£2 million is to be made available for 10 projects under the latest round of the Small Business Research Initiative Challenge Fund (SBRI).
SBRI provides companies with the opportunity to develop new, innovative solutions and products to address challenges in the public sector. Northern Ireland Departments are seeking help from businesses to address challenges they face.
Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary of the Department of the Economy said: “SBRI is an excellent opportunity for business to work with government to provide solutions to the issues being faced in the delivery of improved public services. For example within my own department we brought forward a digital project to find new ways to deliver careers advice to young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
“SBRI helps support businesses in bringing forward their ideas and enables them to trial new solutions and projects that may not otherwise be brought to market. The fund is an excellent way to support emerging technology and start-up businesses and help to support innovation within our economy.”
Sue Gray, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance added: “SBRI is playing a key role in supporting innovation across the Northern Ireland public sector. I am delighted to see such a wide range of new challenges across health, justice, transport, environment and agrifood being addressed through SBRI.”
Ian Brotherston from Innovate UK commented: “SBRI challenges industry to develop innovative solutions for public sector needs, encourages the public procurement of those solutions and provides a first customer for businesses to help them create competitive advantage. SBRI is a programme where Northern Ireland has been particularly active, with 10 new projects this year. NI companies also have projects across the UK."
Competitions for the successful projects will be launched over the next couple of months. Details of those competitions can be found on the Matrix website.
Notes to editors:
1. Further information on SBRI can be found on the DfE website.
2. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department for the Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
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