The project is focusing on micros and SMEs in two sectors, the Food & Drink and Life Science (assisted tech). The partnership has identified that enterprises in these two sectors are often involved in developing bespoke and niche products with limited production runs.
The SMEs also share other barriers to developing new products and processes including, Diversifying IP to create new products; Reducing waste to maximise profit; Accessing new markets; Increasing sustainability of products; Availability of time; Failure to fully exploit new products.
What is proposed through the CATALST cross-border pilot project is to use sustainable development as a catalyst to drive design and innovation for Welsh and Irish life science and food & drink sector SMEs.
The project will initially use innovation workshops where SMEs from both sectors will jointly explore sustainable development opportunities.
Following a diagnostic phase, suitable SMEs will then embark on a unique innovation residency programme to work alongside specialist HEI staff and operation partner expertise to create new product and process outputs.