Morning business news - September 25Wednesday 25 September 2013 10.51
ENTERPRISE IRELAND TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE TODAY - 21 Irish researchers get to pitch to more than 450 investors and venture capitalists at Enterprise Ireland's Big Ideas showcase today. The researchers are mostly academics, but some have a business background, and they get to pitch their ideas for - in some cases - big cash.
Gearóid Mooney, Enterprise Ireland's manager of Research and Innovation, says the inventors have the technology for a broad range of ideas including treatments for high blood pressure and varicose veins, biodegradable chewing gum, smart paint, safe and natural clean-up solutions for toxic dumps and a movement analysis tool for athletes. He says that investor appetite is evident across all areas. Over the last few years, 76 firms presented their ideas to the showcase and over 30 have survived and grown.
Ronan Clarke, managing director of Smart Wall Paint, explains that his product turns walls into a creative space and supports change in the office environment. Mr Clarke's company has worked with DIT on the project and the college now supports all its research and is helping it with its future research and development pipeline. He says that the company is set to launch five new websites over the next few months as it continues to focus on the European market, adding that his product is now available in the leading stationary group in Europe.
MORNING BRIEFS - Agri-business Origin Enterprises' results show revenue up 5.8% at €1.4 billion. Profit before tax for the year to the end of July was up 11.7% to €84m. The company's chief executive Tom O'Mahony said during the year food producers experienced "unprecedented" challenges, as weather delayed crop plantings. He said this made for an extremely difficult planning environment. Origin has also proposed returning up to €100m of capital to shareholders through shares, after the disposal of its Marine Proteins joint venture interest.
*** Bono, whose band U2 moved its tax affairs to The Netherlands a few years ago, has defended Ireland's tax system and the use of Irish companies by multinational companies to reduce their global tax bills at the Clinton Global Initiative. He said we are "very pleased to compete on that front". Bono's comments come just a few days after he defended the band's use of offshore companies to reduce their taxes. In an interview he said U2's tax policy was in line with Ireland's competitive tax philosophy which had taken the country out of poverty. At event in New York, Bill Clinton asked how big companies such as Google could best use their money in African communities, Sudanese businessman and telecoms billionaire Mo Ibrahim - in an impassioned plea - said that big companies should pay taxes in Africa. The Clinton Global Initiative is similar to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It brings together heads of state, big companies bosses, philanthropists and non-profit groups to discuss ways to try to solve the world's problems through sponsored projects.