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DkIT welcomes €287,928 in Government funding through the Regional Technology Clustering Fund

06 December 2019

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has welcomed today’s announcement by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD and Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD concerning the Regional Technology Clustering Fund, the first annual competitive fund of its kind.

The €4.6 million fund provides a platform for engagement between enterprise and regionally-based academic institutions – the Institutes of Technology (IoT) and Technological Universities (TU) – in order to drive productivity and competitiveness in and across the regions. The fund aligns with the Future Jobs Ireland framework and the Regional Enterprise Plans by building on regional strengths and supporting the expansion of Irish exporting businesses.

The clustering activity will enable IoTs and TUs to connect and engage with SMEs and multinational corporations in a strategic way on common areas of interest, while providing a means to increase their educational and research remit as knowledge providers in their region. IOTs and TUs have an important role to play in helping companies to respond to the skills challenges faced by SMEs and to assist companies to enhance their capability to win business in international markets.

DkIT received €287,928 in funding to support the development of a Connected Health & Wellbeing Industry Cluster in the North East, capitalising on internationally-recognised research, innovation and business development strengths and expertise at the Institute.

Announcing the successful applicants of the fund in Trim, Co Meath, Minister Heather Humphreys TD said: “Strengthening collaboration between industry leaders and Higher Education Institutions is a key priority for Government as we work to ensure we have balanced regional development.

“The funding very much complements the core ambitions of Future Jobs Ireland, which in 2020 will have clustering as a key theme. It includes projects that embrace innovation and technological change, improve SME productivity, help to build our skills base and assist with our transition to a low carbon economy.  It is this kind of innovative funding that will ensure we remain competitive and well-placed to grow and prosper in a rapidly changing global economy.’”

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said:

“I am extremely keen to see more regional options being opened to school leavers. There is a huge pool of talented, knowledgeable and experienced people in our enterprises and they are willing to bring on the next generation. Funding these clusters is essential to get the partnerships to bed down and create opportunities for students to plot a career path and enterprise and industry to grow.”

Also speaking today, DkIT President Michael Mulvey, PhD added,

“Driven by global challenges, the science and technology associated with the areas of Health and Wellbeing are creating one of the world's fastest-growing opportunity markets and our region has a wealth of talent, innovation and research expertise in this space.

We welcome the additional Government funding in supporting the continued development of the Connected Health & Wellbeing Industry Cluster in our region. Increased investment in this area will allow us to build on regional research, innovation and industry strengths and unlock further opportunities to grow this sector to benefit the economic and social development of the region.”

Jerry Moloney, Regional Director, Enterprise Ireland, who administer the Fund for the Department, said:

“When Enterprise Ireland published its ‘Powering the Regions’ strategy earlier this year, we placed a major emphasis on attracting high quality, collaborative projects that had the potential to form successful clusters. This has been a competitive process that attracted many interesting project proposals from Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities nationwide. Our nine Regional Response Teams are confident that the twelve successful projects announced today will go on to ignite innovation in their regions and enhance the capabilities of indigenous businesses to win business in global markets and drive the creation of cluster entities in these key sectors.”

More information about the Regional Technology Clustering Fund is available here.

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