Wednesday 23 October 2019

Ergo: 'The best opportunities come in tiny particles, says Tyndall'

Philly McMahon celebrates with the Sam Maguire following the All-Ireland replay. Photo: Sportsfile
Philly McMahon celebrates with the Sam Maguire following the All-Ireland replay. Photo: Sportsfile

Not many people - Ergo included - understand quantum physics but the bright sparks at UCC's Tyndall National Institute certainly do and they also see a huge opportunity for the economy.

According to a new position paper, they believe Ireland could become a world leader in the multi-billion Quantum Technologies emerging market if a national centre and programme is established.

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They concluded that "despite a slow start, Ireland is still in a unique position to become internationally competitive in the burgeoning field, which some analysts have claimed could be worth trillions by 2030."

That is big numbers from tiny particles.

Quantum Technologies derive from applications of quantum theory and, according to the Tyndall research paper, will revolutionise the way we live in the future, significantly improving the efficiency of everything from medical devices to phones to the internet of things.

A 2016 analysis in the UK estimated the sector creates high-value jobs with expected turnover per employee exceeding £100k a year.

Two researchers from the UCC-based centre, Dr Giorgos Fagas and Dr Emanuele Pelucchi, said Ireland was significantly behind countries such as the UK and Netherlands, but could still catch up and exceed international competitors.

"Timely investment in such a disruptive technology and complementary skills will maximise Ireland's opportunity in utilising the current baseline to attract and stimulate substantial business growth," they said.

Irish business leaders share scepticism over energy goals

New doubts have been raised over the state's ability to reach renewable energy targets.

A majority of senior business leaders and energy industry experts surveyed by law firm Mason Hayes & Curran do not believe Ireland will achieve its target of generating 70pc of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

A major push is needed to deliver offshore energy supply, the law firm's co-head of energy, Will Carmody, told Ergo.

"The Government declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in May, signalling its intent to address climate change and related environmental sustainability issues on a more decisive basis. Ireland's climate action plan envisages having 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030, however the right policy and legislative framework needs to exist to incentivise investment and to fast-track developments in this area," he said.

Teak-tough defender Philly McMahon helped take care of business for the Dubs against Kerry as they powered to an historic five-in-a-row All Ireland titles.

But Ergo notes in admiration that his off-pitch responsibilities did not get pushed to the sideline just because he happened to be in the final.

In recent days, McMahon, who has applied his sporting prowess to build up a successful gym business, lodged a planning application to make changes at the gym he owns and runs in Dublin’s Finglas. Evidently winners never take their eye off the ball.

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