Learnovate welcomes 9 new members in two months

As member activity in the Learnovate Centre grows, and as the profile of the centre’s research enters the Edtech Ireland Infrastructure, we are very pleased to have welcomed nine new members over the past two months.
One very positive aspect of our new members is the diversity of their profile, from High Potential Start Ups (HPSU) to Large Corporations, and many other levels in between. Learnovate facilitates interaction for this rich diverse group providing the perfect landscape for innovation.

The list of our nine new members:

For a full list visit our members page

Learnovate Lunchtime Series – Innovation Partnerships and the Edtech Industry

The October Lunchtime Session focused on the funding opportunities for research and development available through Enterprise Ireland’s (EI) Innovation Partnership programme. The session was presented by the programme manager Declan McGee.

A well attended session, we were informed that in the case of small companies up to 80% of the funding for research projects can be funded by Enterprise Ireland with the balance being contributed by the company itself. The definition of a small company for this purpose is one to 50 employees with turnover not exceeding €10 million.

The purpose of the grant is to allow companies work with the right academic research partner in Ireland, to develop and exploit a commercial opportunity through collaboration.

Declan went on to say that EI has found the scheme successful with each €1 of funding invested delivering €7.71 net turnover impact for the company. As a result the scheme is likely to continue, and with only 24% of the investment so far going into the ICT sector there is good potential for future investment in the area.

In terms of applying for an innovation partnership the advice was very clear;
– The applicants should have identified a clear opportunity to develop an innovative product, process or service.
– The company does not have the capability in-house to develop the innovation.
In this case the company should develop an outline proposal and in consultation with EI develop a full proposal for consideration. In this process it was pointed out that there is a feasibility study grant available to investigate the possibility of going forward with a full proposal. Declan was very clear to point out that the purpose of the feasibility grant is very much to pave the way for a full proposal and not a grant for R&D.

As mentioned already the research is collaboration between the company and a research partner, because the output may well include intellectual property the advice was very clear. The rights and agreements must be well thought out, this detail is not the remit of EI, but funds will not be released until Heads of Agreement are signed.

Other points of interest included that more than one company can apply as a consortium, also that while the average EI contribution to an Innovation Partnership is €125,000 it can go much lower, to around the €20,000 mark, and indeed much higher for the right proposal.

A current client of the EI Innovation Partnership, Tanya Kelly from Two Ten Health provide a straight speaking slide on the pros and cons they had encountered with the programme. On the positive side Tanya referred to the access to skillsets and the opportunity to exploit new opportunities through the innovation delivered. On the challenges side Tanya cautioned to understand that there is a large time commitment required from the organisation, it is not a case of briefing the academic partner and waiting for them to deliver the solution.
Finally Kevin also mentioned the availability of smaller research funding through the Innovation Voucher programme, a programme he said is currently under review, to make it easier to work with.

City & Guilds Kineo joins Learnovate to share edtech and technology research

In conjunction with establishing a presence in Ireland, City & Guilds Kineo, the leading learning solutions provider, has announced they will join the prestigious Learnovate Centre.
The Learnovate Centre is a Trinity College Dublin hosted research centre of excellence for innovation in learning technologies. The research is focused on investigating areas of interest to the 30+ members from the Learning and Educational Technologies industry.

The membership of Learnovate ranges from High Potential Start-ups to Multi-national Corporations like Microsoft and Intel. The common strand through this membership is a passion to improve learning.
City & Guilds Kineo has a track record of innovation and sharing projects. Most recently these include
• Creation of Adapt, a framework for multi-device responsive elearning design
• Open sourcing of the Adapt framework to benefit the whole industry, with several elearning companies now partnering in its development
• Co-development of Totara LMS, a distribution of Moodle that is open source for business
• Development of a Mobile version of Moodle to benefit the LMS user community
• Over 50 reports and guides on learning technologies, freely available from its website

Learnovate Centre Director Martyn Farrows said “City & Guilds Kineo already demonstrate a passion for innovation and research through their many reports and guides published to date. We are always looking for partners that will engage with us as meaningful contributors to our core research projects. I believe the recently formed partnership of City & Guilds and Kineo, linked to the research quality at Learnovate provides an exciting opportunity to innovate benefits in corporate learning, lessons that can provide potential ramp-up points for other sectors like K-12 or Life-long learning”.
“Learnovate is very pleased to welcome City & Guilds Kineo to our membership. City & Guilds Kineo is a multi award winning global provider of workplace learning, the company’s attitude to innovation, openness and sharing make them an ideal member to contribute to the larger conversation that Learnovate represents.”

City & Guilds Kineo Director Stephen Walsh added: “We’re delighted to join the Learnovate Centre. We’ve always believed that you are what you share, and Learnovate is a great example of the industry coming together to share ideas and conduct research to benefit everyone, from the youngest learners in society through to apprentices and life-long learners.”

Find out more at www.learnovatecentre.org and www.cgkineo.com