Garda Data

Ceisteanna (288)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

288. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of community gardaí allocated to the Garda stations in Ballymun, Finglas and Santry; the overall number of gardaí in the stations; the number of community gardaí in the stations in each year since 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53326/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion and this is due to increase further to an unprecedented €1.88 billion for 2020.  The capital budget for An Garda Síochána has also been significantly increased - a total of €92 million was provided this year, representing a 50% increase on capital investment in 2018. And capital investment will increase further to €116.5 million in 2020.

This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff and as a result, An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation.  We now have approximately 14,300 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,900 Garda staff. And these numbers are growing, as part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021.

The Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources.  As Minister, I have no responsibility for these matters.  I am assured however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use. 

Ballymun and Santry Garda Stations form part of the DMR North Division. Finglas Garda Station forms part of the DMR West Division. Details in relation to the number of Community Gardaí deployed to the DMR North and DMR West Divisions are available on my Department’s website. This information is updated every month with the latest data provided by An Garda Síochána. This information is available at the following link:

http://justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Community_Policing

Details in relation to the overall number of Gardaí assigned to Garda Divisions and stations, including Ballymun, Finglas and Santry Garda stations, are available at the following link:

http://justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Garda_Workforce  

The Deputy may also wish to note that Gardaí around the country and in the areas specifically mentioned by the Deputy are supported by increasing numbers of Garda staff. Details in relation to the number of Garda staff broken down by Division and station are also available on my Department's website at the following link:

 http://justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Garda_Staff

The increasing number of Garda staff is allowing the Commissioner to redeploy Gardaí from administrative to mainstream policing duties where their training and expertise can be used to best effect. Taken together, this increase in Garda and civilian staff numbers means a significant increase in operational policing hours nationwide in recent years.

Garda Data

Ceisteanna (289)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

289. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí assigned to the drugs unit at the Garda stations in Ballymun, Finglas and Santry; and the number of gardaí assigned to the drugs unit in the stations in each year since 2008. [53327/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

It is important to be clear that under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for management of An Garda Síochána and for the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources. This includes responsibility for personnel matters and the distribution of personnel across the various Garda Divisions. 

I have requested a report from the Commissioner in relation to the matter referred to by the Deputy and I will write to him directly when I receive it.

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (290)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

290. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of times to date in 2019 he has met with his US counterpart; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53331/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I wish to inform the Deputy that I met with Attorney General William Barr on one occasion in 2019. I have also met with the US Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Edward Crawford, to discuss shared priorities and concerns and frequently met with Reece Smyth when he was Chargé d’Affairs,

pending the formal appointment of an Ambassador.

Ireland and the United States have a strong record of cooperation in relation to justice and security matters and these meetings have provided a valuable opportunity to discuss relevant areas of mutual interest, including immigration and national security issues.

Garda Promotions

Ceisteanna (291)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

291. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of items of correspondence received from persons regarding the competition for promotion in relation to candidates that were not called for a preliminary interview and did not seek external reviews by the Policing Authority in respect of concerns in relation to the conduct of the competition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53359/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended), the Garda Commissioner is responsible for personnel matters including arranging for appointments to the rank of sergeant and inspector.  As the Deputy will also be aware, the Policing Authority assumed responsibility for appointments to the senior ranks of Superintendent, Chief Superintendent and Assistant Garda Commissioner on 1 January 2017.  As Minister, I have no role in these promotion competitions or the complaints and appeals process for such competitions.

The complaints and review procedures for promotion competitions carried out by the Policing Authority are detailed on the Policing Authority’s website, an example of which is available here:

https://www.policingauthority.ie/assets/uploads/documents/Statement_of_Practice_Superintendent_Competition_2019.pdf

Similarly, promotion competitions to the rank of Sergeant and Inspector are the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner and are held in compliance with Commissioner for Public Service Appointments (CPSA) Code of practice – Appointment to Positions in the Civil Service and Public Service. The Code sets out in Section 7, the procedures where a candidate wishes to have an action or decision made in relation to their candidature reviewed. This code of practice is available on the CPSA website:

https://www.cpsa.ie/codes-of-practice/code-of-practice-for-appo/

The Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources.  As Minister, I have no responsibility for these matters. 

As the Deputy will appreciate, my Department receives thousands of pieces of correspondence each year.  Therefore, in the interest of efficiency, the search of correspondence records referred to by the Deputy was confined to standard written correspondence received to date in 2019.  My officials undertook a search of the Department's system for management of standard correspondence using relevant key words and consulted with relevant teams, none of which identified any relevant records regarding unsuccessful candidature in recent competitions for promotion to the rank of inspector and superintendent.  In any event as set out above, I have no role in these matters as Minister and any such contact would be referred by my Department to An Garda Síochána or the Policing Authority as appropriate.

Legal Aid Applications Data

Ceisteanna (292)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

292. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the fees paid to a solicitor representing a client in a criminal matter before the District, Circuit and High Court in circumstances in which the client cannot afford to be represented from their own resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53363/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act 1962 provides that free legal aid may be granted, in certain circumstances, for the defence of persons of insufficient means in criminal proceedings. Under the Act, the granting of legal aid entitles the applicant to the services of a solicitor and, in certain circumstances, up to two counsel, in the preparation and conduct of their defence or appeal. Under the 1962 Act, the granting of aid is a matter for the courts.

The rates of fees payable to solicitors for attendance in the District Court, and for appeals to the Circuit Court with effect from 13 July 2011, are set out in Statutory Instrument No. 362 of 2011. €201.50 is paid for the first appearance in court by the solicitor and €50.39 is paid for any subsequent court appearances.

Further, Statutory Instrument No. 234 of 1976 provides that fees paid to counsel acting in the Circuit and higher courts for defendants who have been granted free legal aid are paid on a parity basis with the fees payable to prosecution counsel as set by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The fees paid to solicitors for the defendant are related to those paid to junior counsel as provided for by Statutory Instrument No. 33 of 1978.  Details of the main fees payable in the Circuit Court and the Central Criminal Court, with effect from 1 October 2011, are set out in the following table. 

I understand that there are a small number of cases that are not suitable for hearing before normal jury courts.  The Special Criminal Court deals with these cases and fees are set by the DPP on a case-by-case basis.

Similarly, fees in respect of applications for Cases Stated for the opinion of the High Court and the Supreme Court are set by the DPP on a case-by-case basis.

Solicitor 

Court

Brief 

 Refresher

 Sentence

 Adjourned Sentence

Circuit Court

€1,144

€418

€180

€90 

Central Criminal Court (Murder)

€7,127

€750

€180

€90

Central Criminal Court (Rape)

€3,803

€760

€180

€90

 Junior Counsel 

Court

Brief 

 Refresher

 Sentence

 Adjourned Sentence

Circuit Court

€1,144

€572

€247 

€124

Central Criminal Court (Murder)

€4,752

€1,041

€247 

€124

Central Criminal Court (Rape)

€3,803

€1,041

€247 

€124

 Senior Counsel  

Court

Brief 

 Refresher

 Sentence

 Adjourned Sentence

Circuit Court

 €1,716

€858

€370

€185

Central Criminal Court (Murder)

 €7,127

€1,562 

€370

€185

Central Criminal Court (Rape)

 €5,704

€1,562 

€370

€185

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Ceisteanna (293)

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

293. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the funding received by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in 2018 and to date 2019. [53149/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The CCPC receives Exchequer funding and Levy funding. The combined allocation in 2018 and 2019 are set out in the following table.  The CCPC collects a levy from the financial sector to fund its Financial Information and Education functions.

-

Rev Allocation (Exchequer and Levy)

Pay and non-pay’000s

2018

€12,226

2019

€12,577

Financial Services Sector

Ceisteanna (294)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

294. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if there is a comparison website provided by the State to compare banking and finance products provided by financial institutions. [53382/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

In line with the requirements of Article 7 (Comparison websites) of Directive 2014/92/EU (Payment Accounts Directive), the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has a financial comparison section on the CCPC website https://www.ccpc.ie/consumers/financial-comparisons/. The website meets the requirements of the Directive and consumers can compare the product offerings of the main financial institutions for personal current accounts, personal loans, mortgages, deposit accounts, credit cards and student current accounts, credit cards and loans.

Regional Enterprise Development Fund Data

Ceisteanna (295)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

295. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the budget allocations to the regional enterprise development fund in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, by county, in tabular form; the amount drawn down in each year to date; the number of applications for the fund by stream, year and county to date; the number of successful and unsuccessful applications, respectively, by county, in each year; and the number of payments that have issued to each approved project in each year, by county. [52568/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Government’s €60 million Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), administered by Enterprise Ireland, has the objective of supporting every region to build on its unique strengths and ultimately create sustainable jobs.  Administered via two competitive calls, a total of 42 projects were approved funding totaling €59.5 million.  The budget for this fund is part of Enterprise Ireland’s budget to support enterprise development. 

Successful projects under Call 1 and Call 2 of the fund were announced on the 11th of December 2017 and the 3rd of December 2018 respectively. A total of 21 projects were successful under each initiative and a total of €31.5 million was approved under Call 1 and €29 million under Call 2.  In June 2019, I launched Call 3 with funding allocated of €45 million. Assessment and evaluation of applications under Call 3 took place in October and November and the successful projects are due to be submitted to Enterprise Ireland’s Board in December. It is expected that the successful projects in Call 3 will be announced in January 2020.  

Table 1 provides a breakdown of the grants approved to successful projects under Call 1 and 2 by region. Table 2 presents the amount drawn down each year to date under Call 1 and 2 of the REDF. It is important to note that there is a lag time between grant approved and grant paid. Grant expenditure must be incurred by the successful grant awardee and then inspected by Enterprise Ireland prior to payment.

The number of applications, successful and unsuccessful, received under each of the four funding streams, by region, is presented in Tables 3, 4 and 5. Due to the collaborative nature of projects, the regional breakdown of projects presents the best overview of applications, successful and unsuccessful. Table 3, 4 and 5 provides the detail by region.

Due to the collaborative nature of each project, the regional breakdown below presents the best overview of the number of payments issued to successful applicants to date. Funding approved to successful projects was in the form of grants and is presented in Table 6.  

Table 1: Grant approved to successful projects under Call 1 and 2

Region

Grant Approved

Mid-East

€3,497,840

Dublin

€9,349,518

Midlands

€2,842,080

Mid-West

€9,520,451

North West

€5,263,920

North East

€5,429,680

South East

€5,601,839

South West

€10,860,674

West

€7,136,334

Grand Total

€59,502,336

Table 2: Payments under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund by year under Call 1 and 2

2017

2018

2019 to   date

Total

€62,625

€1,059,297

€1,918,065

€3,039,987

Table 3: Applications under Regional Enterprise Development Fund

Region

Stream 1

Stream 2

Stream 3

Stream 4

Total

Dublin

7

7

10

4

28

Mid-East

5

8

1

1

15

Midlands

2

2

2

1

7

Mid-West

5

10

2

1

18

North East

3

2

3

0

8

North West

4

5

0

1

10

South East

1

11

2

1

15

South West

3

18

7

4

32

West

6

9

5

0

20

Total

36

72

33

12

153

Table 4: Approvals under Regional Enterprise Development Fund

Region

Stream 1

Stream 2

Stream 3

Stream 4

Total

Dublin

3

1

1

1

6

Mid-East

0

2

0

0

2

Midlands

1

1

1

0

3

Mid-West

2

2

0

1

5

North East

1

0

2

0

3

North West

0

4

0

0

4

South East

0

4

0

1

5

South West

2

4

2

2

10

West

2

1

1

0

4

Total

11

19

7

5

42

Table 5: Unsuccessful projects under Regional Enterprise Development Fund

Region

Stream 1

Stream 2

Stream 3

Stream 4

Total

Dublin

4

6

9

3

22

Mid-East

5

7

1

1

14

Midlands

1

1

1

1

4

Mid-West

3

8

2

0

13

North East

2

2

1

0

5

North West

4

1

0

1

6

South East

1

6

2

0

9

South-West

1

14

5

2

22

West

4

8

4

0

16

Total

25

53

26

7

111

Table 6: Number of payments that have issued to each approved project in each year by region

Region

2018

2019 to date

Dublin

1

4

Mid-East

0

0

Midlands

1

2

Mid-West

2

1

North East

0

1

North West

1

1

South East

1

3

South West

5

5

West

1

1

Research Funding

Ceisteanna (296)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

296. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applicants received under the second call of the disruptive technologies innovation fund by county; the approved applications to the fund announced on 7 December 2019; the funding approved for each such approved applicant; the number of applicants that were not approved by county; the reason for refusal; if there is an appeal mechanism in place to appeal refusal decisions; the amount allocated to the disruptive technologies innovation fund; and the amount expended to date in payments issued. [52569/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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 Pillar 1, embracing innovation and technological change, under the Future Jobs Ireland framework. It is available for collaborative projects seeking investment in the development and deployment of disruptive innovative technologies and applications, on a commercial basis, targeted at tackling national and global challenges.

A total of 63 applications were received under DTIF Call 2, of which 49 were deemed eligible following assessment by Enterprise Ireland. As DTIF is aimed at encouraging collaborative partnerships between consortia of at least three project partners, at least one of which must be an SME, the location of the individual partners is not a criterion for the Fund. However, on 7 December, when I announced the details of the 16 successful applicants under Call 2 of the Fund that were awarded a total of €65m to be drawn down over three years, details of the location of the enterprise partners were included, along  with project summaries and funding allocations for individual projects, as per the attached document.

The lead partner in each of the 33 applications that were not successful under Call 2 will receive a communication from Enterprise Ireland detailing the feedback from the international panels of experts that had evaluated their project during the evaluation process. This feedback will set out the marks they received under each of the four criteria under which the applications were assessed, along with a supporting narrative including the reasons that the panel considered the application did not meet the qualifying mark, where appropriate. The communication will also direct the applicants to the relevant enterprise agency for support in identifying suitable alternative sources of funding.

The communication will also detail the appeal process, which can only be related to procedural issues, such as the evaluation process, admissibility or eligibility checks. Applicants must seek redress within two weeks of receiving the outcome communication if they consider that their application was not treated fairly or adequately on an administrative basis.  

Under Call 1, a total of €75 million was awarded to 27 projects and Enterprise Ireland, who administer the Fund on my behalf, inform me that as of 16 December 2019, payments totalling €12,160,733 have issued to the project partners.

DTIF Call 2 - Successful Projects

Flexible Work Practices

Ceisteanna (297)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

297. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the details of her decision to set up an interdepartmental group to develop clear guidelines for employees and employers on remote working; if she reviewed potential legislative changes; and if so, the details of same. [52570/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

As Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, I understand the opportunities presented by the increased adoption of flexible working solutions in the workplace. This is reflected in Pillar 4 of Future Jobs Ireland, which is focussed on increasing participation in the labour force.

A deliverable under this Pillar is the completion of research on remote working, which was published by my Department on 6th December 2019. The objective of this research was to understand the prevalence and types of remote working arrangements within the Irish workforce, the attitudes towards such arrangements and the influencing factors for both employers and employees when considering remote work.

The Remote Work in Ireland report includes the outcomes from desk research, quantitative research and engagement with key stakeholders, including employer representative bodies and remote working interest groups. The report also includes an international policy review which considers relevant policies abroad.

One of the key implications for remote working in Ireland identified in this report is the need for guidance. Multiple stakeholder groups identified the absence of official guidelines for employers, employees and human resource professionals on the topic of remote work. As a result, many are unclear on how to manage the various aspects of what remote work entails. The main areas of importance highlighted in the research are:

- Equality – Fair and objective grounds for responding to a remote working request.

- Health and Safety – Topics of work-related accidents, balancing risk assessments with an employees’ privacy and clear procedures regarding bullying and workplace harassment when an employee is working from a hub or co-working space.

- Employment Conditions – Increased clarity and support in balancing employees’ right to privacy and the practical elements of performance measurement and monitoring working hours.

- Data Protection – Balancing data security and cybersecurity when engaging in remote work, particularly given GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, which offers enhanced privacy protection rights to individuals in relation to the processing of their personal data.

- Training – Training for employees working remotely and for managers in managing distributed teams.

To build on the areas of importance outlined above, Future Jobs Ireland 2020 will commit to the establishment of an Interdepartmental Group comprising relevant departments and agencies to align approach and develop clear guidance for employers and workers on key aspects of remote work. This Group will be formed and commence its work in the new year.

Brexit Data

Ceisteanna (298)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

298. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applicants and participants in Brexit schemes and supports provided by her Department or agencies under her remit, in tabular form; and the amount allocated and expended to each such scheme in each year since being established. [52571/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Brexit remains my top priority, and my Department and its agencies have put in place an extensive suite of supports, schemes and advisory resources to ensure that businesses are prepared for Brexit.

Working with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, my Department and its agencies are using a broad range of channels through which to promote awareness of these support measures, including radio and digital media campaigns and a dedicated Brexit page on my Department’s website. Officials have also put together Brexit Loan Scheme and Future Growth Loan Scheme information packs, which are available through this website. These sit alongside publications like the Quick Brexit Guide for Business and Currency Risk Management for Irish SMEs.

To raise awareness among Irish businesses of the suite of Government supports available to the, in July this year my Department published a report detailing the supports available to indigenous enterprises, including Brexit supports such as the Brexit Loan Scheme and Future Growth Loan Scheme and disseminates this at events, through the enterprise agencies, and through industry representative bodies.  

As of 6 December, there have been 6,763 participants at the Brexit Information LEO events and 5,402 SMEs have directly engaged with the InterTradeIreland Brexit Advisory Service in 2019. This is in addition to the 4,175 engagements in 2018.

A recent survey of SMEs, which was undertaken by my Department, indicates that businesses are increasingly aware of and preparing for Brexit, with 77% of SMEs discussing Brexit at management level.

Brexit was central to my decision-making in the allocation of the additional €14.2m Current and €65m Capital funding I secured as part of Budget 2019.

In 2019 for example, I provided an additional €5m to the network of Local Enterprise Offices, €3m to Enterprise Ireland, €2m to IDA Ireland and €1m to InterTradeIreland to help businesses prepare for Brexit, together with funding for the longer-term Future Growth Loan Scheme and the IDA Regional Property Programme.  I also provided extra staff for regulatory bodies of my Department to ensure they are properly resourced to address the additional demands that Brexit will create.

Local Enterprise Office (LEO) funding was increased by 22% in 2019, and this increase is being used to assist micro-enterprises in becoming more competitive and better able to cope with the changing environment in which they are operating. The LEOs, which have a presence in every county, are working with the broad range of small and micro indigenous enterprises across sectors to ensure that they are informed about Brexit and have plans in place to manage the new trading relationships on the island and with the UK more generally. This includes a customs training programme for all businesses, exporters and importers, rolled out in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland.

I was also pleased to announce an additional capital allocation of €2.75m to Enterprise Ireland to start developing regional innovation and technology clusters with Institutes of Technology right across the country, positioning them as drivers of world-class start-ups and growth enterprises and helping businesses adjust to market changes, including Brexit.

To enable retailers to increase their customer base and build a more resilient business, I introduced a new pilot Online Retail Scheme in 2018 administered by Enterprise Ireland. The scheme, with a fund of up to €1.25m over two calls, provided funding to 40 retailers across Ireland, with grants of between €10,000 and €25,000 on a 50 percent match fund basis. This scheme follows through on my commitment to increase the scale and internationalisation of indigenous enterprise; increase productivity in high-employment sectors; and encourage Brexit readiness. The Pilot Online Retail Scheme concluded this year and my Department and Enterprise Ireland will review its effectiveness.

Funding to InterTradeIreland (ITI) was increased by 18% between 2018 and 2019 and it, along with the LEOs, is offering a range of Brexit-focused supports to businesses, including those engaged in cross-border trade with Northern Ireland.  ITI offers a Brexit Planning Voucher worth up to €2,250, which enables businesses to get professional advice on how best to plan and prepare for the UK's withdrawal from the European Union advice on specific areas such as tariffs, currency management, regulatory and customs issues and movement of labour, goods and services. In March, it launched a Brexit Implementation Voucher, which provides financial support up to €5,625 with ITI paying 50% of total expenditure. This allows businesses to implement critical changes making them better prepared to deal with a new trading relationship.

The Brexit Loan Scheme, using a combination of Irish Exchequer and EU guarantees, leveraged up to €300 million of lending at a maximum interest rate 4% at a cost to the Exchequer of €23 million – €14 million provided by my Department and €9 million provided by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The Future Growth Loan Scheme opened for applications through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland in April of 2019. The scheme provides a longer-term facility, 8 to 10 years, of up to €300m to support strategic capital investment for a post-Brexit environment by business at competitive rates. This scheme is jointly funded by my Department (€37.2 million) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (€24.8 million) at a total cost to the Exchequer of €62 million.

The results from the UK election held on 12 of December 2019 present a further evolution of the Brexit context, and the Government and my Department are ready to support businesses, however events unfold.

In the coming year, I will continue to focus on proactively responding to the ongoing challenges presented by Brexit and be prepared for all Brexit scenarios.

The definitive allocations for my Department for the year 2020 will be determined as part of the normal estimates process, and the 2020 Revised Estimates Volume is set to be finalised and published in the coming days.

However, I can say at this point that compared to the 2019 allocation an additional €8.8m in current expenditure and €12m in capital expenditure is being allocated in 2020. The increase to the Department’s current expenditure will allow for additional resources to be provided to my Department’s regulatory bodies and its enterprise agencies to continue to prepare for Brexit, in whatever form it may take, by expanding and further developing the suite of available supports and by progressing the Global Footprint Initiative.  

The first table sets out the uptake of Brexit preparedness supports available through my Department and its agencies as at 6 of December, 2019.

The second table sets out the respective exchequer increases in allocations to ITI, EI, IDA and the LEOs between 2018 and 2019, and the cost/expenditure of Brexit-related supports to date. Whilst these increases are not all due to Brexit, they are mainly provided to assist the enterprise agencies in their responses to the challenges posed by Brexit.

Brexit preparedness supports - expenditure and allocation

Brexit preparedness supports - uptake of available schemes

Work Permits Data

Ceisteanna (299)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

299. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of a general employment permit application by a person (details supplied). [52681/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Employment Permits Section of my Department informs me that on 11 December 2019, a General Employment Permit issued in respect of the named individual.

Job Retention

Ceisteanna (300)

Pat Casey

Ceist:

300. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the actions she has taken to protect jobs at a company (details supplied); if she has spoken with management of the company regarding protecting the jobs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52686/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

First and foremost, my thoughts are with the workers affected and their families at what is a very difficult time. Enterprise Ireland has been engaging with Rondo Foods since 2011 and since the announcement by the company on the 8th November of possible redundancies, Enterprise Ireland has been engaging intensively with the company to see it is was possible to find a solution and avert the job losses. Unfortunately, however, this has not proved possible to avert these job losses and the company announced on 9th December that the factory in Arklow will close at the end of January 2020 and the facility will be relocated to Krefeld in Germany.

The Government will make every State support available to the employees of Rondo Foods. The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is aware of the situation and we will be collectively, across Government, doing our utmost to help these workers transition and find new employment opportunities.

The staff of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) will be available to meet the employees concerned, either individually or collectively, to discuss their employment rights. I would urge any employees who have any concerns about their employment rights to contact the WRC.

The company has confirmed on 9th December that all staff have been offered redundancy packages which exceed the scale of the mandatory statutory redundancy packages.

Enterprise Ireland was in attendance along with the Wicklow Local Enterprise Office at an information meeting for all Rondo employees on Monday 16th December which was organised by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

At the information meeting for all staff Enterprise Ireland provided information on: 

- The Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Up supports available for start-up food businesses and; 

- The FoodWorks programme for high potential food businesses. 

In addition to marketing Wicklow for new investment, both Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland continue to work with their existing client companies in the area with a view to encouraging them to grow and embed their businesses.  

Notwithstanding this extremely disappointing news, it’s important to remember that the overall trend in terms of job creation in Co. Wicklow is positive.

Work Permits Data

Ceisteanna (301)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

301. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if additional work permits for chefs will be granted due to the demand in the industry (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52846/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

In March 2018, following a comprehensive review of the occupation lists for employment permit purposes, the employment permits system was amended to broaden the availability of permits to all chef grades, with the exception of commis chef, subject to a quota of 610. The Employment Permits Section of my Department informs me that this quota has now exhausted. The application of a quota is to ensure that in the longer-term, strategies are put in place to source labour supply from both the domestic and European labour markets. 

The State's general policy is to promote the sourcing of labour and skills needs from within the workforce of the State and other EEA states.  Where specific skills prove difficult to source within the State and EEA, the employment permits system offers a conduit into the Irish labour market for non-EEA nationals with in-demand skills and is operated as a vacancy led system.  

Before consideration can be given to extending quotas, sectors needs to submit a business case clearly demonstrating that the recruitment difficulties are shortages across the EEA not to other factors such as salary and/or employment conditions. Sectors also need to detail the strategies in place for training/upskilling/career development and show that they are engaging systematically with the employment services of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.  The views of the lead policy Government Department for the sector, in this case, the Department of Tourism, Transport and Trade is an important part of the decision-making process. 

The occupation lists are subject to a twice yearly review and the most recent review has just been completed. Submissions received, including those from employer representative bodies in the sector, were considered as part of that review. I expect to be in a position to make an announcement of the outcome of the review in the coming days. 

On 9th August a standard application for a General Employment Permit was received from the named employer (Details Supplied).  On 6th November 2019, this application was refused and the employer and prospective employee was informed of the reasons by writing.   A review of this decision was received on 18th November 2019, and on 11th December 2019 the reviewing officer upheld the refusal and informed both parties in writing of all the refusal reasons including that: 

- The Labour Market Needs Test was not carried out in the correct manner. The EURES advertisement was not placed for at least 14 days within 90 days prior to application being submitted and did not include the annual remuneration; and an advertisement placed in a national newspaper could not be verified.

- Evidence that the foreign national has a minimum of 2 years’ experience as a Chef was not provided nor were copies of any chef qualifications.

- Numerous other required documents were not provided (including an up-to-date tax clearance access number, letter from Local Health Authority stating that the employer has been granted permission to operate a restaurant or takeaway at the premises, and a copy of any utility bill).

It should be noted that, in order to assist with the application process, my officials have produced a suite of information including details on how to carry out the Labour Market Needs Test and a "Checklist document for Chefs" which, if followed, should have resulted in the granting of an employment permit.  This information can be found in the Employment Permit section of my Department’s website at www.dbei.gov.ie   

Community Enterprise Centres

Ceisteanna (302)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

302. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the assistance available for the development of community enterprise centres; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52964/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My Department and its agencies are actively engaged in the development of regional digital hubs / ehubs and enterprise centres which enable and support new business development, provide the opportunity for business relocation, and for full-time or part-time remote working from regional locations. A number of projects which have been offered funding under, for example, the competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), are already prototype ehubs and should develop over time into more sustainable ehubs in their own right.  

In the context of the further development of ehubs, as envisaged in Project Ireland 2040, in support of efforts to expand entrepreneurship and start-ups in every region, Enterprise Ireland is addressing the need to expand and further develop co-working initiatives including through existing community enterprise centres as set out in their recently launched regional strategy ‘Powering the Regions’.

The relevant projects funded as part of the first and second Calls of the REDF that I announced in December 2017 and December 2018 are set out in the tables below. In June 2019 I announced a further €45m to be made available under this Fund and this third call for applications closed on 25th September 2019. It is expected that the successful projects in the third call will be announced in early January 2020.

Funding approved is delivered via grant support. Successful applicants in receipt of grant support must spend money upfront and then claim for eligible expense incurred from Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland inspects all grant claims to ensure all expenses are eligible for payment before the grant is paid. This process creates a time lag between the date of the Letter of Offer and the claiming of the grant by the successful applicant.

The successful applicants have 5 years to claim eligible expenses, in line with the agreed letter of offer.

Many of the projects approved under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund are new builds. These projects require approximately 18 to 24 months to go through the planning, procurement and build stages of the project.  

A breakdown of REDF funding approved for eHubs, Enterprise Spaces, Incubation/Food-Hubs, Co-Working and annual year to date funding drawn down is attached in Table 1 below.

Funding - Table 1 and 2

Research Funding

Ceisteanna (303)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

303. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount of funding to be allocated to the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund over the lifetime of National Development Plan 2018-2027; the amount allocated in each year over the 2018 to 2020 period to the fund; the amount of funding allocated for each approved project in 2018 and 2019, in tabular form; and the amount issued in payments to date. [53059/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a €500 million fund, established as one of the National Development Plan investment priorities under Project Ireland 2040, which will run from 2018 to 2027. The Fund forms a key part in the delivery of the Pillar 1 goal of Future Jobs Ireland to embrace innovation and technological change. It will see investment in the development and deployment of disruptive innovative technologies and applications, on a commercial basis, targeted at tackling national and global challenges.

While the fund was launched in 2018, the Government committed an initial tranche of €180m over the first four years, with funding to be allocated each year from 2019 to 2022, as follows:

Year

DTIF

2019

€20m

2020

€30m

2021

€40m

2022

€90m

As each project funded is a multi-year project of up to 3 years, the capital allocated to projects to date is reflective of this. A total of €140m has been allocated to 43 projects under Call 1 (27 projects with a commitment of €75 million) and Call 2 (16 projects with a commitment of €65 million), as set out in table 1 and table 2. It is important to note that the funding amounts shown in these tables are the amounts sought by consortia for their projects. Each company partner in all 43 consortia is matching this funding. The DTIF funding awarded is of course subject to verification checks as to the eligibility of the amounts claimed, in line with State Aid rules, and the relevance of the costs to the terms of the Fund.

Enterprise Ireland, who are administering this Fund on behalf of my Department, has informed me that payments totalling €12.2m have issued to the project partners involved in the successful projects under Call 1 with further payments in train.

Table 1: DTIF Call 1 (2018) Successful Projects

Project Title

Consortium Members

Project Summary

Funding sought (subject to costs verification)

A Disruptive Gene Therapy Platform, Replacing Viruses in the Treatment of Genetic Conditions

Amryt Pharma, Curran Scientific Ltd, University College Dublin, DEBRA Ireland

This project aims to disrupt the Viral Gene Therapy Market using a new Polymer-based Delivery Platform.

€8.4m

HOLISTICS - Holistic Human Sensing for Health, Aging and Wellness

Tyndall National Institute, DABL, PMD Solutions, De Royal, Setanta, University College Cork Lero, Sanmina, Design Partners, VRAI, Henkel, ADI, HRB CRF-C, University College Cork Insight

HOLISTICS will create for the first time in Ireland, a disruptive Smart Wearables Industry Value Chain to deliver end-to-end HealthTech solutions based on emerging human-centric intelligent sensors and their wireless communication (abbrev. WSN) to support new products.

€7.4m

AuriGen Solution for Persistent Atrial Fibrillation

Aurigen Medical Ltd, University College Cork/Tyndall, National University of Ireland Galway (TMD LAB)

This project will finalise the development and move to commercialisation, a cardiac implant to treat the stroke and arrhythmia risk associated with longstanding atrial fibrillation.

€5.9m

‘The Future of Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: Combining Tissue Responsive Probes, AI and Machine Learning to Transform Medical Care’

RCSI, Deciphex, IBM Research, University College Dublin

This project aims to transform the diagnosis and surgical treatment of Gastro-Intestinal (GI) diseases, specifically cancer, by allowing decision-support information to be available when needed for faster and more accurate interventions for patients. Applications will be developed in surgery and diagnostics using AI and machine learning.

€5.7m

Therapeutic enzymes as a treatment for sepsis and other immune disorder diseases

Cala Medical, Curran Scientific, University of Limerick

This consortium has a disruptive technology, Cytoflow5, for the treatment of sepsis. The technology will be further expanded to disrupt areas currently dominated by monoclonal antibodies and thus disrupt the biologics area. This will result in a panel of new therapies for the treatment of diseases including sepsis, psoriasis, arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

€5.0m

Towards safe and effective off the shelf cellular therapy for cancer

Onkimmune, Janssen, National University of Ireland Galway

This project will develop a disruptive, optimised, off-the-shelf Natural Killer (NK) Cell therapeutic platform for the treatment of multiple cancers.

€4.3m

Photonics Manufacturing Pilot Line

Tyndall National Institute, Ficontec, MBRYONICS, Eblana Photonics, Sanmina Ireland, Faztech

This project will build a physical Photonic Packaging Pilot Line in Ireland designed to fill the gap that exists today, i.e. to fabricate tens to hundreds of units. The Photonic Packaging Pilot Line Hub will A) develop packaging designs tailored to fast cost-effective packaging processes and equipment and B) develop and install next generation packaging equipment (including test) with reduced cycle-times.

€4.1m

Microfluidic Gene Transfection Cell Analysis and Sorting Platform (GTCASP)

Cellix Ltd, Trinity College Dublin Physics,

Trinity College Dublin Med, National University of Ireland Galway

This project will see the company deliver new cell manufacturing solutions to the pharma industry, building on excellent scientific research in gene therapy.

€3.4m

Cooperative Energy Trading System (CENTS)

International Energy Research Centre, MPower, MSemicon, TemplederryRenewable Energy Supply, University College Cork, National University of Ireland Galway, DIT

CENTS (Cooperative Energy Trading System) is proposing a disruptive technology platform for the electricity sector where consumers and communities will be empowered with the necessary infrastructure to generate their own electricity, earn from the excess electricity generation, and finally, to be an integral part of decarbonizing their homes and communities for sustainable living. With CENTS a software solution for a blockchain enabled cooperative peer-to-peer energy trading platform will be provided and necessary hardware requirements and market/regulatory strategies will be proposed.

€3.0m

Nex

Davra Networks,

DANALTO, INTEL,

Dublin City University

The goal of this project is to provide a reliable, verifiable and secure end-to-end remote patient monitoring system which has rich data, affordable & reliable network connectivity, machine learning and data integrity at its core.

€3.0m

ARDENT II

Neurent Medical Ltd,

National University of Ireland Galway

Neurent Medical is creating a new therapy for patients suffering from rhinitis that will give the patient immediate and long-lasting relief from their symptoms and remove the need to take daily medication to manage their condition.

€2.8m

Medical Imaging Ireland

IBM Ireland, Nova Leah, University College Dublin, DKIT, Davra Networks Ltd

Medical Imaging Ireland (MED-I) will build a platform offering enabling technologies which can host, manage, process and analyse image and text data and brings together the entire ecosystem of actors in the medical imaging domain.

€2.2m

ArtEngine 2.0: Bringing Automated, AI-Driven 3D World Creation to Market

Artomatix, Black Shamrock, WarDucks, Keywords

This project leverages Artificial Intelligence to automate the creation of 3D models and worlds,However, the cost of 3D content creation is prohibitive for small studios and this project is an enabler for the development and adoption of AR/VR.

€2.0m

HYDRO-fish: Combining targeted nutraceuticals and traceability technology for a smarter and sustainable Irish fish aquaculture industry

National University of Ireland Galway,

Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland, Teagasc, Marine Institute

HYDRO-fish is a multi-disciplinary research programme, specifically designed to employ current technologies from other sectors to disrupt and enhance current fish farming practices. The project entails reinforcing the supply chain of Irish salmon production, in particular for organic salmon farming.

€2.0m

BioHealx

Signum Surgical Ltd, Anecto Ltd

This project uses the BioHealx device (a bioabsorbable implant) to treat anal fistula and reduce surgical complexity.

€1.9m

E-BAMBI - Enhanced Biocompatibility of Additively Manufactured Biomedical Implants for Improved Clinical Outcomes

SEAM Research Centre, Schivo Medical, Graph Treatments Ltd, STRYKER, DIT

This project will develop Additively Manufactured (using 3-D printing), Biocompatible, metallic components for the medical device industry. The project will focus both on the creation of implants with improved functional properties such as drug elution and also on metallic structures that can be absorbed into the human body when they have successfully completed their clinical function.

€1.9m

High throughput microfluidic drug screening platform

HookeBio Ltd, CIT, CAPPA, National University of Ireland Galway

The HookeBio platform is a disruptive technology that will allow pharma companies and clinicians to develop more accurate and responsive disease models for drug testing and may be expanded to testing of existing therapies on individual patient’s disease samples.

€1.9m

Optimised commercial-scale cultivation of protein-rich biomass from Palmariapalmata for the generation of health enhancing plant based proteinaceous ingredients.

Allihies Seafood, Carbery, University of Limerick

This project aims to sustainably generate plant-based proteinaceous ingredients for exploitation as a source of high quality protein and contribute to meeting the growing global demand for plant-based proteinaceous ingredients for animal and human consumption.

€1.8m

Future Software Systems Architectures

Dublin City University &Lero, FOURTHEOREM, FINEOS

This project will leverage the internet network capability (and to some extent the Internet of Things) as a means to rapidly operationalise new software features. Central to this project will be the capacity to transform traditional slow software development organisations into rapid feature delivery firm. AI research is also a feature

€1.6m

Irish Lasers for the Internet of the Future (iLife)

Pilot Photonics, Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin

This project proposes a solution to the impending “capacity crunch” problem for optical telecommunication and datacentre networks using optical frequency comb sources, a new type of laser which can replace the single mode lasers that have been used in long haul optical transport equipment for two decades.

€1.6m

Connected Medical Device Cybersecurity Transparency

Nova Leah, DKIT

This project will see the use of Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Blockchain techniques to provide a real-time platform for the two-way communication of safety-critical security information (i.e. vulnerabilities, threats) between Medical Device Manufacturers and Hospitals.

€1.5m

Creating the Bionic Man: Development of a “neural training suit” to assist individuals with sensorimotor impairments.

Trinity College Dublin, Biomedical Research

This project aims to develop the “Swiss-Army Knife” of Neurorehabilitation, a multifunctional neuromotor training suit. The suit will integrate an array of wearable biological sensors and a multisite neuromuscular stimulation system.

€1.5m

Beyond Food Labelling

IdentiGEN, University College Dublin

Using massively multiplexed Next Generation Sequencing to provide a crypto-anchor for food authentication and as a substitute for costly, error prone labelling and certification systems

€1.4m

Advanced Environmental Decision Support System for Coastal Areas

Techworks Marine Ltd. Dublin City University

This project will provide an advanced environmental decision support system to address issues such as coastal pollution and flooding. Such a system will provide enhanced insights to coastal industries, local authorities, government agencies and will ultimately benefit Irish society.

€1.1m

Smart-Cardio – A Paradigm shift in Cardiac Arrhythmia Treatment

Atrian Medical Ltd, National University of Ireland Galway

This project will develop a medical device for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) that will lead to substantially improved outcomes over current treatments. In addition, it will alter how arrhythmia treatment services are provided to patients – throughput in hospitals and clinics will be dramatically increased and per patient costs will be reduced.

€1.1m

DEFINE-AM – Disruptive Finishing using Electrochemical machining for Additive Manufacturing

Blueacre Technology,

Trinity College Dublin

The DEFINE-AM project consortium aims to develop an innovative Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Hybrid Laser-Jet Electrochemical Machine tool with 5-axis of motion that addresses the challenges of post-processing 3D-printed metallic parts i.e. parts produced by the Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) additive manufacturing technique.

€1.0m

Blockchain in the Technology Product Supply Chain

Exertis Supply Chain Services, Sonalake, University College Dublin (CeADAR)

This project aims to implement a Production blockchain to transform the Technology Product supply chain.

€1.0m

Table ctg.

Table 2: DTIF Call 2 (2019) Successful Projects

Project Title

Consortium Members

Project Summary

Funding sought (subject to costs verification)

Nextgen Heat – Next Generation Heat Pump for Affordable Decarbonisation of Heating

Exergyn Ltd (Lead Applicant),Fort Wayne Metals Ireland Ltd,Dublin City University

Exergyn’s zero-emission, refrigerant-free heat pump will enable Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy, providing an affordable, sustainable way to heat our buildings, while decarbonising our energy system. It will provide the lowest cost, cleanest, most efficient form of heating available and won’t need additional financial incentives.

€2.4 m

Sustainable Bio-Renewable Energy from Wastewater (S-BREW)

NVP Energy Ltd (Lead Applicant),Ashleigh,Environmental LtdNational University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)

The S-BREW project will create a truly disruptive and compelling offering for the Food & Drink wastewater sector that will reduce land-spread waste and produce high-quality renewable energy thus helping to deliver a circular economy and mitigate the climate crisis. Decarbonising the Agri-Food energy eco-system and the development of indigenous energy supplies will help make Ireland a world leader in the energy transition by demonstrating how large Food & Drink industries can make great strides to decarbonise their operations.

€1.8m

TRANSPIRE - Trained AI Platform for Regulation

Corlytics, CeADAR UCD, Singlepoint

This project combines human expertise with artificial intelligence to demystify laws and regulations making it easier to do business while protecting consumers.

€2.0m

Data-center Audio/Visual Intelligence on-Device (DAVID)

FotoNation Limited (Lead Applicant), SoapBox Labs (SOAPBOX), National University of Ireland Galway

DAVID is a ‘privacy by design’ AI platform, capable of multi-modal (sound and vision), ultra-low power consumption, ‘data centre’ level processing of audio and vision data on-device, without need to transmit any personal data to the cloud. This platform has immediate applicability in smart toy and Internet of Things (IoT) markets where data privacy is a key concern.

€6.9m

Quantum Computing in Ireland: A Software Platform for Multiple Qubit Technologies (QCoIr)

IBM Ireland Ltd (Lead Applicant),Tyndall National Institute,University College Dublin – National University of Ireland, Dublin,National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Maynooth University),Rockley Photonics Ireland Ltd,Equal 1 Laboratories Ireland Ltd,MasterCard Ireland Ltd

Quantum computing is changing computing. The project partners aim to work together on a software platform integrating multiple qubit technologies being developed in Ireland, to explore their potential for industry challenges e.g. in financial services, logistics or drug discovery. This places Ireland at the forefront of quantum computing.

€7.3m

Pharma Latch: The disruptive microneedle drug delivery platform

Latch Medical Ltd (Lead Applicant), Blueacre Technologies Ltd, TheraDep Ltd, University College Dublin

The Pharma Latch project will create a disruptive microneedle drug delivery platform which is optimised for skin penetration and attachment, drug coating and scalable manufacture. This will create new opportunities around delivering drugs, biologics and vaccines in a more efficient manner to meet both individual patient and global health challenges.

€4.4m

Video Intelligent Search Platform (VISP)

Kinesense Ltd (Lead Applicant),Overcast HQ Ltd,Trinity College Dublin

This project will deliver an innovative intelligent video platform to enable the exploitation of video for the criminal justice / security and media & entertainment markets. VISP is a cloud based digital platform that will make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to exploit video as a resource providing new insights and ever-growing market opportunities.

€1.5m

FreeSpace

mBryonics Ltd (Lead Applicant), Pilot Photonics Ltd, OEWaves Global Ltd, DCU, TCD

The FreeSpace project will revolutionize wireless connectivity with ultra-high capacity wireless laser communication technology that delivers an unprecedented combination of bandwidth, availability and distance without the need for spectrum licensing.

€3.6m

Exosome therapeutics

OmniSpirant Ltd (Lead Applicant), Aerogen Ltd, National University of Ireland Galway, CCMI

Developing inhaled bioengineered exosome therapeutics, delivered by tailored aerosol delivery technology, for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

€9.4m

STROKE-CIS [Clot Ingestion System]

Perfuze is developing disruptive medical technology to treat stroke. More than 50% of stroke patients treated today suffer severe disability. The vision is to alter the course for stroke patients’ futures from a life of severe disability and long-term care to one of independent living by removing the entire blood clot lodged in the brain of stroke victims in one attempt. Achieving this vision will lead to dramatically improved outcomes and significantly reduced healthcare costs.

€4.4m

Point-of-care iron stores/Ferritin testing for at risk blood donors, women and children (FerrTest)

Radisens Diagnostics (Lead Applicant), Irish Manufacturing Research, PolyPico Technologies, Trinity College Dublin

The diagnostics and automation manufacturing partners will develop a cost-effective, quantitative point-of-care (POC) diagnostic platform to determine the body’s iron stores (Ferritin). This will enable the monitoring of Ferritin in at-risk groups in blood donors, women and children, facilitating early decision making and potential administration of iron supplements/nutraceuticals.

€7.0m

Haemodialysis Outcomes & Patient Empowerment (HOPE)

RCSI Beaumont (Lead Applicant), patientMpower, Sixty (registered as Design to Value Ltd)

AI enabled software medical device and wearable device will empower kidney dialysis patients to self-manage and provide clinicians with insights to improve care. This will be a catalyst to revolutionise kidney dialysis, empowering patients and clinicians to move from in-clinic to home delivered care, reducing cost by 50% while improving outcomes.

€2.1m

Mobility+ Connected Enteral Feeding Healthcare System for Integrated & Co-ordinated Care

Rockfield Medical Devices Ltd (Lead Applicant),Medical and Engineering Technologies (MET) Centre at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology,Steripack Group

The proposed Mobility+ Enteral (Tube) Feeding Connected Health ecosystem leverages innovation in sensors, a new innovative feed delivery device design, connectivity and apps for an entirely new level of data-driven patient-centred care, revolutionising the experience of patients, caregivers and health practitioners. The empowered, more mobile, patient-consumers will be freed from the constraints of the current inefficient enteral (tube) feeding infrastructure and will receive connected, coordinated, integrated (better-faster-cheaper) care leading to improved outcomes and better quality of life.

€2.0m

Blockchain and AI-Enabled Stratified Trial System (BESTS)

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Lead Applicant),Ergo, Microsoft, Singularity Alpha

This project will create, populate and test a highly secure blockchain-enabled, trustworthy and GDPR-compliant platform that matches patients with clinical trials, based on their personalised clinical and genetic data, ensuring complete patent control and ownership of that data and providing a future share of any value derived from this sharing.

€3.9m

“EyeVU” Miniaturised Endoscope Camera Development

Tympany Medical (Lead Applicant),University College Dublin, Gentian Services,NCAD

The project team will deliver a disruptive, miniaturised "eyeball" endoscope camera, which will allow clinicians to see around corners, with unparalleled precision. This camera will also drive first-in-class sustainability and Zero-Waste Solutions in the MedTech Sector. While undertaking the development of a single use endoscope for Ear Surgery, Tympany Medical have developed a platform technology which has broader applications across the wider endoscope market.

€3.2m

TAPESTRY: Transfer print technology for heterogeneous integration of components

Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork (Lead Applicant),X-Celeprint,Rockley Photonics,Analog Devices International, UC

The project will deliver a disruptive manufacturing technology for the micro-assembly of advanced electronic and photonic (involving the use of light) components leading to sophisticated and compact subsystems for use in sensing and communication applications. The technology will enable future leadership for Ireland in heterogeneous integration delivering high added value products and securing future jobs.

€3.6m

Work Permits Data

Ceisteanna (304)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

304. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if a refund of the fee for a general employment permit can be offered if the employment permit is issued but the visa application is refused; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53129/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Employment Permits Section of my Department inform me that the fees for a General Employment Permit are €500 for a permit of duration of six months or less, and €1,000 for a permit of duration of up to 24 months. The fee levels conform to the cost recovery principle, which provides that the full cost of activities and services are recovered in the medium term.

My officials inform me that 90% of any fees paid is refundable when an Employment Permit application is withdrawn or refused. An employment permit is issued when all the qualifying conditions are satisfied. The current employment permits legislation does not, however, provide for a refund after an employment permit has issued if, for reasons entirely separate from the employment permit process, an immigration permission is refused by the Department of Justice and Equality. This issue is being considered in the context of the development of the new Employment Permit (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill. 

Immigration permissions, including the refusal of visas, are a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, and any such queries should be directed to that Department.

Regional Enterprise Development Fund

Ceisteanna (305)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

305. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation when the successful regional enterprise development fund projects will be announced; if an application (details supplied) will be supported; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53173/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Deputy will be aware that the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) was introduced to support the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative projects that can sustain and add to employment at county, regional and national level.  The REDF, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland, has been an effective instrument of policy particularly as a complement to my Department's Regional Enterprise Plans where it has served as an enabler for projects emerging from that regional collaborative process.  

To date, the REDF has been delivered through two competitive calls with 42 projects across all regions securing a total of just under €60 million in all regions.  

The Deputy will be aware that in June 2019 I announced a further €45 million Call 3 of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund.  Call 3 has sought projects under three Streams: 'Strategic Change Projects' capable of attracting funding of up to €5 million; smaller scale 'Regional Strengthening Projects' that may attract from €100,000 up to €500,000; and industry led enterprise clustering initiatives that can attract funding of €50,000 to €350,000.   This Call will continue to support the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative projects in every region.  

Given that Enterprise Ireland's competitive evaluation process is ongoing, the Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on an individual project at this time.  

I can however advise the Deputy that a final decision regarding successful applicants is expected to be made by the EI Board shortly and I expect to make an announcement on the successful projects in the near future.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (306)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

306. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the project funding provided to an organisation (details supplied) by her Department or agencies under her remit in each of the years 2005 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the financial supports available to consumer advocacy organisations under her remit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53281/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I set out in Table 1 attached the funding paid to the named organisation in each of the years 2005 to 2015 which was available for consumer support under the Department’s vote.  From 2011 onwards, funding was applicable to specific projects only and monies could only be drawn down if the organisation submitted a proposal for project funding outlining a business case, including clear performance indicators which were measurable, verifiable and timebound for said project. The Department received no such funding applications in 2011, 2014 and 2015 from the named organisation.  No funding has been provided to the named organisation from 2013 to date.

Since 2016, funding available under this vote has been paid to the European Consumer Centre Ireland who have been designated as the Contact Point under Regulation EU 524/2013 on Online Dispute Resolution and as the Body to provide assistance to consumers under Regulation EU 302/2018 on Unjustified Geo-blocking.  Table 2 attached sets out the funding paid in respect of this consumer support.  No additional funding is available for consumer advocacy organisations under the Department’s vote.

CAI funding Attachment

Consumer Protection

Ceisteanna (307)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

307. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the position in the EU legislative process with regard to proposals for the European Commission new deal for consumers (details supplied); the proposals regarding a collective redress tool that will require member states to change national laws to make it possible for a qualified entity such as a consumer organisation to seek redress such as compensation, replacement or repair on behalf of a group of consumers that have been harmed by an illegal commercial practice; and if she has consulted consumer advocacy groups here on the proposals. [53282/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The “New Deal for Consumers” was launched by the Commission on the 11th April 2018 and aims to facilitate coordination and effective action from national consumer authorities at EU level and reinforce public enforcement action and better protection of consumer rights.  The “New Deal for Consumers” package is composed of proposals for two new draft Directives, one of which is the Representative Actions Directive.

This proposal aims to improve tools for stopping illegal practices and facilitating redress for consumers where many of them are victims of the same infringement of their rights, in a mass harm situation committed by traders.  The Department carried out a public consultation on the proposed Directive in May 2018.

A general agreement on this Directive has now been reached and on the 28th November 2019 the Competitiveness Council approved the general approach and a mandate to allow for negotiations with the European Parliament to commence. It is envisaged that political agreement on this draft Directive will be reached in the first half of 2020.