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Council sparks innovation to keep local businesses thriving

March 1, 2017

Now in its third year, the latest phase of the highly successful Innovation Programme funded by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, was recently launched at Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn.

‘The Innovation Programme’ is customised for each participating business and delivered collaboratively through a partnership between the InnoTech Centre at South West College and Lisburn Enterprise Organisation. 

The bespoke package of support helps local businesses to develop viable and commercial products and services.  In addition, suitable funding to help drive the business forward will be identified alongside mentoring from industry experts.

Previous programmes have been hugely successful with a diverse range of businesses participating and all have reported an increase in sales, market growth and job creation.  The markets that products are being launched into include: health and life sciences, the e-bike market, sports equipment and connected health.

By funding this initiative and offering assistance in areas such as innovative product and component design, prototype development and new product testing, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council aims to promote a culture of innovation in the wider business sector.

Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee speaking at the launch, said: “In order to prosper local businesses must be innovative by continually renewing, remodelling or modernising their business strategies.  The Council is pleased to offer this programme to assist businesses identify opportunities for gaining a competitive advantage.  I wish the programme participants every success as they start on an exciting journey to work creatively to achieve their goals and prosper.”

Also at the launch were representatives from the Council, Invest NI, Techstart NI, Innovate UK and South West College’s InnoTech Centre to share their expertise and provide guidance on how to access Innovation Vouchers, Proof of Concept Grants and the Small Business Research Initiative Competitions. One of the InnoTech Centre engineers also gave examples of previous innovations that were progressed through this council funded initiative. 

Dr John Harrison, Programme Manager at the InnoTech Centre added: “We aim to guide business up the ‘innovation escalator’ and support them to access the range of funding.”

The Business Solutions Innovation Programme will be holding another workshop on Friday 10th March in the Island Civic Centre focused on the theme of ‘Intellectual Property’ and how to protect new products and brands.

To pre-register for the event please contact Michelle McDonald at the InnoTech Centre by emailing or telephone 029 8225 5223.