- How does 4CNW, the Business Innovation Support Programme work?
- Why was the 4CNW Talent Scheme developed?
- What is meant by the terms “broker” and “matchmaking”?
- Who is funding 4CNW Talent?
- Who is leading 4CNW Talent?
- Which European regions are involved in the 4CNW Programme?
- What industries can apply for talent vouchers?
- I think I have a business in one of these sectors but I don’t see my company type on the list, can I still apply?
- What is the “growth phase” in the lifecycle of a company? How do I know what phase my company is in?
- What are the creative industries?
- What if I have already identified a creative business to work with?
- Can a subsidiary company based in the North West of Ireland with its Head Office outside the region apply for a voucher?
- What is the value of the vouchers?
- Can vouchers be used to pay VAT?
- Can I reclaim the VAT?
- What support is available?
- Who is eligible to apply for a Talent Voucher?
- When can I apply?
- What does an Innovation Challenge mean?
- What projects are eligible?
- What are some of examples of ineligible innovation challenges?
- What kind of web design, marketing, printed materials or video production activities are eligible?
- Do you have examples of eligible Innovation Challenges?
- Are there case studies related to this area I can read?
- Will I be notified that my Application has been received?
- When will the vouchers be awarded?
- How will I know if my challenge has been selected for a talent voucher?
- How will I receive the voucher funding?
- Do I need to submit a signed Application form?
- What sort of information do I need to provide in the Innovation Challenge description section on the Application form?
- When does the collaborative work with the creative company need to be completed by?
- Who is the contract for collaboration between?
- What if intellectual property (IP) right issues arise during the collaboration?
- What about confidentiality with the creative company?
- What happens in the event of administration?
- When is the voucher paid?
- Once commenced can I save my application and return to it later?
How does 4CNW, the Business Innovation Support Programme work?
4CNW invites businesses trading in the Agri-food, Life Sciences, Technology and Tourism sectors to apply for a talent voucher (valued between €1,000 and €5,000) to procure the services of a creative company.
The application form can be submitted online. If you are awarded a voucher you can use it to purchase creative expertise to meet your innovation requirements. The aim is to improve your company’s innovation capability by collaborating with creative companies operating in the North West of Ireland, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
Why was the 4CNW Talent Scheme developed?
The key aim of the programme is to enable knowledge exchange and experience between creative businesses and the wider business environment through brokered matchmaking to encourage better practice in demand led innovation.
The 4CNW Scheme has considerable potential to increase the transfer of knowledge between creatives and business. It will driven by industry demand for creative services and eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy.
What is meant by the terms “broker” and “matchmaking”?
Brokering and matchmaking are effectively the same thing – a broker will make the best possible match between two parties – in this case two businesses that will work together on a challenge. It has been found that a key to success in projects like this is effective matchmaking between businesses, facilitating the introduction, exploration and selection of project partners.
The project team will use expert knowledge to asses your specific business need and, having assessed the Creative Industries in the region, make recommendations about the best matches to meet your challenge.
Who is funding 4CNW Talent?
4CNW (which stands for Creative Challenge Celtic Crescent North West) is a new business innovation support programme that is co-financed 95% by the European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General and 5% by Sligo County Council.
Who is leading 4CNW Talent?
The Creative State North West Public Private Partnership (PPP) is the delivery mechanism and governing partnership overseeing implementation of the pilot 4CNW programme. The partnership was established in 2011 by Sligo County Development Board and is made up of key players from the fields of local government, regional development, business, technology, creative industries innovation and enterprise.
The Creative State PPP is staffed by Sligo County Council to implement the programme and act as the ‘Broker’ in the North West of Ireland. In 2012 Sligo County Council contracted service providers in Northern Ireland (NORIBIC) and Scotland (Cultural Enterprise Office) to implement 4CNW in these partner regions and to assume the role of Broker.
The Creative State North West has its origins in the Sligo County Development Board Creative Sligo Strategy & Action Plan 2010-12 a cross sectoral initiative led by Sligo County Council, working together with the private sector, local authority partners from Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Roscommon and the Western Development Commission.
Together they aim to increase the competitiveness of the North West region by strengthening its capacity for innovation through the linking of Creative Industries with Business, Creative Industries with each other, and Creative Industries with appropriate public bodies.
Which European regions are involved in the 4CNW Programme?
Ireland North West (Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo), Northern Ireland and Scotland.
What industries can apply for talent vouchers?
Businesses in four sectors can apply – Agri-food, Life Science, Technology and Tourism sectors. Examples of businesses in each of these sectors are listed below. This is not a comprehensive listing.
Animal Feed, Bakery, Beverages; Horticulture & Organics, Poultry, Prepared Consumer Foods, Seafood; Dairy, Functional Foods, Nutritionals, Other Food; Beef, Bloodstock, By-products, Lamb, Pig meat; Food Services – Merchandising & Hospitality
Animal Health, Biotechnology, Clinical Trials, Diagnostics, Healthcare Services, Medical Devices, Medical Sub Supply, Nutrition, Other Medical, Pharmaceuticals, Vetchem
Technology: Aerospace, Automation, Agricultural Machinery, Automotive, Engineering Project Management, General Engineering, ICT, Materials Handling, Mechanical Engineering, Plastics, Precision Engineering, Tanks & Vessels, Toolmaking, Sustainability
Accommodation, Activities, Attractions, Food & drink, Festivals & events, Tour operators & transport
I think I have a business in one of these sectors but I don’t see my company type on the list, can I still apply?
The above is not an exhaustive list. You can still apply and the project team will assess your eligibility at application stage. Should you have any further queries please contact your local broker.
What is the “growth phase” in the lifecycle of a company? How do I know what phase my company is in?
A company typically progresses through the following lifecycle stages: start-up > growth > maturity > death/rebirth. If you have moved beyond your first year of trading you are likely to be in the growth phase.
What are the creative industries?
The term “creative industries” refers to a range of economic activities that deal with the creation, production and distribution of creative goods and services.
Creative industries build upon a rich and diverse core of cultural heritage, skilful arts and other creative crafts craft, and provide products and services in sectors, such as, publishing, digital media, software, gaming computer games, consultancy, advertising, visual arts, entertainment, TV, design, fashion and architecture.
What if I have already identified a creative business to work with?
It’s ok to suggest a creative that you would like to work with but that Creative business will have to apply to register their skills and will have to be deemed eligible for the programme. The application process they should follow is available on this page.
It’s important to emphasise that a key benefit of the business support programme is that you will have the opportunity to meet, explore and select from a talent pool of creative businesses that meet your specific need.
Can a subsidiary company based in the North West of Ireland with its Head Office outside the region apply for a voucher?
Yes, as long as the subsidiary company has employees working in the region.
What is the value of the vouchers?
The value of the voucher ranges from €1,000 to €5,000.
Can vouchers be used to pay VAT?
Where collaboration between a creative enterprise and business involves the charging of VAT for the creative service – the talent voucher money cannot be used for the payment of VAT. This would have to be met by the business itself.
Can I reclaim the VAT?
The voucher cannot cover the cost of VAT. Companies that are VAT registered will be able to reclaim it through normal procedures.
What support is available?
- Short induction training for companies and creatives on how to establish successful collaborative partnerships
- One-to-one mentoring support
- Helpdesk support from the Creative State North West team and your local Broker
- Access to case studies on similar collaborations
Who is eligible to apply for a Talent Voucher?
Companies operating in Ireland North West, Northern Ireland and Scotland are eligible for participation in the scheme, providing the eligibility criteria is met.
When can I apply?
You can apply now. 4CNW Talent closes at 4pm on the 18th February 2013.
How can I apply? apply online. Applications for Industry must be submitted by 4pm on 18th February 2013 to be considered. No late applications will be considered.
What does an Innovation Challenge mean?
An innovation challenge can take many different forms. It could mean selling an existing product or service into a new market, finding more cost effective ways of doing things or adding additional dimensions to your products or services. Overall an innovation challenge should add value to your business and improve bottom line profitability.
What projects are eligible?
Eligible companies can buy creative support to:
- Explore specific business issues relating to the exploitation of new ideas
- To address product, process or service innovation issues
- Build innovation capacity
Support will take the form of a demand-led project around a well-defined business innovation challenge, such as:
- New or improved product
- New or improved process
- New or improved service
- New or improved business model
- New or improved customer interface
- Supply chain management and logistics
- Product and service testing
- Exploiting new web technologies
- Market research
Please note that for the purpose of this pilot, the project collaboration is three months (May – August 2013). Challenges need to be devised that can realistically be delivered within this timeframe.
What are some of examples of ineligible innovation challenges?
- Achieving compliance with statutory regulations or legislation
- Intellectual property protection
- Standard training courses
- Software purchases
- Equipment purchases
- Aid that would promote / subsidise the cost of exports
- Internships for students
- Capital items
- Travel costs
- ‘Live’ and existing projects
- Legal advice
- Changes that only alter the design or text content of a website or printed material
What kind of web design, marketing, printed materials or video production activities are eligible?
improvements such as:
- Opening up a new market to the business
- Altering the way the business distributes its products
- Providing a new way of interacting with customers
Do you have examples of eligible Innovation Challenges?
yes, here are some hypothetical innovation challenges by way of example. You don't have to lay out your challenge in this manner, but it is worth noting that the examples below are within the 200 word description limit.
Sample Challenge 1:
We run a small bicycle touring company that uses knowledgeable local guides to take visitors of all fitness levels touring through the area. Our product is of a very high quality, both the quality of the cycle tours we offer and the beauty of the area, however there is competition from other cycle tour operators in our region, but also from other regions of natural beauty who are all targeting a similar tourist market. At the moment we use our website to attract customers. We also receive referrals from local tourism development organisations.
Our objective is to attract more customers than we currently do, and to increase repeat customers.
We need to find new ways to stand out from our rivals.
To do this we would like help to create a video, to run on our website to show the tours in action, the sort of people that might use them, the personalities of the local guides and the beauty of the surroundings. We would like to work with a filmmaker and a local musician to provide an authentic local soundtrack.
Our touring company has an outstanding product but we compete with many other tour operators nationally and provide a similar service to them.
Sample Challenge 2
We run a small family hotel which has been hit by the economic situation. Fewer visitors are coming and those that are tend to be staying for shorter periods and spending less. Many people are seeking “deals” and there is pressure to offer discounts or reduce prices. At the moment we use our website to attract customers. We also receive referrals from local tourism development organisations.
Our objective is to attract more customers than we currently do and to increase the average duration of their visit.
We need to find new ways to stand out from our rivals.
We would like to create a completely different visitor experience and would like a scriptwriter and actor to help as with themes and presentation.
Our hotel was once the residence of a famous writer and there are many different themes for events that we could work on.
Sample Challenge 3
We run a medical device company that supplies devices to hospitals. We see an opportunity in the personal, wearable device market and would like to develop new products that are sold directly to the customer. Currently the wearable devices on the market are functional and not very attractive and we see an opportunity to provide a different sort of product than those currently available.
Our objective is to diversify our offering from wholesale devices to include a range of direct sale personal produts.
We need to find ways to stand out from our rivals by devloping a more attractive product.
We would like to work with a fashion designer, textile worker or similar to help is design and create a more attractive, differentiated product. We would also like to work with a graphic designer to develop a secondary consumer brand to provide an identity for the new range.
The population is aging and older people are more mobile and more likely to self-monitor their medical needs from home, rather than through hospital care.
Sample Challenge 4
We run a successful restaurant but our growth is limited by our physical footprint, and we do not wish to franchise or open other outlets. We would like to find new ways to broaden the reach of our brand and create new income streams for our business. We focus on good quality local food and think we could develop a range of branded food products for sale in store and online.
Our objective is to diversify our offering from an in-restaurant experience to include a range of longer-life, but natural, food products such as preserves and sauces.
We need to turn our restaurant and its reputation into a brand, and use that to sell associated food products.
We would like to work with a graphic designer to develop a visual identity and packaging for our new products. We'd also like to work with a social media specialist to think of new ways to promote our food identity outside of our local area.
We don't want to physically expand our restaurant as times are tough and disposable income for eating out is low. We want to find new ways to diversify and expand our revenue stream
Are there case studies related to this area I can read?
Yes, you can read and download info by following the links below:
- 4CNW test project North West Ireland 2012
- Innovation Index Voucher Scheme, Manchester
- Creative Credits Scheme, Manchester, Nesta
- Designing Demand Scheme, UK Design Council
- Innovation by Design, Centre for Design Innovation
Will I be notified that my Application has been received?
Yes, all applicants will receive a confirmation email stating their application has been received. The 4CNW team will be in touch if there are any queries with your application before review by the independent expert panel.
When will the vouchers be awarded?
Vouchers will be awarded from the 2nd of April 2013.
How will I know if my challenge has been selected for a talent voucher?
You will receive written notification from Creative State North West to say you were successful.
How will I receive the voucher funding?
As a Talent Voucher recipient, you will draw down the initial percentage 20% of your allocated funding on commencement.
To draw down the remainder remaining 80% of your funding you will be required to submit a short report on the project at the end of the collaboration (after 3 months). We will provide you with a format for the report.
Do I need to submit a signed Application form?
All applications will be submitted online so initially we do not require a physical signature on the application form. If you are awarded a voucher we will require you to sign and post a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and this will be requested during the Matchmaking process.
What sort of information do I need to provide in the Innovation Challenge description section on the Application form?
In this section of the form we want to get a clear understanding of the project you are proposing and how it meets a specific business need.
Things you should consider for this section include:
Describing the challenge you would like to address. How would solving this help your business? What is it that needs to be delivered? Why does it need to be delivered? What is it you would like to do differently? Why do you need to do this differently? What areas of expertise are you lacking? If you would like to sell an existing product or service in a new market, please describe the product/service, the current market and the market that you wish to target.
When does the collaborative work with the creative company need to be completed by?
The work needs to be completed by the end of August 2013.
Who is the contract for collaboration between?
The contract will be entered into between the creative business and you, the industry client. The contract will be created in the same way as you would with any other supplier, but you can get advice from the project team in the drawing up of this contract.
What if intellectual property (IP) right issues arise during the collaboration?
You should agree IP rights with the creative company at the start /contract stage of the project. The project team can advise as necessary.
What about confidentiality with the creative company?
You should have a signed confidentiality agreement in place with your creative supplier. This can be part of the contract you agree together.
What happens in the event of administration?
Vouchers are awarded to the company named on the application form, should that company go into administration the voucher will become null and void, and is non-transferable.
When is the voucher paid?
You’ll receive 20% of the value of the voucher on project commencement (when you have a contract in place with your creative partner), and the final 80% on project completion and submission of a short report.
Once commenced can I save my application and return to it later?
No you can't, once begun you must move through all steps of the application form in order to complete it. We understand that you might want to spend time on your application however, so we have created sample application forms in Word and Adobe pdf which you can download and use as a worksheet to prepare your application before completing it online.
Please note that these templates are for draft purposes only, your final application must be made online.