A new €5m initiative aimed at fostering greater collaboration between Irish SMEs and global businesses is being launched today.
The Innovation Exchange is being launched by Skillnet Ireland in association with the Dublin Business Innovation Centre.
The idea of the collaboration is to address the digital skills challenges of multinationals by matching them with indigenous companies here that can meet their skills needs.
Having been trialed on a pilot basis last year, the initiative is being rolled out nationwide over the coming years.
It is hoped the programme will create opportunities for expansion for participating SMEs through access to new markets, customers and industry expertise.
"Participating multinationals can in turn gain access to start-up creativity, new ways of working and capacity to successfully embrace emerging technologies," a release marking the launch said.
The Innovation Exchange is expected to support over 1,000 companies with multinationals such as Glanbia and IBM among the major businesses participating.
"This is an enterprise-led talent initiative which connects some of our largest corporate organisations with our incredible indigenous SMEs who offer solutions to their digital transformation challenges," Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said ahead of today's launch.
"As the national talent development agency, Skillnet Ireland is committed to supporting businesses at either end of the scale from our indigenous SME community to the FDI businesses and major multinationals that are vital to our economic growth," Paul Healy, Chief Executive Skillnet Ireland said.
"Not only does this relationship offer solutions to multinational businesses, but it has the ability to help SMEs in charting a course toward expansion, scale and success," Michael Culligan, CEO of Dublin BIC said.