Tech disrupters can apply for investment in new round of Government fund

24 Sep 2020268 Views

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The €500m fund aims to support projects that are translating industrial research on disruptive technologies into commercial realities for consumers and businesses.

Today (24 September), Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, launched the third call of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF).

The Government-backed competitive fund, which is looking to invest in cutting-edge technology, is worth a total of €500m. The fund has already allocated €140m to 43 projects under the first and second calls.

Projects selected for funding involved technologies such as medical devices, cell and gene therapies, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

“There has never been a more important time for Irish businesses to adapt and innovate,” Varadkar commented. “Not only has Covid-19 fundamentally shifted many traditional ways of working, but technological change too is transforming so many aspects of our lives, having a profound impact on our society and economy.”

From research to commercial reality

Varadkar added that the fund will help maintain Ireland’s position at the forefront of countries leading changes in societal and economic matters. He said that DTIF will help Irish companies and researchers to experiment and develop their ideas, while breaking new ground.

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Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris, TD, said: “This fund will support innovation and provide opportunities for dynamic companies and researchers to translate their industrial research on disruptive technologies into commercial realities for the benefit of consumers and businesses.”

Harris added that the fund is seeking companies from the fields of ICT, health and wellbeing, food, energy and climate action, manufacturing and services, and business processes. These represent Ireland’s current research priority areas.

The fund is competitive and will be assessed by an independent, international panel of experts. The DTIF aims to drive enterprise collaborations involving firms of all sizes, including a requirement for at least one SME and one other enterprise in every consortium. It also encourages collaboration with Ireland’s research base within the third-level sector.

Projects must be geared towards commercialisation over a three to seven-year time frame. In order to ensure that projects of scale and impact are funded, the DTIF is available to applicants requesting funding of €1.5m or more for projects of up to three years’ duration. Enterprise partners must provide matched funding.

Some of the businesses that have previously secured investment under this initiative include Cellix, Pilot Photonics and Techworks Marine.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com