Gordon's Grapevine | Gordon Gough, CEO EnterpriseNI

Gordon's Grapevine | Gordon Gough, CEO EnterpriseNI

This week Gordon Gough, CEO of Enterprise Northern Ireland discusses the importance of investing in innovation for the Northern Ireland economy

Investing in Innovation


The draft Programme for Government and the draft Northern Ireland Industrial Strategy both place the need for increased Innovation across the economy at the core of efforts to drive sustained economic growth.


The latest UK Innovation Survey , https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/economy/UK-Innovation-Survey-2015-Northern-Ireland-Results-Bulletin.pdf shows the percentage of Northern Ireland firms engaged in innovation has risen from 40% to 45%. As part of a wider programme on innovation, DfE and Invest NI, are proposing to introduce a new Investors in Innovation accreditation. All economic development stakeholders have a role to play in working with DfE to support the new programme.


The target for Northern Ireland is to have at least 60% of firms actively involved in innovation by 2025 which would propel us in to the top four regions in the UK. It is internationally recognised that businesses, particularly those engaged in innovation, are more likely to grow faster and create more jobs, benefitting all of society. In Northern Ireland we have many businesses which are growing as a result of higher levels of innovation in all its forms, including research and development, product and process development, design, sales and marketing, exploitation of e-commerce, skills development and training, leadership and business models.


The launch of the Co-Innovate Programme in 2017 which aims to increase the number and capacity of SMEs engaged in cross-border research and innovation aimed at the development of new products, processes and services is timely in this respect. This InterTradeIreland led initiative will be supported by Enterprise Northern Ireland and the Local Enterprise Agencies, Scottish Enterprise and the Local Enterprise Offices in RoI.


For further information on the Investors in Innovation accreditation contact carson.mcnab@economy-ni.gov.uk


For information on the Co-Innovate programme contact kmathers@nmea.net