Collaboration saves money for businesses in Northern Ireland

Around 50 Northern Ireland businesses came together at two recent workshops to identify over 300 potential collaboration opportunities which could achieve cost savings of over £5.8m, while also diverting over 8,000 tonnes from landfill.

The two workshops, hosted by Invest Northern Ireland’s Industrial Symbiosis service, were held at Strabane Enterprise Agency and Diageo Belfast and included tours of O’Neill’s International Sportswear, Strabane and the Diageo site in Marshalls Rd, Belfast.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technology Solutions, says: “The Industrial Symbiosis workshops provide an excellent platform for local companies to discuss how their business’ waste can be used by other businesses. As a result of the workshops companies not only identify ways to reduce their operating costs but can actually develop new income streams and thereby improve their overall competitiveness.  Our Team of Industrial Symbiosis practitioners provide support and guidance to assist businesses in achieving the highest level of cost savings possible.”

Workshop delegates were asked to share information about their wasted resources or resources needed as part of their manufacturing or business process.  Waste products such as wax backing paper, food waste, batteries, cardboard cores and sand were just some of the materials identified as reusable by other businesses and matched with possible businesses at each workshop.

Following the workshops delegates received a report which allows them to follow up on the opportunities identified.

Adrian Adams, Montupet who attended the Diageo workshop, says: “This was a very worthwhile event.  There was good information shared and plenty of feedback with the potential for significant savings from the event.”  

International Synergies Ltd is the service provider for Industrial Symbiosis in Northern Ireland, supported by Invest Northern Ireland and part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness programme in Northern Ireland.