The Government has awarded funding to groundbreaking projects in areas such as life sciences, medical devices, AI and manufacturing.
The Irish Government will award funding to 29 projects focusing on disruptive technologies.
Under the third round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, a total of €95m will be awarded to the successful projects over the next three years.
It includes projects focused on sub-sea robotic drilling, AI for safety in factories, 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 funding today (22 April), Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, said these projects will have wide-ranging benefits across many areas of society.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The strength of Irish research
All of the successful projects involve collaborations of between three and eight partnerships and include a combination of SMEs, multinationals and research organisations.
The fund is administered by Enterprise Ireland. The agency’s CEO, Julie Sinnamon, said Irish entrepreneurs have demonstrated ingenuity, adaptability and resilience.
“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.”
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, added that the Irish research sector is “key to our future economic prospects”.
“Many top-performing indigenous companies have emerged as spin-outs from the research conducted in our universities and higher education institutes. Several recent spin-outs are partners in the consortia that are being awarded funding under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund today,” he said.
“That is a fantastic outcome which reflects the strength of the Irish research sector.”
The latest round of investment brings the total funding awarded under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund to €235m. Previous recipients include a major quantum computing project and a ‘miniature eyeball’.
The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is a €500m fund established under the National Development Plan in 2018.
In 2020, the Government allocated around €869m to research and development activities in an effort to make Ireland a “global innovation leader”.