THE Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has welcomed the announcement that the northern and western region of Ireland has won the award to be one of the EU's European Entrepreneurial Region for 2018.
Speaking after the award was announced in Brussels today, Minister Ring said: "The European Entrepreneurial Region is a project that rewards EU regions which show outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policies, irrespective of their size or wealth.
“The announcement that the Northern and Western region of Ireland has won the award for 2018 is an exceptional achievement. Notwithstanding that it is a region which is geographically removed from the centre of Europe, the award demonstrates that in this modern era of global communications, geography is no barrier to entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and a "can-do" attitude.
“I congratulate David Minton, director of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, who spearheaded the successful campaign to have the region recognised for its entrepreneurial spirit. I want to acknowledge also the involvement of Local Authorities and State agencies in the region who worked together to support the bid."
The minister continued: "As a Minister from the West of Ireland, I can attest to the entrepreneurial culture which exists in the region. I have been consistently impressed with the vibrancy and creative talent in the Northern and Western part of the country.
"The region has attracted some of the biggest global names in Lifesciences and ICT services, and these are complemented by a large network of innovative and dynamic Irish-owned enterprises and start-ups.
“Winning the European Entrepreneurial Region award for 2018 will also add impetus to the work which my Department is supporting to develop the concept of an Atlantic Economic Corridor as part of the Government's Action Plan for Rural Development."