My Department launched the €500 million Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund in June 2018. Information on the Fund and how to apply was provided by my Department with the support of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. Expressions of Interest were sought for funding commencing in 2019.
In December 2018, I was delighted to announce the 27 projects that were approved in principle for funding under the first Call. These projects will receive over €70 million in government funding between now and 2021 and they represent the health, food, ICT and manufacturing sectors in Ireland. The projects involve partners right across the country, showing that excellence in collaborative research, development and innovation transcends county borders and every part of Ireland is capable of participation in one of the most unique Funds Ireland has developed. In fact, 18 of the successful projects involve partners based outside the capital. The projects are co-funded by the enterprise partners in each consortium.
A second call will launch in 2019 but the date has not yet been finalised. My expectation is that the call will issue before the summer. We will advertise the details widely.
In terms of the first Call that we issued in 2018, it is worth re-stating that each project that is supported is a collaborative partnership that will develop, deploy and commercialise disruptive technologies to transform business and each is focussed on “industrial research”. The projects are impactful and are seeking at least €1 million in funding over 3 years, involving enterprises and research partners, At least one SME was required to be part of each collaboration in order to be eligible for funding.
The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is a competitive offer and all applications for funding under this first call were subject to the same assessment and selection criteria with an international panel scoring the eligible proposals to assist us in our deliberations.
The successful projects under Call 1 are currently in contract negotiation stage with Enterprise Ireland. Project start dates are expected to commence in Q2 2019 and grant drawdown will follow thereafter.