Agile Innovation Fund

Small companies from across the region are being encouraged to put innovation at the very top of their business agenda. 

The new measure has been introduced by Enterprise Ireland and can help clients of Local Enterprise Office Waterford respond more quickly to market opportunities and challenges, including those posed by Brexit.

Offering fast-track approval and a streamlined online application process, the new Agile Innovation Fund will allow companies, including small companies, to access up to 45% or 50% in support for product, process or service development projects with a total cost of up to €300,000.

Responding to the export challenges and opportunities presented to companies, the new fund is designed to help companies develop new products, processes and services for new market opportunities, enabling exporters to respond quickly and maximise export performance.

More information around the new Agile Innovation Fund visit here and check out this information leaflet.

The direct aims of the RD&I fund are to:

  • Incentivise company investment in new Product or Service Development to enhance the competitiveness of Irish industry.
  • Incentivise the implementation of new process or organisational innovations in SMEs that could lead to more innovative market offerings from Irish companies.
  • Support the development of advanced manufacturing or development processes involving technical uncertainty.

Expected national benefits of the RD&I Fund include:

  • An increase in the number of companies performing effective R&D in Ireland.
  • An increase in the scale of the investment in R&D in Ireland.
  • An increase the number of companies doing structured R&D for the first time.
  • Ensure Irish based companies, particularly SMEs, protect their futures by helping them reach and exceed European and international norms for R&D investment.
  • An increase the quantity and quality of the R&D linkages between companies, either in Ireland or internationally, through collaborative research programmes such as EUREKA etc.
  • More effective leveraging of products and services offered by companies through innovation at a business level through the implementation of new delivery methods or new business models.
  • Promoting and administering the Scheme through the Local Enterprise Offices would give the scheme greater reach and should encourage smaller clients to invest in R&D and begin a process of incorporating RD&I into their commercial activities.

Expected outcomes for companies participating in RD&I projects include:

  • A significant, ongoing/established budget for new product or service development
  • A culture of innovative thinking throughout the company which aims to harness the creativity of all the staff towards defined business goals.
  • An established product or service development team with high level skills
  • High quality facilities for new product or service development
  • Excellent quality Innovation management systems and procedures
  • External linkages with other stakeholders, including customers, partners, suppliers as well as other knowledge providers (such as 3rd level Universities and Institutes)