Results of the first round of the new €60m competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund announced.
Twenty-one successful applicants representing all regions of the country have secured up to €30.5m for their projects in the first competitive call. Over €14m has been approved for projects in the southern region, over €11m for projects in the eastern and midlands region and over €5m has been approved for the northern and western region, subject to grant conditions.
The Fund, which is an open national competitive call to support regional projects, is provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland and is a key action to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs and the Action Plan for Rural Development.
Announcing the successful Regional Enterprise Development Fund applicants at Irish Manufacturing Research in Mullingar, Minister Humphreys said: “In this year’s Action Plan for Jobs, we made the decision to place a specific focus on strengthening the rural and regional economy. To stimulate regional growth as we move towards 2020, we announced a €60 million competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund over two calls.
“Our aim was to provide financial support for organisations set up specifically to bring together stakeholders on projects that will benefit the local community, the region or nationally. The successful applicants include an exciting range of projects which will develop strong entrepreneurial or innovation ecosystems, encourage clusters of similar businesses, or develop specific sectors where there is the potential for competitive advantage.
“Twenty-one collaborative projects from all over the country will receive an offer of €30.5 million investment by Government and I am delighted to announce that the Irish Manufacturing Research group here in Mullingar is one of the projects which has received an offer of funding. This Fund allows us to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs, helping to drive growth in key sectors or geographies across the country, particularly in the context of Brexit. We are backing local and regional stakeholders to drive the future of their own communities by supporting their innovative proposals which will help to deliver job creation and sustainable employment.”
Under a competitive call process, Enterprise Ireland sought applications for funding under four streams with varying investment levels:
• Stream 1. Major Change Projects – €2m up to €5m per project
• Stream 2. Regionally Significant Projects – €250,000 up to €2m per project
• Stream 3. Local & Community Enterprise Development Projects – €50,000 up to €250,000 per project
• Stream 4. Industry Clusters – €50,000 up to €250,000 per project.
Following a rigorous evaluation process, 21 successful applicants are being offered funding of €30.5m. These include a spread of projects across the regions, with 14 funded in Streams 1 and 2, and 7 in Streams 3 and 4. The balance of the €60m fund will be made available in the second call which will open for applications in March 2018.
The winners from the South East were:
Stream 1: Irish Bioeconomy Foundation CLG; Development of a state-of-the-art National Bioeconomy Innovation & Piloting Facility at Lisheen Mines, Co. Tipperary, encompassing flexible, modular, pilot-scale multi-purpose chemical & biological infrastructure.
Stream 2: Three-D (Design Develop Disseminate) DAC; Based at SEAM, WIT, the Three-D project initiative is about creating a 3D Manufacturing facility in the South East that will provide: Advanced manufacturing training to industry employees, AM exposure to undergraduate students, develop standards for additive manufacturing, and provide product development support.
Stream 2: InsurTech Network Centre INC; the InsurTech Network Centre (lead partner Carlow IT) is a sector specific enterprise development centre that will provide business development services to support the creation and commercialisation of technology solutions to the global insurance services sector, including the delivery of business development programmes, technology transfer services, and providing work spaces for entrepreneurs and related services including inter alia training, mentoring, peer to peer collaboration.