InterTradeIreland is making a further €1.5m in funding available for businesses in 2013 through the Innova programme for North/South collaborative innovation partnerships to develop new products, process or service development.
To date, InterTradeIreland has released over €8m directly to companies North and South to commercialise existing partnerships.
Significant outputs to date include development of treatments for cancer, the development of a heart monitoring device and the development of a compost raw material.
The Innova programme in particular is looking for collaborative partnership projects in the following sectors: life and health sciences, polymers and plastics, agri-food, advanced engineering and advanced materials, telecoms, ICT and environmental. Partners can work in the same sector or come from different but complementary disciplines.
An example of a successful Innova partnership is Dundalk based Vennetics and Belfast based Instil which came together to develop a new type of telephony service called ‘Moozler’.
Moozler provides services direct to customers through the internet without using either mobile or VoIP service providers. The companies explained that prior to participating in the Innova programme, both had a concept but that collaboration brought the concept to fruition. Vennetics had the experience on the product side while Instil brought the benefit of its bespoke software solutions to the process.
The partnership is now working with a number of major global telecoms companies including 3 in Ireland, Bell in Canada and Telefonica in Spain (Movistar) and the UK (O2), providing them with a consumer brand for a new service they can offer their customers. Both companies have hired new staff as a direct result of the project and are in the process of further expansion.
Ivan Mc Shane, engineering eirector Vennetics, said: “Innova was key to the success of our Moozler product. As a small company we had done all of the research and development of our concept, however, we were at too early a stage to start pitching to venture capitalists and other people who could help us fund the development of the product and that’s where Innova came in.
“With the help of InterTradeIreland, we identified Instil in Belfast as a good fit for Vennetics. Innova made it happen – together we mapped out a plan for getting our idea to actual production phase.”
InterTradeIreland is encouraging Irish businesses with an innovative idea with strong commercial potential and an existing strategic business partner in Northern Ireland to apply now for funding support up to €300,000 through Innova.