Breen praises SME chal­lenges

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK -

TRADE and Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Pat Breen yes­ter­day called for up to 10 new Small Busi­ness In­no­va­tion Re­search (SBIR) com­pet­i­tive chal­lenges.

The com­pet­i­tive chal­lenges are aimed at driv­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Ir­ish pub­lic-sec­tor bod­ies and in­no­va­tive SMEs to iden­tify so­lu­tions to spe­cific pub­lic-sec­tor needs.

Ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est spe­cific to Ir­ish Pub­lic Bod­ies will open in Oc­to­ber 2017, with En­ter­prise Ire­land co-fund­ing up to €500,000 which has been made avail­able to cover the chal­lenges.

So far this year, En­ter­prise Ire­land has suc­cess­fully man­aged the launch of seven SBIR chal­lenges, in­clud­ing a call to find so­lu­tions to wildlife ac­tiv­ity around Dublin Air­port’s run­ways, and a call by Ir­ish Rail to de­velop a pre­ven­ta­tive warn­ing sys­tem against rail­way bridge strikes.

“The SBIR process is a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive, fa­cil­i­tat­ing com­pe­ti­tions that en­able in­no­va­tion-led busi­nesses to con­nect with pub­lic sec­tor bod­ies to pro­vide ideas and so­lu­tions to chal­lenges fac­ing the pub­lic sec­tor,” Mr Breen said at an En­ter­prise Ire­land con­fer­ence.

The Min­is­ter added that the pro­cesses al­lowed for im­proved ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness in the de­liv­ery of pub­lic ser­vices that pro­vide greater value-for-money out­comes.

En­ter­prise Ire­land CEO Julie Sin­na­mon said the col­lab­o­ra­tion would har­ness in­no­va­tive ideas and de­velop unique so­lu­tions which would have “pos­i­tive eco­nomic and so­ci­etal ben­e­fits”.

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