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Government announces launch call 4 of DTIF

The fourth round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) has now been unveiled with a deadline for applications of the 10th February 2022.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

Collaborating, innovating, disrupting

Round 4 of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) has now been unveiled by Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It’s a brand new call for funding applications, with hefty cash injections aimed at organisations demonstrating the largest scale plans to develop and commercialise ground-breaking technologies. It also aims to strengthen collaborations between the research sector and private enterprise. It's an exciting opportunity for businesses in Ireland to benefit in the wake of COVID-19 turmoil.

What is the DTIF?

The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) was set up in 2018 and is due to run for 10 years as part of Ireland’s National Development Plan (NDP). It’s essentially a pot of €500 million which is designed to fund large scale disruptive projects that bring together Ireland’s world class industry and research organisations. It’s this collaboration that’s at the heart of the fund, which also aims to help support the adoption of these new, disruptive technologies.

The DTIF is managed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and is also backed by Enterprise Ireland. The funding is then matched by the private sector, turbo-boosting multi-million Euro investments in the design and launch of commercially viable disruptive technologies.

As long as they are large scale, highly breakthrough and commercially feasible, the types of projects that may be accepted for funding are virtually limitless. A vast spectrum of projects have had success in the past, including agri-technologies to improve crop health, affordable, sustainable ways to heat homes and the development of less invasive treatments for lung cancer.

DTIF priority areas

There are a number of specific areas the fund is looking to particularly support. Clearly with climate change a hot topic at the moment, and COP26 fresh in our minds, the DTIF is particularly focussed on greener, sustainable technologies and decarbonisation.

Alongside this, in ICT, the fund is interested in any collaborations in the realm of the Internet of Things, online privacy and security, Artificial Intelligence, communication networks, Virtual and Augmented reality and machine learning to name just a few. Manufacturing and materials come into play here too, with projects involving novel materials, smart manufacturing and the development of sustainable practices all to be given extra weight.

With COVID-19 still very much with us, funding is also there to support aspects of health and wellbeing, including new medicines and medical devices, therapeutic therapies and diagnostics. In food and agriculture, any advancements in sustainable food production, processing and supply chains are also likely to stand out.

This is far from an exhaustive list, but hopefully gives you a flavour of the kinds of collaborations the DTIF are likely to look favourably on.

How are DTIF applications evaluated?

DTIF funding is generous but actually getting it is incredibly competitive. Creating the kind of application that will get noticed is tough enough. But even once it’s submitted, the scrutiny and evaluation process is extensive, involving interviews and screening by global experts.

Only the most commercially robust projects will get through, and not only that but real commercial impact must be demonstrable within 3 to 7 years after the project is complete. Applicants must also be asking for minimum DTIF-matched funding of €1.5 million.

“This is large-scale funding for the kind of ground-breaking technologies that will enable us to come out of the pandemic stronger than before,” says Imelda Lambkin, Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund manager at Enterprise Ireland.

As mentioned, the other big driver alongside the commercial aspect really is collaboration. This means that projects must involve one or more SMEs, plus one other enterprise in a consortium of at least 3 project partners (bonus points if research includes Irish institutes specifically).

All organisations working together must be located in the Irish Republic. They must also be a client of IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta, or an eligible Research Performing Organisation (RPO).

When launching call 4 on the 8th November, the Tánaiste said:

“Throughout the pandemic, we have witnessed the incredible ability and agility of the research community and industry to adapt, to rise to previously unthinkable challenges and to find solutions in an unprecedented situation. We want to encourage and support that ingenuity and inventiveness through the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund.

He added:

“This Fund backs the type of innovative thinking we need as we rebuild and recover after the pandemic. I look forward to seeing the next group of ground-breaking projects that come through. If you have an idea that you think would help us meet some of the challenges we face, please come forward, take a chance and the Government will back you.”

Making an application to the DTIF

Applications can only be submitted one month before the deadline, which is 3pm on the 10th February 2022. They’ll be submitted online using the Enterprise Ireland website. In the meantime, applicants can prepare their submission using the indicative application form on DTIF Call 4 documentation.

A webinar will also be held during early December 2021 for anyone wanting to know more about the DTIF call 4, and the application process.  

You can also find out more on the website or on their Twitter page (@DeptEnterprise).

Is your company bold, innovative and looking to disrupt the market?

The DTIF is just one of a huge number of business supports available to companies looking to innovate, collaborate and grow. The Irish government has in fact long recognised the economic value of disruptive new technological and scientific breakthroughs through a range of R&D grants and tax credits alongside wider EU research funding. But how do you know what’s available and how to apply?

That’s where R&D tax and funding experts like Myriad Associates make all the difference. Whatever innovative projects your company has planned, we will work closely with you to ascertain what R&D funding options are available. We’re extremely hands on, getting to know what makes your company tick and giving your application the very best chance of success.

Why leave it to chance?

To find out more about our grant writing team, call us on +353 1 566 2001 or send us a message here.

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