Wed 28th May 2014
Businesses Inspired to Innovate at NI Chamber Conference
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) hosted the second Growing Something Brilliant conference at Titanic Belfast this morning.
The conference, supported by SSE Airtricity, Pinsent Masons and First Trust Bank, brought together 150 business leaders and formed part of NI Chamber’s Growing Something Brilliant campaign which is aimed at increasing business confidence and inspiring more businesses to grow through innovation, leadership and export.
Speaking after the Conference, NI Chamber President Mark Nodder said:
“There are a number of economic action plans under development and today’s conference provided an opportunity for businesses to ensure that these plans include actions that address the challenges still faced by businesses and help them to accelerate their growth.
“Our members told us that they still have issues when trying to access finance and find employees with the necessary skills to drive their business forward. They also face a number of barriers to exporting including knowledge gaps of the socio, legal and cultural issues faced by new exporters. NI Chamber will now present our members’ feedback and recommendations to those in government who are in a position to make policy changes.”
Guest speakers at the conference included Sean O’Driscoll, Chairman and Chief Executive of Glen Dimplex and Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board who works to stimulate and support innovation across the UK.
Highlighting Northern Ireland’s underperformance with regards to innovation, NI Chamber President Mark said:
“Evidence shows that companies who innovate often see their employee numbers and sales grow twice as fast as their non-innovating competitors, not to mention being more productive.
“Time and again we come up against a number of barriers to innovation such as lack of all–round knowledge as to what it actually is, a lack of ambition, creative thinking and leadership. It has also been pointed out that we are known for our risk aversion and not as proficient in managing change as we would like to be.
“NI Chamber supports the government’s vision for Northern Ireland to become recognised as an innovation hub and one of the UK’s leading high-growth, knowledge based regions by 2025 – but first we must overcome these barriers. NI Chamber looks forward to working with government and our members on these issues over the coming months.”