Sinead O’Riordan, Head of Channel Partnerships The Innovation Exchange, Paul Healy, CEO Skillnet Ireland with Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney at the launch of the Innovation Exchange at the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen.

The Innovation Exchange has arrived in Cork

An initiative benefitting both SMEs and large companies was launched in the Cork region this week as part of its nationwide expansion.

Called the Innovation Exchange, it was announced by Skillnet Ireland on Monday that it is partnering with The Ludgate Hub based in Skibbereen. The Innovation Exchange aims to connect large companies facing digital transformation challenges with small to medium sized (SME) technology companies that can fast-track the solution.

The initiative will allow globally ambitious tech SMEs located in The Ludgate Hub and the wider Cork region the opportunity to pitch to, and collaborate with, large companies looking to access innovation as part of a diverse and curated community of startups and scaleups.

As part of this collaboration, The Ludgate Hub will bring both corporate entities and scale-up businesses situated in Cork together as members of The Innovation Exchange, expanding its growing community.

Attending the launch, Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and TD for Cork South Central, said: “It is fantastic to see the rollout of this collaborative programme in West Cork and across the South-West. This partnership between Skillnet Ireland, the Innovation Exchange and the Ludgate Hub is an exciting example of win-win collaboration and I would encourage all businesses to consider joining the programme.

“The development of an ecosystem in West Cork that facilitates SMEs and large corporates working with one another will undoubtedly ignite digital transformation and support opportunities for increased growth for these organisations.”

Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland said: “The Innovation Exchange plays an important role in forging connections between SMEs and large corporations, facilitating new ideas and supporting the creation of new business ventures.

“As part of a national expansion of the programme, we are delighted to introduce The Innovation Exchange to Cork, in partnership with the Ludgate Hub and Furthr. We invite ambitious SMEs and larger companies in the Cork region to join the programme and take full advantage of the many benefits it offers.”

Grainne O’Keeffe, CEO of The Ludgate Hub, said: “It is very positive to see The Innovation Exchange leveraging the hub network and its extensive collaborative ecosystem as an economic asset in the rollout of this initiative. And Ludgate, as Ireland’s first rural digital innovation hub, is thrilled to embrace this opportunity to accelerate growth in the region.”

Scale-ups and corporates in the Cork region are being encouraged by The Innovation Exchange to sign up at