Following on from Mike Stanley’s visit to Northern Ireland in November we have joined in partnership with a consortium of European business support organisations, universities and innovation specialists to develop resources aimed specifically at improving the innovation performance of small businesses.

Consortium members are from Northern Ireland, Ireland, Belgium, France, Spain and Romania.

It is anticipated that Innovative Trainer (IT) will increase the capacity of Business Trainers and Mentors to support SMEs throughout Europe by developing a “Train the Trainer” blended learning training resource on innovation.  It is hoped by updating their skills; Business Trainers and Mentors will be better placed to provide guidance on how to innovate to small businesses, with the ultimate goal of improving the innovation performance and growth of enterprise.

The project is for two years and the objective is to identify the training needs of Business Trainers and Mentors with respect to innovation. Working with a number of agencies course material based on the needs identified will be produced by way of an online and DVD resource pack.  Pilot testing of the material will be undertaken by target groups early in 2014 with the transnational European launch being held in Brussels in September 2014.

The next stage for us is, to ask Members to take part in a questionnaire on Innovation which covers:

  • How familiar you are with innovation
  • What level of innovation training are you engaged in
  • In your experience what industries does innovation mainly occur
  • In your  experience what stimulates innovation training
  • What barriers exist for  SME’s to be innovative
  • What prevents SME’s innovation activity

The website for Innovation Training is currently under construction; a Facebook page has been created along with a twitter and linked in account. – Please Like!!

Access the report that formally announces the programme here: IT EZINE.

If you are interested in taking part in the questionnaire or require any further details please contact Carol Daniels, Operations Manager,