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InterTradeIreland – SMEs Innovating for Sustainability

June 16, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: NUI Galway
Galway, Ireland

Organised by: InterTrade Ireland

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InterTradeIreland, in collaboration with NUI Galway, is delighted to host a virtual panel event focusing on sustainable innovation practices among SMEs. The panel event, which is part of the All-Island Innovation Programme will discuss how and why SMEs should embrace sustainability  – ‘meeting our needs without comprising future generations in meeting their needs’ – as a space for innovating (e.g. environmental sustainability, social sustainability). The panel includes an SME manager providing an in-practice case of an SME that has innovated around environmental sustainability (waste management); an academic on future trends in this space and what SMEs should prepare for; as well as a specialist on accessing resources for such innovations. The event is particularly relevant to SMEs where sustainability has not been a core aspect of the business model to date.


The panel speakers are:

Marion Briggs is Sustainability Project Manager at HealthBeacon – the world’s leading digital health platform for injectable medications. Marion has been a professional business manager, leader and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, most recently focusing on sustainability. She was brought into HealthBeacon to help them with their Green Labs initiative for more sustainable sharps waste management along with helping to drive other sustainability initiatives within the company. She is also the Chair of the board of Friends of the Earth (https://www.foe.ie/) , Ireland, and the Secretary to the newly formed pharmaceutical supply chain nonprofit, Alliance to Zero (https://www.alliancetozero.com).


Dr Sinead Mitchell is a lecturer in Engineering at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. She has worked with industry as a business consultant and as a researcher in sustainable engineering with a focus on healthcare manufacturing and social enterprise development. Her principal research interests include sustainability and eco-innovation, particularly in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).




Mark Sweeney has worked in the environmental and energy sectors for over 25 years. He has vast experience of EU funding mechanisms and has worked as a National Contact Point across several European framework programmes (CIP Eco-innovation, FP7, Horizon 2020). He currently works as an NCP for Environment related activities in relation to Horizon Europe. Mark also acts as lead national expert in relation to the EU Ecodesign Directive and associated regulations which focus on improving the energy efficiency and environmental performance of a wide range of products.




The panel will be chaired by Dr Majella Giblin who is a lecturer in the School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Her main area of research is the evolution of the medical technology ecosystem in Galway including the development of capabilities in MNE subsidiaries and start-ups in the region. Majella also recently contributed to the compilation of a Seanad report (published May 2019) on a strategy to support the development of SMEs in Ireland.