InterTradeIreland has announced plans to invest €11m in 135 cross-border technology-transfer projects, with the investment set to be channelled into the agency’s all-island technology transfer programme called Fusion.
InterTradeIreland is offering up to €52,800 per project.
According to the agency, which is responsible for promoting cross-border trade and innovation opportunities on the island, the Fusion programme enables science, engineering and technology graduates to gain access to industry skills.
InterTradeIreland is now encouraging SMEs to benefit from the revenue and access to innovation that Fusion can offer.
The programme provides support to SMEs to employ science, engineering and technology graduates for a 12-18-month period to create and develop technologically innovative and commercially viable projects and services.
The graduate benefits by gaining management experience and a fully funded post-graduate diploma in business and management.
During the Fusion programme, companies are also teamed up with a third-level institution to gain access to the specialist expertise they need.
To date, more than 450 companies have already participated in the Fusion programme, with more than 85pc of graduates offered long-term employment with their host company after the initial phase of the project.
InterTradeIreland claims that, on average, companies taking part benefit from more than €1.2m in sales, efficiency saving and investments within three years of the project.
"We are encouraging SMEs to participate in the Fusion programme, to improve their productivity, increase their revenue potential and create real jobs for graduates," said Thomas Hunter McGowan, CEO of InterTradeIreland.
Dublin company Realtime Technologies and its Shimmer Research division recently participated in Fusion to develop a product which measures and monitors vital signs of recovery on behalf of a patient and wirelessly streams progress directly to the healthcare professional.
Fusion graduate Karol O’Donovan assisted Shimmer Research in developing a toolkit of PC applications for customers process data directly. He has been mentored by academics from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, to help with the development of the technology.
Since the project, O’Donovan has been kept on by Realtime’s Shimmer Research division as the applications team leader.
Kieran Daly, CEO of Shimmer Research, said that through Fusion, the company was able to work with O’Donovan to develop a software programme.
“It has meant that we have been able to grow the team and scale much faster," said Daly.
Companies can apply for Fusion via the InterTradeIreland website.