In 2018, the Irish government launched a €500M fund aimed at supporting Irish companies with groundbreaking technologies. The fund is run by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with the call being managed and assessed by Enterprise Ireland. There have been three calls to date funding 72 projects to a total of €240M (€78.5 in 2018, €65.5 in 2019 and a record €95.7M in the most recent call). The majority of funding, whether by amount of funding or number of projects funded, goes to Health and Wellbeing projects (blue) followed by ICT (red). There are occasional projects in other sectors such as Food and Manufacturing & Materials. Considering the government’s commitment to climate action, the low level of Energy, Climate Action and Sustainability projects is notable – with 1 project in the initial call, 2 in the second and 3 in the third.
DTIF awards range in value from €1M to almost €10M with a mix of small, medium and large companies collaborating with third level institutions. Looking at the locations of the lead applicants, there is a concentration of project leads in Dublin and Galway followed by Cork and the Limerick region with the associated presence of nearby cities and third level institutions. Dublin City University (DCU) has participated in 5 projects to date worth over €11M with DCU spinouts like Pilot Photonics and Remedy Biologics leading others.
With half the fund left to spend, it is likely there will be 2-3 more calls at current burn rates by the government under this fund with one expected to open later this year.