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Minister Breen announces €1M Enterprise Ireland fund at first Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Ireland Proposers Conference

Today, Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen T.D. announced a €1m Enterprise Ireland fund to drive collaborative projects with public sector bodies to find solutions to specific public sector challenges and needs.

The Fund was announced at the first Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Ireland Proposers Conference attended by Specifiers/Procurers from government departments and public bodies and a Call for Expressions of Interest from Public Bodies has opened.

The SBIR process facilitates competitions which enables public sector bodies to connect with innovation-led businesses to work on innovative ideas which tackle challenges facing the public sector leading to better public services and improved effectiveness and value for money.

Speaking at the conference, Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD said: “This new Enterprise Ireland fund is a welcome support to a fantastic initiative. The process is about identifying specific challenges for which no real solution exists and exploring the possibilities in a way that is rapid, simple and transparent. I am particularly pleased that the SBIR is particularly suited to small and medium sized businesses and I welcome the further opportunities this initiative may open up for this sector. The SBIR initiative runs on established procurement processes, complements the Government’s research, innovation and enterprise agenda and has, as one of its objectives, generating value for money and driving overall impact”.

Enterprise Ireland has successfully managed three pilot SBIR projects since the launch of SBIR Ireland in July 2014, including a project with Dublin City Council to find low cost, smart solutions to increase the number of people cycling in the city.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “In Enterprise Ireland our focus is on helping businesses to start, innovate and scale. Recent SBIR projects have involved collaborations with start-ups and innovation led businesses, providing funding for innovative new ideas that, as well as creating jobs, will ultimately improve and enhance quality of life for people”.

For more information on the €1m SBIR Fund, go to www.sbirireland.ie

ENDS

Photos available on request

For further information:

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Tel: 01 7272912 conor.odonovan@enterprise-ireland.com

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