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Economic Development Delegations from across the EU arrive in Cork

Economic development teams from the UK, Spain, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Estonia are travelling to Cork this week to learn  how innovation is being spearheaded in the city region. The six delegations are coming as part of the Innova Foster EU project which is focussed on the improvement of innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in cities across Europe.

Delegates will learn about schemes such as Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Voucher Scheme which allows small companies to overcome innovation challenges or explore business opportunities with the support of cutting edge academic support from third level institutions. (See case study below). Cork City Council is one of seven city regions from seven countries who are taking part in Innova Foster.

The delegates will visit the Tyndall National Institute and take part in workshops highlighting how the Southern Regional Assembly and Local Enterprise Office (LEO) help to foster small to medium enterprise (SME) and entrepreneurship. They will also visit CIT to examine how it promotes innovation on campus and at CIT Blackrock Observatory. They will also take a tour of Cork’s digital co-working hub, Republic of Work. 

Head of Economic Development at Cork City Council, Seamus Coghlan said: “Cork city has a strong innovation ecosystem supported by third and fourth level education through UCC and CIT, City and County Councils, LEO, Enterprise Ireland and the Cork Chamber who are all partners in the Cork Innovates Initiative to support early start up companies”.

“Cork City Council has a strong role in economic development supporting many of the innovation programmes throughout the city. And from early next year we will further underline our commitment to entrepreneurship when we open our own new co-working space at City Hall”.

CASE STUDY: Glavloc Build Systems allow for the construction of A1 BER rated buildings in a fraction of the time it takes to build traditional masonry or timber frame structures - and for a much more competitive cost. A Cork-based company, Glavloc Build specialise in the design, development and manufacture of high performance rapid build  systems at their robotic production line in Blackpool in Cork.

The buildings are delivered in flatpack form and assembled on site by the main contractor. Due to rising demand for their products, early next year Glavloc will open a second 10,000 square foot manufacturing facility in the IDA Kilbarry Business Park in Blackpool. 

Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Voucher scheme, which is of big interest to the EU delegation arriving in Cork this week, played an important role in helping them develop the business and their latest products.

Paul Glavin (Founder and CEO) first approached his LEO in 2014 looking for advice on how to test some of their products. The LEO recommended he contact CIT to see if their Innovation Voucher project, which the Innova Foster delegates will attend a workshop on, could help. Over 70 destructive tests and a detailed report were subsequently completed in the CIT Labs. This information has been invaluable to Glavloc’s product development and the success of the company so  far.

Paul Glavin says: “I couldn’t recommend it enough. We got great buy-in from the Structural Engineering Department at CIT and found the whole process extremely simple and easy. Thanks to the Innovation Voucher system, we only had to pay €5,000 towards the onsite testing as were able to avail of another €5,000 through the innovation vouchers. We’ve gone from strength to strength since we completed this testing and as our business grows, we hope to use other innovation vouchers to undertake more research on new products which we will bring to the market over the next couple of years,” he said.

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