Every year InterTradeIreland celebrates some of the Innovation Boost collaborations that have been hugely successful. You can find out more below.
20/21 Project Exemplars
This year the businesses awarded “Exemplar” status have reported sales of over a quarter of a million euro and savings of €640,000 as a direct result of their Innovation Boost projects.
During the next three years, combined sales are projected to grow to upwards of €1.5 million, with predicted savings of over €2 million.
The success of the winning SMEs is a great example of what the Innovation Boost programme is about - giving firms the tools to boost their business though innovative collaboration.
You can watch more about each of the winning firms below.
Based in Co. Cavan, Kore manufacture insulation for the new build and retrofit markets. Managing Director Noel Brady says participation in the Innovation Boost programme has made a real difference to the growth of the business “We’ve produced two new products as a result of Innovation Boost. Working with South West Regional College has opened so many doors. It’s great to get outside input. Sometimes you need a different kind of spark to get your thought process going.”
Based in Co. Laois, Midland Steel are a well-established, market leading steel fabricator in Ireland and the UK. They offer an extensive range of reinforcing steel products and services to the UK construction sector in a diverse range of sectors.
Watch how collaboration via Innovation Boost has helped Midland Steel to develop new and innovative processes to cement its position as a cutting-edge industry leader in its sector.
Central Business Equipment
Based in Co. Mayo, CBE is a leader in EPoS solutions for retail, forecourt and hospitality sectors providing both hardware/software solutions.
Find out how collaboration through the Innovation Boost programme has helped CBE to develop new technology for garage forecourts, which is among a world first.
Innovative Total Solutions
Based in Co. Cork, I.T.S. are a design and build precision mechanical engineering company, supplying automation solutions to a wide variety of industries including medical devices, pharmaceutical, plastic moulding, automotive and electronic manufacturing.
Find out how Innovation Boost has assisted Innovative Total Solutions to develop a new robot which could have a significant impact on production lines globally.
Project Exemplars from 2019
Based in Spiddal, CreVinn Teoranta provide silicon design services to local and international firms including Intel and Oracle. The company used the programme to develop their knowledge and capability of hardware acceleration for High Performance Computing. With support from InterTradeIreland, CreVinn partnered with leading academics at Queen’s University Belfast and a skilled graduate, Cormac Molloy, to explore technical challenges, applications and business opportunities. The result of the collaboration was instrumental in securing a significant project with a customer and securing further leads. The graduate Cormac Molloy has since joined the company full-time in recognition of his expertise.
Based in Castleblayney, Platinum Tanks manufactures a range of plastic products including oil and storage tanks. With support from InterTradeIreland, the business partnered with leading academics from Queen’s University Belfast and a skilled graduate, Oisin O’Conchubhair, on how best to expand its customer base.
Oisin developed CAD models which were then used to build moulds for a new range of agricultural products including meal bins, animal feeders and drinkers. Experts from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast provided advice on the best polymer processing system to use.
Based in Buncrana, Lynch Windows manufacture windows and doors for both the residential and commercial sector with customers including LIDL, Applegreen and Coca-Cola. Through the programme, the company developed a modern roof-light system for domestic homes, a production they previously outsourced. With support from InterTradeIreland, the business partnered with leading academics from North West Regional College (NWRC) and a skilled graduate, Lauren Bradley on how best to develop the product using the latest design techniques.
Project Exemplars from 2017
The Deluxe Group
Based in Portadown, Co Armagh, The Deluxe Group is a design focused, bespoke joinery interior and Theme Park Contractor whose clients include the Hilton London Metropole and Belfast’s Revolucion de Cuba venue, formerly Café Vaudeville. The Deluxe Group specialises in theme park fit-outs and has previously carried out project work for Disneyland, Paris, on the flagship attraction, Ratatouille.
Through the programme, The Deluxe Group partnered with the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT) and a skilled graduate, to develop digital design, visualisation and production processes for use in building theme park sets. As a result of the project, this expertise was applied on the site of a large contract at the Motiongate theme park in Dubai, taking in Lego, Ghostbusters, Underworld and Hotel Transylvania attractions.
By partnering with IADT, which already had expertise in creating models for the film and TV industry, DA&T was able to work alongside the Institute’s lead lecturer in 3D design, model making and 3D art, Julian King, and a dedicated graduate, to combine digital design and advanced fabrication techniques in order to develop theme park models from lightweight, fire-retardant models.
Based in Newry, Co Down, STATSports Technologies Ltd designs, develops and manufactures electronics and software for the elite sports market. Clients include Liverpool FC, The Chiefs New Zealand and The Washington Wizards. With a strong foothold in the sports metrics arena, the company wanted to develop their product for indoor use to gain an important competitive edge.
Through the programme, STATSports partnered with Dr Fergal McCaffery at the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) and a skilled graduate, Alan Moynagh, to develop new technology to measure players’ statistics during indoor sporting fixtures and training sessions.
By partnering with DKIT, which already had expertise in Ultra-Wideband technology, STATSports was able to investigate the potential of integrating this into new products. Graduate Alan Moynagh was instrumental in developing the in-house capability for STATSports and was offered a full-time position with the company after the completion of the project.
Based in Hebron Industrial Estate, Kilkenny, Cf Pharma is a privately-owned nutraceutical animal feed supplement manufacturer. Cf Pharma has a research and development team, plus state-of-the-art facilities, to produce the highest quality liquids, gels, pastes, powders and tablets for the animal healthcare industry.
Through the programme, Cf Pharma benefitted from the expertise of former veterinary surgeon, Mr Pavel Cirneala and Ulster University academic, Dr. Violetta Naughton. With a vast knowledge of European regulation on biocidal products, Mr Cirneala founded and now leads the regulatory affairs department at Cf Pharma. The collaboration between Cf Pharma and Ulster University aided the development and commercialisation of two new animal healthcare products which helped open up opportunities in the European market.
Based in Ballydehob, Ceramicx specialises in industrial infrared heating elements and heating systems; one of only six companies of its kind in the world. Ceramicx products are used by companies in a wide range of industries including luxury car company, Aston Martin, and US multinational, Corning Glass, which produces the curved glass screen for Samsung mobile phones.
Through the programme, Ceramicx benefitted from the expertise of Belfast Metropolitan College graduate, Dr. Peter Marshall who was mentored by academic Mr. Findhan Strain. Dr. Marshall joined InterTradeIreland’s FUSION initiative following the completion of his PhD and has, after completing the programme, secured a permanent position in Ceramicx’s research and development department. The partnership between Ceramicx, Belfast Metropolitan College and Dr. Peter Marshall, enabled the development of a unique drape-forming machine for use in the composites industry. The machine was exhibited at the largest composites show in the world, JEC World in Paris, which raised the company’s profile significantly.
Project Exemplars from 2016
Next Generation Networks Ltd
Next Generation Networks Ltd core business is split between Government Agencies and Industry, with their principle business activities lying in testing and verifying high speed data networks. One of the key areas in which we work lies in the verification of the network performance where mobile cellular networks interface to conventional terrestrial networks, particularly in verifying the performance of the network at the interconnect point.
The project with Next Generation Networks Ltd involved partnering with Southern Regional College with the support of InterTradeIreland graduate, Aidan Magee. Aidan Magee worked for Next Generation Networks Ltd for the 18 month duration of the project and has since been offered and accepted a full time role within the company.
Next Generation Networks Ltd proposed to develop a product which allows telecommunications installation engineers to very easily record information about which cable connects to which when joining high speed data cables in contemporary high speed data networks. This product is called “Nuatag” which is a cable ID tagging system via a smartphone App to record individual cable joint locations and send the information to a central database which will significantly aid fault finding and other network problems.
Tyrone Fabrications Ltd
Tyrone Fabrication Ltd is a rapidly expanding “Turn Key Solution Provider”, which has earned a respected reputation for producing a comprehensive range of durable and secure steel enclosures which incorporate advanced integrated network solutions, constructed using only the highest quality raw materials and components. Currently they supply to the transportation, rail, telecoms, and electrical & mobile phone industries.
The project with Tyrone Fabrication Ltd involved partnering with Dundalk Institute of Technology with the support of InterTradeIreland graduate, Dominic Mullins. Dominic Mullins worked for Tyrone Fabrication Ltd for the 18 month duration of the project and has since been offered and accepted a full time role within the company.
The main outcome of the project was the development of renewable energy based power systems for the telecoms industry. Referred to as Hybrid Power Units, the graduate has successfully integrated solar PV, wind turbine, diesel generator and battery storage capabilities to ensure a constant power supply to telecoms base stations. A variety of combinations of these technologies have been tested on site at Tyrone Fabrication Ltd. The result being the company is now in the position to offer a number of solutions to the market. The graduate has designed the electrical enclosures for these solutions and produced all electrical diagrams as well as marketing material. An online monitoring portal has also been developed to monitor remote installations. Extensive market research has been done and country specific analysis completed for clients (both existing and new potential clients).
Copper Industries (Ireland) Ltd
Copper Industries (Ireland) Ltd designs and manufactures a range of standard and bespoke hot water cylinders, calorifiers and combination units. The range includes both domestic and industrial cylinders which are installed throughout Ireland and the UK.
The project with Copper Industries (Ireland) Ltd involved partnering with Dundalk Institute of Technology with the support of InterTradeIreland graduate, Anthony O’Connor. Anthony O’Connor worked for Copper Industries (Ireland) Ltd for the 18 month duration of the project and has since been offered a role as Mechanical Design Engineer.
Over the course of the Fusion programs Copper Industries have seen many achievements take place in the business. The main project was the introduction of a new energy efficient thermal store was taken from concept through production with the new product being in the market place within the first 9 months of the program. The company has now developed an in-house 3D modelling process. Previously this was outsourced.
Complete Laboratory Solutions
Complete Laboratory Solutions is a multidisciplinary analytical services company providing accredited microbiological and chemical testing of food, water, sediment as well as pharmaceutical analytical services.
Complete Laboratory Solutions project focused on a new technological approach to the analysis and forensic interpretation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in soils and waters. A 2D Gas Chromatograph method (GCxGC) will be developed alongside environmental forensic and risk assessment models to provide better customer products for the environmental industry.
The project with Complete Laboratory Solutions involved partnering with Queen’s Univeristy Belfast with the support of InterTradeIreland graduate, Maria Nevin.
Aspira Ltd specialises in Project Management and Enterprise Software Development. In addition Aspira Ltd has achieved Microsoft Gold Certification. AspiraCon has developed a wide range of new software products for clients including Mail File Achiever, Project Collaborator and Auto Diallout. Aspira Ltd is a Project Management Institute (PMI) certified training organisation with award winning Project Management expertise across a range of industries including I.T., Telecoms, Utilities, Supply Chain Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical and Local Government.
The project with Aspira Ltd involved partnering with Ulster University with the support of InterTradeIreland graduate, Sami Habtemriam. Over the 12 month duration of the project, the focus was on the development of a system for handling medical data and this system is based upon the latest software development and database techniques currently available. The project resulted in a number of achievements including allowing AspiraCon to identify, collect, classify, record, store, and analyse information relating to the incidence and prevalence of cancer and related tumours in Ireland.
Project Exemplars from 2015
ABC Nutrition, Claire
ABC manufactures and distributes products for sports nutrition, meal replacement and general health nutrition. The company gains its competitive advantage through its capability to develop products that are unique to each customer. ABC’s routes to market are via distributors and direct to chains of stores across Ireland, the UK and 15 additional countries in mainland Europe.
The project involved ABC partnering with the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health in the University of Ulster with the support of InterTradeIreland graduate, Ann Marie Coleman. Ann Marie worked for ABC for the 12 month duration of the project, which was completed in January 2015, and has since been offered a role as a product developer with the company.
The project enabled ABC Nutrition to bring in new products and customers as well as a developing lifestyle nutrition business, while freeing up valuable strategic management time to drive business growth. The project also increased export sales by just under €170,000 in year one alone with a projected value of more than €500k by year three.
CDEnviro Ltd offers a range of products proven to bring significant efficiencies to the waste water treatment industry and as a result the company has the capability to maximise material recovery and minimise waste volumes.
The project involved the design, prototype development and field evaluation of a vibrating inlet screen for wastewater treatment plants (WwTPs). The development will harness CDEnviro’s existing expertise in the design and manufacture of vibrating screens for WwTP sludge screening.
CDEnviro now provide the best solution in the marketplace for cleaning water in this notoriously difficult application.
Davra Networks, Dublin
Davra Networks provides a software platform for the ‘Internet of Things’ called RuBAN, which has the ability to harvest data from sensors. Once collected, this is then sent reliably to the cloud, where it can be stored long-term and made available for real-time reporting.
The main purpose of this project is to develop a new module for RuBAN that will allow the company to target a new market of communication networks on fleets of vehicles. This new capability will take advantage of the development work that the International hardware company Cisco has done to release a new wireless router that they plan to promote to the transport sectors worldwide.
The project has had a huge impact on the company increasing staff by 13 and sales by €1.63m.
Gallaghers Bakery, Donegal
Gallagher’s Bakery supplies bread products and specialty lines, including gluten-free products to commercial customers across Ireland and further afield, with customers in Northern Ireland, GB, Europe, America, Canada and Australia.
The aim of the project was to reduce the waste associated with the gluten-free baking process by gaining a better understanding of the chemistry involved and the interactions between the ingredients. The project enabled Gallaghers to reduce the waste incurred in Gallaghers gluten-free baking process by almost a quarter of a million Euros. This has also increased the profitability of Gallaghers Bakery.
Malone Farm Machinery, Mayo
Malone Farm Machinery is a young dynamic company with a commitment to innovation and creativity in the agricultural sector. Founded in 1999, the company manufactures a wide range of agricultural products including self-loading wagons, post drivers, toppers, log splitters and mowers, operating from its 18,000 sq ft premises. The SME works closely with farmers, the ‘end users’ of products, in order to understand their needs and requirements.
The aim of the project was to carry out market research of the forage machinery sector which concluded with a niche market for a certain type of silage trailer. With the research in place a specific silage trailer was designed, developed and tested to exploit this niche market sector. Another outcome of the project was the development of procedure manuals for the design and DFMA systems as well as completing standard operating procedures to assist with the design of the silage trailer.
Project Exemplars from 2014.
Mackle Snacks, Tyrone
Mackle Snacks is involved in the production, marketing and retailing of an array of corn snack food products. They supply multiple retailer own label products in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and in the UK.
This project involved the development of healthy, nutritious and tasty snack food products focussed primarily at the younger demographic groups, i.e. toddlers, young children and young adults. The project researched and developed a suitable product range and addressed all the technical aspects of the products, i.e. recipe development, nutritional and sensory analysis, food safety, safe use by date, product specifications, etc.
Products have since been launched with existing business partners, Ella’s Kitchen, to include various flavours of baby porridges and puffits for the UK & US markets. In tandem with this is a range of Kosher crisp products have been developed for the UK and Israeli Kosher markets.
Arbarr Electronics, Derry
Arbarr Electronics is a Design and Manufacturing Company of leading edge Electronic Hardware for OEMs. They manufacture a range of award winning eco-friendly lighting products for use in airport ground support equipment which supply Fortune 100 companies such as BAA, Fedex, DHL and a number of major world airports. The company has grown 500% over the past 2 years and is currently exporting over 90% of their products and services.
The aim of the project was to research, design, and manufacture and bring to production a LiFe-P04 Battery Powered Standby Power System for use in the Domestic market capable of powering low energy lamps, communication devices for approximately 50 hours. Arbarr have already put in place substantial investment to bring the product to market and have current received preproduction orders to provide PV energy harvesting solution in NI.
Biocore Environmental, Dublin
BioCore specializes in the management of wastewater sludge, landfill leachate and commercial bio-solids.
The purpose of the project was to develop a prototype for the treatment of leachate and sludge. The success of the Project has successfully brought the prototype to market with keen interest shown from a number of key players. Currently BioCore are working on scaling the prototype up and they expect to win a number of contracts on the basis of its success. BioCore’s market position has improved as a result of the FUSION Project, allowing them to strategically expand into a new market which complements their existing suite of services.
The project has directly led to BioCore developing a partnership with CNP Water Limited, OxyMem Limited and University College Dublin.
Epona Biotech, Sligo
Epona was founded in 2008 with the aim of developing impedance based point of care blood diagnostic solutions for the animal healthcare industry. They had the resources to develop and launch its blood test cartridge, but not the resources to develop an electronic reader which interprets the cartridge. Through the project they were able to develop this point of care reader (instrument) for use with their in vitro diagnostic test cartridges. They now have a beta product ready for the test market.
Project exemplars from 2013
Silver Hill Foods, Monaghan
Silver Hill Foods core business is the supply of food (duck) to the catering industry, however through the project they developed innovative leisurewear for females, to enter new high value markets, using the natural thermal properties of duck down, which is a material bi-product of current food production. The use of smart textiles and innovative sustainable design acted as a key driver to capture new market share.
Ocean Harvest Technology, Galway
Ocean Harvest Technology (OHT) supply seaweed derived formulas to aquaculture and pet food industries. The formulas are based on the bioactive ingredients found in the different seaweeds that replace the synthetic ingredients found in a variety of agri and aquacultural feed ingredients.
The project developed new fish food products through the identification and analysis of protein rich seaweeds. They developed an extraction methodology protocol for crude protein from seaweed that can be commercially scaled up to a pilot plant facility.
Vitalograph is a global leader in the design and manufacture of pulmonary function medical devices and software such as asthma and COPD monitors, consumables and products and systems for clinical trials. Target markets include primary and secondary care, CROs, telemedicine and pharmaceutical companies.
Through the project they developed a range of algorithms for acoustic analysis of audio signals. The algorithms analyse a patient’s breathing and assess whether the correct technique of inhalation was used.
Kelly Bros, Down
Kelly Brothers is a family owned Contracting and Developing business currently employing approximately 55 people. They provide new build social housing to a range of Housing Associations in Northern Ireland and County Councils in the Republic of Ireland.
Their project entailed the development of a range of 12 prefabricated turnkey modular houses for both the domestic and export market. The design allowed flexibility in internal design while optimising installation, ventilation and environmental considerations. The modular design also facilitated packing of the house in containers for export.
Irish Diagnostics, Kildaire
Irish Diagnostic Laboratory Services Ltd (IDLS) provides laboratory testing for the diagnosis, management and prevention of diseases of horses. One of its key areas is Forensics – to include prohibitive substances in horses and other species.
Through the project they developed the capability to perform multi-drug residue analysis and effect based bioanalysis on samples from horses submitted to the company for testing.
Project Exemplars from 2012.
The project assisted the company in the development of a product that enables patients to measure and monitor vital signs of recovery and stream their progress directly to their health care professional.
The Shimmer Research division of Realtime Technologies which specialises in designing and developing wearable sensors for a variety of healthcare, sports and research applications has delivered a 20% increase in turnover as a result of the project and graduate, Karol O’Donovan, with the support of the University of Ulster, has assisted in the development of a product that enables patients to measure and monitor vital signs of recovery and stream their progress directly to their health care professional.
Kieran Daly, Vice President of Realtime Technologies added, “As a technology led and focused company, it’s a very fast moving industry so we need to stay ahead of the game, so innovation is key to our business. Through the programme we were able to work with a graduate who developed a software programme which in turn has meant that we have been able to grow the team and scale much faster.
Graduate, Karol O’Donovan added, “I had always worked on purely research focused work but the programme really opened up the door for me to work in a customer facing environment and on ‘real world’ projects. Having the chance to develop my business skills by taking part in the Business Masters has also been a real advantage for me. I now have a whole new set of skills which compliment my technical background.”
Media Lightbox, Newry
The company decided to participate in order to develop new features for their system, allowing them to stay ahead of their competitors.
Media Lightbox, Newry – which sells a web-based digital asset management solution to companies worldwide, has certainly reaped the benefits of their involvement with InterTradeIreland. The company decided to participate in order to develop new features for their system, allowing them to stay ahead of their competitors.
Media Lightbox CEO, Shane Meehan, explains, “Technology moves at such a fast pace, especially online, so there are always improvements to be made. If you didn’t move forward in this industry you would quickly see your users move to other companies who are innovating and improving their product regularly, so for us innovation is critical.
FUSION enabled Media Lightbox to employ a highly skilled Interactive Multimedia Design graduate and also partnered them with a third-level academic institution, Dundalk Institute of Technology, to help them complete the project.
As part of the project, Media Lightbox designed an entirely new user-interface, ensuring that the system was as easy as possible for clients to use and graduate Ben Willis, was instrumental in the development of this feature.
InterTradeIreland has enabled the company to identify and develop a new cholesterol drug. Solvotrin Therapeutics specialises in creating new patent protected drugs for the treatment of rare diseases in the areas of cardiovascular and cancer prevention and treatment.
Solvotrin, Cork – InterTradeIreland has enabled the company to identify and develop a new cholesterol drug. Solvotrin Therapeutics specialises in creating new patent protected drugs for the treatment of rare diseases in the areas of cardiovascular and cancer prevention and treatment. Graduate, Tom O’Brien from Shanagarry, with the support of the School of Pharmacy at Queens University, has assisted Solvotrin to select and develop the lead compound for its new cholesterol drug.
Pat O’Flynn, co-founder of Solvotrin said:“Through InterTradeIreland’s programme we were able to work with Tom O’Brien, who had a very hands on approach that really worked for a company our size. Tom not only had the scientific background and understood the illness, he also understood the commercial side of developing a drug. These three components often operate in isolation so having one person who can look after all of it is a real advantage. It allows us to work in a very cohesive manor and allows us to change direction quickly if needed. Having a multi-disciplinary approach and by being able to operate faster creates the opportunity for small companies to compete on a global stage.
Graduate, Tom O’Brien added: “InterTradeIreland has allowed me to apply my technical and scientific background to business and the bigger picture. Working and liaising with academia was also very beneficial and ensures that the research that is being funded at the moment is commercial. Taking part has really opened doors for me and I would definitely recommend it to others who are in similar industries.”
InterTradeIreland has enabled the company to develop a new product which has resulted in the company winning new business in the European market.
Sligo company Lotus Technical Services. A company within the LotusWorks group. InterTradeIreland has enabled the company to develop a new product which has resulted in the company winning new business in the European market.
Lotus Technical Services which specialises in providing calibration products to the, semi-con, pharma, medical devices, automotive, aviation, oil and gas exploration and food and beverage sectors has developed new market opportunities in Europe as a result of the project. Graduate, Peadar Doyle from Sligo, with the support of the University of Ulster, has assisted in the development of software tools for calibration that enables companies to access their data via a customer login. Companies can also gain access to their calibration certificates and histories.
Graduate, Peadar Doyle added, “Coming from an engineering background, it was great to be exposed to the latest and most up-to-date business and management thinking. Then going on and putting the theory into practice and being able to manage my own project at Lotus Technical Services was a great experience. I would definitely recommend the programme to others.’’
InterTradeIreland has enabled the company to develop premium oral hygiene healthcare products for cats and dogs.
Monaghan company Ward Biotech. InterTradeIreland has enabled the company to develop premium oral hygiene healthcare products for cats and dogs. Ward Biotech specialises in premium animal healthcare products, focusing in particular on oral hygiene products such as drinking water, gels and toothpastes for cats and dogs. Graduate Garry Laverty, with the support of Queens University, thoroughly tested their products against competitor products.
Graduate, Garry Laverty added: “As a science graduate, the programme offers an excellent opportunity to develop key skills in a working environment. Rather than throwing you in at the deep end, the grant allows the graduate to further themselves in order to improve on areas of weakness. Coming from a science background, my knowledge of business matters was limited. The post-graduate diploma allowed me to see the bigger picture; that areas such as marketing, cost effectiveness and finance are as important as the research in the development of a product.”
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