Businesses urged to take part in Innovation Week 2007

Invest Northern Ireland is urging local businesses from across Northern Ireland to find out how innovation can help them to significantly increase their revenues and profitability during Innovation Week 2007.

Companies and business people are being encouraged to take part in the five-day series of events from 14–18 May.

Featuring exhibitions, conferences, seminars and workshops with internationally celebrated innovators and thought-leaders, Innovation Week 2007 will demonstrate the tools and techniques of innovation that can help businesses take a creative approach to their operations.

As part of the week’s activities, an Innovate For Profit roadshow will travel to Londonderry, Ballymena, Omagh and Newry to showcase local innovators from each of the regions. The roadshow will help businesses to discover practical ways of using innovation to drive their business forward.

Invest NI has lined up some of the most inspiring and forward-thinking business people in the world as guest speakers for the week. These include Italian designer Alberto Alessi, leading European business gurus Dr Kjell Nordström and Dr Jonas Ridderstråle, Formula 1 Technical Director Gary Anderson, and Brody Sweeney, the down-to-earth founder of O’Brien’s Sandwich Bars.

Central to Innovation Week 2007, will be a three-day exhibition at St George’s Market, Belfast, called ‘Discover the Innovation Within.’ It will have six themed zones covering key issues such as planning, motivating staff, exporting, developing products and services, and accessing finance.

Innovation Week 2007 will also include a conference highlighting the importance of design, as well as two seminars specifically for a female audience, featuring presentations by local female entrepreneurs who have been successful in sectors such as construction, engineering and science and technology.

Other events include this year’s annual conference for the Department for Employment and Learning, which carries the theme of skills for innovation, and the Working Together for Profit seminar, which will explore how the business and education sectors can work together to solve business issues. The seminar will showcase some pioneering projects undertaken by local universities.

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, says: “Nothing has a greater positive impact on business than innovation, but often businesses don’t know how to implement it in practical terms, and are sceptical about its benefits.

“Innovation Week will give an insight into the tools available to help businesses introduce innovation and will also highlight the support that Invest NI offers to help businesses turn the concept of innovation into tangible results.”

Information about all the events and registration details can be found at