News & Events

Twenty-one regional projects win €30.5m in competitive funding from Enterprise Ireland

Minister Humphreys announces winners of first Regional Enterprise Development Fund call

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today announced the results of the first round of the new €60m competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund.

Twenty-one successful applicants representing all regions of the country have secured up to €30.5m for their projects in the first competitive call. Over €14m has been approved for projects in the southern region, over €11m for projects in the eastern and midlands region and over €5m has been approved for the northern and western region, subject to grant conditions.

The Fund, which is an open national competitive call to support regional projects, is provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland and is a key action to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs and the Action Plan for Rural Development.

Announcing the successful Regional Enterprise Development Fund applicants at Irish Manufacturing Research in Mullingar, Minister Humphreys said: “In this year’s Action Plan for Jobs, we made the decision to place a specific focus on strengthening the rural and regional economy. To stimulate regional growth as we move towards 2020, we announced a €60 million competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund over two calls.

“Our aim was to provide financial support for organisations set up specifically to bring together stakeholders on projects that will benefit the local community, the region or nationally. The successful applicants include an exciting range of projects which will develop strong entrepreneurial or innovation ecosystems, encourage clusters of similar businesses, or develop specific sectors where there is the potential for competitive advantage.

“Twenty-one collaborative projects from all over the country will receive an offer of €30.5 million investment by Government and I am delighted to announce that the Irish Manufacturing Research group here in Mullingar is one of the projects which has received an offer of funding. This Fund allows us to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs, helping to drive growth in key sectors or geographies across the country, particularly in the context of Brexit. We are backing local and regional stakeholders to drive the future of their own communities by supporting their innovative proposals which will help to deliver job creation and sustainable employment.”

Under a competitive call process, Enterprise Ireland sought applications for funding under four streams with varying investment levels:

Stream 1. Major Change Projects - €2m up to €5m per project

Stream 2. Regionally Significant Projects - €250,000 up to €2m per project

Stream 3. Local & Community Enterprise Development Projects - €50,000 up to €250,000 per project

Stream 4. Industry Clusters - €50,000 up to €250,000 per project.

Following a rigorous evaluation process, 21 successful applicants are being offered funding of €30.5m. These include a spread of projects across the regions, with 14 funded in Streams 1 and 2, and 7 in Streams 3 and 4. The balance of the €60m fund will be made available in the second call which will open for applications in March 2018.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, said: “As a Government we need to continually challenge ourselves on how to create jobs outside of the main cities. That’s exactly what this fund does. It will directly support innovative projects in our regions and, in doing so, help to create rural jobs. By creating jobs in rural Ireland we can convince young people to live in rural areas. I wish the successful applicants every success and urge companies in our regions to consider applying for the second round of funding early next year.

“The jobs recovery is finally spreading into the regions. In the last twelve months, four out five jobs created were outside Dublin and the live register figures in all of our regions are heading in the right direction. But there’s still a long way to go and no room for complacency. I look forward to working with Minister Humphreys on more regional jobs initiatives.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland added: “Supporting regional enterprise development and working with businesses to achieve their global ambition is a key focus of Enterprise Ireland. This competitive fund was launched at the end of May and attracted very strong interest. The winners were selected through a stringent evaluation process based on criteria which included impacts and value for money, collaboration and participation, viability and sustainability, building regional strengths and significance for innovation. The second call opens in March 2018 and we expect to see a similar level of interest from new applicants as well as applications from some first-round applicants who may wish to reapply. We look forward to supporting more regionally-based projects as they support business growth through this exciting, regionally-focused initiative.”

Barry Kennedy, CEO, Irish Manufacturing Research said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this significant regional investment which will support the development of technologies to enable people with conditions such as autism or physical disabilities engage successfully in the workplace. As a group of manufacturing researchers, this is an initiative that we are proud to be part of.”

Details of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund are available on Enterprise Ireland’s website


Photographs will be issued by Fennell Photography this morning (01-6689766)

For further information, contact:

Conor O’ Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland 01-7272912 or 087 9671342

Marie McMahon, Press Office, Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200 or 0871255572

Notes to Editor:

Enterprise Ireland Regional Enterprise Development Fund - Projects Approved and Project Description

Stream 1


Applicant Name (per Application  Form)

Nature of Application

Stream One applications to support major regional, multi-regional or national sectoral initiative grants of €2m up to €5m per project in funding towards capital and current costs. These initiatives should be focused on achieving defined enterprise development outputs and impacts.


Irish Manufacturing Research CLG

Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) is a not for profit CLG company that was formed in 2014 with the mission to facilitate significant growth and job creation in the Irish manufacturing sector. It does this by developing and commercialising next generation manufacturing technologies, deemed critical by Irish companies, through a collaborative industrial engagement business model. The Regional Enterprise Development Fund will develop in the region a significant and important research and development capability in the areas of Collaborative Robotics and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality. IMR will do this in partnership with Industry such as Kuka, Pilz, National Cobotics Steering Group and with our close Academic Partners from I-FORM, UCD and International foundation Smartlabs/VR First/An Saol.


RDI Hub Company Limited by Guarantee

RDI Hub is a major change initiative located in the Southwest, with national impact and global reach. RDI Hub will a) develop a sustainable pioneering world-class Digital Innovation Hub and Living Lab ecosystem to forge new paths for economic growth and accelerated job creation and b)   build on Southwest regional strengths to establish its USP as a globally connected Financial Services, Innovation enterprise and skills hotspot.


Dublin Enterprise & Technology Centre

The Dublin Enterprise & technology Centre (GEC2)   gives physical expression to government policy in support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing a world-class enterprise and co-working centre of excellence for start-ups.


AgriTech Centre of Excellence CLG

The development of a Global AgriTech Centre of Excellence with the objective of positioning Ireland at the forefront of the  international AgriTech Industry.


BIA Innovator Campus CLG

BIA Innovator Campus is a step change project that   will transform the food entrepreneurship landscape in the West of Ireland by realising a dynamic food and drink innovation centre creating 360 jobs within 3 years in 40+ businesses while unlocking far reaching innovation ecosystem   benefits.


Irish Bioeconomy foundation CLG

Development of a state-of-the-art National Bioeconomy Innovation & Piloting Facility encompassing flexible, modular, pilot-scale multi-purpose chemical & biological infrastructure.


Ghala DAC

Development of a new innovation centre at the Tower @ TTEC, located beside Grand Canal Dock in central Dublin.

 All project approvals are subject to Enterprise Ireland grant conditions.

Stream 2


Applicant Name (per Application Form)

Nature of Application

Stream Two applications to support significant county, regional or multi-regional sectoral and or enterprise initiative grants of €250k up to €2mper project in funding towards capital and current costs. These projects should be focused on delivery of defined enterprise development outputs and impacts. 


Three-D (Design Develop Disseminate) DAC

Three-D project initiative is about creating a 3D Manufacturing facility in the southeast that will provide: Advanced manufacturing training to industry employees, AM exposure to undergraduate students, develop standards for additive manufacturing, and provide product development support.


Donegal Digital Innovation Company

Create an innovation ecosystem in Inishowen, Co Donegal, by delivering a 3-year enterprise capacity building programme, based on cross-fertilising the peninsula’s location factors, high tech skillsets, applied research potential in traditional sectors focused   around a new Inishowen Digital Innovation Hub.


InsurTech Network Centre

INC (InsurTech Network Centre) is a sector specific enterprise development centre that will provide business development services to support the creation and commercialisation of technology solutions to the global insurance services sector, including the delivery of business development programmes, technology transfer services, and providing work spaces for entrepreneurs and related services including   inter alia training, mentoring, peer to peer collaboration.


Leitrim County Enterprise Fund Ltd

Development of a network of three Digital and Innovation Hubs in Counties Leitrim, Cavan and Longford.


Cork Urban Enterprises CLG

The project is to develop the Northside for Business Campus to become the driving centre for enterprise growth and enhance the capacity of the Northside for Business Initiative to build enterprise capacity across the north side of Cork City, the greater metropolitan area and region, and in the case of two of the proposed objectives - nationally.


Kildare Community Network Co Ltd

The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) is a new build project to cluster Irish and international new-technology companies, and provide mentorship and support in   Naas County Kildare.


Social & Local Enterprise   Alliance DAC

This project, titled ‘The Edge’ is a dynamic new approach to the establishing, hosting, inspiration and empowerment of creative, innovative and artisan start-ups in South Dublin County creating a full-on and fertile enterprise experience for a new age of entrepreneur.

All project approvals are subject to Enterprise Ireland grant conditions.

Stream 3


Applicant Name (per Application Form)

Nature of Application

Stream Three applications for local and community enterprise initiative grants of €50k up to €250k per project in funding towards capital and current costs. These projects should be focused at a local, county or regional initiative that have defined metrics for enterprise development in the area. 


Monaghan County Enterprise Fund Food

Development of a Regional Food Centre of Excellence and a range of Food Product development supports, Test and Training kitchen facility, creating collaborations in the food sector regionally, fostering entrepreneurial growth and creating jobs in rural Co. Monaghan



SDH will explicitly target local entrepreneurs and SMEs, both those wanting to use SDH premises as a location;   and people in the area needing business support. It will also target at least one hub-working employer to establish a base in the premises (7-10 desks target) – while retaining its focus on the Start-up & micro SME sector.



A Community Enterprise Job Creation Initiative with three Main Pillars, IOT, Animation and Film/Music to create 200+ well-paid jobs in Dingle in the next 5 years.

All project approvals are subject to Enterprise Ireland grant conditions

Stream 4


Applicant Name (per Application Form)

Nature of Application

Stream Four applications  to support significant Industry Clustering initiatives with grants of €50k up to €250kper project in funding towards current costs. These projects should support industry-led groups to maximise the benefits of collaborative opportunities where the results of the activity will have some identifiable and measurable impact on their business. 


Emerald Aero Cluster CLG

Emerald Aero Cluster aims to develop Ireland and the Mid West region as a hub for global aerospace manufacturing excellence resulting in the creation of an additional €20m worth of additional export revenues over the next three years. This increase in revenue will result in the creation of 200 new direct jobs. Emerald Aero Cluster Group is a cluster of 14 indigenous manufacturing companies, brought together with the specific purpose of increasing Aerospace manufacturing export revenues for members and aerospace business for the Republic of Ireland.



It@cork is a leading industry-led, not for profit business organisation. It is a cluster development initiative for the ICT sector in Cork. A cluster manager will steward IT@Cork’s member companies to foster collaboration between companies and organisations and increase participation with one another and the broader region as a whole. There are over 200 member companies from a variety of sectors including companies   from the hardware and software sectors, customer support companies, financial institutions consultancy firms, state promotion agencies, local government and academia.



To develop KerrySciTech as a catalytic cluster for the growth of science and technology jobs in Kerry and furthering its successful evolution by implementing innovative and collaborative initiatives as an industry led & demand driven value creating cluster for the region.


BPO Cluster Ireland CLG

BPO Cluster Ireland was set up to bring together key indigenous Business Processor Outsourcers (BPOs) to form a cluster group to actively promote the BPO sector in Ireland. This is a cluster development initiative focused on scaling the sector and growing turnover and employment. This cluster has the opportunity to seize emerging opportunities by collaborating together in a formal and structured way.

All project approvals are subject to Enterprise Ireland grant conditions.