put forward our findings as a contributiuon to the work of the Task Force set up in the area in light of the loss of the DELL jobs.

    It is time for all of us to start bringing forward our own ideas as to the best way out of the economic mess we now find ourselves in. Political debate has its place and as an elected representative I make my views known in the appropriate forum and at the appropriate time. However I also want to focus on the positive and the art of the possible so we can start regenerating this entire region with some solutions, some ideas that can get the economy moving again, some innovative thinking that will find its way to the top of the pile at this time when we need it most.

    I want to make clear that this is not a Government-bashing initiative. In fact I have expressly invited these remarkable contributors and they have agreed to participate in the conferences in the knowledge that this will be a solutions oriented conference. Their agreement to participate is a reflection of how much they care about the current situation and I am very grateful to them for taking the time. We are very fortunate indeed to have their expertise available to us at this forum and I would encourage representatives from all over the region to sign up for the event, hear the panel's thoughts and bring forward some of their own. That's certainly one way to take a positive step towards getting this economy moving again and I intend to play my part in this and other initiatives to ensure we do all in our power to make that happen.

    I think Irish people are crying out for ideas and tangible things that can get the economy moving in the right direction again. Many of those ideas will come from the private sector so the aim is to provide a forum so that those practical solutions can gain some sort of momentum. This is an ambitious undertaking but I intend to see it through and if one new job is created it will have been worth all the time and effort

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