Coleraine innovator aims to be green tech leader

Island Enterprises, a new Coleraine-based business, is pioneering recycling techniques, including bio-remediation, with export start assistance from Invest Northern Ireland. The company, formed by Dr Mark McKinney, an expert in environmental technology, and Kevin Murray, a specialist in landfill management, has identified a substantial export opportunity particularly in the Republic of Ireland.

The £550,000 investment by Island Enterprises is expected to create around 13 new jobs over the next three years, most of which will be at a major, fully-licensed recycling site being developed by the company at Mallusk, Newtownabbey. Invest NI has provided financial assistance of £90,000 towards the project.

Announcing Invest NI’s support for the company, Mary Gormley, North West Regional Office Manager, said: “Island Enterprises has identified a significant niche market for the expertise of its directors in bio-remedial technology.

“It has a number of innovative products on the drawing board which could help to establish this ambitious company in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, offering solutions to serious environmental problems and in helping other businesses meet the existing and future requirements of ‘green’ legislation.

“Our support is geared to assist the company as it seeks to pursue and harness substantial opportunities pinpointed in RoI, especially from the huge construction programme underway there that involves the clearance of brownfield sites.

“A number of trade agreements and strategic alliances, which Island Enterprises has entered into with companies outside Northern Ireland, will enable it to achieve its objectives of expanding its knowledge base and penetrating of new markets. It has also identified opportunities for its experience in dealing with contaminated construction sites,” she added.

Dr McKinney said: “Our business strategy is to establish the company as one of the leading treatment and waste recycling operations throughout the island of Ireland. We have the expertise to offer cost-effective solutions to all companies which produce waste.

“Our other important focus will be on the continuous research and development of innovative products that address specific waste treatment and the bio-remediation of sites and contaminated land.

“What we can offer companies and public authorities is vast experience of waste treatment and pollution clean-up techniques gained in Ireland and further afield in Europe and Asia, including China, over the past two decades. Environmental issues, of course, are already a major concern for companies and various agencies, and will continue to grow in importance in the years ahead.

“Our knowledge of increasingly complex UK, Republic of Ireland and EU environmental legislation and licensing, is comprehensive and this enables us to help customers develop solutions that are both compliant and effective,” he added.

Among products already planned by the company is an engineered high specification top soil for use in landscaping and sports facilities including golf courses.