Quick guide to Enterprise Ireland Innovation Funding
Innovation is essential if you want to stay ahead in competitive and fast-changing markets. For many companies however they may lack the time, expertise, equipment or funds to develop the types of innovative solutions that could set their business apart.
The Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Programme is available to companies across Ireland. With 16 Gateways operating in a range of sectors and working with companies from start-ups and SME’s right through to Multinationals, providing knowledge, experience, funding support and innovation solutions is what we do!
There are many ways in which to engage with the Network, including a range of Enterprise Ireland Innovation Supports. Currently companies collaborating with Technology Gateways can be funded through 3 main funding programmes, (subject to size, finances and project). Our Gateway experts will provide a more thorough explanation of the prerequisites and procedure, along with any applicable qualifying criteria and terms & conditions. Therefore, before applying, it is worthwhile to visit the Enterprise Ireland website or speak with the Technology Gateway team. A brief overview of the current innovation supports offered by the Technology Gateway network is provided below.
Innovation Voucher Programme
The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher programme is open to all small and medium-sized limited companies registered in Ireland. Innovation Vouchers are worth €5,000 and are available to assist a company or companies to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider.
- Each Voucher gives you €5,000 worth of time with an expert, third-level researcher to help you develop your new or existing product, process or service
- Innovation Vouchers can be used for any kind of new product, process or service
- Vouchers can be exchanged for knowledge transfer projects from the knowledge provider.
- There are two types of vouchers available. A fully funded €5,000 standard voucher and the 50-50 co-funded Fast Track voucher (to a maximum value of €10,000).
- Small and medium-sized companies may make use of a maximum of four vouchers, one of which must be a 50-50 co-funded voucher.
- A company may have one ‘active’ voucher at any point in time and they are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
- Please note that Innovation Vouchers are exclusive of VAT . You will be charged VAT by the knowledge provider and this cost must be settled separately by the company.
- Applications can be made throughout the year via the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System
Agile Innovation Fund
The Agile Innovation Fund is a grant to companies who support the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes (up to €150,000 with total project cost of less than €300,000). Grant rates are 25% to 50% dependent on company size and any collaboration involved in the project. The process has been streamlined for eligible companies with a short online application and fast-track approval.
- The Agile Innovation Fund is suitable for a range of companies, such as: Companies new to R&D and planning their first R&D project, operating in short, product life cycles, undertaking small or short projects.
- The Agile Innovation fund is open to clients of Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta as well as all registered companies that are trading with positive EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation).
- The fund supports activities which fall under experimental development or industrial research or a combination of both.
- A two-part application is submitted on the Enterprise Ireland website. The application will ask for a company profile, background, project overview and a technical project plan. A separate offline project plan document will also be required.
For more information on the application process check out the Agile Innovation webpage.
Innovation Partnership Programme
The Innovation Partnership Programme encourages Irish-based companies to work with Irish research institutes resulting in mutually beneficial co-operation and interaction. Companies can access expertise and resources to undertake research towards the development of new and improved products, processes, services, and generate new knowledge and know-how.
- The Innovation Partnership Programme can provide up to 80% of the cost of research work towards the development of new and improved products, processes or services, or generate new knowledge and know-how.
- Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Programme provides grants of up to 80% towards eligible costs of the research project. Funding from Enterprise Ireland will normally not exceed €200,000.
- The company must be a registered client of one of the following state development agencies: Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office, Údarás na Gaeltachta.
- The company must have the full support of their assigned Development Adviser/Agency Contact to participate in the programme. This support must be confirmed before any application forms are submitted. Clusters of companies and/or research institutes are welcome to apply to the programme.
- Project types can be grouped as subsets of either Industrial Research or Experimental Development. The ‘Full Grant Rate’ CANNOT exceed 80% for Industrial Collaborative Research and 60% for Experimental Collaborative Development.
- All Innovation Partnership projects require the company partner to provide a minimum cash contribution of 20% of the total project cost.
If you are interested in finding out more about any of these funding options, get in touch with your regional Technology Gateway Manager, who will provide more detailed information on the process and funding options.