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Government Encourages Businesses & Research Partners to apply for €500m Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund

  • Ministers Humphreys, Halligan and Breen announce that expressions of interest are now invited from groups considering applying for the Fund.
  • Funding projects that develop and deploy disruptive technologies through collaboration.
  • Fund worth €20m in 2019, rising to €30m in 2020, €40m in 2021 and €90m in 2022, with successful applicants in the first round to be announced by the end of 2018.
  • Ministers speaking in Drogheda at the launch of a report on the role of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in delivering Project Ireland 2040.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan and Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, today invited expressions of interest for the €500m Disruptive Technologies Innovation (DTI) Fund.

They were speaking at the launch of the report, Project 2040: Investing in Business, Enterprise and Innovation 2018 – 2027, which outlines the role of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in delivering Project Ireland 2040. The report was launched at a special forum discussion on Innovation, Regional Economy and Preparing for Brexit at the Mill Enterprise Centre in Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Inviting expressions of interest for the Fund, Minister Humphreys said:

This Fund is not about business as usual. We’re living in the technological revolution, and we’re looking for proposals for truly game-changing technologies. The world around us is changing and we can’t afford to stand still. The Fund is about ensuring that Ireland can stay ahead of the curve.

We’re looking for ideas in areas like Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Advanced Manufacturing and Smart and Sustainable Food Production. We’re lucky in Ireland to have companies, both multinational and indigenous, that are doing very exciting things in technology. We also have top-class researchers so we want to see proposals that involve collaboration between industry, research bodies and the public sector.

Minister Halligan said that the new Fund will maximise the return on Ireland’s investments in research over recent years.

This will enable us to address a number of actions contained in Innovation 2020, our strategy for research and development, science and technology.

Our investment through the DTI Fund will help us to create and safeguard the jobs of the future. It will allow us to take research that is being performed in both the private and public sectors in such areas as healthcare, energy efficiency and sustainable agriculture and develop new solutions from that research, helping to build an ecosystem around disruptive technology and innovation and creating new markets for our enterprise sector,

he said.

Today’s discussions also focused on regional investment, such as the €60m Regional Enterprise Development Fund, which backs initiatives that are led from the regions, and how businesses are responding to and preparing for Brexit.

The Government is focused on ensuring that the business sector is prepared and resilient to face the challenges of Brexit and that we sustain the important progress made in developing the island economy,

Minister Breen said.

In addition, the DTI Fund will ensure that Ireland continues to be a digital hotspot and that we stay at the forefront in exciting new areas such as Artificial Intelligence, advanced manufacturing and the bio-economy,

he added.

Turning to the new report by her Department on Project Ireland 2040, Minister Humphreys concluded:

Project Ireland 2040 recognises that economic and social progress go hand in hand and are the engines that drive our economy. Through my Department’s investments outlined today, businesses and communities, wherever they may be, now have the platform to build on their own unique strengths and be part of a dynamic and exciting modern Ireland.

Details about the first call for the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund are now available on the website of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and via its Agencies: Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.