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  • PwC’s Leader for R&D, comments on the changing face of R&D in Ireland | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    the suite of innovation tax policies to further interconnect the FDI companies with start ups and academia because that will anchor those companies here even more On R D being relevant to almost all industries today R D is often perceived as a narrow domain of activity run by people in white coats working in the life sciences sector but the encroachment of high technology into all spheres of life means that the discipline is hugely relevant to almost all industries today Stephen Merriman says Technology cuts across different industries like fintech software development big data and all those other areas that are coming to the fore Certainly some of the big food companies Irish PlCs would be doing R D looking at their current products in terms of things like nutritional values particularly with their sports supplement products but they ll also be looking at their manufacturing process R D in terms of increasing their output and their yield However the terms R D and innovation are often used interchangeably which can sometimes be confusing because of their subtly different meanings It all depends on the perspective you re looking at Innovation in itself would be a broader activity than R D encompassing anything that involves the implementation of some new or improved process or even a product R D is more about looking deeper at something trying to increase the breadth of knowledge in that area It s where someone has defined an area that they want to explore or look at a specific area in a systematic way trying to resolve a particular problem R D is applied across all industries in a the sense that you re looking at something that is unknown you re looking at trying to make an advancement Innovation is much broader and is much more applied to a practical purpose On working together for a brighter future Success of R D is down to strengthening ties between academia and industry Still global competition has never been more intense so there is room for improvement Stephen Merriman continues There is a degree of stress in the system and we re hearing a clear message from clients that job creation is only a part of the challenge Actually filling the specialist vacancies is a live issue and risks undermining investment decisions There are a number of reasons for this including a lack of after care service where Ireland is not delivering on its promise to companies with regard to lifestyle issued around personal tax availability of accommodation schools commute times etc leading key talent to look to other locations such as middle England and Berlin for opportunities This is a cause for real concern as there is no doubt that the lack of a continuous supply of key talent is an impediment to future economic growth On our well educated graduates where Ireland will continue to need well educated science technology engineering and mathematics Stem graduates Merriman says These disciplines provide a solid

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-stephen-merriman-comments-on-the-changing-face-of-r-and-d-in-ireland.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Wexford Festival Opera and PwC announce new arts initiative ‘Emerging Young Artist Award’ | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    appropriate for PwC to partner with Wexford Festival Opera in the nurturing of young talent by supporting Rachel s and Rory s careers Also speaking at the announcement Jean Delaney Tax Partner PwC said We have a strong legacy of championing talent development both in our own business and in our support of the arts and we are proud to partner with Wexford Festival Opera on this exciting initiative ENDS Notes to editors Dublin Soprano Rachel Croash is a graduate of NUI Maynooth and recently completed the Master in Music Performance Degree at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where she studied with Mary Brennan and Dearbhla Collins She has performed with Wexford Festival Opera Opera Theatre Company OTC Opera Ireland Wide Open Opera Lismore Opera Festival and The Contemporary Music Centre At the Electric Ireland Feis Ceoil Rachel has won the Lieder Prize Nancy Calthorpe Cup The Mrs P J Geoghan Memorial Cup and Gus Smith Award and was the winner of the inaugural Mollie Murray Award for most Promising Singer She was a recipient of the John McCormack Society Bursary and has also been a finalist in the NCH Bernadette Greevy Vocal Bursary Most recently Rachel made her debut with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Hall and performed in Puccini by Candlelight at the National Concert Hall She is currently a member of the Opera Theatre Company OTC Opera Hub young artist programme Originally from Connemara Baritone Rory Musgrave is a recent Master s graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he studied with Philip O Reilly In addition to singing the role of Junius for Irish Youth Opera s IYO inaugural production Rory also sang in the chorus of several other Irish opera productions including the recent Opera Theatre Company OTC production of Rigoletto NI Opera s Macbeth Wide Open Opera s Nixon in China and in Rough Magic OTC s The Rise and fall of the city of Mahagonny Rory was the recipient of the John McCormack Cup at the Electric Ireland Feis Ceoil 2014 a finalist in the Irene Sandford Competition 2013 and qualified for the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition in Amsterdam 2013 He appeared in the Irish Times Irish Theatre Award winning production of Silent Night in last year s Wexford Festival Opera and also received the Festival s prestigious Arnold Bursary Rory is a member of the Opera Theatre Company OTC Opera Hub young artist programme The Wexford Opera Festival is known the world over as a festival which nurtures and celebrates emerging artists Singers such as Baritone Sergei Leiferkus tenors Juan Diego Floréz and Joseph Calleja and sopranos Mirella Freni Elizabeth Connell Angela Meade and mezzo soprano Daniela Barcellona to name but a few all made early appearances at Wexford Festival Opera and went on to become leading international figures in opera regularly appearing at the top opera houses in the world Booking for the 64th Wexford Festival Opera is now open The Festival will run from 21

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-wexford-festival-opera-and-pwc-announce-new-arts-initiative.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Skills, access to finance and onerous regulations holding back Ireland's construction sector | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    regime 44 Almost half 45 have sought non bank finance in the last 2 years with the majority of this being private equity 83 followed by joint venture arrangements 44 and Mezzanine finance 33 According to the survey the single key reason for the lack of development of zoned and serviced land in Ireland is insufficient access to finance 83 This was followed by uneconomic development prospects based on current property prices 63 excessive building regulations 53 development levies 44 and the Central Bank limits on mortgage lending 42 Speaking about the survey results Ronan MacNioclais Tax Partner PwC said The survey highlights that access to finance onerous planning and building regulations and uneconomic development prospects may be contributing to the low levels of planning applications compared to demand There needs to be an equilibrium between the cost of building price and sensible regulation There are concerns that the permissions granted thus far in 2015 are below those in Q3 2014 and that this will have a knock on effect on an already supply constrained market From an FDI perspective it is also important that high end office space is readily available Reducing the VAT rate applicable to property developed within a specified period is the most popular taxation measure which could be introduced to encourage development according to nearly half of respondents 49 Nearly a third view a reduction in corporation tax to 12 5 from a current 25 on land dealing profits where land is subsequently developed within a specified period as another such measure Nearly half are trying to plug the skills gap Nearly half 45 are struggling with the skills gap and confirm they are experiencing difficulties recruiting certain types of individuals with specialist skills According to the survey skilled contractors 78 and site managers 44

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-skills-access-to-finance-onerous-regulations-holding-back-irelands-construction-sector.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Confidence grows, but Irish insurers are behind global players in how they value digital technologies | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    thinking and working To succeed they will need to show vision flexible thinking and carefully listen to and learn from stakeholders to make clear informed decisions And with Solvency II just around the corner the key implementation challenges are to minimise the upheaval and to reliably and efficiently build the new requirements into business as usual We see many companies using regulatory change as an opportunity to improve operational flexibility promote greater collaboration and even reassess their business models No let up in disruption With over half of global insurance CEOs saying it is likely that insurers will increasingly compete in sectors other than their own there is no let up in disruption Almost nine out of ten Irish re insurance leaders say industry regulation is the greatest disruptor Nearly two thirds are concerned about disruption from changing customer behaviours 64 and distribution channels 61 and over half are concerned about the increase in the number of significant competitors 58 and changes in core technologies 52 Commenting on the findings of this latest survey of DIMA s members Sarah Goddard CEO DIMA said Building on last year s survey it is encouraging to see insurance leaders are increasingly confident about business growth in the year ahead However it is also clear that the industry is not without its challenges and the new regulatory framework to be introduced at the beginning next year is the largest of those This year s European Insurance Forum event will address the moving targets in play with a particular focus on how globalisation technology innovations and our increasing lifespans are constantly remodelling the global risk system within which we operate and how best we can turn emerging challenges into risk rewards Irish insurers behind on digital The survey highlights that Irish insurers lag significantly behind their global counterparts in terms of the perceived value that digital technologies can create For example relative to Irish insurance leaders over a quarter more global players see the benefits in terms of operational efficiency innovation capacity digital trust cyber security and brand and reputation Ciarán Kelly Consulting Partner PwC added In a world where many consumers are always on the power of digital and its business opportunities cannot be ignored The insurance landscape is changing rapidly and the survey suggests that Irish insurance leaders have an opportunity to really embrace digital technologies to engage with and better understand customers improve operating efficiency and improve use and security of data Call on Government to ensure Ireland remains competitive Ensuring Ireland remains competitive 61 is the top Government priority for insurance leaders to achieve their growth plans According to the survey other Government priorities should be the availability of key skills 43 promoting Ireland as a centre of excellence for insurance 43 and resourcing supporting skills in the Regulator 29 Nearly a third not prepared for BEPS While the majority 70 of respondents said they are prepared for the challenges presented by the OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting BEPS Action Plan

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-confidence-grows-but-irish-insurers-are-behind-global-players.html (2016-02-18)
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  • International Insurance conference to address forces of change impacting on management of risk | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    Defect who will review how globalisation creates systemic risks and what to do about it together with sports journalist David Walsh who will recount his riveting tale of uncovering the murky world of illegal drug use in professional cycling Speaking at the launch announcement of the European Insurance Forum 2015 Minister of State Simon Harris TD said DIMA s hosting of the EIF is a welcome opportunity to demonstrate Ireland s strengths and responsiveness to the demands of the fast changing financial services landscape The Government is keen to explore how it can best leverage our talent and tech sector to further enhance Ireland s reputation as the location of choice for the global re insurance industry As the organiser of EIF 2015 Sarah Goddard CEO of DIMA said We are really looking forward to this year s conference which has a great selection of industry speakers lined up to explore the interactions between business evolutions changing risks and societal impact From developments related to our increasing lifespans globalisation and technological innovations right through to industry issues around taxation and regulation the conference is set to get many people rethinking global risks today and into the future IFS2020 sets out a vision for the future of international financial services in Ireland EIF2015 is an ideal opportunity to start turning the vision into reality Key premiere sponsors for this year s event are Deloitte Matheson PwC and XL Group together with EIF s special collaboration sponsor the Europe Chapter of the CPCU Society Also speaking at the launch John O Leary Leader PwC Financial Services Tax Practice added The OECD BEPS project will be a driver for international insurance and reinsurance groups to review their operating models and the location of key activities A competitive transparent corporate tax regime and the availability of a pool of highly skilled insurance professionals mean that Ireland is ideally positioned to benefit from this trend and many groups will be encouraged to expand even further the high value activities they have located in Ireland A changing international tax landscape is just one of a number of challenges facing the industry which will be addressed at the event PwC s 2015 Global Insurance CEO survey revealed that over half 61 of global insurance leaders said that there are more threats now than there were three years ago over two thirds 69 are concerned about disruption from change in distribution channels The insurance landscape is changing rapidly and the leaders are using digital to engage more closely with customers fine tuning underwriting and develop customised risk solutions Regulation is seen as the greatest disruptive force within the industry and Solvency II which represents the greatest ever prudential regulatory change for insurers goes live at the beginning of 2016 Estimated costs of Solvency II implementation of 4 billion across Europe and over 100 million in Ireland have already been comfortably exceeded and implementation spending will continue for at least another year The short and long term impact of

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-international-insurance-conference-dima.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Employee mobility programs are a great opportunity to plug the skills gap but they are often not fit for purpose | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    existing talent into the right roles in the right locations at the right cost can be a real competitive advantage when done well The result is a need for a more innovative and sophisticated approach to modern mobility Employee mobility as we know it isn t fit for purpose PwC research further reveals a disconnect between mobility teams aspirations business expectations and the operational realities they face Taking on a more strategic role demands a strong business case for change and solid data to support it Three in four respondents expect to be measuring return on investment from mobility in two years time compared with less than one in ten today Less than one in five globally and in Ireland say they can accurately quantify the cost of their mobility programme today and by 2017 still only around half 49 expect to be able to do this accurately Heightened risk Modern mobility brings significant challenges in a world where paying the right tax in the right location is more important than ever for companies who want to be trusted by their customers It is forcing companies to rethink their approach to managing the risks of modern mobility From taking care of employer compliance tax immigration and duty of care obligations to managing reputational risk the time to act is now In addition further PwC research revealed that 43 of Irish CEOs confirmed it to be a challenge when recruiting leadership specialists to relocate to Ireland Speaking at the Forum Fiona Flood Head of Economic Migration Policy and Employment Permits Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation said Ireland s immigration policy is designed to facilitate access to overseas talent that is in short supply in Ireland while at the same time recognising the Irish labour market as the first and foremost port of call for Irish employers Ensuring a progressive immigration policy with regular reviews in consultation with key stakeholders will bolster Ireland s positioning as an investment location of choice backed by a highly skilled workforce of both local and overseas talent Steps such as the Trusted Partner Initiative which was launched today by Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton will further strengthen policy changes brought about by updated employment permit legislation in October of last year and will ensure that Ireland retains a competitive edge in the global skills market Mary O Hara Employee Mobility and HR Services Partner PwC Ireland said We welcome the enhanced immigration incentives introduced by the Minster for Jobs today which is responding to calls from large employers to ensure that Ireland s economic migration policy is fit for purpose In contrast Ireland s current tax regime continues to act as a barrier to attracting experienced executives and hot skills to supplement locally available resources and employers are calling for the Minister for Finance to take a fresh look at incentives in this area in particular the Special Assignee Relief Programme SARP Apart from government initiatives we believe that companies also need to take a

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-employee-mobility-forum.html (2016-02-18)
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  • PwC & local school host 'Carnival' fundraising event in aid of young people impacted by cancer | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    and the students in this important fundraising initiative helping some of Ireland s young people and their families impacted by cancer The project is also at the heart of PwC s Corporate Responsibility programme where our people work with the students in our local community to develop their skills of communication teamwork and project management really important skills in both business and in life Derek Cleary Director of Services Localise added We can see how the students have benefited from the project which gave them the experience of working with a business and using their project management skills It is through working with local businesses such as PwC that communities can really grow and develop and this project showed the power of this collaboration ENDS Notes to editors Localise PwC PwC and Localise and the students from local school St Laurence O Toole s Seville Place Dublin 1 have worked together for the past seven years As part of this year s programme a team of 10 volunteers from PwC has been working together with 20 children from the local school since February 2015 Together with Localise representatives they have worked on designing a Caring for the Community project The aim of the Localise project is to develop the children s skills and talents and to help them understand the importance of teamwork and how to plan manage and implement a project About Localise Localise Youth and Community Development organisation has over 35 years of experience in community action and active citizenship About CanTeen CanTeen Ireland is a nationwide support group for young people who have or have had cancer CanTeen was set up in 1990 by a group of health professionals They are associated with the Irish Cancer Society and throughout the year meet up 6 8 times and

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-pwc-supports-local-community-carnival-to-raise-funds.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Data-Driven Organisations improve decision making, but many business executives are guided by intuition, experience and advice from others, says PwC | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    their big decisions on the strategic direction of their business Executives intuition and or experience and the advice and experience of others in their organisation were the decision making modes of choice for 58 of executives David McGee Data Analytics and Consulting Partner PwC said One of the key reasons for a company s success today is due to how good it is at making big decisions While executives say they continue to rely on experience advice or their own gut instinct they also see investment in data and analytics as critical to success Experience and intuition and the use of data and analytics are not mutually exclusive The challenge for business is how best to marry the two They know the right questions to ask Now they need to know how to get the right answers from external and internal data they ve used over the last two years Emer Coleman PwC Digital Analytics Practice said The challenge for today s Chief Information Officer CIO in particular is to embrace Big Data and develop capabilities and skills to understand data in the business context CIOs now have the opportunity to harness the power of predictive analytics extract value from the data and monetise it The broader challenges for CIOs will also mean a shift from a command and control model to a more iterative and agile model Achieving this means developing new skills and capabilities including data cataloging and storage techniques Big Data appliances and visualisation tools capabilities for tapping external sources and information security and data access procedures that comply with data privacy policies Despite executives comfort in often relying on intuition and experience PwC s global research further revealed that nearly two thirds 63 said the use of data has changed how their company makes decisions and they expect it to have greater impact in the future In PwC s experience the top three changes executives plan in decision making include the number of people involved in making a decision greater use of specialised and enhanced analytics and data analysis and the use of dedicated data teams to inform strategic decisions A balanced approach to using data and analytics to make speedy and sophisticated big decisions is recommended for competitive advantage including Mapping decisions to shareholder value by pinpointing decisions that have the biggest impact on the company s future Linking the strategic alternatives to business impacts by simulating how mega trends industry trends and the strategic alternatives affect the business and operating model Applying a value and results lens by quantifying the expected improvement in metrics associated with improving decision making and Adopting a structured test and learn approach by specifying changes to the organisation process technology and culture that are needed to improve decision making Emer Coleman concluded With so much at stake when it comes to the impact of big decisions on profitability and the lack of predictability and frequency of when decisions are required we see companies trying to increase their decision making

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-data-driven-organisations-improve-decision-making.html (2016-02-18)
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