Meet the Judges

Eoin O’Driscoll

Eoin O’Driscoll is Chairman of the Tyndall National Institute. After more than 25 years working in the ICT Industry where he held senior positions at Nortel, Wang Laboratories, Stratus and Lucent Technologies, Eoin’s focus over the past decade has
been on Irish firms, enterprise and science policy.

He has served on a number of national bodies including Forfas, Ireland’s national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation; a board member of Science Foundation Ireland; president of the American Chamber
of Commerce in Ireland; board member of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience;  and chairman of the Governance Committee of Lero, the Irish software research centre.

In addition to being on the board of a number of early stage startups, Eoin has served as chairman of the SWS Group, Enet and Shenick Network Systems.

Eoin is currently a governor of the Irish Times Trust, a director of the Irish Times Ltd, a director of Barclay’s Bank Ireland and chairman of the Investment Committee of Development Capital.

He is a graduate of UCC and holds bachelors and masters degrees in engineering. He is a fellow of Engineers Ireland and  of the Irish Academy of Engineers.

Louise Nicholls

Louise Nicholls is the IT and Security Director for Boku Inc, she holds a B.Sc. in Information Systems from Trinity College Dublin and a variety of industry certifications.

Louise was awarded a fellowship from Irish Computer Society and is currently working towards a CISSP certification. She is also a guest lecturer in Dublin City University.

Nicholls has a passion for technology and has worked as a systems engineer for many years, inventing new ways to do things and crawling around server rooms at 4am.

Her real passion is for new technologies and how they impact on organisations and the world we live in.

Dr Seán Baker

Dr Seán Baker is an entrepreneur based in Dublin. A co-founder of Iona Technologies, he has held many executive positions in the company including CTO, chief scientist and VP of applied research. He is a regular speaker on middleware and related business

He is the executive chairman of 3Strata Technologies, a member of the boards of National Digital Research Centre, Gridstore, Calom Technologies and Delta Index, and a member of the Advisory Science Council, CIO Ireland, ICHEC Advisory Board, Lero
Governance Committee and the Irish Software Association executive.

He was a member of the board of Havok and the Object Management Group, and was chair of ISA from 2009 to 2011.

Sean is an Adjunct Professor at the UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics. He holds a PhD. in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin, where he held a tenured post in the Dept of Computer Science.

Peter McManamon

A Business Studies Graduate from TCD, Peter McManamon is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

After a career with KPMG, he founded Parthus Technologies which floated on NASDAQ and London in 2000.

To date he has services as a board member at the National Development Finance Agency and the Audit Committee at the National Treasury Management Agency.

He is also a member of the Institute of Directors and of the Executive Committee of the Irish Software Association.

In 2008 he was named Irish Software Association’s Technology Person of the Year. He is currently a partner at Atlantic Bridge Ventures.

Dr Jim Mountjoy

Dr Jim Mountjoy brings more than 30 years of business and commercial experience in the Telecom software industry. In 1990, he co-founded Euristix, a software development company which specialised in telecommunications software solutions.

Euristix was sold to Fore Systems for $80 million in February 1999, a value that increased to $175 million in two months when Fore Systems was acquired by Marconi.

Dr Mountjoy currently acts as non-executive director in a number of companies in the technology sector; he is a director of Science Foundation of Ireland and an advisory board member of a number of Irish-based Venture Capital companies.

Ashling Cunningham

Ashling Cunningham is is currently a Chief Information Officer at Irish Life, bringing experience from previous roles at Road Safety Authority, Irish Water, Ervia and Independent Consultant. Ashling Cunningham holds a 2016 – 2017 Chartered Director @ Irish Management Institute. With a robust skill set that includes Business Analysis, Business Process Improvement, Program Management, Thought Leadership, Business Process and more, Ashling Cunningham contributes valuable insights to the industry.

Bernie Cullinan

Bernie has held positions in a leadership capacity in a number of organisations including the Virgin Group, Novum, Performix, SteelTrace and Clarigen. She has over 25 years’ experience at a senior level in business, both in Ireland and internationally, in senior executive and consulting capacities.

In her role as CEO of Pragma, Bernie works with range of organisations, including media, manufacturing, food processing, services, technology, Government, the not-for-profit sector and sport dealing with the complex challenges that can be encountered in difficult economic times or when new market opportunities are being developed.

Mary Cleary

Formerly ICS Secretary General, Mary is a director of CEPIS and chair of the CEN standardisation committee for digital competences and IT professionalism, and is chair of the Irish National Coalition of the European Commission’s Digital Skills & Jobs Coalition. She also advises on European skills policy, and has worked with the European Digital SME Alliance on strategy, contributing to the Commission’s Skills for SMEs report (2019) and the Skills for Industry 2030 report (2019).

In addition to championing the voice of the IT profession in public policy debate with government and European institutions, Cleary has a particular interest in attracting young people, and especially girls, to the IT profession; in supporting the development of young IT professionals; and in building vibrant identities and networks for each specialism in IT which will foster greater appreciation and effective collaboration across IT functions and between IT and business.

Peter Davitt

Peter is the CEO of FIT, a major industry-led initiative, involving leading tech companies. (indigenous and multi-nationals) Supported by Solas, FIT a not for profit organisation, is committed to achieving an inclusive Smart Economy by creating a fast track to marketable technical skills for learners and job seekers.  Over the years he has worked with industry leaders in Ireland and internationally and with Government to establish a new portfolio of vocational training opportunities which resulted in the introduction of over 50 in-demand technology programmes, most recently in, Cybersecurity, Advanced Manufacturing skills and Circular Economy. Since its inception in 1999, over 88,000 job seekers have completed FIT skills development programmes of which more than 66,000 have progressed into employment.

Having extensive experience in the field of digital technologies and of working in multi-national partnerships, Peter led the development and introduction by FIT of a new national Tech Apprenticeship programme which is widening access and achieving diversity while creating a new talent pipeline for Irelands thriving tech sector. This two-year programme combines college-based learning with work-based training. Widely endorsed by industry, the Tech Apprenticeship programme is gaining rapid traction amongst leading employers in the public and private sector and is well on the way to fundamentally changing the tech skills landscape in Ireland, with a goal of scaling to an intake of 5,000 Tech Apprentices by 2030.

Having over 35 years’ experience in the development of training and labour market programmes that promote diversity and inclusion he is a leading advocate of vocational education training (VET) as an effective vehicle for developing tech talent.

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