Belfast Met has awarded honorary fellowships to Novosco's Managing Director and the CEO of Belfast City Council.
The college honoured Novosco founder and MD Patrick McAliskey, and Suzanne Wylie, the first female CEO of Belfast City Council, at its Higher Education Graduation, held in Titanic Belfast on November 15.
In ceremony one, students from the school of Creative and Digital industries graduated and enjoyed a speech from Mr McAliskey – a fitting honorary fellow for the college which has just been named the Northern Ireland sector lead for the curriculum area of IT.
In ceremony two which included graduates from the college’s Belfast Business School, Suzanne Wylie spoke about her journey to becoming the first female CEO of Belfast City council. Belfast Met’s Principal and CEO, Marie-Thérèse McGivern, said: “We are thrilled with our choice of honorary fellows this year. Our theme for this year’s celebration is ‘inspiration and transformation’ and we have filled this brief with Mr McAliskey and Mrs Wylie. Patrick is at the top of his field and I know our staff and students were delighted to hear about how he founded Novosco and led it to become one of the leading managed cloud providers – a true local success story. Suzanne is a prime example of a female trailblazer – the first woman to take up the post of CEO of Belfast City Council.The council is a strong ally of the college and the Belfast Agenda 2035 plan – which is focused on growing the economy, attracting people to the city, City Centre Development, connecting our neighbourhoods to our city plus working & learning - is so closely aligned with Belfast Met’s core aim of making skills and education relevant while leading the city to work.”
Mr McAliskey said: “Relationships between IT companies and the education sector are extremely important to the future of the economy, and I am delighted to accept this Fellowship to support that agenda. Belfast Met plays a crucial role in developing the talent pool that we at Novosco and the IT industry as a whole needs to continue to grow.”
Mrs Wylie said: “I am extremely honoured to have received this award and as someone who has worked in the public sector all of my career, I am accepting it on behalf of Belfast City Council for the opportunities it has afforded me. Our schools, colleges and universities rival the best in the world, providing a strong talent pool for industry and investors across a wide range of sectors, and the Council has a growing influence in progressing the city and its economy through physical development, attracting investment and supporting the creation of job opportunities. Winning such a prestigious award inspires me to ensure that Belfast continues its renaissance and re-establishes itself as one of the world’s great cities”.
Managed cloud provider Novosco has reported a 12 percent increase in revenues to £23.3million.
The fast-growing business, which continues to recruit for a range of roles at its Belfast-headquarters, saw an increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) of 16% to £2.8m.
The company, which has offices in Manchester, Dublin and Cork, in addition to its Belfast headquarters, counts some of the UK’s largest NHS trusts amongst its client-base, as well as several of London’s largest housing associations.
Its customer-base also includes Premier League football clubs, major police forces, and many of the island of Ireland’s leading businesses.
Last year the company invested around £1million to create world-class offices in Belfast including a staff gym, library, coffee dock and virtual reality room. It also acquired leading English IT security specialist NetDef in a seven-figure deal.
Founder and managing director Patrick McAliskey said that NetDef was now fully integrated into Novosco providing major opportunities for further growth.
"NetDef specialises in cyber security and includes police forces and global hedge funds, as well as Premier League football clubs, among its clients - that gives us greater capability and a greater reach of geographical areas," he said.
“This will significantly benefit our clients, including NHS trusts and our corporate clients,” he continued.
In terms of outlook, Novosco expects revenues in 2017 to rise at least a further 14 percent to around £27m.
Earlier this year, Novosco announced significant new contracts with UK-hotel group Village Hotels, which has 28 hotels and over 4,000 employees. It also recently announced a £10m contract with Notting Hill Housing.
Founded by entrepreneurs Patrick McAliskey and John Lennon, Novosco now employs over 160 people. It is multi-award-winning and managing director Patrick McAliskey is one of the nominees for this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
All newborn babies delivered at Liverpool Women’s Hospital are offered newborn screening in line with national guidance. If babies have specific conditions that require specialist genetic investigations Liverpool Women’s Hospital can offer, after full discussion with parents and with parental consent, a wide range of genetic testing to help with diagnosis. In certain circumstances this may be as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project.
Liverpool Women’s Hospital has recently signed a new contract with IT partner, Novosco, as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project.
The 100,000 Genomes project aims to sequence genomes from approximately 70,000 people, with certain types of cancer and rare diseases. The North West Coast Genomic Medical Centre (NWC GMC) is based at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and covers Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and South Cumbria.
With patients consent genomes are sequenced and linked to details about an individual’s medical condition. By adding key information from medical records and putting all the data in one highly secure place, scientists can compare data from tens, thousands, or even hundreds of people with the same condition. Allowing approved scientists to have monitored access to this data is a very powerful way to understand the causes of ill health and how to treat it.
By providing the IT infrastructure for the NWCGMC, Novosco are an important partner in helping to improve the care of patients, both in the project and in the future as the Genomics Medical Services become more established.
Emma Howard, Head of Genetic Laboratories at Liverpool Women’s Hospital said “Having Novosco as a partner will enable the genetics laboratory to deliver high quality information to clinical teams.”
Patrick McAliskey, Manging Director of Novosco added “We are delighted to secure the contract which will enable the trust to take genetic testing to the next level and play an important role in the identification and prevention of conditions and illness in the new-born and the wider population”
By looking at all of the 100,000 genome project data, not only allows professionals to gain more of an understanding of how DNA affects the sequencing of diseases, but also gives patients vital information to not only benefit them but also their families.
Lynn Greenhalgh, Rare Disease Lead for NWCGMC said “Embedding genomics into patient pathways will allow clinicians to diagnose conditions earlier and to offer patients personalised treatment”
Individuals with a family history of inherited rare diseases and common cancers may wish to contact their GP or clinician to ask if they may also be eligible to participate in the project.
A Lisburn runner is sitting comfortably atop the leaderboard of the Novosco 10K Grand Prix.
Joseph Stewart of the Jog Lisburn group, based in Wallace Park, is out in front of the competition after nine stages in the 15-race series.
A not-for-profit competition, the Grand Prix is a series of 10-kilometre road races staged throughout Northern Ireland with a total prize fund of over £6,000 divided among the top fifteen runners. Sponsored by Managed Cloud IT firm Novosco and organised by Glenn Grant, owner of electronic timing chip company ChampionChip Ireland, the Grand Prix features hundreds of individual racers of all ages and ability as well as club and corporate teams.
Topping the leaderboard of 730 registered runners, Joseph – a long time Jog Lisburn Running Club member – has completed all nine races in the calendar so far.
To feature in the Grand Prix leaderboard, runners must complete six of the fifteen total races. Individual races times are age-graded and used to generate each runner’s ranking in an overall league table, which is updated after each race.
Patrick McAliskey, Novosco Managing Director, said: “Returning for its second year, the Novosco 10k Grand Prix has quickly become an eagerly anticipated event for local running clubs and sole competitive runners. The Novosco family work in a desk-based environment, so we are always looking at ways to encourage health and wellbeing, and what better way to champion physical activity than a series of fifteen 10-kilometre road races!”
Event Organiser, Glenn Grant said: “Well done to all of our runners for their achievements so far in the Novosco 10k Grand Prix. In particular, Lisburn’s Joseph Stewart who is leading the field. However, the competition is mounting with runners ready to tackle their sixth race in the series. This means we may see a shift in league tables following the next stage.”
“It’s important that we reward the exceptional fitness of this year’s registered runners and the enthusiasm they have brought to the event, that’s why we are delighted Novosco renewed their fitting sponsorship of the event which allows us to offer a dedicated prize fund to the top fifteen finalists,” added Glenn.
Joseph is joined in the top ten by three other members of Jog Lisburn Running Club: George Morrow, Jeff Hull and Joseph McLaughlin.
The next race in the series is the Tandragee 10k taking place on August 20.
For more information on the 2017 Novosco 10k Grand Prix, including upcoming races and updated leader boards, visit novosco10kgrandprix.com.
The IT engineers of tomorrow are being ‘hothoused’ at an innovative IT infrastructure summer camp this week (7th - 11th August, 2017).
The five-day summer camp, which is free to students aged 16-17 who are enrolled at schools and colleges throughout Northern Ireland, provides first-hand experience in the management and development of IT infrastructure in a fun learning environment.
Professional IT engineers and Belfast Met lecturers are facilitating the camp, which also includes a tour of Novosco’s headquarters at Catalyst in Belfast to allow students to see a world-class managed cloud company in action.
In addition to free registration, all participants are being provided with a free Raspberry Pi computer to keep.
Areas being covered at Novosco Cloud Camp include: networking, Python programming, basic HTML programming, and creating virtual servers.
At the end of the camp, students can keep their individual Raspberry Pi mini computers to continue practicing and honing the skills learned at the camp.
Novosco Managing Director, Patrick McAliskey, said: “Cloud Camp was a real success in 2016 and again we’ve had a big response this year in terms of applicants. We know that there is demand for IT skills in Northern Ireland and that this will grow. But it is evident from the registrations we’ve had in Cloud Camp that there is also real interest in IT careers.
“At Novosco we work hard to develop and retain the expertise we have, but with that comes the responsibility to support the development of the generation of IT infrastructure engineers, skilled programmers and future developers. The Novosco Cloud Camp is just one part of our commitment to supporting the future of the industry and growing the talent pool in Northern Ireland.
“We are delighted to be working with Almac Group and Belfast Met once again, who too share our commitment to developing the skills of the future in Northern Ireland.”
Andrew Hillis, Group Head of Information Services at Almac Group, commented: “Providing an extensive range of integrated services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally is built upon sound IT infrastructure. Some of the skills that young people are learning at Cloud Camp are crucial to the day-to-day operations of our international organisation. We’re thrilled to play our part alongside Novosco to stimulate interest in IT and encourage potential future employees.”
Belfast Metropolitan College’s Principal and CEO, Marie-Thérèse McGivern, added: “It is a privilege to once again host the Novosco Cloud Camp, in partnership with Almac Group, this summer at our Titanic Quarter Campus.
“The college has a rich history in delivering comprehensive courses in ICT and guiding students along the path to future employment for some of Northern Ireland’s leading companies. We are really looking forward to welcoming this year’s campers and supporting them on their informative journey using our excellent facilities and top-class lecturers working alongside Novosco’s talented IT infrastructure engineers.”
Novosco was recently shortlisted for ‘Best Cloud Support Provider’ in the 2017 Computing Cloud Excellence Awards – the only Northern Ireland company to make the shortlist.
For more information on the Novosco Cloud Camp, in partnership with Almac Group, visit novoscocloudcamp.com.