Ireland: Being Best in class in innovative collaboration

We were honoured to host the Collaborate to Innovate event and want to extend a huge thank you to all who contributed their expertise, held booths and attended this insightful morning.

IRDG is based on five pillars – representation, funding & support, innovation networking, collaboration and learning. Last Tuesday’s event neatly tied together each of these pillars.

We had a wide variety of representatives from academia and industry, including professionals from diverse sub-sectors within those fields.   It was a unique opportunity to step out of the box and see what is possible through collaboration.  By networking, collaborating and building the right relationships with the right people, absolutely anything is possible.

Ireland is a small country and a relative newcomer to R,D & I, but the case studies, enthusiasm and bright minds at Tuesday’s event solidified the remarkable progress we have made as a nation.  There is vast opportunity to engage in partnerships between enterprise and academia.

The speakers were top of their fields, and gave insights into what was available to support industry R&D.  Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council, Horizon 2020 & InterTradeIreland all presented funding opportunities for industry.  Arming delegates with a sense of the possibilities was key on the day, and whilst we recognise the challenge to narrow it down to what might work best, we remind companies we are here to help!

The industry case studies brought it all together, and demonstrated how companies, small and big, can leverage the schemes and benefit from them, to do things that otherwise would really seem impossible.  There’s nothing like bringing it back to business, and Pfizer, TE Laboratories and ProPhotonix had inspirational stories to tell about the impact on their business as a result of collaborative innovation.

All our speakers and delegates represented diversity, expertise and a shared drive to work together to remove all barriers and position Ireland as the best in class in innovative collaboration.  But there was also a recognition that collaboration agreements can be a barrier, and the presentation from Knowledge Transfer Ireland highlighted the key supports available now to help all parties in collaborative negotiations overcome this issue more effectively.  It is great to see such progress in this area and the new Protocol announced this year will undoubtedly prove useful to many.

It was fascinating to talk to people and hear stories of unlikely pairings.  Cappa, a division of CIT for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis shared on the break how their light technology works with everything from non-invasive extractions to assuring the cheese on take-away pizza doesn’t burn.  As usual we met representatives from software, food, engineering, healthcare, postal services & lots more, from Irish firms & multi-nationals as well as universities and institutes of technology – professionals with laser-targeted expertise in their fields seeking to break the glass ceiling by partnering with experts who can offer a different yet complementary perspective.

We would like to thank all of you who attended and would love to hear your stories of innovative collaboration.   For those who missed it, we have several exciting upcoming events on our calendar.

See photos from the event here.

There’s a lot to be learned by reaching out and seeking to “Collaborate to Innovate”.  Check out how our exhibitors on the day could help you on the following links:

CAPPA
Cork Institute of Technology
DIT Hothouse
Enterprise Ireland
Horizon 2020
InterTradeIreland
Invent DCU
Irish Research Council
Knowledge Transfer Ireland
Limerick Institute of Technology
Marine Institute
NIMBUS
Nova UCD
TE Laboratories
Trinity College Dublin
Tyndall National Institute
University College Cork
University of Limerick
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