Enterprise Ireland has approved joint funding of €1.14m for innovative, collaborative projects between private companies and the public sector.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme will fund five competitions, covering climate action, health, biodiversity and transport. The programme encourages businesses to explore and co-design solutions with public sector teams.
Among the challenges are a solutions to deal with plastic waste and cut the carbon footprint of schools, focusing first on school lunches; a project with the Mater Hospital and the National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh to address the prediction, detection and prevention of falls; mapping coastal seaweed resources in Ireland; improving accessibility in public transport; and a project in Tallaght University Hospital to improvement patient self management for those living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
The projects will be published on the e-tenders website before May 1st.
"We know that effective innovation is essential to the future growth and sustainability of every business. The SBIR Challenges present excellent opportunities, particularly for small and medium sized businesses, to extend their innovation ambition and capability, while accelerating their route to commercialisation, and enabling improved efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public services," said Enterprise Ireland's executive director Stephen Creaner. "The five challenges, identified by the public sector bodies, are sectorally diverse and will ultimately benefit citizens' needs both in Ireland and internationally."