The Agile Innovation Fund is part of Enterprise Ireland’s wider Innovation Offering, which includes funding and supports for collaborative research, increasing the innovation capability of companies and funding for large R&D projects. If you’re a company thinking about engaging in an innovation project and are interested in finding out more about the fund, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions below to help you out.
What is the Agile Innovation Fund?
The Agile Innovation Fund is a grant to companies that supports 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.
Who can apply?
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
Is your company eligible?
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).
What type of projects does it fund?
The fund supports activities which fall under the experimental development or industrial research or a combination of both.
Explain Industrial and Experimental Research?
Industrial research is planned research and investigation aimed at discovering brand new knowledge. Which may be useful in developing new products, process or services, or in bringing about a significant improvement.
Experimental research is systemic work, drawing on existing knowledge gained from research and/or practical experience directed towards producing plans or arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products. This work leads to a product which could be commercialised without significant additional development.
Does R&D fall under De-Minimis?
De-Minimis Aid is small amounts of State Aid given to an enterprise that cannot exceed €200,000 over any three fiscal years, irrespective of the company’s size or location. R&D does not fall under De-Minimis as it allows for more generous support aids.
Can multiple projects be included under one application?
No. Each project must have a separate application form and document for the project plan but a number of applications can be made simultaneously.
What is eligible expenditure under the Agile Innovation Fund?
Funding can be provided towards the cost of carrying out approved projects under the following headings:
Salaries – personnel costs for company staff working directly on the project
Additional overheads directly incurred because of the project. This is calculated as a fixed percentage of salaries and is limited to 30% (including employers’ PRSI)
Consultancy – costs to the company of availing of consultancy support directly related to the project
Materials and other operating expenses directly related to the project (including prototype/design costs, travel and subsistence, some certification or clinical trial costs)
Funding is only applicable for expenditure incurred within the approved project period. Project expenditure incurred prior to the receipt of the application by Enterprise Ireland is ineligible for support.
How do I apply and what is required?
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.
What happens after submission?
The application is complete when all required documents have been received into the Enterprise Ireland Grant Applications. It will be submitted for evaluation through a commercial and technical assessment.
If your application is approved you will receive the letter of offer from your relevant Development Agency detailing information on the claims process. Clients of Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Local Enterprise Office should contact their Business Adviser regarding the claims process.
For more information on the application process check out the Agile Innovation webpage, you can also follow on Twitter for all the latest research and innovation news.
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