Business Networks on the island of Ireland April 2011

The research shows the benefits of business networks both to the companies involved and to the wider economy. Engagement with business networks changes firm behaviour including, for example, joint bidding on contracts, purchasing materials on a group basis and collaborative research and/or design activities. Through these and other network-related activities the members have benefited from sales increases, greater cost competitiveness and enhanced innovative endeavour. It is important that supports for business networks and collaborative cross-sectoral approaches are geared towards delivering export market opportunities, enhancing productivity and innovation and developing strategically important sectors.