Regional Development Initiative Competitive Fund
Enterprise Ireland will launch a Competitive Fund of €40Mn early in 2017, specifically to support strategic initiatives being pursued by the 8 Regional APJs in the country. This is a most welcome development and the South east APJ is currently preparing for the Call.
Enterprise Ireland (EI) held a national workshop in Eastpoint, Dublin on 29th November for the regional APJ champions to share their thinking on the forthcoming €40Mn Regional Development Initiative Competitive Fund to be launched for the Regional APJs nationally in early 2017. Frank O’Regan, Chair of the South East APJ; Pat McLoughlin, Abbott Vascular; Liam Griffin, Griffin Hotel Group; and Rachel Doyle, Arboretum Home & Garden Heaven attended the workshop along with Sean McKeown, Director. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor also addressed the workshop.
The Regional Development Initiative will be aimed at supporting major collaborative and innovative initiatives that can make a significant impact on indigenous enterprise development and job creation in the regions. There will be 3 streams of initiative supported as follows:
- Stream 1: Supporting a step-change project, with high impact on the economic development of the region (e.g. Specialised Incubators, Prototyping Space, Hubs in Design; Med Devices; Fintech, Agri-tech; Food; etc.)
- Stream 2: Supporting major change projects with high impact in the region and/or county (e.g. Developing Clustering Initiatives amongst a group of companies plus other stakeholders; Developing e-working centres; Stimulating the development of SME outreach from 3rd level;
- Stream 3: Stimulating the development of community based enterprises & networks that can grow and sustain jobs in their locality, and can demonstrate value add to existing initiatives (e.g. Start Up & Scaling Academies; Investment Finance Local Angels; Local Clusters/Networks/Local Supply Chains; Sectoral challenges around Green, Energy, Digital, Innovation.)
In preparation for the Regional Development Initiative Competitive Call, the South East APJ considered a number of strategic initiatives (in keeping with the criteria above) at their meeting held at the end of October. The main stakeholders involved presented an overview of their project to the Committee, to give a flavour of the strategic initiatives emerging that may be considered in the context of the forthcoming Competitive Call.