In today’s economy, innovation is more important than ever. We’re facing new challenges that could have never been predicted and as a result, the success of SMEs across the island relies on dynamic employees who can quickly adapt to these challenges.
At InterTradeIreland, we support innovation in businesses in a number of ways, including our Innovation Boost programme. This programme supports collaborative partnerships between business and academia, and is used to develop and create new products or improve current products/processes.
Effective collaboration offers the facilitation and transfer of crucial skills, knowledge, expertise and supports growth capability. Knowledge transfer is well supported at the interface between universities and businesses. Collaboration with academia can enable businesses to access in-depth knowledge affecting their industry. Many academics employed in Technology Transfer have backgrounds working within businesses - from start-ups and SMEs to multi-nationals – and understand the real issues that firms face when seeking to innovate.
InterTradeIreland’s Innovation Boost programme is the only all-island collaborative technology transfer programme, that can support your company by helping to fund a high calibre science, engineering or technology graduate and partner you with a third level institution with specific expertise. As we look forward to the New Year, businesses should be mapping out plans for 2022. Going forward there are a number of opportunities for firms across the island and InterTradeIreland can provide guidance and support.
‘Boost’ your business with InterTradeIreland
As part of InterTradeIreland’s Innovation Boost programme, you can choose an 18-month project- typically for new product or service development - or a 12-month project - for process improvement - depending on your business needs. Funding is available up to £56,000/€67,900 for 18 month projects and up to £39,000/€47,400 for 12 month projects. On average each company taking part in the Innovation Boost programme benefits from over £1 million worth of sales or efficiency savings in the three years following the project.
The core purpose of Innovation Boost is three-fold:
- To provide an innovative, ambitious Project Manager to fuel innovative thinking and practice within your company. This will provide a unique, exciting and challenging opportunity to boost the Project Manager’s skills, experience and knowledge and to drive them forward in their career.
- The outputs the Project Manager has been recruited to deliver will be critical to your company’s growth and future capability.
- Completing the partnership with an academic with the specific expertise required, helps to embed their knowledge into your company and ensure the success of the project.
The value of collaboration
Despite the challenges facing businesses across the island, innovation and collaboration are more crucial than ever before, especially in the STEM industry where businesses are looking for skilled and motivated individuals to help take them into the ‘new’ future, now maybe more than ever. Those small businesses who recognise and value the contribution that graduates have to offer innovation and all-island collaborative partnerships, can deliver within not just their business but the island economy.
As we prepare for a new year why not take some time to reflect on how collaboration in 2022 could help your business and how InterTradeIreland can assist.