A European competitive open funding call is being targeted at Irish companies who undertake innovative workplace initiatives that improve working conditions or the working environment – leading to potentially better business competitiveness. Five companies from across the country can receive € 7,500 in Start at Best funding to support a workplace innovation initiative. No match funding is required.
Start at Best, a Horizon 2020 project, is taking applications for initiatives which support and/or improve working conditions and/or the workplace environment. Any company (subject to T&C) with a new workplace innovation – commencing any time after March 2nd up to August 31st, 2020 – is eligible to apply. Initiatives which meet key criteria can apply for funding and will be judged on pre-set criteria by an independent judging panel. Reacting to the COVID-19 crisis, the deadline for submission has been extended to June 3rd 2020 to give more time for applicants to prepare proposals.
Workplace innovation (WPI) refers to practices that enable employees to participate in organisational change to improve the quality of their working life and organisational performance. Innovation Programme Manager at Cork City Council, Siobhan Finn said: “Workplace innovation has emerged as a key driver for business competitiveness. During the best of economic times, workplace innovation has become an important consideration; in these Covid-19 times it has the potential to be a key tool for business recovery. SMEs and micro-business in Ireland are facing uncertain and challenging futures; any support which will help reorient business practices to improve productivity and thus competitiveness should be examined”.
“Research has shown that while there is significant variation in the types of WPI practices in companies, the process of why and how these practices are implemented shows considerable similarity. While the reasons for introducing WPI are mainly related to efficiency, competitiveness and innovation, another positive result seems to be strengthening the working environment of employees and employee representatives. WPI outcomes often lead to enhanced economic performance and a better quality of working life for all,” she added. Start At Best is a Horizon 2020 project which promotes SME competitiveness through the funding of workplace innovation. Cork City Council is one of four consortium partners for this EU Project. -ENDS-
– For further information –
Siobhán Finn, Innovation Programme Manager, Cork City Council | E: firstname.lastname@example.org – Notes to the Editor –
Cork City Council is one of four consortium partners under Start at Best – a Horizon 2020 project which promotes SME competitiveness through the funding of workplace innovation practices* (WPI) among the EU SME community. Start at Best is supported under the Horizon 2020: Programme 2018-2020 for a better innovation support to SMEs and the action Workplace innovation uptake by SMEs (INNOSUP-04-2019). This action is aimed at regional and national innovation support agencies that design, implement and/or assist innovation support programmes for SMEs and micro-firms.
– Full details of the Start at Best Project – https://startatbest.eu