Carlow County Council & the Institute of Technology Carlow with support from Bank of Ireland, County Carlow Chamber, Carlow County Development Partnership, Carlow Tourism & Carlow Local Development Committee, recently unveiled its new R-Innovate Programme, which will be delivered in Ballon & Bagenalstown under the Town & Village Renewal Scheme 2018.

R-Innovate is a new programme designed based on the needs of rural enterprises to introduce innovation into their business. R-Innovate will recruit 30 start-up participants, 25 established companies and build a showcase networking event with over 100 participants over the coming months. Participants will be provided with dedicated facilitation, mentoring and support which are designed to create new opportunities and support and develop jobs in Rural County Carlow.

Speaking about the Programme Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive with Carlow County Council said “R-Innovate has been developed as a result of our ongoing positive working relationship between Institute of Technology Carlow & Carlow County Council in the delivery of our economic development and business support programme” and “showcases what can be achieved when state agencies work together to create opportunities for our enterprise communities”. Holohan concluded by saying “I am delighted with the support of Bank of Ireland, County Carlow Chamber, Carlow County Development Partnership, Carlow Tourism & Carlow Local Development Committee in this project who all bring a wealth of knowledge, networks and opportunities which will be of benefit to the programme participants”.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Declan Doyle, Vice president for Development and Research at Institute of Technology Carlow said “For entrepreneurship to work it needs a good combination of focus, discipline and freedom and I believe that this programme offers the participants a unique opportunity to start, develop and grow their innovative rural enterprises”, Doyle continued “this programme is another example of how the link between education, innovation and enterprise can really work on the ground for SME’s”.

The programme is co-ordinated by the Institute of Technology Carlow in partnership with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO).Pauline Hoctor, Business Advisor with the LEO said “This project will provide targeted interventions to assist innovators, entrepreneurs and SMEs to develop their skills and abilities with a view to providing greater levels of economic growth and employment as well as fostering competitiveness”, explaining how the project will work “The programme will run for a period of 8 months, so if you are a person with a good idea for a business but are struggling to get off the ground, or already have a business but are looking for ways to develop and expand; this could be the programme for you!”.

Partnership is a key approach to R-Innovate and Fergal Brosnan, County Manager for Carlow Kilkenny said, “In Bank of Ireland we are delighted to be a partner to the project and commit to play our part in invigorating and re-energising communities, showcasing what is on offer in these towns and supporting economic growth and development”.

Source: IT Carlow