The Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) is an exciting venture that has been set up to help small businesses in Northern Ireland, the border counties and Western Scotland to develop and adopt renewable energy and sustainable technologies. It is supported by the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special European Union Programmes Board (SEUPB), with match funding provided by Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland.
CREST has been set up to help small businesses take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the global drive towards greater sustainability. It provides expertise and a range of facilities to help entrepreneurs and SMEs who might otherwise not have the capacity to do so, to bring innovative sustainable ideas from concept to reality.
HALO Business Angels
Halo Business Angel Network is an all-island umbrella group responsible for the development of business angel syndicates on the island of Ireland. HBAN is actively working to increase the number of angel investors who are interested in investing in early stage technology, MedTech, AgriTech & food companies and supporting the early stage entrepreneurial community.
The Innovation Voucher initiative was developed to build links between Ireland’s public knowledge providers (i.e. higher education institutes, public research bodies) and small businesses. Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 are available to assist a company or companies to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider.
New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme that is delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology. It is designed to help people who have an innovative business idea, to establish and run their own companies. It provides a package of supports to help accelerate business development and to equip start-ups with the skills and contacts needed to be successful future business leaders.
Funded by Enterprise Ireland, the Technology Gateway Network leverages the expertise of over 300 industry-focused researchers, together with the specialist equipment and facilities of the Institutes of Technology, to deliver near-to market innovation and solutions for industry. Since 2008, over 600 Irish companies have used the Technology Gateway Network to complete more than 1,500 innovation projects.
Regional Skills Forum
The new Network of Regional Skills Fora being created as part of the Government’s National Skills Strategy provides an opportunity for employers and the education and training system to work together to meet the emerging skills needs of their regions. More structured engagement on the skills agenda and the work of the Fora will contribute to better outcomes for learners and support enterprise development.