New Innovation Programme launched to boost SME productivity

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), Skillnet Ireland and Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet have joined forces to launch a new ISO Innovation Management System Guidance Standard and an aligned Innovation Excellence Programme (IEP), to help boost productivity levels in Irish SMEs.

Organisations who undertake the new programme will learn how to implement and manage innovation successfully by providing solutions that address real customer needs. The newly launched ISO Guidance Standards is the foundation upon which the new programme is built.

An organisation’s ability to innovate is widely recognised as a key factor for sustained profitable growth and economic viability. The innovation capabilities of an organisation include the ability to understand and rapidly respond to changing conditions, to pursue new opportunities, and to leverage the knowledge and creativity of internal teams, and in collaboration with external stakeholders and partners.

The Innovation Excellence Programme has been designed by Skillnet Ireland in partnership with NSAI and will be delivered by Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet.

Chief Technologist at Skillnet Ireland Mark Jordan says the introduction of the new ISO guidance standard will lay down some best practices for testing theories, measuring impact, and executing the ideas that bring true innovation to life.

“The Innovation Excellence Programme will deliver the necessary tools, skills, and working practices directly into Irish business – developing a process and platform for the generation of new ideas and strategies. This programme will allow companies to become more creative and impactful in their approach to solving business challenges.

At Skillnet Ireland, we see a future of intense change, and innovation will be at the core of everything we do. We are delighted to support this collaborative initiative, which will facilitate the connections that propel people and companies to find new ways to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing world.”

A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) identified problems with productivity levels in the Irish SME sector. It found the gap in the productivity of large companies here versus SMEs is growing.

NSAI Senior Standards Officer Paul Killeen believes the launch of the Standard and the Innovation Excellence programme will help Ireland address the SME productivity and competitiveness challenges outlined in the OECD report.

“The new ISO series of guidance standards on Innovation Management, developed by innovation experts from across the world, provides international best practice on the systematic management of innovation activities in organisations of all types, including SMEs.

The standard provides practical tools and methods, on how SMEs can effectively and consistently deliver new products and services to their customers on an ongoing basis.”

To find out more about the programme, visit

Article originally appeared on the Skillnet Ireland website. Click here to read.

Article Published: 29/10/2019