The Department’s Regional Enterprise Plans are developed by regional stakeholders and focus on undertaking collaborative initiatives that can help realise enterprise growth and job creation 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 garner added value and increased impact through regional and local actors working collaboratively on vulnerabilities and new enterprise development opportunities in the regions.
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 chaired by a senior level private sector businessperson.
The Department has put in place funding to support regional enterprise development through Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Border Enterprise Development Fund and Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme allocating a total of over €126 million across 79 enterprise strengthening projects in every region over a series of competitive calls since 2017.
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy, and Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English, 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.
The first set of Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 were launched in early 2019 and built on the success of the previous Regional Action Plans for Jobs which were in operation up to the end of 2018.
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024
The outgoing Regional Enterprise Plans (REPs) concluded at the end of 2020. Final Progress Reports from the nine Steering Committees show that the model has impact and that actions delivered are complementary and add value to the mainstream interventions of the enterprise agencies and other bodies working to enable enterprise development at a regional level.
The new Plans to 2024 build on the first iteration of the REPs and each Steering Committee has a clear mandate to deliver a new Plan to 2024 that would:
- 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 Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 has for the first time been done in parallel with the creation of Ireland’s forthcoming new Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3). The stakeholder consultation events undertaken as part of the development of these Regional Enterprise Plans has acted as an entrepreneurial discovery process which has contributed valuable insights to the S3 for Ireland.
The Regional Enterprise Plans and Initiatives Unit within the Department will oversee the implementation of the new Plans at national level, while roll-out of the process in each region will be driven on the ground by the existing Regional Steering Committees, assisted by Programme Managers appointed by the Local Authorities in each region.
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 – Chairpersons
Richard Hanlon: Chief Commercial Officer, Aon Cyber Solutions
Seamus Hughes: General Manager and Director of 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: Chair, Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Group
Susan Spence: Co-founder and President SoftCo
Patricia Quane: Retired VP and General Manager 2020 - Astellas Ireland
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 - Programme Managers
View all Regional Enterprise Plans