Prof. Ciarán Ó Catháin is to succeed Eugene Moore as President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber. Professor Ó Catháin, who is President of Athlone IT, said that his objectives for the coming year will include strengthening the knowledge society in the Midlands Gateway through developing a research campus, innovation centres and outreach facilities for upskilling and re-skilling. These collaborative initiatives would be a powerful combination of enterprise, R&D and knowledge partners he said. ‘Our third strategic priority relates to up-skilling and re-skilling the workforce in the Midlands Gateway. This is in line with national strategy, but has a particular resonance in the Midlands, where there is a deficit of people holding higher education qualifications. Access to such services will be crucial to their success, hence the decision to locate two outreach facilities in the Gateway towns of Tullamore and Mullingar,’ he said. The Midlands Gateway Chamber represents over 700 businesses in the region. Focusing on the core issues of enterprise, infrastructure and quality of life, the Chamber is a key player in ensuring that the Midlands is seen as an attractive location for families and for industry to locate. Over 350,000 people live within the catchment of the Midlands Gateway and it has a labour force that is expanding 35 percent faster than the national average. Further information about the Chamber can be obtained at www.midlandsgatewaychamber.ie.