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Minister Smith Launches Innovation Funding for Food Industry

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD today announced details of innovation funding for small Irish companies in the food industry. Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 each are available to all small companies in the food sector over the next 6 weeks. The deadline for applications is 20th August 2010.

Making the announcement Minister Smith said: "Innovation Vouchers are the push that many small Irish food companies need to explore how innovation can change their business for the better, be it through new product development or the improvement of existing processes".

"The success of the vouchers to date is due to the simplicity of the initiative.  Participating companies get excellent value for money from the research teams working in the forty institutes providing their expertise and knowledge, both in Ireland and in Northern Ireland.  I encourage small companies in the Irish food industry to see how a little knowledge can make a huge difference to your bottom line and to make an application for a €5,000 Innovation-Voucher today" he concluded.

Enterprise Ireland manage the Innovation Voucher initiative which offers small companies €5,000 to obtain an innovative solution to a technical or business challenge from a Higher Education Institute in Ireland or Northern Ireland, known as 'knowledge providers'.

Companies in the following sectors can apply:

  • Beverages, bakery and food technology including animal feed producers,
  • Consumer food companies including those involved in horticulture, organic produce, poultry, prepared consumer foods and seafood,
  • Dairy and functional foods and the primary meat sectors including those involved in the processing of beef, lamb and pigmeat, the by-products of all meat processing and those involved in the bloodstock industry.

Welcoming the announcement, the Minister for Science, Technology & Innovation Conor Lenihan T.D said: "The Innovation Vouchers initiative has been up and running since 2007 and through funding provided by the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Innovation has already helped over 1,000 small companies in Ireland to find a research partner who can solve some of their business challenges. The decision by my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to provide funding for a call for proposals dedicated to the food sector is most welcome".

You can apply for an Innovation Voucher and get more details on this Enterprise Ireland managed initiative on or by contacting Pat O'Brien, Enterprise Ireland on +353 1 7272766.


Date Released: 13 July 2010