Four companies have been awarded ‘Project Exemplar’ status by InterTradeIreland, as part of its FUSION programme and include two local companies, the Deluxe Group based in Portadown and Statsports Technology based in Newry. Also receiving the accolade was Ceramicx, from Co. Cork and Kilkenny based Cf Pharma.
The initiative supports business development and innovation by partnering companies north and south with third level institutions and high calibre graduates in science, engineering or technology for up to 18 months. The graduate works directly with the business to deliver new products or improved processes.
These SMEs were judged to be the four best FUSION projects of 2017 in terms of the level of innovation, benefits achieved and overall contribution to the programme. Between them, the ‘Project Exemplar’ companies have reported combined sales, savings and investments of over £500,000 and have projected further sales, savings and investments of almost £18m over the next three years.
Speaking at the event, Margaret Hearty, Director of Programmes and Business Services at InterTradeIreland said: “We are delighted to support ambitious companies across the island which are committed to innovation. I would like to recognise the hard work and dedication of the participants in these FUSION Exemplar projects, who have made great strides in their respective industries through this collaborative project. The results so far are impressive and I wish them well for the future. Hopefully, these successes will encourage other SMEs to consider the benefits of taking part in the Fusion programme.”
Based in Newry, Co Down, STATSports Technologies Ltd designs, develops and manufactures electronics and software for the elite sports market. Clients include Liverpool FC, The Chiefs New Zealand and The Washington Wizards. With a strong foothold in the sports metrics arena, the company wanted to develop their product for indoor use to gain an important competitive edge.
Through the FUSION programme, STATSports partnered with Dr Fergal McCaffery at the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) and a skilled graduate, Alan Moynagh, to develop new technology to measure players’ statistics during indoor sporting fixtures and training sessions.
By partnering with DKIT, which already had expertise in Ultra-Wideband technology, STATSports was able to investigate the potential of integrating this into new products.
Discussing the benefits of InterTradeIreland’s support, Paul Johnston, CEO of STATSports, said: “FUSION enabled us to accelerate advancements in our tracking and analysis services for elite sports teams, helping teams to remain competitive.
Portadown company, Deluxe Group is a joinery and bespoke interior specialist, whose clients include the Hilton London Metropole and Belfast’s Revolucion de Cuba venue, formerly Café Vaudeville. It specialises in theme park fit-outs and has previously carried out project work for Disneyland, Paris, on the flagship attraction, Ratatouille.
Through the FUSION programme, the Duluxe Group partnered with the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT) and a skilled graduate, to develop digital design, visualisation and production processes for use in building theme park sets. As a result of the project, this expertise was applied on the site of a large contract at the Motiongate theme park in Dubai, taking in Lego, Ghostbusters, Underworld and Hotel Transylvania attractions.
By partnering with IADT, which already had expertise in creating models for the film and TV industry, the Duluxe Group was able to work alongside the Institute’s lead lecturer in 3D design, model making and 3D art, Julian King, and a dedicated graduate, to combine digital design and advanced fabrication techniques in order to develop theme park models from lightweight, fire-retardant models.
Discussing the benefits of InterTradeIreland’s support, Richard Hill, Business Development Manager of the Deluxe Group, said: “We can trace the success and our fantastic growth back to the catalyst, InterTradeIreland’s FUSION project, which has taken us on our journey of fabrication using new materials for theme parks. Skills and capabilities which have been developed from our involvement in the Fusion programme have helped to enhance our reputation worldwide and given us a unique competitive advantage. We have the opportunity to secure future work using these new techniques and are currently bidding for a contract with Universal Studios.”
For further information on InterTradeIreland and the business supports available, please visit www.intertradeireland.com