25 Feb 2020 | 03.11 pm
Tweed Caps And Robots Among InterTradeIreland’s ‘Exemplars’
Plaudits for FUSION programme graduates
25 Feb 2020 | 03.11 pm
InterTradeIreland’s FUSION programme has awarded Exemplar status to five businesses across the island. At first glance, this small group of firms has very little in common; however, dig a little deeper and you’ll discover they’re all bound by the thread of outstanding innovation, assisted by InterTradeIreland’s FUSION programme.
This initiative supports business development by partnering companies with a research institution and a graduate project manager, which InterTradeIreland helps to fund. The graduate works directly with the business to deliver new products or improved processes over 12 to 18 months.
“All of these Fusion projects were in very different areas. We had everything from tech firms working in 3D printing and advanced robotics to construction firms and textile manufacturers,” says Alan Morrow, Operations Manager at InterTradeIreland.
“However, all of the companies involved were open to new products and processes. This is what the Fusion programme is about — giving firms the tools to boost their business through innovative collaboration.”
Between them, the five businesses have reported sales of more than €2.6m and savings of over €180,000 during their FUSION projects. Combined, they have anticipated sales of upwards of €17m and savings of €477,000 over the next three years.
“Participating in FUSION has made a real difference to each of the firms in terms of developing and delivering new opportunities, new revenue streams and new efficiencies,” Morrow adds.
Among the five Exemplar businesses are Reamda, O’Reilly Concrete and Hanna Hats.
Reamda makes smart robots for the defence sector. Based in Kerry, it joined forces with North West Regional College and graduate Thomas Coleman. This partnership helped Reamda increase its sales, develop its product range and win new work.
Building firm O’Reilly Concrete in Cavan, working with graduate Gurupad Guruprassad Bhat and Southern Regional College, developed a new type of modular-style wall panel for domestic homes that improves insulation performance
Hanna Hats is a third generation firm in Donegal that has been in business for nearly 100 years. The SME was partnered with North West Regional College and graduate Rachel Blackensee. The trio introduced new technology and a new product range, which has helped to re-assert Hanna Hats as an exclusive manufacturer in international markets.
Margaret Hearty, Director of Operations at InterTradeIreland, says that it is important to celebrate the success of these SMEs. “We are delighted to support ambitious companies across the island that are committed to innovation,” she adds.
“All of these companies have showcased the success and commercial benefits that come from collaboration. The results speak for themselves and we would encourage other SMEs who want to build innovation into their business to apply for our FUSION programme.”
To find out more about FUSION, visit www.intertradeireland.com/fusion