Thursday, 25 October 2018

Questions (206)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

206. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount allocated to regional innovation and technology clusters programme for SMEs by and in each year since established; and the number of approved applicants in tabular form. [44493/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

In Budget 2019 I announced an additional €2.75m to Enterprise Ireland for the creation of new ‘Regional Innovation and Technology Clusters’ via the Institutes of Technology, building their facilities, expertise and supportive capabilities as drivers of global enterprises in and across the regions. This will support SME productivity and innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups through inter-institutional collaboration across technologies, industries, sectors and skills, linked to future areas of potential.

Regional Innovation and Technology Clusters will see a further scaling of the capability of the Institutes of Technology (IoTs), in a planned, internationally ambitious way, that creates centres of excellence for both generating high-levels of entrepreneurship and spin-outs in the regions and also as key activators in supporting firm-level innovation, productivity, scaling and internationalisation.

This will support the national drive towards transforming the enterprise potential and performance in all regions, closing the gap in the regional productivity and providing quality and rewarding employment over the coming decades.

This programme has just been announced as part of a package of supports in Budget 2019 to drive regional development, and work is commencing to scope out the details of this initiative. There are therefore no approval numbers to report for this programme.