Minister Humphreys announces a further €45m under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund
24th June 2019
Enterprise Ireland also publishes ‘Powering the Regions’ Regional Plan for Growth
The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today, announced that she would be making a further €45 million available under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF). The announcement was made by Minister Humphreys today at the recently opened Cavan Digital Hub, which was developed with the support of REDF.
The fund is an initiative of the Government under Project Ireland 2040 and aligns with the Department’s Future Jobs Ireland plan. The call is open for applications from today and closes on 25th September 2019. The successful projects will be announced before the end of the year.
Under a competitive process, applications are now sought for funding under three streams with varying investment levels:
- Strategic Change Projects – to support major collaborative initiatives with high impact on regional development with funding up to €5m per project
- Regional Strengthening Projects – designed to stimulate new local community based or regional initiatives to address identified gaps in the enterprise ecosystem with funding up to €500k per project
- Enterprise Clustering Projects – the scheme is designed to stimulate enterprise clustering and support the further growth of established industry clusters regionally; by sector and nationally with funding up to €350k per project
To support the development of these projects, the Minister also launched a Feasibility Fund of up to €15k per eligible project. This is intended to support projects to develop and submit high calibre applications for Strategic Change and Regional Strengthening Projects.
Announcing the opening of the third call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to announce the third call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, which is worth €45 million.
“This Fund is about creating sustainable jobs in the regions. It’s different to other initiatives because it supports projects with regional impact, rather than having a county level focus.
“Collaboration is central to the Fund. It encourages regional stakeholders, both public and private sector, to work together and bring forward initiatives that build on each region’s strengths, whether that’s food, pharma, the bioeconomy or anything else.
“Crucially, the Fund will help build Brexit resilience and supports the vision of the nine new Regional Enterprise Plans, which I launched earlier this year. The Plans take a 'ground up' approach to maximise business development and job creation in every part of the country.”
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland “The Regional Enterprise Development Fund is an effective mechanism of supporting regional development. Following a rigorous evaluation process, the first and second call provided funding totalling €60m which funded 38 feasibility projects and 42 large scale projects in locations across the country. We again anticipate strong interest in this third call and look forward to working with regional stakeholders on innovative proposals to build scale at a regional level. The call is open for applications from today and closes at 15.00 on 25th September 2019.”
‘Powering the Regions’
The Minister today also launched Enterprise Ireland’s new regional plan ‘Powering the Regions’ as part of its overall corporate strategy to build scale and expand the reach of Irish exporting businesses. The publication supports the nine Regional Enterprise Plans recently launched by the Minister. It sets out the development of an overarching National Plan which is underpinned by nine Enterprise Ireland Region specific plans to grow and sustain jobs, and to expand the reach of the Enterprise Ireland client base in every county and region in Ireland.
The plan proposes six new national initiatives which aims to futureproof the regions through enhanced productivity and resilience, drive new entrepreneurship, develop urban centres of growth, support the expansion of scaling companies into the regions and attract foreign direct investment in the food sector.
Working in partnership with regional stakeholders it will see Enterprise Ireland maximise its investment through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund to strengthen regional infrastructure and drive the growth of businesses across Ireland.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “Powering the Regions is Enterprise Ireland’s response to recent Government Regional Initiatives including the Future Jobs Ireland framework, the Regional Assemblies, Regional Enterprise Plans and Project Ireland 2040. The successful implementation of the ‘Powering the Regions’ plan will underpin the national strategies and deliver stronger regional enterprises, that provide sustainable employment opportunities and local prosperity as well as making an even greater contribution to Ireland’s economic growth and international impact.”
Details of the competitive process for the third call for applications for the Regional Enterprise Development Fund are available on www.enterprise-ireland.com/REDF.
Enterprise Ireland’s new regional plan ‘Powering the Regions’ can be found here.
Note to Editors:
The original REDF scheme launched under two separate calls in 2017 and 2018 supported 38 Feasibility and 42 main stream projects with funding of approximately €60m in locations across every region in Ireland.
Examples of these projects include:
- Large scale food incubation and research space through Bia Innovator Campus in Athenry
- An extension to the successful Portershed Incubation Centre in Galway City.
- An expansion of the Ludgate project in Skibbereen through a new premise and a series of outreach projects covering West Cork
- Boyne Valley Food Hub in Navan;
- The Irish Bioeconomy Pilot facility in Lisheen in Tipperary, which re-purposed part of the former Lisheen Mine site as a national centre for Bioeconomy research.
- Emerald Aviation Cluster in the Mid-West/West is a cluster of 15 sub-supply companies in the aerospace and aviation sector who formed a single branded entity to promote the capability of this group of indigenous companies’ members as one entity to enable them to compete for larger scale projects with Bombardier; Airbus and other large aircraft manufacturers.
About Future Jobs Ireland
Future Jobs Ireland 2019, is the first in a series of annual reports as part of a multi-annual framework. Future Jobs Ireland outlines longer-term ambitions for the future of the economy out until 2025 taking account of the challenges ahead. Each year, Future Jobs Ireland will set out the steps to deliver on the ambitions with the ultimate goal of increasing the resilience of our economy and future-proofing it.
Each of the Five Pillars of Future Jobs Ireland has high level targets for 2025. Future Jobs Ireland includes 26 ambitions which contain 127 deliverables (actions) for completion in 2019. Each deliverable has a quantifiable output, a lead Department and timeframe.
In terms of implementation, Future Jobs Ireland will be a standing agenda item overseen by Cabinet Committee A. Progress on deliverables will be reported quarterly to the Senior Official Group. Biannually, more detailed progress reports will be made to Government and subsequently published.
Key deliverables for 2019 under each pillar include:
Pillar 1: Embracing Innovation and Technological Change
- Deliver important policy initiatives including an Industry 4.0 Strategy, a National Digital Strategy, and a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy
- Form Top Teams to progress areas of opportunity for Ireland beginning with Artificial Intelligence, GovTech and Offshore Renewables
- Develop Ireland as a centre for developing and testing new technologies by, for example:
- extending the EI/IDA Irish Manufacturing Research Additive Manufacturing technology centre to include cobotics and AR/VR,
- progressing the Advanced Manufacturing Centre,
- expanding the Tyndall National Institute,
- commencing the development of a National Centre of Excellence on High Performance and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings
- commencing the development of a National Design Centre
- With NESC, develop a strategy for Transition Teams to help the transition of vulnerable enterprises and workers
Pillar 2: Improving SME Productivity
- Deliver a new female entrepreneurship strategy
- Develop a new investment funding facility to assist indigenous Irish companies in scaling their businesses
- Encourage the growth of clusters where enterprises can grow and help each other and deepen linkages between foreign and Irish owned businesses
- Increase the impact of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and increase SME take-up of Enterprise Ireland (EI) and LEO productivity supports
- Drive productivity growth in the construction and retail sectors
Pillar 3: Enhancing Skills and Developing and Attracting Talent
- Offer career advice to workers through the Public Employment Service
- Engrain lifelong learning and offer career enhancing opportunities to workers
- Ensure our economic migration system is responsive to our labour market needs
- Promote flexible training options
- Provide training in emerging technologies
Pillar 4: Increasing Participation in the Labour Force
- Conduct a national consultation on extending flexible working options
- Develop guidelines for employers on flexible working options
- Develop a return to work service (e.g. for women returning to the workplace) as part of the Public Employment Service
- Improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities
- Provide incentives for people who wish to work longer
Pillar 5: Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy
- Position Ireland as a centre in research, development and innovation, for smart grids, buildings and renewable technologies
- Review the regional dimension of the economic and employment implications of the transition to a low carbon economy
- Promote electric vehicles and achieve over 10,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of the year
- Deliver a national deep retrofit programme for existing housing stock.
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