Minister Breen issues call for Competitive Challenges at Enterprise Ireland Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Ireland Proposers Conference

13th September, 2017

Pictured, L-R: Niall O’Donnellan, Head of International Services & Software, Strategy & Leadership, Enterprise Ireland; Minister Pat Breen TD; Maria Gavin, Manager, SBIR Ireland and Enda McDonnell, Manager, Global Sourcing, Public Procurement, BPO, Enterprise Ireland

SBIR facilitates collaborations between innovative SMEs and public sector

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD issued a second call for up to 10 new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Ireland Competitive Challenges at a conference in Enterprise Ireland today.

This year, Enterprise Ireland has successfully managed the launch of seven SBIR Challenges, including a call to find solutions to wildlife activity around Dublin Airport’s runways and a call by Irish Rail to develop a preventative warning system against railway bridge strikes.

The competitive challenges are aimed at driving collaboration between Irish public-sector bodies and innovative SMEs to identify solutions to specific public-sector needs.

Minister Breen issued the call at the second SBIR Ireland Proposers Conference attended by specifiers/procurers from across public bodies. Expressions of Interest specific to Irish Public Bodies will open in October 2017 with Enterprise Ireland co-funding up to €500k made available to cover up to 10 Challenges.

Speaking at the conference, Minister Pat Breen TD said: “The SBIR process is a fantastic initiative, facilitating competitions that enable innovation-led businesses to connect with public sector bodies to provide ideas and solutions to challenges facing the public sector. This allows for improved efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public services that provide greater value for money outcomes. SBIR is particularly suited to small and medium businesses and I welcome the opportunities this offers to SMEs. The SBIR initiative, which observes best practice procurement processes, also supports and complements the Government’s research, innovation and enterprise agenda”.

SBIR Challenges are both diverse and rich in nature, spanning a wide variety of sectors which will ultimately benefit citizens’ needs. In 2017, SBIR Challenges have included:

  • Cork Airport - a Real-Time Passenger Feedback Solution incorporating escalation alerts and capturing business inputs
  • Cork County Council - improving the quality of life of vulnerable, elderly or socially excluded people in Cork
  • Dublin Airport - how to significantly reduce and minimise wildlife activity in and around Dublin Airport
  • SMART Dublin (covering the 4 Dublin local authorities) – 1. Low Cost Gully Monitoring and 2. Low Cost, Innovative and Technological Solutions for Illegal Dumping in the Dublin Region
  • SMART Dublin + Grangegorman Development Agency - An adaptable mobile solution which will increase the accuracy of wayfinding for all persons with tailored capabilities for persons with limited or restricted mobility
  • Irish Rail - The development of innovative Warning, Prevention, Pre-emptive & Smart Bridge Strike Systems

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “Supporting businesses to start, innovate and scale is a key focus for Enterprise Ireland and through initiatives like SBIR Ireland, we are supporting collaboration between small business and the public sector with the purpose of driving business development and innovation. This has been an exciting and busy year for SBIR, a process which is internationally proven to facilitate innovative SMEs with early stage ideas to address challenges that are faced by the public sector. By supporting collaborations between SMEs and the public sector, we are harnessing innovative ideas and developing unique solutions which will ultimately have positive economic and societal benefits, not only here in Ireland but internationally as well”.

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For further information, please contact:

Conor O'Donovan

Head of Communications

Enterprise Ireland

Conor O'Donovan

01 727 2912

Brigid Burke

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

Brigid Burke

01 727 2430

087 1803995