Northern Ireland SMEs encouraged to take up InterTradeIreland ‘challenge’

Sean Dobbs, left, strategic innovation lead for CDEnviro with Alan Morrow, Challenge Programme manager
Sean Dobbs, left, strategic innovation lead for CDEnviro with Alan Morrow, Challenge Programme manager

SMEs in Northern Ireland are being encouraged to follow the example set by Cookstown-based CDEnviro to complete InterTradeIreland’s six-month Challenge Programme and transform their approach to innovation.

CDEnviro delivers integrated solutions for clients’ waste in terms of landfill diversion, wastewater recycling, environmental remediation and the generation of energy from waste.

Just six months after completing the programme in March 2018, CDEnviro has created a new strategic innovation department and has a pipeline of 46 viable business concepts.

The company is planning its largest ever R&D project to create pioneering solutions for companies affected by changing landfill waste classifications. It intends to bring its solution to market in 2019.

“We have always been an ambitious company. CDEnviro has a long track record of creating unique, innovative solutions, reflected by our multiple patents,” said Sean Dobbs, strategic innovation lead for CDEnviro.

“We believe zero waste is achievable. However, to get there we as an industry must take on and find a solution to the seemingly unsolvable issues, something we are proud to say we have a strong track record of.

“We have been looking at new sectors and niche markets since 2015.

“However, given the higher level of risk we knew that while we had the ideas and skills to disrupt these industries and bring solutions, we didn’t feel that our process to vet ideas was as reliable as it could be. The Challenge Programme helped us to integrate our skills and creativity across the business and really structure this validation process that has proven crucial to unlocking these higher risk opportunities.”

Challenge manager Alan Morrow said: “Challenge companies experience a transformative change in innovation culture, management capability and performance as the programme is focused on embedding best practice in innovation management at the core of participating businesses.

“Only 25 companies are taken through Challenge each year and interested, innovative firms are welcome to register their interest for our upcoming briefing session in November 2018.

“Challenge leaves SMEs with a proven, adaptable and repeatable innovation process that allows them to commercialise ideas quickly with less cost and reduced risk, enabling a reboot of current processes, ultimately generating a growth pipeline.”