24/09/2010

Cross Border Business Initiative Celebrated

Millions of pounds are to be generated by an initiative that facilitates cross-border partnerships and projects between companies, graduates and third level institutions.

Figures released by InterTradeIreland show that its award-winning FUSION programme is set to generate over £250m in increased turnover and cost-savings for participating companies.

The figures have been released to coincide with the graduation of 11 Northern Ireland students from the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School in Dublin.

They are the latest graduates to complete their Post-Graduate Diploma in Management Practice and join the 200 FUSION students that have already graduated from UCD and Dublin Institute of Technology.

Over 85% of FUSION graduates who complete their projects are offered employment by the participating businesses - a sign of the quality of the graduates recruited and the success of the projects undertaken. These were also some of the reasons why the programme won the award for 'The Best Graduate Training and Development Programme' in the gradireland Awards 2010.

Typical projects involve the development of new and innovative products and services, improvements to existing products and streamlining production processes.

Areas such as food, engineering, I.T., manufacturing and in the medical, health and pharmaceutical sectors have been covered. Other areas covered include renewables, recycling and environmental projects, business services and projects in the electrical, electronics & construction fields.

Alan Morrow, FUSION Operations Manager from InterTradeIreland, said: "Businesses today have a greater need than ever to access better knowledge, technology and expertise to help them innovate and succeed.

"InterTradeIreland FUSION graduates are bright, well educated, enthusiastic and keen to learn – making them an asset to progressive SMEs across the island," he said.

"Working together with third-level institutions they have brought an influx of new ideas and helped to spark innovation within the companies they have worked to deliver tangible returns.

"On average, each company taking part on our FUSION programme benefits from over £1m worth of additional sales and efficiency savings in the years following project completion," he concluded.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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