Enterprise creation, growth and innovation are identified in EU policy as key to fostering economic recovery and competitiveness across European regions.
To this end, partners from seven European regions, including Irish partners WestBIC and the Northern and Western Regional Assembly recently launched the TRINNO project – Business ecosystems for Tradition and Innovation. The project aims to develop and deliver better policy instruments to address regional needs, in this case targeting innovation in traditional sectors with growth potential.
This project will build upon WestBIC’s support for innovative enterprise across the region, with 2015 proving to be a record year for raising finance by WestBIC Start-Ups.
“With more rapid development of new technologies, shorter time-to-market, and greater cash burn, timely access to capital is now more crucial than ever before to anchor and grow innovative client start-ups in our own region, allow them to flourish and create higher value jobs,” according to WestBIC Chairman, Dr. Chris Coughlan.
The last year has seen record levels of funds raised by WestBIC client start-ups with total capital raised in 2015 amounting to just over €5m.
“The West and North West Region seems to be boxing well above its weight in terms of private angel investors working with WestBIC to support companies locating here”, concluded Dr. Coughlan.
Locally in Roscommon, amongst those receiving EI CSF assistance are two projects located at WestBIC’s deskspace facility in Roscommon: RoamPA – an IT solution to tax track, co-ordinate and support international workforce activity and AgManor – an innovative web platform for viewing livestock trading at sales centres across Ireland and internationally in real time, with instant bidding functionality. These receive support from WestBIC to accelerate their growth, including access to international opportunities.
According to James Donlon, WestBIC Regional Manager: “The reach and scope of many of our growth-oriented start-ups is international from the outset. In line with the Regional Action Plan for Jobs, we use our mature, international networks to assist them fast track that dimension of their development, so that their businesses can become established and grow, and jobs can be created and sustained locally”.