Up to 250 local businesses in the Central South West region will have the opportunity to accelerate their growth and innovation journeys under a new pilot support program, thanks to an investment of almost 430,000 £ from the UK Community Renewal Fund.
Developed in collaboration between Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Mid Ulster District Council, Mid South West (MSW) is responsible for delivering a regional economic strategy focused on boosting productivity, business growth, promoting sector strengths and creating more and better paying jobs in the region.
The Business Innovation Pilot will begin this month and will support local business growth, innovation and productivity within local micro, small and medium enterprises.
Delivered by Brilliant Red Ltd on behalf of the Tri-Council Collaboration, the ground-breaking program will consist of three components: bespoke training workshops, innovation checks and bespoke action plans.
Councilor Paul McLean, Chair of the MSW Region Governance Steering Group, said: “We are delighted to have secured this significant investment from the UK Community Renewal Fund for our pilot business innovation programme. This program will help equip ambitious local businesses with the skills and knowledge to boost their levels of innovation and productivity by sharing information on new processes, Industry 4.0 technologies and decarbonization, as well as by opening funding opportunities and fostering new collaborative relationships across the region.
“Launching the program at South West College’s Dungannon Campus Robotics and Automation Lab couldn’t be more fitting. Already focused on driving change, the progressive college will support MSW’s ambitions to connect business, innovation and education with the development of a new skills engineering and innovation center in the region.
The training workshops will provide participants with greater awareness and understanding of productivity, innovation and emerging technologies, as well as the benefits of working collaboratively and sharing knowledge with key stakeholders such as business institutions. higher education, universities and supply chain partners.
Companies eligible for the scheme will also have the option to apply for £3,000 Innovation Vouchers, designed to help them access leadership and technical support for new projects and processes from industry experts. For companies demonstrating high productivity potential, the pilot program will help them develop tailor-made innovation action plans – addressing key themes such as operational productivity, digitalization, decarbonization, resources, skills and finance.
Steering Group Vice-Chair Councilor Barry McElduff explained, “Securing this funding and launching our business innovation pilot program is an important step in our regional economic strategy to help local businesses MSW to achieve better performance, productivity and growth. With a focus on building local knowledge, raising awareness and opening new doors to emerging technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and automation, the program will help foster progress and inclusive prosperity across the region.
Scheduled to last until June 2022, the program targets micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in key industrial sectors in the region, including manufacturing, engineering, aerospace, construction, agri-food processing, mining and quarrying. as well as pharmacy, logistics, warehousing, information and communication technologies.
Commenting on being awarded the contract to support the delivery of the pilot, Brilliant Red Managing Director Paul Reavey added: “We at Brilliant Red are delighted to be working in the Mid South West on this regionally important program to help some of the most exciting and high potential in Northern Ireland. businesses reach new heights.
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