Belfast Telegraph

All-Ireland technology project will help drive new ideas

By Clare Weir

A new cross-border collaboration between three colleges is aiming to help small and medium businesses outside Belfast to |develop new products and technologies.

The VITAL Technology Scouting Initiative is a €2.56m (£2.18m) link-up between Queen’s University Belfast, Dundalk Institute of Technology and Dublin City University.

The project intends to match ideas and technologies with experienced and seasoned entrepreneurs and SMEs and fast track the route to market.

VITAL project manager Sinead Cahill from Queen’s University’s Research and Enterprise Directorate said that not all SMEs qualify for state supported research and development schemes.

“VITAL has the potential to make a real difference to SMEs that have found it difficult to come up with new product concepts and technology offerings for various reasons,” she said.

“The VITAL technology scouting initiative will work with a small number of SMEs to evaluate their technology need. It will identify and source a solution which will have the potential to achieve top line growth and then provide assistance to fast track to market.”

VITAL project director Kieran Fegan added: “VITAL will utilise an extensive network of innovation sources to identify the best solution for participating SMEs. It will also provide expertise to guide SMEs through the process of licensing or acquiring the new technology or product and taking it to market.”

“There is no charge for participating in the VITAL technology scouting initiative; however if successful, there is a requirement to commit fully to the project in terms of resources, effort and time.”

More information on this unique project can be viewed by going to www.vitalforideas/technologyscouting

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