ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster is urging businesses to embrace innovation and benefit from Invest Northern Ireland’s Innovation Voucher programme, which to date has helped boost the performance of over 1,000 businesses.
The Innovation Voucher programme invites businesses to apply for a voucher worth up to £4,000 to enable them to engage with one of 41 universities, colleges and other publicly funded research organisations throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, to help with innovation projects.
Invest NI recently confirmed its commitment to the programme with an additional £3.7million of funding over the next three years.
Minister Foster said: “Innovation can be anything from developing new processes to improve productivity to refining a product to make it more cost effective to produce. There is a direct link between innovation and increased competitiveness.
“My department and Invest NI are encouraging small and medium-sized businesses to take the first step into exploring how innovation can help their performance.
“The uptake of Invest NI’s Innovation Voucher scheme to date has demonstrated how important its support is to helping businesses realise the value to be gained from investing in new products and processes.”
Over 1,000 vouchers have been awarded since the scheme was introduced in 2008 and more than half of these projects are now complete.
Further Innovation Voucher applications will be invited in October 2012 and February 2013. Interested companies can find more information and details of how to apply at http://www.innovationvouchers.com.