€9.3m boost for 24 regional projects, with a focus on remote working

6 Oct 2021

Image: © andreusK/Stock.adobe.com

The Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme supports projects across Ireland, ranging from remote work and life sciences to agritech and food.

Enterprise Ireland funding of €9.3m has been allocated to 24 regional projects across the country to support start-ups and SMEs and help them recover from the pandemic and the disruption caused by Brexit.

Ministers of State with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Robert Troy, TD, and Damien English, TD, announced the names of the successful projects under the Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme (RETS) today (6 October).

Launched in July, the scheme supports projects that work towards regional and community development, previously funded by the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) and the Border Enterprise Development Fund.

The projects range from research centres and incubators to social enterprise businesses and industry support bodies such as It@cork, which represents more than 200 companies working within the ICT sector in the Cork region.

Remote work

Many of the organisations that received funding offer co-working spaces and supports for start-ups and remote workers around the country. This includes Creative Spark in Louth, Donegal Digital, Galway City Innovation District (home to PorterShed), Mol Teic, RDI Hub and Sneem Digital Hub in Kerry, the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin, and Ludgate Hub in Cork.

Funding has also been allocated to the National Association of Community Enterprise Centres based in Co Louth, which was founded in 2008 to develop the interests of community enterprise on a national scale. It represents a network of spaces for entrepreneurs, start-ups, scaling companies and SMEs and recently partnered with hybrid workspace NoCo.

“The scheme is continuing to help collaborative, enterprise capability building projects that have previously benefitted from the Regional and Border Enterprise Development Funds, to advance entrepreneurship, productivity and innovation,” said English.

“This additional level of funding is firmly aligned with our national enterprise policy and related Government policy initiatives, including the Regional Enterprise Plans, remote working strategy, the Climate Action Plan and digitalisation.”

‘Strong regional ecosystem’

Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said that helping enterprises to build scale and expand their reach is a key focus of the fund, which will help boost business in “key sectors” across the country.

“The successful applicants represent a broad range of projects across a variety of sectors including food, agritech and life sciences,” he said.

“Our aim is to build on a strong regional ecosystem to include a variety of regionally based projects with best-in-class physical and digital infrastructure and appropriate research and technology capability.”

Past REDF-funded projects include an extension to the PorterShed incubation centre in Galway, an expansion of the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, and the Emerald Aero Cluster for aerospace manufacturing established in Clare and Limerick.

“This fund focuses on supporting projects with regional impact in order to increase internationalisation opportunities and create sustainable job opportunities right across the country,” Troy said.

“The scheme will help build additional resilience in the regions and enable recipients to support enterprises and SMEs to respond to recent economic and market challenges, which also includes the transition to a low carbon economy, digital transformation and sustainability.”

On Monday (4 October), the Government launched a renewed version of the National Development Plan for the years 2021 to 2030, committing to long-term investment in almost every sector, including a Green Transition Fund for businesses.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic