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Isle of Man Film gets a Makeover

29 August 2017

The Isle of Man Government has continued to make progress towards its digital media aspirations over the summer, by securing some interesting new projects.

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Zack Geary - Colas STEP Student

23 August 2017

Following the 2017 STEP Programme, we spoke to student Zack Geary about his summer project.

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What to sell to 170,000 festival goers?

25 July 2017

Watching coverage of this year’s Glastonbury festival and seeing an ocean of bodies basking in the glorious summer sun, I got to thinking, if I had the opportunity to create a pop up pitch to sell to 170,000 festival goers - what would I trade? This thought set off a chain reaction of questions, with the most crucial one being, how and where to start?

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The £50m investment fund that could help you to start and grow your business

05 June 2017

It’s great to see that several agreements have now been reached under the Department of Economic Development’s Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS), with funding of more than £1.2 million so far committed to helping new businesses to the Island and expand existing on-Island firms.

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What next for the United Nations climate agreement?

02 June 2017

The United Nations has previously warned that humanity has never faced a greater challenge than climate change. At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. This included a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The agreement also recognised the importance of averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.

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The unexpected phone call

04 May 2017

I had an unexpected phone call yesterday. It was from a colleague of mine who works in another Government Department and he was praising an event we run called ISLEXPO. “One of the best events run by Government” was how he worded it. “If only we did more positive things like this”.

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How time flies!

01 May 2017

We often hear people expressing their surprise at how quickly time has passed, whether it's the weekend or a decade that has elapsed without them realising it. The same goes for me for the start of 2017...is it really May already?

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Helping to provide a warm Manx welcome for foreign investors

26 April 2017

I joined the Department of Economic Development (DED) 10 weeks ago as a Country Strategy Support Officer. My role involves assisting Steven Beevers, the Head of Country Strategy, with the operation of the Department’s foreign country strategies and especially in helping with arrangements for inbound and outbound delegations/visits involving China.

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The e-certificates are coming!

19 April 2017

We are all aware of the pitfalls of the paperless ship but working to the lowest common denominator in scenario planning will always tend to hold us back. Sometimes in life you just have to close your eyes and jump.

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Creating a buzz at the Master Investor Show

07 April 2017

On a beautiful sunny Saturday in London myself, Alex Wilson, the Department’s Events Executive and Katie Nicholson from angel investor network 'Bridge' headed to the Business Design Centre in Islington for the Master Investor Show.

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Growing on-Island businesses

29 March 2017

One of the Department of Economic Development’s (DED) commitments is growing businesses on the Isle of Man. Here, Simon Pickering, Head of the On-Island Business Development team, explains how his team is focused on stimulating opportunities for growth, particularly in the financial and professional services industry.

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Dan’s driving on-Island business development

27 March 2017

I joined the Department of Economic Development (DED) 11 weeks ago and during this time my eyes have been opened to the wide and varying sectors that the department support. I've worked closely with the department’s e-business and e-gaming team over the last four years in my previous role within the private sector. However, crossing over into the world of a Business Development Manager within DED, I now get to see the engine room in full flow.

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Walking a mile in Europe’s shoes

02 March 2017

In February I listened with my colleagues to the news that the UK Prime Minister Theresa May MP would not be staying on for talks on the future of the European Union (EU) following her morning meetings in Brussels. This seemed of course perfectly logical. Why would the Prime Minister have attended? The UK does not have a future in the EU. But hang on a minute…isn’t the UK still a Member at the moment? Despite still holding current member status, the UK is rapidly losing its place at the top tables of EU negotiation and one day soon will be without any formal say at all.

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The Isle of Man takes centre stage

28 February 2017

Zoe Guilford, Business Development Manager for Isle of Man Film, examines some of the creative film sector's recent highlights.

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ICE Cool Coverage

24 February 2017

I have just returned from a hectic schedule at ICE, one of the biggest e-Gaming summits in the world. ICE 2017 brought together a collection of the world’s top firms and jurisdictions to share ideas, learn from one another, make new connections and ultimately develop new business opportunities.

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Feeding the Market

22 February 2017

David Hester, Chairman of the Engineering and Manufacturing Committee at the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce, explores career opportunities in engineering in the Isle of Man and how co-operation between the Island’s Chamber of Commerce and Government is providing the next generation of manufacturing engineers.

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Thinking Creatively

22 February 2017

As part of my role as a Special Projects Senior Manager at the Department of Economic Development, over the last year I have been lucky enough to work with colleagues from across the British Isles as part of a specific British Irish Council group created to nurture the Creative Industries. The objective of the group is to enable public and private sector delegates at each event to learn from local success stories and return home with new ideas to share with the sector. It is all about thinking creatively and using that insight to more effectively advise on future policy decisions affecting the industry.

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An Island of opportunity

06 February 2017

At the Department of Economic Development we strive to support industry by anticipating their needs and working with them to find solutions. E-Business in the Isle of Man is booming. E-Gaming and E-Business combined now contribute to 28% of the Island’s GDP and are continuing to grow. The consequence of this is that there are now plenty of opportunities for the right IT professionals.

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Three months and counting

30 January 2017

I am now three months into my role at the Department of Economic Development. In these first months I have been staggered by the breadth of activity taking place across the financial and professional services team and the numerous other sectors the Department supports. In my previous role in the private sector I regularly interacted with the Department, but while I was aware that the Business Development Managers worked hard, I had not fully grasped the extent of their gruelling schedules. Crossing from the private sector to the public sector has been a real eye opener!

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Changing the Conversation

23 January 2017

I have heard it numerous times at shows across the UK, so much so that the subject is almost infamous now. Conference delegates decry they can’t get the skilled technical staff or they can’t find the right experienced employees in the IT field. It is undeniable that a serious battle for talent is taking place in the UK, some parts of Europe and the Isle of Man. If you’re in the market for a new job then it’s a great time to be in IT. If you are a new business deciding where to incorporate and establish, then availability of staff is going to be a key issue.

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12 Months of Economic Development

22 December 2016

I am often asked what our work at the Department really involves. The job of developing the Island’s economy is complex, requiring finesse, judgement and buy-in from wider Government and all areas of industry. 2016 was quite a year for the Financial Services team at the Department of Economic Development and every month brought fresh challenges, opportunities and achievements. Within these blogs, we often write about individual subjects, meaning the holistic overview that provides a picture of the real direction in which we are pulling is lost. 2016 was a year in which we delivered projects and laid the foundations for our future strategy. So here it is, my year, start to finish. These are the month by month highlights of our efforts to build a better economy for the Island’s residents.

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A Big Year

20 December 2016

I can firmly say 2016 has been a memorable year for almost more reasons than I can count. Despite ongoing global changes, 2016 was yet another strong year for business in the Isle of Man. As the year draws to a close I have an immense feeling of pride and satisfaction in a job well done by the Island’s people.

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Foreign Direct Investment – A Force for Good

16 December 2016

In the first of a new series of guest blogs, Kelly Ashe, Sales and Marketing Manager at Pacific Fund Systems, shares her perspective on Foreign Direct Investment and its benefits for the Isle of Man's economy.

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Room with a view

25 November 2016

I wonder what ships might look like if we asked architects, rather than naval architects, to design the living accommodation? Looking at the latest container behemoth, I can’t help wondering what life is like for the twenty or so individuals who live and work in the narrow steel box beneath the wheelhouse, squeezed between stacks of containers. I expect that those who are not ‘in the know’ would imagine that no one lives on this vessel. It looks like a drone ship.

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Location location location!

04 November 2016

The Isle of Man has proved itself amazingly versatile and adaptable throughout its history. The Island has enjoyed 32 years unbroken economic growth and has a wide variety of industrial sectors to match. Since 1995 we have used this diversity in both industry and landscape to create a worldwide reputation for hosting and supporting film and television productions.

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Introducing Yang Xu, Senior Business Representative for the Department of Economic Development in Shanghai

15 October 2016

Stimulating trade and fostering new relationships abroad are central to my role at the Department. We consider China a key market and I am confident the Isle of Man has a lot to offer Chinese businesses. Establishing links and understanding is vital for us to begin to share trade and ideas.

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Movers, shakers, relocators

27 September 2016

The introduction of work permit exemptions for ICT professionals was a great step forward for the Isle of Man and demonstrates how a flexible Government can really work for the economy. In the ICT sector, we need additional digital expertise and we need it now. The result of the ICT work permit exemption is that recruitment for ICT positions on the Island is now a faster and smoother process with minimal red tape from Government. This means that the rapidly growing ICT sector can get the right skills in the right jobs right now. Ultimately, growing our base of taxpayers and the workforce contributing to the Island is in the public interest for the long term development of our thriving economy.

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Disruptive innovators: The next twenty-one years

30 August 2016

I travelled off island recently. On my travels I did what any one of us will do on a day to day basis while away from home on business. I took images of business card details for upload to our CRM system. I travelled by public transport and taxi to meetings and business lunches. I stayed in comfortable but reasonably priced hotels.

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Challenging the status quo? Brexit, Europe and the Isle of Man

22 August 2016

In July 2016 I met, as an invited guest, with senior members of the Island’s financial and professional services industries to discuss the implications of Brexit for the Isle of Man. It was quite clear my counterparts shared some strong opinions and it was fantastic to contribute to the conversation. The level of the debate and engagement from all present demonstrated clearly Isle of Man businesses’ wish to meet this challenge head-on. Our conversations interrogated many established preconceptions around Brexit and we explored what the post-Brexit Isle of Man-EU and Isle of Man-UK relationship may look like.

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Isle of Man Energy Award Winners 2016

03 August 2016

I would like to offer my congratulations to the winners of the Isle of Man Energy Awards 2016. Both private and public sector organisations have significantly reduced their carbon emissions with the use of the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

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The Internet of Things: Intangible Concept, Real World Results

25 July 2016

In the world of IT, telecommunications and fintech one term has come to ubiquitously bring together a world of connected possibilities previously thought impossible. This term wraps together myriad possibilities, many previously unconsidered, many with a real possibility of improving (and in some cases extending!) our lives. The Internet of Things is here to stay and it’s the biggest thing in tech that you may not have heard about. The Internet of Things is everywhere and I would argue embracing it is the next vital step in our economic development.

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Banking in a New World

11 July 2016

Friday 24th June was a momentous day in more ways than one. Many in the UK reeled with disbelief at the Brexit referendum result while the victorious stood proud, ready to welcome a new era for the UK. After an appalling day in the currency markets immediately following the result (offset by continued strong performance in stock markets), some have predicted that an uncomfortable cold reality will begin to bite as the true consequences of the decision gradually become clear. Amid this backdrop pundits coined a new term to describe those “Brexiters” beginning to have second thoughts, “bregret”.

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Why the reluctance for ECDIS?

22 June 2016

I was in Posidonia last week with the great and good of shipping. At one of the many social events, we got to talking about new technologies, in particular ECDIS (electronic chart display information system), and a general trend within the industry of reluctance to take the leap into new technologies. You can imagine, as an engineer, I felt well out of my depth, but extremely loath to admit it.

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Bridge at IFB 2016

22 June 2016

Across the pond in Liverpool, the International Festival for Business is in full swing. A number of local companies are representing the Island at IFB, the biggest business festival in the world, an event to be attended by over 30,000 delegates from 100 countries.

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Harnessing the Wealth of the Isle of Man

21 June 2016

I recently read an article on the multiplier effect and was impressed how this leads to increased spending and growth in an economy. In layman’s terms, the multiplier effect is caused by an injection of spend in an economy and how this spend not only benefits the individuals directly related but also the wider economy through increased profits, wages and further spending.

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‘Funding Businesses at Every Stage’ - IFB 2016

16 June 2016

Here at the Department of Economic Development we have been working closely with the organisers of the International Festival for Business (IFB) in Liverpool this month to host an event that helps showcase the Isle of Man and our close relationship with the North West of England. Therefore we have decided to stage an event at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool (ECL) on the morning of Friday 24th June titled ‘Funding Businesses at Every Stage – Launching the £50million Enterprise Development Scheme’.

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ISLEXPO – Nation of Innovation

15 June 2016

On the Isle of Man we are helping businesses in many different ways; whether it’s the Micro-Business Scheme helping small businesses receive grants, loans and expert advice, or larger businesses and businesses off-island hoping to relocate here. There is even help for businesses who want to become greener!

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South Africa – A New Business Frontier?

17 May 2016

In the 19th century the Isle of Man was a major centre for deep mining and from the 1870s onwards, many Manx miners migrated to South Africa.

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The Future of Offshore Wind Energy

04 May 2016

Now that the dust has settled after the recent UK budget, it is clear that offshore wind will have a significant future role to play in the UK energy mix. The UK Government has set aside a total budget of £730 million to support around 4GW of offshore wind and other less established renewable technologies in 2021 to 2026.

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Knowledge is Currency - ISLEXPO 2016

25 April 2016

It’s all go at the moment here at the Department of Economic Development. The Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS) is now live with our new appointed Fund Manager – SPARK Impact, and we are already seeing a lot of quality interest from various sized companies from all different sectors and locations. All this is very promising for the Isle of Man’s economy… and busy for us!

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ISLEXPO – A Special Opportunity

14 April 2016

My role at the Department of Economic Development is all about promoting the Island as a destination for business, tourism and as a place to live. I plan and manage campaigns across the year in all these sectors, so as you can imagine, a tremendous amount of research, data, analysis, copy and artwork passes across my desk. Amidst all this, every year one or two things really stand out for me as that little bit special and something really ground breaking for the Isle of Man.

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Growing up energy efficient

07 April 2016

“Shut the door!” and “Turn off the lights!” were regular “hair-drying experiences” administered by my father growing up in the Cuthbert household at a time when central heating, double glazing and insulation were considered a luxury.

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Is Banking About to Have its Social Media Moment?

01 April 2016

In my previous blogs I have written about the importance of the millennial generation and how this group is changing the face of wealth management. This is this very same generation that is driving technological change in the fintech space (where finance meets technology). Not only does this generation not see a traditional bank branch in their future, they expect banks to provide them with state of the art products and services they demand. This is, in many cases, at odds with what the traditional banks think they can sell to this market segment.

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Little Fish in a Big Pond

14 March 2016

As a small economy, we understand the need to work with other countries and businesses to complement our offering and extend our reach globally. We have been consistently working on our relationships with the UK, in particular the Northern Powerhouse, and China where we have been making great advances in mutually beneficial business deals.

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Delivering Excellent Experiences – The Future of VisitIsleofMan.com

03 March 2016

The VisitIsleofMan.com website is at the core of a number of digital marketing tools used by the tourism team at the Department for Economic Development. It is fundamental to achieving consumer acquisition, conversion and retention, together with providing the tourism trade industry with the tools and information they need to help promote the Island.

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Women in Tech: Part 2

29 February 2016

In the first part of my blog I was looking at the issues facing women in tech, in particular that of culture and education.

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When all the Hype is gone….

24 February 2016

If you haven't been aware of the international levels of excitement around Blockchain in the last few years you may have been living in a parallel universe!

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Growing the Northern Powerhouse

16 February 2016

As a lad brought up in the North of England, I’ve been talking a lot about the Northern Powerhouse in my blogs and as we enter 2016 I’m pleased to see it is becoming more and more a part of the rhetoric for policy and development in the UK and Isle of Man.

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Data... The New Asset Class

12 February 2016

Our increasing reliance on data is causing it to evolve into a progressively valuable asset that needs effective protection. Unfortunately we are seeing a few stories in the news about data being hacked, or worse, stolen, meaning the need for exceptional protection is on the rise.

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Women in Tech: Part 1

01 February 2016

As a female myself working in the e-business tech world. I can openly say it is a male dominated industry, although the male to female ratio is slowly decreasing there is still a large segregation between the two sexes.

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An Alternative Banking Regime

29 January 2016

There’s no way of getting around it, the world of banking has changed and it is still changing. Over the past 8 years we have seen a decline in the number of banks in the Isle of Man and a reduction in traditional funding, all caused by the global financial crisis and a shift in public opinion.

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The Northern Powerhouse and Chinese Feeding Frenzy could benefit the Isle of Man

15 January 2016

Timing is everything, or so they say….. In China during November, on the back of the Autumn visit to China by the UK Chancellor and President Xi’s State visit in the UK, we found ourselves in the midst of a virtual ‘feeding frenzy’ directed at the new ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and seemingly driven by an insatiable Chinese appetite for property investment, both commercial and residential.

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What does the United Nations COP21 Climate Change Agreement mean for the Isle of Man?

11 January 2016

As I look at the rose bushes flowering in my garden, it is hard to believe it's January. Climate change is happening due to the CO2 levels in the atmosphere now exceeding 400 parts per million, well above the pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million.

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Transition from Ship to Shore

30 November 2015

The transition from ship to shore or ‘swallowing the anchor’ is never easy. When to do it? How to do it? What skills will I need? Am I qualified? Will I miss the sea? Can we survive on reduced income? Can I cope with life ashore?

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The largest spectator sport you’ve never heard of...

23 November 2015

Since the beginning of summer, industry commentators seem to have fallen in love with 'omni-channel' & 'big data', and the ritual hubbub surrounding M&A activity has been stealing the headlines. However, there's been a strong undercurrent of activity taking place in one of the world’s largest spectator sports, yet it seems to have gone almost unnoticed - hiding in plain sight.

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Writing a tourism strategy for the Isle of Man

20 November 2015

This year we’ve been working on a new strategy for tourism in the Isle of Man. As the most competitive sector, it has been a tough task to narrow down our aims and futureproof our strategy for the years to come. The end result is a comprehensive Destination Management Plan (DMP) which not only outlines a set of objectives but also drives innovation and change across the tourism industry.

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Is Monaco still working well for the Isle of Man?

07 October 2015

Katherine Ellis is the Group Director - Business Development at Boston Multi Family Office. Katherine leads all of Boston Group’s business development and marketing functions. Katherine has 20 years’ experience in the offshore market with particular knowledge of luxury assets.

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High Net Worth Wallabies

05 October 2015

Well this week sees my first year anniversary at the Department of Economic Development, and I’m wondering where has the time gone?!

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Fin and Tech – the perfect partnership.

23 September 2015

We’re the fin, they’re the tech John Garland (Head of Corporate Financial Services) also says they’re the beauty and we’re the beast as Financial services is the established, slick sector and e-business is the gawky new kid on the block constantly growing (it has nothing to do with the appearance of the two representatives for the sectors so I’m told!)

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£50m Scheme – ‘Expressions of Interest’ Date Extended!

07 September 2015

Last month we launched the search for suitably qualified and experienced businesses to manage the proposed £50million Enterprise Development Scheme. We have had strong interest to date and have therefore decided to extend the closing date until 5.00pm on Friday 11th September to allow those parties to express their interest.

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Sea of Change – clean energy generated in the Irish Sea

03 September 2015

I have been advising the Isle of Man Government on energy policy for over six years. During this time, the nuclear accident in Fukushima made Governments around the world think twice about the financial and human cost of nuclear power. Oil prices have significantly fluctuated from a peak of $145 per barrel in 2008 to less than $45 per barrel earlier this year which is uneconomical for most fossil fuel production.

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Flying the Manx Ensign

26 August 2015

Thursday 3rd September is Merchant Navy Day, when we will celebrate the role of the British Merchant fleet, whose men and women braved perilous journeys during the two world wars, and whose ships sail the globe today bearing our colours.

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Isle of Man – Where are we?

25 August 2015

A recent trip to China got me thinking about the size of the Isle of Man on the world stage and how we are managing to punch well above our weight in spite of our small stature!

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How I called the Isle of Man ‘home’

18 August 2015

Grace Tu-Cook is originally from China, after travelling and working in China and New Zealand, she moved to the Isle of Man with her husband. Currently she is working as the Country Strategy Operations Support Officer at the Department of Economic Development, helping to build relationships between countries and the Isle of Man.

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Isle of Man Businesses Going Green

14 August 2015

In my last blog I talked about how a small Island can help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. At the Energy Awards presentation I learned how individual businesses can significantly reduce their energy consumption, utilise green energy and make big savings at the same time.

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Player Protection in the Casino

13 August 2015

It’s been a few weeks now since I returned from my annual pilgrimage to the home of arguably the most significant event in any Poker players’ calendar – the World Series of Poker (WSOP). This year however, rather than pitting my wits in the ‘Main Event’ I elected to play in some of the smaller tournaments.

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The Right Ingredients

07 August 2015

To make the perfect burger it’s all about the burger mixture. You can’t beat a home-made burger made from scratch with TLC and all the right ingredients. A Greek cook once introduced me to his not-so-secret recipe.

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In the future, banks may hold identity, not cash!

30 July 2015

The biggest transfer of wealth in human history is now underway, as “Baby Boomers” (those born from 1945 to 1965) pass their assets onto their children also known as “Millennials” (those born from 1980 – 2005).

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The price of clean energy, an improved economy?

27 July 2015

Duncan Churcher is a 2nd year student, studying War, Armed Forces & Society, at the University of Birmingham. He is currently working as a STEP scheme student in the Department of Economic Development, building a supply chain matrix for the proposed offshore wind farm.

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£50 million Enterprise Development Fund to drive economic growth

24 July 2015

John Garland looks at the introduction of an Enterprise Development Fund on the Isle of Man.

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Energy Efficiency and Environmental Management

21 July 2015

Even though fuel prices are down, the world needs to keep the pressure on energy efficiency. To play our part, the Isle of Man Ship Registry is leading on a number of energy efficiency initiatives.

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The UK Regional Strategy six months in and six to go

16 July 2015

One key element with all strategies is to capitalise on drive. This took me back to my old school days and in particular, my physics teacher Mr Tickle and his lessons on Newton’s Laws of Motion.

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India – Economic Transformation or Damp Squib?

09 July 2015

This time last year we reviewed market prospects in India for the Isle of Man after election of Prime Minister Modi’s majority Government.

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The end of the Middleman?

02 July 2015

The Isle of Man, indeed the entire World, stands on the edge of a new technology era. Since the arrival of the Internet a piece has always been missing. That has all changed now with the arrival of decentralisation via the Internet.

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Marketing the Destination not its sectors

26 June 2015

Tourism, or the ‘visitor economy’ as it’s better known these days has, over the last few decades, been seen by some as the poor relation to its Finance Industry counterpart. Bringing in 1.2% in terms of Gross National Income in comparison to 34% Finance, (the largest income generator to Isle of Man Government) it’s no wonder the Visitor Economy has lacked the profile of newer industries such as e-Business and ICT.

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Rediscovering my Island

23 June 2015

The Isle of Man really is a great place to live and do business. It always amazes me that I’m never more than 10 minutes away from a beautiful glen, waves crashing on a beach or a view that even makes locals stop and take photographs. I am a true advocate for this Island because I make an effort to actively engage with my surroundings and not because of my job.

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How to make a small fortune in football….

17 June 2015

...start with a large fortune and buy a football club. Well at least that used to be the old adage but, maybe, the world has changed with the meteoric rise of some football clubs and the size of television advertising rights payments. Or is it better to stage a worldwide football tournament...

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What on earth was I thinking?

10 June 2015

It wasn't just moving back to the Isle of Man, but also my move from the Private to Public sector that made many people ask me “why…?”

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The Softer Side of e-Business

05 June 2015

My First month since joining the e-Business team as a Business Development Manager has been an educational whirlwind, and yet there is still so much to learn!

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Building Guanxi at home and abroad

18 May 2015

Now in our third year of the Department’s strategy and commitment to work closely with China, we are starting to see benefits flowing from the building of strong and mutually beneficial friendships with our business partners in key regions of the country.

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Isle of Man Blockchain 2.0 Apps gain further momentum

15 May 2015

In my last blog I wrote about developments in our Blockchain cluster in the Isle of Man and how many of our businesses are going from start-up to stardom via VC’s that have been attracted to our technology quality and subsequently invested significant capital. Our next objective will be to ensure that the Isle of Man will be the jurisdiction most closely associated with innovation.

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Selling the Isle of Man

13 May 2015

It can be difficult delivering an ‘elevator pitch’, especially when you don’t know who you are standing next to in the elevator! That is why it is always best to engage with that person first and find out who they are, what they do and what their aims are. It is only then, that you can look to ‘zero’ in on what you can offer them to achieve those goals.

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Vision 2020 – A clear picture of the Island’s economy

08 May 2015

Just over a year ago the Isle of Man Government released Vision2020, a comprehensive new strategy that looked to outline the Island’s plans to achieve growth and sustainable development for the future. I want to look at the progression of the strategy and some of the achievements one year on.

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Looking West not East (and I don’t mean Peel)

30 April 2015

Earlier this year, the Financial Services Business Development Managers got together to work on developing a set of BHAGs – that stands for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals!

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Res non-dom or no res dom?

29 April 2015

With the UK election drawing ever closer there are lots of topics hitting the headlines and plenty of the usual parties playing football with the issues. The current game in town is speculation about the resident non-domiciled individual (res non-dom) and its future post-election. Pre-match speculation never changes whether its football or politics.

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Alternative finance is maybe not so 'alternative' anymore!

22 April 2015

As my regular blog readers will know we here at the Department of Economic Development have been diligently working on expanding the Isle of Man's services within the 'alternative' finance space.

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The Invisible Sector: Creative Industries on the Isle of Man

13 April 2015

The Creative Economy is alive and well in the Isle of Man - but you have to look carefully for it.

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Is travelling just about where you go, rather than what you do?

09 April 2015

Last month we hosted a Visitor Economy Networking Day at the Villa Marina in Douglas to catch up with the businesses in the tourism industry and report back on the current situation of the visitor economy in the Isle of Man. It was a really positive event, with some fantastic presentations from a range of independent, Government and local business speakers.

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Luxury without Limits

09 April 2015

This week, the world of luxury assets is heading to the inaugural Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show at London’s Old Billingsgate and St. Katharine Docks. We are confident that this will be a great success, and will become London’s ‘Monaco’ for many years to come.

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The Isle of Man says hello to the North East

08 April 2015

As part of our extensive events programme, which we have implemented as part of our strategy to develop business with the UK regions, we recently paid a visit to the North East of England to meet with businesses in Newcastle and Gateshead. The trip was organised alongside Isle of Man based, First Names Group and included a busy schedule of meetings and events.

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Isle of Man Blockchain cluster expansion!

26 March 2015

A powerful Blockchain cluster has emerged with some dynamic start-ups in the Isle of Man!

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Why sustainable economic development matters

12 March 2015

The increased sun and warmth of spring will see the residents of the Isle of Man enjoying outdoor pursuits. We are very fortunate on the Island to enjoy an excellent clean environment that is highly conducive to walking, cycling, playing golf and sailing.

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A lack of young engineers – not that old chestnut

09 March 2015

There are few places in the world where one can live in the countryside or by the seaside and walk, cycle, bus or drive and be at your place of work in no more than 20 minutes.

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A Face in the Crowdfunding

04 March 2015

Who hasn't dreamed about speculating a small sum of money and receiving monster returns like an investment into Amazon, Facebook or Apple. Or to travel around the world like Richard Branson with a portfolio of successful, chic and trendy investments.

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So, you think tourism is dead?

26 February 2015

It’s around this time every year, as we head into the spring and summer seasons that I start to hear the dreaded phrase ‘tourism is dead.’ Hearing this disappoints me but doesn’t surprise me unfortunately!

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Standing out in the 'Crowd'

25 February 2015

I was recently in the great city of Liverpool at the invitation of West Coast Investor and Professional Liverpool to attend a ‘Business Angels’ Private Dinner followed by a Networking event at the beautiful Rathbone Hall with the inspirational Nicola Horlick as guest speaker.

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Isle of Man sharing China connections via Liverpool – a new found partnership…

20 February 2015

In 2014 Liverpool successfully hosted the International Festival for Business (IFB) and the Isle of Man was a major participant and partner in that.

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Affinity Obtains First Balearics Superyacht Charter Licence for Non-EU Flagged Vessel

16 February 2015

The Isle of Man’s Ship Registry is one of the best registers in the world. Recently a number of Isle of Man flagged yachts were lost from the register because Spain would not recognise the Isle of Man as an EU flag and therefore prevented the Isle of Man flagged yachts from undertaking commercial charters starting and finishing in Spain.

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Time for the next generation

12 February 2015

I recently attended the UK Chamber of Shipping dinner, which is a black tie event held every February in Mayfair and attended by the great and good of British shipping. It is a wonderful get-together with excellent company, great food and wine. There were lots of speeches focused on the importance of the maritime sector to the UK economy and how we can all work together to develop it further.

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Small Island, big changes.

11 February 2015

There’s a saying locally that the ‘Manx don’t like change’. It’s actually quite an endearing phrase but not one I agree with!

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Reduce wealth to pure data and transmit it round the world cost-free!

05 February 2015

I guess everyone is talking about the Coinbase news and the eye-watering valuations being ascribed to new businesses in the crypto space. Coinbase has just raised $75 million and is now backed by NYSE and the BBVA banking group. Crypto is indeed going mainstream!

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Welcome to China, the land of tradition and innovation

03 February 2015

In December I had my first opportunity to visit China and a chance to meet some of the businesses that Steven Beevers and K-Lan had been working with over the past three years. The week-long trip gave me a real insight into the country and the intricacies of how the Chinese do business.

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Standing Room Only: FDI in the North West

28 January 2015

Last week I visited Liverpool and Manchester for a series of meetings to highlight how the Isle of Man can help promote investment into the North West.

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Social Impact Investment and a Trip to Downing Street

27 January 2015

Last week I was invited to attend a fascinating event held by the UK Government’s Cabinet Office social investment team at 11 Downing Street in London.

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What a difference a year makes…

26 January 2015

ICE 2014 took place during a strike of workers on the London Underground. On the first morning 17,000 visitors flooded through the gates to see over 500 exhibitors. The buzz around the floor was mainly about the proposed UK gaming regulations and how these would affect our industry.

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Isle of Man: Top of the Jurisdictional Shopping List

22 January 2015

As the Department’s new Business Development Manager for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), my primary objective is to ensure the Isle of Man is on the jurisdictional shopping list for HNWIs and their advisors, ensuring they are fully aware of the Island’s unique selling points.

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Is this the future of housing in the Isle of Man?

19 January 2015

The weather outside may have turned colder but imagine coming home at the end of the work day to a warm house that costs you nothing to heat. It may sound improbable but this is common for well insulated homes in Europe especially those built to “Passive House” standard.

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The Isle of Man first again and proud!

22 December 2014

The Isle of Man is a great place. It makes me proud to know my home is a heavy hitter when it comes to success. Along with the TT motorcycle races, here’s a taster of the world class quality we’re famous for: 3G high speed cellular/mobile technology was trialled in the Isle of Man and was the first country in Europe to commercially launch it, the Isle of Man was the first Island in the world to be mapped for GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) purposes.

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New Year’s a Ballast!

18 December 2014

I simply cannot close the year without making reference to the Ballast Water Convention. Wherever I have been and whomever I have met, at whatever time of the day or night, ballast water treatment always creeps into the conversation. It can no longer be avoided, it’s coming closer...

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The largest ever infrastructure project proposed for the Isle of Man!

12 December 2014

In recent years, the Isle of Man has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in its infrastructure.

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China – global economic saviour or the perfect storm waiting to happen?

04 December 2014

Steven discusses the potential impact of China’s economic slowdown on the rest of the world’s economy.

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What does it take to work in the Creative Industries?

27 November 2014

On occasion, I have dabbled as a music composer and sound designer for videogames. My favourite part of the process has always been pitching conceptual ideas to the creative director. If I’ve done a good job of articulating my ideas, that’s made the difference between getting the job - or losing out to someone else.

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When Money 2020 met Vision 2020!

25 November 2014

What is the future of money? I recently attended Money2020, an annual financial technology innovation summit held in Las Vegas, which looked into this.

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'Angels of the North'

18 November 2014

As my regular blog readers will know, I recently had the pleasure of hosting Jenny Tooth, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, and Steve Stuart, Partner at Brabners Stuart Liverpool, on the Island. During this visit Jenny was also the key note speaker at the latest Isle of Man Junior Chamber of Commerce (JCC) event, which was a great success.

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Why Food Matters

14 November 2014

Paramount to our ability to grow the economy is working in partnership with the private sector, staff and other government departments who all play a role in making the Isle of Man a great place to work and live. One such department, the Department of Food, Environment and Agriculture (DEFA) is leading the way in creating a sustainable future for the Island’s food and drink producers – in turn growing the economy via employment, revenue and local multiplier effects.

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Business Angels event – comment from the Junior Chamber of Commerce

07 November 2014

As the chairman of the Junior Chamber of Commerce (“JCC”) I am often asked what makes a good event. And the answer is, always have a great speaker.

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Isle of Man - the new world capital of Crypto 2.0

31 October 2014

I previously wrote about the development of the digital payments and digital currency space in the Isle of Man and the technological infrastructure that supports this. As we look to the future we see many new exciting opportunities growing from this base.

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Business Angels CEO to land on Isle of Man!

22 October 2014

Hot on the heels of the International Festival for Business in Liverpool this summer we here at DED have been working hard to build momentum across many sectors.

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Ship Efficiency - is Big Data the answer?

21 October 2014

I recently attended a ship efficiency event in London, where the shipping community gathered for a two day conference and exhibition focused on making ships more efficient now and for the future.

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How the Isle of Man became a digital business success? Byte by byte!

09 October 2014

Due to its geographical location, strategically positioned between Ireland and England, the Isle of Man enjoyed early telecommunications success. This was because undersea telecom cables running long distances from Ireland to England could be operated, supported and serviced better if routed through a location between both points - the Isle of Man was the solution!

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The next big splash in renewable energy!

02 October 2014

In recent years we have seen a boom in wind and solar power. Could marine renewable energy be the next big growth area in the sector?

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Crypto Valley Summit creates a real Bitcoin Buzz…

24 September 2014

For many of the 80 plus C-level executives from digital currency companies that visited the Isle of Man last week, it was their first visit to our small rock in the Irish Sea. Judging from the response to the Crypto Valley Summit, this will be the first of many, and a large number of them will be establishing businesses here.

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How Isle of Man filmmakers are finding their voice

23 September 2014

Radio and TV presenter Mark Kermode is doing a camera interview on a villa balcony. The calm sea glistens behind him in the background. Inside the main building, filmmakers, business people and artists are mingling. They’re discussing films, both domestic and international, that are in competition. As the sun begins to set outside, the invited guests and festival goers file into a packed cinema for a Q&A screening with one the hottest UK independent film directors of 2014.

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Digital Currency: the new-age “disruption”

16 September 2014

One day before the inaugural Crypto Valley Summit (being held on the Isle of Man on 17-18 September this week) I thought I would reflect on how digital currency and the technology behind it is shaping the future of the Isle of Man and the wider world.

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The yachting world heads for Monaco

09 September 2014

It’s that time of year again when all thoughts turn to Monaco and the annual gathering of the superyacht world. Although preparations go on pretty much all year, every exhibitor and attendee is now finalising details and filling social diaries.

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Marketing – it’s just common sense, right?

29 August 2014

I’m feeling depressed this week. I stumbled across a couple of articles and one blog that stated that marketing is actually mainly just common sense.

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What does the future hold for the UK offshore wind sector?

18 August 2014

One could be convinced that offshore wind has no future in the UK energy mix following the recent announcement from wind farm developers Celtic Array to hand back their licence to the UK Crown Estate for the Irish Sea development. However, this is far from the truth, as 14.9 per cent of the total UK electricity generation in 2013 was derived from renewable sources, with offshore wind generation increasing by 50 per cent on the previous year.

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Indian Elections and the Budget – a ‘Game Changer’ for the Indian Economy?

07 August 2014

After a turbulent year for India’s economy in 2013 and relatively weak business opportunities both internally and cross - border, encouraging political developments now appear set to make 2014 and beyond one of the most promising times for foreign investments in the country, both inward and outbound.

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"Farnborough 2014 is a hot one for the Isle of Man”

30 July 2014

The dust has settled on another Farnborough International Airshow and I’ve been following up on the significant numbers of enquiries and leads that the Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster generated while exhibiting there as part of the North West Aerospace Alliance’s (NWAA) stand.

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The Baltic Triangle: Creative Industries thriving in Liverpool

29 July 2014

Having just returned from the International Festival for Business in Liverpool, I feel energised by the buzz of activity in the city. There is a strong sense of community within the Baltic Triangle, a large area of former industrial land which now houses a digital and creative cluster. This is largely thanks to the support of Liverpool Vision over recent years.

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"Warning - Disruptive Technology Ahead"

23 July 2014

According to some well-known analysts the rise of disruptive technology is unstoppable. This is especially true when household names like Facebook and others (the so-called tech giants) target their new disruptive technologies at very lucrative business sectors which continue to use old legacy systems and work practices.

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Regeneration Nation

18 July 2014

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been lucky enough to get involved in the Central Douglas Master plan – the plan which sets out the vision for the Island’s capital, Douglas.

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Energy efficiency may not be sexy but will save your business money!

15 July 2014

I am often asked by businesses for advice on installing the latest renewable energy technology. It would appear that everyone wants their own wind turbine, solar panel, heat pump or micro water turbine to offset continually rising energy costs. My advice is always the same – start with the basics and concentrate on targeting energy usage as energy efficiency is always the most cost effective option.

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Figuring Out FATCA

01 July 2014

FATCA has arrived, and your company’s new account on-boarding systems should be operational. Many will have found the challenges thrown down by FATCA and the Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) daunting. However, you are not alone. The Department of Economic Development and the Income Tax Division have been, and will be, there to provide support to Manx related businesses.

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The Isle of Man will never walk alone in Liverpool!

30 June 2014

What more can I say about Liverpool, city of the famed golden sky -it's still fabulous, friendly, full of business opportunity and fun!

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EU Sulphur Directive – The Latest Challenge

26 June 2014

Once again, the shipping industry is faced with problems involving the implementation of new requirements which have been introduced. However, this time the requirements have not been established by the mechanisms of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), but by the European Union.

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Bringing the might of China to the TT - is the TT full of twists and turns in more ways than one?

25 June 2014

2013 saw the first ever Chinese built motorcycle enter the famous 107 year old TT Races in the Isle of Man, and also the first Chinese rider (though not on a Chinese bike!).

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Google I/O extends to the Isle of Man

17 June 2014

The Isle of Man has had another fabulous TT fortnight and is enjoying some exotic sunshine as I write this (June 17th). In San Francisco another sunny place, the team at Google are putting the finishing touches to their plans for the Google I/O conference on June 25th and 26th.

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Isle of Man Maritime Group ‘Steal the Show’ at Week 1 of the International Festival for Business in Liverpool!

17 June 2014

I had the absolute pleasure to witness the recently formed Isle of Man Maritime Group host guests from the North West business community on the beautiful Kathleen & May Tall Ship in the Albert Dock, Liverpool.

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From Canvas to Script to Screen – Unlocking the Value of Intellectual Property in the Isle of Man

16 June 2014

You probably already know that the Isle of Man is world-famous as a location for independent feature film and TV production.

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Isle of Man life in the fast lane

13 June 2014

Many of you will know the Island punches well above its weight when it comes to sports… Now meet another Manx sporting success story – Chris Mealin is a 20 year old proud Manxman now taking the motorsport world by storm.

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A summer packed full of marketing and PR

12 June 2014

With the summer now in full-swing and visitors having flocked to our Island for the recent TT Races, it seemed like the perfect time to take stock and reflect on our current status in the media, and particularly our programme of media visits with key specialist publications, lifestyle titles, International, UK and regional press.

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We also make bits for aeroplanes!

05 June 2014

The Isle of Man is famous around the world for many things: The TT races, tailless Cats, kippers and the Manx missile Mark Cavendish! However, this innovative nation, in the middle of the Irish Sea, also has a long and distinguished heritage in engineering.

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Good Investment and Social Media work well together in the Isle of Man

30 May 2014

Many of you will be familiar with the term "crowdfunding", a by-product of the financial crash. As the name suggests, investment funds are provided to worthy start-up businesses by small crowds of private investors each willing to invest small amounts of cash via promotion over the Internet. The sheer volume of small investor loans can amount to substantial investment sums for the start-up involved.

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IFB 2014 – Maritime leads the way

28 May 2014

While the World Cup may be kicking off in Brazil, closer to home something more important is kicking off in Liverpool. Held in June and July, the International Festival of Business (IFB) 2014 presents a great opportunity for the Isle of Man.

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"Isle of Man? What's that then?"

23 May 2014

I had occasion to speak to a journalist a couple of weeks ago. She’s from the Isle of Man but works as a successful freelancer in London. She was saying that most don’t even know where it is! My tongue in cheek comment about standards slipping in the teaching of geography or, “have they ever watched the national weather forecast on TV and wondered what that big blob in the middle of the Irish Sea is between Ireland and England?”, didn't go down too well.

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Where electric motorbikes travel legally on public roads at over 140 mph!

22 May 2014

For over 100 years, the world’s fastest motorbikes have competed on the roads of the Isle of Man at the TT races. The world famous 37.73 mile TT mountain circuit takes in the beautiful Manx scenery and entices many bikers to make the annual pilgrimage to the Island for the racing.

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Drone Ships

30 April 2014

Most people in the shipping industry will have seen the press reports on Rolls Royce’s project to design and develop unmanned ‘Drone’ ships to carry cargoes across the world’s oceans within the next ten years.

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Digital strategy - fail to prepare or prepare to fail - your choice

24 April 2014

I’ve recently returned from the 27th annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco which was full of speaker panels with titles reflecting success in this sector such as “The Sound of Grand Theft Auto V” and “The Art of Reanimating Plants Vs Zombies 2”

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How Granite develops into Graphene!

23 April 2014

Everywhere you go on the Isle of Man at the moment you can see evidence of huge investment in our infrastructure, from completely restructured roads to new hotels, office buildings, factories and refurbished high streets. If you venture into either Douglas or Ramsey you’ll find teams hand laying granite blocks 6” thick to refresh the shopping streets. When investment like this is committed by Government you inevitably, and rightly, hear the public questioning the overall value of these projects to the economy?

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Isle of Man - China Connections...

17 April 2014

I was struck on our recent visit to China with our Chief Minister led – delegation in March just how significant China is now becoming in bringing us new innovation and technology as it races towards becoming the number one economy in the world over the next few years…

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My first month

10 April 2014

My first day in my new position as Business Development Manager - Retail Financial Services for the Department of Economic Development commenced at 8.30am with the weekly “Work in Progress” meeting, chaired by the enigmatic Mr Alan Crowe M.L.C. This meeting gave me an immediate understanding of the different roles my colleagues have, and as the 'new kid on the block' I was allowed to sit quietly and take it all in! This would be the one and only time…

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DED host Dubai Government on Island

07 April 2014

As many of you may know, the team here at DED have responsibility to develop closer working partnerships with other International Business Centres. Therefore when an opportunity arose, thanks to our friends at Nedbank Private Wealth, to host two senior members of the Dubai DED on island I jumped at the chance.

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Looking East...to the North West

26 March 2014

As we exit winter and start the entry into spring those of us lucky enough to live and work in the Isle of Man can often see right across the Irish Sea to Scotland, Ireland and North West England.

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Lessons learned from the Isle of Man Grand Challenge

25 February 2014

I was fortunate to be the Government representative on the selection panel for the Isle of Man Grand Challenge, a competition that tasked island-based entrepreneurs with applying technological solutions to one of the world’s big challenges. The prize for the two lucky winners was a place on the Executive Program at Singularity University in California, made possible with financial support from Pokerstars.

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Engineering inspiration from the Marvel generation

21 February 2014

The Isle of Man has produced over 100 films over the past few years and the big screen offers lots of inspiration for aspiring engineers and inventors at the moment. The Marvel franchise is a great place to start and one can’t help but being struck by the recent success of the Avengers series lead originally by Robert Downey Jr’s Ironman.

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What is a Family Office?

20 February 2014

A question I am sometimes asked is “What exactly is a ‘Family Office’?” As the name suggests, a Family Office is an office established and dedicated to servicing the needs of wealthy families.

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The Year of the Horse and the importance of the Asian market

14 February 2014

The Spring Festival celebrations are over and the Year of the Horse has been well and truly welcomed in, but our thoughts remain with Asia and the importance of the Asian shipping business, both globally and here in the Isle of Man.

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ICE Survives, IOM Thrives!!!

07 February 2014

Despite the problems of the Tube strike, ICE attracted record crowds and the quality of the attendees at the Isle of Man stand surpassed all expectations. Representatives from all aspects of the gaming industry on the Island joined the Department of Economic Development and the Regulator to handle a record number of enquiries.

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The best of both worlds

09 January 2014

Chatting to friends who came back to the island from London for Christmas, we got onto the subject of commuting. Two hours of their day, every Monday to Friday, is taken up by travelling to and from their offices in London – that’s 10 hours a week, 40 hours a month or 440 hours a year (taking four weeks’ holiday into account) – and two hours a day is considered quite reasonable in London terms.

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Is MLC having any effect?

17 December 2013

Back in August, the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) came into force, adding seafarers’ rights to existing IMO instruments covering safety, pollution prevention, and crew qualifications. The 30 countries that had already ratified the Convention could now carry out port state control inspections of ships visiting their ports, thereby raising the bar internationally and improving the situation for crew on board ships. But four months into the maritime industry’s newest international regime, have standards for seafarers really improved?

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Fit for a King – or a Rockstar

10 December 2013

If you haven’t heard of Rockstar, you probably know of its most successful product: the world-famous video game Grand Theft Auto. Having cost US$300m to develop, GTA5 made US$800m in its first 24 hours of release this September, and has now sold an estimated 28 million copies worldwide - more than all previous GTA releases combined. In other words, it’s been a huge commercial success.

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Turbulent times for wind farm developments

09 December 2013

It’s been a turbulent few weeks for the clean tech sector. Last week the government announced that incentives for onshore wind farms will be cut by 2015 to encourage investment in offshore wind (more on this later).

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Global Media Coverage, PR & a Seal. Just an average week in the Isle of Man

02 December 2013

We've had a viral video on our hands this week! A beautiful baby seal was filmed playing underwater with a 15 year old guy on his first dive by Michelle Haywood of Discover Diving which is based in the Isle of Man.

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East meets West…

22 November 2013

Overcoming its recent spat with China regarding the Dalai Lama affair the UK has re -embraced the China opportunity with both Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron currently in the news as making a great play to woo new Chinese investment and position Britain as the most accessible EU location for growing Eastern interest in the West.

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The Internet, leaks and opportunities

15 November 2013

The Internet like any other pipeline infrastructure is prone to occasional leaks and the World Wide Web is no exception. In the past several months we have had a daily media diet telling us about security leaks and how alleged espionage is being conducted on the Internet on an industrial scale.

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The future is green

13 November 2013

Having recently returned from presenting at the offshore wind session of the Envirotech and Clean Energy Summit in London, it was reassuring to hear from the investment community that renewable energy continues to show sustained growth.

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DED host CEO of International Festival for Business

08 November 2013

We recently hosted Max Steinberg CBE on the Island. Max is the Chairman for the International Festival for Business 2014 and CEO of Liverpool Vision the organisers of the festival, which takes place in Liverpool in June and July next year.

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Potential new business opportunity! No training required!

07 November 2013

Absolutely anyone – yes, even you - can set up their own marketing business and call themselves a Marketer. Or Brand Evangelist. Or Chief Marketing Guru. Or Social Media Trailblazer. (Insert your stupid marketing-related job title here).

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Fortress EU?

04 November 2013

Recent debates in the EU and UK on protecting domestic taxpayers rage on and clearly the bankers will not be let off the hook for some time yet. But aren’t they missing the old adage that no man is an island…no pun intended being from the Isle of Man.

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Is social media a good thing for seafarers?

01 November 2013

I realise I am a Luddite who went to Sea a long time ago, but I am concerned that the modern age of instant communication and social media may not be helping our seafarers.

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Notes from an “even smaller” island

15 October 2013

100 days into my new position on the Isle of Man and it is time to take a breath and reflect a little.

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Proud as Punch at the Monaco Yacht Show

04 October 2013

Having just returned from The 23rd Monaco Yacht Show, where myself and several Government colleagues ‘manned the stand’, I was delighted to witness a drive and work ethic which was second to none from our industry representatives.

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Ship Efficiency – Regulation or Economics?

01 October 2013

I recently attended London’s Inaugural International Shipping Week. A very successful week, with great support from all in the industry. During the week, I attended a number of high level conferences, with some very distinguished speakers, where the topic of fuel efficiency for ships was never far away.

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