Am I Eligible?
How do I Apply?
Call Close Dates
Contact Details/More Information
Overview of the Competitive Feasibility Fund for the Midlands Region
The objective of the Competitive Feasibility Fund for the Midlands Region is to assist a new start-up company or individual entrepreneur to investigate the viability of a new significant growth orientated business or proposition to be located in the Midlands Region (counties Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath) and which has the potential to become a High Potential Start Up (HPSU) company. These are companies that can develop scalable innovative technologies, products or services for sale on world markets. We are seeking to support projects that are likely to achieve significant growth in three to four years (sales of €1m per annum and employment of 10 or more) or where a company is required to have FDA or CE approval, to have €1million in sales within three years of approval to sell.
The objective of the feasibility grant is to provide the necessary information to enable the promoter (and Enterprise Ireland) to reach firm conclusions regarding the project's viability and set out investor ready plans and financials associated with developing and commercialising the innovative product or service on international markets.
The Fund is open to applications from the ICT, Industrial, and Food sectors including the following sub-sectors: Internet, Games, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Telecoms, Lifesciences, Cleantech, and Industrial Products.
Typical elements involved in carrying out a feasibility study include:
- Market research
- Cost analysis
- Financial projections
- Manufacturing process assessment
- Plant evaluation and selection
- Raw material sourcing
Negotiating with potential joint venture partners or obtaining a manufacturing licence may also be included.
Note : Studies solely based on market research are not eligible for assistance.
Am I Eligible?
You are eligible to apply if you are an entrepreneur with a business proposition OR a new start up business that has the potential to create jobs and growth for the Midlands Region and whose business is:
- incorporated on or after 20th May 2011
- a manufacturing or an internationally traded services business*
- Not involved in activities that fall within gambling or "gaming" as defined in the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956
*Projects focused solely on the domestic market may not be considered to have significant growth potential.
What is the maximum funding available and what costs are eligible?
Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Enterprise Ireland will assess eligibility of the activities proposed in the study and associated costs. The amount of support is determined by the Evaluation Panel following this assessment.
The maximum grant funding available for the feasibility study is 50% of eligible expenditures. The maximum level of grant funding is up to €25,000.
Up to €200,000 in grant funding, in total, will be allocated to successful applicants.
Any expenditure incurred prior to the call close date of 20th November, 2012 is not eligible for support.
Maximum Limits and Notes
|Salaries and Overheads|
- Maximum salary support of €1,000 per week (€200 per day) for a maximum of 12 weeks (60 days) per employee.
- Only time spent on the proposed project by employees of the company can be applied for.
- Support for external consultants must be applied for in the Consultancy Fees section.
- Employee time spent preparing for and attending Trade Fairs is ineligible.
- Overheads of up to a maximum of 30% of eligible salary costs can be applied for.
|Foreign Travel and Subsistence|
- Only Travel and Subsistence costs for overseas trips related to the proposed project are allowed.
- Foreign Travel and Subsistence costs must be for the promoter or company employees.
- Subsistence rate is to cover all out of pocket expenses including hotels, meals, taxis local fares, incidentals etc.
- If Foreign Travel and Subsistence is for Trade Fairs it is limited to 5 employees.
- Eligible Travel Costs: Economy Air/Ferry or Rail Fares, Mileage (60c per kilometre) or Economy Car Hire (note mileage cannot be claimed on Hire Cars)
- Eligible Subsistence Rates: Overnight Rate - 24 hr period, max €200 per Day rate, < 24 hours €60.
- Costs of hiring a specialist consultant to input into or undertake the proposed project for a maximum of 30 days per consult/firm.
- Max. Consultancy rates: Days 1 to 20: €900 per day, Days 21 to 30: €700 per day.
- Where a consultancy firm has more than one consultant engaged, the aggregate number of days worked by all consultants engaged on the project is counted.
- Daily rates to be inclusive of travel and subsistence and all out-of-pocket expenses.
- Where there is more than one consultancy firm involved on the project, the rates & limits apply to each firm separately.
|Trade Fair Costs|
- N.B. - Only the cost of a company's first-time participation in an international Trade Fair/Trade Show in any one country is eligible.
- Eligible Expenditures relating to Trade Fair: Entry Fees - for a max of 5 company employees, Rental of exhibition space/stand, Stand Set-up and Installation Costs, Sundries: expenditure of €500 is allowable towards the cost of trade show related promotional material, brochure design/printing costs, translation costs etc.
- Employee time spent preparing for and attending trade fairs is ineligible
- Purchase of equipment/ICT etc is ineligible
- Participation at conferences, symposiums, standalone company events, demonstrations or meetings are not eligible for support.
- Prototype materials, specialised software tools, hire of equipment or facilities and other sundry costs relating to building a prototype are eligible.
- Where consultants/contractors are being used to input into the prototype design/build, the costs should be entered in the Consultancy Fees section of the application form.
- Employee time should be entered under the Salaries and Overheads section.
- Capital items/equipment costs such as laptops, servers are not eligible under this expenditure item.
How Do I Apply?
Download and complete the official Midlands Region Competitive Feasibility Fund Application Form (word format). Only applications submitted using the official application form will be deemed eligible.
Call Close Dates
The completed application form must be sent by email to email@example.com. Closing date was 20th November 2012.
Assessment Criteria and Evaluation Process
Project evaluation will consist of a two phase assessment:
Evaluation Part 1:
An evaluation panel comprising a minimum of three representatives of Enterprise Ireland will evaluate applications and score them under the following criteria:
|Promoter(s)/ Team profile, track record and knowledge of the sector and market||40%|
|Customer demand and the long-term potential of the business to achieve significant growth in 3 years (ie achieving by the end of year 3, sales of €1m per annum with strong early export potential and employment of 10 or more)||30%|
|Innovation level of proposed product / service||30%|
Evaluation Part 2:
The highest ranking applications (maximum up to 25thhighest) will be invited to make a 4 minute presentation to an Evaluation Panel comprising industry experts and representatives of Enterprise Ireland.
The presentation will take place at the offices of Enterprise Ireland, Athlone office on Friday 14th December, 2012. Applicants must be available to attend on this day.
The evaluation panel will score each applicant based on the following equally weighted criteria:
- Likelihood of the project locating and succeeding in the Midlands Region (counties Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath)
- What is it about you and / or your management team that makes you capable of executing on this feasibility study?
- What specific need does your product / service address? Why would someone be "compelled" to purchase your offering?
- How innovative is the offering?
Successful applicants from this stage will be recommended to Enterprise Ireland’s Investment Committee for approval.
Tel +(353) 90 648 7128
Enterprise Ireland Midlands Regional Office
Tel: +(353) 90 648 7100
Fax: +(353)90 648 7101