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Innovation for Competitiveness Enterprises (ICE) Project
Start date: May 17, 2009, End date: Sep 29, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

ICE Project - Promoting regional economic growth and development through the establishment of a Tri_Regional Innovation Network aimed at building the innovation capacity and capability of existing SMEs in the Northern Ireland, the Border Region and Western Scotland aimed ultimately at improving their competitiveness through the commercialisation of new ideas, products and processes. Achievements: The overall aim of the ICE initiative is the formulation, formation and implementation of an innovation initiative that supports SMEs in the development of their innovative capacity and capability, aimed ultimately at improving their competitiveness through the commercialisation of new/improved products, processes and business models on a cross border and cross regional basis through a the Tri-Regional Innovation Network. The project has achieved this aim by engaging strategically with regionally based SMEs with a view to increasing their profitability and competitiveness through innovation.The project is designed and delivered by cross-border cross-regional partnership through its Tri-Regional Innovation Network. The approach adopted throughout the project is one of partnership across a number of levels:· 3rd Level Education Institutions· State Agencies· 3rd Level Educational Institutions to State Agencies· Business to Business Linkages· Business – Academic Linkages· Business – Academic - State Agency LinkagesThe Partnership approach is reflected in the structure of the Management and Advisory Committee demonstrating an ethos of co-operation, collaboration and networking delivering such benefits as follows:· The economic linkages between Northern Ireland and the six southern border counties in the context of the politico-economic situation in Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement in the context of increasing cross border co-operation.· The strategic linkages between the academic and private sector in the development of the SME sector identified as having significant potential for economic growth.· The impact of the project on the region in terms of employment, wealth and international profile as outlined above. The economic development and growth of existing SMEs within a cross-border cross regional context.· Strengthening the SME sector in the Region to enhance its competitiveness on a national and international scale.· The opportunity position for the border region as centres of innovation excellence for the development of SMEs.· The opportunity to showcase the project as a model of best practice for developing inter-regional networks in SMEs.· The exchange of high-level expertise and experience to combine the knowledge and capabilities of the cross-border cross regional partnership of the project.A number of quantifiable achievements have been reported;An Exit Strategy has been developed that explores a series of options for sustaining the ICE Initiative and in particular the Tri-Regional Innovation Network to include:· Mainstreaming activities by linking with regional economic development agencies in each of the eligible regions.· Formulating a subsequent Programme of activity to support innovation among SMEs that is funded by the companies themselves, either wholly or in part.· Transferring the model of activity at a wider EU level into other territories with similar economic challenges in the context of encouraging and supporting innovation.· Explore a wider transnational network for innovation for SMEs though Horizon 2020.· Disseminating the best practice transferable model of innovation in SMEs based upon: -) Embedding skills) Changing culture) Learning by doing method of approach· Establish the economic benefit of the project with a view to informing policy and practice.· Mainstream learning from the programme into research and teaching in each institution.
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  • 80.7%   1 859 527,00
  • 2007 - 2013 Northern Ireland - Border Region of Ireland - Western Scotland (IE-UK)
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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