Minister Humphreys announces €65m for 16 ground-breaking projects under Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund

7th December 2019

Pictured L-R Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive, Enterprise Ireland, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Regina Doherty TD, Minister for Social Protection
  • The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is one of the first funds of its type in the world
  • 16 projects funded under the second call, which will change how we work and live
  • Projects include a zero-emission heat pump, an AI-enabled medical device and a self-cleaning endoscope camera
  • Initiative delivers on Future Jobs Ireland, the whole of Government plan to prepare our businesses and workers for the future

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD, together with Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, TD, today announced that 16 innovative projects have been successful under the second round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland. The projects will share €65 million out to 2022.

Among the ground-breaking projects are a new type of zero-emission, refrigerant-free heat pump, a waste water to energy project for the food and drink sector and an AI-enabled wearable device that will allow kidney dialysis patients to self-manage.

The 16 projects cover life sciences, medical devices, ICT, artificial intelligence, blockchain, manufacturing and environmental sustainability, including in the waste and energy sectors. They all involve collaborations of between three to seven partners, with at least one SME being involved in every project and 13 being led by an SME. The other partners include other SMEs, as well as multinationals and academic institutions. The €65m announced today brings the total funding awarded under DTIF to date to €140m. The Fund, which was announced as part of Project Ireland 2040, will see an overall amount of €500 million of Government funding allocated over the ten years from 2018 to 2027 alongside enterprise co-funding.

The Fund is delivering on Pillar 1 of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland framework – Embracing Innovation and Technological Change – by funding the development and deployment of disruptive innovative technologies on a commercial basis. It is one of the first funds of its type in the world and is aimed at tackling national and global challenges to secure the jobs of the future.

Announcing the successful projects at a special event at NovaUCD today, Minister Humphreys said: “Yet again I am amazed at the quality and originality of the projects that are receiving funding under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund today. These 16 projects will bring significant changes and benefits across all sectors of society, both at a national and a global level. Ultimately, they will change how we work and live, enhance the competitiveness of the Irish economy and help us to create the jobs of the future.

“I am especially pleased to see the quality of the collaborations involved, with SMEs, multinationals and research organisations combining to share their expertise and knowledge. As a small nation with limited resources, we must work together to maximise the opportunities from the investment in our enterprise sector and research institutions.

“These projects involve partners based all around Ireland, from Leitrim to Waterford and Dublin to Galway. It shows the strength of our enterprise and research base across the regions and will bring high-quality jobs and investment to these areas.”

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, TD, also praised the successful projects. “The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is exactly the kind of fund that Ireland needs right now as we embrace the opportunities and challenges that disruptive technologies bring to our workplaces and homes. This is all about preparing Ireland and the Irish workforce for the jobs of the future. We need to future-proof our existing employment base and we need to prepare for new types of jobs that haven’t even been invented yet. The DTIF is a critically important element of our Future Jobs agenda.”

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said of today’s announcement: “As a Government, we have invested heavily in the enterprise and research sectors as drivers of the economy, building capacity in those sectors so that we create and maintain high quality employment in our economy. These DTIF projects are excellent examples of the innovation and creativity that is all around us in our companies and our colleges.”

A total of 63 full applications were entered under this second call of the Fund. The eligible projects received went through a rigorous and highly competitive evaluation process involving screening and interview by panels of international experts.

The successful projects include:

  • Next Generation Heat Pump for Affordable Decarbonisation of Heating, led by Exergyn Ltd with Dublin City University and Fort Wayne Metals Ireland Ltd as partners.
  • Sustainable Bio-Renewable Energy from Wastewater (S-BREW), led by NVP Energy Ltd with Ashleigh Environmental Ltd and National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) as partners.
  • Point-of-care iron stores / Ferritin testing for at risk blood donors, women and children, led by Radisens Diagnostics Ltd (RAG) with Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), Poly Pico Technologies Ltd and Trinity College Dublin.
  • Pharma Latch – a disruptive microneedle drug delivery platform, led by Latch Medical Limited with Blueacre Technologies Limited, TheraDep Limited and University College Dublin as partners.
  • Developing a tailored aerosol delivery technology for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), led by OmniSpirant Ltd with Aerogen Ltd and National University of Galway Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland as partners.
  • TRANSPIRE - A trained AI Platform for Regulation, led by Corlytics Ltd with CeADAR UCD and Singlepoint Solutions Ltd as partners.
  • STROKE-CIS, developing Clot Ingestion System, medical technology to treat stroke led by Perfuze Limited with Teleflex Limited and VistaMed Limited.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, who administer the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, said:“This significant funding initiative is future proofing Ireland to ensure that we become leaders in the face of disruptive technologies. The transformational nature of this fund will help to realise the ambitions of Irish companies and ensure Ireland’s growth is maximised. The collaborative focus marries expertise and innovative ideas with like-minded partners to ensure the future growth of enterprise in Ireland. In the second call of awardees announced today, we are seeing a step up in the calibre and size of projects coming through with a greater level of collaboration between SMEs and MNCs. This latest set of DTIF projects illustrates Irish SMEs at their best, demonstrating the originality and creativity for which Ireland is renowned.”

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “UCD has been a strong proponent of key government initiatives such as the DTIF to help drive collaboration between the higher education sector research base and enterprises to support the development and adoption of new technologies and applications to deliver impact.”

She added, “I am delighted that UCD researchers are partnering in four of the successful disruptive projects which will be funded under the second tranche of this highly competitive fund. I am also very pleased to see two UCD spin-out companies, Equal1 Labs and Latch Medical, both headquartered here at NovaUCD, along with NovaUCD graduate company Corlytics, as partners in projects funded under the scheme. This strong involvement of UCD researchers and UCD companies reflects the strength of research and innovation activities taking place across UCD.”


Note to Editors:

The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a €500 million Project Ireland 2040 fund confirmed under the National Development Plan (NDP) in 2018. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is managing the DTIF with administrative support from Enterprise Ireland. The purpose of the Fund is to 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 and adoption of these technologies. The aim is to support investment in the development and deployment of disruptive technologies and applications on a commercial basis.

Applications for funding to Call 2 of the DTIF were assessed by panels of international experts in two stages: all eligible applications were reviewed remotely by the international experts and those projects that were above threshold in each of the four criteria – quality of the disruptive technology, excellence of approach, market impact and strength of collaboration – went through a rigorous interview process.

The Department’s website contains more information on the Future Jobs initiative and the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund.

Click here for the Disruptive Technologies Innovation fund (DTIF) - Awards under Call 2 (2019).

For further information contact:

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Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

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