Smith: Innovation is Key to Business Growth

Enterprise Minister, Angela Smith today launched Northern Ireland’s first Innovation Week by calling on local businesses to innovate to maximise growth.

Themed ‘Think Different Grow Fast’, Invest Northern Ireland’s inaugural Innovation Week, 21-24 March, 2006, aims to help local firms incorporate innovation and R&D into day to day operations.  Innovation Week will showcase local success stories and encourage businesses to think differently.  

Enterprise Minister, Angela Smith said: “Businesses which position innovation as an integral part of their business activities are generally more successful and competitive.  Even the inclusion of simple creative processes into daily working practices can help firms develop a profitable edge and ensure fast, sustainable growth.

“With levels of innovation and R&D in Northern Ireland amongst the lowest in the UK, Innovation Week will help make the concept more accessible to local businesses.  By encouraging companies of all sizes, in all sectors to innovate, we can build a strong local economy which is globally competitive.”

Events across Northern Ireland will commence on 21 March 2006 with two major events to be held in Belfast. The first event, ’Showcasing Innovation’ will enable local firms to exhibit their successes to the business community and to secondary school pupils, who are the next generation of business leaders.  The second event, the ‘Think Different Grow Fast’ conference, will provide interactive sessions and the expertise of internationally renowned designers to help stimulate innovative thinking.