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Ballymena company is Intertradeireland fusion project of the year winner

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An innovation project, undertaken as part of InterTradeIreland’s Fusion programme, at Ballymena-based Moorings Mediquip, has been named ‘Project of the Year’, at a recent InterTradeIreland awards ceremony.

With InterTradeIreland’s support, Carryduff graduate Eamonn McKnight was appointed by the Moorings Mediquip in 2010 to undertake a Fusion project to design, develop and bring to market a new walking aid device for children with celebral palsy. The new product development will see Moorings Mediquip break into new markets across the UK, Ireland and as far away as Australia and Canada.

Eamonn explains:

InterTradeIreland’s Fusion programme offered the perfect link between academia and business and I was tasked with not only the design of a new product but the entire end-to-end processes involved in bringing the design to market. Before I joined, the company had no previous experience of engineering or manufacturing in-house products, so this was a major undertaking and a huge opportunity for the firm.
We teamed up with Trinity College, Dublin and I spent time developing and implementing new design capabilities into the firm. As I was supported in-house and via Trinity, it provided a three-way product development partnership and the Buddy Roamer® was created.

Girvan MacCorkell, from Moorings Mediquip commented:

Since Eamonn joined us, we have gone from being a reseller and distributor of products to becoming a designer, manufacturer, distributor and exporter of our own equipment! Eamonn played an instrumental role in making this vision a reality.
With our Buddy Roamer® product in place, entirely new markets have opened up for us in Europe and beyond. We recently launched the product in Australia which resulted in immediate orders and we have an upcoming launch in the US in autumn this year. We are also in discussions with distributors for export to Canada.
The diversification of our business, brought about through our involvement with InterTradeIreland’s Fusion programme, should help to secure our future and ultimately grow our business through the economic downturn and beyond.

The company was introduced to InterTradeIreland after attending a Fusion briefing event held by Ballymena Borough Council.

Recognising the substantial business and economic contribution graduates can make to the economy, InterTradeIreland has funded and supported 300 graduate projects to help SMEs across the island grow and thrive through all-island trade and innovation. Liam Nellis, Chief Executive of InterTradeIreland explains,

“Graduates, such as Eamonn, are bright, well educated, enthusiastic, eager to succeed and they are the type of people we need working across the island, now more so than ever. They can apply the latest thinking from academia and their skills can significantly benefit our ambitious SMEs, especially during these tough economic times.
Eamonn is just one of 63 graduates this year who have made a difference to our SMEs and helped to boost our local economy.
More than 70% of this year’s graduates who completed their projects have been offered employment by the participating businesses – a sign of the quality of the graduates recruited and the success of the innovation and cross-border trade projects undertaken. This brings to a total of 174 graduates who have secured permanent management jobs with SMEs supported by InterTradeIreland through our Fusion programme.

For more information on InterTradeIreland’s graduate programmes, please contact 028 30834100 or visit www.intertradeireland.com

Ballymena Guardian Article

Ballymena-Guardian---Thurs-10th-Feb-2011

Ballymena Times Article

Ballymena-Times---Tues-8th-Feb-2011

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