The Government has announced €85 million in funding to help businesses improve their digital offering.
The ‘Grow Digital’ fund is open to all businesses regardless of what stage they are at or what sector they are in. It can be used for new equipment, software and staff training.
The €85 million has been allocated to the Digital Transition Fund and it will be rolled-out between now at 2026 as part of the Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). €10 million will be made available this year and it will be administered by Enterprise Ireland.
The ‘Grow Digital’ fund aims to help companies to use digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and big data to improve their products, processes, supply chains and services.
The initiative is designed to support companies at all stages of their digital journey – from going online to facilitating exporting and using digital technologies to reach new markets and to improve their productivity and competitiveness.
A new online website is also being developed which will allow companies to assess what their needs are and point towards their next steps to improve their offering through digital technology.
The fund has been announced by the Tánaiste and Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment Leo Varadkar.
"Digital technology has transformed so much of our everyday lives, vastly improving it in many ways. From how we get around, to how we work, to how we access services and communicate with one another, digital technology has massively disrupted traditional ways of doing things,” Mr Varadkar said.
“The trend is only going one way and our lives are only going to become more integrated with digital technology. That is why we need to make sure our SMEs are prepared. This €85m will fund businesses looking to use cutting edge technology like artificial intelligence to improve how they make their products and services. It will fund new equipment and software, staff training and expertise.”
The NRRP has been developed by Government so Ireland can access funding under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Ireland is expected to receive more than €988 million in grants under the facility.
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy said it’s “absolutely vital” for every company to “seize” the opportunities presented by digitisation.
Minister Troy said the fund will assist companies in staying “competitive, resilient and productive”.
“Digital technologies can reduce costs for businesses by making processes like invoicing, stock management and supply chain logistics much more efficient. In addition, the use of digital technologies will assist companies in reducing their carbon footprint and helping to tackle climate change,” he added.
Minister Troy is set to host a series of ‘Grow Digital’ workshops in regional locations from the end of June and throughout July.
The objective of the Digital Transition Fund is to drive transformative digitalisation of enterprise in Ireland, particularly amongst SMEs. The programme aims to assist companies across all sectors with assistance tailored to specific enterprise needs.
Minister of State for Business Damien English said businesses that embrace digital technologies, processes and skills will be crucial for Ireland’s continued economic success.
“In truth, digitalisation is no longer an option or innovation but an essential business step for future proofing businesses and building resilience in their operations,” he added.