EI has committed €26 million to invest in the Future Technology Gateway Programme between 2018 and 2022. They have had over 500 companies involved in over 700 projects through the Technology Gateway,
“The idea of the Technology Gateway Programme is to provide a resource to SMEs to help them make the connections with academics or researchers in the Institutes of Technology around the country. We try to make it as easy as possible for companies to engage their innovation agenda - which is so critical to their success. We also have a smaller support for companies which is the Innovation Voucher worth €5,000, designed to make it as easy as possible for our SMEs to have that collaborative engagement on research or when developing a project. We have provided over 500 of those vouchers in the last year.
“We realise the importance of collaboration and we want to make it as seamless as possible for companies to have that engagement.”
Mark says that the STEM industry is vital to the economy, and employment levels regionally. For Enterprise Ireland, the best way to ensure a balanced regional prosperity, is to see the continued growth of companies that can employ people in those areas.
“We need SMEs that are able to develop products and services so they can compete internationally. A key component of that is the meaningful engagement they have with third level and the Institutes of Technology around their innovation agenda, around their research and development and the development of new products.”
Mark says Enterprise Ireland will continue to invest and support this collaboration well into the future.