The Clayton Hotel recently hosted an IRDG event on Funds & Expertise for R&D that drew huge interest from businesses around the country. There were more than 100 people from companies of all sectors and sizes across the region turning up at the seminar in the Clayton.
Before this event, not many of the companies knew that they could get up to 80% of their research costs supported by the Innovation Partnership programme. Nor did they know that SME’s could get Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 to support a business opportunity or problem that they want to explore. Guests also learned about the external expertise that is available in the colleges to support companies with their business innovation activities. And they had the opportunity to see how the IRDG helps individual businesses identify and acquire this funding and expertise.
IRDG Innovation Network seminars like this are designed to be highly practical and experiential in nature. They use business case studies to demonstrate the real benefits of funding and collaboration programmes and the resulting commercial gains. On this occasion, Chipright, Digital Optics and Medtronic shared their experiences.
Each of these companies had participated in Innovation Vouchers or Innovation Partnerships in collaboration with GMIT, NUIG and CRANN respectively. For them, the availability of funding, specialised equipment and a community of experts to collaborate and solve problems all assisted them to develop and grow their businesses. Such progress may not have been possible without such collaboration and funding. In telling their story, the very real benefit of the programmes was demonstrated and the idea planted very firmly in the minds of guests that this is something they too should be leveraging.
On closing the event, Denis Hayes, MD of IRDG said; “For many companies, the need and interest in conducting R&D and innovation is often restricted by a lack of internal skills and financial resources. People need to think and look outside their organisations to find the skills, expertise and funding to assist them to grow and develop their businesses. With up to 80% funding available through Innovation Partnerships, alongside the R&D Tax Credit scheme, there really is significant support out there for business. Companies need to understand and leverage the supports available so as to maximise the potential for funded Research, Development and Innovation. We do understand however that it can be overwhelming and time-consuming to identify the most appropriate supports whether that is grant funding, expertise, and/or R&D Tax Credits. IRDG works closely with member companies to ensure they are maximising all that is available”.
This IRDG Innovation Network event was supported by Enterprise Ireland.