Ballymena innovation project aims to create 54 jobs

L-R: Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI; Stephen Scullion, Ballymena Business Centre; and Lauren McAteer, The Gallaher Trust.

A PILOT project funded by the Gallaher Trust in Ballymena will aim to create 54 jobs over the next five years.

The 4i Innovation project will offer coaching to businesses in the hope of improving the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s overall innovation ranking within Northern Ireland.

Managed by Ballymena Business Centre and in association with Innovate NI, the project will support Ballymena firms through Innovate NI’s framework using the latest business modelling tools from, FourSight individual profiling, innovation coaching and business support including access to potential funding.

Lauren McAteer from the board of The Gallaher Trust, which has committed £168,000 toward the project, said: “We are confident that this project will help businesses to learn to adapt to changing times and to become more agile in the face of turbulent market conditions.

“Not only that but the project will also improve employment opportunities for those living in the wider Ballymena community, which is one of the trust’s main objectives.”

Stephen Scullion, Ballymena Business Centre’s 4i innovation manager said: “We’ve established the 4i Innovation project in a bid to address low levels of innovation.

“We’re aiming to demystify what innovation is and create a common language to help businesses understand how to apply innovation and in turn, how to utilise innovation to grow and expand their business.

“The Ballymena Business Centre has been a one stop shop in terms of supporting businesses since 1989 and this project is another example of how we provide business solutions tailored to meet the current economic demands and opportunities.”

Invest NI’s innovation director, Dr Vicky Bell, added: “This unique partnership will provide businesses with a valuable insight into how to turn their ideas into value – working through the Innovation Framework will guide companies through the four essential stages of successful innovation – ideation, selection, development and commercialisation.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access