About innovation

Innovation is implementing new ideas to deliver value.

It’s not just about inventing new products, or developing a service. It could be about finding new ways to increase business efficiency, changing your business model or adapting to changing in the marketplace. Innovation will deliver significant benefits. It can help your business solve problems, increase market share, improve competitiveness and become more successful.

Why innovate?

Businesses must innovate to adapt, survive and thrive in a competitive market place.

Innovation has become a basic survival skill for all businesses. Products become outdated, customer preferences change and the global market place is now available at the touch of a button.

Companies that innovate are more profitable because:

  • customers are willing to pay a premium for innovative goods and services
  • investors prefer businesses that innovate because they are more likely to survive and thrive
  • innovative companies are not only more structured in how they manage their operations, but they are also more likely to attract and retain high quality staff

What is innovation?

Innovation is for all kinds of businesses and takes many forms.

It might be:

  • developing a new product
  • diversifying an existing product line
  • improving processes and procedures
  • changing new production methods
  • developing a new service
  • changing service delivery
  • adapting a product or service to reach new customers
  • adapting your business to new marketplace conditions
  • upgrading or introducing new management systems, business models or organisational structures

Innovation guidance

Innovate NI has curated content from a range of innovation partners in Northern Ireland to help businesses to start thinking about innovating, beginning to innovate, or keep innovating so it becomes embedded into day-to-day operations.

Split into three sections, it offers tailored best practice advice, innovation-led support, online tools and case studies, so businesses can get inspired by others and start their own innovation journey. We are constantly adding new guidance and resources, so do check back from time to time.

You can also complete our short innovation assessment which will allow you to identify whether your business is currently innovating, and if so, at what level.

Support Finder

Get advice and support

The Northern Ireland business support finder is a searchable database that can help you find publicly-funded and not-for-profit sources of assistance.


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