UK Water Sector: Trends and Opportunities 2022-2025 – Webinar

 

In 2020 the UK water sector embarked on AMP 7, its five-year infrastructural spending cycle worth £51 billion. This sum covers a wide array of areas, from decarbonisation to digital, with plenty of opportunities for businesses across the supply chain to get involved in the sector.

This webinar discusses the trends and opportunities in the sector across the regulator’s five key themes, as well as AMP 8.

Topics discussed:

  • Environmental Protection

  • Carbon Reduction and Resilience

  • Digital Agenda

  • Customer Service

  • Collaboration and Innovation

  • Value for Money

  • The Future of the Sector and AMP 8

    Construction in the UK: A Guide to Legal Challenges and the UKCA Mark – Webinar

     

    In this webinar the speakers discuss some of the main legal and regulatory issues currently facing contractors, employers and suppliers in the construction sector across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

    This webinar also discusses the UKCA mark, the new UK product marking that will replace the CE mark on 1 January 2023 in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UKCA mark will be required for construction products being placed in the market. We will also discuss the process of how to certify your products with the UKCA marking.

    Speakers Include:

    • Jamie Ritchie, Partner, LK Shields

    • Dominic Jones, Partner, Blake Morgan

    • Lisa Boyd, Construction and Procurement Lawyer, Gateley Tweed LLP and Gateley Legal

    • Robin Byrne, Head of UK Office, NSAI Certification UK

      Net Zero UK GA Agriculture

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK agriculture sector – Jon Foot, AHDB

      In Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Net Zero UK’ podcast series, we discuss how the UK plans to transition to a net zero economy and the impact this will have on SMEs.

      In the fifth episode, Jon Foot, Head of Environment and Resource Management at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), discusses the latest sustainability trends in the UK agriculture sector.

       

      UK financial services buildings in London, England

      UK financial services: A lucrative market for Irish companies looking for growth

       

      Consumers and companies are still coming to terms with the new restrictions, rules and regulations in the post-Brexit world. The added disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic added even more change into Ireland’s economic relationship with the UK.

      Slowly, things are beginning to settle down. We can see more clearly how our relationship with our most important trading partner has altered since their withdrawal from the EU.

      One industry that has attracted many headlines is financial services, especially in London, which has long been seen as one of the most important financial hubs in the world.

       

      Overview of the UK financial services market

      In the run-up to Brexit, there was much talk of London losing its dominance in financial services as Brexit played out, but this has certainly not been the case.

      Covid-19 had little effect on the sector too. A 3% reduction in output, 2% of eligible staff furloughed – is negligible when compared to other industries such as hospitality.

      The UK remains one of the biggest financial services markets in the sector globally, and there are many exciting opportunities there for ambitious Irish companies.

       

      Areas of opportunity in the UK financial services market

      “One of the biggest areas of opportunity is in technology, as the financial services industry in the UK is undergoing a rapid and wide-ranging modernisation cycle,” explains Jack Finucane Clarke, Senior Market Advisor, UK Financial Services/Fintech.

      “This is partly driven by the pandemic as companies grapple with remote working, retaining or attracting good staff and partly driven by exponential operability offered by AI, natural language processing and API connections.

      “This is great news for Ireland, as we have a strong reputation for innovative technology solutions, especially in fintech and cybersecurity.”

      “The UK financial services industry is looking for a wide range of technology solutions including HR technology, compliance and regtech, payments, bionic underwriting in insurance, process optimisation and especially technology that can open up new revenue streams.”

      Insurance is a sector that is really starting to embrace digitalisation. With more MGAs coming to the market that are entirely technology-based, there are plenty of opportunities.”

      “Irish companies – such as CodeEast, who recently announced a partnership with WTW and Unitek, an early-stage company based out of Malahide – are getting lucrative deals in the space. The reputation of Irish insurtech is growing in the city, and we hope to see more entrepreneurs developing scalable solutions in the future.”

      The growing influence of technology in financial services can be seen in the make-up of financial services boards of management. Previously, these boards were dominated by accountants, lawyers and bankers. Now, there is strong representation from experts in technology, often coming from other industries.

      “This gives a strong indication of the way in which the industry is going,” says Jack.

      “Technology companies should always be careful to focus on the ‘fin’ rather than the ‘tech’ to ensure the solutions are suitable for financial services.”

       

      Remote working in the UK financial services market

      According to Jack, remote working in the industry has also produced plenty of opportunity for Irish companies.

      “While remote working, project managing remotely, and communicating and selling remotely were considered ‘nice to haves’ before the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s now becoming clear that they are here to stay and are now considered essential to compete within the industry and to attract talent.”

      “At Enterprise Ireland, we are working with financial services clients on adjusting their products and processes to suit remote selling.”

      This is still an area with plenty of opportunities for Irish companies with innovative solutions.

       

      Sustainability in the UK financial services market

      Sustainability is also an important area for innovation,” Jack continues. “The market is ripe with opportunities for Irish businesses to take advantage of this development.”

      At a number of recent events in the UK, Enterprise Ireland executives noted that this is a consistent topic of conversation among the most senior personnel in the industry.

      “There is clearly a strong and increasingly urgent need for solutions in the areas of sustainability and environmental, social and corporate governance.”

       

      Entering the UK financial services market

      A growing trend – and one that underlines once again the growing importance of the market for Irish companies – is the move by some Irish companies to set up a presence in the UK.

      This is generally done either to be regulated in the market or to keep a close proximity to their buyers. Most recently, Global Shares and CurrencyFair have established offices in the UK.

       

      Contact Enterprise Ireland’s Jack Finucane Clarke to learn more about the opportunities for Irish companies in the UK financial services market.

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK construction sector

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK construction industry – Tim Chapman, Arup

      In Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Net Zero UK’ podcast series, we discuss how the UK plans to transition to a net zero economy and the impact this will have on SMEs.

      In the fourth episode, Tim Chapman, Director of Infrastructure Design at Arup, speaks about what Arup is doing to lower its emissions, changes in the UK construction industry and how supply chain companies can get to the start line of the journey to net zero.

       

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK construction sector

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK construction sector – Lara Young, Costain

      In Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Net Zero UK’ podcast series, we discuss how the UK plans to transition to a net zero economy and the impact this will have on SMEs.

      In the third episode, Lara Young, Group Climate Change Director at Costain, speaks about Costain’s climate ambitions, the journey to net zero in the construction sector and the role of the supply chain moving forward.

       

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK ports sector

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK ports sector – Lewis McIntyre, Peel Ports

      In Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Net Zero UK’ podcast series, we discuss how the UK plans to transition to a net zero economy and the impact this will have on SMEs.

      In the second episode, Lewis McIntyre, Managing Director of Port Services at Peel Ports, speaks about Peel Ports’ journey to net zero, the UK ports sector’s net zero ambitions and the role that the supply chain has to play as the sector works to reduce its emissions.

       

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK water sector

      Net Zero UK podcast – The UK water sector – David Riley, Anglian Water

      In Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Net Zero UK’ podcast series, we discuss how the UK plans to transition to a net zero economy and the impact this will have on SMEs.

      In the first episode, David Riley, Head of Carbon Neutrality at Anglian Water, speaks about Anglian Water’s journey to net zero, the UK water sector’s net zero ambitions and the role that the supply chain has to play as the sector works to reduce its emissions.

       

      Creating innovative solutions to new and emerging threats

      Cybersecurity solutions that address new and emerging threats

      The Covid-19 pandemic saw a rapid shift for many to virtual ways of doing work – and the recognition – finally – that remote and hybrid working is a very viable possibility in many industries. And, that offering flexible ways of working can actually give companies an edge when it comes to attracting talent. Unfortunately, however, with more flexibility comes a very real problem – the increased risk of cybercrime and cyberattacks. And the need for effective cybersecurity solutions is becoming more urgent by the day.

      According to a study by McKinsey & Co, only 16% of executives felt that their organisations are well prepared to deal with cyber risk. Plus, the United Nations has warned that cybercrime increased by nearly 600% during the pandemic.

      “Globally, there has never been a more challenging time for organisations in relation to cybersecurity,” says Pat O’Grady, Senior Business Advisor and Global Lead for Cybersecurity at Enterprise Ireland. “A higher level of cyber threats and attacks, security challenges linked to remote working, and increasingly sophisticated attacks on personal accounts have all put systems under immense pressure.”

       

      Irish cybersecurity solutions

      Ireland has long been a leader in technology innovation, with our advances in medtech, agritech, fintech and more in high demand across the globe. So it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of ambitious Irish companies is coming up with some very clever solutions to cybercrime. As an example, Cork-based Velona Systems has developed a solution that protects large call centres in the US against brute force call spam attacks, ghost calling and robocalling, a growing challenge in this sector.

      Velona is just an example of our strength in the area, which is highlighted in the Enterprise Ireland Cybersecurity Innovation Series 2021, which this year is titled ‘Creating Innovative Solutions to New and Emerging Threats’. Taking place over six separate events in November and December, covering different world regions, the series features talks by leading cybersecurity experts, pitches by innovative Enterprise Ireland client companies, and opportunities for individual client-buyer meetings.

      “All the participating Irish companies have identified the most urgent areas within cybersecurity and come up with intelligent solutions that potentially have a worldwide customer base,” says Pat. “For instance, one of the biggest issues now is the sharp rise in phishing emails. Cyber Risk Aware is an Irish business offering learning platforms that can build training programmes within Microsoft Office 365 to raise staff awareness regarding phishing and teach them how to spot a dangerous email. The company also offers a phishing simulation platform, which can build email templates and schedule simulation campaigns to test the level of awareness within the organisation and to offer additional focused learning for staff when required.”

      Like all good responses to security threats, many solutions are based on prevention rather than cure – and with the cost of cyber crime rising sharply as the attacks get more sophisticated, this is sure to be a massive area of growth. “EdgeScan is leading the way in pen testing, or vulnerability scanning,” says Pat. “This includes scanning company IPs or carrying out pen tests on company websites or client portals to find any potential weaknesses – therefore stopping the threat before it happens.”

       

      Remote working challenges

      With remote and hybrid working looking likely to stay in the long term, many companies are looking for ways to boost their security with staff working on devices away from the office and even out on the road. “Remote working has brought with it many challenges; one issue is providing the same amount of security as in the office,” says Pat. “Web and email filtering identifies new malware sites and can block specific categories of websites, such as gambling sites. Galway-based TitanHQ offers advanced solutions for this issue, currently helping businesses in over 120 countries.”

      A big issue for companies is our increasing reliance on mobile phones for work purposes – now a company has to look into protecting these as well as laptops and computers. “Many companies have introduced a controlled ‘Bring Your Own Device’, or BYOD, policy in which company apps are locked down or secured on the device, while others have restricted access to only corporate devices to allow for full control. And yes, there’s an Irish company involved in this area too: CWSI are experts in the field of mobile device management and offer guidance on both policy and the technical aspects of managing devices.”

      It’s clear that Irish companies are leading the way in cybersecurity solutions. Many companies are finding it difficult to acquire and retain staff with skills in the areas of compliance, ISO certification, incident response, forensics and investigations – and, as Pat explains, there are several Irish companies in a great position to help. “Irish innovators such as Integrity360, SmartTech 24/7, Kontex and Evros are providing a solution to this issue by providing expert security consultant services. These companies’ Security Operations Centre (SOC service) offers uninterrupted monitoring of their clients‘ IT networks.”

       

      Details of the Enterprise Ireland Cybersecurity Innovation Series 2021 can be found here

      Insights into the Commercialisation of Diagnostice webinar

      Insights to the Commercialisation of Diagnostics

      Enterprise Ireland UK in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics, the world’s largest biotech company and the world leader in in vitro diagnostics, examined the route to commercialisation, market access and economic modelling in this Insights into the Commercialisation of Diagnostics webinar.

      Global Recovery. Irish Opportunity

      International Markets Week 2021: Green agenda and digitalisation key areas for growth  

      Global Recovery - Irish Opportunity

      It’s been said many times that exports are crucial to Ireland’s recovery in the post-pandemic world – and Enterprise Ireland is committed to ensuring that Irish companies take advantage of the many opportunities around the world to increase their business and bolster our economy as a result.

      A crucial event in the Enterprise Ireland year is International Markets Week, and this year, for the second year running, it was held as a virtual event over five busy days in October 2021.

      “When Covid hit, we decided that the event was too important to miss, particularly in the context of a global pandemic,” explains Anne Lanigan, Regional Director, Eurozone, at Enterprise Ireland. “This is a time when it’s even more important for our clients to keep their exports going, so we decided to go onto a virtual platform, with our market advisors available for a full week.

      “The market advisors are the boots on the floor, the people who can introduce client companies to potential buyers, so it’s a very practical week for people who want to do business.”

      This year, the theme of the event was Global Recovery. Irish Opportunity, recognising that the global economy is experiencing significant disruption – but while this disruption brings challenges, there are also significant opportunities.

      “Enterprise Ireland client companies enjoyed excellent overall export growth in 2019 of 8%,  with particularly strong growth in the Eurozone and North America of 15% and 16% respectively,” says Anne

       “In 2020, these figures stabilised, which was a very good result in the context of a global pandemic, but now we need to get back to 2019 levels of growth.”

      Opportunities for Irish companies lie in many areas, including the green agenda and digitisation. Throughout the world, companies are investing in green and digital strategies and governments are putting stimulus packages in place to drive a recovery based on a green and digital future. This investment represents huge opportunity for innovative Irish companies.

      “The current disruption in global supply chains also poses significant opportunity,” says Anne. “The drive by manufacturers in developed economies, in particular, to strengthen the reliability of their supply chains so that they are more easily accessed from a geographic and an administrative perspective, creates the opportunity for Ireland to embed themselves in these new supply chains. Ireland’s location on the edge of Europe puts us in a key position to capitalise on this move towards regionalisation of supply chains.”

       

      Finding opportunities

      It’s clear from this year’s International Markets Week that Enterprise Ireland client companies have recognised the importance of building a robust strategy to take advantage of these growth opportunities. A total of 710 Enterprise Ireland client companies registered for the event, booking a total of 1,663 meetings with market advisors from across the world.

      To get an indication of how companies were faring as the world’s economy recovers from the challenges of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, Enterprise Ireland conducted a survey of the participants ahead of the event. The results were positive: 56% of businesses indicated that they have seen an increase in exports in 2021 compared to 2020, with only 11% reporting a decrease. And, 91% of companies expect sales to increase again in 2022. In terms of trends, the survey revealed that 80% of businesses viewed digitalisation as vital over the next 12 months, while 63% said that advancing their sustainability agenda was a priority.

      These results proved accurate throughout the event, which was officially launched by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, and Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy. Lydia Rogers, country manager for Enterprise Ireland in Canada, reported a real hunger in Irish companies to take advantage of the many opportunities out there. “I met many client companies at various stages of their export journey, from those accelerating their international growth and diversifying into new global markets to ambitious start-ups keen to explore the export opportunities in Canada. The week proved that Canada is a very attractive market for Irish companies in many sectors, including cleantech, consumer retail, engineering, life sciences, fintech and BPO, and a large proportion of digital technologies companies.

      “In addition, Canada was also identified by many client companies as an entry point and as a lower-cost gateway into the wider North America market.”

      And, as predicted, the green agenda and digitalisation opportunities were noted by Lydia as strong trends for Irish companies looking to Canada for growth. “Our team met many companies with innovative digitalisation solutions across travel tech, retail tech, ed tech, digital health, fintech, HR & talent tech, and IoT. There were also many SMEs with innovative solutions in areas including cleantech, mobility, smart energy and environment. Consumer retail was also a significant area of interest – a sector that experienced growth in 2020 despite the challenges of Covid-19. All in all, it was clear from this year’s International Markets Week that Irish companies have recognised Ireland and Canada make great business partners and are ready to reap the rewards from this vibrant and welcoming country.”

       

      View the virtual launch event from Enterprise Ireland’s International Markets Week 2021 below:

       

       

       

       

       

      A young man in a warehouse using his laptop to research his EORI number

      Customs – What is an EORI Number used for?

       

      The Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number allows businesses to import or export with countries outside the European Union. It is a unique reference number recognised by all EU member states and is a requirement on all customs declarations.

      First introduced in 2009, the EORI number is a common reference number for interactions with the customs authorities in any EU Member State. All Irish numbers are prefaced with the prefix IE and contain eight characters. It is closely aligned to your VAT number but requires a separate EORI registration with Revenue.

       

      Register for your EORI number

      To obtain your number, companies can register directly through Revenue. If you are already registered on Revenue Online Service (ROS), you can register within a matter of minutes. Once the registration is complete, the number is active immediately.

      If you believe that you already have one, this can be verified by simply checking the EORI number validation service. Insert your VAT number prefixed by “IE” and select validate.

      Revenue has support for companies that have questions about their process. Visit Revenue’s website for the relevant contact details.