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Banking inquiry

the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry Committee has begun making contact with potential witnesses.

Categories of people who can be called include bankers, cabinet members and ECB and Central Bank officials.

Committee chairman Ciaran Lynch said the Dail and Seanad motions to formally establish the inquiry will be held in a matter of weeks.

"We are presently making preliminary contact with persons or categories of persons to whom the terms of reference of the inquiry may relate...however, this should not be taken as an indication that all these persons or organisations will in fact be called before the inquiry," he said.

Science partnerships

The Government has provided €480,000 to seven new partnerships between industry and academics as part of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Industry Fellowship Programme.

The programme helps researchers and companies to exchange people and insights to try and get better results.

One of the partnerships aims to analyse large data sets to predict and understand human behaviour; another is looking at new testing techniques for the early detection of prostate cancer.

Conroy Gold licences

Irish mining company Conroy Gold and Natural Resources has been granted nine exploration licences in the Sodankyla region of northern Finland.

The licences cover a total area of around 1,950 acres, in what the firm says is a "highly prospective region for gold and copper exploration".

But chairman Richard Conroy said Ireland is the company's primary focus. He said Conroy Gold is currently proposing to develop its first gold mine along a 30-mile trend that runs from Co Armagh across Co Monaghan and Co Cavan.

French group buy Irish

InVivo, France's largest agricultural co-op with revenues of €5.7bn, has acquired a 50pc stake in Irish R&D company Life Scientific.

The Irish firm specialises in crop protection products and is headquartered at UCD's entrepreneurship and new ventures centre.

The cost of the deal was not disclosed. Life Scientific chief executive Nicola Mitchell said the transaction "will allow us to scale our proven business model", adding that it is "a major endorsement of Life Scientific's continued capacity to innovate on a global scale".

Irish Independent