During the spring 2024 semester, teams of students will work with selected enterprises to provide insights, propose solutions, and ultimately present a bespoke and tangible plan that sets out how the enterprise can innovate, address challenges, and develop opportunities.
Student teams can assist participating enterprises with various topics ranging from strategy, marketing, and design thinking to finance, data analysis and machine learning.
Steve O'Reilly, communication manager at The Rediscovery Centre, the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland, participated in the program in 2023 by providing a communication challenge to students.
He highlighted that “taking part in ENFUSE helped us think outside the box, provided us with a framework for how to translate theory into publicity, and shaped our marketing for the years to come.”
“With ingenuity, creativity, and flair, the fantastic team of students devised an intelligent marketing campaign that translates a complex topic into something that will really resonate with our target.”
The overall objective of the ENFUSE program is to support local enterprises by providing bespoke plans to innovate, address challenges and develop opportunities while providing Master’s students with real-world experience and enhancing the local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Businesses can benefit from new ideas at no extra cost with extra promotional opportunities, screen potential future employees from the student teams, and avail financial support to employ graduates.
“I highly recommend businesses to participate. It keeps businesses in touch with emerging trends and fresh thinking from the students and allows students to gain live experience with businesses in their community,”
said Kate O'Moore from MAKER, a previous participant of ENFUSE.
The application is open to enterprises, social enterprises, and entrepreneurs primarily based in Dublin, with consideration given also to enterprises based outside Dublin.
Shortlisted student teams can also compete at the ENFUSE finals in May, where teams can represent their university and compete by pitching to expert judges on the plan they created for their assigned enterprise.
Greg Swift, head of LEO Dublin City, adds that the competition allows the LEO to "tangibly support local enterprises and also promote the benefits of hiring graduate students who are well placed to support the digital and green transitions, amongst other challenges a business may face”.
ENFUSE final student pitch session 2023 at the Wood Quay Venue, Dublin. Image: Dublin City Council
ENFUSE began in 2019 and has gone from strength to strength since. Involving more universities and colleges, its impact has increased as more enterprises, students and project partners have participated and benefited.
The program was selected as a National Winner in the European Commission’s - European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2022 under category 3, which recognises innovative projects and approaches that improve the business environment and support the digital transition.
In addition, ENFUSE was shortlisted as an overall EEPA European finalist project and shortlisted at Chambers Ireland - Excellence in Local Government Awards 2022 in the category of Promoting Economic Development.