Communication - Press  •  Prix de la Chambre

Ireland France Business Awards 2023 featured in the Sunday Business Post

We are glad to share that the Ireland France Business Awards 2023 was featured in the Sunday Business Post!

Ireland and France have long had close relations and since the onset of Brexit. France is our closest European neighbour. So it stands to reason that a strong economic and cultural bond is mutually beneficial to both countries.

Since it was established in 1978, the France Ireland Chamber of Commerce (FICC), a network of nearly 180 companies from both nations, has been building on this relationship, year on year.

And earlier this month, a gala event, in partnership with NetworkIrlande, took place at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin to recognise some of these companies for their excellence in the economic link between France and Ireland.

Held on Thursday November 16, with the support of EirGrid, the official partner for 2023, the annual ceremony is a means of honouring French companies in Ireland as well as Irish companies in France by acknowledging the role they play and the relevance of the links between the two countries.

HE Vincent Guérend, ambassador of France to Ireland, said that it is important to recognise these ties.

“The business relationship between France and Ireland is flourishing as never before, producing significant results for both countries,” he said. “The Ireland France Business Awards is an important occasion to both celebrate this and to build on it, generating new momentum in this thriving relationship.”


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 H.E. Niall Burgess, Irish Ambassador to France; David Cass, Sia Partners; Conor O Riain, Ecocem; Minister Thomas Byrne; Áine Murray, President France Ireland Chamber of Commerce; H.E. Vincent Guérend, French Ambassador to Ireland.

Each year at the event, the location of which alternates between France and Ireland, there are three categories of award: the Best Irish Company in France, the Best French Company in Ireland and the Franco-Irish Business Newcomer of the Year Award.

As always, the standard was very high, but the judges made their decisions and awarded the accolade of the Best Irish Company in France to Ecocem, which for 20 years has pioneered the development, manufacture and supply of low carbon cement and construction. Sponsored by Sia Partners, the award was presented to Conor O’Riain, managing director of Ecocem Europe, which employs 80 people directly in Ecocem France and a further 27 in R&D based in its lab in Champlain.

Servier Ireland won the title of Best French Company in Ireland. Sponsored by BNP Paribas, the award was presented to Pascal Baraffe, general manager of Servier (Ireland) Industries, the pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, which is based in Arklow, Co Wicklow and is part of the Servier Independent Research Foundation, with its 500 staff producing 35 products for 100 countries.

Irish company Réaltra Space, which provided the HD video telemetry system on the Ariane 5 rocket for the James Webb Space Telescope launch, won the Franco-Irish Business Newcomer of the Year Award. It recently emerged as a unique Irish space electronics company which has been trusted by the prestigious French company ArianeGroup to develop and deliver a video telemetry system. Sponsored by Transdev, the award was presented to Danny Gleeson, chief commercial officer of the company.

Speaking at this year’s event, which was the largest in its history with over 300 people in attendance, Áine Murray, president of the France Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said that, year after year, it is a highlight of the Franco-Irish business calendar.

“We have seen our members impress with their increased investment in Ireland, constructing centres of innovation, research and hubs for their businesses,” she said. “And new French companies entering Ireland and benefiting from the FICC’s landing space.

It is an exciting time for French/Irish relations, with a real sense of collaboration between the two countries towards achieving things which have a positive impact on society and the environment

“Connectivity between our two nations as EU neighbours is increasing across transport, energy, pharmaceuticals, sustainability and many more sectors. We were privileged to be able to celebrate our shared values and the positive impact of our collaboration.

“It is an exciting time for French/Irish relations, with a real sense of collaboration between the two countries towards achieving things which have a positive impact on society and the environment. There are so many Irish and French companies working together on many factors and really exciting things being done through collaboration, innovation and thinking of different ways to do things: there is a real sense of teamwork. We were delighted that the event was attended by two senators — Olivier Cadic and Hélène Conway-Mouret — who came over especially for the event, while the Irish government was represented by Thomas Byrne, Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education.”

Richard Dujardin, president of NetworkIrlande, agreed, saying: “The quality and depth of the Franco-Irish business relationship has never been stronger”.

“We were delighted to celebrate our mutual engagement again this year through the Ireland France Business Awards,” he said. ”These awards not only shine a spotlight on the companies that are contributing to Franco-Irish trade but also bring out the very nature of what unites our two countries so strongly both across our economic links but also through our historic and cultural ties.”

Áine Murray, who is also the head of marketing, communications, corporate responsibility and bid support for Ireland and Northern Ireland at Veolia, believes the future is looking bright.

“It’s really exciting to see the strengthening relationship between the two countries and to be a part of it, because I think that’s what is going to be needed in the future,” she said.

“Traditionally in Ireland we have looked to the countries that speak the same language, but we have shared cultural values with France along with common regulations and frameworks for how companies and countries work — so we actually have a lot in common and I am very excited about the future, particularly with the sustainability, innovation and social inclusion focuses that are shared between both countries and the businesses within them.”

The 2024 Business Awards ceremony will take place on Friday, November 24 next year in Paris.


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