Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund allocates €75m in first round

DTIF round one
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys; An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar; and Prof Cathal Kelly, RCSI

Ten-year plan worth €500m

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11 December 2018 | 0

Twenty-seven projects from sectors like life sciences, medical devices, ICT, manufacturing, food, agriculture, energy sustainability and the creative industries have been selected to receive funding under the first tranche of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, worth €500 million over the next 10 years as part of Project Ireland 2040.

The projects, which share €75 million in this round, can use the funding to develop and deploy their technologies on a commercial basis. The Fund is a key part of the Government’s Future Jobs Initiative, a new whole-of Government plan to secure Ireland’s economic success, starting in 2019. It is one of the first funds of its type in the world and is aimed at tackling national and global challenges to secure the jobs of the future.

Announcing the successful projects, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “The creation of this fund is particularly timely when we consider the vast and rapid technological advancements that are taking place. Today everything is faster, more efficient, and more easily accessible. We must adapt to a future of greater digitalisation and automation. Today’s school children will be employed in jobs and industries that don’t exist yet. Technology will eliminate or transform existing occupations.

“We are currently developing a new Plan, the Future Jobs Initiative, to meet these challenges and ensure we assist industry to create and sustain good jobs for our people in light of future challenges and opportunities. The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is central to the Future Jobs Programme. It’s our way of stimulating private investment in new technologies and ways of doing business, and building stronger links between higher education, multinationals and Irish SMEs.”

More than 300 applications were made under the first round. Successful projects have made it through a highly competitive process involving screening by a panel of international experts.

The successful projects include an decision support system for Coastal Areas to tackle pollution and flooding; an energy trading system; and an AI-driven software package for the creation of 3D environments.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, who are providing support in managing calls under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, said: “We see every day, through our market offices, how innovation is the key differentiator for Irish companies in competing and winning in global markets.

“The DTIF provides unique supports to ambitious SME’s and researchers to help them collaborate on the development of innovative technologies that have the potential to transform how markets and businesses work. The 27 proposals approved under this first call have the potential to be game-changers in their sectors, and to dominate in niche sectors globally. We look forward to continuing to work with these teams, to help them achieve their full global ambition.”

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