Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD announced the results of the new €2.5 million Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Competitive Fund. Sixteen projects have received funding.  Among those receiving funding was Local Enterprise Office Mayo who are leading on a project with the Local Enterprise Offices from Sligo and Roscommon.   

The Low Carbon Innovation initiative was awarded €210,466 and seeks to address the challenges of moving micro-enterprises to more sustainable and lower carbon operations. It aims to intensively engage with micro-enterprises to develop a tailored Carbon Impact Assessment which will identify opportunities to both increase competitiveness and introduce new processes and technologies, thus driving an innovation agenda. 

Applications were open to individual LEOs; collaborative projects between two or more LEOs; and LEOs working with other local groups like Chambers, Community Enterprise Centres, Education or Training bodies, Local Authorities or colleges.

Announcing the successful applicants at a special event in the Council Chamber of Monaghan County Council, Minister Humphreys said: “The successful applicants demonstrated a real intent to collaborate, not only with neighbouring County LEOs but also with other stakeholders such as ITs, Innovation Centres, Local Authorities and others. So, while sixteen of the LEOs will lead on the projects, the vast majority of the LEOs throughout the country will also be part of these projects through collaboration.”

There is a wonderful array of projects in the winning sixteen and they are spread right across the country.  I am particularly pleased to see projects in areas like digital technologies; green and environmental activities; e-commerce; and e-hubs and remote working. This is proof that our LEOs are looking to the future, and tackling the challenges of tomorrow, today.”

The successful applications were selected through a rigorous evaluation process based on criteria, which included economic impacts and value for money, collaboration and participation, Future Jobs orientation, collaboration and building regional strengths and viability and sustainability.  

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD said: “I very much welcome Minister Humphreys’ announcement and want to commend all those who have participated in the competitive process. These successful projects will be rolled out through the Local Enterprise Offices, which are very well-placed to reach companies and entrepreneurs in even the most rural areas.  I particularly welcome the focus on collaboration and networking in support of regional and local micro-enterprise capability building, growth and job creation.

Through this funding and other funding initiatives such as the Regional Enterprise Development Fund and the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund, the Government is, even with Brexit and other international challenges on the horizon, determined to plan ahead and to prepare for the future jobs of tomorrow.”

Mark Christal, Manager, Regions and Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland, said; “This is a significant investment by the Minister and her Department in the ideas and ability of the Local Enterprise Offices to deliver results across the country.  This will hugely benefit companies and the enterprise eco-system in all regions, an investment that will help to drive enterprise and support the business objectives of entrepreneurs and small businesses.  It shows that Local Enterprise Offices across the country are committed to improving the business environment and supports for their client companies and the entrepreneurs of the future and Enterprise Ireland will continue to work with them to support this aim.”   

Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; “This announcement by Minister Humphreys is a great boost to Local Enterprise Offices across the country.  They have shown their creativity and innovation in proposing a range of projects that will solve a number of issues in their regions, whether it’s moving businesses towards a low carbon economy, boosting smart e-hub usage, increasing innovation or helping companies target new markets, they will all make a significant impact.  This funding highlights the impact that Local Enterprise Offices are making and shows that they continue to be best placed in driving innovation and enterprise in towns and villages across the country.”


The 16 successful applicants who will receive funding of €2.5m for their projects are as follows:

Project Summary

Lead Local Enterprise Office

Local Enterprise Offices collaborating in the project?

Partners collaborating in the project.

Funding Approved

The Initium South East project is an innovative series of start-up programmes led by the South East LEOs, Enterprise Ireland, and the Ireland South East Office in partnership with South East BIC and IT Carlow which aims to animate, develop and support the creation of 40 new specialised Start Up companies in the South East.


Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Tipperary, Kilkenny.

Ireland South East Office, IT Carlow, South East BIC


The Incrementum South East project is a targeted business development programme for the LEO Portfolio of clients over 10 employees which aims to increase their engagement in R&D and Export Activity.


Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary

South East BIC, IT Carlow, Enterprise Ireland,

Ireland South East Office


The project aims to encourage technology innovation and software driven start-ups in the Mid-West, particularly with an emphasis on solutions that align to what has become known as Industry 4.0.


Clare, Limerick



This project supports a cluster of 40 engineering firms in North Cork East/ West Limerick working together to support best practice sharing, develop linkages, improve productivity, develop international markets.

Cork North & West


Limerick IT,

Cork IT, Regional Skills Forums,

University of Limerick.


The overall objective of the Food Coast project is to increase the number, ambition of added value food producers in Donegal, enhance their competitiveness, sustainability and increase their employment creation potential.



Letterkenny IT,

Udaras na Gaeltachts, Enterprise Ireland,

Failte Ireland, Donegal County Council, BIM,


This project is targeted at established SME Client base to train the management of these companies to be able to conduct an ‘Innovation Audit’ of their respective companies.

Dublin City


South Dublin,

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown,

Dublin Business Innovation Centre; Guinness Enterprise Centre,

Futurescope Innovation Conference; Trinity Research and Innovation,

Dublin City University


The South West Food Experience project targets support of the food sector. It will review food megatrends, map supports both high level research and practical supports, identification of export opportunities and added value, product innovation and research, green and environmental packaging, waste management and capacity building.


South Cork, Cork North & West.

South Kerry Development Partnership

North and East Kerry Development, IRD Duhallow Kerry/Cork LAG and LCDC,

IT Tralee, University College Cork,

Cork IT.


The Green for Micro project aims to assist enterprises incorporate sustainable practices to assist them in transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy focused on water, energy, waste, procurement and transport.


Carlow, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary.

3 Counties Energy Agency


The Midlands Artisan Food & Drinks Producers project aims to strengthen the capacity of the sector to create additional employment and support the progress of some of the participants to become client businesses of Enterprise Ireland. It will encourage networking and collaboration between businesses on a regional basis and encourage business expansion through a process of innovation.


Offaly, Westmeath,

IT Carlow


This project will establish a Mobile Fabrication Laboratory for SMEs, enterprise hubs and schools to access digital technologies and design methodologies to increase innovation, develop products and increase skills.


Longford, Roscommon Cavan,.

Leitrim, Roscommon Longford and Cavan County Councils, Digital and Enterprise Hubs across the four counties, Manorhamilton FabLab


The project will manage and promote in a collaborative and collective manner the existing network of Smart e-hubs across Limerick, Clare and Tipperary. It aims to create a strategy to increase the utilisation of these existing facilities by entrepreneurs, start-ups and remote workers, thereby attracting and retaining workers to the regional villages across the region.




Innovate Limerick,

Mid-West Regional Enterprise plan,

Kantoher Development Group, Croom Enterprise Centre, Clare County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Tipperary County Council, HQ Tralee


The Going Green project aims to educate, advise and support small businesses in the Midland’s region in their adoption of environmentally positive actions and demonstrate the commitment of small firms to sustainability. By becoming exemplar businesses, they can act as positive role models to other small firms and gain competitive advantage as the consumer becomes more discerning in relation to dealing with environmentally conscious firms





Local Authorities in the four Counties


This project seeks to address the challenges of moving micro-enterprises to more sustainable and lower carbon operations. It aims to intensively engage with micro-enterprises to develop a tailored Carbon Impact Assessment which will identify opportunities to both increase competitiveness and introduce new processes and technologies, thus driving an innovation agenda.



IT Sligo


The E-Commerce Cluster project will bring online retailers together, to share experience, best practice, access online expertise and support members to develop and grow their online business domestically and internationally. The cluster will be established to help local businesses that have been trading online for at least the past 12 months get to the next level of online sales, increase turnover and profit. Its objective is to support and educate online retailers in the region.


Monaghan, Cavan, Louth and Meath



The Engenuity Engineering Midlands project will power the next level of development for a cluster of engineering companies in the midland’s region. It aims to

  • enhance the competitiveness and resilience of member companies to respond to changing market challenges and opportunities arising from Brexit.
  • To deliver business development and marketing research and subsequent collaboration to identify and capitalise on domestic and international opportunities, B2B and supply chain opportunities within the network including joint tendering and enhancing competitive advantage within the region through the network co-ordinator and the proposed steering group members.
  • Deliver R&D collaboration between cluster members, education institutions and support agencies in the region, utilising the advantage of the Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and Athlone IT.


Longford, Offaly and Laois

ETB's, Regional Skills Forum, Enterprise Ireland,

Athlone IT,

Irish Manufacturing Research Centre,

Irish Centre for Robotics Mullingar,

National Cleanroom Training Centre, Offaly.


The First Time Exporters project aims to assist high potential micro enterprises expand into international markets for the first time. Through a specially designed programme of expert advice and support, practical workshops and masterclasses, exporting clinics with specialists and networking opportunities; micro businesses will be equipped to maximise their full potential in appropriate international markets.


Longford, Offaly,

Enterprise Ireland,

Bord Bia, European Enterprise Network, National Cobotics Skillnet, Regional Skills Forum.