Research competitors and markets

Who, what, why, where and when? Make sure you have all the facts.

Where are the best markets for you? What are your competitors up to? Who would make reliable export partners? How can you save yourself time and money by using accurate market data?

Market research is critical to export success. We can help you to plan your export activities effectively by providing in-depth information and guidance on how to break into new markets.

Trade Advisory Service

Our Trade Advisory Service (TAS) offers 1:1 support from an export adviser to help identify and address your company’s specific challenges to sell successfully outside Northern Ireland. The service is available to eligible Invest NI customers who can demonstrate the potential to sell outside Northern Ireland for the first time, or a business that is exporting and has the potential to expand into new markets.

Case Study | Hear how Art Loves Ltd. benefited from the Trade Advisory Service

Business Information Centre

Our Business Information Centre, at Invest NI's headquarters in Belfast, has extensive market research and worldwide company directories that you can use.

Our wide range of business information includes: details of trade fairs, guidance on import/export procedures, funding sources and legal agreements.

Market research & company information databases

You can visit the Business Information Centre to view the market research and company information databases listed below, or request that information is emailed to you.
Complete the enquiry form to tell us what you need

Market Research Databases



Geographic Coverage

AMA Building & construction reports including environmental. UK and Europe
Cobra Business information for start-up companies, including market and legal information. UK
Construction Info Services Construction project tracking. Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Euromonitor Provides data & insights on industries, economies and consumers worldwide. Worldwide
Frost & Sullivan Industrial, energy, healthcare and ICT sectors. Worldwide
IBIS World UK & Ireland industry research reports. UK & World
IGD Strategies and operations of consumer goods retailers around the world. Worldwide
Mintel Food and drink, retail, e-commerce, leisure, lifestyles, technology and consumer. UK & Ireland
Mintel Insights & Global New Products database (GNPD) Global product innovation tool providing information on competitor activity, category awareness and idea generation. Global
Plimsoll Market reports and analysis across all sectors. UK
Simply Docs Legal agreement templates e.g. for agents and distributors. UK

Company Information Databases


Geographic Coverage

Number of Companies

Kompass Worldwide – Detailed product information, which is most useful for manufacturing/engineering companies. Over 8 million
Bureau Van Dijk Worldwide – Detailed financial information. The Mint database includes unincorporated companies in UK. Over 19 million

Tenders Alert Service

Our Tenders Alert Service allows you to identify local, UK and European contract opportunities from a wide range of public sector organisations via a daily email alert service. It also has information about selling to government - it has compiled an NI Councils Procurement fact sheet giving contacts for buyers and brief data on how they buy goods and services.
For further information please refer to the Tenders Alert Service leaflet (PDF)

Key public sector tender information sources

Local and national government bodies buy billions of pounds worth of goods and services every year. The sources of information listed below can alert you to current tender opportunities, and inform them about how to win public sector business.

Key Public Sector Tender Information Sources

Northern Ireland
Source Description
Invest Northern Ireland Tenders Alert Service An annual subscription service that enables eligible businesses to identify UK, ROI and other European Union contract opportunities from a wide range of public sector organisations via a daily email alert. Further information can be obtained by emailing
Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) CPD is the government body responsible for public procurement in Northern Ireland. Most NI government tenders, whether local or regional, are published on this website. However, there are exceptions; for example, local councils.
eTendersNI This portal advertises opportunities for providing goods, services and works to Northern Ireland government department, agencies and arms-length bodies.
InterTradeIreland Go-2-Tender public tendering workshops provide SMEs with knowledge and practical skills to tender successfully for public sector contracts across the island of Ireland.
Source Description
Office of Government Procurement (OGP) The OGP is responsible for sourcing all goods and services on behalf of the Public Service in Ireland, including Health, Defence, Education and Local Government. In addition, the OGP has full responsibility for procurement policy and procedures.
eTenders Procurement This portal is designed to be a central facility for all public sector contracting authorities in the ROI to advertise procurement opportunities and award notices.

See also Tenders Electronic Daily (see Europe section below) for Irish tenders above the EU procurement thresholds.

United Kingdom
Source Description
Scotland This portal provides details of contracts with Scottish Local Authorities, NHS Scotland, the Scottish Government, Agencies and NDPBs, Higher and Further Education and Emergency Services, with the option of registering to receive free e-mail alerts.
Wales This is the public sector procurement portal for Welsh suppliers and buyers.
Blue Light Emergency Services Blue Light emergency services e-tendering portal provides suppliers with easy access to tenders and quotations published by the Police, Fire and Rescue Services.
Digital Marketplace This is where you can sell digital services through the G-Cloud and Digital Services frameworks.
Contracts Finder This provides information on contracts worth over £10,000 with the UK government and its agencies.
Network Rail This provides contracts in pipeline work and Thames Link project work.
CompeteFor This site advertises major tenders for Crossrail, the Metropolitan Police and London Boroughs. It is provided by BIP Solutions on behalf of the Mayor of London and Transport for London.
Ministry of Defence (MOD) This portal provides access to MOD defence contracts.
Constructionline This is a register of local and national pre-qualified construction and construction related services.
GOV.UK The GOV.UK website has more links to UK tender websites.

In addition, Tenders Electronic Daily (see Europe section below) contains UK tenders above the EU procurement thresholds.

Source Description
Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) Online version of the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (EU), dedicated to European public procurement. It provides free access to business opportunities, updated 5 times a week with some 1,500 public procurement notices from the EU, the European Economic Area and beyond. If you register with this website, you can set up your own search profile that will be used to send you a daily email listing tenders which match your search profile.
Simap This provides information on the tendering process, regulations, procedures and best practice within the EU.

Not sure that this support is right for you? Contact us and we can explore options for your business together.

Our support is subject to eligibility criteria.

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  • Develop export skills

    Great value workshops, all you need to know about exporting.

Contact our
Business support team
0800 181 4422
For information on how we use your personal data including your rights, see our privacy notice.
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