Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD has unveiled 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 €500 million fund, which has already allocated funding of €140 million to 43 groundbreaking projects under Calls 1 and 2.

Quantum computing and artificial intelligence

These successful projects covering technologies such as medical devices, cell and gene therapies, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

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.

'Opportunities for dynamic companies'

“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 commercialisation over a three to seven-year time frame 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 three 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.

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 3pm Irish time on December 17, 2020.