LEO Westmeath Projects secure allocation for €2.5 million Competitive Fund



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 Westmeath who are leading on a two projects in collaboration with Local Enterprise Offices from Laois, Offaly and Longford:  


  • LEO Westmeath were awarded funding of €250,000 for the Engenuity Engineering Midlands project. This funding will power the next level of development for a cluster of engineering companies in the midlands region.


  • The LEO also secured funding of €150,000 for the First Time Exporters project, which will aim to assist high potential micro enterprises expand into international markets for the first time.


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.



Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise stated We are delighted that LEO Westmeath have been successful in securing money towards these two very worthwhile initiatives.”


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.”




For further information –

Local Enterprise Office Westmeath



Notes to the Editor


Successful Applicants

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.