Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews on his visit to Waterford Institute of Technology
The Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews and Saovanee Andrews have visited Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT)'s Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) as part of a trade mission to explore business opportunities and areas for collaboration between Australia and Ireland, particularly in the area of agriculture-technology.
Speaking during his visit, Mr Andrews said that he was delighted to make his second visit to Waterford as Australia's Ambassador to Ireland in order to further improve the agri-tech industry in both countries. “Agri-tech is an area in which both Australia and Ireland have strong expertise, and one where we would expect the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement currently under negotiation to open up new opportunities."
This was his second time visiting WIT. “Visits such as these are important to remind Australian businesses of the opportunities available to them in Ireland, particularly in the area of agri-tech," said director of innovation at TSSG Kevin Doolin.
The Australian Ambassador’s visit came ahead of the first official meeting of the SmartAgriHubs consortium, which takes place in Prague this week.
As the co-ordinator for the UK and Ireland regional cluster, WIT -which has developed smart agri expertise through TSSG - will be the central point of contact for farmers, advisors, agri-tech and agri-food companies who want to apply technology solutions from across Europe to farming and business problems.
“I’m very keen to explore new areas for cooperation. Countries like Australia and Ireland will have an important role to play in solving the problem of feeding a growing global population sustainably, and it will be important for our farmers and our agri-tech sectors to work closely together," Mr Andrews said.
He also met with members of the team at WIT’s ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre, established in 2005 to support entrepreneurship in the South East. "We are delighted to welcome the Australian Ambassador to ArcLabs. Increasingly, we see our client companies creating real impact in Australia. For example, in 2016 Kyckr successfully listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. We look forward to continuing to work with strategic partners in Australia and expand our reach there," ArcLabs manager Dr Aisling O'Neill added.