Opening Bell: 60 solar powered jobs, Irish health tech firm raises $8.1m, sterling rebounds

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news...

Sterling enjoyed its biggest one-day gain against the dollar since 1998 yesterday as Theresa May confirmed that the UK will pursue a 'hard Brexit.'

The pound was also boosted by news that inflation in the UK has rose to a two and a half year high.

The UK's currency has still lost 17% of its value since before the Brexit vote. One pound currently buys €1.16 and $1.23.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 registered its biggest one day loss since the immediate aftermath of May's vote.


60 new jobs have been announced by a Dublin based solar energy company. 

BNRG Renewables Limited and French company Neon have joined forces to develop more than €220m of solar projects in Ireland.

23 projects in the South and East of the country will be developed as part of the venture.

Once up and running the companies say 60 people will be hired on a full-time basis - while another 2,000 positions will be created through indirect and construction related work.


Irish digital Health company SilverCloud Health - a leading provider of evidence-based online mental health and behavioural healthcare solutions - has raised $8.1m in a fresh round of funding.

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's B Capital Group led the investment which had significant participation from ACT Venture Capital and returning investors, Investec Ventures and AIB Seed Capital Fund managed by DBIC, NDRC and Enterprise Ireland.

SilverCloud Health chief executive and co-founder Ken Cahill commented, "This new investment enables us to drive forward with our commitment to evolve our health platform and address the ever-increasing global need in behavioural healthcare.

"We believe that technology is the enabler to address the biggest healthcare challenge of this century, maximising clinical delivery while enhancing patient access and  choice, through the ability to engage with therapy at a time that fits into diverse lifestyles and through devices that are a part of our everyday lives."


A study has found that paying workers who are aged under-18 less than the minimum wage doesn't impact their education or work decisions later in life.

Under 18s can be paid less than the National Minimum Wage for adult workers. 

But research by the ESRI, found that only a tiny proportion of the workforce was paid that rate.

Commenting on the research, Dr. Elish Kelly, Senior Research Officer at the ESRI, stated, "One debate around sub-minimum rates is the extent to which variations in the sub-minimum wage rates will impact the extent of early school leaving. Given the low incidence of young people in receipt of the youth rate in Ireland, this would suggest that such direct impacts, at least in 2009 (the year that the study's data was from), are likely to have been small."