Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Ceisteanna (230)

Martin Heydon


230. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the reason fundamental research is not allowed under the disruptive technology fund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53733/19]

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 (NDP) priority initiatives 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.

In establishing this Fund under the National Development Plan, the Government wanted a competitive and challenge-based programme that would see investment in the research, development and deployment of disruptive technologies and applications on a commercial basis and drive collaboration between Ireland’s world-class research base and industry as well as facilitating enterprises to compete directly for funding in support of the development of these technologies.  

In developing the Fund, my Department consulted with the enterprise and research communities both at home and abroad with a view to identifying the most appropriate type of scheme to introduce. Arising out of these consultations, the DTIF was established to optimise collaboration between our excellent enterprise and research communities in complement to existing development and innovation funding supports. By focusing on industrial rather than fundamental research, it ensures that projects can be developed closer to commercial application within a shorter time period than would be possible with a fundamental research project. It also meant that SME partners could be integral participants. With this Fund, SMEs are enabled to collaborate with other enterprises including multinationals and the research community on their innovative solutions to global challenges, helping to create the jobs of the future and deliver real economic impact for Ireland.  

The DTIF is complemented by a range of other programmes under agencies of my Department and other Departments that support basic/fundamental research, and in the case of Science Foundation Ireland, oriented basic research.