The Business Bulletin - Issue 224 - 4th Nov 2013

Is this for real?

It's true to say that you can never anticipate what the trendies are likely to do next but who saw this one coming?

£249 for a pallet on wheels? (Shum mishtake shurely? Ed)

Here's one for the boys and girls labouring away heroically in Bedford Street. In this great city, we have quite a number of young people who spend a great deal of their year gathering the raw materials for this innovative product. How about encouraging them to replicate this truly splendid product. Clearly, a profitable manufacturing beckons and here at Bulletin Towers, we eagerly await news of an innovative manufacturing programme going out to tender....  We can't wait!

And on the subject of market research, would anyone actually buy one of these....  even if they lived on the Lisburn Road?


Each week Nick O' Shiel, Chief Executive, Omagh Enterprise Company, blogs on issues related to enterprise, technology and the economy. This week Nick asks if a Smart Region can create jobs.

The world’s population reached seven billion in 2012, is predicted to grow to eight billion by 2024 and reach nine billion in 2045. Much of the growth will happen in poorer countries, as fertility rates remain high and life expectancy increases.

The predicted growth coupled with changes in technology will enable billions of people to move out of poverty which, in turn, will increase demand on our natural resources.

The need for a new approach globally may seem distant to us locally but the truth is we are already affected, as the price of everyday goods increase.

The way forward is challenging and requires new thinking to ensure the sustainability of our planet, our cities and our region and the development of a fairer and more inclusive society.

A number of cities around the world have embraced the concept of sustainability to develop as Smart Cities and there are similar opportunities for non-city areas to develop as Smart Regions.

The idea of a Smart Region is focused on using technology to manage data to improve the ‘triple bottom line’ of economic, social and environmental value.

The concept has proven its commercial value and is used to manage cities, public health systems and private sector industries.

From a Smart Planet perspective, the extent to which energy, security, finance and climate change affect us all mean we have to think differently about the planet and how to manage it.

From a Smart City perspective, the management of data to inform decisions and allocate resources is seen as important as traditional infrastructure and utilities such as electricity, water and sewerage.

From a Smart Region perspective, the purpose is to use technology to analyse data, create value and develop a unique proposition for the region.

The benefits of using technology to manage data are established in retail, manufacturing, healthcare and the public sector, as they create jobs and attract investment.

We are living in a new world and new thinking is needed to learn from the past and build a ‘smart’ future.

SO, the use of technology to manage data and build economic, social and environmental value is becoming an established discipline and the regions that embrace it will thrive.

What do you think? Can a Smart Region create jobs?

Look forward to seeing your comments - mail me here.

See also our link to the latest 60second Challenge

Bookings are now open for the 2013 Northern Ireland Enterprise Awards and Dinner, sponsored by Danske Bank
to be held on Thursday 28th November 2013 at the Holiday Inn, Belfast.

The Northern Ireland Enterprise Awards will showcase the Northern Ireland small business community and the work of the local enterprise agency network under our themes; “For Growth. For Innovation.  Leading, Delivering.”

The event will commence with a drinks reception at 7.00pm (kindly sponsored by ICONI Software) followed by a three course dinner and the awards ceremony. A senior government official will open the event with a keynote speech.

£49 + VAT per ticket

Plus a special offer just for ENI members!

Book a table of 10 and get one place free

Gateways to Growth - Apply Now to Meet Key Buyers at Cross Border Meet the Buyer event

SME Suppliers from across Northern Ireland and the cross border counties of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal are encouraged to apply now for a place at the next Meet the Buyer event taking place 27 November 2013 in Monaghan as part of the Gateways to Growth initiative.

A series of pre-event workshops will run from 1-15th November 2013 in various locations to prepare participants ahead of the Meet the Buyer event.

Gateways to Growth is delivered by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with COMET Councils in Northern Ireland, Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce and supported by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

The programme will provide the opportunity to pitch to large private sector buyers and network with other SME participants. 

Buyers attending the event include:
Belfast International Airport, Bose, MJM Marine, Bombardier, Fujitsu, Seagate, Greiner Packaging, Lagan Construction Group, H& J Martin,  Smiley Monroe,  4 Beauty Group, Banner Business Services, McNamee’s Bakery, Linden Foods, Tayto Group,  Glanbia, Irish,  Abbott Ireland, Anord Control Systems, FPM Accountants, ABB, TSM Control Systems, Grant Engineering,, Marshes Shopping Centre, Prometric, Coca Cola Ireland, Eastern Electrical, McArdle Skeath, Abbvie, St Joseph’s Hospital,  Pramerica and Aramark.

These Buyers have specified to meet with a wide range of SME businesses at the event.

Full details of the types of products and services Buyers are interested in can be found at

To apply to the programme please contact Martina Crawford at Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, 028 90244113

Have you completed the Regional Start Initiative or Social Entrepreneurship Programme but need help to implement your business plan and start trading?
Are you an established business or social enterprise with potential to grow but need to review your business plan and business operations?
Are you a community or voluntary group that wants help to become more entrepreneurial and sustainable in the longer term?
If yes to any of these questions, then the Build Your Business Programme is for you!
The Build your Business Programme is a new support programme in the North East Council region providing:
·                     3.5 days of 1-1 consultancy support. 
·                     Practical skills development workshops.
·                     A step by step guide to building your business.
Places are limited so apply now.  For more details or to register, contact NORIBIC
T: 02871264242
This programme is delivered by NORIBIC and is part funded by Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

Employees are your biggest asset - look after them!
Diary dates for unique and beneficial health and well being courses for ALL employees:

ACCREDITED HEALTH CHAMPION - Royal Society for Public Health accredited programme for individuals to gain knowledge and skills to promote health initiatives within the workplace. PROGRAMME

Thursday 7th November 2013 at Lisburn Enterprise Organisation

For Northern Ireland specific contracts, there are a number of sources of information specifically for contracts within Northern Ireland. The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) handles contracts for a number of government departments. You can find a list of current tender opportunities on the CPD website. Again, there is no email alert facility that we can find which makes the content difficult to adapt to the Bulletin format.
Please see for the current list of Northern Ireland opportunities.

GB-Stockton: T13-83 - Proposed office for Mail Room
Flexible Simulation Platform
Internal decorations at Hawthorne Court
Provision of a Messaging Service for Essex Police and its Partners
Provision of Signage Services
RM2658 - L0135; MSP Plymouth Adult and Community Learning Service
GB-Wembley: Leasehold Billing Database
Downloadable documentation to be read with OJEU advertisement for: Grounds Maintenance Services in the North
CPI Tender 369 - Quantity Surveyor Services for NBMC
GB-Hemel Hempstead: Installation of Cantilever Walkway Supports
GB-London: 530-156 VE Social Media Campaign 2014
GB-Southend: Empowering & Supporting Families
Mobile Application LAR
MIPIM 2014 event management and booking service
Foundation Works for Interconnect Birmingham
GB-Hemel Hempstead: Rooftop Development of 6 flats at Longlands
HMA Residence, Ankara, Turkey- Upgrade of Emergency Escape Lighting and Fire Signage
GB-Stevenage: Lead Agency for Sopwell & Verulam Children's Centre
Transport Direct - Car Park Data Contract
GB-Wembley: Leasehold Billing Database
Provision of a Messaging Service for Essex Police and its Partners
United Kingdom-Caernarfon: Engineering services
United Kingdom-Newcastle upon Tyne: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
United Kingdom-London: Electronic marketplace retailing services
United Kingdom-Cambs: Residential property renting or leasing services
United Kingdom-Edinburgh: Microscopes
Mobile Application LAR
MIPIM 2014 event management and booking service
United Kingdom-Wembley: Computer-related management services
United Kingdom-Belfast: Networks
United Kingdom-Portsmouth: Software development services
United Kingdom-Southampton: Information technology services
Transport Direct - Car Park Data Contract
United Kingdom-Portsmouth: Banking services
United Kingdom-Birmingham: Internet service providers ISP
United Kingdom-London: Database services
United Kingdom-Filton: Diagnostic supplies
United Kingdom-London: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
United Kingdom-Reading: Instrumentation and control equipment
Provision of Signage Services
Internal decorations at Hawthorne Court
GB-Stockton: T13-83 - Proposed office for Mail Room
United Kingdom-Poole: Repair and maintenance services of building installations
United Kingdom-Darlington: Stairlifts
United Kingdom-Crewe: Building construction work
United Kingdom-Leeds: Asbestos removal services
United Kingdom-Portishead: Miscellaneous special-trade construction work
United Kingdom-Edinburgh: Sheltered housing construction work
Norway-Oslo: Tubing services
Ireland-Carrigaline: Furniture (incl. office furniture), furnishings, domestic appliances (excl. lighting) and cleaning products
GB-Hemel Hempstead: Installation of Cantilever Walkway Supports
Foundation Works for Interconnect Birmingham
Norway-Bergen: Stage construction works
Norway-Oslo: Inspection of ventilation system
Norway-Gardermoen: Airport buildings construction work
Norway-Oslo: Trench-digging work
United Kingdom-Sheffield: Scientific installations
United Kingdom-Bristol: Urban development construction work
Belfast City Council Tenders are available at

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