18 Dec 2017 | 03.57 pm
Agile Innovation Fund Offers €150,000
Enterprise Ireland promises speedy decision
18 Dec 2017 | 03.57 pm
Enterprise Ireland has created a new fast-track Agile Innovation Fund to give companies rapid access to innovation funding, with up to €150,000 in state money available for a development project.
The agency said the aim is to help companies respond more quickly to market opportunities and challenges, including those posed by Brexit. Firms can get up to 50% of the cost of maturing a project in the areas of product, process or service development, up to a total cost of €300,000.
EI says that investment in innovation by Irish companies is a key factor driving their global performance. A survey of 2,000 EI clients in 2016 found that those who availed of innovation supports (specifically capability, funding and collaboration support) reported an average 67% growth in global sales.
Chief executive Julie Sinnamon said: “Investment in innovation delivers for businesses. Enterprise Ireland has designed and tailored this new fund to precisely meet the needs of Irish companies — substantial financial support for innovation, localisation and product development, a streamlined online application and a fast-track approval process.
“Enterprise innovation is a key differentiator in competitive markets and the Agile Innovation Fund will assist companies in their innovation agenda. This fund will enable many Irish companies to respond quickly and effectively to the challenges posed for their business by Brexit.”
A previous recipient of EI R&D funding, Paul Stack of Marco Beverage Systems, said: “I wouldn’t just suggest that other Irish companies conduct R&D — I would consider it to be absolutely critical. For us, Enterprise Ireland funding for one product generated platform technologies that could be used with others, and this innovation transformed our brand awareness and opened new markets.
“People sometimes see an R&D grant as something to get a product to market, but a reputation for innovation also increases your brand value and drives sales all by itself. R&D drove a whole culture of innovation in our business, which set us apart from our competitors.”
The company’s products are used by outlets like Starbucks, Bewley’s and Costa, and 80% of Marco’s products are exported, up from 68% three years ago.
Photo: Paul Stack and Julie Sinnaomn (Pic: Fennell Photography)