The Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland (EEN Ireland), a new business and technology partnering network for companies, was launched yesterday.
EEN Ireland expects to support up to 20,000 Irish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in accessing more than 3,000 European business opportunities using a technology and business partnering database via a dedicated website.
EEN Ireland will be overseen by Enterprise Ireland and the Chambers of Commerce in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Waterford.
The wider Enterprise Europe Network has a substantial footprint covering 40 countries with over 4,000 specialist staff in 500 development agencies with access to more than 23 million SMEs across all business and technology sectors.
EEN Ireland expects to multiply its combined client base of Irish SMEs tenfold over the next three years to avail of these opportunities.
In particular, EEN Ireland has united with all the major players in the European business and technology partnering community to offer an accessible ‘one-stop-shop’ service. Its efforts will focus on giving SMEs information on European legislation, finding suitable business partners and identifying market opportunities, identifying and sourcing proprietary, licensable technologies from international sources and assisting with IP issues and licence agreements.
It will also offer assistance with licensing out proprietary technology, help SMEs access European research funding and facilitate involvement in EU policy-making.
“The new Enterprise Europe Network is a milestone in Ireland’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation and will be a key tool in the promotion of entrepreneurship and growth of enterprises in Ireland,” said Michael Ahern TD, Minister for Innovation Policy. “I call on all SMEs in Ireland to use this network to maximise your business potential.”
“Enterprise Ireland is fully committed to the aims of the network and is excited about working with the Chambers of Commerce in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Waterford,” said Jan Gerritsen, Enterprise Ireland.
“By engaging with us, Irish SMEs can very quickly tap into a substantial and accessible business and technology partnering network with local support delivered right to their doorstep.”
By Niall Byrne