A specialist joinery company in Co Tyrone has been recognised for innovation by cross-border body InterTrade Ireland.
Woodmarque in Dungannon has been given ‘exemplar’ status to honour high levels of innovation and collaboration between a company, a graduate and an academic institution as part of InterTradeIreland’s Innovation Boost programme.
It was the only business from Northern Ireland to receive the accreditation.
Alan Morrow, assistant director for InterTradeIreland, said: “Woodmarque’s success is a great example of what the Innovation Boost programme is about - giving firms the tools to boost their business though innovative collaboration.”
“Covid-19 has caused issues for many firms, but innovation is way you can unlock growth. You can also directly address challenges in your business by harnessing programmes like Innovation Boost to help you solve problems. It can even help you to anticipate future obstacles and mitigate them. It will assist you to develop solutions.”
Through the Innovation Boost initiative, Woodmarque employed graduate, Sean McKenna and benefited from the services and support of the University of Limerick. They set about finding uses for wood waste, a by-product of Woodmarque’s work.
Managing director Ronan Quinn said: “We’ve been in business for over 40 years, and know our industry inside and out. We specialise in hotels and apartments and projects that we have worked on include the Chelsea Waterfront in London and the North Wall Quay in Dublin.
“However, this is the first time we have ever worked with someone in academia. It’s been eye-opening, in applying innovative research to industry. It brings together the best of both skill sets and helps take an idea and actually turn it into reality.”
Mr Morrow added: “The programme is also an indication of areas in which forward thinking SMEs want to build more expertise. For example, Woodmarque is looking at the area of sustainability, which is very high up the business agenda. Other winners this year include firms that have used Innovation Boost to gain more experience in robotics.”