Sparking innovation to keep business thriving

Pictured at the recent Innovation Programme Workshop are (l-r) Laura Weir, Invest NI Technical Officer; Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee; Amy Doherty, Techstart NI; Simon Baty, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Innovate UK and Dr John Harrison, InnoTech Centre.
Pictured at the recent Innovation Programme Workshop are (l-r) Laura Weir, Invest NI Technical Officer; Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council's Development Committee; Amy Doherty, Techstart NI; Simon Baty, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Innovate UK and Dr John Harrison, InnoTech Centre.

The council recently launched the latest phase of the highly successful Innovation Programme at Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn.

Now in its third year, the council-funded 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, said: “I wish the programme participants every success as they start on an exciting journey to work creatively to achieve their goals and prosper.”

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, March 10 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 contact Michelle McDonald at the InnoTech Centre by emailing michelle.mcdonald2@swc.ac.uk