Digital Transition Fund / Ciste Trasdula Digiteach

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As part of Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan and funded by the European Union, the Digital Transition Fund will drive transformative digitalisation of enterprise in Ireland, particularly amongst SMEs. The fund will help companies at all stages of their digitalisation journey.

Objectives of the Fund

The key objective of the Digital Transition Fund is to drive a step change in the digital transition of Irish business as a key driver of sustainable productivity.

The widespread availability of advanced digital technologies to enterprises of all sizes is causing a wave of innovation in product design and customer services, leading to market disruptions in all sectors as the most innovative enterprises find new ways to create customer value through digital business models. This digital wave will cause many businesses to fall behind the digital innovators and the disruption may have serious impacts on existing business models and could threaten their future survival.

This Fund will be used to help companies at all stages of their digital journey – from going online to digitalisation of products and business operations, to using digital technologies to develop new markets and business models.

Approach

The fund has been designed in the first instance to raise awareness of the value of the digital transition across Irish enterprise.

A new Digital Portal will be developed under this fund which will enable companies to assess their digital readiness and will be used to signpost to eco-system supports for digitalisation. The Digital Portal will be used to highlight the opportunities and the enterprise supports available for Digitalisation, including those funded as part of the Digital Transition Fund and others (such as the LEO Trading Online Voucher, Online Retail Scheme and LEO Digital Start programmes).

Further supports are in development in conjunction with the Digital Transition Fund including a network of Digital Innovation Hubs to be launched later in 2022.

The fund will also be used to provide direct grant support to industry. The grant supports available for this first call for projects are detailed below.

Grant funding to industry

The fund will be used to provide grant aid to eligible companies to assist their digital transition across a range of project types to address different aspects of transition. This list will be reviewed and is expected to change in future calls and as new supports become available.

The eligibility for each grant support depends on the company size and level of exporting.

(a) Companies who have 10 or more full time employees and are engaged either in manufacturing or are trading internationally in an eligible services industry. This includes but is not limited to client companies of Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta or Local Enterprise Office client companies with 10 or more full time employees.

Grant OfferSupport Available
Digital Discovery: consultancy grant to develop a digital strategy and roadmap.Up to €5,000 grant for 7 days consultancy. Grant rate of 80% of eligible costs.
Digital Process Innovation: project grant to implement new lean-digital processes in the business covering production, delivery or organisational methods.Grant rate of up to 50% of eligible costs. Typical maximum support of €150k.

(b) Client companies of Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta only.

Grant OfferSupport Available
Strategic Consultancy:consultancy grant to assist with strategic digital transition initiatives.Grant rates of up to 50-80% of eligible costs. Typical maximum support of €35k
Exploring Innovation: grant is to support planning of research, development or innovation projects.Grant rate of up to 50% of eligible costs. Typical maximum support of €35k.
Digital Marketing Capability:training grant to develop in-house digital marketing capability.Grant rate of up to 50% of eligible costs. Typical maximum support of €35k.
Research & Development: project grant to develop new or significantly improved digital products, services or processes.Grant rates depend on project type and company size.
Operational Excellence:larger support package incl process innovation, training in leadership and lean processes as well as capital support for production equipment.  Note that capital support is for SMEs only.Grant rates of up to 10-30% for Capital Assets, up to 50% (up to €150,000) for implementation and up to 70% for training, dependent on company size and location and project impacts.

(c) Client companies of the Local Enterprise Offices as well as client companies of Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Grant OfferSupport Available
Agile Innovation: projects focused on digital innovation could include for instance the addition of sensors, automation or other intelligent systems (including AI) as part of the development of new or substantially improved digitised products, services or processes.Grant rate of up to 50% of eligible costs.
Typical maximum support of €150k.

Funding Criteria

All projects supported will be subject to existing State Aid Requirements as well as any specific grant offer conditions.

In addition, for each of the grant offers, a test will be applied to determine eligibility under the Digital Transition Fund based on the level of ‘Digital’ focus for the project.

Criteria to include:

  • Introduction of new or significantly enhanced digital technology platforms for company operations – including supply chain analysis, information management systems, digital customer support or marketing and/or,
  • Introduction of new or significantly enhanced digital experience for customers (digital products or services), and/or,
  • Introduction of new capabilities to the company in digitalisation or digital transformation

Climate impact – Do no Significant Harm

All projects supported under the Digital Transition Fund must comply with the ‘Do no significant harm’ Technical Guidance from the European Commission (2021/C58/01). Specifically:

  • The Fund will not be used to provide supports that lead to significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • The Fund will not be used to provide supports that will negatively impact on people, nature or assets.
  • The Fund will not be used to provide supports that will negatively impact on the sustainable use and protection of marine resources.
  • The Fund will not be used to support investments that will lead to significant inefficiencies in the use of materials or natural resources and the Programme will not lead to increased use of waste or inefficient use of waste.
  • The Fund will not be used to support investments that will lead to increased pollution in air, water, or land.

Further Information

Enquires on this Fund should be directed to your agency advisor or to  digitalisation@enterprise-ireland.com