Overview of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund
In February 2015, as part of an overarching strategy to support regional enterprise development, the Government announced a Regional Competitive Fund with the objective of supporting significant regional initiatives to build on sectoral strengths and/or to better leverage identified resources to improve enterprise capability. This is in line with the overall objectives of the Action Plan for Jobs: Regional initiative and national enterprise policy.
This regional competitive fund is designed to support the ambition, goals and implementation of the RAPJs. Enterprise Ireland with the support of DJEI is leading in the development and implementation of this Fund of up to €60m.
It is proposed to deliver this funding through two Scheme calls, the first call will fund projects under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund of up to €35m in grant support. The second call under this Scheme will fund projects from the remaining balance of the €60m budget available.
Objectives of the Scheme
The Scheme will support major new collaborative and innovative initiatives that can make a significant impact on enterprise development in the region/across regions or nationally to build the unique USP capabilities to grow the regions, (“the Projects”). This will be achieved by co-financing the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative projects that can sustain and add to employment at a national, regional and county level.
The overarching aim of this Scheme is to drive enterprise development and job creation in each region throughout Ireland.
The Scheme also seeks to support Industry Clusters which are defined as structures or organised groups of independent parties designed to stimulate innovative activity through promotion, sharing of facilities and exchange of knowledge and expertise and by contributing effectively to knowledge transfer, networking, information dissemination and collaboration among the undertakings and other organisations in the connectivity.
The scheme will support the development of initiatives that help strengthen the regional ability to adjust and cope with the potential effects of international economic changes that may impact on regions or sectors performance nationally.
The Scheme has four streams:
- Stream One to support major regional, multi-regional or national sectoral initiative grants of €2m up to €5m per project in funding towards capital and current costs. These initiatives should be focussed on achieving defined enterprise development outputs and impacts.
- Stream Two to support significant county, regional or multi-regional sectoral and or enterprise initiative grants of €250k up to €2m per project in funding towards capital and current costs. These projects should be focussed on delivery of defined enterprise development outputs and impacts.
- Stream Three for local and community enterprise initiative grants of €50k up to €250k per project in funding towards capital and current costs. These projects should be focussed at a local, county or regional initiatives that have defined metrics for enterprise development in the area.
- Stream Four to support significant Industry Clustering initiatives with grants of €50k up to €250k per project in funding towards current costs. These projects should support industry-led groups to maximise the benefits of collaborative opportunities where the results of the activity will have some identifiable and measurable impact on their business.
Balance of funding of min 20% may be from the private, community or public sector (including HEIs and Local Authorities). The matching funds of 20% can be in cash or kind (with a cash minimum of 10%). *
In respect of Industry Clusters the balance of funding of a minimum of 50% may be provided from companies within the cluster in addition to private investment funding.
*Note: In-kind contribution will only be accepted in the form of the following:
- Notional value of a premises if donated by one of the parties i.e. market value of potential lease over the period proposed (the applicant groups must own the building OR must hold a lease of not less than 15 years.)
- Salary costs of staff seconded full time to the project by one of the applicant group members.
Feasibility Grant. A feasibility grant of €22,500 or 50% of eligible costs, whichever is lesser, can be offered to candidates who are successful in this competitive call. The fund is to help promoters investigate the viability of the project and prepare final submissions for consideration. The feasibility costs cover consultancy cost only, and funding will be allocated through a competitive process, based on eligibility, quality of the proposal, potential forecasted economic impact, value for money, and need for support. Applicants for the feasibility grant may be a different entity to the final applicant company submitting projects for Streams One to Four.
The Regional Enterprise Development Fund opened for applications on Monday 29th May 2017.
Am I eligible? Who can apply?
To be eligible all applicants must be registered as a Designated Activity Company, (DAC) or a Company Limited by Guarantee, (CLG) under the Companies Act 2014. Where the Applicant is a DAC, the constitution of the applicant shall provide that no payment (other than reasonable and proper payments for services rendered, vouched expenses or rent for premises let to the Company) transfer or distribution may be made directly or indirectly to a member and that, upon a winding up or dissolution of the company, no transfer, payment or distribution may be made to a member but that instead all net assets shall be given up or transferred to some other institution or institutions having main objects similar to the main objects of the Company and which shall prohibit the distribution of its or their income and property amongst its or their members to an extent at least as great as is imposed on the Company.
The Applicant will be not for profit entities that have already, or propose to, set up a distinct legal entity (DAC/CLG) that comprise national/regional, county and local stakeholders, with a purpose of benefiting the wider needs of the community and region/nation as defined in the relevant streams outlined below.
Applicants can be promoted by private or public organisations, which for example might include:
- Higher Education Institutes
- Semi State Commercial bodies
- Local Enterprise Development Groups
- Local Authorities
In addition, Industry Clusters must comprise of at least five companies.
What is the maximum funding available?
Maximum Funding Levels
Streams one, two & three – the maximum funding level per project will be up to 80%,
Stream four – the maximum funding level per project will be up to 50%,
with the following funding limits for each stream:
- Stream One –Major regional change projects – grant funding of €2m up to €5m at 80%;
- Stream Two – Regional change projects – grant funding of €250k up to €2m at 80%;
- Stream Three – Local and community enterprise initiatives – grant funding of €50k up to €250k at 80%;
- Stream Four – Industry Clusters – grant funding of €50k up to €250k at 50%;
Each successful applicant shall be given funding for a maximum three-year period to drive the implementation of its work programme. A maximum of €5m of funding per project over the period can be provided by Enterprise Ireland under this Scheme. Enterprise Ireland will fund up to 80% of eligible expenditure or €5m per project, whichever is the lesser, over the period of funding. The continuance of funding throughout the three-year period shall be contingent upon delivery of agreed milestones for the project, which shall be set by Enterprise Ireland. The funding is also subject to justification of costs and the evaluation criteria detailed below by Enterprise Ireland in Section 16, where Enterprise Ireland reserves the right to reduce or disallow proposed funded costs, or to schedule some or all of the costs in stages over the term of the funding.
Enterprise Ireland shall make no commitment to funding the successful applicant after the three-year period of funding.
- The activity being proposed for funding, must be additional to the activities currently being undertaken if any; and additional to activities if any; currently funded by the State.
All successful projects for funding must commence within 12 months from the start date of the Project. Time extensions beyond the 3-year period will be subject to consideration by EI approving Committee.
Note: Funding of new building or refurbishment costs will be limited to a maximum of 80% of the supportable costs per project and building and refurbishments costs will have commenced within 12 months of the grant offer date for Streams One, Two and Three only.
How do I apply? How are applications assessed?
Note: only applications submitted on the official application form will be considered.
Eligible applications will be evaluated and approved by the Enterprise Ireland Board or a decision making committee appointed by the Enterprise Ireland Board. Where the number of suitable applications exceeds the available funding, those ranked highest will be supported.
An Evaluation Group will be set up comprised of nominees from Enterprise Ireland, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and relevant public and private bodies will be set up to evaluate eligible projects.
Full details on how applications are assessed are available by downloading the REDF Reference Document.
Completed application forms must be sent to the following email address:
What are the call close dates?
Closing date for applications for Competitive Feasibility Funding is 3pm, Friday, 9th June 2017.
- The closing date for the first call for Stream 1,2,3 and 4 is 3pm Friday 18th August 2017.
- The call open date for the second call for Streams 1,2,3 and 4 is Monday 8th January 2018.
- The call close for the second call for Streams 1,2,3 and 4 is 3pm on Friday 2nd March 2018.
For more information, contact the following Enterprise Ireland Regional Executives based in your location:
Dublin and Mid-East
Mid-West & Kerry
Or your local Regional Enterprise Ireland office.
Note: Enterprise Ireland will not release any information received except as may be required by law, including the Freedom of Information Act 2014. In the event of a Freedom of Information request, the proposer will be given reasonable advance notice in order to contest such disclosure.