Thursday, 26 September 2019

Questions (114)

Robert Troy


114. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of payments issued to date for successful applications made under the disruptive technologies innovation fund by county; the number of applications at grant agreement stage; the number of applications earmarked for pre-payment; the number of pre-financing payments that have issued to date to approved applications in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39253/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a €500 million fund established under Project Ireland 2040 and forms a key part in the delivery of the Pillar 1 goal of Future Jobs Ireland to embrace innovation and technological change. The DTIF has been established under the responsibility of my Department with Enterprise Ireland providing administrative support.

Given the unique nature of the Fund, which in Call 1 alone is supporting 27 consortia comprised of 104 organisations, including SMEs, Research Performing Organisations and multinationals, intensive contract negotiations have been ongoing since the successful projects were announced in December 2018. This is to ensure the contracts are in line with the provisions of the EU General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) and also the national legislation under which agencies of my Department can provide research funding to industry and other research performing entities. To facilitate payments to the constituent organisations, Enterprise Ireland have developed new consortia agreements and a new pre-finance framework was put in place. Letters of offer and consortia agreements have now issued to all of the successful project partners. Payments to those organisations, including those that are eligible for pre-financing, are being processed once the formal legal documentation is signed off and returned to Enterprise Ireland. It is not proposed to publish details of the pre-finance for small companies requested and approved as there are relatively small numbers involved and this could reveal information that is commercially sensitive to the companies concerned.

To date, payments have issued to organisations involved in 12 of the 27 successful projects. For the most part, enterprise partners in DTIF collaborations will receive grant payments retrospectively following submission of validated claims for vouched expenditure. From the start, my Department has indicated that €20m would be made available in 2019 to commence the first tranche of projects. That funding is currently being drawn down and it is expected that it will be allocated in full against profile by the end of the year.

Due to the collaborative nature of the projects, where the work is being carried out by the project partners across various locations, the funding allocations are not recorded on a county basis. However, the attached document provides details of the enterprise locations in each consortium.

Funding Announcement - Awards