Shard Capital Partners Launches New Venture Capital Fund in Ireland


Pic. Donnchadh Cullinan, Enterprise Ireland, Toby Raincock, Shard Capital, Minister O Connor, Barry Downes, Suir Valley Ventures, Gareth Burchell, Shard Capital

Shard Capital Partners LLP ( announces the launch and first closing of the Suir Valley Venture Fund of Suir Valley Funds ICAV (‘the Fund’), the first Irish focused venture capital fund in Ireland that uses a regulated fund with a fully regulated Alternative Investment Fund Manager (‘AIFM’).  The Fund invests in early stage software companies in the Financial Technology (‘FinTech’), Augmented Reality (‘AR’), Virtual Reality (‘VR’), and Internet of Things (‘IoT’) sectors.  The Fund’s first close has been funded via commitments of up to €20 million from Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government Agency, and Shard Capital.

UK based Shard Capital will be managing the Fund in Ireland by availing of the management passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Manager Directive (‘AIFMD’).  Management of the Fund is led by Barry Downes, previously founder of FeedHenry (, which was acquired by Red Hat Inc in 2014 (NYSE: RHT) and also more recently CEO of TSSG  (, a leading international software research institute, which has delivered over 120 technology and innovation projects for start-ups over the past three years. The Fund’s Irish operation will be headquartered at the Waterford Institute of Technology’s Research and Innovation Campus in Carriganore Waterford, Ireland, where the TSSG is also based.

Speaking about the launch, Toby Raincock, CEO of Shard Capital, said: “We are delighted to launch, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Suir Valley Funds ICAV, which complements our existing award winning fund management business.  Barry’s proven expertise and successful track record in seed funding early stage companies with innovative and disruptive technologies is a welcome addition to Shard Capital’s existing broking, asset management and corporate capital services businesses.”

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Positive effects of 2014 WIT/TSSG SpinOut with Jobs announcements

Pictured in 2014: Cathal McGloin, CEO of Feedhenry and Craig Muzilla, senior vice president, Application Platform Business, Red Hat

Pictured in 2014: Cathal McGloin, CEO of Feedhenry and Craig Muzilla, senior vice president, Application Platform Business, Red Hat

Decision by global software leader Red Hat is another excellent endorsement of the region as a prime location for other technology companies

Red Hat which established a Waterford office following its acquisition of TSSG spin out FeedHenry has announced 60 new jobs over the next four years.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor together with Minister of State for Training, Skills & Innovation John Halligan announced that Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, plans to invest €12.7M in a new project, committing to create up to 60 jobs in Waterford over four years.

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Embedding Responsible Research and Innovation Practices into Our Research Activities.

“RRI can be understood as a shift in responsibility: the shift from thinking in terms of individualist and consequentialist notions of responsibility to thinking in terms of collective and distributed responsibility and processes”


PIC. Dr. Catherine O Mahony & Dr. Ruth Hally, UCC

On Thursday January 12, 2017. Dr Ruth Hally and Dr Catherine O’Mahony, UCC researchers, facilitated a workshop for WIT staff on “How to Embed Responsible Research and Innovation  (RRI)  in teaching practices, assessment design and research approaches” at the WIT Cork Road Campus. Both Dr Hally and Dr O’Mahony are working on an EU project EnRRICH for Enhancing Responsible Research and Innovation through Curricula in Higher Education . This project aims to build capacity of students and staff in higher education to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that support the embedding of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in curricula, by responding to the research needs of society as expressed by civil society organisations (CSOs).

RRI is an umbrella term for the multi-threaded connections between Research and Innovation (R&I) activities and Society. It expresses the collective responsibility of people working in R&I to engage responsively with all societal actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, and business) as stakeholders –  for example through public engagement, open access, gender equality, science education, ethics and governance– to align research and innovation processes, governance and outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society. RRI processes can be threaded through the full research project life cycles from agenda setting, to design, implementation and evaluation stages– leading to societal benefits from including knowledge and experience of real world ‘complexities’ in project activities. RRI emphasizes importance of ‘upstream’ inclusion of society in science and innovation to meet our most urgent grand societal challenges.

A key RRI goal for the Higher Education sector is to develop competencies and frameworks to embed RRI capacity within research and innovation processes and governance across all disciplines, and levels. This can be done by including Community Based Learning and Community Based Research in all disciplines directly into education principles and modules- from undergraduate courses through to postdoctoral research and innovation activity. Thus graduates, as well as those working directly in Research and Innovation, can be empowered with RRI knowledge to give proper consideration to ethical issues in service or, product design and development in the workplace, and to engage openly with people from diverse groups of society.

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Workshop guides Software Defined Networking community on solution for isolated network connectivity and performance

pristineAn insightful workshop, hosted by the PRISTINE and ARCFIRE projects, on “beyond SDN/NFV” was held in conjunction with the SDN and OpenFlow World Congress 2016 in The Hague (NL) in October 2016. A demo was featuring a Distributed Interprocess Communication Facility (DIF) that was constantly being renumbered without corrupting existing flows or impairing the ability to create new ones.

With over 100 supporting partners and sponsors and 1,500+ delegates, the SDN World Congress has established itself as the principal network innovation conference in Europe for the global telecommunications industry.

The culmination of two and a half years of research work on the PRISTINE project and initial results from ARCFIRE project were presented at the Recursive InterNetwork Architecture (RINA) workshop, which is an annually organised event, allowing researchers interested to present their work and discuss advances related to their research on RINA. The PRISTINE project has been advancing the design and implementation of the innovative internals of the RINA clean-slate architecture, while the ARCFIRE project is setting out to execute large-scale RINA experimentation on FIRE+ infrastructure. The advances in the PRISTINE project include the programmable functions for: supporting congestion control, providing protection/resiliency, facilitating more efficient topological routing, and multi-layer management for handling configuration, performance and security.

PRISTINE and ARCFIRE consortium partners have been able to show how RINA can be a new feasible way for delivering efficient network services through:

  • Layer 2 Agnostic Networking.
  • Global layer 2 VLANs for Software Defined Data Centers (SDDCs), Cloud Providers and Network Service Providers.
  • Application Specific Name Spaces for Billions of IDs.
  • Inherent Application Security for Distributed Services.
  • Isolated ‘Network Slices’ for End to End Services use that can really Guarantee QoS per slice.
  • Pro-Active Congestion Control.

Further details please contact Miguel Ponce De Leon, TSSG


TSSG at First FIWARE Summit in Málaga

James Clarke of the TSSG group of Waterford Institute of Technology played a key role in the organisation of a panel session on global cooperation for the 1st annual FIWARE Summit held 13-15th December, 2016 in Málaga, Spain.

fiwareThe first FIWARE Summit kick started a new stage for the open community of developers, users, companies, cities, accelerators, researchers, public authorities and non-profit organizations in a 3-day event.

The theme of the Summit was “FIWARE is Moving Forward, Going Global; Together, we build FIWARE!”

Due to his work in coordinating the EU-INDIA FI-MEDIA project, in which one of the created Cluster to Cluster (C2C) partnerships is on bringing FIWARE to the India context, Mr. Clarke was invited to join the newly established FIWARE Foundation, which was formally registered on October 28th, 2016, with headquarters in Berlin, aimed at supporting the continued growth of FIWARE, the open source platform called to become the de-facto standard for development of IoT-enabled smart services. In addition, Mr. Clarke was also invited to a newly established FIWARE Mundus Committee, the element of FIWARE looking after the global reach of FIWARE

In the organisation phase of the FIWARE Summit over the last months, Mr. Clarke was asked to identify a speaker from India with experience in FIWARE for a panel session entitled Going Global: The FIWARE Mundus programme.

In the panel session, the FI-MEDIA project was praised for bringing this Cluster to Cluster (C2C) partnership on FIWARE to India and the C2C was represented by Mr. Ajith Balakumar of Forthcode Technologies, a start-up company based in Bangalore, India. Forthcode Technologies has developed a smart city demonstrator for the city of Eindhoven, Netherlands, based on FIWARE. The experience of replacing a proprietary system with FIWARE was recounted and it was carried out in a short period of 2 months, due to the modularity of FIWARE and the user interface was also developed by Forthcode Technologies. Accroding to Mr. Balakumar, “This demonstrator was very much appreciated by the city council and discussions are ongoing to take it to the next level”.

During the session, Mr. Balakumar compared FIWARE to an operating system, “whereas you don’t have to worry about the nuts and bolts of how it works. You can just connect IoT sensors and controllers and define rules in the Rule engine to go live quickly. Without FIWARE, I would have to put 20-30 people working on the various components, IoT device manager, rule engine, big data integration, etc.”, stated Mr. Balakumar.

Forthcode Technologies is also working on a FIWARE based system in Kerala in South India to improve quality of services in terms of water supply and street lighting in villages. ”If this project goes ahead, 1,900+ villages will be connected to the FIWARE platform”, according to Mr. Balakumar.

Mr. Balakumar concluded by thanking the EU-INDIA FI-MEDIA project, which is funded by the Delegation of the European Union to India, and the FIWARE Mundus programme for enabling this important networking activity at the FIWARE summit, which enabled him to “network with the larger FIWARE community to find other FIWARE related applications and services and even source IoT components, including low cost sensors, that could be brought into the India context on mass scale”. fiware-logo

Other distinguished panellists in the session were from the USA, Japan, Mexico, Spain, France and Morocco. The panellists exchanged experiences and willingness to cooperate globally on sharing best practices and lessons learned in their activities.

For more information on the EU-INDIA FI-MEDIA project, see the news item here

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