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Government funds cutting-edge technology

Tánaiste opens Call 3 of Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund today

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD today (Thursday the 24th of September) launched Call 3 of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF), a government backed competitive Fund to invest in cutting edge technology.

This is the third round of the €500m Fund, which has already allocated funding of €140m to 43 ground-breaking projects under Calls 1 and 2. These successful projects covering technologies such as medical devices, cell and gene therapies, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD said:

There has never been a more important time for Irish businesses to adapt and innovate. 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. This Fund will help maintain our position at the forefront of countries that are leading these changes. It will enable dynamic Irish companies and researchers to experiment and develop their ideas, break new ground and ultimately develop truly world-class innovations.”

The Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris TD said:

Now more than ever, we need innovation and ingenuity. Right across this country, businesses are adapting and changing to meet the extraordinary challenges that we are facing.

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.

We want to hear from companies in the fields of ICT, Health and Wellbeing, Food, Energy and Climate Action, Manufacturing and Services and Business Processes and we want to invest in your innovation and your creativity. Ireland wants to be a leader in innovation, and we want to support you in helping us achieve that.”

The Fund is competitive and will be assessed by an independent international panel of experts. It will 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 world-class research base within our third level sector.

Projects must be geared towards commercialization over a 3 to 7-year timeframe and align with Ireland’s six Research Priority Areas, namely ICT; Health and Wellbeing; Food; Energy, Climate Action and Sustainability; Manufacturing and Materials; and Business Services and Processes.

In order to ensure that projects of scale and impact are funded, the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is available to applicants requesting funding of €1.5 million or more for projects of up to 3 years duration. Enterprise partners must provide matched funding.

The call for funding will be administered for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation by Enterprise Ireland.

Commenting at the announcement, Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said:

The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is a key part of our efforts to prepare now for tomorrow’s world. The successful projects will be rooted in collaboration between industry and academia, with a clear focus on commercialisation. Crucially, they will have a transformative impact on how we work or live.

Irish companies are already at the forefront of research to develop disruptive technologies related to health, energy and the environment that will create a legacy of scientific achievement in structured materials research that benefits future generations.”

The application deadline is 15.00 Irish time on 17 December 2020


Notes for Editors

Prospective applicants can obtain detailed information on the Fund and on the application process through the webpage.

Examples of previously funded projects outlined below:

  • Omnispirant Ltd – a vibrant young SME – is leading work on the largest funded DTIF project to date is being undertaken in collaboration with Aerogen Ltd and the Centre for Cell Manufacturing in NUIG. This consortium is working to develop a new stem cell based inhaled treatment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) which is responsible for vast majority of COVID-19 deaths.
  • Pilot Photonics is working with research partners in DCU and Trinity College Dublin on the iLife (Irish Lasers for the Internet of the Future) project. The three-year project aims at developing a new type of laser technology for the communications market by creating optical microchips that use light rather than electricity to send information.
  • Cellix is working with consortium partners in Trinity College Dublin and the National University of Ireland Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute on a project to develop a Microfluidic Gene Transfection Cell Analysis and Sorting Platform (GTCASP).
  • Exertis is collaborating with Sonalake and the CeADAR Technology Centre in University College Dublin to develop a blockchain-based platform, which will transform the technology product supply chain by providing end-to-end visibility of products and components along the supply chain and proving the authenticity of products once they reach the market.
  • Techworks Marine, in partnership with Dublin City University, is developing sensors to provide a holistic approach to environmental monitoring. Reliable marine data is critical to understanding and monitoring environmental impacts of human activity. The valuable data provided by these sensors will help create an environmental water management and decision support system for a large market segment of the coastal sector within and outside Ireland, enabling Techworks Marine to establish a place at the head of the European market for robust reliable marine data.