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Skillnet Ireland has today announced the nationwide expansion of The Innovation Exchange, Ireland’s innovation marketplace that connects large companies facing digital transformation challenges with technology companies that can fast-track the solutions.

The initiative is a partnership between Skillnet Ireland and Furthr (formerly Dublin BIC).

At the Digital West Conference in Co. Mayo today, Galway Technology Centre will be named the first regional channel partner of The Innovation Exchange. The partnership will offer SMEs located in the west of Ireland, and operating in the digital transformation space, the unique opportunity to pitch to, and collaborate with, large corporates looking to access innovation.

As part of this partnership, Galway Technology Centre, which supports innovative, globally trading companies in the ICT sector, will bring both corporates and scale-ups based in the west of Ireland on board as The Innovation Exchange members. Furthermore, it will bring the benefits of The Innovation Exchange to enterprise hubs across the west of Ireland.

The Innovation Exchange’s aim is to establish a nationwide footprint by onboarding up to ten regional channel partners throughout 2023. The expansion of The Innovation Exchange, which currently has 350 participants, will offer even more SMEs access to the programme’s benefits, including an instant sales pipeline, market intelligence and the capability to sell to large corporates.

Skillnet Ireland has committed €5 million to fund The Innovation Exchange which is designed to address the barriers that exist for scaling companies when selling to large companies and multinationals. The programme will support over 1,000 companies between 2022-2025.

Since its inception, five deals have been concluded with 20 more in the pipeline. The Innovation Exchange is calling on scale-ups and corporates located in the West of Ireland to register via

Speaking at today’s announcement in Galway Technology Centre, Liz Thomas, Head of Strategic Projects, Skillnet Ireland said: “Skillnet Ireland is delighted to announce The Innovation Exchanges’ expansion to all regions of the country and to celebrate today the first of a series of partnerships. This nationwide expansion will foster growth and development in all regions of Ireland. Our indigenous SMEs have plenty to offer when it comes to digital innovation. This is a great opportunity for them to easily access the benefits of The Innovation Exchange and collaborate with leading Irish and global corporates throughout the country.” 

Conor Carmody, programme director of The Innovation Exchange commented: “We are looking forward to working with Galway Technology Centre and fostering new and meaningful relationships with innovation hubs in the west. In particular, we look forward to showcasing the extraordinary talent that companies in the west have to offer and supporting them in scaling their businesses.”

Oliver Daniels, CEO of Galway Technology Centre, said: “Galway Technology Centre has always had a regional perspective on how we work with innovative, scaling businesses across the west of Ireland and those involved in promoting tech enterprise. We have strived to build a strong spirit of collaboration in our dealings throughout the region and look forward to collaborating with The Innovation Exchange.

This new association will allow us to provide even more support to those businesses and the wider scaling ecosystem in the west. We are honoured to have been chosen as the first regional channel partner for the Innovation Exchange and we look forward to seeing the benefits of this partnership felt across the west of Ireland in the coming months and years.”

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