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11th Jan 2013

Funding Scheme For ICT-s Up Innovation In Business

A NEW initiative is set to boost Northern Ireland’s ICT sector by enabling SMEs to invest in ICT projects.

Known as InnovateUs and funded by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) through its Further Education Sector Employer Support Programme, the initiative will offer funded ICT support.

This will be delivered by the six further education colleges, led by South Eastern Regional College (SERC).

The initiative was launched recently in Belfast when local businesses gathered to hear from IT industry experts about latest trends and to learn more of the assistance that could be offered to their business through the new InnovateUs project.

Speaking at the event SERC principal and chief executive Ken Webb said: “This project is about the further education sector demonstrating its value to the private sector, especially SMEs. Technology is a driver of innovation and growth and these projects allow companies to benefit from expert knowledge and practical support.”

ICT projects which can be funded in the InnovateUs project include research and development, where businesses get the opportunity to get personalised support to investigate new technologies.

Also mentoring can be given for one-to-one support as well as knowledge enhancement engagements, which allow employees to benefit from industry experts working within their business.

Through InnovateUs companies can work with industry experts to develop new ideas for businesses which may include new systems, e-commerce solutions or software solutions and testing. Each project will have bespoke solutions, tailored to the requirements of the organisation.

These projects will also have the additional benefit of generating growth with the IT industry in Northern Ireland, as businesses become more reliant on new technology to help grow their business.

This could mean opportunities for local IT firms to increase maintenance and continued investment once the initial projects have been implemented.

For further details on how businesses can get results from InnovateUs contact Brian Majury on bmajury@serc.ac.uk

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