Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange


Honorary OBE for Causeway’s Professor Martin Tangney

Leading biofuel and sustainability expert Professor Martin Tangney has been awarded an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).  The Queen makes honorary awards to non-British citizens on the advice of the UK Foreign Office.  The Edinburgh Napier University based scientist hails from County Cork in the Republic of Ireland, and he joins a select list of previous Irish recipients that includes F1’s Eddie Jordan and the Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan.

Martin in experience

Professor Tangney received his Honorary OBE for services to engineering and energy.  The award winning innovator is best known for developing a process to convert the residues of the whisky industry into an advanced sustainable biofuel called biobutanol (a direct replacement for petrol) – not only providing a sustainable disposal route for the by-products of one of the country’s largest industries, but also integrating renewable fuel production with environmental sustainability and carbon reduction.

“This is an incredible honour that came very much out of the blue and I am humbled to be in the company of some outstanding Irish people who have received an Honorary OBE” he said.  “An honour of this magnitude reflects far more than I could accomplish as an individual and I am very grateful to the many people who have guided and shaped my career, and me as a person, over the years which has resulted in this tremendous recognition.”

Prof Tangney is a key figure and prominent international speaker in the renewable energy sector and he has actively informed the policy debate around the world.  He joined Edinburgh Napier University in 2000, and in 2007 he established the UK’s first research centre dedicated to the development of sustainable biofuel.  The Biofuel Research Centre has achieved international prominence as a portal for the assimilation, integration and dissemination of knowledge and information across national and international academia, industry and Government.

Professor Tangney is a recipient of the highly esteemed Institute for Chemical Engineers International Award of “Innovator of the Year” for his work – an innovation he is a now commercialising as the Founder and President of Celtic Renewables Ltd.  The young University spinout company has achieved global recognition and in 2015 was named the “Most Innovative Biotech SME in Europe” at the parliament in Brussels.  The ground-breaking company made international headlines last year when an ordinary hire car was driven for the first time powered with the fuel Prof Tangney developed.  The new fuel could become a direct replacement for petrol or diesel, and can even be used to make jet fuel.


Professor Martin Tangney and fellow members at launch of Causeway in Dublin in 2017

Speaking on the award of the OBE, the Consul General of Ireland in Scotland, Dr Mark Hanniffy, said “I am delighted for Martin on this recognition of his work, which is richly deserved.  He is a highly regarded figure in both the academic and the business communities in Scotland, and his work exemplifies the tremendous contribution that the Irish diaspora is making here”.

Causeway, a Giant Step into Ireland

Over the last 18 months, Causeway (formerly Irish Business Network Scotland) has run many events in Scotland. It all started in Edinburgh Castle on 8th June 2016, where we announced an ambitious vision of what the organisation would deliver on behalf of Irish and Scottish business and business people.

We have certainly succeeded in creating an organisation, that has even surpassed our expectations, in terms of profile, reach, event coverage, and membership numbers.  It is now recognised by government and industry as a key cog in the wheel of commerce between both countries.


Irish Business Network Scotland event at Edinburgh Castle – – picture by Donald MacLeod – 09.06.16 – 07702 319 738 – clanmacleod@btinternet.com

Astonishingly, and whether this was good or bad timing for Causeway, two weeks after our launch in Edinburgh, Brexit was born!

The decision by the British voters to exit from the Single European Market, albeit a massive surprise to all, further emphasised the need for an informal business exchange, like Causeway, to help retain, and further drive, the strong collaboration between Ireland and Scotland – both culturally and economically.

Key to our vision for the success of Causeway, is to ensure we make as much of an impact in the island of Ireland, as we have done in Scotland.  Our aim as an organisation is to provide a robust platform for businesses in both countries to collaborate and share opportunities and knowledge.

So, it was with great anticipation that we launched Causeway into Ireland last month, alongside our close partners Scottish Government’s Innovation Hub, based in Dublin. This was an obvious joint event, with the Innovation Hub looking after the interests, and driving new business, from Scotland into the Irish economy.  With a large member base of Irish business people based in Scotland alongside our Scottish members, providing a further route into the Irish economy for Scottish business, is a key activity and a natural progression for Causeway.


Our aim is to be truly bi-directional in our focus, and with this step into Ireland, we are fulfilling our main objective as an organisation – supporting both Irish and Scottish business as they setup and thrive within either country.

Just a few weeks later, we took part in the St Andrews Day celebrations in Dublin under the Causeway banner – again, alongside the Scottish Innovation Hub, who hosted a reception for Scottish businesses at the British Embassy with Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop. This was followed by a huge celebration of everything Scottish, in the Royal Dublin Society, with 140+ mainly Scots, with a number of supporting Irish businesses.


Another positive aspect to this event, was having the opportunity to highlight the opportunities that Causeway can bring for Scots based in Ireland. A chance to collectively share experiences and business opportunities, just like the organisation has been successfully doing for Irish business based in Scotland for the last 18 months.

Our next step will be a leap up North, to focus on the Northern Irish business community early next year. With a trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Belfast taking less time (and money) than driving to Carlisle, again our shared culture and business interests will hold the same opportunity for Causeway and its members as we move into 2018.

To become a member of Causeway and to start collaborating and sharing opportunities,

please sign up here – Membership Form


Causeway was established in January 2016, as a not for profit organisation, by a group of like-minded business people from Ireland and Scotland, who believe that enhancing communication and building relationships between individuals and organisations from both countries will add significant value to their business.

Causeway has three primary objectives:

  1. To facilitate better communication, connectivity, and collaboration between the business communities of Ireland and Scotland.
  2. To provide a forum to assist entrepreneurs and companies operating or seeking to operate in Ireland or Scotland.
  3. To form a two-way platform for engagement between business and government.

Visit our soon to be relaunched website at

Press Release: Causeway launch in Ireland on 26th October 2017 at the British Embassy.

“Causeway, Ireland Scotland Business Exchange”, the new brand of The Irish Business Network Scotland, is to launch in Ireland on 26th October 2017 at the British Embassy.

Launched in Scotland in June 2016, the network supports businesses operating in Ireland and Scotland.

Such has been its success in fostering relationships and aiding business expansion, that the not-for-profit network has received financial backing from both the Irish and Scottish Governments.

With several events planned over the next six months across sectors including renewables, finance & marketing, Causeway is also planning its first event in Belfast in early 2018.


The rebrand from IBNS to Causeway will officially be unveiled at the Dublin launch next week (26th October) and Colm Moloney, Chairperson of Causeway explains the new approach:

“Causeway is essentially an exchange of ideas, connections and opportunities between Irish and Scottish businesses with ambitions to either break into or grow in either country. Causeway operates across all of Ireland and Scotland so we felt the new name better reflects the ambitions of the network.”

Causeway Logo CMYK

Speaking on behalf of the Irish Government, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney TD said: “I am pleased to support the Dublin launch of Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange on 26 October. Since its launch at Edinburgh Castle by Minister Donohoe in June 2016, this organisation has become an invaluable resource to Irish companies and business people seeking to expand their network, reputation and presence in Scotland. Under its new brand, Causeway, I am confident that the network will continue to support the development of trade and investment links between Ireland and Scotland, and to facilitate valuable collaboration and partnerships between businesses operating on both sides of the Irish Sea. I am delighted to announce that the Government is in a position to financially support the work of Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange through the Emigrant Support Programme.”

Adding his support, John Webster, Scottish Government Representative in Ireland, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to strengthening the links we have with some of our closest neighbours and biggest trading partners. Ireland is already Scotland’s 7th biggest export market and more than 100 Irish companies across 200 sites employ some 6000 people generating £2billion’ for our economy. We believe the potential exists to do much more together, and that is why we have opened a dedicated Hub in Dublin and will continue to invest in the relationship. Business networks like Causeway can play a vital role in realising that potential, by supporting companies on their export journey, providing a friendly environment to network and offering advice on the opportunities. The Scottish Government was proud to provide a small amount of funding earlier this year to help Causeway establish itself, and will continue to support its work through our Dublin Hub and in its work with companies in Scotland.”


Paul Doherty, Managing Director of Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions endorsed Causeway by saying: “GDG has seen significant growth in our Scottish business since setting up an office in Edinburgh over a year ago and Causeway has played a crucial role in our expansion. The network has been essential for promoting our brand across Scotland and continues to be a cornerstone of our business development activities as we navigate across the Irish sea”

Individual or group membership is available online at


For further press information contact Judith O’Leary at Represent on 0131 526 3190



The Irish Business Network Scotland, soon to be rebranded, organised a thought-provoking Brexit briefing with Mike Russell MSP on Wednesday morning, October 4th 2017.

Responsible for negotiating Scotland’s place in Europe, Mr Russell painted a bleak picture of the impact of Brexit, with the only light relief a quip from him about looking for an Irish Granny – indeed an Irish passport has never been more coveted.


Hosted at the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh, the audience was made up of Scottish business leaders looking for certainty … and unsurprisingly none was forthcoming.

What was not in dispute was that the impact of Brexit will be negative and significant and while all businesses will feel the pain, two sectors were singled out as being particularly vulnerable – agriculture and tourism.

Delegates attending this morning including representatives from Forth Ports and KAL who shared their concerns around the impact of Brexit over a welcome coffee.

Forth Ports is concentrating on future proofing their business by identifying potential scenarios and preparing solutions.  A lot of work and energy is being directed to ensure logistic challenges are being planned for as any delays to transporting goods will impact their customers and therefore their business.

For KAL, a global software business, the concern was centred around retaining highly skilled non-UK national staff.  Recruited from Scottish Universities, the company has spent time and money training young graduates and putting them on a rewarding career path only to be faced with their potential expulsion from the UK. This is causing significant uncertainty both for the young people and the organisation.

Disruption and uncertainly continues to dominate, but what wasn’t discussed this morning was the opportunities.

Some companies have firmly grasped the nettle and are engaging with their customers and stakeholders in a proactive way to understand what Brexit means for them.

For Represent (PR corporate member of the IBNS), we too have embraced the challenge and are working with clients on how best to provide clarity on purpose and messaging.  Understanding the impact of communication has never been more important in these uncertain times.

Mike Russell’s final call was to communicate – communicate with Government on what businesses need to survive the impact of Brexit because only with this knowledge can we, collectively, shape the future.

As communications consultants, we are advising clients not to hide from the inevitable but to work through it, seeking opportunities, making connections and being part of the debate: The IBNS is providing that vital link between Scotland and Irish businesses.

Amended from original blogpost by Judith O’Leary, Managing Director, Represent

Quartet of Events – Autumn Kicks off in Style!

The IBNS enters its second year, following a fantastic celebration of year one at our Awards Dinner in the Summer at the City Chambers in Edinburgh.

To continue the second half of our programme through to the end of year, we have secured a number of high recommended events, with four crammed into the first half of October alone!


Here’s a taste of what’s coming up next month…..

Wednesday 4th October – Edinburgh

Brexit – the Scottish Perspective

Mike Russell, MSP Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, will provide an insight into the negotiations on Brexit.

There will be an opportunity for questions, discussions and networking, for what will be a thought provoking breakfast seminar.




Thursday 5th October – Edinburgh

Where do you think you are tax resident? Does it matter?

This important topic will consider:

  • What are the changes to UK taxation in recent years and following the general election?
  • How does that fit in with the Global attack on tax avoidance?
  • Where are you resident and why?
  • What does being a Scottish taxpayer mean and who is liable?
  • Where are internationally mobile employees taxed and why?
  • What changes have happened to the UK, NI and ROI personal tax scene?

A light breakfast will be provided along with time for networking.





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Tuesday 10th October – Glasgow

Building the British Irish Business Relationship

H.E. Adrian O’Neill has recently been appointed as Ambassador of Ireland to the UK and would be delighted to meet members of the IBNS

20-minute presentation followed by Q&A



Thursday 12th October – Dublin

Scottish and Irish Financial Synergies

The Irish Business Network Scotland, PwC, and the Scottish Irish Finance Initiative invite you to join leaders of the finance industry as we discuss the benefits and opportunities of a common focus between Scottish and Irish financial services industries.

Change creates opportunities – while last year’s vote in the UK to leave the European Union has led to significant challenges for banks, insurers and the fund industry, Ireland, and Scotland have the skills, synergies, expertise and experience that together can offer solutions to companies caught up in the uncertainty.

Topics & speakers include:
Andy O’Callaghan, PwC European Asset and Wealth Management Leader

Dr. Frances Ruane, Chairman of the SIFI Advisory Board, member of the Council of Economic Advisors to the Scottish Government and the First Minister’s Standing Council on Europe.

David Clarke CFA, Policy Director & Dr. Daniel Broby, ‎Academic Director, Scottish Irish Finance Initiative, and Director, Centre for Financial Regulation and Innovation. Strathclyde Business School will deliver a policy paper on a shared offering for the asset management industry.

The event will close with 2 panel discussions covering the areas of asset management and Fintech.

















To reserve your space on any of these events

click here


We look forward to welcoming our existing members, as well as potential new members on these dates.

Look out for what’s happening with the IBNS in late October, as we spread our wings!



Awards night showcases the strength of Irish & Scottish business links


A host of organisations from Ireland and Scotland joined together on the night of the General Election (Thursday, 8 June 2017) to showcase the strength of the business ties between the two countries.

Hosted by the not-for-profit Irish Business Network Scotland (IBNS), the sell-out awards ceremony attracted representatives from the construction, renewables, creative, professional services and the food & drink sectors as well as attendance from Government organisations from both sides of the Irish Sea.

The event, held at the Edinburgh City Chambers, marks the first anniversary of IBNS, which was launched at Edinburgh Castle in June 2016; its aim is to connect business people of all levels from Ireland and Scotland to explore commercial opportunities.

12 months on, IBNS is celebrating its success with both The Scottish Government and Enterprise Ireland reporting strong export figures.

The night was organised to recognise companies and individuals who have embraced business opportunities. Compared by broadcaster John Morrison, the winners were:

– Innovative Start-Up Award – Urban Tide
– Inspirational Business Leader Award – Georgian Antiques
– Social Impact Award – Green Tourism
– Ireland Scotland Relations Award – Roadbridge

Commenting on the night, IBNS Chairman Colm Moloney said: “The Irish Business Network Scotland now represents an established and effective group of business leaders from Ireland based in Scotland, making IBNS the first stop for any Irish or Scottish business looking at export opportunities in both markets.


The Network represents a group of key decision makers that facilitates an easy and accessible route to market – it is essentially a business development network that is highly effective.

With Brexit on the horizon, we must work harder than ever to keep the collaboration and business links between our two countries alive. There has never been a better time to join IBNS, and the 1000 or so people who have attended our 13 events pay testament to this.

Our winners:

Innovative Start-Up Award – Urban Tide

UrbanTide’s aim is to make cities smart by focusing on the integration of people, data and technology to create smarter, more liveable cities for everyone. UrbanTide delivered Innovate UK’s £24m future cities demonstrator for Glasgow, the key focus of which was the £7.2m OPEN Glasgow programme that explored the value in new digital technologies, opened up city data and created engaging solutions for a range of urban challenges.
Since then, UrbanTide have grown from strength to strength, working with a wide variety of clients and partners to develop smart cities and data standards that are used across the world. The result has been a stimulus to innovation, improvement to service delivery and general economic growth. UrbanTide has recently launched its data-sharing platform, USMART to the open data market.

Inspirational Business Leader John Dixon Owner, Georgian Antiques

John is the founder and owner of Edinburgh-based Georgian Antiques, which celebrates 40 years of business in 2018. Georgian Antiques specialises in providing quality British furniture from the 1680s – 1930s, and stocks the largest range of antiques in Scotland across its two warehouses, covering a total of 78,000 feet. Under John’s excellent and hands-on leadership, Georgian Antiques has become one of the most prominent antique sellers in the UK, receiving the Homes and Antiques Award for UK Antiques Shop of the Year in 2013.
In addition to leading the development of Georgian Antiques, John is also a leader within the Irish-Scottish business community in Edinburgh, organising an annual St. Patrick’s Day Business Breakfast, which brings together representatives of a wide range of industry sectors.

Social Impact Award – Green Tourism

Green Tourism is a sustainable accreditation programme, the world’s largest of its kind, that assists tourism and hospitality businesses to create a framework for improving sustainability within individual organisations and the tourism sector as a whole.

Attracting more than 2,000 members across the UK, Ireland, Italy, Canada and Zimbabwe, Green Tourism’s mission is to encourage and enable people to make sustainable choices that reduce their impact on the planet. They offer guidance that covers all aspects of sustainability, from energy and water efficiency, waste management and biodiversity to social and ethical choices. Operating a three-level award programme, Green Tourism offers either Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditation awards, depending on the sustainability actions taken by the business.

Ireland Scotland Relations Award – Roadbridge

Founded in 1967, and operating in Ireland, United Kingdom, Poland, South Pacific and the Middle East, Roadbridge is a leader in Civil Engineering and has completed major projects for clients in the transport, renewables and energy, utilities, commercial, industrial, waste management and leisure sectors. Operating in Scotland since 2010, the company has completed major civil engineering works in oil and gas as well as renewable energy and transport infrastructure.

Roadbridge has increased its Scotland turnover from £5m in 2015, £30m in 2016 on to a projected £80m in 2017. The company has also increased its workforce in Scotland from 50 in 2015 to over 250 in 2017 with the proportion of Irish based personnel dropping from 80% to 30% over the same period. Roadbridge is currently expanding into public works contracts across Scotland having worked exclusively for private clients over that past 5 years.

Images from the night can be viewed here – IBNS Awards Dinner 2017

The Board and Committee of IBNS would like to thank Malone’s on the Mall & Festival Village for their sponsorship and support of the 2017 Awards Dinner.



Consulate event explores Irish Scottish financial sector links

The Irish Business Network Scotland, in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Scottish Irish Finance Initiative hosted an event at the Consulate of Ireland in Edinburgh to explore and develop links between the Irish and Scottish financial industries on 27 April.

The event brought together members of the Irish Business Network Scotland with some 40 representatives of the Scotland’s financial sector and Irish financial services companies.

FS Crowd

Opening the event, Consul General of Ireland Mark Hanniffy welcomed guests and explained that Ireland is a globally recognized centre for specialist International Financial Services.

Ireland is home to more than 400 companies active in this area, including some of the world’s largest International Financial Services companies in sub-sectors such as banking, funds, asset management and investment, insurance and reinsurance, fintech and aircraft leasing.

Over 200 Irish-owned companies are at the leading edge of international finance services in a range of sectors including payments, fintech and fund services, and the Consul General welcomed representatives of a number of those companies wCG welcomeho travelled from Ireland to attend the event.

Consul General Hanniffy also noted that Scotland is a world leader in asset management, insurance and banking, with upwards of $1 tn of assets under management.

David Clarke and Colin Imrie of the Scottish Irish Finance Initiative then made the case for increased collaboration between the Irish and Scottish financial sectors in the years ahead, while Dr. Devraj Basu of the University of Strathclyde Business School outlined the particular benefits of partnership in the area of fintech.

In his remarks, Chairperson of the Irish Business Network Scotland Colm Moloney noted that the event was an excellent opportunity to strengthen links between the Scottish and Irish financial sectors, and emphasised the important role of the Irish Business Network Scotland in facilitating increased collaboration between financial services companies on both sides of the Irish Sea.


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