Regional Technology Cluster Fund (RTCF)

What is the Regional Technology Cluster Fund?

Under Project Ireland 2040 Government identified an ambition to build sectoral clusters of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at regional level.

As one of the Government initiatives in this area, the Regional Technology Clustering fund (RTCF) was launched by Enterprise Ireland in 2019 which was open to the Institutes of Technology (IoT) / Technological Universities (TU).

Twelve Educational Outreach Managers have now been appointed in various Institutes of Technology (IoTs) and Technological Universities (TUs) across the landscape of Ireland. The Educational Outreach managers have been funded under Stream 1 of the Regional Technology Clustering Fund. Stream 2, funded their operational costs.

Connectivity with, and engagement between, enterprise and regionally based knowledge providers, such as the IoTs / TUs, drives productivity and competitiveness in and across regions.

Objectives of the Fund

Connectivity with, and engagement between, enterprise and regionally based knowledge providers, such as the IoTs / TUs, drives productivity and competitiveness in and across regions.

The objectives of the Educational Outreach Managers are to support:

  • IoTs / TUs to increase their engagement and connectivity with SMEs in particular, and industry generally, in line with their research and educational remit, thereby strengthening enterprise productivity.
  • The development of enterprise clustering in identified sectors/thematic areas, that consequently:
    • Fosters increased SME productivity;
    • Drives SME competitiveness; and
    • Supports internationalisation activity. 

Ongoing Activity

At Enterprise Ireland, we work with these twelve highly skilled Educational Outreach Managers on an ongoing basis to monitor how they are engaged with industry and are setting up appropriate collaboration projects.

Enterprise Ireland is gathering framework evidence of industry engagements, projects and training initiatives and the formulation of their corporate governance within these 12 clusters.

Each Educational Outreach Manager is sectorally aligned and have engaged with over 2,500 SMEs and MNCs since their appointment and have over 400 industry partners now signed up as full members of their Clusters, many of which sit on their steering groups.

All of the clusters activity is based on strategic workplans carefully considered to service industry requirements and make sure they are plugged into the ecosystem of support.


Profile of Clusters Funded by the Regional Technology Cluster Fund


TU Shannon_

Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) Midlands - Advanced Technologies in Manufacturing (ATiM) Cluster

The (ATiM) cluster aims to support SMEs to capitalise on the opportunities presented by digital technologies and sustainable manufacturing, maximising their productivity, competitiveness, internationalisation, and growth potential. This cluster addresses development of Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence and the application of TU results in Smart Supply Chains, Smart Factories, and Smart Products delivering new business models and opportunities.

ATU Connemara_

Atlantic Technological University Connemara - Wood Connect Cluster

This cluster will enable Ireland’s Wood Construction, Interiors and Wood Science sectors to scale rapidly and sustainably through: Improved competitiveness, productivity, and collaboration, Development and adoption of innovative technologies, Efficient creation of novel products and services, Enhanced access to talent, R&D capacities, and international supports. This cluster will also assist Ireland in achieving Irelands reduced carbon emission targets by promoting wood as a Sustainable material.


ATU Galway_MedTech Cluster

Atlantic Technological University Galway City – MedTech Cluster

This cluster is enabling SMEs in Ireland’s MedTech and Life Sciences sectors to scale rapidly through: Increased engagement in Research, Development and Innovation activities and the efficient creation of novel products and services; Capitalising on future trends, especially in Digital Health; Development and adoption of innovative technologies and Up-skilling and re-skilling of employees to address changes in the MedTech landscape and emerging trends.

IT Carlow_Engineering SE Cluster

Institute of Technology Carlow – Engineering the South East

This cluster is focusing on the development of an industry led engineering cluster to expand capability and competitiveness in SME’s in the South East of Ireland with the purpose of advancing engineering to drive a successful region by being connected, informed and engaged in collaboration with the regional Education & Training providers and other support agencies.


TU Dublin_Construction Cluster

Technological University (TU) Dublin - Construction Cluster Ireland

Construction is a strategically important sector for economic growth and employment in Ireland and Construction Cluster Ireland seeks to address current fragmentation with the development of the first national construction sector cluster, with an emphasis on the internationalisation of SMEs through skills development, technology enhancement, productivity and process improvement, sustainable development and knowledge transfer for SMEs.

MTU Kerry_Agri

Munster Technological University (MTU) Kerry – Agritech Ireland Cluster

Economies across the globe will be challenged to meet the rising need for food production. Industry has to become smarter through the use of technology to add value along our food supply chains. Irish Agritech companies will play an increasingly important role in these food supply chains and therefore there is a requirement for an Agritech Cluster to get well known SMEs in Agritech and key stakeholders to work together. The purpose of the cluster is to accelerate innovation and the multi-regional growth of the AgriTech industry in Ireland and internationally.


MTU Kerry_

Munster Technological University (MTU) Kerry – Circular Bio Economy Cluster South West

The purpose of the Circular Bioeconomy Cluster in the South West, is to take advantage of the disruption of circular (bio)economy by providing companies with access to key enabling technologies, and disruptive business models. The cluster is focusing on themes around Marine Bioeconomy and Waste to Value for its industry partners.


Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Sligo – Border Regional Manufacturing Cluster (BORMAC)

This cluster Initiative will increase the engagement and connectivity of the three border IoTs, Sligo, Dundalk and Letterkenny with (Counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth) manufacturing SMEs and micro/small companies in particular. They will drive collaboration, to strengthen productivity, competitiveness and internationalisation in this exposed manufacturing sector, which is facing the urgent issues of Brexit, internationalisation, automation/industry 4.0 and digitalisation, new technologies & the low carbon economy.

ATU Letterkenny_Killybegs

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Letterkenny – Killybegs Marine Cluster

The Killybegs Marine cluster is to help boost productivity, increase market share, enhance innovation, diversification of products for SMEs and look to harness the opportunities that the bountiful renewable energy resource off the North West coast presents. The cluster currently contains 19 Killybegs enterprises including marine engineering companies, ships builders /repairs, fish processing factories, marine equipment manufacturers, fishing vessels, and marine services companies.

TU Shannon_IDEAM

Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) Mid West- Irish Digital Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Cluster (IDEAM)

The IDEAM cluster is bringing together and support the growth of three individual networks, namely Limerick for Engineering, Limerick for IT and the Precision & Turned Parts Manufacturing Association (PTMA) through an overarching cluster, the purpose of which is to be a one-stop-shop for Manufacturing SMEs in all aspects of digital transformation. This cluster is engaging with over 75 Manufacturing SMEs, with over 420 employees engaged in up-skilling and innovation activities, to prepare those companies for opportunities in Digitalisation of Manufacturing.


MTU Cork_Cyber Security

Munster Technological University (MTU) Cork – Cyber Security Cluster – Cyber Ireland

This Cyber Security SME cluster is driving the development of indigenous cyber security SMEs, including a start-up ecosystem, and digitally dependent SMEs with a need for cyber security solutions at a national level, by fostering productivity, driving competitiveness and supporting internationalisation. They will leverage the connections with the industry sector through the national cyber security cluster organisation, Cyber Ireland.

Dundalk IT_

Dundalk Institute of Technology – Connected Health & Wellbeing Cluster

This cluster is developing a Connected Health & Wellbeing Industry Cluster in the North East capitalising on internationally recognised research, innovation and business development strengths and expertise at Dundalk Institute of Technology. The aim is to establish the North East as an exemplar region for research, innovation, design and production of cutting edge, responsive and market leading technologies that are relevant and profitable in the broader international public and private health and wellbeing marketplace.


For further information, please contact:

Gillian Slattery

Manager - Regional Technology Clustering Fund

Mid-West Office - Shannon

Enterprise Ireland

+353 61 777015

Gillian Slattery