Innovate Island is launching a ground breaking project to drive all-island innovation. The project is being delivered with the support of the InterTradeIreland Synergy programme. The Synergy programme aims to scale cross-border collaboration among SMEs using cluster and networking supports for the mutual benefit of businesses in Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Innovate Island was established during the COVID pandemic and is already a thriving, independent, not for profit community of innovation practitioners, advocates, and visionaries, with a primary emphasis on those championing innovation within established organisations. This new project aims to maximise the skills within SMEs on the island of Ireland, to help grow and develop their innovation capacity.
The project's core activities include workshops, events, and networking opportunities, all geared toward promoting innovation best practices, enhancing skills, fostering cross-border collaboration and informing policy makers. Innovate Island will be providing a safe place for those driving innovation to seek ideas, solutions, and inspiration.
The innovation landscape for SMEs can be a challenge to navigate, so central to the project is the creation of a dedicated portal for member collaboration, along with the production of an ecosystem map that will providing general access to information, research, and signposting to various forms of support and funding. Innovate Island content is meticulously aligned with international best practices, positioning this portal and content as a pivotal driver of innovative thinking, providing access to essential structures, skills, and confidence needed to foster long-term innovation across Ireland.
In support of this project, Alison Currie, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at InterTradeIreland commented:
InterTradeIreland's strategic priority is to enable innovation by supporting cross-border collaborations so that these vital clusters and networks can really inject change and mutually beneficial growth and impact across the island. InterTradeIreland’s support for this innovative project is a reflection of our dedication to the growth of collaborative innovation support for SMEs throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. With our support, Innovate Island is providing an opportunity to further connect people and businesses who want to engage in further collaborative innovation to improve business growth and competitiveness.
Charlie Tuxworth, managing partner at Belfast-based innovation consultancy Celsio, and founding member of Innovate Island commented:
We are absolutely thrilled to have InterTradeIreland's invaluable support for this transformative project. This partnership marks a significant stride toward our overarching vision to establish the island of Ireland as a globally recognised centre of excellence for innovation leadership. Innovation support is relatively easy to find for start-ups and for R&D or academic research, but our focus is on those looking to innovate within established business who tend to struggle to find support and advice.
Kathryn Lynch, director at Dublin-based Chronos Consulting and co-founder of Innovate Island said:
SMEs are the backbone of the economy on this island and this project has massive potential to enhance SME productivity, facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and strengthen this cross-border networks. Innovate Island is steadfast in its commitment to driving innovation and foster growth in established organisations, and with the backing of InterTradeIreland, we are ideally positioned to have a substantial and lasting impact.
While the project places significant emphasis on assisting SMEs in solving innovation challenges, promoting sustainability, and spurring economic growth, it remains deeply aligned with InterTradeIreland's core mission and commitment in nurturing businesses across the island, making this partnership a pivotal step toward nurturing a thriving innovation ecosystem.
For additional information about this exciting initiative, please visit https://www.innovateisland.net/