Knowledge is power

KTI’s extensive range of resources help small businesses to innovate in an increasingly competitive marketplace

Why should small businesses know about Knowledge Transfer Ireland?

Ireland has a wealth of world class research, knowledge and expertise available to business from across our third level institutions that can be tapped into and benefitted from commercially. Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) is the national office, whose role it is to make the process of accessing that research simpler and more straightforward.

We do this by providing tools and resources to help direct companies to research and research providers, who they can work with to innovate their business and boost competitiveness.

How can small firms benefit from working with the Irish research industry?

Now more than ever, Irish companies of all sizes need to innovate to remain competitive and to compete globally. For small firms, collaborating with third level organisations is a great way to advance their R&D capabilities and service or product innovation. Engaging with expertise available from higher education institutes gives companies access to skills, knowledge, talent – and often specialised equipment – that they are unlikely to have in-house. The benefits are tangible and we are seeing an increasing number of companies engage with State research to improve their production processes, explore ideas to develop new products and solve challenges particular to their business.

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What kind of small businesses (and in what sectors) should consider engaging with Ireland’s research industry?

Opportunities exist for companies in almost all sectors and businesses can link directly with researchers regarding their particular field of expertise. The Directory of RD&I Supports for Enterprise available on the KTI homepage provides an overview of the research system in Ireland and includes details of institutions active in particular fields or sectors. It is an excellent place for any company to start.

In what way can KTI help SMEs collaborate with State research centres and third level institutions?

KTI encourages all SMEs to visit the KTI website as a first port of call if they are interested in building out their R&D capability by working with third level researchers. The site is geared towards providing businesses with a range of resources to help equip them with the background, understanding and practical tools they will need to engage with the research system in Ireland. Businesses that are interested can use the KTI interactive directories to find the right institution to work with and who to contact there. They can access individual researchers in a particular field or find out about funding that might be available to them to support their R&D endeavours.

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Is it easy to engage with KTI? Are the tools easy to access?

KTI is all about making it more simple for businesses to navigate the Irish research system.  KTI’s website and the tools available there are geared towards helping them find what they need to do that. For example, KTI’s interactive map lets people search and locate the right institutions and contact people in a particular location or by area of expertise. The funding tool brings companies through a few short questions to generate a list of financial supports that may be available to them for the R&D activity. We also have a suite of template agreements and practical guides that can help throughout the process.