North West City Region takes the spotlight in Dublin

first_imgCivic leaders from Donegal, Derry and Strabane met with senior government officials in Dublin yesterday to highlight the substantial progress being made in the North West City Region.Representatives of Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council attended the meeting at Dublin Castle, which was focused on the achievements in the region’s priorities for growth.The meeting of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership which is made up of senior officials from Government Departments in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with a special focus on the Letterkenny, Derry, Strabane City region heard first-hand how the strong collaborative regional approach is driving forward growth and development in this cross-border region. Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan believes that this cross-border regional approach is reaping dividends for the North West City Region saying “the support for the ambitions of the North West City Region is clearly evident among those attending this meeting of the Strategic Growth Partnership.  Having this focus on the North West City Region in Dublin and having senior government officials working in a co-ordinated and concerted way on the region’s priorities is to be welcomed by everyone concerned.  We are only at the beginning of our journey, but already we can see progress being made.”John Kelpie, Chief Executive, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Joe McHugh TD, Minister for Education and Skills, Cllr. Michaela Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council and Seamus Neely, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council.Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr. Michaela Boyle acknowledged the support of central governments in both parts of the island for the North West Strategic Growth Partnership saying “we have a long history of cross-border connections in the North West region and to see this approach being formalised and supported by central government is a massive step forward for us in realising our untapped potential as a region.  Aligning our regional strategic priorities with those of central government allows for more targeted economic growth and investment contributing in a positive and meaningful way to social and community cohesion and wellbeing.”Representatives from the Irish Business Employers Confederation, the Confederation of British Industry NI and IBEC/CBI Joint Council presented on how working with business and industry is delivering opportunities for growth in the North West City Region.They spoke about the importance of utilising the opportunities available to strengthen existing partnerships that will allow the Donegal, Derry and Strabane areas to build on their strategic strengths. Members of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership which is made up of senior Government officials from Departments in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland meeting in Dublin Castle on Wednesday. Picture includes Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Nicholas Crossan, Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr. Michaela Boyle and Chief Executives of Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council Seamus Neely and John Kelpie.It was suggested the region extend the City Region scope to connect with other hubs such as Galway and Limerick, while ensuring there is a robust and co-ordinated framework that can underpin cross-border public and private investment.The Regional Innovation Partners which include Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Donegal ETB, Ulster University and the North West Regional College working with both Councils outlined details on emerging opportunities to deliver economic growth through regional innovation pathways.Among the ambitious plans are the expansion of the Ulster University Magee Campus, the creation of a UniverCity, and the advancement of key City Deal projects that includes the Medical Entry School and projects relating to personalised medicine, data analytics and advanced robotics to be underpinned by state-of-the-art digital infrastructure.Discussions also took place in relation to the emerging Climate Action and Adaptation policies and how the North West City Region can deliver on national priorities in these emerging areas.Seamus Neely, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council said “we are steadfast in our approach to developing a City region that is thriving, sustainable and prosperous and while challenges remain substantial progress has been made with a number of key strategic infrastructural and regeneration projects underway.” John Kelpie Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council explained that the North West Region of the Island of Ireland is the fourth largest urban agglomeration on the island and said “the North West Strategic Growth Partnership is proving to be a vital mechanism in enabling the alignment of strategic policy and resource allocation in such a way that allows the region to realise it’s full and considerable potential as a net contributor to the economy North and South and in an East – West context.”North West City Region takes the spotlight in Dublin was last modified: June 20th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal County Councilnorth west city regionlast_img read more

Social media growing strong in SA

first_imgSouth African individuals and businessesare embracing the use of social media, with locally developbed MXit garnering the lion’sshare of the market.(Image: Memeburn) MEDIA CONTACTS • Michal Wronski   MD, Fuseware  +27 21 930 9171 or +27 74 104 1969 • Arthur Goldstuck  World Wide Worx  +27 11 782 7003 or +27 83 326 4345   RELATED ARTICLES • Innovator up for social media award• Safe social portal for scholars• Social media to help Nigerian poll • JamiiX: from the Cape Flats to the world• Vaal Dam becomes social networking hitEmily van RijswijckSocial media has gone mainstream in South Africa, with both individuals and businesses embracing the available platforms and the average age of users steadily increasing as more people become connected and networks mature.These and other findings were released in a study by Fuseware and World Wide Worx, titled South African Social Media Landscape 2011. The publication throws some interesting and welcome light on social media usage in the country.  Homegrown messaging application MXit and Facebook are the most popular choices of individual internet activity, while Twitter has seen the most growth in the past year and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is the fastest growing network in the second half of 2011.“South Africans and business have flocked to social media in 2011 – a tipping point has been reached,” said Michal Wronski, MD of Fuseware and co-author of the report.It is the first time that research delved into the use of social platforms by both South African consumers and businesses.Fuseware is a social media monitoring platform which helps companies to make sense of the conversations taking place on the internet in real time.With World Wide Worx, a leading market research company focusing on trends in information technology and telecommunications, Fuseware aimed its study at getting a better understanding of how individuals and businesses are using social media, and to establish key demographics of the major social networks.  Data from Facebook, Twitter, MXit, LinkedIn, South African blogs and YouTube was collected through a combination of Fuseware’s analysis of social network databases, information provided directly by social networks, and World Wide Worx’s consumer market research.The success of prominent South African social media campaigns was also analysed.  “Businesses that want an in-depth understanding of social media and how it is being used in the South African context can use the 95-page report to better evaluate their own social media strategies,” said Wronski.Some numbersOverall, MXit remains the most popular application with about 10-million users, while Twitter notched up an impressive 1.1-million users by mid-2011, a trend in part attributed to the media’s obsession with the network.Co-author of the report and World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck said this is because most radio and television personalities with large audiences are engaged in intensive campaigns to drive their listeners and viewers to both Twitter and Facebook.Surprisingly, of the approximately 4.2-million Facebook users in South Africa by August 2011, only 3.2-million had visited the site in the year to date, showing that many user move on once the novelty wears off. However, these 3.2-million South Africans spend on average up to 20 minutes per day browsing Facebook.Wronski also attributed the drop in Facebook user numbers to the fickle nature of the youth market.“Once BBM picked up significant traction in private schools, for example, many teenagers who had previously flocked to Facebook, opted for BBM’s greater immediacy.”As for businesses, almost every large consumer-orientated company in the country has started using social media to some extent, whether by way of a Facebook page, Twitter account, a LinkedIn presence or a corporate blog. LinkedIn, aimed at professional users, also reached the 1.1-million user mark, of which 10% are business owners.And although there are over 600 000 active blogs in South Africa, the majority of traffic is concentrated on a small pool of extremely popular blogs.Finally, contrary to popular belief, MXit is not a youth-only social network, with the study showing that 70 % of users were in fact over the age of 18 years.Mobile penetrationSocial media is also driving the growth in mobile phones in South Africa, with the mobile penetration rate standing at 80%, up from 50% last year, and expected to reach 90% by the end of 2011.  What is clear from the study is that social media is here to stay and while younger users are more inclined to use these networks, as social networks become more mainstream, their penetration within all age groups deepens.However, although South Africans are very media- and mobile-savvy consumers they appear to be more aware of privacy issues than their American counterparts.  “Location-based social networking services such as Foursquare, where users check in and share where they are, have not taken off on any significant level here,” said Wronski.“And South Africans are still fairly timid when it comes to shopping for goods online. This means that social commerce, such as Facebook credits, are a little slow to take off locally, but in time it will definitely bring in a new wave of innovation.”Wronski predicted that with increasing mobile accessibility, niche social networks aimed at the local market may well spring up.“There will be a heavy mobile focus with social networking, and creating and sharing content from your phone will become incredibly simple and real-time.”He concluded that social media holds much value, especially for businesses that understand how to use it.The full report is available for purchase from World Wide Worx.last_img read more

Challenger 1000 Series debut at Farm Progress Show

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Challenger, a global brand of AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), introduced an entirely new category of tractors to North American agribusiness operations during the 2016 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. The Challenger 1000 Series tractors, the largest fixed-frame tractors in the world, are the agricultural industry’s next ‘must-see’ innovation. Designed to deliver lower cost of ownership and improved productivity per acre, the Challenger 1000 Series tractors can be the single solution for both heavy draft and row crop work.The Challenger 1000 Series tractors combine the power of a small-frame, articulated 4-wheel drive with the flexibility and speed of a lighter-weight, fixed-frame row crop machine. They are offered in four models ranging from 396 to 517 engine horsepower with a weight range of 31,204 lbs. (14,153 kg) to 50,706 lbs. (23,000 kg).“Agriculture in North America is undergoing yet another evolution as operations become even larger and require more efficiency and productivity from their overhead investments,” says Josh Keeney, tactical marketing manager at AGCO. “The Challenger 1000 Series tractors are a solution to this challenge, allowing producers to invest in a machine that can serve multiple needs in their operation, helping them be more profitable. We believe this approach just makes sense – we call it intelligent farming.”AccuEngineering™ delivers intelligent farming  The Challenger 1000 Series tractors are built upon the new AccuEngineering platform. This is Challenger’s approach to developing smarter, more intuitive products that increase a farm’s productivity and reduce input costs.“For years, Challenger tractors have been known for their toughness and durability. But as agriculture changes, so do the needs of our customers,” Keeney explains. “From the controls in the cab, to the new AccuDrive powertrain, to the AccuTerminal, AccuEngineering maintains Challenger’s trademark toughness while bringing a new standard of performance and productivity to agriculture.”Innovative AccuDrive™ powertrain expands modern farming possibilities In the quest to provide a single solution for different applications on the farm, AGCO engineers combined a number of innovations. They began by powering the tractors with high-capacity six-cylinder, 12.4-liter, MAN engines with VTG turbochargers which adjust to optimize airflow for optimum power boost over a wider rpm range. The result delivers an impressive 1,770 ft. lbs. of torque at a lower engine speed of 1,100 rpm. This ‘high torque, low speed’ approach allows the Challenger 1000 Series tractors to run in the maximum torque range while delivering low fuel consumption, making them ideal for heavy draft work and ensuring maximum performance, 365 days a year.To give the tractors their nimble flexibility, engineers created the AccuDrive powertrain which combines the Challenger Accu-VT continuously variable transmission with variable four-wheel drive.“The key to this solution is a drivetrain that drives both axles independently. Unlike today’s conventional four-wheel drive tractors that use a fixed torque ratio between the front and rear axle, AccuDrive employs variable four-wheel drive that distributes the torque independently over two transmission outputs on each axle. An intelligently controlled, four-wheel clutch manages the torque, so it can be shifted between the axles according to need.“We call it Challenger Torque Vectoring,” explains Keeney, “and this is how we get the power and traction of an articulated tractor into a fixed-frame platform.”In addition, the tractors were created with a light base weight and convenient ballasting system to make them easy to adapt and ideal for row crop and road work. Maximum road speed of 31 mph is reached at a fuel-saving 1,200 rpm.Flexible, convenient front ballasting system adds to versatility Flexible and convenient front ballasting options ensure the tractors are versatile enough for use from the beginning to the end of each crop year. The simple front ballasting system has five interchangeable weight options ranging from 1,978 lbs. to 7,275 lbs. Easy ballast pickup and self-leveling front axle suspension allow the weights to be changed in minutes.Intuitive tractor management for ease of operation Engineered for productivity, the Tractor Management Center (TMC) of the Challenger 1000 Series puts all tasks and functions within easy reach, reducing time, distraction and fatigue. Access to the Advantage armrest, the 10.4-in. AccuTerminal, Advantage joystick, PTO controls, crossgate (lever optional) and keypad are within easy reach of the operator’s fingertips. The ergonomic design and functionality give the operator complete control and reduces excessive body movements so the operator can focus on implement performance. Each tractor function is color-coordinated with the control that operates it, making operation simple to learn in minutes.Operation of the 10.4-in. touch-screen terminal is intuitive, with a smartphone feel, allowing the operator to manage all tractor settings and adjustments while monitoring and controlling ISOBUS 11783-compatible implements, camera functions, field documentation, variable rate applications, guidance, wireless data transfer, AccuField Command headland management system, automated hitch functions, differential lock and front suspension. Operators also may navigate through the menu and data using the keys and rotary control.Latest guidance innovations available Operators can drive reliably and accurately in the toughest of visual conditions with AGCO’s next generation of Auto-Guide automated steering system. Customers may choose the accuracy level and signal source to meet their specific needs, now choosing from two additional navigation providers: NovAtel and Trimble. A number of correction signals are supported, depending on the receiver, for example, EGNOS/WAAS or also RangePointRTX, CenterPoint RTX, NTRIP. Existing Trimble RTK infrastructures, such as NTRIP can continue to be used. Even without a correction signal, Auto-Guide works reliably for up to 20 minutes with RTK accuracy via Trimble xFill technology. All are enabled by AGCO’s FuseTechnologies.A comfortable step up Owners and operators will appreciate the new fit and finish of the spacious, comfortable cabs on the Challenger 1000 Series tractors. The cabs offer a variety of amenities from air-ride suspension to the dual-motion leather seat.Implement performance on demand  The Challenger 1000 Series tractors’ “do it all” design would not be complete without hydraulic system capabilities to match. With up to six double-acting valves at the rear, the 1000 Series offers 58 gpm and 113.5 gpm hydraulic systems to meet the demands of most any job. The unique 113.5 gpm hydraulic system is a two-pump, load-sensing system that has two independent circuits: one pump delivers 55.5 gal and a second pump 58 gal. Each pump will deliver only the oil that’s needed, without reducing engine speed, to maintain overall productivity and efficiency.“Basically, you can turn into the headland and raise an air seeder without losing pressure to the blower or having to increase engine speed,” Keeney explains.Equipped with the right MICHELIN tires for the job  The Challenger 1000 Series is exclusively equipped with two types of tires from Michelin, both offering excellent traction, pulling power and durability, to support different tractor applications. The MICHELIN® Agribib® 480/95R50 rear duals offer an industry-leading row crop solution, with a diameter of 85.6 inches and rolling circumference of 255.3 inches to transfer maximum power and torque to the ground.For heavy draft work, the MICHELIN Axiobib® 750/75R46 IF (Increased Flexion) rear duals provide a higher power option. This model is the tallest agricultural tire in the world and the first dual RCI 50 tire in North America fitted on a serial production tractor. It features a 90-inch diameter, top speed of 40 mph, load capacity of 18,430 lbs. with lower operating pressure to minimize soil compaction, and unique bead design that avoids slippage on the rim, even in high-torque applications.Optimized uptime with seamless connectivity Fuse Connected Services brings a new level of optimization to professional farming operations through a combination of precision technology products and dealer services including off-season inspections, preventative maintenance, condition monitoring, training and year-round operation support. Enabled by AgCommand®, AGCO’s pioneering telemetry tool with real-time alerts, Fuse Connected Services helps minimize downtime so operations run more efficiently. The Challenger 1000 Series’ AccuTerminal fully integrates with AGCO’s entire suite of Fuse Technologies and Fuse Connected Services.last_img read more