Leo Varadkar, the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, has launched a call for Irish businesses to apply to a €500 million State-backed fund for "disruptive" technologies, including those that help fight climate change and develop food and health resources.
It is the third such call for funding applications to the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, which has already disbursed about €140 million to 43 different projects.
The fund aims to bring together consortiums of SMEs, larger businesses and the research departments of universities to commercialise new technologies. Its target areas are software and computing, health, food, energy/climate, manufacturing and business services.
The deadline for the applications on this third call is December 17th. Applicants must seek upwards of €1.5 million of funding over three years, for projects that can be commercialised over a three- to seven-year period.
Mr Varadkar said coronavirus and technological change has shifted the world of work: “This fund will help maintain our position at the forefront of countries that are leading these changes.”
Simon Harris, the Minister for Higher Education, said the fund would back innovation projects that are "needed now more than ever".
Enterprise Ireland, which helps oversee the fund, said its projects must be "rooted in collaboration between industry and academia with a clear focus on commercialisation".
"Crucially, they will have a transformative impact on how we work or live," said Julie Sinnamon, the chief executive of Enterprise Ireland.
Projects funded to date include one involving Tipperary-based Omnispirant, which is collaborating with Aerogen and scientists at NUIG in Galway on stem-cell treatment for certain respiratory difficulties associated with coronavirus patients.
Other projects include lasers and environmental water management.