Business diary: Events coming up

Your weekly run-down of business conferences and awards

Business diary
Pictured at the launch of Manufacturing Month at NOW Group are (from left) Chris Guy, partner at Mills Selig; Jean McCullough, branch manager at Reliance Automation; Grainne McVeigh, advanced manufacturing and engineering director at Invest NI; Mary Meehan, Manufacturing NI deputy chief executive; Rachel Doherty, Anchor High Summit director; Aodheen Dougan, business engagement manager at Manufacturing NI; John Mathers, director at Barclays; Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI chief executive; Maeve Monaghan, NOW Group chief executive; and Johnny Hanna, partner at KPMG (DARREN KIDD)


Manufacturing Month, which showcases the success and strength of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing and engineering sector, is set to return this May.

Led by Manufacturing NI, the entire month will be dedicated to highlighting the companies, workers, and leaders who contribute to making Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector the global success story that it is.

Manufacturing Month’s flagship Anchor High Summit will take place on Thursday May 30 at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, culminating in a Manufacturing Hall of Fame dinner to celebrate those who have led their business to create jobs, and who are contributing to local communities across the north.

This year’s Anchor High Summit will see a strong focus on challenging manufacturing firms to become more neuro-diverse and menopause-friendly workplaces, with the event set to feature a speaker line up of industry experts and pioneering leaders to inspire others to change the world of work.

The month is sponsored by some of the north’s leading companies and organisations including Barclays, Invest NI, Mills Selig, Reliance Automation, KPMG, and Smart Manufacturing Data Hub.

To purchase a ticket for Manufacturing Month’s Anchor High Summit and the gala dinner, visit:

Business Diary
Announcing the closing dates for the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition are programme manager Connor Sweeney with Sarah-Marie Rust, CEO and founder of Electric Vehicle Ecosystem, winner of the Dublin Best Early-Stage category 2023. Picture: Johnny Bambury (Johnny Bambury/Johnny Bambury)


Friday April 26 is the closing date for applications into this year’s InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition, the largest business competition of its kind on the island of Ireland with an overall cash prize fund of €300,000.

Designed to help new start and early-stage businesses get investor-ready, the initiative provides participating companies with the opportunity to improve their investment pitches, get expert feedback on their business plans, and gain exposure to venture capitalists, business angels, and some of the island’s leading industry experts and entrepreneurs.

Since its inception in 2003, more than 3,700 companies have benefitted from entering, and previous overall winners hail from across the island, spanning a range of sectors. An integral part of Seedcorn emphasises the collaborative spirit of entrepreneurship across the island.

The competition offers two distinct categories - ‘new start’ and ‘early stage’ - along with a number of regional finals.

The overall winner’s prize package is worth €100,000, with €50,000 for each category winner and €20,000 going to each of six regional winners.

For the fourth consecutive year, an additional €20,000 prize will be awarded for best investment proposal from a company operating in the low carbon/green sector.

More information can be found at

Business diary
Launching the STEAM workshops are Lola Shannon (age 12) from Ashfield Girls’ High School with Louise Rice, education manager of National Museums NI and Tony Marron, managing director of Liberty IT. Picture: Matt Mackey/PressEye


A new STEAM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths) workshop has been launched in April by Liberty IT and National Museums NI to inspire young people to develop their tech skills.

STEAM Studio is a collaborative workspace at the Ulster Museum, designed to connect coding and technology with the museum experience.

As part of the free programme, which includes complimentary return transport for schools availing of the workshop, students in Years 8 - 10 will be upskilled in coding that will enable them to design and create their own arcade game inspired by the museum’s applied art collection.

The four-hour interactive workshop uses a school and C2K approved coding platform which means students and teachers will be able to continue their learning and work in school after the visit.

For further information, or to make a booking (allocated on a first come basis) go to

Business diary
Announcing Almac’s fun run on May 25 are Air Ambulance NI area funding manager Damien McAnespie and business development manager Colleen Milligan with Orla Tumelty from the Almac Group


Craigavon-headquartered pharmaceutical group Almac has launched its annual fun run event which takes place at Craigavon Lakes on Saturday May 25 to raise funds for Air Ambulance NI.

The event, which includes a 5km and 10km route around the lakes, is open to everyone to run, jog or walk. Everyone who takes part will receive a medal, tee-shirt and goodie bag when they complete the run.

Entry costs £10 for 5k and £15 for 10k with all proceeds going to Air Ambulance. Registration closes on May 20 at 5pm. Spaces are limited so enter early to avoid disappointment. A chip timing will be available for everyone who completes the course.

Go to to find out more and sign up.