Innovation edge boosts global sales
Irish companies are achieving international sales at record levels. They are doing so by driving innovation and creating a competitive edge.
Innovation is a game-changer in relation to a company's ability to compete, and Ireland was ranked number one for innovative capability in the 2017 European Innovation Scoreboard. It is an advantage that enables us to compete in global markets.
Enterprise Ireland's global presence, with offices and advisers in locations around the world, allows us to spend time speaking to the international customers of companies we support. The feedback we consistently get is that Irish companies "go the extra mile and really take on board what we need".
We hear repeatedly that Irish companies work as trusted partners. They look at the demands their customers face, talk to them about the markets they are in and the products they need, and then innovate new products and services to solve their problems. That is how Irish companies compete globally and why so many are leaders in their market segments, with technology playing a key role.
The innovation they deliver does more than serve domestic purposes, it helps solve some of the biggest challenges the world faces today.
Major challenges require the vision of innovators, who can look into the future and see the bigger picture, but also get things done here and now to realise revenue.
These innovators include companies like Aerogen, the world's leading medical device company specialising in aerosol drug delivery systems; and Nuritas, which combines artificial intelligence and genomics to discover and unlock natural bioactive peptides, changing the lives of billions of people worldwide.
Companies like Moocall, a specialist in sensor-based herd management software, and Terra NutriTech, which automates animal nutrition to improve herd health, are helping to sustain our growing global population.
Irish companies are also helping to preserve the environment. C&F Green Energy is powered by a mission to make wind energy affordable, and NVP Energy's smart business solutions take wastewater from production lines and turn it into an energy source.
Irish companies are driving innovation in artificial intelligence. Aylien is a developer of AI-driven content analysis solutions that make it easy to understand vast amounts of human text using deep learning and advanced natural language processing; Artomatix created the world's first 3D art engine; and Pointy is a revolutionary system that automatically displays retailers' products online, using algorithms and machine learning to estimate stock levels, helping traditional retailers compete with ecommerce ones.
Soapbox Labs develops speech-recognition solutions specifically for children's voices to ensure the highest accuracy possible; RecommenderX uses machine learning to guide enterprise teams to better data-driven decision-making; and VR Education's virtual and augmented software is changing how educational and training is delivered.
Irish companies are making it possible to connect people so that they can transact more easily, securely, and fairly. AID:Tech uses blockchain technology to revolutionise how governments, corporates and NGOs deliver charitable aid across the world; and Sysnet Global Solutions develops compliance security solutions that protect us online.
That there are many more innovative Irish companies like these is due to a unique environment. Ireland has a strong entrepreneurial agenda - companies are agile in looking for international opportunities. We also have a highly-skilled flexible workforce with a forward-looking mindset.
They are supported by initiatives such as Technology Centres, which bridge commercial knowledge with academic research, ensuring Irish companies are ready for future developments, particularly in relation to AI and machine learning.
The business community is supported by a world-class R&D ecosystem and operates alongside some of the world's biggest names in technology, life sciences and financial services, areas for which Ireland is an international hub. The result is that Irish companies grow up meeting the challenges of global leaders.
We are a small country, but we have big ideas - global ones.
Watch Enterprise Ireland's video, Small Country, Big Impact: https://bit.ly/2KD9zWr
Carol Gibbons is department manager digital technology and director ICT commercialisation at Enterprise Ireland
Sunday Indo Business