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Winners of the 2016 Ireland France Business Awards

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Left to right : S.E. Jean-Pierre THEBAULT, Ambassadeur de France, Liam WOULFE, MD Grassland Agro, Tony RICHARDSON, CEO Venn Life Sciences, Michel PIGEAT MC Ecocem France, An Taoiseach Enda KENNY TD. 

Organised by the France Ireland Chamber of Commerce (FICC) and NetworkIrlande for over 25 years, the bi-lateral trade awards recognise excellence within the Franco-Irish business community and celebrate the outstanding work that the winning companies have made within their respective sectors and to the progression of business and investment between Ireland and France.

At a ceremony at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin, the Awards were presented by an Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the winners in the presence of H.E. Geraldine Byrne Nason Ambassador of Ireland to France, H.E. Jean-Pierre Thébault Ambassador of France to Ireland, Richard Dujardin CEO of Transdev France and President of NetworkIrlande and Joanne Grant MD of JC Decaux Ireland and President of the FICC.  Some 250 representatives of Franco-Irish business attended this important event including several NetworkIrlande members such as Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Tourism Ireland, Ecocem France, Transdev, Primark France, Davy, Mason Curran Hayes, SQI et AP Partners.

The Best French Company in Ireland was presented to Grassland Agro, a company borne of a merger between the French-owned Timac Agro and the Irish-owned Grassland Fertilizers.Grassland Agro supplies specially blended commodity fertilisers and high performance products for the Animal, Soil, Fertiliser, Dairy and Hygiene sectors. The company has grown both in size and success since its inception in 2013 – it currently employs a team of 100 people in Ireland and reported a turnover of over €120m in 2015.

Venn Life Sciences, clinical trial management group, was selected as the Best Irish Company in France. Headquartered in Dublin, the organisation conducts research, drug development and clinical trial management for health, medical and academic organisations.  Venn has a team in excess of 200 employees across America and Europe and more than 50 of those are based in France.

The special award for Impact on Climate Change was awarded to ECOCEM France, part of the Irish company ECOCEM Materials LtdFounded in 2000 ECOCEM Materials produces Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag (GGBF), environmentally friendly cement used throughout Europe. ECOCEM’s GGBF product helps to lower the carbon footprint associated with concrete production and usage.

The high calibre of candidates across all three categories was recognised by a jury chaired by Gerry Halpenny, Senior Partner, LK Shields and comprised of Sinéad Lonergan (Director France, Enterprise Ireland), Sebastien Carbon (Deputy Managing Director UK & Ireland, Ubifrance), Rory McNeill (Marketing Procurement and Communications Director, CRH), Gisèle Hivert-Messeca (Directrice Ubifrance Irlande), Pierre Mongrué (Chef du Service Economique, l’Ambassade de France en Irlande), Jim Rice (Chartered Engineer & Business Consultant), Niamh Breslin (IDA Europe), and Anne Marie Ronayne, (MD Terra Connecta).

NetworkIrlande thanks all those who participated on this special occasion.  A word of appreciation for the valued support of H.E. Geraldine Byrne Nason Ambassador of Ireland and Honorary President of NetworkIrlande, Sinead Lonergan, Director of Enterprise Ireland France and her team, as well as Niamh Breslin IDA Europe, Caroline Phelan and Monica MacLaverty of Tourism Ireland. Next year the Ireland France Business Awards 2017 will be held in Paris.

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