Innovation Exchange: Strong uptake from digital transformation call-for-solutions

May 10th, 2022

L-R: Liz Thomas, Head of Strategic Projects, Skillnet Ireland; Simon Harris T.D., Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Conor Carmody, Programme Director, The Innovation Exchange

Following a national call for digital transformation solutions, 150 innovative SMEs were successful in their bid to join The Innovation Exchange, the new initiative that connects large businesses facing innovation challenges with SMEs that can fast track the solutions.

The successful companies met strict criteria including proven ability to deliver innovative digital solutions and demonstrate an innovative approach and potential to scale. In 2022, The Innovation Exchange will accept over 250 SMEs onto the programme, with over 1000 expected to join the initiative over the next four years. Additional calls will be announced throughout the year with a second call for applications coming in May focusing on challenges and solutions in healthcare transformation.

The Innovation Exchange has also announced that eight large businesses have signed up to the programme in the first quarter of the year, each committing to publishing at least one innovation challenge which participating SMEs are invited to respond to. By the end of 2022, a minimum of 20 corporate partners will have published challenges and a total of approximately 500 proposals are expected to be put forward by SMEs for consideration.

The Innovation Exchange is pleased to announce that Musgrave, HSE, Health Innovation Hub, Ryanair, Glanbia, IBM, Select USA, Carberry and An Post have joined the programme. With recruitment ongoing, the number of corporate partners is expected to double by the end of quarter two. These large businesses get access to Ireland’s most talented and innovative SMEs and to a framework that is designed to accelerate their digital transformation ambition.

The SMEs in The Innovation Exchange are at the leading edge of digital transformation across all industry sectors from manufacturing to retail. They have capability to solve challenges by harnessing emerging technologies such as IoT, data analytic and AI to solve problems for big business in the areas of sustainability, energy, big data, workflow management, recruitment and retention.

The SME innovators, which include well established technology solutions providers as well as start-ups and scale-ups that are developing the next wave of distributive and transformative solutions, get access to a customer pipeline and to a framework that develops their capability to navigate sales and procurement through specialised, tailor-made training.

Some of the SMEs that were successful in the first call for solutions include Ambisense, GladCloud, Touchcom, Cognition, World Boatyardx, Energy Elephant, HR Locker, Visual ID, ApplyOn and Overcast.

“The calibre of SME’s that applied to be part of the programme is very high. We are not only looking for tried and tested digital transformation solutions, but also for the ability to collaborate with large businesses who also want to put their stamp on the end solution that they will adopt” said Programme Director of The Innovation Exchange, Conor Carmody.

The Innovation Exchange is a multi-year programme that facilities collaboration between Irish SME’s and large multinationals to boost innovation. It will support over 1,000 companies between 2022-2025. The programme is managed by Dublin BIC in partnership with Skillnet Ireland. Learn more here: www.theinnovationexchange.ie


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