31/01/2011

Innovation 'Alive And Well Across Ireland'

Several Northern Ireland-based companies are leading the way in innovation as the finalists of the Irish Times InterTradeIreland and All-island Innovation awards 2011 are revealed.

The Portadown renewable energy company, Kingspan Renewables, is competing in the Green-Tech category with its new solar collector product with Andrea Fordham, Marketing Manager, saying: "Our solar collector is a unique product in that it is modular, a first for the solar industry.

"Our product comes in single tubes and different sizes which means solar panels can be fitted to buildings that originally could not be adapted due to restrictions such as skylights or dormer windows.

"We are constantly looking for innovative ways to create new and improved products that will offer efficiency and value for money for our customers and to differentiate ourselves within the market," she said.

Newry-based FM Environmental are in the running with their joint venture InvistaTech in the 'Best North South Collaboration' category.

InvistaTech, a joint venture between Newry-based water treatment firm FM Environmental and Limerick IT company, Central Solutions, is the driver behind the innovative product, Invista SiteVu, which is a turnkey waste water management solution.

Business Development Manager, Michel Fitzpatrick, said: "We are delighted to be one of the finalists.

"This indicates the hard work and dedication that our team has shown in the past year and a half. Our management-system product allows our clients to gain a better understanding of equipment at their plant.

"It indicates condition, the maintenance requirement, replacement needs and the cost, allowing them to centrally collate all the information which can be then be analysed to help make important and strategic decisions," he said.

Another Northern Ireland company is also a finalist in the 'Best North South Collaboration' category.

Moorings Mediquip, makes specialist walking aids for children.

Product Engineer, Eamonn McKnight, said: "Being shortlisted for the Innovation Award is recognition of all our hard work and investment in design and manufacture at Moorings. We feel it is a great achievement to have developed one of the most innovative products throughout Ireland and are excited about the opportunities it will bring," he said.

Now in its second year, the all-island competition aims to recognise and promote the best service, product or operational innovations throughout the island.

The finalists along with 21 other companies throughout Ireland were selected by an independent panel of judges to secure a place at the final and a chance to win the overall 'Innovation of the Year' award and a communications and advertising package from the Irish Times worth €200,000.

InterTradeIreland Strategy and Policy Director, Aidan Gough said: "Despite the economic situation, there is a really encouraging level of innovative activity amongst businesses that is heartening to see.

"Nurturing and supporting talent is a key role of development agencies like InterTradeIreland and we were impressed by the diversity of innovation taking place from organisations of all sizes, sectors and locations across the island.

"The innovations represented by our competition finalists are not only strong ideas - they are market-led and market-focused, answering the needs and demands of the marketplace and backed up by strong business plans," he said.

The winners of the competition will be announced at an awards ceremony in Dublin on 2nd March.

(BMcC/GK)

Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 January 2020
Entries Welcomed For Belfast Business Awards
Entries for the 2020 Belfast Business Awards are now open. Employers who believe their firm is currently at the top of its game or excelling in one area of business are urged to submit an entry and gain recognition with the very best the city has to offer.
02 December 2019
Deadline Looms For Equality & Diversity Awards
Employers across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to showcase their commitment to diversity and enter the Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Awards 2020 before the application deadline of Friday 06 December.
09 December 2019
Ignite Accelerator Programme Opens For Applications
Applications are now open for the Ignite NI Accelerator programme, which aims to help established tech companies scale up and raise investment. Based in Belfast's Ormeau Baths, the 12-week scheme takes on 10 companies each year. The established technology companies accepted for the programme will be given the chance to grow their business.
31 October 2016
Product Design Workshop Announced By Invest NI
Invest NI has announced a free product design workshop to be held in December, aimed at helping businesses learn about successful product design.
21 February 2011
Mivan Contracts Win Praise
A Co Antrim-based firm that operates within the construction and marine refurbishment sectors and employs over 300 people in Northern Ireland and Britain has been in focus today. The Stormont Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated Mivan on securing contracts worth over £30m in new markets during the past six months.