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LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin set to return April 3

first_img“But when that day comes, we’ll know. The good news is, we’ll have practice – we could have two – but we’ll probably have just one before he plays. And the question, more importantly, is not the starting, it’s how many minutes in a row can he play. If you went by yesterday, it would be three, you know?”Rivers was laughing.The Clippers (45-27) are 28-14 without Griffin. He averaged 23.2 points and 8.7 rebounds before going down.Another distributorIt’s easy to forget how well Griffin passes the ball because he’s a power forward known more for scoring and rebounding. But along with averaging 23.2 points and 8.7 rebounds, Griffin averaged 5.0 assists in the 30 games he’s played this season.That’s one of the things Rivers is looking forward to upon Griffin’s return to action.“What Blake gives you is more options to run stuff,” he said. “It gives you another ballhandler. Basically, at the end of games, right now it’s in Chris’s hands and Chris has to make the decision and the play and now you have two guys who can do that. That makes you a lot more dangerous.”Point guard Chris Paul leads the team in assists with a 9.8 average. Griffin is second.UpcomingThe Clippers next host Boston on Monday night. They’ll then hit the road for games Wednesday at Minnesota and Thursday at Oklahoma City before returning home to play Washington. Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers looked so good in practice Saturday that coach Doc Rivers announced Sunday morning Griffin would begin his four-game suspension that afternoon against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center. That means he’ll be eligible to play next Sunday when the Clippers host the Washington Wizards.It was Griffin’s first practice since being medically cleared, and Rivers said it was obvious he is ready.“Yeah, I kind of thought that before (the practice), but I still wanted to see him; that’s why I didn’t want to say anything,” Rivers said before his team defeated the Nuggets 105-90. “He wanted to practice the last practice we had (Tuesday) and we wouldn’t let him. Usually when a player starts talking that way, you know he’s ready to practice and wants to go out.“We just felt like the extra three or four days to this practice would help. I think Blake would probably disagree with that. He thought he should have practiced the last one. But he looked great. He had no endurance as far as his wind, but as far as just playing basketball, he looked terrific.” When Rivers told reporters Saturday that Griffin would practice for the first time, he said there will be some rust. He was right.“It’s amazing watching what three months does, though, as far as memory of the sets and the timing,” Rivers said. “That wasn’t pretty. But overall, he looked good.”Griffin first suffered a partially torn left quad tendon, an injury that was discovered after the Clippers beat the Lakers on Christmas night. Griffin then sustained a fractured right hand when he punched team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Jan. 23 in Toronto.The hand healed quicker than the quad, which was unexpected. But Griffin is good now. Rivers was asked if he will start Griffin his first game back.“It’s a good question,” Rivers said. “We figure we have five or six or seven, whatever, more days. And, honestly, I don’t know if you can get him in condition to play 35 minutes or 30 minutes right away. My guess right now is we’re going to start him.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Minister Humphreys launches €16.6 million cross-border scheme supporting innovation

first_imgThe Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today launched the Co-Innovate programme.Co-Innovate aims to increase the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)involved in research and innovation across the border region of Ireland, including Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo as well as Northern Ireland and parts of western Scotland, from 22 per cent to 33 per cent over the next five years.Minister HumphreysThe initiative gives companies the tools and tailored support to help businesses innovate, differentiate and compete successfully. The programme offers graduated levels of support including free workshops, individual business health checks, detailed innovation audits, sectoral networks, project management placements and one-to-one expert mentoring. The five year, €16.6 million project is the first funding offer to be announced under the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. It is one of 60 funding programmes across the European Union that have been designed to help overcome issues that arise from the existence of bordersLaunching Co-Innovate, Minister Humphreys, said: “This is a very positive development for SMEs in our border counties. Supporting SMEs is a key strategic priority for the government and it’s crucial we continue to encourage and nurture innovation.“Initiatives like Co-Innovate are central to this goal, providing one-to-one help and mentoring for smaller companies to help embed a culture of innovation in their businesses. I would like to acknowledge the work and contribution of the partnership of organisastions that have come together to establish this important funding programme for the border region.”Match-funding for Co-Innovate has been provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland, the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Speaking at the launch event in Monaghan, Gina McIntyre Chief Executive Officer of the Special EU Programmes Body, said: “The Co-Innovate project will allow the region to make a significant contribution to the achievement of the European Union’s 2020 target of increased investment in research and innovation.“The region, as a whole, is still characterised by low levels of innovation activity. Cross-border co-operation can however be used to help address this issue, by encouraging new partnerships between business and relevant research institutions. By working together through the Co-Innovate project, on a cross-border basis, participating businesses will become ‘innovation active’ and thereby more competitive and profitable.”Neil Ryan, Co-Innovate Programme Director, said: “Every company’s innovation needs are different so each company’s journey through Co-Innovate will be unique. Over 1,400 businesses will receive support at Co-Innovate workshops over the next number of years. These workshops are aimed at demystifying innovation and helping firms understand how it can drive their company’s growth and profitability.“Companies who complete our workshops and subsequent assessments will be selected to take part in advanced programme supports. These advanced supports are designed to help develop detailed innovation delivery plans: bringing ideas to fruition.”Co-Innovate brings together the three regions’ key development agencies to deliver a programme aligned with each government’s strategic priorities, led by cross-border body, InterTradeIreland, in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices in the border region, Enterprise Northern Ireland, East Border Region, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. A series of free, half day, regional workshops are being organised to demystify innovation and help companies understand how it can drive business forward. Those interested in attending must first register and check their eligibility at www.co-innovateprogramme.eu/ci/eligibility-criteria/For more information on The Co-Innovate Programme, please visit www.co-innovateprogramme.eu/Minister Humphreys launches €16.6 million cross-border scheme supporting innovation was last modified: September 8th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:co-innovate programmecross-BorderHeather HumphreysTDlast_img read more