Intertrade Ireland is set to invest €11m in 136 cross border technology projects through its all island technology transfer programme Fusion.

Intertrade Ireland is responsible for fostering cross border trade, investment and innovation on both sides of the border.

The Fusion programme enables science, engineering and technology graduates to gain access to vital industry skills.

It enables SMEs to employ graduates for up to 18 months to create and develop innovative and commercially viable projects and services.

The company is also partnered with a third level institution to gain access to the specialist expertise they need, which the agency says facilitates a three way cross border partnership.

Over 450 companies have already taken part in the Fusion programme with more than 85% of graduates securing full time employment with the company they were placed with after the initial phase of the project.

Intertrade Ireland says that on average, companies taking part benefit from over €1.2m in sales, efficiency savings and investments within three years of the project.

''Through creating an innovation eco system North and South, we can offer SMEs the potential to externally source and connect with a wider variety of relevant expertise, while collaborating with graduates and universities to deliver product and service innovations,'' commented Thomas Hunter McGowan, chief executive of Intertrade Ireland.