We venture into the unknown for multiple reasons: scientific progress, financial gain, excitement. Part of taking the actual or virtual leap is the thrill – not knowing exactly what happens next. This uncertainty means the results might not meet our expectations. The market timing for that brilliant idea might be wrong. The technology might not accomplish what is required. And the investment in time and money goes to waste.
Failure is the end result in many innovations, but for those that succeed the rewards can be vast and far-reaching, as can be seen from success of Irish companies like ‘Eurotech’ and ‘In Hand guides’ who have developed high-technology products from concept to production.
Having thought up a good idea, the most difficult part is often making that decision to invest. The failure of a single innovative project can put a small company out of business, even if the investment is carefully managed. Finding the right technical resources to complete the work to the desired standard is difficult and costly.
Managing the risk is what business in Ireland needs to top the EU ‘innovation indicator’. Nurturing creativity and developing the willingness in business to push ahead is key. That first hurdle, ‘can this idea be implemented’, must be overcome. After that, the risk is greatly reduced and success is down to execution and market.
EU Member States’ innovation performance 2014
What would the impact be for Irish companies if someone gathered your innovative idea, provided funding, technical resources, project planning and then delivered a prototype for free? Or told you ‘it’s not going to work, don’t waste your money’. This perfect solution should manage the three fundamentals: Time, cost & quality.
A pipeline of ideas would be fed into the ‘machine’ and the prototype (or no-go result) would appear at the other end, at no cost to the company. Every business in Ireland would be lining up for it, every potential but uncertain innovator would have the confidence to go for it. And Ireland’s creative output would shoot off the scale, bringing improvements for society and success for individuals.
But innovation at zero risk is available right now in Ireland. Technology gateways (like the one in Nimbus Centre) complete research and early prototype-development for businesses all over the country, at a very low cost.
Inventors come to Nimbus Centre with no resources or ability to technically implement their idea, and only pay the VAT on the work undertaken by an 100-strong team of engineers & researchers (which can be reclaimed so is essentially free). The hundreds of companies, including Eurotech and In Hand Guides, who have availed of the Enterprise Ireland ‘Innovation Voucher’ scheme for work in Nimbus Centre, are the biggest supporters of the initiative.
Fabulous achievements are within our reach and the number of successfully inventions being kick-started by this scheme is surging Ireland to the forefront of innovation in Europe.
Read more about our Risk Free Innovation in the Irish Times.