Saturday 19 October 2019

EI fund offers support to tie-ups of industry and institutes of technology

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Shawn Pogatchnik

The Government and Enterprise Ireland launched a €2.75m fund yesterday that is aimed at supporting partnerships between third-level educational institutions and technology-minded employers in regions beyond the capital.

The fund will seek applications from regional institutes of technology to collaborate with industry, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their locality, on developing marketable technology, products and services.

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The deadline for applications falls on September 11.

Mark Christal, manager for regions and entrepreneurship at Enterprise Ireland, said that third-level institutions could help address "the skills challenges faced by SMEs, and to assist companies to enhance their capability to win business in international markets".

"Developing and supporting regional businesses to build scale and expand reach is a key objective for Enterprise Ireland, particularly with challenges such as Brexit on the horizon," he said.

Details of the Regional Technology Clustering Fund were unveiled at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, where Heather Humphreys, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, said collaboration between learning centres and industry would be essential to build a "new competitive advantage" in regions where technology clusters are small or non-existent at present.

"Many European Union countries have already developed cluster policies to strengthen cooperation between industry and research. They have proven to be very successful, so the Government wants to strengthen our activity in this space," Ms Humphreys said.

Irish Independent

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