Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (144)

Robert Troy


144. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applicants to the regional technology clustering fund by county and academic institution; the approved applications to the fund announced on 6 December 2019; the funding approved for each; the number of applicants not approved by county and academic institution; the reason for refusal; if there is an appeal mechanism in place to appeal refusal decisions; the amount allocated to the fund in 2019 and 2020; and the amount expended to date in tabular form. [52364/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

On 6th December 2019, my colleague Joe McHugh TD and I announced funding to be awarded by Enterprise Ireland under the Regional Technology Clustering Fund. The Regional Technology Clustering Fund provides a platform for engagement between enterprise and regionally-based academic institutions – the Institutes of Technology (IoT) and Technological Universities (TU) – in order to drive productivity and competitiveness in SMEs in and across the regions. The funding very much complements the core ambitions of Future Jobs Ireland, which in 2020 will have clustering as a key theme.

There were 18 applications received under the Regional Technology Clustering Fund Call. Twelve applicants have been approved funding. Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to contact Enterprise Ireland for feedback on their applications.

The table below presents the funding awarded to successful projects in the various Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities, such funding to be drawn down as the Initiative progresses:

Applicant Name

Project Summary

Fund awarded (€)

Dundalk IT

Development of a Connected Health & Wellbeing Industry Cluster in the North East, capitalising on internationally recognised research, innovation and business development strengths and expertise at DKIT.


Sligo IT

A Border Regions Manufacturing Cluster initiative will increase the engagement and connectivity of the three border IoTs – Sligo, Dundalk and Letterkenny. – with the economy and industry overall, and with manufacturing SMEs and micro/small companies throughout Counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth. It will help to strengthen productivity, competitiveness and internationalisation tin this exposed manufacturing sector, which is facing the urgent issues of Brexit, internationalisation, automation/industry 4.0 and digitalisation, new technologies and the low carbon economy.


TU Dublin

Construction is a strategically important sector for economic growth and employment in Ireland. The proposed project seeks to address current fragmentation with the development of the first national Construction Sector Cluster (positioned as part of the Design & Construct at Broombridge). It will place an emphasis on skills development, technology enhancement, productivity and process improvement, sustainable development, knowledge transfer and internationalisation for SMEs.


Letterkenny IT

The establishment of the Killybegs Marine Cluster will help boost productivity, increase market share, enhance innovation, and harness the opportunities that the bountiful renewable energy resource off the North West coast presents.


Cork IT

The proposed Cyber Security SME Cluster will drive the development of indigenous cyber security SMEs and digitally-dependent SMEs with a need for cyber security solutions. It will include a start-up ecosystem, and will foster productivity, drive competitiveness and support internationalisation. It will leverage the connections with industry through the national cyber security cluster organisation, Cyber Ireland.


Galway-Mayo IT (A)

The Wood and Furniture Manufacturing Cluster with help the sector to scale rapidly and sustainably. It will help businesses to improve competitiveness, productivity and collaboration; develop and adopt innovative technologies; efficiently create novel products and services; and enhance access to talent, R&D capacities and international supports.


Limerick IT

The Irish Digital Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing Cluster (IDEAM) will bring together and support the growth of three individual networks, namely Limerick for Engineering, Limerick for IT and the Precision and Turned Parts Manufacturing Association (PTMA) through an overarching cluster. It will become a one-stop-shop for Manufacturing SMEs for all aspects of digital transformation.


Tralee IT (A)

The AgriTech Cluster aims to build, develop and maintain a cluster of companies from across Ireland to drive AgriTech SME productivity, competitiveness and internationalisation.


Galway-Mayo IT (B)

The MedTech and Life Sciences Cluster will enable SMEs to scale rapidly through increased engagement in research, development and innovation activities and the efficient creation of novel products and services. It will help them to capitalising on future trends, especially in Digital Health, and to adopt innovative technologies.


Athlone IT

An Industry 4.0 Cluster will support SMEs to capitalise on the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0, maximising their productivity, competitiveness, internationalisation and growth potential.


Tralee IT (B)

Circular BioEconomy Cluster South West will work to enhance the knowledge, technology, skills, networking and innovation to help deliver the transition to a low carbon economy.


Carlow IT

Development of an industry-led Engineering Cluster to expand capability and competitiveness in the South East of Ireland.