Innovation Accreditation Programme

The Department for the Economy has launched an Innovation Accreditation Programme to encourage businesses in Northern Ireland to broaden and strengthen their innovation capacity, capability and activity.

The Programme is designed to encourage businesses thinking about innovating to take the first step, and support those that are already innovating to do more by successfully embedding innovation into their operations.

Why take part?

Innovative businesses are often more successful.

They are viewed as being more forward-thinking and they are attractive to prospective customers, suppliers, investors and staff. The Innovation Accreditation Programme can help you do just that.

There are two elements to the Programme. The first element helps your business to identify if they are currently innovating, and if so, to what level. The second element is an internationally recognised accreditation that will help you to develop your innovation strategy, capabilities and culture.

Innovation levels

There are four innovation levels your business can achieve.

These are:

  • Bronze: As a bronze level innovator, your business will be at the start of its innovation journey. This stage is called “ideation” where you are creating new ideas that can add value to your business.
  • Silver: As a silver level innovator, your business has selected, developed and tested an innovative idea, or, implemented a new internal process or business model.
  • Gold: As a gold level innovator, your business has commercially launched a new product or service, or, implemented a new process, not currently available in the global market.
  • Platinum: As a platinum level innovator, your business has created value as a result of your innovation, which has been sustained for a minimum of two years.

You will also get access to the advice, support and resources your business needs to progress up the four innovation categories, from bronze through to platinum. If your business is a gold or platinum level innovator, you can then progress to the internationally recognised innovation accreditation.

Innovation 360 Accreditation

The second element of the Programme is the Innovation 360 Accreditation, an internationally-recognised rating system.

It analyses participating businesses in a 360degree assessment of innovation capabilities, strategy and culture and measures how well they manage innovation across their operations.

Whilst all Northern Ireland businesses are eligible to apply for the Innovation 360 Accreditation, businesses that have achieved a least gold level innovator status will gain the most benefit and value from the process and they also have a better chance of success. Businesses engaging in this programme may also benefit from a significant discount on the accreditation.

For more information, call our Business Support Team call 0800 181 4422 to find out more or complete the form below and an Invest NI staff member will contact you.

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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