300 Irish construction companies to use R&D to fight downturn
Representatives of all the major players in the Irish construction industry were in Dublin today (26th February 2009) for the launch of the Construction Enterprise Innovation Network.
Managed by the Construction IT Alliance (CITA) and funded by Enterprise Ireland the network of Irish construction companies will focus on using research and IT to create new opportunities for the Irish construction sector.
Launching the Construction Enterprise Innovation Network Feargal Ó Móráin Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland said;
“The Construction Enterprise Innovation Network will make existing research and innovation supports, such as Enterprise Ireland’s R&D Fund, more accessible to small construction companies. The most powerful aspect of this network is that instead of individual SMEs trying to find a way around the current downturn on their own, through the Construction Enterprise Innovation Network they can share the risks, costs and ultimately the benefits of using IT to win new business”.
There are already 127 members of the Construction Enterprise Innovation Network, including engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, IT vendors, third level institutions with a research focus on construction, and the target is to have 300 members by the end of 2009.
The network will use R&D, and build on collaborative relationships between academic researchers and Irish SMEs in the construction sector, to develop and implement innovative e-business approaches to winning sales and targeting new markets.
Speaking at today’s announcement which took place in the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin, Dr. Alan Hore, Director of CITA said;
“The Construction Enterprise Innovation Network will focus on promoting R&D to more than 300 SMEs in the Irish construction sector, with the specific aim of improving their e-business capability.”
“The Irish construction industry needs to win business overseas now more than ever, which means dealing with international competitors that are more technologically advanced. If Irish construction companies want to compete they must adapt to using e-business technologies. Enterprise Ireland’s funding will help us bring small Irish construction companies into the world of online tendering and e-business”, Dr. Hore said.
CITA wants their member companies to conduct more business on line and use e-tendering to help them win international contracts. The type of services that the EIN network will provide to its members include:
- An initial one-to-one ICT consultation – IT sanity check, advice on available software packages and backup and data protection policies
- Information on applying for relevant R&D grants
- Exclusive access to all research results undertaken by CITA EIN
The Construction Enterprise Innovation Network is one of three Enterprise Innovation Networks established by Enterprise Ireland in 2008 and CITA has been allocated €200,000 per annum for three years by Enterprise Ireland to manage the network.
For more information contact:
The Construction IT Alliance
Dr. Alan Hore, Director: Mobile 086 386 7352
Nessa O’Hanlon, Project Manager: Direct Tel: (01) 4704397 Mobile: (086) 770 8561