What is Innovation?

In the business world, innovation is a vital, dynamic process. It can take the form of improving your company’s efficiency or introducing a new product, enhancing your existing services or implementing new ideas. Innovation helps you adapt and thrive in the marketplace, driving the growth and success of your business.

Being innovative does not mean inventing – waiting for a flash of inspiration – but proactively changing your business model and adapting to changes in your environment to deliver better products or services. Successful SMEs understand innovation does not end once they win their first customers, but is ongoing – an evolving process requiring constant attention.

When innovating, you and your business can:

  • Carry out an analysis of your marketplace, your customers’ needs and your competitors. During this process it is important to be open to new ideas and ready to implement change.

  • Offer leadership in innovation. Provide training and empower employees to think innovatively. Facilitate a cross-functional conversation to spur the creativity of each person and let them learn from the skills of others.

  • Develop a responsive strategic plan which includes innovation as a key business process across the whole organisation.

  • Reach out to customers to generate ideas for improving products, services and processes externally as well as from within your business.

  • Seek support. Access available resources, advice, grants and assistance to power innovation in your business.

Innovation Connect

Before launching an innovation project, a small business is likely to need additional finance to help make a breakthrough idea a reality. Innovation Connect – a leading provider of innovation and grant management support – is here to help.

Innovation Connect offers support and guidance at each step of the innovation process, from finding resources to managing your project. As innovation and finding funding to drive it go hand in hand, Innovation Connect offers consultancy and support services in both areas. It does this by:

  • Connecting you to funding possibilities from government institutions and other providers of financial support.

  • Closing the gap between your policy, your future plans, your innovative projects and the many regional, national and European funding possibilities.

  • Helping your organisation turn into an innovative and financially healthy organisation.

You can access any one, a combination or all of Innovation Connect’s services, which include:

  • An initial grant scan to identify relevant sources of business support finance – during an interactive meeting our innovation managers map out the activities of your organisation. This results in detailed innovation recommendations, through which the process of identifying relevant sources of business funding begins.

  • Writing applications for funding on your behalf – whether complete applications, or a specific, complicated part of an application. Innovation Connect advisors are skilled in writing applications for both smaller local and regional subsidies as well as applying for larger national and European grants.

  • Taking care of the necessary administration of successful projects – using sound understanding of the rules and regulations of grant programmes, Innovation Connect advisors can guide you through what can often be a complex and time-consuming grants administration process.

Innovative ideas are everywhere, but rarely used in a structured way. Turning ideas into practice takes time and requires specific knowledge – knowledge of business procedures, of motivating employees and a translation from culture to structure. Offering consultancy on an hourly Innovation Connectrate, on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis or as a combination of both, Innovation Connect has the knowledge you need to support your business in taking up the innovation challenge.

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