Enterprise Ireland sets €1.1m worth of innovation Challenges

Enterprise Ireland has approved a total of €1.14m for joint funding to drive collaborative ‘challenges’ between innovative small firms and the public sector.

Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme encourages businesses to explore and co-design unique solutions with public sector teams, through competitive Challenges.

23 applications from public sector bodies to participate in the SBIR programme were shortlisted to initiate five challenges (see below) across climate action, health, biodiversity and transport.

“ Enterprise Ireland encourages entrepreneurs, developers and researchers who have solutions in these spaces to take up the Challenge”

The new Challenges are expected to be live on e-tenders no later than 1 May 2020. More information on SBIR Ireland and the Challenges will be available soon on www.sbirireland.ie

“Innovation is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland,” said Enterprise Ireland’s executive director Stephen Creaner.

“We know that effective innovation is essential to the future growth and sustainability of every business. The SBIR Challenges present excellent opportunities, particularly for small and medium sized businesses, to extend their innovation ambition and capability, while accelerating their route to commercialisation, and enabling improved efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public services.

“The five Challenges, identified by the public sector bodies, are sectorally diverse and will ultimately benefit citizens’ needs both in Ireland and internationally. Enterprise Ireland encourages entrepreneurs, developers and researchers who have solutions in these spaces to take up the Challenge. We look forward to the exciting new concepts and innovative ideas that will emerge as a result of these Challenges.”

The five challenges: Will you accept?

Climate Action: €240,000

Environmental Protection Agency: Innovating a circular economy for soft plastic waste in Ireland

This Challenge is seeking solutions to counter the problem of plastic waste and look at opportunities for closed-loop reuse systems, with an initial focus on reducing plastic waste from school lunches. The goal for this Challenge is to reduce the carbon footprint of schools by cutting plastic waste generation.

Health: €200,000

Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh as part of Ireland East Hospital Group: Reducing the incidence and impact of inpatient falls within the hospital

This Challenge aims to address the prediction, detection and prevention of falls in the Mater Hospital initially, with potential to extend a solution nationally.

Health: €200,000

Tallaght University Hospital: Improving the care of, and empowering, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients in the community

Tallaght University Hospital is seeking solutions to improve COPD patient self-management and incentivise affected patients to take control of their health.

Biodiversity: €300,000

Marine Institute: Innovative solutions to map coastal seaweed resources in Ireland

Seaweed is an underutilised natural resource and a technology-based solution is needed to enable future determination of its distribution in inter-tidal areas across Ireland.

Transport: €200,000

National Transport Authority: Vehicle Capacity Information for bus and coach passengers with a focus on improved accessibility

The Challenge is seeking innovative solutions to encourage and support mobility impaired passengers when using public transport in Ireland.

Pictured above (from left): Hilda Dowler, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital; Nuala Nevin, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation; David Wall, Tallaght University Hospital; Tom Kelly, Enterprise Ireland; Naomi Rooney, National Transport Authority; Tommy Furey, Marine Institute and Abigail Murphy, Environmental Protection Agency

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 4 March, 2020