Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (1024)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

1024. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if the expenditure estimates for capital projects in County Waterford under Project Ireland 2040 under the remit of her Department and agencies match projected cost requirements in tabular from; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33900/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Capital allocation to my Department in 2019 is €620 million. This represents an increase of 11.7% on our 2018 allocation of €555 million. The breakdown of the capital allocations, by subhead, is set out in the table below.

Subhead

2019 REV Allocation

CAPITAL

(€,000)

A4 - Intertrade Ireland

6,695

A5 - IDA Ireland*

162,800*

A6 - NSAI

500

A7 - Enterprise Ireland

65,750

A8 - Local Enterprise Development

27,500

A9 - Temporary Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme

500

A10 - INTERREG Enterprise Development

3,000

A14 – Future Growth loan Scheme

6,000

A15 – Humanitarian Relief Scheme

1

B4 – Enterprise Ireland

122,000

B4 – Science Foundation Ireland**

179,550**

B4 – Tyndall Institute

5,500

B5 – Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions

24,300

B6 – Subscriptions to International Organisations

23,504

B9 – Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund

20,000

Total***

647,600***

*Includes Capital Carryover from 2018 of €20.8m

**Includes Capital Carryover from 2018 of €6.8m

***Includes Capital Carryover from 2018 of €27.6 million

The Capital funding provided to my Department is mainly in the way of grants to support the multi-annual programmes of our enterprise development and innovation agencies.

The National Development Plan (NDP) identified 16 specific Business, Enterprise and Innovation Priority Investments under the “Strong Economy supported by Enterprise, Innovation and Skills” NSO, whose delivery is the prime responsibility for DBEI.

The additional €65 million in capital money provided to my Department through the 2019 Estimates has allowed it to progress a number of the DBEI priority projects further in 2019. Specifically,

- the €20m funding provided to the Disruptive Technologies Fund ensured that the funding for projects approved under the first phase of the Fund could be drawn down in 2019

- the additional €10m provided to the IDA has enabled it to continue and expand its programme of providing property solutions, strategic sites and grants to deliver FDI across the regions of the country

- the €6m provided to the Future Growth Loan Scheme, which builds upon the €17m provided to the Scheme in 2018, will assist business to access the finance necessary to enable them to strategically transform/adapt to the impact of Brexit

- the additional €2.75 million in capital funding provided to EI has enabled it to progress a number of regionally focussed initiatives with Institutes of Technology through a programme of Regional Innovation and Technology Clusters to support regions across the country to build enterprise capability

- the capital funding provided to EI will has also allowed it to roll out the new €175 million Seed and Venture Programme which will focus on fostering a strong pipeline of high growth innovative businesses by increasing the availability of risk capital for start-up/early stage enterprises

- the Department’s increased capital funding will ensure that Ireland can continue to expand and deepen its membership of and collaborations with international research organisations such as the European Southern Observatory and the European Space Agency

- the additional capital funding also allowed the new programmes for Postgraduate Research at Masters and PhD levels to continue to be rolled out

- the additional funding being provided to SFI has enable it to refresh its Research Centres Programme thereby strengthening collaboration with enterprises across all regions of the country

- the additional funding being provided to the Tyndall Institute has enable it to continue to upgrade and expand and stay at the forefront of new technologies

More specifically, Enterprise Ireland has paid approximately €3.8 million to client companies in Waterford between 2016 and 2018. In addition, EI has approved funding totalling €59.5 million to 42 projects under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. Three projects funded under the REDF in Waterford and the South East region include; Three-D, Crystal Valley Tech and Incupharm.

The Local Enterprise Offices are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for advice and guidance, financial assistance and other local supports if you intend to start or grow your own business. To date in 2019 the Waterford LEO has been allocated €1,366,324 with any further allocations of funding to be based on demand and disbursed on a competitive basis among the LEOs.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) levels in Waterford are trending in the right direction. There are currently 38 IDA client companies in the County employing 7,064 people, representing an increase of 5% from 2017 to 2018. Since 2012, Waterford has also witnessed a 38% increase in employment in overseas companies. Waterford has maintained a strong reputation as a successful home to firms from the MedTech and Pharmaceuticals sectors. Companies like GlaxosSmithKline, Sanofi and Opko's Irish subsidiary EirGen Pharma are all located there and continue to perform well.

In terms of recent investments, in May 2019 Allstate Sales Group Inc. (ASG), a provider of turnkey engineering and construction services to the telecommunications industry announced it is to establish software development and CAD support centres in Ireland, at locations in Waterford and Sligo, creating 200 new jobs (100 jobs in each location) over the three years. It is the company’s first operations outside the US.

Bausch and Lomb announced last November that it will expand its contact lens manufacturing capacity at its Waterford site which will create up to 100 new jobs. In October 2018, Eurofins BioPharma opened a new extension to its laboratory facility in Dungarvan, more than doubling its facility footprint. Furthermore, last July, West Pharmaceuticals opened a new global centre of excellence in Waterford City for its advanced manufacturing network.

As part of its €150m Regional Property Programme (RPP) the IDA are directly investing in a building programme to help ensure property solutions are in place for overseas companies considering investing or expanding in Ireland, thereby encouraging more foreign direct investment (FDI) in the regions. Budget 2019 also saw the Agency allocated an additional €10m for the RPP bringing its yearly capital budget for property to €47m.

Under the first phase of the RPP, an Advanced Technology Building (ATB) was completed in 2015 and the IDA successfully secured Opko Health as a tenant. A second ATB was completed in Waterford in May 2019 and this building is being actively marketed by the IDA to investors through its network of offices in Ireland and overseas.

Under the second phase of the RPP, construction will begin in 2020 on a third ATB for Waterford. Once the first and second phases of the RPP are completed there will be a total of three buildings constructed in Waterford and I am confident that these will stimulate further investment and job creation for the entire county.

While progress has been made in helping to generating new investment in County Waterford, the Government remains determined to attract more FDI to Waterford City and the wider area. The work of the IDA is obviously key in that respect and the Agency's staff will continue engaging with its clients, as well as the other enterprise agencies, to help create more jobs and economic opportunities.