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Client Story


Enterprise Ireland

How Enterprise Ireland created a more efficient grants application process through a digitized platform with robust reporting capabilities.

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Enterprise Ireland

SmartSimple client since

2012


Type of giving

Grants


Old system

Manual


SmartSimple product/services

Key pain points

  • An out-of-date, paper-based grants management system requiring a too many hours of administrative support

New system must-haves

  • A fully-digitized and efficient grants management process
  • Robust track and reporting capabilities

At a glance

Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund Programme grants manual processes were cumbersome, taking a heavy toll on their staff. “We really needed to find a way to streamline and improve the audit trail,” says Majella Maher, Programme Manager for Enterprise Ireland. “Plus, the research space has changed, with more and more researchers working online to submit grant applications and scientific papers for publication.” Recommendations from other Irish organizations, and a strong track record in the United States helped guide their decision to choose SmartSimple.

About Enterprise Ireland

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the government organization responsible for growing and developing Irish companies. The aim of the Commercialisation Fund Programme is to improve the competitiveness of the Irish economy. We invest in innovative scientific research at Irish universities and research performing organizations to develop new products and services, leading to the creation of technology-based start-up companies and the transfer of innovations to industry in Ireland.

Majella Maher

“Having one central [grants management] system for our Commercialisation Fund Programme makes work much less labor-intensive for everyone; no need to go into multiple systems to find and collate the information we’re looking for.”

Majella Maher, Programme Manager,
Enterprise Ireland

The Challenge

The Challenge

The Commercialisation Fund Programme grants manual processes were cumbersome, taking a heavy toll on their staff. “We really needed to find a way to streamline and improve the audit trail,” says Majella Maher, Programme Manager forEnterprise Ireland. “Plus, the research space has changed, with more and more researchers working online to submit grant applications and scientific papers for publication.”

Majella Maher

“Other funding agencies in Ireland spoke highly of their own SmartSimple systems.”

Majella Maher, Programme Manager,
Enterprise Ireland

Selecting SmartSimple

Selecting SmartSimple

Recommendations from other Irish organizations, and a strong track record in the United States helped guide their decision to choose SmartSimple. “Other funding agencies in Ireland spoke highly of their own SmartSimple systems. Their large client base, particularly in the United States, also made it clear that they had the capabilities to handle our needs.”

Innovation Challenge

Once Enterprise Ireland met with the SmartSimple team, they were sold: “The people were competent and confident they had the expertise to create the kind of system we were looking for.”

Majella Maher

“ The SmartSimple team was open, responsive and willing to adjust and change specifications to ensure we had what we needed.”

Majella Maher, Programme Manager,
Enterprise Ireland

Working with SmartSimple

Working with SmartSimple

At the start, Majella and her team put a high value on regular, face-to-face meetings with SmartSimple’s Dublin office. “It was important to build the relationship and a common understanding of our system needs. Once we got to know the people and the process, we were able to comfortably transition to virtual meetings.”

Industrial workers

“A high level of configuration and innovation was needed to create the online system for Enterprise Ireland. The SmartSimple team was open, responsive and willing to adjust and change specifications to ensure we had what we needed. Overall, it was clear they wanted to work with us to find a good solution everyone was happy with. We also appreciate ongoing regular support meetings with Business Support Analyst Ciaran Arshad, as we continue to refine our system.”

Members of Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland has experienced improved efficiency since moving online and into the cloud. “Not having to print off reams of paper has greatly reduced the amount of administrative support required to manage our grants. Having one central system has made work much less labor intensive for everyone. The system provides a better audit trail, eliminating the need to go into multiple systems to find all the details we’re looking for.”

workers

External users have also complimented Enterprise Ireland’s online GMS360° system, “Feedback from our users has been highly favorable. For applicants, the application forms are organized so they are easy to work through and complete. For reviewers, applications are organized to logically present information – rather than needing to flip back and forth between sections looking for relevant details – making it easier to evaluate each submission.”

Digital technology

“Since the system also keeps track of where applications are in the process and what actions are completed, I can go in at any time and see exactly what stage any given application is at. I can see who has done their review and how the application is rated so far. Previously, I would have had to go in and out of multiple files to find out what stage an application was at. Now, I get a complete picture in one central location.”

A man looking at digital technology

“SmartSimple offers many advantages over a manual system, and everyone has found it quite easy to use. The SmartSimple Dublin team is great. It’s clear that pleasing the client is their main priority and they’re always open-minded and willing to listen to what we need.”

Majella Maher

“It’s clear that SmartSimple's main priority is pleasing clients. They're always open-minded and willing to listen to what we need.”

Majella Maher, Programme Manager,
Enterprise Ireland

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