Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD and
Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen TD today (29
th May) launched a new Regional Enterprise Development Fund of up to €60m.
This competitive funding has been provided by the Department of Jobs,
through Enterprise Ireland and is a key action to support the Regional
Action Plan for Jobs and the Action Plan for Rural Development. The Fund is
aimed at accelerating economic recovery in every part of the country by
delivering on the potential of local and regional enterprise strengths. The
Fund will support significant collaborative regional initiatives to build
on specific industry sectoral strengths and improve enterprise capability,
thereby driving job creation.
Under a competitive process, Enterprise Ireland is now seeking applications
for funding under four streams with varying investment levels:
1. Major Change Projects - €2m up to €5m per project,
2. Regionally Significant Projects - €250,000 up to €2m per project,
3. Local & Community Enterprise Development Projects - €50,000 up to
€250,000 per project,
4. Industry Clusters - €50,000 up to €250,000 per project.
Competitive feasibility funding to support the development of high quality
regional projects is also available as part of this initiative.
Launching the Fund, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said, “The
Regional Action Plans aim to ensure that regional Ireland gets its fair
share of economic growth and investment. I want to see collaborative
projects that will boost the regions by supporting enterprise and creating
jobs. Through this fund, I am delighted to be backing local stakeholders to
drive their own futures by putting forward their own innovative proposals
to deliver sustainable employment.”
Also speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Employment and Small
Business Pat Breen TD said, “Unlocking opportunity in regional Ireland is
essential to underpin the future performance of our indigenous companies
who are making a huge contribution to the recovery. We know that a
one-size-fits-all approach to developing regions won’t work. We want to
invest in the unique strengths of each region in the drive to maximise
employment and value add to the Irish economy.”
Commenting on the Fund, Minister of State for Skills and Training John
Halligan TD said, “This Fund will help to ensure the benefits of our
growing economy are felt in every region. Harnessing the talent of people
in the regions, linking enterprises to the third level sector, keeping
entrepreneurs connected, supporting innovation, and putting in place
various development programmes for our companies is something we must keep
CEO of Enterprise Ireland Julie Sinnamon said, “Supporting Enterprise
development is a key role of Enterprise Ireland. This fund will provide an
important infrastructural mechanism to drive growth in developing
enterprise in every region. The fund will also support the development of
industry clusters which will facilitate knowledge transfer, innovation and
collaboration among organisations. These are important drivers of
enterprise growth and job creation, and we look forward to supporting more
regionally-based companies through this initiative.”
The Regional Action Plans for Jobs seek to build on the strengths and
opportunities in each region and to build a regional ecosystem including a
diversity of companies and sectors, sectoral clusters, a spirit of
innovation and collaboration, a good physical and digital infrastructure
and appropriate research and technology capability.
Details of the competitive process are available on Enterprise Ireland’s
The closing date for applications is 18th August 2017.
Notes for Editors
For further information contact – Conor O’ Donovan, Communications Officer,
Enterprise Ireland 01-7272000.
The Regional Action Plan for Jobs (RAPJ) initiative, 2015-2017, is working
to promote regional job creation by bringing stakeholders in each of 8
regions together to deliver innovative and practical actions to boost job
creation in the regions.
To complement the RAPJ process, Enterprise Ireland, with the support of
DJEI, is launching a competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund of up
to €60million to grow and sustain jobs across the regions.
This competitive funding is aimed at accelerating economic recovery in
every part of the country by delivering on the potential of local and
Funding of up to €60m will be available over a period of four years to 2020
A maximum of up to 80% is available for projects, with the balance to be
leveraged from the private, community or public sector.
The Fund will support major new collaborative and innovative initiatives
that can make a significant impact on enterprise development in the
region/across regions or nationally to build the unique USP capabilities to
grow the regions. This will be achieved by co-financing the development and
implementation of collaborative and innovative projects that can sustain
and add to employment at a national; regional, county and community level.
The overarching aim of this Fund is to drive enterprise development and job
creation in each region throughout Ireland. Projects must be impactful,
with the principal impact being jobs.
A feasibility grant of up to €22,500 or 50% of eligible costs (whichever is
the lesser) can be offered to help promoters develop projects for
progression and consideration.
The Applicant will be not for profit entities that have already, or propose
to, set up a distinct legal entity that comprise national/regional, county
and local stakeholders, with a purpose of benefiting the wider needs of the
community and region/nation as defined in the four streams outlined below.
Applicants can be promoted by private or public organisations, which for
example might include:
· Higher Education Institutes
· Semi State Commercial bodies
· Local Enterprise Development Groups
· Local Authorities
Composition of Fund
The fund will consist of 4 streams, as follows:
Stream 1: Major Regional Change Projects
Investment of €2m up to €5m per project (min of 20% to be leveraged from
the private, community or public sector) for major initiatives with high
impact on enterprise development of the region and ability to create jobs
–Hubs in Design; Med Devices; Fintech, Agri-tech; Food; etc.
Stream 2: Regionally Significant Change Projects
Investment of €250,000 up to €2m per project (min. of 20% to be leveraged
from the private, community or public sector) for initiatives with high
impact at regional/multi-regional level; e.g.
–Developing e-working centres;
–Stimulating the development of SME outreach from 3rd level;
–Projects to accelerate start ups
Stream 3: Local & Community Enterprise Development Initiative
Investment of €50,000 up to €250,000 per project (min of 20% to be
leveraged from the private, community or public sector) to stimulate the
development of community based enterprises & networks that can grow and
sustain jobs in their area/county/region. E.g.
– Start Up/Scaling Academies
– Local Networks/ Consortia to deliver sectoral growth
– Addressing sectoral challenges around Green, Energy, Digital,
Stream 4: Industry Clusters
Investment of €50,000 up to €250,000 per project (min of 50% to be
leveraged from the private, community or public sector) to maximize the
benefits of collaborative opportunities through industry clusters (both
established and new).
Industry Clusters initiatives are defined as structures or organised groups
of independent parties (at least five companies) designed to stimulate
innovative activity through promotion, sharing of facilities and exchange
of knowledge and expertise and by contributing effectively to knowledge
transfer, networking, information dissemination and collaboration among the
undertakings and other organisations in the industry cluster.