Minister of State for Trade and Employment, Pat Breen TD has issued a second call for up to 10 new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Ireland competitive challenges at a conference in Enterprise Ireland today.
The competitive challenges are aimed at driving collaboration between Irish public-sector bodies and innovative SMEs to identify solutions to specific public-sector needs.
Expressions of interest specific to Irish Public Bodies will open in October 2017, with Enterprise Ireland co-funding up to €500,000 which has been made available to cover up to 10 challenges.
So far this year, Enterprise Ireland has successfully managed the launch of seven SBIR challenges, including a call to find solutions to wildlife activity around Dublin Airport’s runways, and a call by Irish Rail to develop a preventative warning system against railway bridge strikes.
"The SBIR process is a fantastic initiative, facilitating competitions that enable innovation-led businesses to connect with public sector bodies to provide ideas and solutions to challenges facing the public sector," Minister Breen said.
Minister Breen went on to say that the processes allows for improved efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public services that provide greater value for money outcomes.
"By supporting collaborations between SMEs and the public sector, we are harnessing innovative ideas and developing unique solutions which will ultimately have positive economic and societal benefits, not only here in Ireland but internationally as well," Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said.