Tuesday 24 April 2018

The Punt: Avolon flies flag for diplomacy

Domhnal Slattery, Chief Executive of Avolon. Photo: Robbie Reynolds
Domhnal Slattery, Chief Executive of Avolon. Photo: Robbie Reynolds

With Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Avolon having lobbied the Irish Government for the re-establishment of trade links with Iran, it's no surprise that as sanctions are lifted Avalon features prominently at this week's international aviation conference in Tehran, the first held in the country in years.

The event - hosted by the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) - plays host to just about everyone in Iran who has a major say on aviation there, as well as delegates from around the world keen to tap into business opportunities.

Avolon, which was co-founded by Domhnal Slattery (inset) and was recently acquired by China's Bohai Leasing, is a main sponsor of the Iran event.

It's being held in the Parsian Azadi Hotel, which before the revolution was known as the Hyatt Crown Tehran.

Yesterday, Iran's deputy minister for legal and international affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, addressed the conference on 'The Power of Diplomacy'.

It's a skill that's been deftly employed in Iran, where the street that's home to the British embassy was renamed in 1981 from Winston Churchill Street to Bobby Sands Street.

Committee debut for Lane

The new Governor of the Central Bank, Prof Philip Lane, has had a busy end to January. In the space of less than a week, he will have appeared at public events on three occasions, with last Friday marking his first speech.

Today he makes his debut before the Oireachtas Finance Committee in the top job, and it looks like it will be a lengthy discussion. Committee chairman Liam Twomey said items to be discussed include interest rates, mortgage arrears, regulation of private equity firms and developments at EU level in relation to the Banking Union.

"Committee Members will also look to discuss recent issues surrounding the 2015 Internal Audit Report on the 'Assessment of Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies'," Mr Twomey said.

"The Central Bank's Strategic Plan for the three year period 2016 to 2018 will also form the basis for discussion ... Members look forward to engaging with Professor Lane"

At his inaugural address on Friday, Prof Lane said the first review of the mortgage deposit rules would be published by November. It's likely that could also come up.

Irish firm in NHS initiative

Irish medical technology firm Kinesis Health Technologies has been selected as an industry partner for a new initiative by the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

The new initiative titled 'Test Beds', which aims to improve patient care in the UK, was launched by NHS chief executive Simon Stevens at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.

Kinesis is a spin-out company of state-funded innovation centre InnovationUCD. The firm assesses the risk of patients falling.

The company will be deploying its QTUG mobility and falls risk assessment technology at scale in Care City Health and Care Test Bed in North East London as well as the Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed in Sheffield.

Chief executive officer at Kinesis, Seamus Small, said his company is looking intensively at the UK market.

"We're not really pushing the Irish market as much. There is probably more innovative funding knocking around in the NHS and when they do things, they do them at a slightly larger scale," Mr Small said.

Mr Small explained how the company's innovation worked.

"What we've done is we've instrumented a mobility test so that sensors go on both legs of the patient, just for that test, and at the end of that test we can compare the patient's performance to a large data set of fallers and non-fallers and determine their falls risk."

Irish Independent

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