Although Shannon ABC often works with industry on direct funded projects, there are a number of other funding options open to companies that can provide invaluable finincial assistance. Since 2008, Shannon ABC has has attracted over €1.6 million for collaborations with Irish companies. These collaborations have ranged from contract research to Innovation Vouchers and Innovation Partnerships.
Some companies do not wish to seek state support for their research, these companies often want relatively small, piecemeal proof of concept types of projects and so, for them, self funding makes sense. Some companies may also not qualify for state support for their research. At all times Shannon ABC provides excellent value for money in terms of technical services, consultancy and reporting.
Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers
The Innovation Voucher program is an excellent way for companies to get involved with a research centre. Enterprise Ireland provide a voucher worth €5,000 to small companies (less than 50 enployees and less then €10 million turnover) and they may then engage a knowledge provider to carry out the research for them. Companies are only ever allowed two standard innovation vouchers although there are also pooled vouchers and fast-track vouchers that may also be obtained. Shannon ABC have completed 21 Innovation Vouchers for a variety of Irish companies and are available to discuss how the Innovation Voucher Program can be applied to your company. See http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Research-Innovation/Companies/Collaborate-with-companies-research-institutes/Innovation-Voucher.shortcut.html for more information.
Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships
The Innovation Partnership programme is the next step up the Innovation Voucher programme. It encourages Irish based companies to work with Irish colleges to access their expertise and resources to develop new and improved products, processes, services, and generate new knowledge and know-how. Enterprise Ireland provides grants of up to 80% towards eligible costs of the research project, dependant upon the size of the company and the technological advance to be achieved. Projects generally last between 6-18 months. Shannon ABC have completed 3 Innovation Partnerships and have 4 on-going Partnerships at present. See http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Funding-Supports/Company/Esetablish-SME-Funding/Innovation-Partnerships.html for more information.
Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET)
IRCSET fund both postgraduate and postdoctoral research projects to enable industry to gain access to an exceptional pool of competitively selected, high calibre researchers. The Scheme facilitates the establishment of new relationships and the strengthening of existing relationships between industry and academia while offering financial support to researchers at an early stage of their career development. The initiative is called the Enterprise Partnership Programme and will fund one third of a researcher's salary to work with industry. See http://www.ircset.ie/Default.aspx?tabid=58 for more information.
European Funding - 7th Framework Programme 7
The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) bundles all research-related EU initiatives together under a common roof playing a crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment. The Seventh EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) was launched at the end of 2006 with a budget of approximately €50 billion covering the period 2007 to 2013. Under the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI) 2006-2013, Ireland has set a goal to become a leader in research and development and innovation. The Programme provides the opportunity for Research Providers and Industry to collaborate on a European level to develop new and innovative products or processes. Shannon ABC is currently co-ordinating 2 FP7 projects with a combined value of €5.7 million. See http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/home_en.html for more information on the FP7 Programme.