Arklow Based Company Crowned 'Best Micro-Start-Up' in Prestigious National Awards

Arklow Based Company Crowned 'Best Micro-Start-Up' in Prestigious National Awards


Aqualicense, who are supported by Local Enterprise Office Wicklow, were this year’s ‘Best Micro Start-up’ winners at the recent LAMA (Local Authority Members Association) Community & Council Awards sponsored by IPB Insurance.

Aqualicense, is an Arklow based company that provides consultation, planning, legal compliance and project delivery services for firms in the aquaculture and offshore energy industries.

In 2021 Aqualicense expanded their operations into the highly regulated offshore renewable energy sector which has helped the company grow considerably and they are now looking to expand their expertise into new markets internationally. 

Established in 2019 by Kate Dempsey the company has gone from strength to strength. Kate firmly believes that any business operating in the marine space can be cognisant of the resultant environmental pressures so that mitigation is built into the initial project planning.

This ethos is evidenced by the focus of Aqualicense on marine restoration and sustainability while providing consulting services to the Offshore Aquaculture and Offshore Renewables industries. Kate holds honours Irish Law Degree, HDip in business in Aquabusiness and is an Irish Aquaculture Nuffield Scholar.

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Tommy Annesley, said: “As a fellow Arklow native it is fantastic to see an Arklow-based company competing against Ireland’s most enterprising companies, and being recognized as the best. Aqualicense is contributing to a new and exciting chapter of economic diversity in the maritime sector. Congratulations to Kate and her Team.”

Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Emer O’Gorman, stated: “Kate Dempsey’s entrepreneurial talent and skills and her passion for Irish marine development have been instrumental in her success to date. Supported by the Local Enterprise Office and working together with Wicklow County Council to delivery on strategic opportunities in the Marine Sector, we are delighted to see her work celebrated once again on a national stage. She is driving high value job creation in County Wicklow, and helping to ensure environmental sustainability is at the heart of Maritime development. Congratulations to Kate and her fantastic team.”

The awards provide a great opportunity to highlight the work done within local communities, to reward unsung heroes and recognise the remarkable contribution they’ve made to our lives as well as acknowledge achievements by County Councils, partnerships and projects across Ireland. In its 17th year these awards continue to grow nationally celebrating communities and Councils working together. The 2023 awards saw a record number of nominations across the 31 Councils which were whittled down to 100 shortlisted projects, of which Wicklow County Council had 4, in 25 categories.

 Arklow Based Company Crowned 'Best Micro-Start-Up' in Prestigious National Awards

L/R - Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council Cllr Tommy Annesley and Chief Executive Emer O’Gorman along with Ciaran Farrell, CEO of Aqualicense, accepting the award from the sponsor Andrew McCarthy, Chief Sponsorship and Mission Officer, Bon Secours Health System, and Cllr Michael Anglim, Chairperson, LAMA (Local Authority Members Association).