Need for increased regionalisation highlighted at national project management conference

Over 300 delegates are attending the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute’s (PMI) sold-out annual national conference in Cork today (28 February). The conference, with headline sponsor EY, heard that strategic project management of regional infrastructure is vital to ensure stabilisation and future growth of the Irish economy.

Speaking this morning at the conference, which is being held for the first time outside of Dublin, President of the Ireland Chapter of PMI, Pat Lucey said: “As the national body of project managers in Ireland, it was important for the Chapter to move outside of the capital for its national conference — decentralisation delivers advantages across all sectors; from government departments to multi-nationals. Chronic under-investment in regional infrastructure is placing our economy, and future projects, at risk. There is huge opportunity for economic growth in Ireland over the next 20 years. However, over-reliance on the Dublin region is jeopardising this growth as it struggles to meet demand.”

Mr Lucey stated that while Ireland should be the default location for companies seeking to relocate from the UK into an EU country, a disproportionate focus placed on Dublin is reducing Ireland’s competitiveness. “With the capital feeling the worst effects of the housing crisis — rents there are 8.8% higher than just a year ago — this is negatively impacting desired international investment. Joined-up thinking — or ‘good project management’ — is required to ensure the regional investment promises made in Project Ireland 2040 are actioned to make each of our regional cities a viable option for business,” he said.

Incentives for regionalisation highlighted at the conference include the long-awaited rural broadband network, and high-speed road and rail links between all Irish major cities, including Cork, Limerick, Galway and Dublin.

Themed From Idea to Reality, the sold-out conference at Fota Island Resort is examining how large-scale international projects can be facilitated in Ireland. The conference is also showcasing how effective project management principles can successfully bring projects of all sizes from conception to completion.

Architect Dermot Bannon gives the conference’s keynote address today on managing stakeholders’ expectations; with fellow speakers to include Jim Snyder, one of the original founders of the Project Management Institute in 1969; co-founder of FoodCloud, Aoibheann O’Brien, who set up the social enterprise that connects food businesses with surplus food to charities; and Yvonne O’Byrne, Ireland international hockey star. Other conference speakers include Danny Curran of Aid:Tech, a start-up developing blockchain technology for the distribution of aid in refugee camps; and managing director of Dale Carnegie Ireland, Walter Bradley on How to Agreeably Disagree. The conference MC is Barry Murphy from Après Match.

Headline sponsor is EY, along with sponsors University of Limerick, Cora Systems, Grant Thornton, Musgrave, Aspira, Cork Institute of Technology, Progressive Financial Services, Auxilion and Alpha Wealth.

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