Operational Excellence Offer

Supporting the Transformation of Irish Business


To help Irish companies stay ahead of the competition in a rapidly evolving business landscape Enterprise Ireland has introduced the Operational Excellence Offer. The aim of the offer is to support established companies (SME and Large) to address their competitive challenges and growth opportunities through a transformation project that would include investment in:

  • Digital Process Innovation: the implementation of new and innovative production, delivery or organisational methods
  • Capital equipment, including investment in digitalisation
  • Capability building through training in Lean, Leadership, Innovation and Digitalisation

The identifiable project around which the growth plan is structured should involve a significant change in how the company does business and should not be focused on routine operational changes. Examples could include:

  • Production Line Redesign
    a manufacturing company investing in new equipment and integrated software systems to implement a new production method using lean principles and training of staff;
  • Process Restructure
    a services company providing bespoke creative design services implementing a new production method, involving new standardised process design, automation of parts of the process and training of staff in lean principles;
  • Supply Chain Management
    company implementing new methods of doing business with suppliers and partners, including investment in new equipment, software development and training of management and staff.
Under Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) (2021-2026), projects supporting the digital and climate transition of enterprise are being funded through the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. This covers projects that will:
- facilitate emissions reductions, or
- support the digital transformation of the company, driving increased adoption and diffusion of digital technology
Funded by the European Union

Am I eligible?

You are eligible to apply for an Operational Excellence Offer Grant if you are a client of Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta and meet the following criteria:

  • employ 10 or more full time people (or full time equivalent) in the State at the time of application
  • have been incorporated and trading for at least 5 years at the date of application
  • have sustainable annual revenues of at least €500K and are EBITDA positive in previous accounting period or; for at least the previous nine months prior to application and can demonstrate sustainable future EBITDA

EBIDTA negative companies may apply for funding on applications up to €150k expenditure but applicants must display sufficient level of financial resources to undertake and implement the project and realise the commercial benefits.


What expenditures can be supported?

Enterprise Ireland’s Operational Excellence Offer supports the redesign of your business model to increase competitiveness in order to enhance your market positioning and achieve growth in new markets and industries. The Offer supports new investment as follows:

CategoriesGrant RatesExpenditure Items
Capital Assets10%-35%New/Second Hand Equip, Computers/Software Licenses
Digital Process Innovation50%Salaries, Overheads, Travel & Subsistence, Consultancy, Certification Testing, Materials
Training & Management Development50%-70%External/Internal Trainer Costs, Trainee Salary Costs, Staff Travel & Subsistence, External Course Fees

See Company Guidelines for specific expenditure details. Note that it is normal Enterprise Ireland policy to limit the Digital Process Innovation grant to €150k.


How do I apply?

Applications may be submitted at any time.

The content, scope and size of the Operational Excellence project should be discussed and agreed with your Development Adviser in advance of beginning your application process.

The required documentation for a full and formal application includes:

  1. Application Form 1 of 3 Business Plan (Word format)
  2. Application Form 2 of 3 Project Plan (Word format)
  3. Application Form 3 of 3 Costs Workbook (Excel format)
  4. Financial Data Sheet (FDS) (Excel format) for applications where grant sought is >= €150k
  5. Projected Monthly Cash Flows covering the next twelve months. It can be provided in the relevant section of the FDS or separately
  6. The company’s own full financial projections (on which the FDS projections are based)
  7. The latest signed Audited accounts including notes (the key figures should correspond to the submitted FDS) and Consolidated Accounts if part of a Group structure
  8. Latest Management Accounts (P&L and Balance Sheet)
  9. Organisation Chart and Group Structure

Operational Excellence applications are formally submitted via email. Completed application forms and documents are to be submitted to Grant Applications (GA) via email to GA@enterprise-ireland.com.

The Start date of the project is the date of receipt of a valid application. Any costs incurred by the company prior to this date will be deemed ineligible.

Following receipt of your full application Enterprise Ireland will evaluate the project in terms of:

  • Commercial value and contribution to the achievement of the business strategy
  • Technical eligibility and approach
  • Company’s financial stability and ability to fund the proposed project
  • Market analysis and customer validation

When this is complete, an investment proposal will be prepared for consideration by Enterprise Ireland's Investment Committee.

Following a successful approval, a formal letter of offer will be issued detailing the associated terms and conditions and outlining how payment will be made.


Key contact/more information

If you are an Enterprise Ireland client, contact your Enterprise Ireland Adviser to discuss your expansion plans. If your company does not have a Development Adviser, contact your nearest Enterprise Ireland regional office.

Enquiries relating to the submission of your application can be directed to:

Financial Products Helpdesk

+353 1 727 2799