Government awards combined €95m to projects under Disruptive Technologies Fund

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Projects include sub-sea robotic drilling and AI for safety in factories



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23 April 2021 | 0

It has been announced that 29 new projects have secured funding under the third round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund.

The Irish government will invest €95 million in the successful projects over the next three years. The chosen projects span the life sciences, medical devices, ICT, artificial intelligence, manufacturing and environmental sustainability.

Projects include sub-sea robotic drilling, artificial intelligence for safety in factories of the future, more effective heating and cooling systems in commercial and industrial businesses, a platform to improve productivity on construction sites, and healthcare solutions in areas such as cancer treatments and chronic knee osteoarthritis.




Announcing the successful projects, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Leo Varadkar said: “We are funding projects which will have wide-ranging benefits across many areas of society. Projects using AI to make factories safer and drones to detect drug smuggling, for example. There are many successful projects in the health sector, which we hope will result in better patient outcomes for thousands suffering from cancer, heart disease and fractured bones among other conditions. There is also focus on sustainability, with a number of projects looking at ways to improve and reduce energy use.   

“These new technologies will create high-quality jobs in existing and emerging sectors, now and over the coming decades. There is a good spread of partners, based all around Ireland, highlighting the strength of our enterprise and research base all across the country.” 

All projects involve collaborations of between three and eight partners, including SMEs, multinational corporations and research organisations. SME participation is an integral part of the Fund, with 62 SMEs among the 111 organisations involved and 22 leading their project.

This brings total funding awarded under the three DTIF Calls to date to €235 million. Established under the National Development Plan in 2018, the fund commits a total of €500 million of government funding, alongside enterprise co-funding of projects.

Among the successful projects are those that will:

  • Develop an adhesive that will stick broken bone tissue together following fracture, allowing it to heal faster
  • Use artificial intelligence to develop drones to better detect drug smuggling
  • Develop a tool using artificial intelligence to identify breast and prostate cancer patients with early stage disease
  • Design and build a prototype robotic drilling system for a wide range of applications including offshore wind
  • Use artificial intelligence to trial a solution which will make factories safer for workers
  • Use nanotechnology to reduce emissions by 40% in commercial and industrial heating and cooling systems
  • Develop next generation therapeutic and gene therapies for gastrointestinal cancer
  • Develop a treatment for chronic knee osteoarthritis, to deliver dramatic pain and mobility benefits to patients

“Irish entrepreneurs have yet again demonstrated their ingenuity, adaptability and resilience in the face of the challenges they face,” said Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, who administer the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund. “The breadth and scale of the projects that have come through the rigorous DTIF evaluation process is a huge tribute to the quality of our innovative companies and the other partners involved.

“The quality of the partnerships involved, with SMEs, multinationals and research organisations combining to share experience, expertise and knowledge, also deserves acknowledgement. We are a small nation with limited resources and so we must continually demonstrate our flexibility and agility. These projects will enable the enterprises involved to be in strong position as the Irish and global economies rebound once the pandemic ends.”

TechCentral Reporters

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