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€60m Boost to the Regions will Support Enterprise and Jobs

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD and

Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen TD today (29

th May) launched a new Regional Enterprise Development Fund of up to €60m.

This competitive funding has been provided by the Department of Jobs,

through Enterprise Ireland and is a key action to support the Regional

Action Plan for Jobs and the Action Plan for Rural Development. The Fund is

aimed at accelerating economic recovery in every part of the country by

delivering on the potential of local and regional enterprise strengths. The

Fund will support significant collaborative regional initiatives to build

on specific industry sectoral strengths and improve enterprise capability,

thereby driving job creation.

Under a competitive process, Enterprise Ireland is now seeking applications

for funding under four streams with varying investment levels:

1. Major Change Projects - €2m up to €5m per project,

2. Regionally Significant Projects - €250,000 up to €2m per project,

3. Local & Community Enterprise Development Projects - €50,000 up to

€250,000 per project,

4. Industry Clusters - €50,000 up to €250,000 per project.

Competitive feasibility funding to support the development of high quality

regional projects is also available as part of this initiative.

Launching the Fund, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said, “The

Regional Action Plans aim to ensure that regional Ireland gets its fair

share of economic growth and investment. I want to see collaborative

projects that will boost the regions by supporting enterprise and creating

jobs. Through this fund, I am delighted to be backing local stakeholders to

drive their own futures by putting forward their own innovative proposals

to deliver sustainable employment.”

Also speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Employment and Small

Business Pat Breen TD said, “Unlocking opportunity in regional Ireland is

essential to underpin the future performance of our indigenous companies

who are making a huge contribution to the recovery. We know that a

one-size-fits-all approach to developing regions won’t work. We want to

invest in the unique strengths of each region in the drive to maximise

employment and value add to the Irish economy.”

Commenting on the Fund, Minister of State for Skills and Training John

Halligan TD said, “This Fund will help to ensure the benefits of our

growing economy are felt in every region. Harnessing the talent of people

in the regions, linking enterprises to the third level sector, keeping

entrepreneurs connected, supporting innovation, and putting in place

various development programmes for our companies is something we must keep

working on.”

CEO of Enterprise Ireland Julie Sinnamon said, “Supporting Enterprise

development is a key role of Enterprise Ireland. This fund will provide an

important infrastructural mechanism to drive growth in developing

enterprise in every region. The fund will also support the development of

industry clusters which will facilitate knowledge transfer, innovation and

collaboration among organisations. These are important drivers of

enterprise growth and job creation, and we look forward to supporting more

regionally-based companies through this initiative.”

The Regional Action Plans for Jobs seek to build on the strengths and

opportunities in each region and to build a regional ecosystem including a

diversity of companies and sectors, sectoral clusters, a spirit of

innovation and collaboration, a good physical and digital infrastructure

and appropriate research and technology capability.

Details of the competitive process are available on Enterprise Ireland’s


The closing date for applications is 18th August 2017.

Notes for Editors

For further information contact – Conor O’ Donovan, Communications Officer,

Enterprise Ireland 01-7272000.

The Regional Action Plan for Jobs (RAPJ) initiative, 2015-2017, is working
to promote regional job creation by bringing stakeholders in each of 8
regions together to deliver innovative and practical actions to boost job
creation in the regions.

To complement the RAPJ process, Enterprise Ireland, with the support of
DJEI, is launching a competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund of up
to €60million to grow and sustain jobs across the regions.

Fund Overview

This competitive funding is aimed at accelerating economic recovery in
every part of the country by delivering on the potential of local and
regional strengths.

Funding of up to €60m will be available over a period of four years to 2020

A maximum of up to 80% is available for projects, with the balance to be
leveraged from the private, community or public sector.

The Fund will support major new collaborative and innovative initiatives
that can make a significant impact on enterprise development in the
region/across regions or nationally to build the unique USP capabilities to
grow the regions. This will be achieved by co-financing the development and
implementation of collaborative and innovative projects that can sustain
and add to employment at a national; regional, county and community level.

The overarching aim of this Fund is to drive enterprise development and job
creation in each region throughout Ireland. Projects must be impactful,
with the principal impact being jobs.

A feasibility grant of up to €22,500 or 50% of eligible costs (whichever is
the lesser) can be offered to help promoters develop projects for
progression and consideration.

The Applicant will be not for profit entities that have already, or propose
to, set up a distinct legal entity that comprise national/regional, county
and local stakeholders, with a purpose of benefiting the wider needs of the
community and region/nation as defined in the four streams outlined below.
Applicants can be promoted by private or public organisations, which for
example might include:
· Higher Education Institutes
· Semi State Commercial bodies
· Local Enterprise Development Groups
· Local Authorities

Composition of Fund
The fund will consist of 4 streams, as follows:

Stream 1: Major Regional Change Projects
Investment of €2m up to €5m per project (min of 20% to be leveraged from
the private, community or public sector) for major initiatives with high
impact on enterprise development of the region and ability to create jobs
–Specialised Incubators,
–Hubs in Design; Med Devices; Fintech, Agri-tech; Food; etc.

Stream 2: Regionally Significant Change Projects

Investment of €250,000 up to €2m per project (min. of 20% to be leveraged
from the private, community or public sector) for initiatives with high
impact at regional/multi-regional level; e.g.
–Developing e-working centres;
–Stimulating the development of SME outreach from 3rd level;
–Projects to accelerate start ups

Stream 3: Local & Community Enterprise Development Initiative

Investment of €50,000 up to €250,000 per project (min of 20% to be
leveraged from the private, community or public sector) to stimulate the
development of community based enterprises & networks that can grow and
sustain jobs in their area/county/region. E.g.
– Start Up/Scaling Academies
– Local Networks/ Consortia to deliver sectoral growth
– Addressing sectoral challenges around Green, Energy, Digital,

Stream 4: Industry Clusters

Investment of €50,000 up to €250,000 per project (min of 50% to be
leveraged from the private, community or public sector) to maximize the
benefits of collaborative opportunities through industry clusters (both
established and new).

Industry Clusters initiatives are defined as structures or organised groups
of independent parties (at least five companies) designed to stimulate
innovative activity through promotion, sharing of facilities and exchange
of knowledge and expertise and by contributing effectively to knowledge
transfer, networking, information dissemination and collaboration among the
undertakings and other organisations in the industry cluster.