Monday, February 04 10:32:02
InterTradeIreland, the agency responsible for fostering cross border trade, investment and innovation today announced that it is to invest E11 million in 135 cross border technology transfer projects.
The investment will be channelled into the agency's all island technology transfer programme, FUSION, which enables science, engineering and technology graduates to gain access to vital industry skills.
InterTradeIreland is now encouraging SMEs to benefit from the increased revenue and access to innovation that FUSION can offer.
One of InterTradeIreland's most successful programmes to date, it enables SMEs to employ science, engineering and technology graduates for a 12-18 month period to create and develop technologically innovative and commercially viable projects and services.
The graduate benefits by gaining significant management experience and a fully funded Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Management. The company is also partnered with a third level institution to gain access to the specialist expertise they need, facilitating a three way cross border partnership.
Speaking at a company visit to FUSION participant Realtime Technologies, Dublin, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, welcomed InterTradeIreland's investment: "Central to our plans for jobs and growth is creating a powerful engine of indigenous enterprise. This programme has the potential to make a major contribution to that, by providing SMEs with access to skilled workers in science, engineering and technology, and by helping graduates gain valuable skills. Developing strong indigenous engineering and technology companies will be central to our jobs recovery and the FUSION programme will make a real difference in that area. I am determined to build on this through Action Plan for Jobs 2013 to put in place further measures to build our indigenous enterprise base and help create the jobs we need."
More than 450 companies have already participated in the FUSION programme to date with over 85pc of graduates offered long term employment with their host company after the initial phase of the project. On average, companies taking part benefit from over E1.2 million in sales, efficiency saving and investments within 3 years of the project.
Commenting on the investment in FUSION, Thomas Hunter McGowan, CEO of InterTradeIreland said: "We are encouraging SMEs to participate in the FUSION Programme, to improve their productivity, increase their revenue potential and to create real jobs for graduates. Our further investment in 135 cross border technology transfer projects is testament to the strength of this programme which delivers tangible outputs for SMEs. Through creating an innovation eco system North and South, we can offer SMEs the potential to externally source and connect with a wider variety of relevant expertise, while collaborating with graduates and universities to deliver product and service innovations."