Posted on Wednesday 25 September 2013 by Ulster Business


The awards were launched by The Irish Times Managing Director Liam Kavanagh, the newspaper's Innovation Editor Micheal McAleer and InterTradeIreland Strategy and Policy Director Aidan Gough. 

Companies from Northern Ireland who are following in the footsteps of the great innovators of the past are being urged to have their achievements recognised by entering a prestigious all-island awards scheme.

The IntertradeIreland Irish Times Innovation awards, now in their fifth year, aim to recognise and promote the best innovations within organisations of all sectors and all sizes across Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Speaking at the launch Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland's Strategy and Policy Director, said: "As home to some of the island's greatest innovators in shipbuilding, aeronautical engineering and numerous types of manufacturing, Northern Ireland has a strong tradition of innovation and is a fertile ground for the next generation of innovators.

"Innovation is, of course, vital to foster growth, improve productivity and strengthen brands and is a strategic process that all successful firms must ultimately embrace, no matter what sector they operate in. Every organisation, be it large or small, has the potential to innovate and these awards arestructured to display the breadth and range of creativity and innovations taking place in all types of companies, across the island."

Michael McAleer, Innovation editor at The Irish Times, added: "The Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards aim to recognise and promote the best innovations within organisations of all sectors and all sizes from across the island of Ireland. The awards have previously identified a number of innovative businesses, many of whom have gone on to become industry and global leaders in their particular sectors."

There are six categories which companies can enter in the 2014 Awards. There will also be a further special award made to the company with the best North/South collaboration project. The six categories are:

• Agri-food
• Bioscience
• Energy and the Environment
• Creative Industries
• Manufacturing
• IT & Telecommunications

Last year Northern Ireland companies scooped awards in two of the six categories: Choc-o-Bloc from Newtownards won the category award for Creative Industries and Antrim's Fast Engineering won the Social Innovation award. Each category winner will secure a €10,000 communications package with The Irish Times media deal and an iPad.

Category winners then compete to win the overall title of 'Innovation of the Year' which awards the winner with a communications and advertising package from The Irish Times worth €150,000. In addition, a UCD scholarship for an Executive Education programme commencing in 2014, a state of the art laptop and a consultancy package will also be provided.

Applications are now being sought from innovative local companies. The closing date for applications is Monday, December 2, 2013. For more information visit


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