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Enterprise Village provides a Catalyst for international innovation connections

This year’s Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships will feature innovative enterprises who have participated in Catalyst, which is supported through the EU’s Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme.

Catalyst is a pilot scheme to drive innovation within Welsh and Irish businesses in the life science and food and drink sectors. Backed with €1.3m of EU funding through the Ireland Wales programme, the project brings together partners on both sides of the Irish Sea to develop new products and processes within their fields. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David are the lead organisation working with WRAP Cymru, the Institute of Technology Carlow, Tipperary County Council and Carlow County Council. The scheme will work with 60 businesses to develop new specialist products, access new markets and ensure packaging of products are sustainably sourced and minimised.

Catalyst participant company “Oscar Wilde Water” from the Local Enterprise Office Tipperary joined Minister Humphreys with representatives from Institute of Technology Carlow, Carlow County Council and Enterprise Ireland at the launch of the Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championship.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD said: “The Government is committed to continuously developing a supportive eco-system for enterprise. For this reason, we welcome programmes that bridge the gap between the business community, our support bodies and educational institutions.”

The Minister continued:

“The Catalyst programme, which assists SMEs to become leaders in technology adoption and innovation, aligns with Future Jobs Ireland, the whole-of-Government plan to prepare our businesses and workers for the future. It also promotes continued cooperation and collaboration between Irish and Welsh businesses, which has never been more important than it is now with Brexit on the horizon. I look forward to tracking the progress of the businesses involved and hearing about the outcomes of this important initiative.”

Speaking about the benefits of EU programmes for the SME business community, Kieran Comerford, Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office in Carlow County Council said “We are delighted to work with our counterparts in Tipperary Local Enterprise Office and the Institute of Technology Carlow to develop this programme and delighted we can showcase these clients at the National Ploughing Championships”

Mr Comerford continued:

“The supports provided include innovation mentoring, communications support, innovative residences, trade and partnership development and strategic innovation mapping.”

Institute of Technology Carlow is spearheading the innovation support of the SME’s as part of the programme. Joanne Fitzgerald, EU Projects Officer with IT Carlow said “Being part of a collaboration cluster of agencies and support bodies allows SME’s to have an immersive development experience which provides unique tailored supports but also allows for further engagement with state supports and the innovation services of the Institute of Technology”.

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For further information contact Kieran Comerford on 086-8252037 E-mail: kcomerford@carlowcoco.ie

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