Over one million Euro of investment in research and development has been awarded to companies involved in cross-border projects to develop new services and products.
The figures have been unveiled by the Co-Innovate programme, which is supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), and aims to increase the number of businesses participating in cross-border, transnational or interregional research projects.
There is still time for innovative companies to get involved thanks to a funding extension until Spring 2020.
The Co-Innovate initiative was launched in September 2017, and since then has helped over 1100 companies through innovation workshops, mentoring and funding. Co-Innovate operates in Northern Ireland, the six border counties of the Republic of Ireland, and in areas of Western Scotland.
Co-Innovate has a specific business-to-business funding stream that supports partnerships by providing investment of up to €150,000.
Dianne Dundas, Co-Innovate’s Innovation Advisor, said: “So far, 11 companies and three academic institutes have secured funding of €1,050,000 to help push forward their cross-regional research and innovation partnerships. These include partnerships that are developing fully compostable plastics from renewable sources, developing organic fertilisers from waste products and technology that will help to monitor athletes, their performance and training/playing conditions with the aim of reducing injuries.
“Thanks to an extension, Co-Innovate is currently looking for ambitious SMEs that have a cutting edge idea with strong commercial potential to join forces with a business partner to jointly develop innovative products and services. This is an exciting opportunity open to ambitious businesses for a limited time.”
All projects must have at least one partner based in the border counties of Ireland and one based in Northern Ireland or Western Scotland. Companies participating on the programme must be in a position to support a 24-month-project as well as having the financial capability to match fund the project costs.
Although applications are welcomed from all sectors, they are particularly encouraged from Co-Innovate’s priority sectors including manufacturing, renewables, life and health sciences, agri-food and tech and ICT.
To find out more visit co-innovateprogramme.eu/b2b
The Co-Innovate partnership is led by InterTradeIreland and includes Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Enterprise Northern Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices in the border counties of Ireland, and East Border Region Ltd.