Irish SMEs to benefit from access to top academic research

Skillnets and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) will host a conference at the DIT Aungier Street Campus tomorrow (May 30) where new academic research on management will be presented to key stakeholders from the SME sector. The research could have a valuable impact for business and improve their bottom line when applied in the right way. The conference, which will be facilitated by Skillnets, is the start of a longer process of collaboration between Skillnets and DIT that aims to bring valuable research and practical implementation together.

Speaking of the success of Skillnets in providing innovative and industry-led training to SMEs Chairman of Skillnets, Brendan McGinty said: “In developing our strategy, we engaged with enterprise to sense-check our approach in supporting enterprise-led training. What came back was a strong endorsement of what we do and why we do it. The Skillnets model has also been recognised at an international level recently in the OECD’s Financial Incentives for Steering Education & Training report.”

                “This conference is an exciting opportunity to bring the worlds of academia and business together to boost the effectiveness of SMEs” said Paul Healy, CEO of Skillnets. “We work at the coalface of learning and development in Ireland, helping organisations to train and up-skill for an increasingly competitive and complex environment. This conference and ongoing collaboration with DIT will allow us to further support the SME sector. This sector represents over 240,000 enterprises employing 1.3 million people. Investing in management is vital for the long-term success of any business and having access to the very latest research and knowledge is key to getting ahead in the market.”

The conference will hear contributions from leading business academics from across Ireland who will outline the very latest research on subjects such as innovation, human resources, procurement, research and development, and reputation.

                “We are delighted to be part of this conference and to have the opportunity to bring research to the very people who can benefit from it” said Paul O’Reilly of DIT. “Skillnets have enormous experience working with SMEs and enabling them to release their true potential and through this collaboration the very latest research can be used to benefit the sector. Universities across Ireland carry out work that is internationally recognised but all too often the people in the SME sector do not have the opportunity to avail of it. We want to change that.”

The conference is the first in a series of initiatives on behalf of Skillnets and DIT. Skillnets is responsible for working with Irish businesses to support their training needs and is internationally recognised by the OECD as a best practice model for skills development. Skillnets has identified management development of the SME sector as a particular target and say that there is a need for high quality training and a sharing of experience and ideas to unlock the full potential of the sector.