30/01/2007

Minister Announces Investment In Five Industry Led Network Projects

Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin, announced the approval of almost 1.5 million euro in support of five industry networks who are undertaking collaborative projects under the Enterprise Ireland Industry-Led Networks Pilot initiative.

Making the announcement, at the Business Networks’ Forum at Farmleigh, the Minister said: “The economic landscape is becoming more complex for enterprises on the island of Ireland as a consequence of the increasingly global marketplace in which we compete. Collaborative networks are often used when businesses face complex issues, whether in the local or international marketplace. A growing number of leading firms are witnessing first hand the positive impact that collaborating as part of a network can bring to their business.”

The Industry Led Networks Pilot was one of the recommendations of the Government’s Enterprise Strategy Action Plan and is designed to establish the potential of networks to act as a vehicle for achieving enterprise and economic development in Ireland. The Pilot, administered by Enterprise Ireland, was launched in 2006 to support ten industry-led networks or groups of companies who wished to collaborate on projects that could help them to address specific challenges facing their sector or target business opportunities that have the potential to deliver mutual benefits for network members.

Early last year Facilitation funding was approved (following a public call for proposals) to sixteen industry-led networks from a range of sectors across all regions in Ireland to stimulate and assist networks in the development of potential collaborative projects.

Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, stated: "The diverse range of industry-led network projects announced today highlights the many ways in which companies can work together to identify and collaborate on mutual business development objectives.” He added, “these five network projects are representative of both the traditional industry sectors and the growing hi-tech sectors of our economy”

Details of the five projects highlight this diversity.

The Furniture Innovation Network project, located in the North East, aims to help it’s companies to achieve scale by specialising in their areas of expertise and share the costs of targeting contracts in the UK market.

The Construction IT Alliance project “CITAX” includes members of both the construction and ICT industry; the overall aim of this project is to facilitate efficiency between companies in the construction industry by applying ICT tools that can eliminate excess paper requirements. The project also offers potential benefits to the network in the form of new IT applications that could be replicated internationally.

The EspireGroup is made up of several Irish companies providing complimentary outsourced services to the Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical, Medical Device, Veterinary and Cosmeceutical Industries have developed a joint market development and branding project designed to target and collaborate on new international contracts for its members.

The Mobile TV Pilot Network (or 'Moby TV') is a network of enterprises and partners representing the full value chain associated with the emerging mobile TV marketplace. The network project is designed to test, trial and pilot interactive content in this new mobile TV medium.

The Virtual Content Workspace Network was set up by a group of geographically dispersed Irish content companies to develop a portal for the purpose of achieving economies of scale and effective collaboration on projects.

(CD)

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