Call for cross-border SMEs to join Co-Innovate Programme

Pictured: Neil Ryan, InterTradeIreland with Peter Donnelly and Dr John Kellett, Tapa Healthcare
Pictured: Neil Ryan, InterTradeIreland with Peter Donnelly and Dr John Kellett, Tapa Healthcare

More than 800 SMEs received support on last year

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20 March 2019 | 0

InterTradeIreland has opened entries to the second round of its Co-Innovate Programme.

More that 1,400 SMEs across the border region are eligible to apply for the five-year €16.6 million project that aims to boost collaboration between small and medium enterprises across the border counties in Ireland, Northern Ireland and parts of western Scotland.

Co-Innovate offers collaborative research and innovation project support via five different forms of innovation assistance. The graduated levels of support include free innovation workshops, individual business health checks and one-to-one expert mentoring. Companies can also benefit from project support with academics and cross border business to business partnerships.

Neil Ryan, InterTradeIreland’s Co-Innovate Programme director, said: “The programme is aimed at demystifying innovation and helping firms understand how it can drive their company’s growth and profitability. Innovation is vital for the success and long-term sustainability of any business, and it’s crucial we continue to encourage and nurture SMEs to drive economic growth and prosperity.”

More than 800 local companies took part in Co-Innovate Workshops over the year with almost 500 going on to complete a Business Health Check. Some 40 businesses have also taken part in an intensive 10-day mentoring session which provides participants with specific action plans to develop research and innovation capabilities.

One such business to progress through the scheme is Dundalk based Tapa Healthcare, a medical technology business that provides aims to proactive patient-centric care by harnessing the power of ICT.

Peter Donnelly, CEO of Tapa Healthcare, said: “The Co-Innovate Programme has been an excellent way of enabling us to review all aspects of our business, focusing on innovation and future opportunities. The advice, hands-on mentoring and real-life business support provided ensures innovation, research and collaboration is embedded in our business to foster growth. I’d advise any businesses locally to apply and see how research and collaboration can boost their plans.”

Co-Innovate was the first funding offer to be announced under the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. It is one of 60 funding programmes across the European Union that have been designed to help overcome issues that arise from the existence of borders.

For more information visit www.co-innovateprogramme.eu.

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