News article

Innovation Accreditation Programme

7 October 2019


New support programme helps Northern Ireland businesses use innovation to grow

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has launched the new Innovation Accreditation Programme for local businesses.

The programme aims to highlight the importance of innovation for business growth and to create more awareness of the value of innovation. The programme also demonstrates how businesses can innovate. The ultimate goal of the programme is to increase the number of Northern Ireland businesses successfully engaging in innovation activity.

Why take part?
Innovative businesses are often more successful. They are viewed as being more forward-thinking and they are attractive to prospective customers, suppliers, investors and staff. The Innovation Accreditation Programme can help you do just that.

There are two elements to the programme. The first element helps your business to identify if they are currently innovating, and if so, to what level. The second element is an internationally recognised accreditation that will help you to develop your innovation strategy, capabilities and culture.

Innovation levels
There are four innovation levels your business can achieve:

  • Bronze: as a bronze level innovator, your business will be at the start of its innovation journey. This stage is called “ideation” where you are creating new ideas that can add value to your business.
  • Silver: as a silver level innovator, your business has selected, developed and tested an innovative idea, or, implemented a new internal process or business model.
  • Gold: as a gold level innovator, your business has commercially launched a new product or service, or, implemented a new process, not currently available in the global market.
  • Platinum: as a platinum level innovator, your business has created value as a result of your innovation, which has been sustained for a minimum of two years.

You will also get access to the advice, support and resources your business needs to progress up the four innovation categories, from bronze through to platinum. If your business is a gold or platinum level innovator, you can then progress to the internationally recognised innovation accreditation.

Find out more and how to apply to the Innovation Accreditation Programme.