The Co-Innovate Programme and The Power of Partnerships

coinnovate-programme-and-partnerships

Are you wanting to develop a new product, service or process? Have you ever considered a partnership to drive innovation in your business? Have you looked at The Co-Innovate Programme? Find out more about the programme and the power of partnerships:


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In a changing environment, there are so many benefits that can be derived from this approach with each party benefiting in different ways, whether through technology advances or sharing of expertise and resources. Harnessing the strengths and abilities of others from different corners of your ecosystem is one of the most strategic ways for businesses to scale their innovation and solve complex challenges.

Partners come in all shapes and sizes but one thing is sure, effective partnerships drive innovation. In today's fast-paced environment, a "do-it-alone" approach is not the best strategy for growth. Companies that initially grew organically need to look for new ways to drive collaborative innovation that delivers on what their customers need today – and in the future.

The Co-Innovate Programme provides funding to foster these innovation partnerships which is critical not only for the partners involved, but for the collective outputs that will ultimately benefit the wider economies. 


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Co-Innovate programme and cross-border partnership

Co-Innovate provides this essential funding and more. Co-Innovate is a five-year €16.6 million innovation programme, supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Indeed, the programme is a successful partnership itself bringing together for the first time key development agencies of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Led by InterTradeIreland, the cross-border trade and business development body, the other partners include Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise (Scotland), Enterprise Northern Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices in the border counties of Ireland, and East Border Region Ltd. 

The overall aim of Co-Innovate is to increase the number of businesses actively participating in cross-border, transnational or interregional research projects and give SMEs access to innovation capability development and help to implement enhanced R&I activity.

The value of this strategic partnership and the Co-Innovate programme to the wider economy cannot be underestimated. Through its partners and participants, Co-Innovate will create a unique cross-border innovation ecosystem and produce long-term benefits by establishing new contacts, sharing expertise and experiences, and developing solutions to common issues.

Strategically, the Co-Innovate Programme aims to increase the proportion of companies engaged in cross-border research and innovation collaboration in the eligible region, from 22% (2014) to 33% (2023). It has targets to engage with over 1,408 SMEs, providing them with education, capability development and project funding support.

Co-Innovate Successes to date

Over 1000 companies have taken part in Co-Innovate Workshops over the last 18 months with almost 700 going on to complete a Business Health Check and deep dive Innovation Assessment.

Over 60 businesses have also taken part in bespoke 10-day mentoring support which provides participants with expert advisors to develop their research and innovation capabilities.

Current Partnership Funding Available

Co-Innovate is currently looking for innovative SMEs looking to take a partnership approach to accelerate innovation within their businesses and is currently offering some generous support packages. These businesses can be based in Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland, or Western Scotland to avail of the support.


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Support options

If your business has an innovative idea to develop a new product or service with strong commercial potential, has found a strategic partner to make it happen but lacks the funds to progress it further then the Co-Innovate Programme may be able to make this a reality.

Or maybe your business is interested in a specific area of activity or research but the project just seems too big for your business alone, then creating or joining a cluster partnership may be for you.

Co-Innovate’s Business to Business and Cluster partnership programmes can provide your business with the opportunity to form a strategic cross-regional Research & Innovation partnership to accelerate product development and improve your business's competitiveness.

Funding Available

  • Funding up to €150,000 (maximum 50% match funded) per Business to Business Partnership is available to support a 24-month innovation project.
  • Funding up to €300,000 (maximum 50% match funded) per Cluster Partnership is available to support a 24-month innovation project.

Target sectors

Although applications are welcomed from all sectors, they are particularly encouraging applicants from the renewables energy, life and health science and agri/food tech sectors.

Find out more

Eligibility conditions apply but the application process is simple. Funding is currently available, the deadline for applications has been extended from 7th of June now to 30th of June 2019.

For more information about Business to Business or Cluster Partnership funding and to apply visit www.co-innovateprogramme.eu.

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