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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Mid and East Antrim Innovation Partnership launch FREE innovative business workshops

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Pictured with Deputy Mayor Beth Adger MBE is event speakers Jacqueline McCann, Andy McDonald Catalyst, Barbara Orr Innovate UK Edge and Des Gartland Invest NI.

Mid and East Antrim’s Innovation Partnership has launched a new inspiring initiative to fuel innovation within local businesses across Mid and East Antrim.

The partnership was set up with the aim of building a connected, innovative community in order to increase business knowledge and engagement with the innovation journey, and to work together to increase innovation levels throughout the borough.

It brings together 12 stakeholder organisations including Council, Invest Northern Ireland, Innovate NI, LEDCOM, Carrickfergus Enterprise, Ballymena Business Centre, the Federation of Small Businesses, Northern Regional College, Ballymena BID, Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce, Michelin Development UK and Catalyst.

Over the past few months the partnership has worked together to develop a new series of innovation business workshops with the first workshop taking place on 10 August 2022. The workshops are free and open to all businesses in Mid and East Antrim whether they are exploring a new innovation idea or looking for ways to introduce innovation within their existing business operations, systems and processes.

Fergus Wallace, Jacqueline McCann, Andy McDonald Catalyst, Barbara Orr Innovate UK Edge, Deputy Mayor Councillor Beth Adger MBE, Des Gartland Invest NI, with two local businesses taking part.

The innovation business workshop series contains six practical innovation workshops, commencing on 10 August 2022, which will take businesses on an innovation journey along Innovate NI’s Innovation Framework, exploring key topics of innovation discovery, ideation and prioritisation, prototyping and validation, business model and value proposition, commercialisation and accessing finance and business support.

At the launch of the innovation business event series, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Beth Adger MBE, said:

“Innovation has become so important to businesses as many adapt to a fast-changing world to ensure they remain sustainable and have a competitive edge.

“Council, along with our partners, have been working together to improve the levels of innovation within Mid and East Antrim and I would encourage local businesses to join the series of innovation workshops, to explore new ways of thinking and how to practically apply new ideas to your business that result in the development of new or improved products, services, technologies and processes.”

Des Gartland Invest NI, Ursula O’Loughlin MEABC, Kelli McRoberts Carrickfergus Enterprise, David Gillespie LEDCOM, Melanie Christie Boyle Ballymena Business Centre, Stephen Scullion Ballymena Business Centre

Des Gartland, Invest NI’s Eastern Regional Manager, said:

“Invest NI is delighted to be working in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, alongside other key local stakeholders, to help drive innovation in the Northern Ireland economy.

“Innovation is essential for sustaining business growth and resilience and we hope that by introducing local businesses to Innovate NI, businesses will realise that innovation is a step-by-step journey from ideation through to value creation. This series of workshops will help local businesses follow the tried and tested Innovation Framework, providing a pathway for successful innovation, building value in local businesses.”

To register for the first innovation workshop visit:

Pictured is Andy McDonald Catalyst, Malachy Gribbin NRC, Pamela Steele NRC, Noel Mulholland Michelin Development UK, Trevor Robinson Invest NI


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