Ideas Bank: How the Vital Project is pump priming cross-border business

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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Advertising Feature, Business, Community, Featured Story, What's On
A new business ideas bank specifically destined for border-based business owners and entrepreneurs has already identified 140 proposed innovations and technologies which are currently being assessed by technology and commercial teams contracted by recently established cross-border VITAL project. The £2.56m VITAL initiative funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme became operational in October 2013 and has already built a sizeable database of ideas and technologies with which it aims to encourage business people to embrace and commercialise. VITAL principals are bringing a workshop to the Canal Court Hotel, Newry at 6PM on the evening of April 8th, which is designed to share information with local businesses and explain how the local businesses and entrepreneurs can access the ideas bank and progress their development. Speaking to Newry Times, VITAL director Kieran Fegan said, “VITAL has created a pool of evaluated ideas and technologies and is actively seeking companies and seasoned entrepreneurs in the Louth area who might be in a position to bring them to market. “We are encouraging business people from mainly engineering, technology, new media, agri-food and IT backgrounds to join us at the workshop and find out more about how we can help match them to good ideas. “VITAL is also interested in hearing from those with good ideas who might want to submit their idea to the project for evaluation and match consideration. VITAL offers a very viable progression route for those with a good idea who don’t believe they are best placed to take it to market” added Kieran. Sinead Cahill from Queen’s University Belfast says the project wants to hear from SMEs & seasoned entrepreneurs. “The project has the potential to act as a catalyst for economic growth across the region; this is an entirely new approach to pump priming the Northern Ireland and border county economy and we are appealing to SMEs, seasoned entrepreneurs and individuals with a successful track record who might be looking for new ideas to get involved,” says Ms Cahill. “We are encouraging those who have the channels, skills and knowledge to bring new ideas onto a commercial platform either through their existing businesses or through new business start-ups. Availing of this project opportunity is a way for local SME’s and entrepreneurs to get their hands on great new ideas and generate profits,” she added. Cavan based Insulation Manufacturer Ballytherm is benefiting from participation on the VITAL project. “I would recommend licensing in new VITAL ideas and technologies to all forward thinking companies as a potential mechanism for growth,” says Brendan Cosgrove, Director, Ballytherm Ltd The project is a partnership between Dundalk Institute of Technology, Queen’s University Belfast and Dublin City University. It is operating across Northern Ireland outside of greater Belfast and all six of the border counties in Ireland from Donegal to Louth. VITAL will facilitate the matching and licensing process and can then provide assistance with fast-tracking the product idea or technology to market. For further information and to register interest in the forthcoming info workshop series, please go to the project website on
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