The Government recently flagged 4 planned funds in support of Project Ireland 2040 National Development Framework. The proposed funds for urban regeneration, rural development, climate action and disruptive technologies are expected to total €4 billion and due to open in June 2018.
The four funds are a major innovation in Project Ireland 2040. Rather than allocating funding in a ‘business as usual’ way to Government Departments, money will be allocated competitively to the best projects, which leverage investment from other sources thereby ensuring that the impact of this investment goes much, much further. The funds will be open to applications from state agencies, local government, business, educational institutions, chambers of commerce, and others, but the ideal applications will be collaborative efforts that break down barriers and silos. The call for applications is expected to open in June with
- €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund: will secure more compact, sustainable growth in Ireland’s five cities and other large urban centres. 2019 call expected to have a fund of €100 million, opening in June with a 14 week period for development of applications and a closing date at the end of September. 25% minimum co-funding required.
- €500 million Disruptive Technologies Fund: will see investment in the development and deployment of disruptive innovative technologies and applications, on a commercial basis, targeted at tackling national and global challenges. Funding allocation of €180 million made available to end of 2022. First call expected in June 2018 with successful projects announced in November 2018. The call will align with the six themes identified in the National Research Prioritisation Areas: ICT, Health and Well Being, Food, Energy, Climate Action and Sustainability, Manufacturing and Materials, Services and Business Processes. Within the 6 themes, specific priority areas have been identified including: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Health and Wellbeing, Advanced and Smart Manufacturing and Smart and Sustainable Food Production and Processing.
- €1 billion Rural Development Fund: will support job creation in rural areas, address de-population of rural communities and support improvements in our towns, villages and their hinterlands that enhance the quality of life of communities and enhance their attractiveness for families who want to live and work there.
- €500 million Climate Action Fund: will support initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s climate and energy targets. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment launched the Climate Action priority of Project Ireland 2040 “Empowering Communities for Climate Action” on the 20th June. Call due to open in June with funding awarded by October 2018.