The inaugural Mayo Ideas Week has been judged an outstanding success and shows what can be achieved when enterprise agencies combine their efforts. Up to 450 people attended 10 events over five days in venues throughout the entire county.
“Part of the success of Mayo Ideas Week was the spread of events all around the county,” said Seamus McCormack, area manager for WESTBIC, the project managers. “Using this year as a template, Mayo Ideas Lab plans to expand the scope of Mayo Ideas Week in 2011.”
Mayo Ideas Lab (Nuálann Mhaigheo ) is a pilot project exploring new ways to support innovation and idea generation in Co Mayo. It was established by the economic working group of Mayo County Development Board and is managed by WESTBIC (Business & Innovation Centre for the BMW Region ). The project is overseen by a management committee made up of representatives from Mayo County Council, Mayo County Development Board, Údarás na Gaeltachta, FÁS, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Innovation in Business Centre at GMIT, Mayo VEC, Mayo Education Centre, South West Mayo Development Company Ltd, Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Company Ltd, and WESTBIC.
Mayo Ideas Lab has been involved in a number of other activities such as the promotion of science and engineering to the education sector, and the establishment of an entrepreneurship in education project to support school-age children to develop entrepreneurial behaviours such as creativity, resilience, relationship building, etc. More recently Mayo Ideas Lab set up an online early stage business idea evaluation service for County Mayo (www.mayoideaslab.ie ). Mayo Ideas Lab aims to stimulate innovation at many levels, and to establish Mayo as a centre of excellence for a different development model embracing innovation in all its forms, and creativity in all its aspects. The key to recovery in a recession is innovation, and Mayo Ideas Lab recognises that in order to stimulate growth enterprising individuals need to be supported as they strive to exploit hidden opportunities and kick-start economic development. Mayo Ideas Week was a significant step toward this.