New Innovation Accreditation Programme

Innovation Accreditation launch picture

Pictured (L-R) Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary, Department for the Economy, Gillian Kelly, STATSports, Dr Vicky Kell, Director of Innovation, Research & Development, Invest NI and Magnus Penker, Founder and CEO of Innovation 360 Group.

A new Innovation Accreditation Programme was launched today by the Department for the Economy.

The Programme aims to highlight the importance of innovation for business growth, create more awareness of the value of innovation, as well as how to innovate. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of Northern Ireland businesses successfully engaging in innovation activity.

Launching the Programme, Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Economy said: “Innovation is vital if we are to continue to grow our local economy. We want Northern Ireland to be one of the most innovative regions in the UK, reflecting the ambition set out in the draft Programme for Government and my Department’s draft Innovation Strategy 2014-2025.

To do this, we are delighted to launch this new Innovation Accreditation Programme for Northern Ireland which is designed to support businesses to invest in innovation and improve their global competitiveness. I am confident it will be recognised as a differentiator, setting companies apart from their competitors.”

Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research & Development, Dr Vicky Kell said: If we are to create a more competitive, higher value Northern Ireland economy we need to significantly improve our rates of successful innovation. The Innovation Accreditation Programme, will help support Northern Ireland businesses foster a culture of innovation. Innovation adds value and so will help their businesses thrive.”

The new Accreditation Programme consists of a unique Northern Ireland Innovation Certification Scheme, as well as an Internationally Recognised Innovation Accreditation from Sweden based Innovation 360 Group. The NI Innovation Certification Scheme recognises any business that is on the innovation journey; awarding them a bronze, silver gold or platinum level certificate relating to their current innovation maturity.

“In introducing this Accreditation Programme, Northern Ireland is the first country to offer a regional innovation certification to help companies progress on their innovation journey.  Some companies may ultimately progress to the internationally recognised Accreditation, enabling them to benchmark themselves against, and learn from, some of the world’s leading global brands in over 30 countries.” continued Vicky.

Having achieved platinum status certification at the regional level, Newry based STATSports is the first business in Northern Ireland to also successfully complete, and achieve, the full Innovation 360 Internationally Recognised Accreditation.

Gillian Kelly, Head of Business Partnering of STAT Sports said “We are delighted to achieve the Innovation 360 Innovation Accreditation. Innovation is at the core of everything we do at STATSports and this accreditation process has enabled us to benchmark ourselves to the world’s most successful innovators, but more than anything, the accreditation process has given us our innovation success plan for the future, which is so important for the continued growth and success of STATSports.”



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