Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced that a further €45 million would be made available under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) at the recently opened Cavan Digital Hub (developed with the support of REDF) on the 24/06/2019.
The fund is an initiative of the Government under Project Ireland 2040 and aligns with the Department’s Future Jobs Ireland plan. The call is open for applications from 24-6-19 and closes on 25-9-19. The successful projects will be announced before the end of 2019.
Under a competitive process, applications are now sought for funding under three streams with varying investment levels:
- Strategic Change Projects – to support major collaborative initiatives with high impact on regional development with funding up to €5m per project
- Regional Strengthening Projects – designed to stimulate new local community based or regional initiatives to address identified gaps in the enterprise ecosystem with funding up to €500k per project
- Enterprise Clustering Projects – the scheme is designed to stimulate enterprise clustering and support the further growth of established industry clusters regionally; by sector and nationally with funding up to €350k per project
To support the development of these projects, the Minister also launched a Feasibility Fund of up to €15k per eligible project.
Dr John Hobbs, Senior lecturer and Project Manager for the Interreg Europe ecoRIS3 in the Cork Institute of Technology believes the call can further support cluster development in Ireland. “Call 3 of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund has learned from its predecessors. Under stream three the Government have increased both the grant amount to €350k per cluster and the grant rate financing up to 80% (from 50% in previous calls) of actual costs. These projects would allow industry-led groups which bring together the triple helix to apply for funding and support through the call. This is important for non high-tech MNC driven sectors (like agri-food for example where a large number of indigenous micro and SMEs will experience huge challenges in the face of Brexit) who didn’t have the combined resources to apply in previous calls. It is imperative however, that clustering is defined and co-ordinated at a national level to ensure continuity, similar programmes and survival of the most effective clusters across Ireland.”
Announcing the call Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to announce the third call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, which is worth €45 million. This Fund is about creating sustainable jobs in the regions. It’s different to other initiatives because it supports projects with regional impact, rather than having a county level focus.”
“Collaboration is central to the Fund. It encourages regional stakeholders, both public and private sector, to work together and bring forward initiatives that build on each region’s strengths, whether that’s food, pharma, the bioeconomy or anything else. Crucially, the Fund will help build Brexit resilience and supports the vision of the nine new Regional Enterprise Plans, which I launched earlier this year. The Plans take a 'ground up' approach to maximise business development and job creation in every part of the country.”
Image: L-R: Terence O’Rourke, Chairman, Enterprise Ireland; Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland; Minister Heather Humphreys TD and Mark Christal, Manager Regions and Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland at the REDF Launch 24-06-2019.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland “The Regional Enterprise Development Fund is an effective mechanism of supporting regional development. Following a rigorous evaluation process, the first and second call provided funding totalling €60m which funded 38 feasibility projects and 42 large scale projects in locations across the country. The call is open for applications from today and closes at 15.00 on 25th September 2019.”
At the REDF Call 3 launch the Minister also launched Enterprise Ireland’s new regional plan ‘Powering the Regions’ as part of its overall corporate strategy to build scale and expand the reach of Irish exporting businesses. It sets out the development of an overarching National Plan which is underpinned by nine Enterprise Ireland Region specific plans to grow and sustain jobs, and to expand the reach of the Enterprise Ireland client base in every county and region in Ireland.
The plan proposes six new national initiatives which aims to futureproof the regions through enhanced productivity and resilience, drive new entrepreneurship, develop urban centres of growth, support the expansion of scaling companies into the regions and attract foreign direct investment in the food sector.
Details of the third call for applications for the Regional Enterprise Development Fund are available on www.enterprise-ireland.com/REDF.
Enterprise Ireland’s new regional plan ‘Powering the Regions’ can be found here.