‘BizTech’ strategists on hand to help Tipperary businesses ramp up post crisis

A team of business strategists, technologists and design thinkers at one of Waterford Institute of Technology’s research centres RIKON are offering their services to businesses across Co Tipperary impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research centre RIKON is an approved supplier for the Enterprise Ireland/IDA and Local Enterprise Office (LEO) funded Business Continuity Supports for Enterprises as a direct response to Covid-19. However, it is also offering its services to help businesses navigate the many different support schemes available to them.

‘BizTech’ strategists on hand to help Tipperary businesses ramp up post crisis

Pat Lynch and Dave Mitchell Rikon

There is assistance for all business types and sizes says Dr Pat Lynch, Co-founder and Director of RIKON, whether a sole trader, IDA company, Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Office client.

“In recent weeks, it has been heartening to see the resilience and adaptation of SMEs to the COVID-19 environment, finding new and innovative ways of working and utilising technologies. We are responding to an array of client issues such as crisis management, process optimisation, supply chain resilience, digital transformation, scenario planning and business model innovation….all to ensure that companies are best prepared for ramp up post-crisis,” says Dr Lynch.

“The funding landscape has become increasingly crowded and RIKON is happy to work with companies to simply establish where they fit in this new landscape and determine which funding option is best for them. We are working hard to assist companies through the application process and secure the appropriate funding,” adds Mary Clare Curran, Commercial Manager, Business Strategy and Marketing at RIKON.

RIKON is already working with companies under these new funding streams as well as the more established Innovation Vouchers and, of course, larger funded projects.

Normally based at WIT’s ArcLabs research and innovation hub, the RIKON team has adapted its way of working and moved its services online. Its BizTech strategists specialise in solving business problems and creating commercial opportunities through pioneering research advancements across business strategy, innovation, design, operational excellence and technology optimisation. The RIKON mix of business strategists, technologists and design thinkers create, incubate and deliver a future business that produce extraordinary results and allow you to leapfrog your competition.

“Our experience is that client companies have been happy to adapt to a new way of working with us and we hope to continue to provide support and advice to as many businesses as possible in the coming months,” adds Dr Lynch.

Business Continuity Support – RIKON

RIKON are now an approved supplier for the Enterprise Ireland/IDA & LEO funded Business Continuity Supports for Enterprises as a direct response to COVID 19. This is 100% grant aid excluding VAT, to a maximum value of €2,500 (i.e 2.5 days of either consultancy or training support per Irish site). The RIKON team will be working with companies assisting them in crisis management and recovery where the organisation is reacting & mitigating business impact where possible, formulating/planning and execution of recovery plans. RIKON will be contributing in a range of areas including: Crisis management-building, rapid deployment capability; Rapid strategizing Scenario planning & Business Model Innovation; Management of people through a crisis – communicating/Handling issues.

For further information please contact RIKON at www.rikon.ie.

Business Innovation Support – ArcLabs

WIT has completed over 600 Innovation Voucher projects for SMEs across the island of Ireland. Vouchers worth €5,000 are available to assist any registered limited company to explore a business opportunity or problem. Innovation Vouchers can be used for a wide range of innovation or knowledge transfer projects. The knowledge gained from a project may be used to solve business problems or to innovate a product, process or service. The aim of the Innovation Vouchers Programme funded by Enterprise Ireland is to build links between Small Businesses and Knowledge Providers like WIT. The Voucher which is worth €5,000 can be exchanged for expertise and guidance from the extensive knowledge pool at WIT. The Innovation Voucher allows you to concentrate on running your business while WIT comes up with a solution that could take your business to the next level. For further information on innovation vouchers please contact: Aisling O’Neill, ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre Manager. E: amoneill@wit.ie.

What can Innovation Vouchers be used for?

  • new product/process development
  • new business model development;
  • new service delivery and customer interface;
  • new service development;
  • tailored training in innovation management;
  • innovation/technology audit.

Supports across WIT

Teams across WIT are offering a myriad of supports to businesses. These include the recently launched WIT Enterprise Support Initiative which includes short online programmes in payroll management, finance and governance, digital marketing and managing stress and building resilience during these difficult times.

WIT’s research groups are also making a practical contribution to dealing with the emergency. Using advanced 3D printing technology, the South East Applied Materials Centre (SEAM) in the School of Engineering has developed a sealed face mask prototype for the clinicians in UHW. They plan to work with a local company on bringing this specialist mask into production very quickly. SEAM has also been involved in manufacturing visors for front-line staff in UHW for the National Ambulance Services. The group is also working actively with a number of bio-medical companies in the region around testing, diagnostics, and certification of parts and products for other devices.

The Department of Science and the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) have provided chemicals, reagents and PPE to UHW laboratory staff and are looking into new methods to increase the speed of testing for the virus. The researchers and staff are also involved in supporting companies involved in the manufacture of other products, including a local chemical company who are manufacturing hand sanitiser.

The Nutrition Research Centre of Ireland (NRCI), in the School of Health Sciences, based in on WIT’s West Campus at Carriganore, Waterford has, amongst other activities, mobilised an international community of researchers to examine ways of enhancing immunity to the virus with targeted nutrition for the ageing population.

Groups within WIT are also directing their efforts towards the challenges for enterprise in this crisis. The RIKON group in the School of Business for instance is an approved supplier for the Enterprise Ireland/IDA and LEO funded Business Continuity Supports for Enterprises and will be working with companies assisting them in crisis management and helping with formulating, planning and execution of recovery plans. Meanwhile, marketing students with digital marketing expertise have come together to form a panel that will offer assistance to businesses that need to rapidly transition to a more ‘online’ focused environment.


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