Digital Transition Fund / Ciste Trasdula Digiteach
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.
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 Offer||Support 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 Offer||Support 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 Offer||Support 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.
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.
Environmental Compliance and Do No Significant Harm
Selected projects must comply with relevant EU and national environmental legislation and in particular with the ‘Do no significant harm’ Technical Guidance (2021/C58/01). Specifically the following projects are not eligible:
- activities related to fossil fuels, including downstream use1;
- activities under the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) achieving projected greenhouse gas emissions that are not lower than the relevant benchmarks2;
- activities related to waste landfills, incinerators3 and mechanical biological treatment plants4; and
- activities where the long-term disposal of waste may cause harm to the environment.
1 Except projects under this measure in power and/or heat generation, as well as related transmission and distribution infrastructure, using natural gas, that are compliant with the conditions set out in Annex III of the ‘Do no significant harm’ Technical Guidance (2021/C58/01).
2 Where the activity supported achieves projected greenhouse gas emissions that are not substantially lower than the relevant benchmarks an explanation of the reasons why this is not possible should be provided. Benchmarks established for free allocation for activities falling within the scope of the Emissions Trading System, as set out in the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/447.
3This exclusion does not apply to actions under this measure in plants exclusively dedicated to treating non-recyclable hazardous waste, and to existing plants, where the actions under this measure are for the purpose of increasing energy efficiency, capturing exhaust gases for storage or use or recovering materials from incineration ashes, provided such actions under this measure do not result in an increase of the plants’ waste processing capacity or in an extension of the lifetime of the plants; for which evidence is provided at plant level.
4 This exclusion does not apply to actions under this measure in existing mechanical biological treatment plants, where the actions under this measure are for the purpose of increasing energy efficiency or retrofitting to recycling operations of separated waste to compost bio-waste and anaerobic digestion of bio-waste, provided such actions under this measure do not result in an increase of the plants’ waste processing capacity or in an extension of the lifetime of the plants; for which evidence is provided at plant level.
Enquires on this Fund should be directed to your agency advisor or to firstname.lastname@example.org