For the past 10 years, DICE Labs have held conferences that have brought together leaders in design, business and innovation to discuss, engage and inspire.

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2024: Driving Innovation in Business

On Thursday March 7thin conjunction with Local Enterprise week and DICE Labs, ATU Faculty of Business hosted a Driving Innovation in Business event.

Presentations were a collaboration between our academic staff and visionary guest speakers who are leaders in their field throughout the region. The discussions ranged from AI and digital transformation to running a social enterprise in challenging times and how to put your food business on the map. In the current economic climate, the opportunity to come together have insightful discussions and gain insights around such topics is invaluable to all who attended.

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2023: Competing Together Conference

“Competing Together”, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IE) Conference was hosted by the Atlantic Technological University (ATU) DICE Research Centre and ATU Faculty of Business on 5 December 2022. This hybrid event invited individuals and businesses of all sizes in the west and northwest to join in the discussion around key issues facing industry across the region.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference hosted at Atlantic Technological University December 5th
Kevin Sexton, Head of Innovation at Alpha Innovation Centre, Michael Margey, Head of Faculty of Business, ATU, Eve-Anne McCarron, External Engagement Manager, ATU, Padraic Lynch, Lecturer, ATU and Micheál Ó Duibhir, Údarás na Gaeltachta at the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Conference at ATU in December.

The IE conference focused on the twin pillars of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and offered high level debates on the challenges brought about by digitalisation, the green transition, demographic change, and globalisation. Thought leaders, along with panel members from industry and government support agencies, explored how this region can collectively lead the way in innovation, technological development, entrepreneurship teaching, entrepreneurship research and public-private co-creation to sustain and accelerate an inclusive and resilient economy.

Méabh Conaghan, Regional Director of Enterprise Ireland and panelist at the conference remarked, “The ATU faculty of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship conference was exceptional in a sense that we were able to listen to an impressive line-up of speakers such as Professor Peter Kawalek, Professor Stephen Kinsella, and Warren Bramley. The rich and frank panel discussions on several important issues for the region helped us all to understand each other’s perspectives. It was indeed a great day with plenty of interesting insights. Conferences like these are exceptionally important for the region highlighting lots of opportunity for further collaborations and developments”

Professor Peter Kawalek is Director of the Centre for Information Management at the Loughborough University School of Business and Economics, Professor of Strategy and Information Systems at Manchester University Business School and was keynote speaker at the first session of the Innovation Conference. Prof. Kawalek is an internationally renowned academic and thought leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology. His topic, ‘New Models of Disruption’ ignited the debate about how enterprises should consider their value propositions off the back of these industry disruptors. Peter shared multiple examples of potentially interoperable disruptors affecting value-chains and profit-pools in Finance and Insurance, challenging the audience to consider how they could consider competing together to expand markets.

‘What Happens When Everyone Designs’ was another thought-provoking discussion, led by Warren Bramley. Warren’s career has placed him at the intersection of design, music, culture and business innovation and gave the audience insights into the ownership economy, Web3 and the importance of inviting people into the process to co-create. Warren discussed mega trends and drew attention to the importance of having a networked mindset.

Professor Stephen Kinsella then presented on the major forces of change as we move towards 2030, digitization, skills shortages, growing productivity gaps and more. Ireland’s position in global supply chains and Ireland’s sources of productivity were discussed. Key success factors for different industries, and commonalities for multiple industries were identified, a debate on what this means for Irish Enterprises and how they will succeed in the future ensued.

Panel members from Udaras na Gaeltachta, the Alpha Innovation Centre, Enterprise Ireland, Donegal County Council, Western Development Commission, and the Local Enterprise Office focused on collaboration and opportunities across the region. On the day it was clear that the appetite to work collectively is present and that it is very possible for the Atlantic Technological University to seize the opportunity in bridging the gap between academia, private industry, and the variety of agencies in highlighting the region on a global scale.

The various speakers offered great insight and challenged the audience to consider new ways of working to build the innovation capacity of the region to ensure its competitiveness, and it was clear from the further discussion, that the Atlantic Technological University has a key role in collaborating with the various stakeholders across the region – from Galway to Donegal.

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2014 – 2024: DICE

Led by the Department of Design & Creative Media, our annual DICE conference sparks discussions on the value of design, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to both business and society.

Past speakers include:
Dee Doherty

Aileen Faller
Costume designer on major productions such as Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders

Shaun Kelly
Multi-award winning animator

Ryan Tracey
Balloon modeller. BGT 2017 Semi-Finalist. 3 Guinness World Records

Michael McLaughlin
Fine Art and Commercial Photography

Noel Feeney
Head of Production & Designer, This Greedy Pig

Colman Walsh
CEO UX Design Institute

Lucia Fontes
UX Program Manager, Google

Annie Atkins
Graphic Designer on major productions such as Grand Budapest Hotel and The Boxtrolls

Christopher Murphy
Interaction Designer, speaker, senior lecturer in UU

Anthony Hutton
Industrial and Interaction Design

Mark Cullen
AR/VR 3d Content and Animation

Bernie Murphy
Textile designer

Leading Graphic & Interaction Design studio

Stone Twins
Awarding winning Netherlands based Design/Advertising studio

Toby Scott
Facilitator — Knowinnovation

Kevin Sexten
Co-founder Mobstats

Corrina Askin
Animation & Illustration. Creator of IP for Cbeebies, MTV, Channel 4 and The Irish Film Board

Re-Act Productions
Shaun Doogan & Ciaran McCann

Emma McLaughlin
Senior Project Manager with Allstate

Patrick Mooney
Director of User Experience with Optum

Damian Cranney
Founder & Managing Director of Big Motive, Belfast

Lisa Gildea
Destination Brand Strategy & Identity

Libby Carton
Co-founder Kinnegar Brewing

Brian Murray
Pramerica Systems Head of Technology for LCBE

Joe Dunleavy
Global Head of Innovation at Endava

Geronimo Productions
Award winning animation studio

Keith Finglas
Director — Innovation Delivery

Kieran Nolan
Interaction Designer

Margo Harkin
Celebrated Irish Filmmaker

Dog Ears
Emmy-nominated animation studio. Creatives of Puffin Rock and the Saturday Club

Oliver Duncan Doherty
Fashion & Costume Designer on Game of Thrones

Mike Guckian
Drone & Motion Graphics