The Expenditure Report 2019 which accompanied the Budget 2019 Statement by my colleague the Minister for Finance set out my Department’s summary capital expenditure ceiling for next year. The proposed gross allocation of €950.2million for my Department in 2019, as set out in the Report, includes an increase in our capital funding from €555m to €620million in 2019. This represents an increase of 11.7% in Capital from 2018.
The capital allocation of €368.055million referred to by the Deputy relates to the 2019 allocation for my Department’s Innovation Programme. The 2019 allocation represents an increase of 12.28% on the 2018 allocation of €327.8m for this Programme.
Whilst the definitive 2019 capital allocations for each of the Subheads in the Department’s Innovation Programme will only be determined as part of the Revised Estimates Process, as outlined in the context of Budget 2019 I propose that the additional funding will enable me to increase the funding for Innovation, including through
- The provision of €20million to roll out Phase one of Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund;
- The provision of an additional €2.75million in capital monies to meet the full year cost of European Southern Observatory membership;
- The provision of an additional €10million in capital funding to meet the full year cost of the new PhD/Research Masters Programme;
- The provision of an additional €500k in capital funding to support our membership of the European Space Agency
- The provision of additional €5million in capital to support the renewal of six SFI world-class research centres,
- The provision of an additional €1million in capital for SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme;
- The provision of an additional €1million in funding to support the development of the Tyndall Institute
The provision of this additional capital funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting business to enable them to innovate and compete in a global marketplace and thereby helping to position Ireland as a Global Innovation Leader.