The department’s Regional Enterprise Plans are developed by regional stakeholders and focus on undertaking collaborative initiatives that can help deliver enterprise growth in each of the nine regions across Ireland. They are an important part of the Programme for Government commitment to achieving more balanced regional enterprise development.
These ‘bottom-up’ Regional Enterprise Plans complement and build on core strategies of the enterprise agencies, the Local Enterprise Offices and the wider range of State bodies directly involved in supporting enterprise development in the regions. They aim to bring added value and increased impact through regional and local actors working collaboratively on vulnerabilities and new enterprise development opportunities across the country
Implementation of each Regional Enterprise Plan is overseen by a Regional Steering Committee comprising representatives of the Local Authorities, LEOs, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Regional Skills Forum, Higher and Further Education Institutes, Education and Training Boards, Regional Assemblies, private sector and others, and is chaired by a senior level private sector businessperson.
The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney and Ministers of State, Dara Calleary and Neale Richmond, lead on the Regional Enterprise Plans initiative nationally and jointly chair a National Oversight Group for the plans which enables sharing of best practice and collaboration opportunities across the regions.
Regional enterprise funding
The department has, through Enterprise Ireland, provided funding to assist regions to support enterprise activity, promote regional growth and create jobs.
Over €126 million in funding has been approved for 79 innovate enterprise projects through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Border Enterprise Development Fund, and Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme to drive enterprise development across all regions.
These funds enable significant collaborative and innovative regional projects and complement the Regional Enterprise Plans where they have served as an enabler for projects emerging from that regional collaborative process.
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024
The Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 seek to:
- complement and translate national enterprise policy in a regional context
- facilitate collaboration regionally to address prioritised ecosystem gaps and opportunities, and help achieve Agency and LEO investment and jobs targets in each region
- use collective insight and resources in each region, and available regional funding, to progress initiatives to enable enterprise growth and job creation in each region
Actions to address the following national policy challenges have been incorporated in the new Plans: enabling recovery and building enterprise resilience in the context of COVID-19 and other external shocks; the twin transition imperative for enterprises to digitalise and contribute to a carbon neutral economy; improving competitiveness through effective placemaking, including enabling flexible work patterns; and capitalising on existing and emerging sectoral strengths and capabilities through smart specialisation.
The development of the Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 was done in parallel with the creation of Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3). The stakeholder consultation events undertaken as part of the development of these Regional Enterprise Plans acted as an entrepreneurial discovery process which has contributed valuable insights to the S3 for Ireland.
The Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 were launched by the Tánaiste and both Ministers of State during February, March and April 2022.
The Regional Enterprise Plans and Initiatives Unit (REPIU) within the department oversees the implementation of the Regional Enterprise Plans at national level, while delivery in each region is driven on the ground by the Regional Steering Committee and Programme Manager.
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 – Chairpersons
Richard Hanlon: Retired Chief Commercial Officer, Aon Cyber Solutions
Seamus Hughes: Corporate Vice President International Affairs, Zeus Industrial Products (Ireland) Ltd
Evelyn O’Toole: Founder and CEO of Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS) Galway
Prof. Eamonn Murphy: Managing Director, Irish Centre for Business Excellence
Patsy Carney: Director, Kinetic Labs
Owen Brennan: Executive Chairman, Devenish Group
Dr Anne Cusack: Co-founder and former CEO Critical Healthcare
Susan Spence: Co-founder and President SoftCo
Patricia Quane: Retired VP and General Manager 2020 - Astellas Ireland
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 - Programme Managers